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Friday, December 28, 2012

A Splash of Graffiti, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Graffiti, Williamsburg
Photo by myself on Berry Street, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

An explosion of graffiti in Williamsburg.

One of the paste-ups reads 'I can't afford to *heart* NY', a riff on the popular 'I *heart* NY' slogan.

It has been very chilly here, with strong winds. Yesterday we had a bit of snow mixed with rain. Brrrr!

Related posts: Lost in a Crowd, in Midtown, Ready to Rumble, in Alphabet City, and Abandoned Lot, East Village.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Glimpse of Houston Street

Houston Street, nyc
Photo by myself at Houston and Allen Streets.

Just a peek down Houston Street, a great divide in the city.

South of Houston is SoHo, the land of clothing boutiques and large furniture stores. North of Houston is NoHo and the sprawling NYU campus.

Houston Street is very wide, with traffic divided by a median strip. Along its length are older brick brownstones and many tall modern buildings.

This photo was taken from the passenger seat of our car (!). We'd had the car washed not long before, so you wouldn't even know there was a windshield there.

Related posts: Lost in a Crowd, in Midtown, Strolling Down Sixth Avenue, in the Sun, and Business as Usual, in Midtown.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Street Crossing, on Fifth Avenue

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

We had a chilly day in the city, Christmas Day.

If there is ever a 'good' day to be in New York in terms of traffic, I would suggest Christmas Day. Not many people are driving about, and parking rules are suspended. So you can park just about anywhere.

I used my new Canon 75-300mm lens to take the above photo. It is taking some getting used to, since you can only take photos of things more than 5 feet away. Unfortunately if you see something very interesting nearby, you can't take a photo of it (!).

Related posts: Lost in a Crowd, in Midtown, Strolling Down Sixth Avenue, in the Sun, and Business as Usual, in Midtown.


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Xmas, from Park Slope, Brooklyn

Christmas, Park Slope, Brooklyn
Photo by myself in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Colored lights decorated a front lawn in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Santa seems to have left his boots.

Some of the front lawns in Brooklyn are very tiny or non-existant, with concrete slabs and little patches of grass. Occasionally, there is a tree.

Many brownstones don't have driveways or garages, so there isn't a place to keep garbage cans (!). A paved front yard means less upkeep and a place to keep trash cans off the sidewalk during the week.

Merry Christmas, everyone! It was a sunny and chilly day here. Mark, Rupert and I are staying in town.

We drove into the city briefly to try out my xmas present, a new camera lens! Hip hip, hooray! It is a fantastic zoom lens that I have to get used to.

I wish everyone a safe and lovely holiday.

Related posts: Random Graffiti, on Second Avenue, Graff Attack, in the Meatpacking District, and The Urban Art Form, Downtown.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Graffiti, Williamsburg

Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Photo by myself on North 6th Street, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

A bit of mysterious graffiti, on this popular street in Williamsburg.

There is graffiti in abundance in Williamsburg. Layers of it. Stickers lie on top of painted tags on top of paste-ups.

Mark, Rupert and I took a walk around the neighborhood, Sunday afternoon. It was a 'gridlock alert day', which meant warnings of high traffic in Manhattan. Drivers were encouraged not to venture into the city.

It was chilly out and overcast, with brisk winds.

Happy holidays everyone!!

Related posts: Written on the Walls, in Nolita and East Harlem, Graff Attack, in the Meatpacking District, and The Urban Art Form, Downtown.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

On the Crowds in Herald Square and Walking in the City

Christmas crowds, nyc
Photo by myself at 35th Street and Sixth Avenue, Herald Square.

The hoards of crowds swarming in the streets during the holidays can be a little overwhelming.

Especially when you're trying to head in the opposite direction.

Over the years, I've developed a way of walking where I can zip through an area without stopping.

If you've ever read about the 'pulse' of a city, this is it - where your body is so minutely timed with the chaos that you can zip through intersections without so much as a hiccup.

I'm sure one day I will smash into someone. With my luck, that someone will be carrying a huge white cake, dozens of prickly roses or an armload of marbles.

