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Monday, November 30, 2009

Waiting for Pommes Frites, on Second Avenue

Pommes Frites, NYC
Photo by myself on Second Avenue around 8th Street, in the East Village.

There is always a line out the door of Pommes Frites, a tiny place in the East Village. They specialize in delectable Belgian pomme frites (French fries).

You can choose among huge selection of spicy and savory sauces for dipping, including sweet mango chutney, pomegranate teriyaki mayo and wasabi mayo. My favorite has to be roasted garlic mayonnaise. Yum.

This places is open as late as 3:30 am, perfect for stumbling in after a long night of drinking.

For a peek at their website and menu, click here.


Ah, Mark and I are homeward bound, after our vacation in Puerto Rico. I must admit that I've been longing to take photos of home. It’s challenging this time of year though, since it gets dark so early.

Related posts: Meat Market, Ninth Avenue, Lichee Stand, Sunset Park and The Meal Obama Cart, Midtown.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Short Visit to Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
Photo by myself in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

An ancient fort that used to defend the island from pirates of the Carribean, is located next to an incredible cemetery.


Sorry to detract from my usual photos of New York. Mark and I are still on a brief vacation in Puerto Rico, where it is incredibly humid and sunny. Friday afternoon, we took a trip into Old San Juan, about 20 minutes from our hotel.

Unfortunately the heat and a disappointing lunch experience made our time in town brief. We found the streets extremely clean in this charming old neighborhood. The buildings were ornate, some painted bright colors.

Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
One of many shop-lined streets, paved in blue brick. The stores cater heavily to tourists.

Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
Lush vegetation is everywhere. We were entranced by the little balconies, shutters and details.

Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

Stores and restaurants were located along narrow streets, lined with tropical plants. Unfortunately, the only locals we encountered were the police and shop owners. Oh, and cats, lol, which were very friendly.

Mark and I will be back in New York, Monday night. It's very nice here, I'm starting to miss the energy and bustle of the city. I can just feel my brain and body turning into jello!

Old San Juan, Los Gatos
A time-lapse image of the same cat? Actually, these three friendly strays are probably brothers.

Related posts: Signs of Hope, Now on Sale, in Midtown and Signs of the Times.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tropical Luxury at the Caribe Hilton, Puerto Rico

Caribe Hilton, Puerto Rico
Photo by myself at the Caribe Hilton hotel, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

As you can see, it’s beautiful here – brightly sunny with a gentle sea breeze.

Mark and I are staying at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan, a sprawling hotel complex by the water. There are restaurants, a spa, an outdoor hammock forest, a swimming lagoon and several outdoor pools. A casino is located just a 15-minute walk away.

Mark and I are usually intrepid travelers and prefer smaller hotels, off the beaten path. However, I don’t have many complaints about the obvious luxury of this place. It's not bad!

Staying here is like being on a cruise ship on land. There are free activities offered every day, from yoga classes to bingo to feeding giant koi in a pond. It's a great place for families.

Caribe Hilton, Puerto Rico
A grove of hammocks provide a restful spot to read a book.

Large swans and other waterfowl live in a central garden. There are reefs with colorful fish just offshore, visible from a small dock. At night, the outdoor gardens and pools are lit with festive lights.

The only disappointment so far has been a couple extremely overpriced meals we've had outside the hotel, which fell short in terms of food and service. (Mark even had food poisoning). We have been spoiled by New York, where you can eat very well for a reasonable price.

Coming up tomorrow, photos from our trip into Old San Juan.

Caribe Hilton, Puerto Rico
Work on your tan next to several swimming pools.

Related posts: Signs of Hope, Now on Sale, in Midtown and Signs of the Times.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Hope for Better Times, in the East Village

Better things, East Village
Photo by myself, somewhere in the East Village.

The above sign was done by James De La Vega, a New York street artist, who has left quotes all over the city for the last 10 years. He lives in East Harlem but works in the East Village.


Buenos dias from Puerto Rico!! Mark and I are staying in San Juan, near the water and casinos. It is beautiful and sunny here, with palm trees and the sparkling ocean. I hope to post some photos tomorrow.

It’s my first gambling with real money, and I’m down a whopping $100. Throwing away my hard-earned cash is no fun, so I’m not sure there’s any more blackjack for me in the future.

What is fun is watching Mark, an experienced gambler. He won some, then lost some, then won some more, playing blackjack and craps. He’s up $75 after a couple hours. The scene of dice rolling, card throwing and crowds is dizzying.

