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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Walking the Walk, in Midtown

Photo by myself in Midtown.

This fellow is walking the typical New Yorker walk: poker face, focusing ahead and walking with a brisk purpose.


Contrary to popular belief, not all New Yorkers walk and talk quickly. I stroll on occasion, usually with my camera. Picture-taking forces you to slow down. But like many of my comrades, I walk quickly with purpose to the office.

It's a hoot during the winter. A crowd of people will walk down the sidewalk, slow down and nearly stop at the corners, where there are huge slushy ponds.

Then it's like a herd of cattle trying to cross a creek. Some will analyze the shallowest way through and after a second, brave the chill. Others might be wearing tall rubber boots and walk on without hesitation. Most will stand helplessly, craning their necks and looking about, until the light change forces them ahead.

Tough Times, in Midtown, Touring About Fifth Avenue, Midtown and Faces in a Crowd, Midtown.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Blanket of Snow, in Prospect Park

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

Contrary to the well-known book, more than one tree grows in Brooklyn. This shot was taken after our last snowfall.

Over the last couple days, we must have gotten 16 inches or so. The snowdrifts are enormous. Good luck digging your car out!

A Touch of Nature, in Prospect Park, Fall Foliage, in Prospect Park and Off Leash, in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.


Friday, February 26, 2010

At a Crossroads, in Times Square

In Times Square
Photo by myself at Times Square, at Seventh Avenue and 42nd Street.

Like any well-photographed place, it's striking to find yourself in Times Square for the first time. All of a sudden, all the images you've seen of the place come to life.

It's been chilly here still, and we're experiencing yet another snowstorm. By Friday morning we may have a foot of snow on the ground. The snow is expected to continue until Saturday.

On Times Square and Our Rupert, Time for Valentine's and Life in the Balance.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Tale of Two Towers, The Chrysler and The Empire State

The Chrysler Building, NYC
Photo by myself of the Chrysler Building, around Fifth Avenue and 40th Street.

One of the gems of New York, the Chrysler Building is clad with stainless steel. This is good news - since there is very low chromium in stainless steel, it is protected from rust.

The green roof at the bottom of the photo is the roof of Grand Central Terminal.


We have 21 days left until Spring! Oh yes, time to take your hand out of the potato chip bag and get the hamhocks to the gym.

Speaking of fitness, did you know there is an annual race in another famous tower in New York? Yes, just a couple weeks ago, over 100 runners ran up to the 86th floor of the Empire State Building.

It took the fastest male runner a little over 10 minutes (!). I'm pretty sure you have to have a medical exam before participating.

The race is sponsored by the New York Road Runners (NYRR), a popular club which promotes running and hosts weekly races in Central Park.

Below, a NYRR video with footage from the 2009 race. I have to say, seeing 100 runners sprint through a lobby and into a stairwell is rather odd!

42nd Street, Grand Central and Tall Tales and 1 Central Park, At Night.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

On Bach Partitas and Danger Underground

Violinist, below ground
Photo by myself on the subway platform below 34th Street, in Midtown.

A talented violinist rattled off Bach Partitas, Tuesday evening, his right hand a blur. He stood uncomfortably close to one side of the subway platform.

I should have lingered to talk, but it was a long day. He graciously allowed me to take his photo.


There is a warning sign next to the violinist above, and one across the track. The rails are dangerous, not just because of the rapid trains and narrow platforms. The 'third rail' powers the trains with electricity, and is always alive.

In my time living here, there have been more than a few accidents in the subway. People have tripped or fainted and fallen into the track. A few years ago, a young woman was pushed into the tracks by a crazed man, who was later caught. It's every New Yorker's fear.

There was one sad story about a young boy falling off the train, while passing from one car to another. Doors are located on the ends of the trains for emergency, but some passengers use them to pass between cars.

In my naive youth, I mistook the element of danger for excitement. Living on the edge.

Now I know better. I slow down when the platform is crowded. I wait for the next train. I take my time and enjoy the moment.