Last week, the receptionist at our office was standing at a crosswalk in this area and a man punched her in the stomach (!). She was just standing there, waiting for the light to change, and someone just walked up and punched her for no good reason.

Fortunately, she was all right. She called the police, gave her description of the elderly man who had done this, and was told that she was not alone. There have been multiple reports recently of older people acting out on strangers for whatever reason (!).

So yes, DO expect crowds in this area if you ever find yourself here. And DO give older people their space.

Related posts: Fighting the Crowds, in Midtown, Crowd Crossing, at 34th Street, and Tuned Out, in Herald Square.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Bright Stalls at the Union Square Holiday Market

Union Square holiday market
Photo by myself in Union Square.

The holiday market in Union Square was in full swing, Friday night.

Brightly lit stalls are selling jewelry, lamps, hats, scarves, art and everything else you could think of. People were browsing around and enjoying the festive atmosphere.

It was a chilly night, but loads of people were out, enjoying the end of the work week. The market has been a recurring fixture for the last 18 years! They will be open every night til 8pm through Dec. 24th.

For a little bit more about the market, see their website here.

Union Square holiday market
One of many stalls selling ethnic art.

Apologies once again for the sporadic posts. It has been soooo crazy busy at work, with every client and contractor demanding everything now, now, now.

These days, people are under the impression that architects just press a button and things are done. Not so! And in the world of real estate every day means a lot of money. So the anxiety level is very high.

I am incredibly excited to soon be working on an apartment on Fifth Avenue, near the Met (Metropolitan Museum of Art, at 86th Street). We just finished up an apartment at 83rd and Madison, nearby. Stay tuned for more photos from that neighborhood (!).

Related posts: This Season at the Union Square Holiday Market, It's Christmas All Year, at the Grand Central Market, and Holiday Cheer, Already in Bryant Park.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

In the Lobby of the Sherry-Netherland, on Fifth Avenue

Sherry-Netherland Hotel, nyc
Photo by myself at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street.

The lobby of the Sherry-Netherland Hotel, at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street, is all decked out for the holidays.

The front desk is to the left, out of view. Several doormen stood by, at the ready to help people with luggage.

This hotel is very fancy, with rooms starting at $500 per night, upward to over $1k per night. They also have several apartments for sale, some with kitchens, some without (!).

One apartment for sale takes up a whole floor of the building. Its monthly maintenance is over $30k per month. Hello??!! That is a thousand dollars per day! Some of the smaller apartments resemble hotel rooms, and all are beautifully decorated.

For the Sherry-Netherland website, which includes apartments for sale, click here.

Related posts: Waiting at the Grammercy Park Hotel, All Lit Up, Outside the Gershwin Hotel, and The Royalton, Renovated.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Outside Mascot Studio, in the East Village

Mascot Studio, nyc
Photo by myself on Ninth Street and Second Avenue.

Mascot Studio in the East Village frames fine art and sells decorative objects. I was drawn to the subtle colors of their storefront.

As the rest of the country, the city has been devastated by the news from Connecticut. Newtown is only 90 minutes north of Manhattan.

Related posts: Outside Zucco, on the Lower East Side, Outside Three Lives, in the Village, and Peeking In, on St. Mark's Place.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Open Everything that's Closed, on Bowery Street

Lafayette Street, nyc
Photo by myself on Bowery Street, in the East Village.

A cryptic illuminated sign to the left reads 'Open Everything That's Closed'. Barely visible above it is another sign in red that reads 'Close Everything That's Open'. Hm.

As on any typical Sunday, all the stores on Bowery were shuttered closed. The street is known for its numerous stores for restaurant equipment and supplies. It's one of the few obviously un-gentrified streets left in Manhattan.

In the olden days, you'd hear people refer to this area as 'The Bowery', mainly derived from the Bowery Mission. It was a sketchy street littered with bums. Now, not so much, thank goodness.

We had a dreary rainy day, Sunday. I took this photo from the passenger seat.

Related posts: Outside Memphis, on Broadway, Atop the Canopy at Radio City Music Hall, and Get Your Tattoos, Downtown.


