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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year's Eve 2010

Cafe Select, Soho
Photo by myself in Soho, around Lafayette and Kenmare Streets.

A tiny restaurant in Soho serves Swiss food. I've never been inside Cafe Select, but I found the exterior cozy on a cold night.


Pardon this post, but the New Year provokes one to reflect a bit.

When I started this blog almost three years ago, I had no idea what it'd become. I was looking for a creative outlet where I could do a bit of writing. I had no idea I'd start taking photos.

My plan was to tell stories about this wonderful and frustrating city. My biggest worry was running out of things to say, and part of me wanted to parcel out tidbits so there'd always be something in reserve.

Boy, was I surprised to find that content hasn't been a problem. Things happen. Things change. There is always something new.

Oh and I must mention the biggest surprise of all, that of 'meeting' and befriending so many people from all over the world. We are so fortunate in this age of the internet to traverse immense distances and find commonality despite differences in language and culture. We can unite simply on a human level and do so every day.

I no longer have a fearful outlook anymore. There is just so much richness in the world around us. All you have to do is open your eyes and look.

Happy New Year's Eve, everyone! Here's to 2010 and all the stories it has to bring.

Related posts: On Radio City and the Whitney Museum, Only in New York and Time for Valentine's.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

On Low Temps and High Energy

Chilly corner, NYC
Photo by myself in Midtown, around 48th Street and 7th Avenue.

It is absolutely frigid here in New York, with icy winds that take your breath away.

I took this photo earlier this month, when it was slightly warmer. Right now, it is difficult to take photos outside or expose even a millimeter of skin.


One drawback with severe temperatures is that little dogs do not like to go outside.

Little dogs with short coats prefer moderate weather. And so they stay in and become very worked up and demanding. Only after hours of fetch and running around tormenting their masters, will they settle down for a nap.

Fortunately there are Meet-Ups every month or so for such little dogs. Earlier this month we went to one in Soho. There must have been over 30 Boston Terriers running around on a rubber floor going crazy.

Boston Terriers, NYC

Rupert had a grand time romping and playing. I know it looks like many Ruperts, but he's not in this photo! He must have been an another corner, wreaking massive amounts of destruction!

Related posts: Uggs in Times Square, Brrrrrrrr and All A-Shiver on the Streets.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

'I'll Have What She's Having', at Katz's Deli

Katz's Deli, NYC
Photo by myself outside Katz's Deli, on Ludlow and Houston Streets, on the Lower East Side.

Katz's Deli, or simply Katz's, is a landmark on the Lower East Side. They serve up Jewish kosher food, and their sandwiches are gigantic.

Meg Ryan faked her famous orgasm there in the movie When Harry Met Sally. Yep.


Just after the recent snowstorm, Mark and I drove by Katz's Deli to swoop up one of their signature giant Reuben sandwiches and a some mushroom barley soup. With snow comes cravings for comfort food.

Mark waited in the car with our dog Rupert, as I made the dash into the place. I'd been there a couple times but wasn't prepared for what I found, which was complete mayhem.

Katz's is wildly popular, and their set-up inside is different. You stand on line to receive a ticket, then you choose among several lines for what type of food you want, whether it be solid or liquid or whatever.

A hot dog? Go to the hot dog line. A gigantic sandwich? You stand in the gigantic sandwich line. Want to pay and leave? There's a line for that, too.

Inside Katz's Deli, NYC
At the pay and leave line, folks were looking at the sandwiches offered.

Inside Katz's Deli, NYC
'Send a salami to your boy in the army' was a slogan used at Katz's.

Inside Katz's Deli, NYC
The hot dog line was a bit more reasonable.

It was seriously so nuts, I had to leave without getting anything. But I did manage to take a few photos, after asking the employees for permission.

Here's a clip of that famous scene from When Harry Met Sally. You know the one.

Related posts: Russ and Daughters, Lower East Side, Cold Noodles and Hot Shows and The Oyster Bar, at Grand Central Station.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Recovering from a Rough Night, on Avenue A

Down and Out, on Avenue APhoto by myself on Avenue A, around 7th Street in Alphabet City.

A young fellow sat slumped over on a stoop, around noon on Sunday. He looked like he wasn't feeling well.

