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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Death & Co., Behind Closed Doors

Death & Co., NYC
Photo by myself, at East 6th Street and Avenue A in the East Village.

Above, just a snippet of the facade of Death & Co., a small bar in the East Village. The entrance caught my eye last weekend because of the metal and wood grain.

Unfortunately, the doors were locked. Judging from the website, the interiors are small but very atmospheric. You can see some interior shots on the Death & Co. website, here.


Mark and I just got back from vacation, Tuesday evening. Pardon me, while I get my feets under me!

Related posts: The Quality Mending Company, Soho, Meat Market, Ninth Avenue, and Signs of the Times, on the Lower East Side.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sampling Street Food on Fifth Avenue

Fifth Ave, NYC
Photo by myself on Fifth Avenue in Midtown.

It's that time of year again, when street vendors are selling chestnuts and other hot snacks under bright lights.

On Fifth Avenue, between 59th and 35th Streets, the vendors are especially festive around the holiday months. The street is lined with fancy stores there, and many visitors are there to shop or just look around.

Above 59th Street, Fifth Avenue is residential. Street vendors are not permitted. If you're in that area looking for your morning coffee, you are out of luck.


On a recent cab ride down Fifth Avenue recently, coworkers and I noticed that the vibe of the street has changed.

The stores along Fifth Avenue were of the more ritzy variety for the longest time. The Henri Bendel, Bergdorf, Saks, Cartier, Armani and Tiffany stores are located there.

In the last couple of years, a number of new flagship stores have moved in. Huge stores for H&M, Uniqlo, Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch now draw a younger crowd.

I suppose this is not a bad thing, it's more inclusive for all. It feels less like an outdoor high end shopping mall than a regularly-priced one.

Related posts: The Markets in Union Square, Christmas Windows to Warm the Heart, and Under the Lights, at 54th and 5th.


Monday, November 28, 2011

In the News, Underground

Newsstand, NYC
Photo by myself at the 42nd Street subway station.

Many of the larger subway stations have newspaper stands on the platforms. The vendors sell everything from magazines to candy to cigarettes.


Mark and I are still in Puerto Rico, where we have been vacationing with relatives.

We're having a great time, though we've been trying to get used to how much sun there is. Even in the summer months, the sun is never that strong in New York.

I have to wonder what NYC would be like with more sun. New Yorkers would certainly be a less grumbly bunch!

Related posts: Kiosk at Night, Hitting the Newsstand, Underground, and The Subway Platform, 59th Street.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

The View Above Central Park, from the Upper East Side

From 80th Street, NYC
Photo by myself, around 80th Street and Fifth Avenue on the Upper East Side.

The view of Central Park during Fall is quite nice. Most of the leaves have already turned color by now.

This is the view looking southwest. The glass towers on the left at Columbus Circle were built not long ago. The two limestone towers ahead belong to the San Remo, around 74th Street and Central Park West.

The ropes on the left belongs to a window washing rig. The building next door was getting its windows cleaned. Window washers do their work on a platform that is pulled up using pulleys.

Related posts: Looking Out to Central Park West, Sledding Outside the San Remo, and The Skyline on the Upper West Side.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Reading, on Second Avenue

Reading, NYC
Photo by myself, around Second Avenue and 9th Street.

We New Yorkers can be an informal bunch.

Most New Yorkers don't have their own front or back yards, and apartments tend to be small. As a result, you'll find people doing private things in public spaces.

It's not uncommon to see women putting on their makeup outside, for instance. I've seen people brushing their teeth and shaving their beards with battery operated trimmers (!). It's not for the squeamish.

Related posts: Working the Streets, Surprise, Surprise, and Waiting for the Train, at Atlantic-Pacific Streets, Brooklyn.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Eat Here Now, Now Eat Here, in the West Village

hot choc sm
Photo by myself around Jane and Greenwich Streets, in the West Village.

Talk about subliminal advertising.