Halloween Musicians and the NYC Marathon, On the Subway Platform and Late Night TV and The Jazzman, 34th Street.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

On Line for Cream Cakes, Outside

Cream Cakes, Chinatown
Photo by myself in Chinatown.

Yet another photo from my walk around Chinatown, where street food runs rampant.

There are carts in this area for stir fry noodles, roast meats and fruit, though not nearly as many as there are in Asia. It is nice to know these are here if you want to pick up a snack on the way home.

I'm not sure what cream cakes are, but for 25 cents apiece, they're extremely affordable. Next time I will have to sample one or three!

Lichee Stand, Sunset Park, Ramen Noodles in the East Village and Hot Off the Grill, in the East Village.


Monday, February 22, 2010

On N and a Call for Entries

N, in Soho
Photo by myself on Crosby and Broome Streets in Soho.

├Ĺ is a letter from the Spanish alphabet is pronounced 'En-ye'. It's also a tiny tapas bar in Soho.

And I mean tiny. The narrow bar goes straight back and there is room for the bar, a person sitting on a stool and someone standing behind the stool, holding his breath.

Due to its size, the bar is easily crowded on any night. I used to go there long ago and quite enjoyed their sangria.

Its location is a little hidden, since there aren't many stores on Crosby. Inside, the walls are painted a yellow with bright red polka dots.


For aspiring photographers everywhere, the 2010 New York Photo Festival is accepting submissions through May 1st.

Each year, the competition receives over 15,000 images submitted by 3,000 photographers from all over the world. Out of that huge number, 12 photographers will garner awards and 24 photographers will receive honorable mentions.

Images do not need to be related to New York at all. A huge award ceremony takes place in May. For more information, click here.

For an absolutely incredible slide show of the 2009 winners, click here.

Behind the Curtain, Down Broadway and On a Stoop in Soho.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

It's Chilly in Midtown and Prospect Park

Cold, in Midtown
Photo by myself in Midtown, around 50th Street and Fifth Avenue.

This photo is ever so slightly 'soft', meaning it's not focused in the right place. I must have been focusing on the woman's hands rather than her face. (Argh!)

It was cold out that day and the foot traffic was moving quickly. My fingers were as chilled as hers.


Speaking of cold, here's a photo of Rupert from a walk in Prospect Park last weekend. (Pardon his boy parts hanging out. I have yet to knit him underpants)!

In the snow

Friends in the snow

This little dog dislikes the cold, unless he's all worked up, chasing a ball. We try to get him outside for exercise, otherwise he drives everyone insane.

Below, he hangs out with a friend. It is hard to believe that these animals are the same species. Unlike Rupert, the Newfoundland doesn't need a sweater.

Snowing in the City, Brrrrrrrr and Braving the Chill, in Bryant Park.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Written on the Walls, in Nolita and East Harlem

Lasso, NYC
Photo by myself on Mott and Kenmare Streets, in Nolita.

Lasso is an Italian restaurant that specializes in thin crust pizza, including pies that are gluten-free. During weekend brunch, one prix fixe offers unlimited cocktails with your food.

I haven't eaten here, but I liked their wall art, particularly the Dr. Spock in Marilyn drag.

For a look at their website, which lists their menus, click here.


I must admit I've never seen a graffiti artist spray painting or stenciling or pasting up his or her work.

Mark has. He says the deeds are usually done at night, under the cover of darkness. Usually. But there is one place in New York where you can express yourself in broad daylight.

There is a Graffiti Hall of Fame in East Harlem, located on the walls of a school at 106th Street and Park Avenue. Mark has been telling me about how amazing the place is for years, but for whatever reason, I've never been.

You can see the work of some of the best graffiti artists in New York, and the walls are always changing. I would love to visit when it's warmer outside!

For a view of the Graffiti Hall of Fame, click here.

Abandoned Lot, East Village, Pasted up in the Meatpacking District and Art for the Masses.


Friday, February 19, 2010

From Under the Banner, in Chinatown

Chinatown, NYC
Photo by myself in Chinatown.

Another photo from my time watching the Lunar New Year celebration in Chinatown.

Older ladies carried large banners and marched ahead of the dragons, that day. As you can see, the sidewalks were crowded and there were still heaps of snow in the gutter.