Cameras aren’t allowed in the casinos, but I hope to post some photos of San Juan in the next couple of days. We are so lucky to live in the 21st century, where you can go from chilly New York to palm trees in a matter of hours.

Related posts: Signs of Hope, Now on Sale, in Midtown and Signs of the Times.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

All Decked out Below the Empire State

34th Street, lit up
Photo by myself on 34th Street and 7th Avenue, in Midtown.

Sorry for a cliche view of New York, but I just could not resist myself. Monday night, the decorations were up and the sidewalks were packed with people.

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is a New York tradition. The parade starts on the Upper West Side and winds south, ending at the Macy's store. All sorts of floats, balloons and bands are involved. A huge insignia was painted on the street and bright lights were being tested for the television cameras.

The sky was cloudy, reflecting a halo of light around the building.


Well folks, Mark and I are headed to Puerto Rico, Thursday. We'll be back very late Monday night. Of course, the blog will continue with a new photo, every day.

I hope everyone who is celebrating Thanksgiving is sharing the day with their families. Don't eat too much!

Related posts: Skating Under the Empire State, Working it Out and Different Vistas.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Performance Eats, on the Upper West Side

Salumeria Rosi, Upper West Side
Photo by myself on the Upper West Side, around 73rd Street and Amsterdam Avenue (10th Avenue).

Salumeria Rosi is a relatively new restaurant on the Upper West Side. A well-appointed prep counter resembled performance art. In the window are boxes of cooked sausage from Modena and slow-roasted pork loin. (Sorry for the reflection, there were bright lights located across the street).

Designed to look like a traditional salami shop found on any street corner in Italy, Salumeria serves up tasty items like pork belly, nearly 20 aged salamis and a complete cheese menu. How can you not eat meats without cheese?

The family-based business originated in Parma, Italy, before setting up shop in Manhattan. The restaurant cures many of its own meats, and imports the rest from overseas.

Judging from what looked like a full house on Tuesday night, the food must be very good. For a survey of menus and history, click here.

Related posts: Policing the Subway, Midtown, On the Job and Police Line, Do Not Cross.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Directing Traffic, on Fifth Avenue

Policewoman, Midtown
Photo by myself in Midtown.

During the Veteran's Day Parade earlier this month, a policewoman directed traffic.

I couldn't find a statistic for female officers in the NYPD. My guess is that it is quite low. I rarely see women in uniform.

New Yorkers have a much better relationship with the police these days. A few might check passengers' bags outside subway stations, but generally, New York's finest maintain a low key image.


I've been attacked by spammers recently posting about escorts and viagra.

Please know that I check for spam every day. So don't even try it.

Related posts: Policing the Subway, Midtown, On the Job and Police Line, Do Not Cross.


Monday, November 23, 2009

On the Trails, in Prospect Park

Horses Prospect Park
Photo by myself in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.

A photo from the country?

Not at all. There are horse trails in Prospect Park, Brooklyn as well as Central Park, in Manhattan.


It's hard for me to believe that it's Thanksgiving week already. Where has the time gone?

Mark and I will be going to Puerto Rico with his family. It's his mum's 70th birthday celebration (I hope she doesn't mind my saying that!). His brother, lovely wife and two gorgeous kids will be going, too.

Thanksgiving is only celebrated in America and Canada. As you probably know, it's the most popular time to travel in the States.

Is anyone else hitting the road?

Related posts: Riding High, Heigh Ho and The Carousel, Bryant Park.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

On the West Side Highway

Riverside Park, NYC
Photo by myself of Riverside Park, from the West Side Highway.

Riverside Park runs along the west edge of Manhattan and overlooks the Hudson River. The park spans more than 100 blocks, from around 120th Street to Battery Park City. It's perfect for runners and cyclists.

Across the Hudson lies New Jersey. The tall buildings are in Jersey City, a major hub. Jersey City is relatively convenient to Manhattan via bus or train.


No, no, don't worry, this is not another post about exercise and geometry. Mark and I drove down the West Side Highway the other day at the right time. It was beautiful.

Whoever named the West Side Highway, meant it. The multi-laned high speed road on the west side whips around curves and exits every so often. You can get out at 42nd Street and 79th Street, but pay attention! The exits zip by.

On the east side, there's the FDR, or Franklin D. Roosevelt East River Drive. Both roads are not for the cowardly. You compete with aggressive taxis and veteran New Yorkers like Mark, who do not take kindly to newcomers. However, if you want to get up or down the island in a snap, it's a great way to go.

