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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Reasons to be Pretty, Times Square

The signs in Times Square
Photo by myself in Times Square, around 44th Street and Broadway.

Neil LaBute, who wrote 'In the Company of Men' and 'Your Friends and Neighbors' has a new play out.

Often you'll find ticket hawkers in Times Square selling tickets to new productions or comedy shows. You'll also sometimes find human signs.


Related posts: Step Lively, Signs of Hope and Talking about the Weather.


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Tudor City, in Detail

Tudor City, NYC
Photo by myself in Tudor City, a gorgeous building complex around 40th Street and First Avenue.

I'm a sucker for pretty architectural details.

This very cool set of tall buildings is raised up from 42nd street, near the United Nations complex. As a pedestrian you have to climb a set of steep stairs to a separate level. The complex has two pretty parks, its own post office and amazing views of the East River.


Related posts: Details, Details, St. Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue and Living in Style on Riverside Drive.


Friday, May 29, 2009

Waiting on Line, Fifth Avenue

On line, NYC
Photo by myself, around Fifth Avenue and 18th Street.

I'm not sure why this line of young women wound around the block. It looked as if they were waiting for a celebrity sighting or for some sort of audition.


I'm off to a wedding in Boston this weekend, but I'll still post photos from New York.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Related posts: New York's Near Miss, Uggs in Times Square and The Latest Thing.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

At the Foot of the Manhattan Bridge

No Trespassing, NYC
Photo by myself at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge.

The ornament looks somber and funereal to me - the details are very spare. What looks like a door isn't a door at all.

Perhaps the giant concrete supports reminded the designer of ancient tombs and pyramids?


Related posts: From Under the Bridge, From Under the Bridge and Moving on Up.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Taiwanese Festival, Union Square

Taiwanese festival, Union Square
Photo by myself in Union Square.

This weekend I encountered a Taiwanese festival in Union Square.

Groups of performers danced to traditional music, wearing brightly colored costumes. There were crowds of onlookers and vendors selling Taiwanese food.

One performer stood on a chair to get a better view of the dancers on stage.


One of the best things about New York is its cultural diversity.

Somehow, various cultures are able to co-exist and thrive. Various neighborhoods are identified by their inhabitants - there's a large Russian community in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. Meanwhile Sunset Park, Brooklyn, and Chinatown in Manhattan, are known for their Chinese, Taiwanese, Malaysian and Vietnamese populations.

There's a Koreatown, there's Little Italy, there's Little India. The Hassidem have settled near WIlliamsburg.

In a large city, it's easy to feel lost. But here, you are however you define yourself - a student, a businessperson, an artist, a member of a religious group, a member of an ethnic group, a New Yorker.

Related posts: The Dragon Parade on Mott Street, Peace to All and A Careful Choice, in Chinatown.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

On Street Photography and Grand Central Station

Grand Central Terminal, NYC
Photo by myself at Grand Central Terminal, at 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue.

Above, possibly one of the most breathtaking spaces in the New York, and certainly one of my favorite. The main waiting room at Grand Central is successful because of the lighting.

The main space is lit with the warm glow of incandescent lights, while frosted glass skylights provide a white light in the background. The gigantic columns are backlit by the skylights in a dramatic yet subtle way.

On Monday, the space was filled with people, most of them there to gawk at the architecture.


For those interested in Street Photography, do visit this site belonging to Dave Beckerman, a fine New York photographer.

In this latest post, Dave shares his techniques to getting great candids out on the street. I definitely picked up a couple tricks! Dave is a longtime NYC resident, who seems to have taught himself photography. He takes a beautiful array of photographs, from landscapes to cityscapes to street candids.

Most of Dave Beckerman's images are in black and white, but you would never notice that anything was missing.

You can purchase prints of Dave Beckerman's photography, as well. To view his work, click here

Related posts: On Looking like a Tourist on a Holiday, On Grand Central and Tall Tales and Queuing Up at Grand Central Terminal.


Monday, May 25, 2009

Sunday Morning, along the East River

Manhattan Bridge, NYC
Photo by myself near the Manhattan Bridge, along the east edge of Manhattan.

A man practiced Tai Chi Sunday morning, looking out onto the East River and Brooklyn beyond. To the right is the Manhattan Bridge. Downstream, you can see the Brooklyn Bridge.


Sunday I walked around the area near the Manhattan Bridge, the Lower East Side and Alphabet City.

It was crazy sunny and the streets were vaguely deserted.

Along the East River, some joggers and cyclists were at their morning exercise. A couple sat on a park bench and enjoyed the water. Two men practiced Tai Chi 50 paces from each other.

