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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

'The Look'

Photo by myself, somewhere along 6th Avenue.

I was caught recently taking a candid photo on the street, and thence given 'The Look'.


Happy last day of 2008!

I have yet to finalize my resolution list. At the moment, thoroughly enjoying life is up there, along with enjoying the people and critters around me. I also hope to relax more and be a more active photographer.

I suppose it's traditional to look back on the year at this milestone. This year has yielded many good things - a job change, a new dog, new friends and Mark and I moving in together. Looking ahead, I can only hope for continued surprises, challenges and the occasional reward.

How has 2008 been for you? And what do you hope for in 2009?

Related posts: We, the People, Step Lively and A View from the Streets.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Uggs in Times Square

Uggs near Times Square
Photo by myself near Times Square, around 6th Avenue and 41st Street.

On the street corner I encountered either the spokesmodels for Uggs, or an up-and-coming girl band.

It was in the mid-40s on Monday and brightly sunny. The sidewalks were swarming with visitors and people taking off of work.


The countdown has begun to the new year.

I'm not sure what Mark and I will do. We've been invited to a couple events, but there is a very, very high chance we will stay in.

For the last few years we have wound up in front of the television. Correction, I have wound up in front of the television at the stroke of midnight, while Mark has been sound asleep under the covers.

This year he will be under the covers with a certain mischievous dog. The cat and I will tough it out til the end!

Related posts: Times Square, NYC, Life in the Balance and CDP Theme Day - Circles and Spheres.


Monday, December 29, 2008

Prospect Park, Brooklyn

Prospect Park, Brooklyn
Photo by myself from the edge of Prospect Park, Brooklyn. The surrounding neighborhood, Park Slope, consists of single and multiple-family row houses and apartment buildings.

Prospect Park is a 500+ acre park in Brooklyn. It was designed by Fredrick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux, who also designed Central Park in Manhattan. The rolling hills and pathways host soccer games, runners, picnics and dogs.


By the way, if you are thinking of getting a puppy anytime soon, be prepared. It is a full time job.

Our puppy, Rupert, is five months old. We took him to a dog run and Prospect Park several times this weekend for exercise. After each outing he napped, then woke up to wreak more havoc.

Rupert's favorite thing is to steal things like socks, shoes, slips of paper, pillows, basically anything that isn't nailed down and isn't too heavy. Then he tears through the apartment with two adults after him, his ears flattened against his head. His eyeballs circle around to see where we are and whether we are sufficiently annoyed.

Incidentally, dogs go through a teething period, just like people. They start out with cute baby teeth. As their jaws grow bigger, the scary looking adult teeth come in.

I noticed that Rupert's grip wasn't so tight during tug-o-war, and little blood stains were being left behind (!). Knowing that people use carrots when human babies are teething, I gave him a carrot while cooking stew this weekend.

Soon one carrot led to another and now there are multiple carrots and carrot bits around the house. Rupert likes to gnaw on them with his molars, propping the carrot up between this front paws. The combination of rubbery texture and sweet taste makes for the perfect teething instrument.

Teething (with a carrot)

Related posts: The Hills are Alive in Prospect Park, The Bandshell, Central Park and Shooting (Film) in the Park.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Downtown, 24/7

The Village
Photo by myself in the Village, around Christopher Street.


I love how eclectic the scene is downtown - there will be a restaurant next to a leather store next to a tea house, and the street will look pristine.

Most of the time, different shifts of people occupy the street. The early birds walk their dogs, and get the paper and coffee on the corner. After the morning rush hour, the clothing stores open. Restaurants serve lunch. People from outside the neighborhood come in for dinner and drinks.

The main streets are active between 6 am and 2 am, but in case you're out any later, you can count on delis and newsstands that are open all night.

Incidentally it's these different shifts of foot traffic that ensures a neighborhood's safety. If there are witnesses, there is little chance of crime.

Related posts: Riding in Style in the Village, Down in the Village and On Street Corners in the East Village.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

What's Going Up, Near the ESB

Empire State Bldg
Photo by myself of the Empire State Building, at 35th Street and Fifth Avenue.