Mark and I had just been fantasizing about opening a food truck serving hot chocolate. Lo and behold, we encountered one on our walk last weekend in the West Village.

This truck also served breakfast burritos, enchiladas and grass-fed beef burgers. Yup. The hot chocolates were going for $3 a cup.

I will try to put this blog on a diet and post about non-food-related things for a bit. We'll see how long that lasts!

Related posts: Eating on the Cheap, Restaurant Week, On the Mud Truck and Hotel Grammercy Park, and Hot Off the Grille, in the East Village.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Outside Jane's Buns, in the East Village

Outside Jane's Buns
Photo by myself around St. Mark's Place and First Avenue, in the East Village.

A fellow napped outside a cheery bakery called Jane's Sweet Buns, not long ago.

This bakery has gotten mixed reviews on line. As always, please do some research before going to any place posted here. I haven't eaten at every place.

I'm sorry I don't have a more appropriate photograph today, except maybe most people feel like the way this guy looks after a Thanksgiving meal.

It's Thanksgiving in the US, where most people celebrate by having a large meal with their families. It is often also a time to reflect on the past year and to give thanks for the good things in life.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Related posts: Tongue in Cheek, on the Sidewalk and in the Subway, Napping, in Midtown, and A Much-Needed Nap.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Taking Out at the Stage Resturant, in the East Village

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

Stage Restaurant serves up everything from omelettes to challah French toast to borscht. Breakfast is served all day.

Mark and I were in the neighborhood this weekend, and they were busy. It looks like a small old-fashioned diner from the outside, with a counter facing a narrow open kitchen.

There is a pick-up window along the sidewalk that makes picking up orders easy. The window is probably open during the summer months, for fresh air.

I've never eaten there, but the online reviews are great. The menu is huge and the prices are reasonable. If we lived in the neighborhood, we'd be at that counter at least once a week.

For the menu and reviews, click here.


It's been cold and rainy here in the City. Mark and I will be away for a few days in Puerto Rico, where we went a couple years ago. We haven't had a break in a while, and this is a much-needed one.

Posts will continue daily here, as usual!

Related posts: It's a Free Country, After All, Outside Zucco, on the Lower East Side, and Shining Bright, at Live Bait.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The View from 24th Street, Chelsea

The View from Chelsea
Photo by myself around 24th Street and 9th Avenue, in Chelsea.

If you look out from Chelsea northeast, you'll see the Empire State Building.

For orientation's sake, imagine the island of Manhattan. You're on the lower left side. The ESB is near the center of the island.

This is the view from London Terrace Towers. The building fills one city block, bounded by 23rd and 24th Streets on the north and south, and 8th and 9th Avenues on the east and west.

The building is a co-operative and its apartments are charming. There is a gym, garage and indoor pool in the building.

One of the apartments listed for sale there at the moment (not the one in my photo), is a four-bedroom for nearly 5 million dollars. The maintenance fee alone is over $6,500 US per month. For gorgeous photos of the apartment, click here.

I don't have any hard facts, but I guarantee that if you can write 'Empire State Building views' in your real estate ads, the apartment will raise in value.

Related posts: It's a Free Country, After All, A Peek Through Central Park, and The Sky is Falling.


Monday, November 21, 2011

En Route to a Peaceful Protest, Downtown

Occupy Wall St., NYC
Photo by myself, around Hudson and West 10th Street, in the West Village.

Peaceful protesters were on their way to a rally for Occupy Wall Street. They were accompanied by members of the NYPD.

Ironically, people carried signs against police violence. Later that afternoon, protesters formed a drum circle outside Mayor Bloomberg's mansion on the Upper East Side.


We had a beautiful sunny day, Sunday. Temperatures were in the 60's and it felt like Spring. Some folks walked around in t-shirts.

The sidewalks were filled with people eating brunch outdoors.

