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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Latest Addition, at Home

Rupert and Maisie
Photo by myself at home, in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

I hope everyone is enjoying a fantastic holiday!

We've been busy with a new addition to our home, a little dog named Maisie. Above, she and Rupert have stopped playing for a split second and look extremely serious. Don't be fooled.

Maisie is about 3 years old and seems to be a mix of a very short long dog (maybe Dachsund?) and a larger dog (maybe a cattle dog?). She is super sweet and affectionate, and has turned out to be the perfect companion for our Rupert.

We honestly didn't think Rupert needed a friend. He's never very interested in other dogs on the street. But we've been thinking about adopting a rescued dog and one thing quickly led to another. All we can say now is that we are SO glad to have taken the plunge! We are a much more active household now. And Rupert is 1000% a happier dog as a result!

Tug of War
Rupert and Maisie are occupied with the art of tug of war and wrestling, 99% of the time. Above, a rope toy survives about 30 minutes before being destroyed.

Maisie underneath
Maisie takes refuge below a bench. She enjoys hoarding toys and biting rear legs.

By the way, if you care for a single dog, please consider adopting a second! There are so many wonderful deserving dogs out there in need of a family.

Related posts: A Rupert Update, with Friend, On Hipsters and Rupert, Downtown, and Dogs in Costume, at Tompkins Square Park.


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Wrapped Bike, in Park Slope, Brooklyn

Wrapped bike, Park Slope
Photo by myself on Fifth Avenue, in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Someone with a lot of energy had tackled a bike on the sidewalk with wrapping paper.

Related posts: Getting Around Traffic, in Midtown, On Custom Bikes, in the Village, and Portrait of a Bike Messenger, in Midtown.


Saturday, December 5, 2015

Outside Chick-Fil-A, from Above and Below

The line for Chick Fil A
Photo by myself, in Midtown.

When Chick-Fil-A opened its doors for the first time in Manhattan, there was a line out the door and down the street. Not just for a day or a few days or a week. For weeks.

That is how nutty some people are about their chicken sandwiches and/or nuggets. See how serious people look in line? It is serious stuff!

This fast food place has two floors. Now that the hoopla has died down, you can actually get a sandwich without waiting many minutes outdoors.

Below, a view of the line from the air.

The line for Chick Fil A


Monday, November 9, 2015

On Broadway, in Brooklyn

Towards the Willamsburg Bridge
Photo by myself, around Broadway and Bedford Streets, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

We've been having a spell of warm days but it's supposed to get back to being winter, this week. Or so they say.

The view from Williamsburg toward Manhattan was a quiet one, Sunday. The Williamsburg Bridge, toward the right, will get you over the East River to the Lower East Side.

Broadway is known as a major avenue on the west side in Manhattan, that extends 18 miles north of the city. It's also shorthand for the theatre district, which includes part of Broadway near 42nd Street. Most people don't know that a different street in Brooklyn is also named Broadway. Yes, confusing!

A striking black and white mural of a young girl covered an entire building. I'm not sure if this was art or an advertisement. Mark and I were here for lunch with his mom.

Happy Monday everyone!

Related posts: Framing the View, Up Broadway, Giant Bird, on Broadway, and On the Sidewalk, on Broadway.


Monday, November 2, 2015

After the Marathon, on the Upper West Side

Post marathon, nyc
Photo by myself, around 72nd Street and Columbus, on the Upper West Side.

Dozens of runners crossed the street wrapped in blankets after finishing the marathon, Sunday afternoon. The scene looked a little like soldiers returning home from a battle.

Part of 72nd Street was closed to traffic. This was a popular spot for family and friends to meet up with runners after the race.

Post marathon, nyc

Related posts: The 2011 NYC Marathon, Running Down the Streets of New York, and The 2010 NYC Marathon.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

In Honor of Tiger, in Brooklyn

Memorial, Brooklyn
A memorial for Tiger, on Sixth Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

On a walk yesterday, I encountered a sweet memorial for a well-loved neighborhood cat named Tiger.

Dozens of drawings, photos and notes were left in his honor. Tiger had house outside, and so had formed quite a fan club. He will be missed!

Related posts: Cat on a Leash, in Midtown, Odd and Colorful Birds, in Bryant Park, and The Hua Mei Bird Garden, in Chinatown.