A typical Sunday morning.

Related posts: On the Brooklyn Bridge, More of the Brooklyn Bridge and The Gizmos We Live With.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Night View, the Village

Around 12th Street, NYC
Photo by myself in the village, around 12th Street and Broadway.

This photo was taken a while ago, when it was colder. For some reason I like it, perhaps because it shows the gritty side of the old New York City.

Yes, I am nuts. I have a strange nostalgia for those days when New York was much more dangerous, gritty and 'authentic'.

In comparison, the city is very safe now. You can park shiny SUVs on the street without worrying if it will be intact in the morning!


Related posts: Life on the Edge of a Very Big Precipice (in my little head), Night View at the World Trade Center and Lighting the Way.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Throngs in Union Square

Union Square, NYC
Photo by myself in Union Square.

This public area is constantly filled with people, performers and vendors. At times, the space is used for vigils or public protest.


Hurrah, a long weekend! Mark and I are looking forward to a restful few days, though Mark has to work.

The city is always a bit quieter on the holidays. Usually, since so many people take the long weekend off, the trains and streets are emptier. My commute to work on Friday was desolate by comparison.

Happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone! Do you have any special plans?

Related posts: Playing in the Rain, Union Square, Reflections Apres Happy Hour and Case Closed.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Tough Times, Midtown

Crosswalk, NYC
Photo by myself at a Midtown crosswalk.

I liked this photo for the various expressions.


Not all New Yorkers are so glum. Most are excited for the long weekend and the good weather.

Related posts: In the Blink of an Eye, Midtown, Candid, Midtown and Father and Son, Brooklyn.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

On the Steps of the New York Public Library

New York Public Library
Photo by myself at the New York Public Library, at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue.

The main branch of the New York Public Library is well known, for the pair of reclining lions flanking the steps. The steps are quite wide and provide a place to hang out on a nice day.

I liked this image for the people at different sizes and the architecture behind them, which is massive.


Mark comes back from Buenos Aires tomorrow, which is great.

In the time that he's been gone, our puppy Rupert has
-eaten his own poop at least three times
-eaten part of a snake plant, which is considered poisonous to dogs
-tripped me onto the pavement. Ouch.
-unintentionally bitten my arm (he was excited, my arm was in the way)
-challenged my authority in every way possible

Lol, fortunately dogs grow out of this stage!

Related posts: The Latest in Un-Model Behavior, Mass Mentality and Snowing in the City.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Asleep, NYC
Photo by myself on the N train.

This couple showed signs of obvious exhaustion on their ride home.


One of the most common conversations among New Yorkers involves the commute - what train do you take, how packed is it, can you get a seat during rush hour, yadda yadda.

And if you don't take the train, how long is your walk? Or do you simply live large and cab it into work?

I know a handful of people lucky enough to walk to work each day. Some walk for exercise, others walk to reduce stress. Walking saves a bit of money, too. If you walk to work for a month, you save $108 dollars!

Related posts: A Much-Needed Nap, Sleeping on the Job and Asleep on the D Train.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

On The Times and The People

The Scene in Union Square, NYC
Photo by myself in Union Square.

These folks look more like the characters on a TV show than mere commoners. Union Square was packed the other day when the sun was out.


This weekend, the Times unveiled a new photoblog on its website, called Lens, with a focus on photography and photojournalism.

One of the benefits of an internet-based newspaper is its unlimited size. Now the paper can have loads upon loads of photographs. What I especially love about the blog is its layout. You can simply click through big images if that's your mood or read the accompanying text if you have more time.

In its first weekend, Lens has richly illustrated 'articles' from all over the world, and all over history. Choose from a post about the Oval Office, gorgeous images taken in Pakistan by a Times photographer, and the rich images taken by a large format camera, among others.

The Times has always had stellar photography. Now, we readers can enjoy even more of it.

Related posts: New York's Near Miss, Mass Mentality and Lost in a Cowd.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Who's Playing, the East Village

Billboards, East Village
Photo by myself, somewhere in the East Village.

Multiple billboards announce musical venues going on in the city.


New York is a great place to live for music lovers, whether your interest be jazz, classical, rock or house music.

I personally prefer the smaller stages, like The Mercury Lounge, which is just a room. You just stand there and nod to the beat, with the performer just an arm's length away.

Aretha Franklin is performing at Radio City Music Hall this September. Tickets available here.

Related posts: What's Scrolling in Midtown, What's on the Walls, Underground and Through the Roof.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Running Atop the Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge, NYC
Photo by myself from the Brooklyn Bridge.