Related posts: It's a Free Country, After All, Tibetans of the World, Unite, and Occupying Wall Street, One Day at a Time.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Warm Glow of 2112 Broadway, on the Upper West Side

2112 Broadway, NYC
Photo by myself at 73rd Street and Broadway, on the Upper West Side.

The vestibule of 2112 Broadway, otherwise known as the Apple Bank, is both spare and detailed. The frieze and entry doors are ornamented in wrought iron.

Originally a bank building, the interiors were recently converted into condominiums. The apartments have been sold between $1,780 tp $2,220 per square foot. The building's gym, dog grooming station, bike room and 24-hour doormen certainly add to the value.

These apartments are ideally located, just steps away from the 72nd Street subway station, which is an express stop. Just a block away are Fairway and Citerella, which are two deluxe supermarkets, though I'm sure if you can afford to live here, you might not be cooking your own dinner.

For an earlier post showing some of the ironwork on the exterior, click here
For a more about the condo units, including some interior photos, click here.

Related posts: Looking Up at Pointy-Eared Creatures, at 73rd Street, City Portraits - The Williamsburgh Bank, Brooklyn, and Going Postal, in Midtown.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Windows onto Another World, at Macy's

Macy's windows, NYC
Photo by myself at Macy's, at 34th Street in Midtown.

Mechanics were fixing the complicated moving Christmas displays at Macy's, Friday night.

For a moment, all systems were down in one window. Technicians wearing socks were troubleshooting the gears animating one puppet.

The windows at Macy's always draws an audience. One doesn't need to be a kid to ooh and aah at the intricate displays and graphics. This year's theme seemed to be about machinery and gears.

Macy's windows, NYC
One of the windows involved video touch screens for children to design their own ornaments.

Macy's windows, NYC
People tend to experience life through their cameras and camera phones. They don't look at the thing itself, rather, at the mini-version on their lcd screen.

Related posts: Peering into Another World at Macy's, Midtown, Tis the Season, from Herald Square, and Now on Display, at Bergdorf's.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Greetings from the Mother Ship, the Apple Store at Night

The Mother ship, at night
Photo by myself, at Fifth Avenue and Central Park South.

The ghostly glow from the mother ship can be seen every day of the year.

A steady stream of ipeople were going in and out of the store, Thursday night. This Apple location is open 24/7, 365 days a year.

There is an optical illusion going on, since there is only one real Apple logo suspended in the cube. At night, the glass becomes more reflective than transparent. The logo is multiplied.

When I was in this area a couple weeks ago, there were a few of us trying to take photos of the store. It was mildly amusing because we were all trying to take photos of this thing that you could hardly see.

For something verging on the invisible, the kiosk manages to have a presence.
For a view during daylight hours, click here.

Related posts: Shopping til Dropping on Canal Street, 3-D Billboard of Fifth Avenue, and Night View, on Canal Street.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

On the City, in the Rain

Rain, Washington Square Park
Photo by myself in Washington Square Park, in the Village.

It's been icky and drippy recently in the city.

At times it feels like Spring, but within a few hours the temperature drops. If there were ever a time to fall sick, it is now.

On the subway, you hear sneezes and coughs. Some people dislike holding onto the center pole with their hands because of germs. Germaphobes lean their bodies against the center pole, or hook their arms around the pole...anything to avoid what is touched by dozens of strangers every day.

Some people don't hold onto anything and wind up bouncing against other passengers as a result.

Related posts: In the Rain, Midtown, Rain, Rain, Go Away, and On Rain and Baseball.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Portrait of an Guy on Sixth Avenue

New Yorker, Midtown
Photo by myself, at 35th Street and Sixth Avenue.

An older gentleman named John posed for me on the street corner, Tuesday morning.

Next to the subway exit, there was a man leaning against a phone booth. He looked like he'd seen better days. His face was weathered, he was muttering and gazing into space. The fingernails of both hands were very long.

I snuck back to take a candid, but before I could, he spotted me and asked whether I would take his photo. He became very animated and excited, looking around for people to pose with him.

When he saw the photo in the LCD screen, he gave me a large, toothy smile. I wish I'd gotten more out of him like how long he's lived in the city, but he was very difficult to understand.