Monday, October 5, 2015

Water Taxi, from Red hook, Brooklyn

Water Taxi, nyc
Photo by myself in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

We got back safe and sound, Saturday afternoon and are recovering from jet lag. Part of the recovery process involved getting some groceries from Fairway, in Brooklyn. Already, vacation seems far away!

From the park alongside the supermarket, you can see the Statue of Liberty quite nicely. Sunday was bright and clear.

No one was in line for the Water Taxi, which takes you to Wall Street each day. The taxis run every 45 minutes and are painted the same shade of yellow as the four-wheeled ones on the streets.

For the Water Taxi schedule, click here.

Water Taxi, nyc

Related posts: Yellow Cab, Under Snow, Hailing a Cab, in Times Square, and Evening on Sixth Avenue.


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Up and Down Rue Moffetard, in Paris

Rue Moffetard, Paris
Photo by myself on or about Rue Moffetard, in Paris.

The area on and around Rue Moffetard in Paris, is known for tons of eateries, bars and the occasional clothing store. The street is packed every night with students, visitors and locals, looking for dinner.

Unfortunately my photos from Paris are very limited this year; I was too preoccupied with looking around, and then there was an terrible accident with my camera and a bottle of water. Ugh.

My camera is pretty beaten up, so maybe this was good timing. The photo below was taken on my phone.

Rue Moffetard, Paris

Outside a restaurant serving Spanish food, a giant pan of paella was being cooked up. The dish is served only on Wednesdays.

Related posts: No-Bull Hot Dogs, on the Upper West Side, Outside Baked by Melissa, in Soho, and Baked Fresh Daily, in Soho.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Serious Sweets, in Paris

Patisserie, Paris
Photo by myself, in Paris.

Two gentlemen ordered their pastries the other day in a little shop that sold treats covered in honey. I'm not sure which neighborhood this was, probably near Montparnasse, where we were walking around from beautiful boutique to beautiful boutique.

I must say, the bread places and patisseries that are open to the streets are pretty incredible. You can just smell freshly baked STUFF with butter. I'm very lucky not to have much of a sweet tooth, but even without one, I have been tempted by all the gorgeous cakes and things. The French take these pleasures very seriously, along with their coffees and wine.

Our typical day has gone like this: coffee and light breakfast while sitting outside, then a walk around, then a simple lunch, say a toasted sandwich with salad, with more coffee, then more walking around. Then perhaps a breather with a macaroon and coffee, then a careful yet deliberate search for the perfect dinner place, followed by desert somewhere else, such as perhaps a crepe made on the street. Yippee!!!!

Patisserie, Paris
The sweets on show at Thevenin, in the 6th Arr., near the Luxembourg Gardens. We sampled some really delicious macaroons.

Patisserie, Paris

Patisserie, Paris

Related posts: Get Your Street Sweets Here, Pistachio Cupcakes, in the East Village, and Serving It Up, at Naruto Ramen, in Park Slope.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Bath, on Cornelia Street

Bath, on Cornelia Street
Photo by myself on Cornelia Street, in the Village.

Before leaving on our trip, I took a quick walk around the Village. A tall dog named Rhett was patiently receiving a thorough bath, right out on the sidewalk.

A few other people noticed and were taking photos, too. Rhett is a Borzoi and a therapy dog. Kibble is not cheap. Rhett earns his keep, getting $1/minute for his services.

Bath, on Cornelia Street

Related posts: Critters, Streetside, A Four-Legged Co-Pilot, on Flatbush Avenue, and Enjoying Pugs and Drinks, Outside.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Night View, in the Spiegelwartier, Amsterdam

Spiegelkwartier area, Amsterdam
Photo by myself in the Spielgelkwartier district, in Amsterdam.

Just the night view on one of the roads in the Spielgelkwartier, in Amsterdam. This lovely area is home to many antique and fine art stores, and is brightly lit at night.

I'm on vacation for the moment but will be home soon.

Related posts: From New Amsterdam to Amsterdam and Beyond, Sweet Memories, and On Custom Bikes, in the Village.


Monday, September 28, 2015

Beautiful Amsterdam, Day Two

Antique store, Amsterdam
Photo by myself, in the Jordaan neighborhood, Amsterdam.

Mark and I stumbled into a very pretty antique store in the Jordaan, on Saturday. This neighborhood is filled with similar beautiful shops selling beautiful things. Every item (clothing, gift, house ware, whatever) is artfully positioned.

If you have any interest in beautiful things, Amsterdam is the place for you. Just walking down a street looking at the old doors and doorknobs is enough to satisfy me.

