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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Enjoying Pugs and Drinks, Outside

Lap Dogs
Photo by myself at Stanton and Allen Streets, on the Lower East Side.

A couple of pugs and their owners enjoy some drinks outside at Epstein's Bar, a neighborhood bar on Stanton and Allen Streets. The restaurant serves typical American food and drinks at reasonable prices.

I think I caught the eye of one pug. The other pug was lost in thought.

The name of the restaurant is a little odd. It is a play on a serious virus of the herpes family called the Epstein Barr Virus. Not sure why people would want to align their establishment with a serious ailment, but whatever.


Pardon all the photos from the limited neighborhoods, recently. I have been very busy and I will spare you from my kvetching! ;-)

Related posts: Fall Foliage in Prospect Park, Our Four-Legged Friends and Sniff, Sniff.


Monday, November 29, 2010

The Sign of the White Rabbit, on Houston Street

145 East Houston, NYC
Photo by myself on East Houston and Eldridge Streets.

A large piece of graffiti art graced the roll down security door of the White Rabbit, a bar on East Houston Street.


Here's the power of the internet - I had forgotten where I'd taken this photo a few weeks ago. All the information I had were the number '145' and the cryptic symbol on the canopy, which resembled a rabbit.

I did a google search for "145 rabbit nyc" and up came the website for the bar called the White Rabbit. Bingo, the logos matched!

Happy Monday, everyone!

Related posts: Pasted Up in the Meatpacking District, Abandoned Lot, East Village and Outside 190 Bowery, in SoHo.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Glimpse Into the Orchard Corset Center, on the Lower East Side

Storefronts, LES
Photo by myself on Orchard and Stanton Streets, on the Lower East Side.

Orchard Street, on the Lower East Side, is known for a handful of clothing and fabric stores that have survived the test of time.

On weekends, the street is often shut off from car traffic. Tables and racks of clothing are informally set up on the street for shoppers to browse through.

The Orchard Corset Center has been a family business since the 1930's. It's located just around the corner from Katz's Deli. Inside, what might be the proprietress.

For more about this store, including a short tour inside, check out this post on Jeremiah's Vanishing New York.

Related posts: From the Corner Deli, in SoHo, Passing By, in Sunset Park and Old New York, on the Lower East Side.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Under the Canopies in Bryant Park

Bryant Park, NYC
Photo by myself in Bryant Park, looking southeast.

The shopping season has indeed begun. Bryant Park is fully decorated with small kiosks selling stuff. The main lawn is occupied with an ice rink for the winter months. There are seating areas and food stalls for those needing a break or a snack.

All around the park are tall office buildings, including the main branch of the New York Public Library (the newly-cleaned building with the arched windows, above). Many people prefer this park because it is so well proportioned - not so small as to feel dwarfed by the buildings above, but not so large that you feel distant from them.

These photos are from late Friday afternoon. From what I could tell, most people were visiting from out of town.

Bryant Park, NYC
The view northeast. Seating areas are littered with fall leaves.

Bryant Park, NYC
Timbered canopies are festooned with lights.

Bryant Park, NYC
The view west toward Sixth Avenue. The plantings in this park are well done.

For those curious, click here for my photos from last holiday season.

Related posts: Serious Fun, in Bryant Park, Free Flicks, in Bryant Park and Faces in Fashion, in Bryant Park.


Friday, November 26, 2010

Taking a Break, in the East Village

Taking a break
Photo by myself, somewhere in the East Village.

A woman takes a break from collecting cans on the street. At certain stores, cans and bottles can be refunded for a nickel a piece. It is a bit of work and a good way to make some money.

Most people skip the refund altogether and leave their recyclables on the street. Once a week, trucks pick up recyclables (metals, glass and paper) left in bins along the curb.

Around Thanksgiving and the holiday season, people in the States give thanks for what they have. They also think of those less fortunate.