The Portrait Series is a once-in-a-while installment, featuring New Yorkers encountered on the street.

Related posts: Portrait of an Artist, on the Upper East Side, Portrait of a Young Man, Without a Home, and Portrait of Style, on the Subway Platform.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Looking Up, From Fifth Avenue

Looking Up, at the Empire State Building
Photo by myself at Fifth Avenue, around 35th Street.

A group of high school kids marching in the Veteran's Day Parade for Operation Comfort stopped in the middle of Fifth Avenue. They looked up at the Empire State Building, which rises up 102 stories from the street.

Operation Comfort is an organization that helps wounded military and their families. They coordinate donations from the general public and schedule activities for seriously wounded vets to enjoy.

For more about Operation Comfort, click here.

Related posts: Looking Up, in More Ways Than One, Looking Up, in Midtown, and Looking Down, from Midtown Comics.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Burning Bright, in Times Square

Times Sq., NYC
Photo by myself, at 42nd Street and Seventh Avenue.

A photo just outside the crossroads of the world, so to speak.

What I like about this photo are the different types of light. The LED lights have a very bright white to them. The streetlight on the left has a yellow tone. The interior lights on the right are fluorescent and greenish. The uplights at the billboard on the right are very dramatic, cantilevering out into space.

This photo was taken on my new Leica dLux 5, which works well at night if there are bright light sources. The photos of the Veteran's Day Parade and NYC Marathon were taken on a Canon 40D, which is much faster at writing large raw files.

If you're going to take photos of an event, go with the fancier camera. It's a royal pain to wait a second after every photo you take, while the camera saves your shot.


A couple friends of mine used to live in the Times Square area.

Times Square is not a homey place, as you can imagine. My friends related better to Hell's Kitchen, which is just west of Eighth Avenue. Hell's Kitchen is comprised of low rise tenement buildings on the side streets. The avenues are lined with restaurants, bars and small housewares stores.

If you're ever in the Times Square area, do walk the extra block or two west to Hell's Kitchen. You can have lunch there and browse around. Don't be put off by the name, which the neighborhood adopted back in the day when it was rougher. It's a much safer there than it used to be!

Related posts: Times Square, NYC, On Broadway, and Looking Up, at Times Square.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

The 2011 Veteran's Day Parade

Veteran's Day Parade, NYC
Photo by myself along Fifth Avenue, in Midtown.

The Veteran's Day Parade took place on Fifth Avenue on Friday. High school bands and veterans from all periods were present. There were floats and horses and batons and kilts.

The day started out cool and sunny, then turned to become windy and very chilly. Near the end, anyone who wasn't wearing gloves was shivering and blue. I was as stiff as a board and could hardly bend my knees.

Veteran's Day Parade, NYC
One high school band pantomimed crouching through a battlefield.

Veteran's Day Parade, NYC
Some veterans cheered their buddies from the sidelines.

Veteran's Day Parade, NYC
Onlookers waved flags and paid their respects to those who have served.

Veteran's Day Parade, NYC
All sectors were represented, including the army, navy, air force, marines and coast guard.

Veteran's Day Parade, NYC

Veteran's Day Parade, NYC
Veterans from World War II waved from a float.

Seeing the veterans and these parades in person is a moving experience, but these parades are sadly not as well attended as they could be. Veterans have given us much and have demanded very little of their country.

Related posts: The Veteran's Day Parade, on Fifth Avenue, Saluting Heroes Along Fifth Avenue, Part I, and Saluting Heroes Along Fifth Avenue, Part II.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Night View, Near Bryant Park

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

Here's a night view, just across the street from Bryant Park. The park would be to the right.

An atrium space with a high ceiling is just ahead. Above and out of view is the rest of the building, which is a tower, at least 25 stories high.

To the right is the view down Sixth Avenue. You can see other tall buildings lining the street.


By the way, Friday is Veteran's Day. The Veteran's Day Parade takes place around noon, marching up Fifth Avenue between 23rd Street to 56th Street, in Midtown.