Related posts: Sunset Views, Subway Sunsets - On the Ride Home and City Portraits - Shelter Island.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Brunching on St. Mark's Place

Cafe Mogador, East Village
Photo by myself in the East Village, around St. Mark's Place and Avenue A.

A line of hungry people waited outside Cafe Mogador for brunch. Brunch here is a lengthy social occasion, and often involves mimosas and much planning.

Do these people look like they could be on tv or what? They are so photogenic. I will have to take photos of non-photogenic people in New York next time, just to prove they exist.


Many New Yorkers are thinner than the national average because we tend to walk so much. Most, except the very privileged or the very lazy, walk to the subway morning, noon and night. Many also belong to gyms, though whether we go is another thing.

Lately I've been going to the gym every day. I feel fantastic. As a reward, I allow myself to gloat about it, (mostly to coworkers, who cannot do anything but put up with me).

I happen to be 5'-3 1/2" on a good day. Five pounds on me is the difference between being a square and being a rectangle. The gym routine is helping, slowly.

I highly recommend the gym for one's health and sanity. Be a rectangle, folks!

Related posts: Variety = Spice of Life, Beware of Cat, East Village and Yet Another Street Fair, Bleeker Street.


Friday, November 20, 2009

The View atop the Whitestone Bridge

Skyline from the Whitestone bridge
Photo by myself from the Whitestone Bridge.

The Whitestone Bridge is a huge suspension bridge that crosses the East River, connecting Queens with the Bronx. Sounds complicated, but the bridge is basically located northeast of Manhattan.

The first tower on the left with the spire is the Empire State Building.

Related posts: On Bridges and Changing Times, More of the Brooklyn Bridge and The Gizmos We Live With.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

On the Ice, in Midtown

Bryant Park ice rink
Photo by myself in Bryant Park, around 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue.

We're having fluctuating temperatures that at times reach the mid-sixties. Even so, the ice skating rink is in place behind the main branch of the New York Public Library.

There's nothing like skating around outside, surrounded by buildings looming above.

Related posts: Braving the Chill in Bryant Park, Night View, at the Carousel and One Really Big Fountain.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Getty Villa, in Malibu, California

Getty Villa promenade
Photo by myself at the Getty Villa, in Malibu, California.

This stunning museum re-opened in 2006 after extensive renovations. The Boston architectural firm Machado Silvetti added modern courtyards and connecting elements to the existing villa.

Admission is free. You only have to pay for parking. Click here for more information.


I finally found time to go through my photos from California.

Most of the photos show the Getty Villa, a magnificent, colorful museum off the Pacific Coast Highway, in Malibu. The historic villa was built over many years and completed in the 1970s. Modeled after an actual Pompeian building, the villa houses John Paul Getty's collections of antiquities.

Getty Villa colonnade

Getty Villa capital

Getty Villa courtyard

Getty Villa fountain bw

Getty Villa exterior

The courtyards and gardens were lovely. So were the rooms filled with bronze sculptures, glass bowls and stone relics. There was even a mummy! Such a building with winding exterior spaces could only be built in a temperate climate like LA or the Mediterranean.

If you haven't been there, the outdoor light in California is incredible, with a quality of its own. It is golden and casts dramatic shadows. New York has a little of the same effect late in the afternoon, but only for a short time.

Getty Villa Overhead
A modern courtyard connected stairways to the elevator and entrance.

Related posts: California Dreamin', Tell Me About the Rabbits and More Notes from the Left Coast.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Holiday Cheer, Already in Bryant Park

Christmas taxis, 2009
Photo by myself in Bryant Park, around 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue.

I toured around Bryant Park, Monday. The tents are up, selling holiday gift items. Pictured above, Christmas decorations showing New York taxi cabs piled with gifts, and Christmas trees sporting the 'I *Heart* New York' slogan.

Vendors were selling jewelry, scarves, pretzels, chocolate, childrens' clothes...everything but the kitchen sink. There weren't tons of people shopping, but it's early yet.

The booths are a great place to purchase little quirky somethings. The real trick is deciding what to get, since the selection is overwhelming. Similar booths can be found in Union Square, Madison Square Park and Grand Central Station.

Christmas booth 2009

Bryant Park booths
Above, some of the booths in Bryant Park. The white building in the background is the main branch of the New York Public Library.