Fortunately the weather was mild and sunny. It was a welcome relief after days of relentless gray drizzle.


A split second after taking this photograph, the guy walking into frame addressed me. He couldn't believe that I took a photo of the fellow on the stoop without asking first. I didn't want to get into anything, so I just smiled and walked away.

I wanted to say that the street is a public place. If you're on the street, there is nothing illegal about taking someone's photograph.

I can't tell you how many times I've had people ask me to delete a photo. Every time, it's been a person selling something, and they're worried that I'm going to report them for selling without a license or that I'm stealing their ideas. It has never, ever been a person who didn't want their picture taken. Surprising, but true.

I photograph people because I find them striking or beautiful, a small part of a larger image.

There's nothing to be embarrassed about. No one is ever too tall or too short or too heavy. They are simply who they are, perfect in who they are. Even when someone might feel at his absolute worst, he can be a part of an image that moves others.

All this I wanted to say to the guy. Maybe next time.

Related posts: On the Sidewalk, Chinatown, Surprise, Suprise and Life in the Balance.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

On Mulberry Street and Small Packages

Mulberry Street Bar, NYC
Photo by myself on Mullberry and Broome Streets, in Little Italy.

Little Italy is adorned with lights during this time of year. Often restaurants are covered with tiny lights, wreathes, or enormous statues of nutcrackers.

Above, a non-Italian bar in that neighborhood, had an English Bulldog snuffling about, outside.


I had no idea that New York had 'official' condoms, but we do. Imagine that.

Apparently the wrappers are often redesigned. Why? Well, maybe because New Yorkers are design-oriented, shallow folk who are easily seduced by packaging. Or maybe we're constantly trying to find the 'new' within the 'old'. I don't quite understand it.

Anyway, here are the 2007 and 2008 wrapper designs, published in the Times. Now the City is calling for submissions for a redesign.

Deadline for entries is January 22, 2010. Sharpen your pencils! Perhaps your design will be freely distributed to millions (of amorous New Yorkers) for a good cause.

For details about the competition, click here.
For a discussion in the Times, click here.

Related posts: What's Scrolling in Midtown, Emailing Under the Influence...Not and Neon Storefronts, Midtown.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

At the Lake, in Central Park

The Lake, in Central Park
Photo by myself near the lake in Central Park, around 72nd Street and Central Park West.

From this vantage point, you can see buildings that are 30 blocks south in Midtown.


Mark and I have been nesting and cooking like mad. We've been experimenting with new recipes, like buttermilk chicken, split pea soup and chocolate chip cookies. I think we've gone through three sticks of butter already.

Christmas Eve, we dined with friends in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. They'd prepared a homemade feast of roast beef and horseradish sauce, roasted potatoes and gravy, egg noodles and candied carrots. We brought Rupert, our cookies, a bottle of wine and our stomachs.

I feel so lucky to have the friends I do in real life and online. Thank you so much for visiting. I hope each of you is having a wonderful holiday season with people you care about!

Related posts: Central Park, in the Rain, The World Above Central Park and Six Inches Under, in Central Park.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Have Yourselves a Very Merry Xmas

Rockefeller Center, NYC 2009
Photo by myself in Rockefeller Center.

The outdoor plaza at Rockefeller Center is packed this time of year with visitors. The Christmas tree is on center stage, looming above the outdoor skating rink.

This year's tree is a 76-foot tall Norway spruce from Easton, Connecticut. It will be on display until January 7th, 2010.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Related posts: Merry Christmas, All, Sparkly Lights in Rockefeller Center and Christmas Greetings from New York.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

On Soldiers, Sailors and Going Nuts

Soldiers & Sailors Monument, NYC
Photo by myself in Riverside Park, around 88th Street and Riverside Drive.

The Soldiers and Sailors Monument is located in Riverside Park, overlooking the Hudson River. Several cannons are stationed nearby, aimed toward New Jersey.

People were sledding down the snow-covered steps, just enjoying the outdoors. The sun was setting as usual, casing an orange glow on everything.


Mark and I, like many New Yorkers, are suffering from apartment living.

Our upstairs neighbors look like normal people with a 2-year old. However, once they get inside they become Neanderthals, clomping around and dropping things because they lack opposable thumbs.