It's been a tough week. Days have been spent slugging it out at work. At night, Mark and I vegetate on the sofa, our eyeballs glued to the Olympics.

It's been a treat to watch these amazing athletes rather than our usual fare of reality shows, sitcoms and movies. Snowboarding and figure skating are our favorites.

I prefer the Winter games over Summer ones. How about you?

Lost in the Crowd, Mass Mentality and We the People.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

On Eco-Coolness and Another Look at the Videotape

Green Depot, NYC
Photo by myself on Bowery and Prince Street.

Green Depot is a relatively new store that sells environmentally friendly products for the home.

You can purchase everything to build, clean and beautify your home that's also good for our planet. Their huge selection includes bamboo plywood, cotton insulation, zero-VOC paint, phosphate-free detergent and scrubbers made from corn cobs and peach pits.

Check out their enormous array of products, here.


Okay, so the jury is out on the photo I posted the other day.

Barbie of Barbie's Rants and Raves is convinced that one of the people on the top step of 190 Bowery is a woman.

On Bowery, Take Two
Another view of the stoop I posted the other day. It was a busy street corner.

I looked at the handful of photos I had from different angles. I had Mark look at them, too.

Mark sides with Barbie and thinks the person could be a woman. I think it's just a shlumpy unshaven guy. Without removing his or her clothing and doing a thorough examination, how can we be sure?

Eco-Friendly Cardboard Design, Signs of Hope and Cow Appreciation Day, Fifth Avenue.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Love is in the Air, in Prospect Park Brooklyn

Valentine's date, Prospect Park
Photo by myself in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.

A couple spent Valentine's Day together in Prospect Park. It was a little chilly but I'm sure these two were toasty warm together.

Mark, Rupert and I tip-toed by, not wanting to disturb them.

A Touch of Nature in Prospect Park, Holding Hands in Midtown and Zzzzzzzzz.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Outside 190 Bowery, in Soho

190 Bowery, NYC
Photo by myself on the corner of Bowery and Spring Street.

Four guys sat on the steps of 190 Bowery, a distinctive building known to most New Yorkers, just north of the Manhattan Bridge.

The stone building is ornate and old. Its windows are dirty and its base is covered with paste-ups and graffiti. It looks deserted.

Invariably, someone will be sitting or lying on the front steps. Mark and I have driven by often, and I've longed to take a photograph because the scene would look so transient. This weekend, I walked by and these four fellows allowed me to take their photo. I was ecstatic.


I first heard about 190 Bowery from Mark, during one of our drives past the building.

'Oh that's where the famous photographer lives. I forget his name.'

The photographer Jay Maisel and his family live inside the six-story building, which looks completely derelict outside. He bought the former bank building in 1966 for just over $100k. Yes, that's $100k.

190 Bowery, Exterior
The base of 190 Bowery is literally covered with graffiti tags and paste-ups.

Of course, times have changed and we're talking about 40 years ago, when Soho was nothing like the posh neighborhood it is now. You'd be hard pressed to find a studio apartment selling for $300k today, never mind a six-story building.

New York Magazine published a great article about the building a couple years ago, which includes a slide show of the interiors. Click here to see it.

The Dragon Parade on Mott Street, The Taiwanese Festival in Union Square and A Careful Choice, in Chinatown.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Celebrating the Year of the Tiger, in Chinatown

2010 Chinese New Year
Photo by myself in Chinatown, around Chrystie and Grand Streets.

Happy Year of the Tiger! Celebrations marking the Lunar New Year took place Saturday afternoon in Chinatown.

As customary, dancers dressed in dragon costumes went to each store, to chase out spirits lingering from the last year. The group went quickly, collecting red packets of money from store owners. A drum and gong accompanied the parade.


I've been in a little photography slump recently, because of the cold weather and short days. So it was a real treat to use my camera Saturday afternoon. Fortunately it wasn't too cold and we had some sun.