The sun was setting as I took this photo. There were cyclists and runners and tourists and strolling people all enjoying the air.


I went into the city briefly on Saturday and can I say that it was completely filled to the gills with people?!

Union Square was filled with the regular market crowd and there was a Dance Parade that travelled down Broadway, stopping all sorts of traffic.

This was the first Dance Parade, celebrating the art of dance. I only caught the tail end of it, which is too bad. It would have made some great photos.

For photos of Saturday's Dance Parade, click here

Related posts: Running Down the Streets of New York, From Under the Bridge and More of the Brooklyn Bridge.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Free Advice, Union Square

Free Advice, Union Square
Photo by myself in Union Square.

A man offered free advice to those in need of it, Friday afternoon.

You have to wonder - what was the question and what was the advice?

Related posts: Playing in the Rain, Union Square, Father and Son, Brooklyn and On The Job.


Friday, May 15, 2009

On a Stoop, in Soho

Soho, NYC
Photo by myself on Prince Street in Soho.

A mother and child sitting on a stoop, in front of the Calvin Klein store. Both are wearing funky boots.


Yep, it's the end of the week once again.

TGIF, everyone!

Related posts: Running Amok in the Streets, Father and Son, Brooklyn and Art, for Public's Sake.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Walking the Brooklyn Bridge

On the Brooklyn Bridge
Photo by myself on the Brooklyn Bridge, looking toward Manhattan.

There are lanes for pedestrians and bikes on the Brooklyn Bridge. The cyclists ride very fast, so it's best not to stray from your lane. I was almost bowled over a couple times.

The pedestrian walkway is elevated above the level that carries cars. You can see the traffic whizzing by through the gaps in the floorboards. Looking up, you can see a panoramic view through the diagonal cables, from the Statue of Liberty and lower Manhattan in the South to the Manhattan Bridge and Lower East Side, to the North.

Many people were snapping photos Wednesday evening, posing or just enjoying the view. Once across the bridge into Brooklyn, you're in Brooklyn Heights. You can also visit Dumbo, an area named for being 'Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass', which has a waterfront atmosphere.

For those interested in walking across, take the N/R to the City Hall station. You'll find the pedestrian entrance near the eastern side of City Hall.

Related posts: On the Brooklyn Bridge, Fall From Above and More of the Brooklyn Bridge.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Way Up on the Upper East Side

Central Park View, NYC
Photo by myself from Fifth Avenue, around 90th Street.

I've posted several photos from the Upper West Side looking out to Central Park. Now for a view from the Upper East Side.

The view across Central Park is stunning, especially on a sunny day. I was visiting a job site and took this photo through the window. Ahead lies the Reservoir, a small body of water surrounded by a popular running path. A complete loop around the Reservoir is a little over a mile.


New York news has been scant, which is not a bad thing. So here's the latest on our little family.

Mark is away for a week in South America for a project, so it's just me and the animals (cat, dog and fish). The cat is now getting saline treatments for her kidneys. The dog had a booboo on his paw and requires medication. The fish...well, the fish are okay for the moment.

On top of it, I was exposed to chicken pox the other day at my doctor's office. My physician came down with it a day after my appointment, and I've never had the chicken pox. So I'm crossing fingers that all of us, four-legged, two-legged and no-legged creatures, will be intact on Mark's return.

In the meantime, there's more work to be done and more photos to take!

Related posts: The View from On High, Fall From Above and The Sky is Falling.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

In the Blink of an Eye, Midtown

34th Street Mayhem
Photo by myself in Midtown, around 34th Street and Sixth Avenue.

Yet another candid photo showing the crowds in this busy neighborhood. I can't get enough of the characters you find in this highly-trafficked area.


Here's a tantalizing offer for photobloggers and non-photobloggers alike: document your life in 24 frames with a disposable camera. Have your photos exhibited alongside those of 999 other photographers from all over the world.

How so, you ask?

A Million Little Pictures is sending out 1,000 cameras this summer. An exhibit will take place in September in Atlanta, Georgia. Another exhibit will take place in the city with the most participants. (At this writing, California is in the lead, followed by New York).

This isn't the first time this organization has done something on a grand scale. Nay.

The same group is gathering 10,000 artistic interpretations of a word (what lucky word, I'm not sure). In another project, artists swap 20 prints of their artwork for 20 random prints from other artists.

Take care, these project aren't free. But what is, these days? In return, you get to participate in a communal art project.

Click here to participate in A Million Little Pictures. Deadline to enter is July 1st.

Related posts: All A-Shiver on the Streets, Mass Mentality and There's a Moon Out Tonight.