No, the Empire State Building isn't under construction, but a building nearby is. There is still some construction going on in the city. NY1, the local news channel here, reports that some 5 billion dollars in construction has been postponed in the city.

Incidentally, the Empire State itself went up during the Depression. After being built in just two years, it sat empty for a long time. According to Wikipedia, the ESB did not turn a profit until its 20th year.


The keywords 'the cost of living in New York' are still the most popular referrals to this site. Whether that means people are curious about how much it costs to live here, or whether they're planning to relocate is still unclear.

From the trenches, I can report that I haven't seen anything toooo drastic, but then, I'm not in finance. There is a general fear of layoffs in my industry. Work is still coming into the office, though not as much as before. Contractors have been slashing their estimates to get work.

Some clients have postponed their projects. Others have scaled back scope. So far our office hasn't had to let anyone go. Let's hope it stays that way.

I must say that I was shocked to see on television the other day a commercial for apartments (was it in Queens?). Never, ever, EVER did I think I'd see tv ads for rental apartments in a city where it seemed that everyone was fighting to move in.

My, how times have changed.

Related posts: The Cost of Living Here, The Cost of Living Here Part II, or Life in Playland and Through the Roof.


Friday, December 26, 2008


Columbus Circle, NYC
Photo by myself in Columbus Circle, at 59th Street and Central Park West.

A group of cold tourists surrounded a vendor selling cashmere scarves. For ten bucks you could bundle yourself up in style.


I hope everyone is not overstuffed with a hangover. Our evening was rather typical, involving much too much food, wine, chatter, animals and children.

Why is it that every holiday people just go nuts?

Related posts: A Message from Beantown, On Bowling and Critters and Our Extended Family.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas, All

Christmas Windows
Photo by myself, of a window display at Macy's at 34th and 6th Avenue.

My embarrassed apologies for all the photographs of Macy's, of late. Life has been busy, the weather cold and I have been lazy!


Merry Christmas!!! I hope everyone is enjoying themselves with family and friends during this holiday time.

I have to say the word 'Christmas' conjures up an image of shiny plentitude in any child's mind. Oh, to be a kid again, just for one day.

Mark and I are off to an early dinner with family in the city. We are bringing the dog to meet his cousins, which are giant standard poodles. I am sure there will be mass destruction and cavorting.

How are you celebrating this season?

Related posts: Happy Thanksgiving at Macy's, The Markets in Union Square and Holiday Displays, Fifth Avenue


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Taking a Glance at Columbus Circle

Columbus Circle
Photo by myself near Columbus Circle, at 59th Street and Central Park West.

The Trump International Hotel at One Central Park, has hung up evergreen boughs along its brass canopy. Below, the doorman talks to a waiting driver.


I've noticed recently that I hardly take black and white photos anymore. I can't say this is on purpose, because the 'black and white' images are originally taken in color. It's just that I've gotten a little better with my picture taking, so the color ones don't look so terrible.

There is something about New York and black and white images, though. It's a city of high contrasts. It's a city of classic looks. There are often sharp angles, and deep shadows. And there's often such a mix of different color schemes, that black and white just makes sense.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Related posts: Now, On Center Stage, East (Side) Versus (West) Side and At The Brooklyn Museum - The Dizzying World of Murakami.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Windows to Warm the Heart

Macy's Displays
Photo by myself in front of Macy's, at 34th Street and 6th Avenue.

Here's a closer view of one of the window displays at Macy's, which are lit up and have moving parts. The sidewalk in front of the store is constantly crowded with onlookers.


It was very chilly on Monday, here in New York, with temperatures in the 20's. WIth the wind hurtling down the street, it felt more like 4 degrees below zero.

People were nearly running down the sidewalks, scuttling with heads and faces covered. Perhaps they were frantically doing their last minute shopping? Brrr!!!!

Related posts: Reflections Apres Happy Hour, On Christmases Past and I Deserve a Break Today.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Tis the Season, from Herald Square

Outside Macys, NYC
Photo by myself in front of Macy's, at 34th Street and 6th Avenue.

Here's a photo that marks the season. I took this one earlier this winter, when the sidewalks weren't covered in slush.


Well, we're roaring down the home stretch toward the holidays. It's hard to believe.