We also visited a large outdoor street market. All sorts of food and clothing and furniture were being sold. There were many people moving at a leisurely pace, but it was a complete pleasure, and nothing at all like the grungy street fairs we have in New York.

Outdoor Market, Amsterdam

Outdoor Market, Amsterdam
A woman sold fresh cut flowers. Other stalls were selling bulbs and seeds.

Outdoor Market, Amsterdam
I picked up a couple small rounds of gouda to bring home.

Related posts: From New Amsterdam to Amsterdam and Beyond, Sweet Memories, and On Custom Bikes, in the Village.


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Street View, in Amsterdam

Photo by myself, in Amsterdam.

We are in Amsterdam for just a few days. Above, a typical beautiful street shot, where bikes and coffee shops and boutiques are commonplace. My fianc├ę Mark and I are spending our time walking around, sighing and saying 'Wow, this is beautiful.'

After Amsterdam, we will spend a few days in Paris. I'll post some more photos in a little bit.

Related posts: From New Amsterdam to Amsterdam and Beyond, Sweet Memories, and On Custom Bikes, in the Village.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Outside 731 Lex, on the Upper East Side

731 Lex, NYC
Photo by myself at 58th Street and Lexington Avenue, on the Upper East Side.

The tilted glass facade of Cesar Pelli's building at 731 Lexington Ave, above, surrounds an outdoor atrium for cars and people. The Bloomberg offices are located here, as are some fancy stores and restaurants, and over 100 luxury condominium apartments.

This is a great shopping area, just a couple blocks away from Bloomingdales and other clothing stores. I was here the other day at the A&D Building across the street, which houses tons of showrooms for designer appliances and furniture.

Related posts: Cooling off, in Midtown, The Spray of Summer, in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and Summering in the City.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Cooling Off, on the Morning Commute

Summer, nyc
Photo by myself on the subway.

It's been really, uncomfortably hot these days.

The humidity makes it feel worse. Tuesday, the temperature was in the mid-80s with humidity about 85%.

You go from the hot outdoors down below to a scorching hot subway platform, then to a cool or sometimes freezing subway car. Then back out again to the scorching subway platform.

How is everyone's summer going?

Related posts: Cooling off, in Midtown, The Spray of Summer, in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and Summering in the City.


Monday, August 10, 2015

The Scene, in Times Square

Times Square, NYC
Photo by myself in Times Square.

The other day I was coming home from doing an errand after work. I somehow got on an Q train headed uptown rather than downtown, and got out at 49th Street in the midst of Times Square. My worst nightmare.

A jillion people were there, and it was hot. As you can see, there are psychics here, too.

The latest thing it seems are these very scantily clad women who pose with tourists. They wear tiny bikini bottoms and no tops whatsoever. [Actually I'm not sure they are wearing bottoms. The jury is out]. What looks like a bikini top is actually painted on!!!!!!

Oh, and feathers. They have feathers on their heads.

Sorry for the technical glitch the other day.

Related posts: The Naked Cowboy, in Times Square, Larger than Life, on 42nd Street, and Only in New York.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A White Rose, at the World Trade Center Memorial

WTC memorial
Photo by myself at the World Trade Center Memorial.

While downtown, I had to stop by the World Trade Center Memorial, which is open to the public year-round. Above, the reflecting pool by the south tower footprint. Surrounding the water are bronze plaques, laser cut with the victims' names.

It was very hot, and the grounds were full of people. I learned that the grounds keepers place a white rose by each person's name on his or her birthday.

There were a few roses there that day. It was a very quiet and touching gesture.

Related posts: Remembering Ten Years Ago, Today, Salvaged, from the World Trade Center, and Night View, at the World Trade Center.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Calatrava's New Station, Near Ground Zero

Calatrava, nyc
Photo by myself at Dey and Church Streets, downtown.

Closer up to the Freedom Tower, is the delicate white spines of the new transpiration hub by Santiago Calatrava.

The new 4-billion dollar station will soon open, serving as the Path Station for commuters from New Jersey. The project is about two months behind schedule and 2-billion dollars over budget (!) The structure has been criticized heavily by the press.

The space below the sculpture is not open to the public yet.

By the way, La Guardia airport is scheduled to completely rebuilt soon, with some of its airstrips lengthened. (Completely means being demolished to the ground). The cost of that renovation? Also 4-billion dollars. Hm.