This photo is filed under 'homeless', though this woman is probably not without a home. My definition of homelessness has many shades of grey, and includes people who are truly without a home, people who have temporary shelter and people who are jobless.

Related posts: On Collecting Cans and a Rupert Update, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Seasons Greetings from the MTA.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Peering into Another World, at Macy's, Midtown

Photo by myself outside Macy's, at Sixth Avenue and 34th Street, in Midtown.

The windows at Macy's are up and running. The sidewalk outside is crowded with adults and children.

Several large windows along the Sixth Avenue entrance are filled with large, colorful, moving displays. Figurines swivel and move to music. Backgrounds unfold and slide open. It's hard to believe these windows are done up every year.

Outside Macy's
One vitrine featured a small town with Christmas carolers.

Outside Macy's
Each exhibit combines text, moving characters and scenery.

Outside Macy's
In one display window, the facade of the New York Public Library slides open to reveal a reading room heaped with books.

Incidentally, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade will take place today on the Upper West Side. The parade starts at 77th Street and Columbus Avenue and marches south, ending outside the Macy's department store, some 40 blocks away. The parade starts at 9am Eastern Standard Time.

Related posts: Happy Thanksgiving, at Macy's, On Kids in the Slope, and in the Country and Playing Ball in the Public Courts.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Seen, Below Ground

Photo by myself at the subway platform below 34th Street.

After a very long and stressful day at work, it was more than a little nice to listen to live music. An accordian player played tunes from Fiddler on the Roof, like 'If I were a Rich Man'.

After I took this photo, I showed the musician the image my camera. He nodded and said simply, 'That is me.'


Incidentally, I came home Tuesday night to Mark watching Splash on television.

Yes, 'Splash', the movie from the mid-80's about a guy (a young Tom Hanks) who meets a mermaid (a young Darryl Hannah). It's so very well done and so very 80's.

It's also a great movie to watch for glimpses of New York City! There are street musicians, walks through Times Square, Central Park and the Upper West Side. Chase scenes careen through Midtown, along the East River and down lower Broadway.

Of course, the old Fulton Fish Market, which used to be located near the Brooklyn Bridge for 180 years, plays a large role in the movie.

Related posts: Seranading Crowds on the Subway Platform, Music While you Wait and On Singing Groups and the Current Vibe.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

More Free Hugs, in Union Square

Free Hugs, Union Square
Photo by myself at Union Square, at 14th Street and University Place.

I was greeted on Sunday by a young fellow who was giving out free hugs. He and a small group of people held 'Free Hug' signs, as part of the Free Hug Campaign. I've seen free huggers before in Union Square many times.

The Free Hugs Campaign began as a 'random act of kindness' in Australia in 2004. It has since become a movement that has traversed the globe. The Free Hug Campaign forum page lists news from free huggers on every continent.

My free hug and this fellow's good humor brightened my day. I hope he brightens yours.

Free Hugs, Union Square
A great big grin from my hugger.

For the internet home of the Free Hugs Campaign, click here.

Related posts: Free Hugs, Union Square, Reasons to be Pretty, Times Square and Visions of a Cheeseburger, Midtown.


Monday, November 22, 2010

100-Vendors Selling, at Union Square Holiday Market

Union Square Market
Photo by myself in Union Square.

Oh yes, with Thanksgiving comes the holiday shopping season. New York City is so commerce-driven, it wastes no time at all before pitching tents and hawking wares.

The open-air holiday market in Union Square is in full swing. From now til Christmas Eve, over 100 vendors are selling crafts, art, jewelry, clothing, food, housewares and all else. Crowds of people were in attendance. The array was dizzying!

There was an abundance of mittens, scarves and hats, especially hats with ears or animal faces. These are perfect gifts because 1) one size fits all and 2) few would already have a green hat with Shrek ears!

Union Square Market
Above, puppets to suit any occasion.

Union Square Market
Gifts range from smaller items to large prints and paintings.