2010 Chinese New Year

2010 Chinese New Year

2010 Chinese New Year

Just about everyone I saw had a cameras and cellphones out, taking photos. Does anybody use their eyeballs to see things anymore? I have to say I'm guilty of this too, and it scares me a little.

There were lots of little kids following the parade. Funny, because I remember seeing one of these parades when I was little and being scared silly by the costumes and noise.

The Dragon Parade on Mott Street, The Taiwanese Festival in Union Square and A Careful Choice, in Chinatown.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Crazy Fantasy, Anyone?

Happy Valentine's Day
Photo by myself around 6th Avenue and West 4th Street, in the Village.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Need a costume to celebrate the day and your fantasy? You and your obsession can deck yourselves out in red and pink satin. This store has all the appliances you'll ever need.

Actually, you don't need a special occasion to dress up. Every day can be Crazy Fantasy Day. Just don't do anything too dangerous, without limbering up ;-)

Pasted Up in the Meatpacking District, Abandoned Lot, East Village and Signs of the Times.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

On Pink Walls and a Family Update

Pink, Soho
Photo by myself in Soho.

An artist had his work up for sale against backdrop covered in paint and graffiti. It was difficult to tell what was art and what was the background.


Life is busier these days. Things are picking up again at the office. Clients want everything in less time for less money. Contractors are willing to negotiate. It all means a lot more legwork for us architects.

Meanwhile, Mark has been working full days at a large advertising agency. So we've had to send Rupert to doggie day care, rather than have a dog walker come in. We're woken up at 7:00, with the front door opening and Rupert waking up to howl as if he's being abducted by aliens.

Rupert is taken to Prospect Park on the nicer mornings to run around before spending a whole day romping some more with his buddies. We've been told that Rupert loves running around so much, he fails to eat his lunch! At night, he comes home, does some token running about, then collapses on the floor like a sack of potatoes.

I love doggie day care!

Boston Terrier, passed out
Rupert as a potato sack. He enjoys sunning himself when at home.

Related posts: Pasted Up in the Meatpacking District, Abandoned Lot, East Village and Signs of the Times.


Friday, February 12, 2010

On Performances Underground and on the Runway

Erhu player, 34th Street station
Photo by myself at the 34th Street subway station.

On the subway platform, a man played the erhu, a two-stringed instrument that is played like a cello. I took this photo on my way into work.


The fashion world has been startled by the death of Alexander McQueen, Thursday. It's sad timing, since the Fall 2010 runway shows are going on now in Bryant Park.

I walked by the park just the other day. There were trucks lined up on Sixth Avenue and the main tent was up and running. As I wrote during the Spring Collections a few months ago, most of New York isn't affected by the shows. The shows take place in isolated locations and only a few lucky New Yorkers are invited to attend.

The fashion shows are on now through next Thursday, February 18th. The Times has a jam-packed section devoted exclusively to the events. You can see it here.

Related posts: Pulling Strings on the Subway Platform, On the Subway Platform and Late Night TV and On Taking Candids.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Wintry Scene in Park Slope, Brooklyn

Park Slope, Brooklyn
Photo by myself in Park Slope, Brooklyn, looking down 'the slope'.

A photo from mid-morning yesterday, while I was trudging to the subway. We'd had a few hours of slushy snowfall.

Park Slope is named for its location near Prospect Park, a large public park designed by Fredrick Law Olmstead. There is also a gradual, large hill. Hence 'Park Slope'.

The streets are lined with trees, brownstones and the occasional new apartment building. Many of my neighbors are just like me, that is, former residents of the Upper West Side in Manhattan, which looks very similar.

Fortunately the weather people were not entirely accurate, as usual! Yesterday we got a lot of wet snow that turned into cold mush on the streets, but not nearly the 16 inches forecasted. At most, some neighborhoods had up to nine inches of snow.

Related posts: Looking Up, in Park Slope, Rent and Among Beautiful Things.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

On the Soup Station and Snow

Soup Station, Soho
Photo by myself in Soho, around Prince and Greene Streets.

The Soup Station is a makeshift food stand on the sidewalk. They have a built-in case with scrumptious looking baked goods.

Never mind that they spelled the word 'vegetarian' wrong! If the food tastes good, people will come.