Related posts: The Markets in Union Square, Shopping on St. Mark's Place and Still Life, Antique Store.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Fighting the Crowds, in Midtown

Midtown Crosswalk, NYC
Photo by myself in Midtown, around 34th Street and 6th Avenue.

Above, a rather tame crosswalk in Midtown. Usually, crosswalks are a blur of people traveling in either direction.


Ah, I'm back in New York. My flight arrived at 10pm Sunday and I'm back to work tomorrow morning, battling crowds like the one pictured above.

California was as gorgeous as ever. I have to say that my parents' house freaked me out, as usual.

Yes, I've become so accustomed to living with people squashed above, below and to the side of me. Being in a free-standing house (at night, with no noise outside) frightens the dickens out of me.

Mark's fascination with ghost shows on tv might be partly to blame for my paranoia. He is addicted to Ghost Adventures, that show where three guys visit haunted places.

Anyhow, I am just glad to be home, tucked alongside my 8 million New York neighbors.

Related posts: Tough Times, Midtown, Rain, Rain, Go Away and On New York Streets, Then and Now.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dusk, at 72nd Street Station

West 72nd Street, NYC
Photo by myself around 72nd Street and Broadway, on the Upper West Side.

Around dusk, the sky lit up in a deep shade of blue. Meanwhile, the street lamps cast deep shadows on the subway station, which is studded with bolts.


In an effort to outsmart Mother Nature, I'm trying to keep with New York time, while in LA. I can safely say I could never be an airline pilot. How do they go from one time zone to the next, without walking into walls?

I visited the Getty Villa with my parents on Saturday and cannot wait to post photos next week. The Museum is situated in a restored villa in the Malibu hills, near the Pacific Ocean. There is a modern part too, and many outdoor gardens. It is absolutely drop-dead beautiful.

Related posts: A Warm Glow on the Upper West Side, What Makes Your Skin Crawl and The Low Down on Walk Ups.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ninja Assasins, in the East Village

Ninja Assassin, NYC
Photo by myself, somewhere in the East Village.

There is graffiti just about everywhere in New York. However destructive, it really is an urban form of expression.

So are posters and paste-ups. They're often applied in multiples, just for graphic impact. One little poster wouldn't stand a chance on the street. You can't miss twenty-five, each one screaming at you.

Personally I like posters and graffiti. They help create a dynamic, ever-changing street experience. Nothing is too pristine in this town. If you're going to leave it or park it on the street, be prepared.

Related posts: Abandoned Lot, East Village, Art, for Public's Sake and Who's Playing, the East Village.


Friday, November 13, 2009

The Truth in Advertising, in the East Village

Can't Afford to *heart* NYC
Photo by myself in the East Village.

Sadly, the message of the paste-up graffiti is somewhat true.

It's been increasingly more difficult for the lower and middle classes to call New York City "home". You'll find few starving artists here, since it's an expensive place to live.

The artists I know have a day job and pursue their passions in their free time. I've read so many stories about writers and artists in the past, who moved to New York with $50 in their pockets and managed to make it. No longer.


I'll be posting for the next few days from Los Angeles, where it's sunny and in the 60s. Mark and Rupert are staying home in Brooklyn, where it's rainy and cold. No fun.

My parents live in a remote area, where they only have *gulp* dial-up, also known as a "modem", a lesser known 'technology' from the 20th century. You'd think from the speed or lack thereof that it involves string and tin cans. Geez.

It's nuts to think we all used to use modems. Are we all spoiled now or is it just me?

Related posts: Pasted Up in the Meatpacking District, Abandoned Lot, East Village and Art for the Masses.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Veteran's Day Parade, on Fifth Avenue

Veterans Day UHaul Float
Photo by myself on Fifth Avenue, in Midtown. World War II Veterans rode down Fifth Avenue to the applause of spectators.

The Veteran's Day Parade took place up Fifth Avenue, Wednesday.

It was an incredible treat to see Veterans who served in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, among others. Many respectful spectators paid tribute along the parade route.

I'd never seen the Veteran's Day Parade in person before and I was surprised by how moving it is. This is a parade with real depth and meaning. It's not just some fluffy entertainment. Regardless of one's politics, the parade was worth seeing.

Veterans Day flag bearers
There were so many flags. Flags and banners were carried by service people, and flags adorned building facades.

Veterans Day spectators

Veterans Day Drum
Several school bands walked by in full costume. I'm sure the hats helped with the slight chill in the air.

Veterans Day Flag
A giant flag nearly as wide as a city street was walked up Fifth Avenue.