Friday, December 14, 2012

All Lit Up, on Fifth Avenue

Food cart, nyc
Photo by myself, somewhere on Fifth Avenue.

On a chilly winter night, a brightly lit hot dog stand is a welcome sight.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Related posts: Streetside, in Midtown, On Street Carts and Bill Cunningham, New york, and Street Meats, on Seventh Avenue.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Morning Ride on the D Train

Morning on the subway, nyc
Photo by myself on the D train.

Oh, the morning commute is tough one at times.

Brooklynites caught some shut eye on the train ride into Manhattan, Wednesday morning. As usual, the default color for coats is black.

Tis the season for holiday parties and the mornings after.

Related posts: Lost in Thought, Outside Lord and Taylor in Midtown, Holiday Displays, on Fifth Avenue, and Christmas Windows to Warm the Heart.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Holiday Windows at Bergdorf Goodman

Bergdorf, nyc
Photo by myself outside Bergdorf Goodman, at 58th Street and Fifth Avenue.

The windows at Bergdorf Goodman have to be the most sumptious of all store windows during the holidays. Above, a woman is surrounded by white peacocks, their feathers and a pair of ornate chandeliers.

I'm sure the larger windows costs tens of thousands of dollars each for their designs. I try to see these displays every year, which are always elaborate and fanciful. They're less dependent on gizmos and are more like intricate set designs.

It was a little chilly the other night, but that didn't stop onlookers from oohing and aahing in front of each window, which were rimmed with large decorated frames.

Bergdorf, nyc
In one window, a woman is shown with dozens of little white dogs performing tricks.

Bergdorf, nyc
One stunning window showed an aerial view of a musical party in progress.

Related posts: Lost in Thought, Outside Lord and Taylor in Midtown, Holiday Displays, on Fifth Avenue, and Christmas Windows to Warm the Heart.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Wrapped Around the Bulgari Store, on Fifth Avenue

Bulgari, nyc
Photo by myself around 56th Street and FIfth Avenue.

A giant two-headed snake encrusted with LED lights wound around the corner of the Bulgari store on Fifth Avenue.

The lights in the eyes of the snakes flicker on and off. The lights are very, very bright.

I'd see this thing whenever I passed by in a cab, so I went over Monday night to take a photo up close.

Related posts: The New York Public Library, Awash in Blue, Sparkly Lights, in Rockefeller Center, and Holiday Under the Stars, at Columbus Circle.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Jingling and Jogging, in Prospect Park

Jingle Bell Jog, 2012
Photo by myself in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.

Thousands of runners ran the loop around Prospect Park, this morning, dressed in costume. Nearly 6,000 runners finished the race.

The 'Jingle Bell Jog' is a 6K run held every year by the New York Road Runners club. I happened to be in the park this morning with Rupert and had no idea the run was held today. But when I heard the distinctive jingling and loud whoops of joy, I knew we were in for a treat.

Rupert and I stood to the side while hundreds of runners dashed by us dressed in reindeer antlers, red noses, santa hats and santa tutus. Runners were given t-shirts and bells for the race.

There was even a guy wearing nothing but a santa hat and a red speedo! Eek! Fortunately for him, it wasn't too cold.

Jingle Bell Jog, 2012
What seemed to be an endless stream of runners went by, as we waited on the curb to cross.

Jingle Bell jog, 2012
Above, one runner wore the tshirt for the run, along with his antlers.

Jingle Bell jog, 2012
The least dressed runner of the morning, to the right, in a hat and red speedo.

For more about the Jingle Bell Jog on the New York Road Runner's website, click here.

Apologies for the sporadic posts once again. It's been crazy, crazy busy at work!

Related posts: With Bells on, at the Jingle Bell Jog, in Prospect Park, Leaving the Santa Convention, in the East Village, and On Line Behind Santa, Underground.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Animal Hats, for Sale

Animal Hats, nyc
Photo by myself, somewhere in Midtown.

Just a view down a sidewalk with a table full of winter hats for sale.