They slam things, clomp around, then slam more things. Then the little boy goes berserk and runs around for half an hour, wearing what must be combat boots. Yowza.

We've tried communicating about it but that didn't get far. Recently, we were woken up at 6 am by what sounded like Riverdance. Mark got the broom and started banging on the ceiling. Nice.

You can't choose your neighbors, especially here, where they are on top of you and below you and to every side. Of course, it could always be worse. The kid could join a rock band.

Related posts: Something Old, Something New, The Towers Near Riverside Park and Along the West Bank.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Get Your Christmas Tree, on the Upper West Side

Christmas trees for Sale, NYC
Photo by myself on the Upper West Side, around 88th Street and Amsterdam.

In every neighborhood, you can buy a Christmas tree or wreath on the sidewalk. And if you've procrastinated, you can even wait until Christmas Day to buy it. Often you'll see people dragging their trees down the street.

Walking the gauntlet, all you can smell are pine needles. It's a whiff of the country in the city, and it's pretty incredible.

Related posts: Choose Your Tree, on Seventh Avenue, O Christmas Tree and Seasons Greetings, from the MTA.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sledding Outside the San Remo

Central Park in the Snow
Photo by myself in Central Park, around 74th Street and Central Park West.

I somehow found myself near Central Park today, near sunset. New Yorkers were enjoying the snow that arrived on Sunday.

Weather people had forecasted as much as 14 inches. It looked like we got 9 or 10 inches, instantly transforming the everyday into a winter wonderland.

In the background are the buildings along Central Park West. The tall building with two towers is The San Remo, which was completed around 1930. According to Wikipedia, The San Remo has counted Tiger Woods, Bono and Demi Moore as its residents, among other celebrities.

Apologies for so many sunset and night photos recently. It seems like I'm never outside when it's daytime. Things will change soon enough - Monday marked the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. Woohoo!

Related posts: Six Inches Under, in Central Park, On the Recent Snow, et al. and Snowing in the City.


Monday, December 21, 2009

The Historic Scribner Building, Fifth Avenue

Scribner's Building, NYC
Photo by myself in Midtown, around Fifth Avenue and 48th Street.

Built in 1893, this historic building once housed the publishing house, Scribner's. The lower floor has a high, arched ceiling.

Sephora, the cosmetics store, is located behind a quaint wall of glass.

Related posts: Making an Entrance, in Midtown, Outside Mxyplyzyk, in the Village and The Walls have Ears.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Quality Mending Company, Soho

Quality Mending Co., NYC
Photo by myself in Soho, around Crosby and Grand Streets.

A mysterious stairwell in Soho looks like it belongs in a movie. It turns out that Quality Mending provides items for use in set designs.


We're hunkered up for the weekend, awaiting a huge snowfall. As of 10:30 pm, Brooklyn has about 3 inches on the ground. Much more is expected.

Just a note...I've been told that I'm not attentive enough toward our cat, Dida. (She's doing all right, coping with kidney and heart disease).

At home

A coworker of mine always asks about the cat, since the dog automatically gets so much attention. So the other day, I tried taking photos of the cat while she was napping on the windowsill.

Lo and behold, after a few minutes, Rupert interrupted the photoshoot. Though he dislikes the camera, he was jealous of the attention.

They get along sort of. I'm too much of an idealist, wishing they could be best buddies. Alas, these two speak different languages and often misunderstand each other.

At home

Related posts: Making an Entrance, in Midtown, Outside Mxyplyzyk, in the Village and The Walls have Ears.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

From the Corner Deli, in Soho

La Esquina, NYC
Photo by myself in Soho, around Lafayette and Kenmare Street.

Though the sign says 'Corner Deli', this is actually a Mexican joint called La Esquina. This tiny sliver of a restaurant has just enough room to seat a handful of people. I've been told there's also a bar below ground that is super cool.

My favorite dish there is a crusty torta (sandwich) that tastes incredibly decadent: grilled steak and onions, lettuce, tomato, jalepeno peppers and a special chimichurri sauce. They also serve an assortment of soft tacos on corn tortillas, and fancy quesadillas.

For their website and menu, click here.


New York is reeling from the loss of star Hideki Matsui to Los Angeles, after playing 7 years for the Yankees. (I am still in shock).