I only had a short time to spend at the parade, since it was my lunch hour. I will surely spend much more time there next year.

I'm off to Los Angeles for the weekend folks, but I'll be posting here daily!

Related posts: A View from New York and the Plaza Hotel, On How the Streets are Numbered in this City and Going for the Gold.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Movie in the Making, in Alphabet City

Student film makers, Alphabet Village
Photo by myself around East 7th Street and Avenue A, at the edge of Alphabet City.

Shown above are some aspiring students, filming across the way from the farmer's market, located outside the rehabilitated park that was once littered with drug dealers.

The sun was streaming down the street. They had chosen a nice spot.

Related posts: St. Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, Ready to Rumble, in Brooklyn and Lost in Translation.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hailing a Cab, Outside the Hudson Hotel

Hudson Hotel, NYC

Photo by myself outside the Hudson Hotel, around 58th Street and 9th Avenue.

There was a little bit of a scene outside the Hudson Hotel, which was designed by Philippe Starck.


Not much to report from this front. The Yankees won their 27th World Series last week. I watched part of the last game, and it was inevitable that the Yanks would win. I hope another team wins next year and the year after that!

Work is picking up, with clients demanding that things be done yesterday. One project is rushing to wrap up before Christmas. It's a small renovation out in Connecticut, where the pace is a bit slower than it is in the city. The race to the finish will be similar to driving a jalopy on the freeway. Oy vey!

I visited the project last week, meeting with the cabinetmakers and contractor. Funnily enough, they asked whether a New Yorker could ever live in the country. 'Would you be able to handle it out here?' they asked, and chuckled to themselves.

Related posts: A View from New York and the Plaza Hotel, On How the Streets are Numbered in this City and Going for the Gold.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Tompkins Square Park, in Alphabet City

Tompkins Sq Park

Photo by myself in Tompkins Square Park, in Alphabet City.

It was a gorgeous day Sunday, which resembled summer. Just about everybody was out walking around, eating on the sidewalk and enjoying themselves.


Mark, Rupert and I spent the afternoon walking around Alphabet City and Tompkins Square Park. Mark lived there years ago, and he was shocked by how the neighborhood has changed.

Many of his old stomping grounds have disappeared. Mark had once cautioned me about Alphabet City before one of my walking tours. 'Watch out around 5th and (Avenue) B,' he'd said.

But there's nothing to worry about. The area is completely and utterly gentrified now. People have brunch. And not just brunch, but prix fixe brunch. There are cheese shops, now. I mean, come on, people!

Tompkins Sq market

It's hard to believe that Tompkins Square Park was once riddled with drug dealers and squatters, not so long ago. Now a crowded Farmer's Market is there on weekends. Bushels of local produce, cheeses and cider were on display.

Alphabet City is so named because it spans from Avenue A through Avenue D. It lies just east of the East Village.

Related posts: City Portraits - East Village, Really Living Real Life and Cuppa Joe to Go.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

An Oasis on Park Avenue

1185 Park Avenue, NYC
Photo by myself, around 94th Street and Park Avenue.

The courtyard of 1185 Park Avenue, within this huge apartment building, the size of a city block. Cars can enter and turn around, once allowed through the gates by the doormen.

The 160+ co-op apartments are extremely pricey. This year, two bedroom apartments have been listed for about $3 million, while four bedroom apartments have listed for about $7 million dollars. Whew!

Related posts: Details, Details, The Royalton, Renovated and Building for a Greener Environment.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Modern Icon, in New Canaan, Connecticut

Glass House, New Canaan, CT
Photo by myself, in New Canaan, Connecticut.

Just an hour outside New York lies an icon of modern architecture. Philip Johnson's Glass House is located in New Canaan, Connecticut.

Designed as Johnson's summer getaway, this 1,300 square foot pavilion is situated on nearly 50 acres of land. Architects consider this a major piece of work. It made a splash when it was completed in 1949, expressing the modernist ideal in the lack of applied ornament.

Typically, the wait for a visit can be up to a year. This year, tours have been extended an extra month, through the end of November, and some spots are still available. There is a bit of walking outside, so dress warmly. We drove up, but one can get to the site quite easily from Manhattan, by train.

For tickets and more information, click here.


Friday, Mark and I took a trip to see The Glass House. I have always wanted to visit, and was shocked by how easily accessible the house is from New York.