Union Square Market
Musical instruments, wind chimes, candles...you can get it all here.

Union Square Market
Soft goods with a handmade look, such as hats, mittens and sweaters, made a strong showing.

Union Square Market
My favorite of the day, a green hat with Shrek ears, center.

Related posts: Holiday Cheer, Already in Bryant Park, The Markets in Union Square and Shops Galore, in Union Square.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving Week

Photo by myself in Battery Park, at the southern tip of Manhattan.

It's Thanksgiving week in the States. A week of travel, gatherings and feasting.

Above, a large wild bird in Battery Park. I'm not sure whether this is a turkey, but he looks very close to one!

Nice to know that there are birds in New York beyond the humble pigeon. Red tailed hawks lurk in Central Park. Parrots flock together in Brooklyn. Years ago, I saw a gorgeous orange rooster in Riverside Park. And now, a large wild bird downtown!

Related posts: The Hua Mei Bird Garden, in Chinatown, The Bird Man of Washington Square Park and Odd and Colorful Birds, Bryant Park.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

The View from the Pulaski Bridge

Across the East River
Photo by myself from the Pulaski Bridge, in Brooklyn.

This photo was taken while crossing the Pulaski Bridge in the car. The bridge is located between Long Island City and Greenpoint, Brooklyn. From there, you get a nice view of Midtown. In the foreground are warehouses jutting out into the East River.

The Chrysler Building on the right, is only seven blocks north of the Empire State Building, center. It is a short walk from one building to the next.

One of the things you notice after living here is that you really don't perceive Manhattan as an island. Unlike other cities like Hong Kong, Manhattan's waterfront is not so accessible. Some people live along the water and enjoy it while exercising in the parks, but the majority of Manhattanites are immersed among buildings.

Related posts: Different Vistas, On Six-Word Memoirs, in Print and Looking Out to Central Park West.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Flipping Out, Below Ground

Subway Interlude
Photo by myself on the subway around 42nd Street, Times Square.

A band of three performers on the subway broke out into spontaneous acrobatics, Thursday afternoon.

A boom box sits on the floor in the background. Their routine included handstands, pushups and dance moves.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Related posts: Acrobatics Below 34th Street, Shall We Dance, 34th Street and Cowboy Dancer, in Midtown.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

And the Crowd Roared, in Bryant Park

High Five
Photo by myself in Bryant Park.

Yes, the outdoor skating rink is already set up in Bryant Park. It's pretty neat to skate in the midst of tall buildings.

A crowd of school children gathered around the perimeter. Strangers skated by, high-fiving the kids, eliciting cheers.

With daytime temps at times in the 50s, I wonder how this is possible. This ice rink is temporary. Below it is a large grassy lawn that is very popular in the summer months.

Related posts: How's About a Game?, On the Ice, in Midtown and Serious Fun, in Bryant Park.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

In the Shadows of Houston Street

Photo by myself on Houston and Mott Streets, in the East Village.

A simple moment on the sidewalk struck me as being painterly.

One of the most enriching things I've gained from snapping photos is a greater appreciation of the environment and the present moment.

The banality of a sidewalk, a storefront, a crowd of people. Just about anything can be an aesthetic experience.

Related posts: The Quality Mending Company, Soho, The Urban Art Form, Downtown and On Skateboard Graphics and Subways in Mid-Air.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Alone with People, on the Lower East Side

Photo by myself at Ludlow and Rivington Streets, on the Lower East Side.

Mikey's Burgers specializes in burgers and shakes, on the lower East Side. There is just enough room inside to sit around the bar.

It's a common paradox of life in the city - you can be up against people all day long but still wind up feeling very much alone.


I don't mean to be a downer, but I want to be honest about living here. Of course, everyone has different experiences. I'm sure some people run around single and fancy free.