Not sure how street food vendors are doing today, since the streets aren't so user friendly. New York, like other parts of the Northeast, is going through yet another major snowstorm. We may get up to 16 inches of snow!

Walking along the sidewalks will be a drag, especially at the street corners, where there are usually deep piles of snow and slush. Often pedestrians will stop in their tracks and become stranded, not knowing exactly how cross the street. Ha.

Curious to see how much snow we have on the ground? Here's a site linking to various live webcams around the city.

Related posts: The Meal O'bama Cart, Midtown, Come and Get It and How You Can Have What You Crave When You Want It.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

On Fashion Sense and the West Village

West Village, NYC
Photo by myself, somewhere (lost) in the West Village.

One of many tidy townhouses in the West Village. This one probably had lights alongside the doorway which were removed, and the areas patched. Hence the red dots on the wall.

I liked how the fellow walking by matched the building.


The other day, Blogging in PA asked why I thought this photo depicted non-New Yorkers.

Well, the photo was taken on a weekday afternoon at 50th St. and Fifth Avenue, which is a very touristy area. Logic would say that there's a slim chance these two are New Yorkers.

But it was more than just that. The couple looked just a little bit too well-dressed and well-coiffed. Not to say that all New Yorkers are slobs, but we tend to have a more 'thrown-together' look of relaxed fashion.

For a very different look at New Yorkers and their fashion sense, check out this article in New York Magazine. Five New Yorkers are shown who each only wear one color, every single day.

Psst! We are not all crazy!

Related posts: Christmas Greetings from New York, Outside Vanderbilt Hall, in the Village and Browsing Around, in the Village.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Hopes and Prayers, at St. John the Divine

Cathedral of St. John, Interior
Photo by myself at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, around 110th Street and Amsterdam.

Here's another photo from my tour of the Upper West Side. St. John the Divine is a gigantic cathedral which occupies an entire city block. Many votive candles were lit, some decorated with the cathedral logo.

The building is considered to be unfinished - it survived a fire in 2001 and is still being slowly renovated while remaining in use.

If you ever visit this place, let me know if you have the same experience as I did. When I walked up to the front door, all I could hear was the very loud chirping of birds. The birds sounded like they were buried inside the walls of the church. Very strange!

If you'd like to know more about this cathedral, here is a great site with some great photos.

Related posts: Peace to All, No Place is Perfect and Imagine, Central Park.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Yadda, Yadda, Yadda...on the Upper West Side

Tom's Restaurant, NYC
Photo by myself on the Upper West Side, at 112th Street and Broadway.

Yes folks, it's the sign you see in every Seinfeld rerun, outside the characters' favorite hangout.

In real life, this neon sign is for Tom's Restaurant way on the Upper West Side, near Columbia University. It's many blocks north of where the Seinfeld character lived, in the West 80's.

I probably dined there a while ago, but it was not a memorable meal. Like many diners here in New York, it is probably equipped with a steady stream of coffee and a multi-page menu.


Last week, I toured around Columbia (University). I hadn't been up there in years.

The neatest thing about this area, which is at a higher elevation than other parts of the city, is that you can actually feel you're higher up. For whatever reason, it feels like you're on top of a great big hill.

Everything was bustling. Kids were strolling about the Columbia campus. It was freezing cold, as usual.

Yadda, yadda, yadda.

Related posts: On Radio City and the Whitney Museum, I Deserve a Break Today and Neon Storefronts, Midtown.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Strolling Down Fifth Avenue, Hand in Hand

Cold Couple, NYC
Photo by myself in Midtown, around 50th Street and 5th Avenue.

A well-dressed couple dressed for the cold weather walked along Fifth Avenue last week, perhaps visiting from out of town.

It was slightly windy and brisk. You can see the flags waving in the background.

Related posts: Candid, Midtown, Surprise, Surprise and Lower Fifth Avenue.


Friday, February 5, 2010

I am Paparrazo, Or Proof of the Infinite Monkey Theorem

Paparrazzo Shot
Photo by myself around Fifth Avenue and 51st Street.