Calatrava, nyc
A few steps away, you can get a better sense of the overall shape.

Related posts: Remembrance, at the World Trade Center Memorial, The Freedom Tower, at Dusk, and Remembrance, at the World Trade Center.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The View of the Freedom Tower, Downtown

Freedom tower, nyc
Photo by myself around MacDougal Street, in the Village.

Though the side street is in mild disarray, it has a nice view of the Freedom Tower.

As usual there are tons of repairs going on in the city. Either the streets are being torn up for the cables or sewers below, or the buildings are under scaffolding. Never a dull moment.

Related posts: Remembrance, at the World Trade Center Memorial, The Freedom Tower, at Dusk, and Remembrance, at the World Trade Center.


Monday, July 20, 2015

Neighborhood Dog Show, in Brooklyn

Dog show, nyc
Photo by myself, in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Despite the intense heat and humidity, there was a huge turn out of contestants and onlookers at a dog costume contest, in Park Slope this weekend.

Either there were a lot of female contestants, or when people think of costume, they think of embarrassing tutus. The majority of clothed dogs wore ballerina type things. Above, a black pug was surrounded by a lot of pink, while wearing pink, herself.

It was so insanely hot, I couldn't stick around to see who won.

Dog show, nyc
Dog and owner posed on a raised runway for photos.

Dog show, nyc
One youngster greeted another.

Dog show, nyc
There was a lot of sniffing, drinking, posing and fun.

Related posts: Dogs in Costume, at Tompkins Square Park, Dogs in Fur Coats, on Madison Avenue, and A New York Mascot.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Naked, in Herald Square

Naked, Herald Sq
Photo by myself in Herald Square, in Midtown.

Erm...perhaps the oddest thing I've seen yet.

A man and woman stood in the middle of Herald Square, one of the busiest spots in Manhattan. They were naked, but for a layer of paint. Meanwhile, another man was painting lines on the naked man.

This photo makes the area seem empty but there were video cameras, people standing around awkwardly, and the usual crowds crossing the street.  This all took place on a little triangle of space where Broadway and Sixth Avenue cross one another, during lunch hour, one of the busiest times of day.


Related posts: Cooling Off, in Midtown, Jingling and Jogging, in Prospect Park, and Vent Your Annoyance, for a Buck.


Friday, July 10, 2015

Village Psychic, Below Ground

Village psychic, nyc
Photo by myself, in the Village.

I must say (with a little sarcasm) that New York must have the highest psychic population per capita.

Just about every small neighborhood has one or five psychics. Most of the time, their signs sit in second floor windows. Sometimes there are sandwich boards on the sidewalk.

Once in a while, the psychic herself (invariably psychics are female, I'm not sure why) will sit outside on the sidewalk on a folding chair.

By the way, it was all over the local news recently when a man was scammed out of $700,000 by a psychic in Times Square. The psychic promised to unite him with a woman he was infatuated with.

The story was so dramatic and hard to believe (involving spells that were cast and expensive jewelry that was purchased as offerings to spirits), it made it to the New York Times. One must say though that the fellow deserved to be swindled so much money because the was so very gullible.

Read the Times article about the psychic here.

Related posts: In Neon, on Seventh Avenue, Shining Bright, at Live Bait, and Only in New York.


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Film Crew, on West 3rd Street

Film Crew, in the Village
Photo by myself on West 3rd and MacDougal Streets, in the Village.

There must be a lot of movies shooting in New York these days; Monday evening, I saw two different film crews in completely different neighborhoods.

Shooting film or tv involves a lot of down time, where they're trying to get the shot right, before 'action' is called. These guys were standing around the crane thing carrying the camera, while they were blocking the shot across the street. One of the guys gave me a peace symbol.

For a lot of reasons, there were zero cars around. First, pedestrians and cyclists have seemed to take over the area. Second, it is pretty impossible to find parking in this neighborhood, so why even try driving? So people were moving huge pieces of equipment around without any thought to danger.

Film crew, in the Village
Across the street, a huge diffuser aimed light at a crew member. He is standing on the 'mark', where eventually an actor would stand.

Related posts: Filming outside Grand Prospect Hall, Brooklyn, Fake New York Marathon, at Columbus Circle, and Film Shoot, in Midtown.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Daily Chess, in Bryant Park

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

What looks like an intense battle of killer chess was actually a good-natured game between acquaintances.