We're also in for a snow storm this weekend. As much as 14 inches are expected. Crikey!

Related posts: Making and Entrance, in Midtown, Neon Storefronts, in Midtown and The Best of Times, The Worst of Times.


Friday, December 18, 2009

The Twinkling View at Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center, NYC
Photo by myself in Rockfeller Plaza, at 50th Street and Fifth Avenue.

Large illuminated sculptures in the shape of angels line the plaza at Rockefeller Center. Benches are located underneath for the weary.

The snowflakes in the background are actually across the street, along Fifth Avenue. They are suspended from the facade of the department store, Saks Fifth Avenue. The snowflakes are made with energy conscious LED bulbs.

Related posts: Sparkly Lights in Rockefeller Center, Life in High Contrast and From the Great White Way.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Subway entrance, NYC
Photo by myself just inside the entrance to the subway near Bryant Park, at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue.

Temperatures are dropping here in New York City.

Just last week, we had days that felt warm. Recent windy days, however, must have been sent straight from the Arctic Circle. Brrrrr!

The homeless and itinerant seek refuge in or near the subway stations, for warmth. It is very, very cold at night.


I have to say I feel decidedly weird sometimes. My day might be spent deciding where to locate a $400 faucet, or choosing between one or another $250 toilet paper holder.

On the way home, I will encounter those begging for change. Musicians will sing on cold sidewalks, dancers will dance on moving subways. Kids with iphones will be standing next to adults slumped over in wheelchairs.

Not to be a downer, but this is reality. It's high and low, rich and poor, and it's right here on a typical night in New York.

Related posts: Castaways, Life in High Contrast and Can You Keep it Down?.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Under the Gaze of Jay-Z, in Soho

Jay-Z, in Soho
Photo by myself in Soho, on Spring Street between Greene and Mercer.

A large portrait of Jay-Z in a Yankees cap drew attention from many passersby. On the right, Einstein is shown carrying a sign reading 'Love is the Answer'.

The Opera Gallery is one of many galleries in Soho. It represents some very well-known artists, including Basquiat, Keith Haring and Botero. Many of its artists, for whatever reason, depict celebrities in their work.

The gallery website says that an artist called Mr. Brainwash created both images. Not much is known about the artist, except that he's done graffiti on the streets of California. Like many street artists, he prefers to remain an enigma.

Mr. Brainwash's paintings include images of Madonna, Andy Warhol and Jim Morrison.

For the gallery website, click here.
For a closeup of the Jay-Z painting, click here.
For a closeup of the Einstein painting, click here.

Related posts: Art on Exhibit - James Jean, in Chelsea, In Full Color, on Houston Street and East (Side) Versus West (Side).


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Starry Sky Above 59th Street

59th Street, NYC
Photo by myself at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue.

A giant illuminated star is suspended above a busy street. About a billion taxi cabs were going by.

Dusk is such a special time of day. With lights aglow, the city comes to life.


My first photo appeared on the Five Outsiders site yesterday. It's another photo from the SantaCon event this weekend.

Do check out the Five Outsiders site if you have a chance. Jose and his crew do a nice job working the streets and showcasing New York. They publish weekly on Mondays.

Related posts: A Warm Glow on the Upper West Side, The Empire State on St. Patrick's Day and Dimming the Lights on Broadway.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Shops Galore, in Union Square

Booths at Union Square, NYC
Photo by myself in Union Square, around 14th Street and Broadway.

As they are every year, the booths are set up in Union Square for all those in need of interesting holiday gifts.

Many of the items are handmade or specialty items, like jewelry, hats, scarves, puppets, framed art and all else. Be prepared to do some inventive gift wrapping!

Booths at Union Square, NYC

Related posts: The Markets in Union Square, Happy Christmas Eve and Buying in Bulk.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Santas on Parade, in Washington Square Park

Santas in Washington Sq Park
Photo by myself in Washington Square Park, in the Village.

The 2009 SantaCon took place in full force on Saturday afternoon. Hundreds of people in red suits participated.

Part food drive, part costume party, this Santa convention took place in five locations in New York this year. Festivities include caroling and visits to bars in the middle of the day.