The fashion right now humorous, with hats that look like cartoon animals. In the background, one of the many Ray's Pizza joints in the city.

Related posts: Hat's Anyone? On Prince Street, On Guys in Hats, and the Issue of Style, and From the Corner Deli, in Soho.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Looking Down 34th Street, in Midtown

Empire State Bldg, nyc
Photo by myself on 34th Street in Midtown.

The view down 34th Street includes the Empire State Building, looming above.

Macy's has been decorated with a huge Christmas tree on the canopy and a giant sign with 'Believe' in script.

It's oddly balmy outside though, with temperatures hovering around 60F, or 15 Celcius. People are walking about with their jackets flapping open.

Related posts: Looking Up at Macy's in Midtown, All Decked out Below the Empire State, and Lost Near Macy's.


Monday, December 3, 2012

The Knicks vs. the Suns, at Madison Square Garden

Madison Sq Garden, nyc
Photo by myself in Madison Square Garden, in Midtown.

Just before the New York Knicks game on Sunday, the lights dimmed at Madison Square Garden. Each player's photo flashed on the giant screens near the ceiling to loud, thumping music.

The Knicks played the Phoenix Suns and won, 106-99. It was a steady game as far as basketball goes. The Knicks played well, leading by 10 points or so for most of the game.

Mark and I attended the game with a friend. We had pretty good seats near the corner of the court. I'm not a basketball fan, but I found the experience thrilling. With the half-time show, flashing screens and announcements, it was non-stop action. And of course it was nice that the Knicks won.

Knicks game, nyc
I took this photo further down the aisle from our seats. As you can see, a good number of seats were on the floor of the court.

Outside Madison Sq Garden, nyc
People milled about in front of the stadium before the game. A giant LED screen sits atop the front canopy to announce upcoming events.

Related posts: Before the Rangers Game, at Madison Square Garden, Neon Storefronts, Midtown, and From the Corner Deli, in Soho.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

In Neon, on Seventh Avenue

Oyster Bar, nyc
Photo by myself around 54th Street and Seventh Avenue.

The old-timey neon sign of an oyster restaurant beckoned from across the street. A place called The Famous Oyster Bar first opened in 1959, and looks as if it hasn't changed.

As always, please research restaurants before attending. This restaurant has mixed reviews.

By the way, Wednesday night the Powerball jackpot reached $550 million dollars. Woohoo.

People were lining up on the sidewalks to purchase tickets from convenience stores (!). People in 44 states participated in the drawing, which took place at 10:59 EST.

I didn't buy a Powerball ticket, did you?

Related posts: Twinkly Lights, at the Breslin, Neon Storefronts, Midtown, and From the Corner Deli, in Soho.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

It's Holiday Time, on Display at Macy's

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

Christmas in New York means tons of shopping, lights and store displays. The windows at Macy's are always dressed to the nines, with colorful and fantastic displays.

It's early in the season yet. Usually it's hard to get a look at the windows, with all the crowds. Above, a cool cutaway scene showing a family in an Upper West Side apartment watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade balloons floating down Central Park West.

The inscription at the top of the window reads 'The Magic of Christmas'. Text is printed on the window too, so there are layers of things to look at.

Related posts: Windows Onto Another World, at Macy's, Peering into Another World at Macy's, and Christmas Windows to Warm the Heart.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Brrrr....in Midtown

brrr, nyc
Photo by myself around Madison Avenue and 42nd Street, in Midtown.

We are approaching that time of year again, the cold part.

You see more people bundled up, wrapped head to toe in their puffy down coats. Layers are important, especially if you have to go from a packed subway car to the blustery streets to an overheated office.

Temperatures are in the mid-30's at night (about 2 degrees Celsius). We are due to have snow Tuesday morning (!).

Related posts: It's Chilly in Midtown and Prospect Park, All A-Shiver, on the Streets, and Baby, It's Cold Outside.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Intermission, at Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall, nyc
Photo by myself in Carnegie Hall.

The stage was cleared for intermission at Carnegie Hall, Sunday afternoon. All that was left were the chairs and a double bass.