Speaking of fancy free, I overheard one guy on the subway not long ago speaking loudly about the women he knew, objectifying each one. He announced that he would 'upgrade' soon (that is, trade his current girlfriend in). It was absolutely outrageous. And just when I was ready to record him on my phone, he and his friend stepped off the train.

I'll post some happy photos, of course, never fear.

Related posts: A Moment Alone in the East Village, Sun Salutation, in the East Village and Before the Game, in Alphabet City.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Through the Glass, at Russ and Daughters

Outside Russ & Daughters, LES
Photo by myself on Houston between Orchard and Allen Streets, on the Lower East Side.

Russ and Daughters, a specialty food store on the Lower East Side, has been in operation nearly 100 years.

In the window, there are crates of dried fruits, including pears, apricots, peaches and mangoes. Inside, they sell caviars and a large assortment of smoked fish, including salmon, herring and trout.

For a peek inside the store, click here.
Check out the Russ and Daughters website, where you can order their food online here.

Related posts: Live Poetry, on the Lower East Side, Making Off with the Lower East Side and Sweet Dreams at Economy Candy, Downtown.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

The King of Song, Below Ground

King of Song
Photo by myself below 34th Street.

A blues singer named Remy Francois played for commuters. Every time I see this singer, he is wearing a crown and looks a bit sad.

The MTA sponsors art and artists, including musicians. There are non-sponsored musicians all over the place, who play in the stations, on platforms and in the trains. Only the sponsored ones have their names printed on banners.

Related posts: On Bach Partitas and Danger Underground, Don's Stop Music on the Upper West Side and Strike up the Band, in Washington Square Park.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saluting Heroes, along Fifth Avenue, Part Two

2010 Veteran's Day, NYC
Members of the Marines Corps marched down Fifth Avenue on Veteran's Day, last Thursday.

A few remaining photos from the Veteran's Day parade. I was so tired Thursday night, I didn't get to go through all my images and found some others worth sharing.

The upcoming holiday season in New York is a busy one. The Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center was just erected this week. There will be decorations and special street fairs. There will be the Thanksgiving Parade down Central Park West.

I'll do my best to get around and give you all a sense of what it's like here. It will be over the top festivity!

2010 Veteran's Day, NYC
Bagpipes, often associated with those in uniform, made an appearance in full regalia.

2010 Veteran's Day, NYC
The patriotic spirit extended well beyond the US.

2010 Veteran's Day, NYC
The men and women of the US Navy.

Related posts: Greetings from New York, The Veteran's Day Parade, on Fifth Avenue and Riding High.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Saluting Heroes, along Fifth Avenue, Part One

2010 Veteran's Day, NYC
Photo by myself around Fifth Avenue and 35th Street, in Midtown.

Some snaps from the Veteran's Day Parade on Thursday. Luckily, my schedule worked out so I could escape the office.

The parade was sparsely attended as usual, since the day fell on a weekday and businesses were open. Onlookers gave their humble thanks to those who have represented this country in combat.

American flags were on display along the parade route on Fifth Avenue between 23rd Street and 59th Street. It was particularly nice to see high school kids involved in the parade. The mix between young and old made this a parade for everyone.

2010 Veteran's Day, NYC
Enormous flags were pulled down the street.

2010 Veteran's Day, NYC
Most veterans represented the Vietnam War, Korean War and World War II.

2010 Veteran's Day, NYC
It was impressive to see some veterans in full uniform.

2010 Veteran's Day, NYC
Various high school bands marched with pride.

Related posts: The Veteran's Day Parade, on Fifth Avenue, Parading Down Fifth Avenue and Strolling Down Fifth Avenue, Hand in Hand.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

On the Subway Platform and On Parade

Photo by myself below 34th Street, in Midtown.

As usual, the colder months move the homeless into the subway for warmth.


Thursday is Veteran's Day in the US, and the Veteran's Day Parade! The day honors all those who have served in the military.