By sheer chance, Mark and I drove to Washington Square Park Saturday afternoon. I wanted to take photos of the arch and Christmas tree.

Within the square there were literally hundreds of Santas. Santas were posing, chatting and milling about. Some waited on line for hot dogs. More Santas kept arriving by the minute. I gave an excited yelp before dashing out of the car.

Santas in Washington Sq Park

The tradition has taken place for the past 16 years. SantaCon takes place in other cities too, including London, San Fransisco and Tokyo.

Santas in Washington Sq Park

Beginning this Monday, I'll be posting one photo a week on another New York site called Five Outsiders. A relatively new site, Five Outsiders includes interviews with New Yorkers and restaurant reviews and other tidbits about New York.

Related posts: City Portrait - Washington Square Park, Cow Appreciation Day, Fifth Avenue and Greetings from New York.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Deck the Halls of the Plaza Hotel

Plaza Hotel Entrance, NYC
Photo by myself inside the Plaza Hotel, at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue.

The interiors of the Plaza Hotel are all ready for the holiday season. A giant Christmas tree is tucked within the curve of a staircase. Presents wrapped in gold paper are piled below.

The Plaza entrance is ornate, even without decorations. You enter on a mezzanine level and look into a two story atrium with a huge chandelier. Curving stairs on each side lead up to the upper floor and below. The hotel desk and waiting area is located on the lower floor.

I can imagine what this building was like when it opened in 1907. People must have stood along the upper level, chatting. Women walked up and down the stairs, their skirts rustling. It must have been the place to be, to watch and be watched.

Plaza Hotel Atrium, NYC
The lower floor of the Plaza is expansive, and draws your eye in with arches and different seating areas.

The Plaza was recently renovated, and re-opened in 2008. Some of the rooms were converted into condos. In 2007, one of the apartments sold for $50 million dollars.

For a view of the exterior, click here.

Related posts: Pawn Shops, The Diamond District, Back in Time, in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn and All A-Shiver on the Streets.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Searching for a Bargain, at The Strand

Outside the Strand, NYC
Photo by myself outside the Strand Bookstore, around Broadway and 12th Street.

The Strand advertises itself as having 18 miles of books. It's a large store that includes rare editions. Bins of books are always on the sidewalk, going for as little as $1 each.

Even in the cold, people were out sifting through the bins outside. This is one of my favorite places to browse for books. You never know what you'll find. The second floor was recently renovated and is filled with books on art and architecture.


So here he is, Rupert in his winter gear. Ta da!

In Winter Gear

The coat is made in Sweden by Obtrack. It's a little complicated to get on, but once you do it a couple times, it's not too bad. He's also wearing a light harness in this shot, hence the multiple straps.

The coat has been a hit with the colder weather. Rupert doesn't like the cold, and the Obtrack wraps him up like a UPS package. If you're out in the hinterlands, however, you'll need something heavier.

Rupert is usually a zombie in the morning, which explains his glassy-eyed look. However, once he wakes up, watch out. There is nothing stopping him!

Related posts: Pawn Shops, The Diamond District, Going Postal in Midtown and Details, Details.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Stealing A Nap, Underground

Asleep on the subway, NYC
Photo by myself on the subway, somewhere underground.

A fashionable New Yorker naps for a brief moment. Over her shoulder, a poster about pan handlers on the subway.


Yet another photo of an innocent New Yorker, caught while getting a little shut eye. Purse is wide open, earbuds in. The subways are our living rooms, after all.

At home the other night, Mark looked over my shoulder. I was tweaking some images. 'What, another of those? You like those.'

I can't help myself from taking candids. They are spontaneous and take a little courage, especially on moving trains full of passengers. To me, people look their best when they are caught in the moment, without their guard up.

ps: Very soon, I will be posting a weekly photos on another New York site. More about this, later.

Related posts: Sleeping on the Job, Sleeping on the D Train and A Much-Needed Nap.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

On the Mud Truck and Hotel Gramercy Park

Mud Truck, NYC
Photo by myself in Astor Place, around 4th Avenue and 8th Street.

The Mud Truck is a distinctive part of the New York cityscape. Visible from blocks away, usually with a line waiting outside, the Mud Truck serves up coffee in bright orange cups.