I was truly surprised by how friendly and light-hearted the crowd at Bryant Park was. People seemed to know each other and were having a good time. The instructor told me that the same players convene every day during the summer months.

Below, a rapid fire game, where each player had three minutes on the clock. At one point, it was a flurry of hands.

For the Bryant Park chess page, click here.

Chess, Bryant Park

Related posts: On Hipsters and Rupert, Downtown, An Update on NYC and Rupert, and On Gotham City and a Rupert Update.


Monday, June 22, 2015

Rupert as Usual, Ready to Play

Boston Terrier, with ball
Photo by myself in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

A little bit of a palate cleanser for a Monday. Our dog, Rupert, poses with his well-worn ball, ready for action.

Some dogs are people-oriented, others dog-oriented. Rupert is decidedly fetch-oriented, to the point of OCD. We will take him outside to play fetch with a big blue ball, then he'll come inside and play fetch with a little blue ball. For some reason, the game does not get boring to him.

This ball has seen better days. It once had feet and a sponge in the middle that made a squeaky sound. Now it is in shreds but Rupert prefers it over a newer one.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Related posts: On Hipsters and Rupert, Downtown, An Update on NYC and Rupert, and On Gotham City and a Rupert Update.


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Architecture Underfoot, in Midtown

Pan Am Building, nyc
Photo by myself around 40th Street and Park Avenue, in Midtown.

Embedded in the ground at an urban plaza, display engravings of buildings in the neighboring area. Above, a plaque showing the Pan Am Building roosting above the sculpture at Grand Central, just a couple blocks north.

The plaques were installed in 1996, as part of the Grand Central Partnership. Most NYC neighborhoods belong to 'partnerships', where businesses contribute money, used toward creating a neighborhood identity. Special signage, art or trash bins might be commissioned, for instance.

The plaques were created by Gregg LeFevre, a New York City sculptor. To check out more of his work, click here.

NY Daily News Building, nyc
Above, the entrance to the New York Daily News building, on 42nd Street.

Related posts: Remembering Memorial Day, I *Heart* New York, on the Sidewalk, and En Route to a Peaceful Protest, Downtown.'


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Protest for Kalief Browder, in Union Square

Union Square protest
Photo by myself in Union Square.

A protest was held in Union Square, Tuesday evening in memory of Kalief Browder, a young man who endured three years imprisonment at Riker's Island without having been convicted of any crime.

Kalief spent 400 days in solitary confinement and multiple beatings from prison guards. Kalief was only 16 when he entered the jail, which houses adults. Released in 2013, he committed suicide earlier this month.

Known here simply as 'Rikers', the prison is located in the Bronx and has a long, terrible history of violence and abuse. From many published accounts, Rikers is in dire need of reform. Tuesday's protest is one of a series of events. A march to shut down the prison is scheduled for June 27.

I was very moved by the protest. The sincerity of these strangers for a New Yorker they never knew was touching, and I could not fathom how much senseless pain this young man suffered.

Union Square protest

For an article about Kalief in the New Yorker, click here.
For an article in the NY Daily News, click here.

Related posts: Occupy Town Square, in Tompkins Square Park, Women in Black, Against War, and En Route to a Peaceful Protest, Downtown.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Grilling Guinea Pigs, in Prospect Park

Roast guinea pig, nyc
Photo by myself in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.

A man grilled one of several guinea pigs this weekend, in Prospect Park.

He was a very sweet man, actually, and when I approached him, he said 'cuy' (pronounced 'quee'). I asked whether he was from Ecuador, and he said yes.

Later, Mark saw that someone had called the police, thinking the man was 'mistreating a squirrel'. The police call made it to several internet news sites, including the New York Daily News.

Guinea pigs are popular pets for children here, hence the surprise.

For the NY Daily News article, click here.
For the DNAinfo post, click here.

Related posts: Pork is the Answer, on the Lower East Side, Visions of a Cheeseburger, in Midtown, and Cow Appreciation Day, on Fifth Avenue.'


Friday, June 12, 2015

Beam Me Up, from Madison Square Park

Mad Sq Park, nyc
Photo by myself in Madison Square Park, at 23rd Street and Fifth Avenue.

A group of people looking like they were communicating with outer space were actually communicating with their inner space, via meditation (!)

A placard nearby explained that they were members of Falun Dafa, also called Falun Gong.

Related posts: Yoga, in the Rain, Balancing Act, Below 42nd Street, and Sun Salutation, East Village.