TGIF, everyone!

Related posts: Columbus Circle, At Dusk, Dusk Among Towers, and The City in Silhouette.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Shave and a Haircut, in Brooklyn

Barbershop, Park Slope
Photo by myself around 5th Avenue and Sixth Street, in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Though established in 2003, this is an old school barbershop in Brooklyn.

They only use buzzers here, not scissors. Scissors are for wimps!

Related posts: A Moment for Beauty, on the Upper West Side, Outside New York Shaving Company, on Elizabeth Street, and Holy Smokes, in the East Village.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Get Your Paper Here, at Union Square

Union Square morning
Photo by myself outside the subway station in Union Square.

A woman handed out free newspapers at the Union Square subway station, Monday morning.

At most major subway stations, papers are given out to morning commuters. The papers are financed through paid advertising.

Often the first thing you see after huffing up the stairs is a hand, waving a paper in your face. Nice! The foot traffic getting up the stairs is often slowed as a result.

Related posts: The Throngs in Union Square, In Line, On the Phone, and Read All About It.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Swinging to the Alex Lo Dico Ensemble, Underground

Alex Lo Dico Ensemble, NYC
Photo by myself at the 34th Street subway station, in Midtown.

The 34th Street subway station was swinging to the music of the Alex Lo Dico Ensemble, Monday night.

I've taken photos of this group before. They perform at this station once in a while, and are a crowd favorite. You can hear their brassy sounds two floors below on the subway platforms.

The group's namesake, Lo Dico, plays the trombone. He was meeting and greeting the audience during these shots. Their alto sax player played a fantastic extended solo.

I posted about the Lo Dico Ensemble earlier, here.

Alex Lo Dico Ensemble, NYC

Related posts: On Swinging Jazz and Sniffing Dogs, All That Jazz, and On Music and Elephants Underground.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Mural in Red Hook, Brooklyn

Red Hook mural
Photo by myself at Conover and Coffey Streets, in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

Just outside a chocolate factory and a bar are two gorgeous murals, depicting both indulgences, wine and chocolate.

Unfortunately, the establishments were closed when we were there, this Saturday. Mark and I heard from friends that the owner of the chocolate factory opened a bar next door for impromptu celebrations.

Red Hook is a quirky, gritty, arty neighborhood along the Brooklyn waterfront, near Carroll Gardens. There are many cobblestone streets, local bars and tiny stores. A Fairway supermarket and an Ikea branch are also located here.

Unfortunately, it's not an easy neighborhood to visit. Since there are no direct subways, you must drive, take a bus or the Ikea shuttle.

Red Hook Mural
A mural depicting a couple enjoying chocolate is just steps away on this seemingly desolate street.

Related posts: Street Art, Soho, On Target, on Houston, and Cereal Killers Mural, in Williamsburg.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

The 2011 NYC Marathon

2011 NYC Marathon
Photo by myself along the New York Marathon course, in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

The 42nd New York City Marathon was held today. We were lucky to have a gloriously sunny yet cool weather for running.

New Yorkers lined the streets, cheering the runners on. Fans called out names and numbers on runners' jerseys, as moral support. Bands played music, and people tooted on horns and rang bells.

2011 marathon womens pack sm
The womens' lead pack, speeding by. Firehiwat Dado from Ethiopia is second from the right in red. She won the marathon some 16 miles later.

2011 marathon mens pack sm
The mens' lead pack. Geoffrey Mutai, third from the right, came in first place and broke the course record with sub-five minute miles. Emmanuel Mutai, far right, came in second.

2011 NYC Marathon

2011 NYC Marathon
It seemed like every country was represented.

2011 Marathon slap sm
Runners especially enjoyed saying hello to the children watching.

2011 NYC Marathon

The fastest runners really zip by. You really only get one chance to get a photo, which is a little unnerving. Mark texted me where the lead runners were, while he watched live TV coverage at home.