Glass House Living Room

The interiors are cozy and warm, unlike many modern spaces. There are many traditional references, in fact. The plan is based on the golden mean, a proportion that has been considered pleasing since the Renaissance.

A horizontal band along the facade mimics the wainscots of traditional homes, which in turn relates to the human body. Without it, the height of the building would seem overscaled. Exterior doors are located on all four walls, making each facade symmetrical, another classical device.

The kitchen is ingenious, with panels that flip open to reveal appliances. The bathroom was by far my favorite part, with its tiny green tiles and bronze threshold.

Johnson bequeathed the home to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, upon his death in 2005. Public tours of the house began in 2007.

If you have a chance to visit, Fall is a great time. There are some huge old homes in this town, as well as a cute main street. The train from Grand Central takes you to the New Canaan station, directly across the street from the visitor's center. A short shuttle ride brings you to the property.

Glass House Bathroom

Glass House grounds

Day trips are easily accessible destinations just outside the five boroughs of New York City.

Related posts: Details, Details, The Royalton, Renovated and Building for a Greener Environment.


Friday, November 6, 2009

School's Out, on the Upper East Side

Prep school boys, UES
Photo by myself on Fifth Avenue, around 86th Street.

Looking very 'Dead Poet's Society', a group of tousled prep school boys roamed the street.

There are many expensive private schools in New York. The yearly tuition and competition to get in rival some universities.

Related posts: It's a Kid's Life, in Brooklyn, In the Streets with Silly String and Ice Cream, You Scream.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Hot Diggity Dogs, All Day Long

Gray's Papaya, Upper West Side
Photo by myself on the Upper West Side, around 72nd Street and Broadway.

Gray's Papaya is a popular chain of hot dog eateries in Manhattan. They serve up hot dogs and fresh juices, such as pineapple, pina colada and orange. Their frothy, creamy papaya juice is quite delectable.

Open 24/7, Gray's is super-convenient if, say, you are stumbling home after a long night out and have the munchies. Eating standing up, facing the sidewalk, you cannot help but feel like a true New Yorker.

Gray's has been mentioned on Anthony Bourdain's food show No Reservations. Bourdain is no snob. He gave the place two thumbs up.


It is suddenly busy at the office. Everyone is working quickly and staying later, a big change from a few months ago.

However, we're not hiring. I think that's the norm out there - things are looking better than before, however employers aren't hiring people. Yet.

I have friends who have been out of work for 5 or 6 months, and they are frankly going a little nuts. Psychologically, it is tough, dealing with the uncertainty and stress. Fortunately (I suppose, if there is such a thing) those I know who are unemployed are single, meaning they don't have kids.

Anyway, I hope that those who don't have jobs can at least know that things are getting better, albeit slowly. We will weather this storm, yet.

Related posts: The Meal Obama Cart, Midtown, Just Deserts and Food, Glorious Food.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

On the View from the Upper East Side

Above Central Park, NYC
Photo by myself above Central Park, around 86th Street and Fifth Avenue.

Ah, what a view? I took this photo from a project site last week.

The trees in Central Park are showing their fall colors. The large building to the left is the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Has anyone caught the recent episode of Frontline, set in a hair salon on the Upper East Side?

The episode, called Close to Home, originally aired October 27th. A New York hairdresser has intimate conversations with her clients, many of whom are struggling economically.

It's amazing how honest some of these talks were. The styling mirror helps, since stylist and client can talk to each other eye-to-eye, without looking at each other directly.

Mark and I only saw part of the show but plan to watch it again. I loved what I saw simply because these are fellow New Yorkers on film. Sadly, many of those interviewed thought they could solve their troubles by using their credit cards.

I always thought the Upper East Side and its residents were untouchable. Not so.

You can see the entire show free online. Click here to read more about the Frontline episode.

Related posts: The World Above Central Park, Along the Edge of Central Park and Fall From Above.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

On the Ride Home

Subway Musician, NYC
Photo by myself on the subway, somewhere underground.

On the subway, there are as many singers, guitarists, accordian players and dancers as panhandlers. Actually, in recent times, it seems like the number of panhandlers has dropped.

It is illegal to panhandle on the subways, but people do it anyway. I've never seen anyone arrested or fined. The worst is when the subway car is packed to the gills during rush hour, and someone makes their way through the car.

A couple people gave the fellow above money. Then he went onto the next car. Through the window, I saw more donations, so he is doing okay.

Related posts: The Jazzman, 34th Street, Pulling Strings on the Subway Platform and On Taking Candids.