The interior of the concert hall is elaborately ornamented with certain parts painted gold. There are tiers upon tiers of seats. Unfortunately the exterior is undergoing restoration right now, so it's covered with scaffolding.

I attended a concert at Carnegie Hall this weekend by the New York Youth Symphony Orchestra. They did a terrific job, playing works by Shostakovich, Maurer, Zucker and Dvorak.

The orchestra has been dubbed the finest youth orchestra in the States. Performers range in age from 12 to 22, and the performance level is very high. The entire hall was filled for the concert.

2012 marks the orchestra's 50th anniversary season. For more about the New York Youth Symphony Orchestra, see their website here.

Related posts: A Dashing Performance, Below Ground, Playing Pianos as Public Art, and The United Palace Theater, in Washington Heights.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Street Food, in Herald Square

Street Cart, nyc
Photo by myself, in Herald Square.

Street carts are always in season, but especially so when the weather turns colder. Their bright and sometimes flashing lights announce their warm goodies.

Carts serve up drinks, roasted skewed meats, chestnuts, pretzels and of course, hot dogs with all the fixings.

Related posts: Sampling Street Food, on Fifth Avenue, Get Your Street Sweets Here, and The Meal O'bama Cart, in Midtown.


Friday, November 23, 2012

The Morning Mist, in Prospect Park, Brooklyn

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

The morning mist hovered above the ground in Prospect Park, which was scattered with leaves. Owners were there with their dogs for off-leash hours, this morning.

It was a gorgeous morning-after-Thanksgiving, not too chilly. Not too many Owners were there...maybe they were sleeping off their food hangovers.

The larger public parks have off-leash hours before 9am, so dogs can socialize and run about. Our dog Rupert enjoyed his game of fetch, as usual.

Prospect Park, Brooklyn
Rupert, our Boston Terrier, ran about with the mist in the background.

Boston Terrier, Brooklyn
Rupert after his workout, with a big grin on his face.

Related posts: An Early Snowfall, in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, Roaming Free, in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, and Fall Foliage, in Prospect Park.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Grand Central Station in Miniature, at the NYC Transit Store

Grand Central, nyc
Photo by myself at the NYC Transit Museum store, at Grand Central Station.

The 11th Annual Train Show opened on Wednesday at the NYC Transit Museum Store at Grand Central. The large model shows Grand Central, the rail tracks and many buildings including the Empire State Building.

I've mentioned the different levels of Grand Central before, and you can see it in the model above - Park Avenue slopes up north of the building so that you're on a raised platform when you get to the station. Cars wrap around the building to the front and then descend to street level via a ramp.

The storefronts on the actual street level are shown all lit up. Below that are the trains, shown with the ground cut away. Trains leave from Grand Central to upper New York, Washington DC and Connecticut daily.

Children were mesmerized by the miniature people, buildings and trains that moved back and forth. A train set is the perfect way to kick off the holiday season.

The model train is set in the Transit Museum Store, so admission is free. It will be on view until February 10th of next year.

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the States. Banks and offices are closed for the holiday. Mark and I will be driving to Long Island to have Thanksgiving dinner with his mother and friends.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Related posts: Outside Grand Central Station, in Midtown, Sharing the Sidewalk, on 42nd Street, and Grand Central, and Tall Tales.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The View, from the Back of a Cab

Taxi, nyc
Photo by myself, from the back of a cab.

The back of a cab is dark and questionable place. But the front seat is full of lights and gizmos.

Tuesday night, I stayed late at work, then took a cab home. On the way back, I had an animated talk with the cab driver. It was my third cab ride of the day.

My first cab ride was in a hybrid car, and the cabbie told me about how much money he saved on gas. But then he was charged a special fee by the Taxi and Limo Commission. He was driving two shifts, back to back.

My second cab driver bemoaned the fact that he didn't buy a medallion when they cost $150k. They now cost about $800k. He boasted that he's driven a cab for 17 years but has never gotten a ticket for missing a red light.

And then there was my third cab driver, above. Only 25 years old, he had gotten his taxi license 7 months ago. Already he was wondering whether this would be his ultimate career, since the long hours and stress are unhealthy.