The New York Marathon begins in Staten Island. The course winds through Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx before ending in Central Park, in Manhattan.

Related posts: The 2010 NYC Marathon, The 2009 New York City Marathon, and Running Down the Streets of New York.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Outside the Apple Store, on 59th Street

59th Street Apple Store
Photo by myself at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue.

The scaffolding has come down around the new 59th Street Apple Store. This is the flagship, which is open 24/7, 365 days a year.

Huge pieces of glass have replaced smaller ones, so there are fewer breaks in the facade. The result is a much more pristine looking glass box. It stood in the sun on Friday afternoon, surrounded by tour groups.

Steve Jobs was said to have come up with using a cube for the design. The flagship has won numerous design awards. For more about the flagship, including interior shots, click here.


I must report that my new Leica Dlux 5 has been working great so far. The photo above was taken with my big Canon 40D SLR. In comparison, the images for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were taken with the Leica. The Leica captures highlights and nuances very well, and it's about 1/3 the size of the Canon.

I was worried at first about the learning curve of using a new camera. If you're in the habit of taking photos on using the Manual setting, you'll get the hang of things quickly. It only takes a day to make the change.

I only wish there were more time to take photos. That's the one thing a new camera won't provide you with.

(Darn it).

Related posts: The Apple Store, Continued, The Latest Thing, and Grinning and Bearing it, on 42nd Street.


Friday, November 4, 2011

Cheers, from Koreatown

Smiling, NYC
Photo by myself, around 32nd Street and Sixth Avenue, in Koreatown.

A couple of visitors were chatting in Koreatown, the other day. I'm not sure why the woman was smiling, but I'm glad she was looking my way.

This particular block is one of my favorites in Manhattan. It's filled with signs on both sides of the street. There are excellent Korean bbq and tofu restaurants to choose from.


The above photo was taken with my new little Leica. So far, so good!

Related posts: Snapshot from Koreatown, 32nd Street, On Street Photos in Midtown and Online, and Grinning and Bearing it, on 42nd Street.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Looking Down, from the Upper East Side

Upper East Side, NYC
Photo by myself, around East 80th Street and Madison Avenue.

This photo was taken looking east, toward the backsides of tall apartment buildings that face Park Avenue.

The front facades of buildings along Park Avenue are often limestone. Toward the back, the buildings are brick, which is a much cheaper material.

Smaller townhouses line the streets between Madison Avenue and Fifth. The rooftops are littered with water towers, air conditioning equipment and skylights.

Related posts: Looking Out, to Central Park West, Different Vistas, and High Above Bryant Park.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Busking, Below Union Square

Masked Buskers, Union Square
Photo by myself, below Union Square.

Union Square is one of the more popular subway stations for musical performers.

Above, I'm not sure whether these fellows are still celebrating Halloween or whether they dislike being photographed. I haven't seen them before.

They played electronica to an interested audience, Tuesday night. This station gets a ton of foot traffic crossing between the many subway lines that stop here.

'Busking' is a term for earning a living by performing in public. There is no shortage of performers here in NYC. Someone is always tooting or banging a drum or singing or doing backflips.

Or even posing half naked while doing so.

Related posts: Subway Jam Session, The Jazzman, 34th Street, and Sound the Horns, in Union Square.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ghoulish Greetings on the R Train

Halloween, NYC
Photo by myself, somewhere underground.

The streets and subways were populated with grown up skeletons, bumblebees, devils and zombies.

The annual Halloween parade started Monday night near Spring Street and Sixth Avenue. Tons of people lined the streets to watch the celebrants march north to 16th Street, Union Square.

Above, a couple strangers met on the subway, one obviously stranger than the other. Yuk, yuk. A bony friend sat near me, as you can see by his bony hand on the left.

Apologies for the grainy photo. I am still getting a handle on the new camera buttons!

Related posts: Happy Halloween from the Village, Part I, Happy Halloween from the Village, Part II, and All A-Buzz About a Bee, in Union Square.