There are actually two trucks, typically located in Astor Place and the West Village. Everything about the trucks, from the logo to the name have an anti-establishment vibe.

Mud Truck, NYC


For those who get the Sundance Channel on television, there's a great film playing on December 31st.

The other night, Mark and I watched Hotel Grammercy Park, a documentary about hotelier Ian Schrager's renovation of the historic downtown hotel, which once catered to rock stars. Schrager himself gained notoriety in the 70s when he opened Studio 54.

The movie interviews Schrager, as well as several quirky people who lived in the Hotel before the renovation. Some longtime residents refused to move out during the construction period. One gay couple writes show tunes. An elegant woman collects teddy bears.

Then there's the ill-fated family that originally owned the hotel. One of the descendants grew up in the hotel, and recounts a story of drug addiction and tragedy. There is something about all the characters in this movie that makes them very 'New York'.

Here's the trailer for the movie

Click here for the Sundance page about the film.
Click here to see the review and photos of the hotel by the New York Times.

Related posts: Shopping on St. Mark's Place, On Seeing the World Through a Different Lens and The Scoop.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

On Stolen Glances and New York Moments

Rockefeller Center Look
Photo by myself in Rockefeller Center, around Fifth Avenue and 50th Street.

I caught this moment in Rockefeller Center, the other day.

The gigantic Christmas tree and angel decorations adorn this busy outdoor plaza. A line of planting and benches slope down toward the famous below-ground ice rink. Usually during this time of year, the area is completely packed.


I was alerted the other day to A New York Moment, sponsored by WNYC, a major public radio station here in New York City. A New York Moment is an online video series based on photos taken in New York City.

Photos submitted to the Flickr Street Shots group are chosen to be featured on the WNYC culture website. Submit a photograph and who knows? Perhaps your image will be selected.

Mark and I listen to WNYC often, while driving. Like many public radio stations, WNYC features NPR segments like Fresh Air and All Things Considered. WNYC also produces excellent shows from scratch, such as Studio 360 and Radio Lab.

Check out a New York Moment video here.
Check out the WNYC podcasts here.

Related posts: Sparkly Lights in Rockefeller Center, The Rink at Rockefeller Center and The Whole World in his Hands.


Monday, December 7, 2009

Now on Display, at Bergdorf's

Bergdorfs, Fifth Avenue
Photo by myself outside Bergdorf Goodman, a very high end store on Fifth Avenue, around 56th Street.

The windows of this incredible store are dressed to the nines right now with elaborate window displays. Each intricately layered scene draws you into another world.

I love the windows, but the interiors of Bergdorfs are to die for. Elegant and French-inspired, each room is a jewel. Here is all I could find online in terms of interior images. If you're interested in architecture and the decorative arts, try to stop by.


If you're interested in this year's window displays, the Times has a video showing some of them.

Barney's, Macy's and Bergdorfs are featured in the Times slide show, and their photographs are wonderful. Check it out if you have a chance.

Related posts: Holiday Displays, Fifth Avenue, Tis the Season, from Herald Square and Christmas Windows to Warm the Heart.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Under the Lights, at 54th and Fifth

A Moment in Midtown, NYC
Photo by myself on Fifth Avenue, around 54th Street.

A couple of visitors pause from shopping for a snackity snack. It was dusk when I walked by, and I loved the different types of lights that were on.

This time of year, kiosks are lit with more light bulbs than usual. Roasted chestnuts have been added to the menu, for that wintery flair.

You can usually get hot dogs, sausages, roasted peanuts, giant pretzels and all sorts of drinks at these little metal carts. Oh, and don't forget the indigestion.

Related posts: Mangia, Waiting for Dogs in Madison Square Park and Dirty Water Dogs, Midtown.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Festive Lights at the New York Palace

New York Palace Hotel
Photo by myself of the New York Palace Hotel, on Madison Avenue and 50th Street.

Giant snowflakes and ornaments panned along the walls of the NY Palace Hotel. Inside the courtyard, caterers set up tables for a fancy event.

This historic building used to be the Helmsley Palace. The hotel's owner, Leona Helmsley, was notorious for her less than stellar personality. She eventually went to prison for tax evasion and left millions of dollars to her dog.