The young cab driver said the hardest thing about the job was 'controlling your mind', that is, staying alert to all the traffic, pedestrians, changing lights and other drivers making turns without signaling. That, and not going to the bathroom for long periods of time (!).

Related posts: Cabs Galore, on Lexington, Stuck on 8th Avenue, and Colorful Cab, in Midtown.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Look, in the East Village

Graffiti Truck, East Village
Photo by myself on First Avenue and 12th Street, in the East Village.

I got 'the look' from a guy passing by on a bike in the East Village. With the graffiti-covered truck behind him, you'd think it was a tough neighborhood.

The chain around the fellow's body is not for combat. It's to lock his bike up and ensure that the bike will be there later. You see bike messengers and cyclists carry their chains like that, slung around the body.

Related posts: The Look, Outside the Flatiron Building, The Look, in Times Square, and The Look, on Greene Street, Soho.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Outside the Beauty Bar, on 14th Street

Beauty Bar, East Village
Photo by myself on 14th Street and Second Avenue, in the East Village.

The Beauty Bar enjoyed popularity back in the day when many bars had different 'themes'. The vintage sign and storefront make a distinctive impression.

Mark and I were surprised this bar was still open, when we walked by, Sunday afternoon. There was a Halloween display in the cool front window. My memories of this place are extremely hazy.

Apologies for the on-and-off and delayed posts, folks. I'm once again going through a low point with taking photos. Absolutely nothing seems to look good.

Fortunately, I see these periods as more positive rather than negative. These days are not easy, but to me, they are periods of growth. At least, that's what I tell myself.

Anyway, please bear with me. Happy Monday, everyone!

Related posts: Maitre D's, on Broadway, Cheers from the Boat Basin Cafe, on the Upper West Side, and At the Bar, at Old Town.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Night View, in Park Slope, Brooklyn

Park Slope, Brooklyn
Photo by myself in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Parts of Park Slope remind me of parts of Boston, where townhouses have gently curved fronts.

Related posts: The Sky Above Park Slope, Brooklyn, The View from Park Slope, Brooklyn, and Parked in Park Slope.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

On the Subway Platform, Below 34th Street

34th Street, nyc
Photo by myself, on the 34th Street subway platform.

A woman wearing a mouse hat was focused on whatever she was playing on her phone. As usual.

It's getting much colder here, so people are wearing their hats and down coats and scarves. We're waking up to temperatures in the upper-30's (F), or 4 degrees Celcius. Brrrr.

At this time of year, the subways suddenly become smaller, since people are about 20% larger than usual.

Related posts: In the News, Underground, The Morning Commute, Underground, and Delays on the B Train, Underground.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Paste-Ups, on the Lower East Side

Graffiti, nyc
Photo by myself, somewhere on the Lower East Side.

Paste-ups and sprayed graffiti decorated an older wall on the Lower East Side.

Once again I made the mistake of taking a photo without a context photo, which meant that I have no idea where this was.

The streets are a constantly changing landscape. I'll revisit a neighborhood after a while and see new stores, restaurants and graffiti.

I suppose this happens in every urban area. Not so much in the suburbs, where population is less dense.

Related posts: Tagged at 5-Pointz, in Long Island City, On Pink Walls, and a Family Update, and Outside 190 Bowery, in Soho.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

At the Island's Edge, along the East River

Bridges, nyc
Photo by myself along the East River.

The Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges in silhouette. Brooklyn lies across the water.

Manhattan is a little strange in that though there are parks located along the water, parts of the island's edge are still not developed. As you can see, there is debris and unpaved areas here.

It is very much an island looking inwards. All the mass transit aims toward the center of Manhattan, for instance. And Fifth Avenue, which is used to navigate everyone, runs up the middle.

Very often you will walk around the city and completely forget that really, you are surrounded by water. Very strange.

Related posts: Another View of the Brooklyn Bridge, The View from Brooklyn Bridge Beach, and The Brooklyn Bridge, in the Balance.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Harvest, on Display in Midtown

Zeytin, nyc
Photo by myself around 41st Street and Fifth Avenue.