Happy Monday everyone!

Related posts: Happy Thanksgiving at Macy's, The Markets in Union Square and Holiday Displays, Fifth Avenue.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Bright Lights at BAM

BAM Cafe, Brooklyn
Photo by myself from the BAM Cafe, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

This gathering space is just off the auditorium at BAM, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where you can get a drink or snack during intermission. Despite the name, performances at BAM are not limited to music, and include dance, opera, movies and film.


It is definitely winter in New York, all of a sudden. Snow started coming down Friday afternoon, when it was rumored we'd get 5 inches.

There are huge puddles at every street corner, so that pedestrians have to pick their way around to find the narrowest space to jump across. Then the sidewalks are dangerously icy. So when you do make it over a big puddle, you have to tiptoe down the street to the next big puddle.

It all makes staying inside all that cozier.

Related posts: Radio City and Rupert, Day Two, Fuerzabruta, Now Thrilling Union Square and All That Jazz.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Seasons Greetings from the MTA

Christmas in the subway
Photo by myself on the subway platform at Bryant Park.

A homeless person had collected Christmas gear and various bags of stuff. She sat nearby on a bench, when I was taking this photo.


With the recent snow and economic situation, there has not been a noticeable increase of homeless people in the subways and streets. You are certain to find at least one person per subway station and many on the subways panhandling. It's cold outside, and the subway stations are an obvious refuge.

New Yorkers do express their concern for those in need, either by donating to individuals directly or to organizations. The other day I saw a blind woman on the subway, who was bombarded with donations.

One organization that helps is called New York Cares. Besides sponsoring a city-wide coat drive every year, they have many other projects relating to seniors, children, animals and even the environment.

New Yorkers who want to make a difference can volunteer. Check out their website and enroll online, today.

Related posts: Grace Church in Black and White, Society's Trash and Castaways.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Holiday Greetings, from Times Square

Times Sq Christmas
Photo by myself in Times Square.

I braved Times Square the other night, where holiday images are dancing on the big screen. Standing at 42nd Street and Broadway, one is just bathed in light.


Mark and I are caring for our dog Rupert, Thursday night. He was left unattended for a moment and in that moment, he scarfed down a big bowl of cat food. He's been extra-gassy as a result.

In the meantime, it's time again for another Rupert video.

Mark has been making these videos in his spare time, mapping Rupert's journey through puppyhood. He's now almost 5 months old and apparently does a lot of sleeping. In this episode, our cat makes a cameo appearance.

Related posts: Unleashed in Long Island, Radio City and Rupert, Day Two and Boston (Terrier) in New York.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Skating Under the Empire State

Skating in Bryant Park, NYC
Photo by myself in Bryant Park, at 42nd Street and 6th Avenue.

Each winter, an ice rink replaces the grass in this popular park near the Main Library on 42nd Street. The $12 admission fee includes the skate rental. In the background looms the Empire State Building.


Tuesday was a late night at the office for me...midnight, to be exact. And the crazy thing is, I was not the only one there! A couple of my coworkers were also slogging it out on their projects.

Fortunately, Wednesday's meeting went well. The owners live in a gorgeous apartment on the Upper East Side. Because of the economy, they are postponing the project for a year - adding central air conditioning, and completely redoing several rooms, now that their children have left the nest.

As a treat, I walked around after the meeting to take some photos. It was fun to see hoards of people skating around, enjoying themselves in the night air.

Related posts: Out to Lunch, Braving the Chill in Bryant Park, and Mass Mentality.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tales From Below - A Subway Transcript

NYC subway
Photo by myself just outside a typical NYC subway.

Riders are warned by live and recorded messages to stand clear of the closing doors.


Tuesday morning, the N train was stuck during morning rush hour traffic between Brooklyn and Manhattan.

9:04 am Train grinds to a halt. Riders look up from their papers, unsurprised. It was drizzling lightly outside, and rain makes the trains go haywire.

9:05 am The train has not moved. No announcements had been made. Passengers shuffled around but stayed quiet, waiting.

9:06 am Disgruntlement sets in. The sounds of shuffling feet and sighs become audible.