Monday, May 11, 2009

What's Black and White and Red All Over?

What's Black, White and Red all over
Photo by myself of Rupert at home.

The answer: a mischievous, sneaky dog.


A couple nights ago Rupert woke up as he often does, in the middle of the night.

Usually he gets up to pee, get a drink or a bite to eat. When we hear that he's up, we'll get up with him, to make sure he doesn't eat the cat food or that he pees on his wee wee pad.

There are times when he gets up unnoticed and wreaks havoc - eating the cat food, or gnawing on a pillow, or in this case, finding a red pen and chewing it up until it was utterly destroyed.

Well, you can imagine what happened - we woke up to Rupert sound asleep in bed with red all over his front paws and belly. Mark had a start and thought we had to take him to the animal hospital.

Thank goodness it wasn't blood, just the result of a late night rampage. The dear pup was the laughing stock at the dog run.

Related posts: Unleashed in Long Island, A New York Mascot and On Fish, Cats and Dogs.


Watch Where You're Going in Soho

Soho, NYC
Photo by myself in Soho, on Prince and Mercer Streets.

After a week of rain, the weather was wonderful this weekend. Woohoo!!! The sidewalks were absolutely jam-packed with passersby and vendors.

You can get art, jewelry, movie scripts, clothing and all else on the street.


You'd never think there's an economic crisis going on if you were walking around Soho.

The streets are filled with people shopping, making it difficult and near dangerous to walk. And the Apple Store was sheer madness, as it always is.

Related posts: Italian Ice, East Village, Taxi and Chin Chin.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Ramen Noodles in the East Village

Rai Rai Ken, East Village
Photo by myself in East Village around 10th Street and 1st Avenue.

Rai Rai Ken is a tiny hole in the wall that seats just a handful of people, right next to a tiny open kitchen. Some of the walls are covered in Buddhist or Shinto text.

Rai Rai Ken specializes in delicious ramen noodles in broth. In the summer, they have two cold ramen dishes, that are topped with treats like cucumber, sliced apple, sun-dried tomato, seaweed, scallions, pickled ginger and shredded lettuce. You are served your food by its cook as soon as it's done.

Here's photo of the exterior that I posted earlier.


Happy Mother's Day, everyone!

Mark and I will lunch with his mum (not at the above restaurant, but somewhere in Brooklyn). What are you up to today?

Related posts: Italian Ice, East Village, Taxi and Chin Chin.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Visions of a Cheeseburger, Midtown

Visions of a Cheeseburger, NYC
Photo by myself in Midtown, around 34th Street and Sixth Avenue.

A fellow with a sign, seeking help from passersby. He stood a few steps away from several delis and a McDonald's.


I usually do not give money to people on the street. I guess it's just hard for me to trust that the money would go toward food or shelter and not be used for drugs or alcohol.

I did give money to the fellow above, since he graciously allowed me to take a photo. He preferred that his face not be shown.

I haven't seen more needy people on the streets but I have seen more needy people bearing signs, for some reason? The signs say different things. Some are clever, like the one above. Some are descriptive, letting passersby know the needy person's history. Signs help the sign bearer connect with the world.

The Times wrote that Gay Talese, a well-known writer, handed out special signs to people in need, that said "Please Support Pres. Obama’s Stimulus Plan, and begin right here … at the bottom … Thank you." I haven't seen these particular signs, but now I'll be on the lookout.

You can read the Times article here.

Related posts: It's a Free Country, After All, Light 'Em Up and Signs of Hope.


Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Hour, 12-8

Hanging out in Brooklyn
Photo by myself in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

A couple of chums just hanging out on the street.


The sight of people just biding time is restful. I especially like the illustrations of pigs, and that happy hour spans from 12-8.

TGIF everyone!

Related posts: A Call for Help, Now on Sale, in Midtown and Talking About the Weather.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

The World Above Central Park

Central Park from Above, NYC
Photo by myself from a high floor above Central Park.

The buildings angled along the right are located along Central Park South, while the buildings directly ahead are located along Fifth Avenue.

The short white building in the corner of the park, to the right, is the Plaza Hotel.


Some of the most expensive properties in New York are located along Central Park - notably on Central Park West and Fifth Avenue.

Generally, Upper West Side apartments go for $1,000/sf (back in 2008, at least. Not sure what it is now). That means a 1,000 sf apartment sells for $1 million dollars.

That figure has been much higher for apartments overlooking the Park. The price goes up too, the higher you go.

Apartments on Central Park West have cost as much as $2,500/sf, which means that 1,000 sf apartment costs $2.5 million. At the height of the boom, prices have been as high as $4,000/sf, which means the same 1,000 sf apartment sold for $4 million.