Not the greatest photo, I admit, but that's not my point!

It wasn't until I got home that I realized who the man is in this photo. He's Chris Kimball from America's Test Kitchen, a cooking show on public television, here in the States.

Chris is the sensible cook on the show, who asks careful questions about every recipe. As you can see in my photo, he's wearing his trademark glasses and bowtie. He is also grimacing, having realized he's been paparrazo'ed.

Mark and I giggled a lot about it (okay, it was mostly me, cackling with a terrible self-satisfaction).

Americas Test Kitchen, Chris Kimball
A much better photo of Chris Kimball from the internet.

I'm adding Chris to my brief list of celeb sightings, which includes Uma Thurman (twice), Ethan Hawke, Isaac Mizrahi, Dave Lachapelle, Jane Pauley, Tim Gunn, Barbra Walters, Sam Talbot, and lastly a possible Ed Norton, whom I stalked down the sidewalk on the Upper West Side.

Anyway, it just goes to show that if you take enough photographs in New York City, you will take a celebrity photo. It's sort of like the monkey with typewriter phenomenon.

The infinite monkey theorem states: 'a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type a given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare'.

Related posts: Touring about Fifth Avenue, Midtown, A Bit More on Celebrity, Past and Present and The Sublime and Ridiculous, Or Why I See Few Celebrities in New York.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Repent Sign Guy Meets a Horse Carriage Guy...

Repent guy meets Horse Carriage guy
Photo by myself on 59th Street and 6th Avenue, near Central Park.

Yes, the title to this post sounds like the beginning of a bad joke. I spotted these two blokes sharing a moment outside Central Park, on Wednesday.

I have to wonder what was said. Any suggestions?


By they way, it was very cool to have Jesse Selengut of The Tin Pan Blues Band read my post about his group. He left a comment here inviting us to his performances, and posted my photo on his site.

Here's his comment, the 8th one down. Thanks Jesse!

Related posts: Union Square Is Where It's At, Off in the Distance, 59th Street and Six Inches Under, in Central Park.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

How's About a Game?

Chess player, NYC
Photo by myself in Washington Square Park.

One frigid day recently, I saw this gentleman, who challenging people to play chess for money. He allowed me to take his photograph.

Alongside on the table were a radio and a timer, like the ones you see in games of speed chess.

I would have played, if I weren't such a terrible player and if it weren't so cold, ha.

Related posts: Serious Fun, in Bryant Park, Playing in the Rain, Union Square and City Portrait - Washington Square Park.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Isle of Manhattan; So Close and Yet So Far

Close and yet so far
Photo by myself from the subway platform at Smith and 9th Street, Brooklyn.

Manhattan looks worlds away from Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. The neighborhood below has some nice residences and renovated warehouses, but it looks very industrial from above.

It may take less than 15 minutes for the train to reach the East River from here. You can see the UN Building, which is located in the East 40's along the edge of Manhattan.


The difference between Brooklyn and Manhattan is more psychological than physical. There are many, many Manhattanites who feel that Brooklyn is some sort of scary frontier land, unworthy of exploration. Not true!

I admit I had the same mentality when I lived on 'the island'. It was easy to feel that Manhattan was the only borough in New York, when there was so much going on.

I'm happy to live in Brooklyn now and am always shocked when friends make the trek across the river.

Related posts: Different Vistas, The City in Silhouette and The East River at Dusk.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Looming Above Washington Square Park

The Arch, in Washington Square Park
Photo by myself in Washington Square Park, around 5th Avenue and Waverly Place.

The striking arch on the northern edge of Washington Square Park provides an ideal vista at the end of Fifth Avenue. The park and marble-clad arch were built to commemorate the anniversary of George Washington's inauguration.


Mucho apologies for the very late post tonight, folks!

For some reason my computer kept saying that blogger was down. Not being to post was like having an itch you cannot scratch. Infuriating!

I'm ecstatic about posting a photo today, since I haven't missed a day since December 2007 February 2008.

Related posts: City Portraits - Washington Square Park, Santas on Parade, in Washington Square Park and Details, Details.