9:07 am An announcement is made that there is a stalled train directly ahead of us. Please be patient. Thank you and have a good day, from New York City Transit. The woman standing to my right swore under her breath.

9:08 am I start to compare the perception of time on a stopped subway train to a vacation in Mexico. I realize that standing up, carrying all your stuff and being squished against people is very different from sitting under a beach umbrella in a bikini.

9:10 am A pregnant woman in her third trimester squats down out of exhaustion. A female passenger notices and quickly finds a her a seat.

9:13 am A passenger presses the Emergency Call Button and pleads for air conditioning. 'Give me a break, you're suffocating us in here!' she cries. Immediately, the fans come on.

9:14 am Miraculously, the train starts to move. There is no applause, no chatter, just a collective sigh of relief. We chug slowly through the tunnel, eventually merging into the daylight to a view of Manhattan and the East River.


Related posts: Asleep on the D Train, A Much-Needed Nap and The Space of Chance Encounters.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Grace Church, in Color

Grace Church, NYC
Photo by myself outside Grace Church, on Broadway and 11th Street.

You wouldn't think this is a photo from Manhattan, but it is. This little neo-Gothic church just below Union Square is gated off from the busy street.


As for most New Yorkers, work is instantly nuts for me - a client meeting is scheduled for Wednesday. My first day back was a twelve-hour day. Tomorrow promises to be the same.

Unfortunately, I took a cab home with a madman driving. It was one of those cabs where the back seat was set low, so only the tippy top of one's head peeks out the window. My eyes could not find a horizon to focus on. By the time we reached the Brooklyn Bridge, my head was swimming.

I got home to Mark and Rupert (our dog) and Dida (our cat) conked out on the sofa, one on top of the other in a heap.

It was a welcome end to the evening. There is nothing like coming home your dear ones blissfully asleep, unaware of dodgy cab rides, deadlines and the trivial world outside.

Related posts: Grace Church in Black and White, No Place is Perfect and On Eating Chicken Sandwiches in Montreal.


Monday, December 15, 2008

The View of Liberty

The View from Red Hook, Brooklyn
Photo by myself from Red Hook, Brooklyn.

In Brooklyn, parts of the water's edge are being developed into pricey condominium buildings, while other parts are in need of cleaning up.


Our first full day back home from vacation was spent running errands - unpacking, doing the laundry, picking up the dog and shopping for groceries.

Fairway, a large supermarket in Red Hook Brooklyn, was one of our stops for food. The sky looked bigger than usual and was layered with wispy, expressive clouds. In the distance, you could see huge cranes, the kind they use to haul cargo off ships.

And across the flat surface of the East River, there stood the Statue of Liberty.

Here's another photo that I took of the Statue from the same area, earlier this year.

Related posts: The Mother of All Supermarkets, Food on the Brain and Meat.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Experiencing the City, Now in the NY Times

Rooftops, Flatiron District
Photo by myself in the Flatiron District, around 23rd Street and Fifth Avenue.

Storefronts might change rapidly but the rooftops remain pretty constant. Much decoration is ornate and large, to be visible from far away.


For New Yorkers and those visiting New York soon, there's a couple of great articles in the NY Times about experiencing the city.

A Times writer for the Weekend section bids adieu to living in New York after 15 years. He writes here of finally doing the last few things he'd always wanted to do in New York.

The second article is about food. A critic writes here of three course meals for two around the city for under $100, which includes tax and tip. You certainly don't have to spend a lot of money in order to eat well in New York.

These articles were written for residents and visitors alike. Most New Yorkers have always wanted to see a certain museum or experience a New York something, but have never got around to it. And who doesn't need additions to his or her affordable restaurant list?

Related posts: A La Carte, Welcome to New York and On Looking Like A Tourist on Holiday.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sunset Views, Mexico

Sunset, Mexico
Photo by myself in Mexico.

The view from a restaurant tucked into the hillside is spectacular. The thatched roof can be seen from below.


Mark and I will spend all day Saturday traveling back home from vacation, so I'll be posting in advance.

While we were away we encountered several sets of Americans. The most memorable were elderly and very drunk. Mark and I met them when we pulled over to ask for directions. They looked like extreme ex-hippies or extras from Rosemary's Baby, that is, they were a little creepy and in desperate need of haircuts.