A display outside a high-end deli used corn stalks to reflect the season. All the fruit was placed in wicker baskets.

Mangoes and asian pears were going for $1.99 each, while apples were going for the same price per pound. Limes were 4 for $1.00.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Related posts: Fresh, on the Upper West Side, Bright Lights and Cured Meats, on the Upper West Side, and Food on the Brain.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Office Towers, near Bryant Park

Tower, Bryant Park
Photo by myself at 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue, in Midtown.

With the time change, evening seems to arrive much too early.

Offices are more energy-conscious than before, turning out their lights when not in use. To the left, out of frame, is Times Square, brightly lit with LED lights.

This is the time of year that is most challenging for taking photos, since there are limited hours of sunshine and it's colder outside.

I hope everyone is doing well.

We're having a sunny, beautiful weekend here. The snow has melted and it feels strangely like Spring!

Related posts: The View from Bryant Park, at Dusk, At Work, in Midtown, and Buried Among Towers, in Midtown.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Bang on a Can, Below West 4th Street

Larry the Busker
Photo by myself at the West 4th subway platform.

The other night I was standing on the platform at West 4th Street, when my ears pricked up at this incredible sound. What I heard was something between a thunder and a rumble.

Two bucket drummers were riffing, without a care in the world. Different plastic drums, the kind used to store soy sauce and building supplies, made a whole range of tones.

When I got home, I showed my fiance Mark my photos. He said immediately, 'That's Larry the Busker!'

A quick look online made me a bit speechless - Larry was the first to use five-gallon plastic buckets as drums on the street. He's been drumming since the age of five. He even has his own Wiki page.

Nothing is off limits as part of the 'drum set'. Larry moved seamlessly between banging on the buckets, the ground, and the subway structure next to him. He uses his feet to manipulate another bucket, while twirling the batons in the air, no less.

Larry and his wife Sonia were in a world of their own, and didn't seem to even communicate while performing. I was lucky enough to find a video of them performing in the exact same spot (!).

A short movie made about Larry when he was 15.

Related posts: Early Snowfall in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, Even More Snow, in Central Park, and Fresh Snow, at the New York Public Library.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

First Snow, in Park Slope, Brooklyn

First Snow, Brooklyn
Photo by myself on Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

The Northeaster we were warned about arrived Wednesday night in the form of snow and cold winds. Across the street, a little girl in pink with a pink umbrella waited for the light to change.

We rarely get snow in New York so early in the year, but this may just be the new normal? Last year we had snow the night before Halloween. As of this writing, we have three inches stuck on the ground.

The subway ride Wednesday night was strangely quiet, even though we've had a hurricane, a presidential election, then snow, all in rapid succession. No one batted an eye.

Related posts: Early Snowfall in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, Even More Snow, in Central Park, and Fresh Snow, at the New York Public Library.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Borough of Brooklyn, on the Subways and No Reservations

Q Train, Brooklyn
Photo by myself on the Q Train, in Brooklyn.

Just another night underground on the way home.

You know the drill. The boom box comes out. The kids start clapping and calling out in loud voices to enjoy the show. And then it begins.

The twirling, the whirling, the flipping upside down and yelling. Meanwhile the rest of us are trying to sleep or read or play that game on the phone that we're addicted to.

The commute between Brooklyn and Manhattan went smoothly Monday. You wouldn't have known there'd been a hurricane at all.

Speaking of Brooklyn, Anthony Bourdain chose our humble borough as the location for the final episode of his food show, 'No Reservations'. The show premiered last night.

Tony includes some new high end restaurants with tasting menus and some old school restaurants that have been around forever. He even takes a ride around Red Hook with Ralph Balzano, whose pad I photographed a few years ago (!).

Mark and I watched the final episode and were amazed by the list of restaurants we'd never heard of and now have to visit. It was very flattering for Bourdain to choose Brooklyn to showcase, since he's sampled food all over the world.