Miss B of 365 Days in Brooklyn, (formerly 365 Days in Islip) asked the other day how Rupert was, so here's a photo from Friday.

Chilling near the food bowl
Here he is, patiently waiting for Mark to finish up some work, so he can get out and play.

Rupert is as perky as usual and adjusting well to the cooler weather. Boston terriers typically prefer moderate weather, so our extreme temperatures have been a challenge.

I will have to take a photo of his winter gear, which is Scandinavian!

Related posts: On Crowds and the New Yorker Festival, Entrance to Fifth Avenue and Sleeping on the Job.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Two Bells A-Ringing, on Fifth Avenue

Salvation Army, Fifth Avenue
Photo by myself on Fifth Avenue, in Midtown.

This time of year, the Salvation Army is out in full force. Bells are constantly ringing in the streets, creating an old-fashioned feeling.


I had a few hours to myself on Thursday afternoon, and did a lot of walking. Everyone seemed to be outside, since the weather was unusually warm, (in the 60s F/16 degrees Celsius).

I must have done a few miles (in uncomfy shoes, no less!), trudging up Fifth Avenue, then up Madison Avenue, before heading west on 57th Street. The holiday season in New York is an incredible time. So much of the city is decorated.

I stopped by the Plaza Hotel, the New York Palace (once called the Helmsley Palace), and the crowded nave of St. Patrick's Cathedral. The windows at Bergdorf Goodman were elaborately decorated as usual, and hoards of people surrounded the giant Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center.

If you plan to visit NYC during the winter holidays, you are in for a treat. Just be sure to bring a parka as well as a bathing suit!

Photos, of course, to follow in the coming days.

Related posts: On Crowds and the New Yorker Festival, Entrance to Fifth Avenue and Sleeping on the Job.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Seranading the Crowds, on the Subway Platform

Musical trio, Brooklyn
Photo by myself on the subway platform at Atlantic and Pacific Streets, in Brooklyn.

A trio of musicians called 'Nauparik' entertained commuters on their way home. They had a cd of their music for sale, as well as a backpack filled with donations.

Here they are playing on a subway platform in Brooklyn. By sheer chance, I saw them the next day on the Columbus Circle platform.

Related posts: All That Jazz, Pulling Strings on the Subway Platform and Music to the Ears.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's Christmas All Year, at the Grand Central Market

Grand Central Station
Photo by myself outside Grand Central Station, at 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue.

The lights are up around all the major buildings here in New York, in celebration of the holidays.


I took a walk Tuesday night to Grand Central, one of my favorite buildings. Small booths were up for holiday shopping.

What many people don't know is that there is a market hall inside that's open all year round. Very similar to the food area at Harrod's in London, Grand Central Market sells specialty foods. There is always a buzz here.

Grand Central Market
A view down the Grand Central Market. Stalls sell specialty cheeses, spices, coffees, fish, veggies, baked goods and everything else you could imagine.

Grand Central Market

Grand Central Market

At times you can get good deals - two beautiful tuna steaks for the price of one, anyone? I was sorely tempted by the huge array of cheeses at Murray's. After much browsing, I left with a half dozen decorated cupcakes for Mark's sweet tooth, from Zaro's.

For those with a little time to kill before the next train to upstate New York or Connecticut, it's the perfect place to purchase a last-minute gift.

For a list of vendors at the Grand Central Market, click here.

Related posts: Grand Central and Tall Tales, Queuing Up at Grand Central Terminal and A View into Grand Central Station.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Rat Pack, on Avenue C

Summit Bar, East Village
Photo by myself at 8th Street and Avenue C, in Alphabet City.

The roll down door of this small bar is decorated with a mural featuring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. The word "Loisada" is another name for Avenue C. This area used to be dangerous but now it's very safe.

I've never been to The Summit bar, but from the reviews, it seems quite good.


Mark and I got in very late Monday night. Our plane was scheduled to land at 11:00pm but was delayed by 3 hours because of a mechanical issue. Aargh!

I wish I had filmed Rupert's expression when we came home. He twirled around on his hind legs and zipped back and forth about the apartment. Dogs are incredible in how emotional they are.

It's good to be back, though it's chilly here. Brrr!!

Related posts: In Full Color on Houston Street, Street Art, Soho and Art, For Public's Sake.