Our time away was relaxing and wonderful, but we're happy to be back home!

Related posts: Buenos Noches from Mexico, On The Beach, Mexico and City Views, Mexico.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Hot Off the Grill in the East Village

Otafuku, East Village
Photo by myself behind the scenes of Otafuku, in the East Village.

One of my favorite eateries in New York is a standing room only, and serves savory, made-to-order Japanese dishes. Here's a photo posted earlier showing the exterior.


As our vacation is winding down, I'm experiencing an odd sensation regarding Time.

At home days seem to whizz by. On Mondays especially, 2 pm arrives in an instant. By the end of the week, I'm frantic and frustrated that I hadn't gotten more done.

On vacation, time is slow and then fast. The travel is always a little scary. Driving the rental car, with or without street signs along dirt roads. The first day is usually very long. Then you get to know a location. You find a favorite place for breakfast place and coffee, where to buy water and snacks.

What would daily life be like if it felt the same as vacation time?

Related posts: On Japanese Food and Fish, Cold Noodles and Hot Shows and No Reservations.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sand and Surf, Mexico

Thatched Roof, Mexico
Photo by myself in Mexico.

An abandoned thatched roof once sheltered part of an outdoor restaurant.


It boggles my mind to hear that the weather in New York has been so sporadic. Wednesday the high in NY was 65F, and Saturday it's predicted to be 36F, just above freezing. It's normal to have an Indian summer in late November, but the transitions were always gradual. Now it is insane.

Here in Mexico where we're on vacation, it's humid and gorgeous. The weather reminds me of Taiwan, another tropical locale, where you can't leave anything out for too long, else it will rust or be covered in mold.

Early Wednesday morning, we boarded a motorboat for ocean fishing. Our guide took us out to choppy water, where we caught 6 bonito, or 'black tuna', each about 14 inches long, within 30 minutes. Then I became seasick and lost my breakfast, but not before we pulled into a lagoon for some snorkeling.

For lunch, a restaurant cooked our fish three different ways - raw (as a cerviche, brined in lime juice, with chopped onions and tomatoes), breaded and grilled. The amount of fish we've been having is nuts, to the point where we're dreaming about hamburgers and pasta.

Anyway, here are some more photos I wanted to share of the beach.
Paragliding on the Beach, Mexico
You can paraglide and jetski here, though most people opt to lie around like lazy bums and drink beer.

Two Kids, Mexico
Two local kids enjoy the beach and changing light.

Mexican Baby
Tons of families spend weekends on the beach, bringing their young kids and babies.

Related posts: Buenos Noches from Mexico, On The Beach, Mexico and City Views, Mexico.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Holiday Displays, Fifth Avenue

Lord and Taylor, Fifth Avenue
Photo by myself outside the windows of Lord and Taylor, the department store on Fifth Avenue.


While I've been out of town, New York readers of this blog and friends back home have written to say that it's suddenly freezing in New York. Temperatures are in the teens and 20's, and with the wind and walking around, I'm sure it feels much, much colder.

At least the cozy window displays help to warm the spirits. Kids and adults can escape into their fantasy lands, if only for a moment.

Don't we all have childhood memories of such windows?

Related posts: Happy Thanksgiving, From Macy's, The Apple Store, Continued and Happy Christmas Eve.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

City Views, Mexico

Market, Mexico
Photo by myself in the city of Zihuatenejo, Mexico.

NY Portraits is on vacation in Mexico. Here, a couple shopped for produce Monday morning, in the bustling Centro markets.


I'm showing some city photos today. Monday after breakfast in town, Mark and I walked around a bit, taking in the streets and markets a short drive away from the beach.

Many streets were filled with sheer stuff, from cosmetics to groceries to Santa Claus pinatas. Some streets in the middle of the town were quiet and lined with cafes. There were very few tourists about, and most stuck together to certain areas.


Santas for Sale, Mexico

Related posts: Buenos Noches from Mexico. Every Street is Beautiful and Parlez-Vous Francais?.


Monday, December 8, 2008

On the Beach, Mexico

Beach, Mexico
Photo by myself on the beach in Mexico.