For more about Bourdain's final episode of No Reservations, click here.
For my impromtu photo session with Ralph and his incredible hang out pad in Red Hook, click here.

Related posts: Flipping Out, on the B Train, Daredevil Tattoo, on Ludlow Street, and Hot Diggity Dogs, All Day Long.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Asleep, Beside the East River

Asleep along the East River
Photo by myself near the East River, downtown.

A fellow napped on a bench outside, Sunday afternoon. You can see the Brooklyn Bridge and Financial District off in the distance.

Above the bike lane on the right is the FDR Expressway, where cars whizz up and down the east edge of Manhattan.

I wandered around the Lower East Side and Soho for a little bit, Sunday afternoon. I expected to see a mess along the East River from the hurricane, but everything looked fine, with just a few more twigs and leaves than usual.

Sundays are typically quiet in the city, but this day was very quiet. I saw a few tourists, some storekeepers sprucing up and several sanitation trucks on the road. Many folks were running and strolling in the parks along the water.

Fortunately for everyone, the Marathon was cancelled at the last minute. I can't imagine what it would have been like with news crews everywhere and people trying to get to different parts of the race with the little mass transit there was.

One of my neighbors volunteered in the Rockaways, Queens, where there the electricity is still out (!). He described it as a 'war zone'.

The only subways running between Brooklyn and Manhattan are the 4, 5 and 6 trains right now. I can only imagine the madhouse it will be during rush hour on Monday. Oy!

Related posts: At Night, Along the East River, Gone Fishin, Along the East River, and View from the Barge, on the East River.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Peeking into Paron's Fabrics, the Garment District

Parons, nyc
Photo by myself at 39th Street and Eighth Avenue, in the Garment District.

A photo pre-Sandy.

The fabric and notion stores in the Garment District are vanishing one by one. Paron's is one of my favorites. It just recently moved from 40th Street to 37th Street, and sell a range of fabrics and patterns to the public.

Paron's discounts some of its fabrics by as much as 50%. They carry some fabrics used by high end designers like Tessuti, Calvin Klein and DKNY. You can see the rolls and rolls of stuff inside, arranged by fabric weave and fiber content.

Yesterday, my fiance Mark ventured into the city for work. He found a car service that drove him in. On the way home, he took a convoluted journey on the subway. (The 6 in Soho to Brooklyn Bridge, to the 4 to Atlantic/Pacific in Brooklyn, to the R train to Park Slope).

Mark's project was delayed by the storm, so he has to work weekends to meet their deadline. He works in advertising and they are rushing to fill a Thanksgiving air date. People are still waiting in line for gas for hours.

Meanwhile, I was all set to go in for photos. I had my bag, my water, my big camera, and comfy shoes.

I took the R train to Jay Street and was prepared to walk over the Manhattan Bridge, when I realized I'd forgotten to put the *@#%! battery in my camera.

Oy!! Major fail. I will try again today.

ps: Our building donated a ton of warm clothing to folks in Red Hook, and many of us are helping with a bake sale to raise funds.

While Park Slope escaped without too much damage, the temperatures are dropping here to the 30's at night. Red Hook is only a couple miles away and it was seriously flooded.

Related posts: Death & Co., Behind Closed Doors, Daredevil Tattoo, on Ludlow Street, and Hippy Sign, on Prince Street.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Sense of Humor, in Park Slope, Brooklyn

Re Sandy, in Park Slope
Photo by myself around Seventh Avenue and Twelfth Street, in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

A sandwich board style sign outside a liquor store proclaimed the obvious: 'Sandy is so not getting a Christmas card this year.' Ha.

Life is just getting a tad closer to normal, though lines outside gas stations are still very, very long. Mark ventured out to look for gas today but was out of luck. We have enough gas to drive about 20 miles, and dare not getting stuck on the side of the road.

You would think that not going to work for a week would be wonderful, but it hasn't. I think it's the constant news on television, watching people suffer so, that has been tough.

Related posts: Pork is the Answer, on the Lower East Side, Tongue in Cheek, on the Sidewalk and in the Subway, and Last Call, Park Slope and 10 Things to do in New York.