Along Fifth Avenue between 23rd and 59th Streets, veterans and floats will celebrate the occasion. The parade has taken place every year in New York since 1929. Crowds of people line the route and cheer the veterans and marching bands.

The parade will be televised live on NBC, and the coverage starts at noon. If you have a chance, tune in. It can be quite moving to see generations of proud veterans marching in their uniforms, and generations of onlookers giving their heartfelt thanks.

Related posts: Life in High Contrast, Baby, It's Cold Outside and Homeless Man, Central Park.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Sunset View from Battery Park

Battery Park, NYC
Photo by myself in Battery Park.

A sunset view from Battery Park, at the southmost tip of Manhattan.

The Financial District and the rest of the city is to the left right. To the right left, out of view, is Staten Island and the Statue of Liberty.

Looking west across the Hudson River, you can see the towers in Jersey City, New Jersey.


Ha, sorry for the careless mistake. I've been swamped and short on time, lately!

Related posts: Sunset Outside Battery Park City, On the Hudson River and Stupid Pet Tricks and Docked Along the West Side.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Here's Looking at You, in Washington Square Park

Photo by myself in Washington Square Park.

I was spotted by both a woman and her little dog the other day, while taking photos in Washington Square Park. Yikes.

Not much to report here, except that with the time change on Sunday, the sun will be setting at 4:45 pm!!!!


It will get worse from now til December 21st, before it gets better. A challenge for taking photos, but nothing we can't overcome!

Related posts: Outside Biography Books, Bleeker Street, On Little Black Dresses and Little Black Dogs and Sharing a Moment.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Over Drinks, in the East Village

Tall tales
Photo by myself, somewhere in the East Village.

Two friends exchanged stories in a bar.

I wish I remembered where this was, but it was snapped in a hurry, just as we passed by.

Related posts: Casimir, on Avenue B, On Mulberry Street and Small Packages and The Royalton, Renovated.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

The 2010 NYC Marathon

2010 Marathon NYPD
Photo by myself in Park Slope, Brooklyn, around Mile 7 of the NYC Marathon.

Preceded by a police escort, the men's front runners blazed through Brooklyn.

It was a sunny and nippy day for the marathon. As usual, loads of people turned out along the race route, along with live music to cheer the runners on. The front runners came and went in lightning speed.

I hung around a bit more to watch and cheer. It was moving to see so many runners and so many fans. By the time I walked home and settled down, the race was over. They had already run up through Brooklyn to Queens, up through Manhattan to the Bronx and back down to Central Park. Incredible!

2010 Marathon, Mens Lead Pack
The men's lead pack. Emmanuel Mutai, left, finished second overall. Halle Gebrselassie, in the yellow jersey, one of the greatest runners of all time, later dropped out of the race.

2010 Marathon, Womens Lead Pack
The women's lead pack crossing through Park Slope. Shalane Flanagan, in the red jersey, left, came in second. Edna Kiplagat, the women's winner from Kenya, is not shown.

2010 Marathon
Some runners dressed in costume. Above, a bride and groom.

2010 NYC Marathon
Maybe this guy was from LA.

2010 NYC Marathon
Many runners were from outside New York.

2010 Marathon
Runners enjoyed high-fiving children along the sidelines.

2010 NYC Marathon
Entire families showed up to cheer the runners on.

At one point the woman next to me jumped up and down, clapping. She cried, 'Chile, Chile, Chile!!' to me, happily. I nodded back at her. Oh, so she's from Chile?

What I hadn't realized was that Edison Pena, one of the recently rescued miners from Chile, was running the marathon. I wish I'd known, so I could have kept an eye out for him. He wound up walking the course at times but completing the course in 5:40:51.

By the way, our neighbor Chicken Underwear ran the race. He has completed over fifteen NYC marathons so far. Do reach out with congratulations at his blog here.

Yes, everyone was there. What a great time!

Related posts: Running Down the Streets of New York, The 2009 NYC Marathon and Running Along the Edge of Manhattan.