New York Portraits is currently on vacation from New York. For the next several days, I'll be posting photos from our trip.


Thankfully in the daylight, our surroundings look drastically different, much less squalid than I'd thought when we arrived.

Mark and I went into town for an authentic Mexican breakfast of huevos rancheros, or ranch hand eggs - eggs over easy on corn tortillas with a smattering of salsa. There were piles of brick and rubble here and there, but in all the streets were clean and quaint. Flowering plants were everywhere, and loud birds cackle from the trees. Mark wondered about moving here and opening up a coffee shop.

We spent nearly the full day on or around the beach. While we sat under an umbrella, perhaps 20 some hawkers came by, selling various types of jewelry, sculptures, silver, and tequila. There were also women offering to braid one's hair and musicians offering a serenade.

Meals have been extremely healthy and inexpensive, consisting of fish tacos, cerviche (fresh fish in lime juice), guacamole and beer. A couple restaurants are located directly on the beach, but on nearby roads there are little stands selling beach items and food. Mark has befriended people at one stand near our bungalow. We are now served beer at local prices, which comes to about 80 cents US per bottle.

Typically we are wary New Yorkers, but in this oasis, our guard is down. The only slightly kooky element is what seems to be a large number of Americans who have moved here, who walk around drunk as skunks, lol.

Here are some more photos from the beach:
Beach, Mexico

Boy on beach, Mexico

On the beach, Mexico

On the Beach, Mexico

Related posts: Buenos Noches from Mexico. Every Street is Beautiful and Parlez-Vous Francais?.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Buenos Noches, From Mexico

Water taxi on the beach, Mexico
Photo by myself from the beach in Ixtapa, Mexico.

No, not a photo from New York City, but from Mexico, where I'm vacation.

I hardly ever take time lapse pictures, since New York is very fast paced. By the time we got to the beach it was dark, but a long exposure shot made the scene visible.


I don't have much to say since my brain is fried. My boyfriend Mark and I arrived here in the late afternoon, after a long flight riddled with screaming children.

The one comment I manage to have, however, is about contrasts. There is a great deal of natural beauty in Mexico but a great deal of poverty as well. We flew over Mexico City, which is HUGE compared to New York. Tiny masonry buildings were crammed in together and the whole city was covered in a blanket of smog.

Then we took a short flight to Zihuatenejo, where we're staying. A drive from the airport led us through a small, squalid town. Delapidated, shack-like structures were everywhere. I soon figured out that there were few cars on the highway because many locals don
t own cars.

Both the beauty and desperate living situations make for startling photos. It's terrible, and I'm not sure how comfortable I am with photographing some of the conditions here.

At any rate, more tomorrow. It's been a long day!

Related posts: Subway Sunset, On the Ride Home, Sunrise, Sunset and More Notes from the Left Coast.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Braving the Chill in Bryant Park

Bryant Park, NYC
Photo by myself in Bryant Park, around 41st Street and 5th Avenue.

Despite the chilly temperatures, New Yorkers like to get out during lunchtime, even to browse around on the internet.

Public open spaces like Bryant Park offer free wifi for laptop users. With the colder weather, there's no shortage of tables.


Tis the season for holiday parties. The subway rides home are sparsely attended, and everyone seems to have 'plans'.

Mark and I are adjusting Friday night to the strange sensation of being dogless. Mark dropped our puppy Rupert off at the dog sitters for the week, as our flight to Mexico leaves very early tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile, our cat, which has been chased around lately, looks perkier than usual. She can choose whichever sofa cushion to sit on, without fearing an ambush.

I'll definitely miss New York while we're away. The city is festive and exciting during holiday time, compared to the dreary months of January and February. I'll continue to post daily, digging into my stash and showing photos from our time away.

Don't be surprised to see sunny photos here, soon!

Related posts: Out to Lunch, Commuting, Computing and Working the Streets.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Hitting the Newsstand, Underground

Newstand, 59th Street
Photo by myself on the subway platform, at 59th Street Columbus Circle.

You can purchase reading material, gum and snacks from such newsstands around the city. On the subway platforms, they emit a comforting light, providing safety when no one else is around.


The upcoming vacation for Mark and I is coming at the perfect time. I've been overcome by the winter doldrums. My projects have been inching along and the office is quiet.

Food and snacks have also been flooding in, and we worker bees are waddling around a little heavier than usual. People make frequent trips to the kitchen to check out vendor gifts and whatever food has been leftover from client meetings.

Hard to believe that Mark and I will be boarding the plane soon. It'll be good to get a break from the self-indulgence and chilly weather!

Related posts: The Hipster Olympics, Subway Platform, 59th Street and Live Music, Union Square.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Choose Your Tree on Seventh Avenue

Christmas Trees, Sixth Avenue, NYC
Photo by myself on Sixth Seventh Avenue, around Christopher Street.

The Christmas trees and wreaths are being sold on sidewalks for New Yorkers to bring home. Walking by these areas, you can get a whiff of the pine needles and the holidays.

Special thanks to Ken Mac for correcting me on where this photo was taken.


I haven't gotten to the point of bringing home a tree yet, though last year I indulged in a wreath. The whole thought seems indulgent - take a live tree, haul it up to the apartment and decorate it, only to lug it down again to the sidewalk a few weeks later.

I hope to get photos once the season is over, when trees are left out for garbage pick up. You encounter trees dumped immediately after Christmas, and ones dumped as late as February in the new year, their limbs and leaves all browned and crispy. In front of the larger buildings you find several trees stacked on top of one another.

Right now, we can enjoy everything still shiny new. There isn't any grey slushy snow yet or big puddles. The holiday jingles are still quaint and refreshing.

Enjoy the unjaded feeling while we can!

Related posts: Christmas Greetings from New York, Happy Christmas Eve and O Christmas Tree.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Outside Biography Books, Bleeker Street

Book sale, Bleeker Street
Photo by myself on Bleeker Street, outside the Biography Book Shop, an adorable book store in the village.

A woman browsed despite the cold, while her little dog stood guard.


As typical with December, there is a definite chill in the air. It's in the mid-40s when I leave the house in the mornings, and drops below freezing at night.

Mark has been asking me every other week about how long we'll continue living in New York.

I think the weather wears on you, the older you get. New Yorkers especially are a hardy bunch, walking everywhere and often toting bags of stuff. We are buffeted by winds, rain and snow, just to get to the office each day. And then there's the grocery store, the pet store, post office and all else.

Right now we're getting by but it's not even really cold yet. All I can do is think about February and shiver!

Related posts: Sharing a Moment, Keeping Your Dogs in a Row and Our Four-Legged Friends.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Riding in Style, in the Village

Pedicabs outside RL Store, the Village
Photo by myself of the Ralph Lauren store on Bleeker Street, in the Village.

These period-looking pedicabs harken back to an earlier time. You and your shopping buddy can be pedaled around by a one of several young lads.


It's hard to believe it's already December. Mark and I are in disbelief about our trip next week to a small town in Mexico, called Zihuatenejo (pronounced 'Zee-hwa-ten-ay-hoe').

I've been flip flop-less since the fall, after leaving my trusty flip flops on a job site. Mark needed a bathing suit. Fortunately with the internets you can get just about anything at any season.

We learned of Zihuatenejo from a travel show on tv. A short distance from Mexico City and near a nice beach, it sounds like the perfect place to unwind. We'd gone to Costa Rica a couple years ago, and loved the simple lifestyle and healthy food. I hope Zihua is similar.

If anyone's been to that neck of the woods, I'd love to know your suggestions for things to do. Mark has been researching a bit online, but there's nothing like a personal recommendation!

Related posts: Working It, Kicking Back on Firm Ground and How's About A Ride?.


Monday, December 1, 2008

CDP Theme Day - Circles & Spheres

42nd Street, NYC
Photo by myself, of the huge Target billboard that festooned Times Square, earlier this year.

Not the best photo, but one that represents this month's Theme Day for Daily City Photobloggers. On the first day of each month, photobloggers around the world post photos on the same theme. December's theme is circles and spheres.

There are over 800 City Daily Photo blogs, and 187 blogs participating on this month's theme. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants.


Related posts: CDP Theme Day - Books, CDP Theme Day - Lines and CDP Theme Day - Sister Cities.