As recent as January, 2009, a 448 sf studio was bought for $880,000, which is $1,800/sf. That's a studio, folks, and 448 sf is not big. A few months later, the same studio was sold for $1.55 million. Granted, the studio was located in a full-service condo building (full time reception desk, olympic-sized pool, private gym), but it had a courtyard view and was originally designed as a maid's room.

Anyway, back to Central Park. The nice thing is that buildings are located across the street. The entire park is contained by a low stone wall, with openings at various points for cars and pedestrians. Central Park has an open, public feel to it.

I'm not sure why Park Avenue isn't located next to the park. Despite its name, Park Avenue is a couple blocks to the east. The real estate there is also expensive, however in my opinion, there is nothing like living above a continually changing natural landscape.

For more about the $1.55 million studio, click here.

Related posts: The View from On High, The Sky is Falling and Different Vistas.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Lichee Stand, Sunset Park

Lichee Stand, Chinatown NYC
Photo by myself in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, around 55th Street and Eighth Avenue.

It's been raining for the last several days here in New York. I took the above photo last year, when lichees came in season.

This juicy, Asian fruit is harvested each Fall. The fruit is encased in a green shell, which grows red as they ripen. Lichee has a subtle flavor that is not too sweet.


Speaking of food, it's been tough during the off-season of Top Chef.

Curious to see what's going on with the ex-contestants? A recent article in the Times catches up with Hung, Leah, Nikki and Harold, all pursuing their cooking dreams in New York.

I suggested going to Harold's restaurant to Mark, who was only mildly interested. Harold competed during Season One, whose Italian-inspired food and self-deprecating demeanor won over judges and fans alike.


Related posts: Cold Days in Midtown, Read All About It and Sleeping on the Job.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Candid, Midtown

Midtown, NYC
Photo by myself in Midtown, around 34th Street and Sixth Avenue.

I love taking candid photos of crowds. People are so naturally expressive.


When I took the above photo, I was standing in the midst of a crowded sidewalk on 34th Street, which I usually avoid.

Kajillions of people streamed around me. Beyond, I could see a kajillion more people. It was overwhelming.

Related posts: Cold Days in Midtown, Read All About It and Sleeping on the Job.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Abandoned Lot, East Village

East VIllage Grafitti
Photo by myself in the East Village, around 13th Street and 2nd Avenue.

Despite the gentrification of New York, there are still some vacant blocks in Manhattan. This piece of property is located in a fairly nice neighborhood, filled with restaurants, bars and apartment buildings.

Mark saw this photo and says that 'Kuma' is perhaps the most prolific graffiti artist in the city. Kuma's tags are everywhere.


Related posts: Art for the Masses, A Dollar and a Dream and Signs of the Times.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Carriage Horse, Central Park South

Carriage Horse, NYC
Photo by myself on 59th Street, near Sixth Avenue.

There are always carriage horses standing along Central Park South, waiting to take visitors out for a spin. Some wear feathers and pull decorated cars. This horse was trying to enjoy a meal, but for the pigeons.

This photo commemorates the Kentucky Derby, which ran on Saturday.


Animal lovers will be happy to know that humane laws protect the carriage horses in New York. The ASPCA ensures that the horses are not worked more than nine hours a day, and never work in weather under 18 degrees Fahrenheit.

There are many animal rights advocacy groups trying to eradicate the carriages, at war with the carriage drivers, who care for their animals. I'm glad there are people looking out for the horses. It's surprising how often I think about the horses, on the very hot and very cold days.

To view the humane laws protecting the carriage horses, click here.
To read about the carriage trade from a driver's point of view, click here.

Related posts: Heigh-Ho, Riding High and Not So Wild Horses.


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Crowded Sidewalk, Midtown

Midtown Crowd, NYC
Photo by myself in Midtown, during rush hour.

Friday morning, I emerged from the subway, as I usually do, half-asleep and late for work.

People were dodging this way and that. Some were in a hurry, some were taking their time. A blaring siren went off, and all traffic stopped to let a fire truck pass.

New Yorkers are so accustomed to all the distraction along the streets, that the people and noise don't seem to phase us. At street corners, crowds weave into each other at high speed, as if choreographed.

Even the dogs in New York are unflinching in the face of such chaos!

By the way, my Meal O'bama photograph is featured as the photo of the week on the Manhattan Young Democrats site.

Related posts: All A-Shiver on the Streets, It's a Free Country, After All and Step Lively.


Friday, May 1, 2009

A Beer Garden in Brooklyn

Pacifico, Brooklyn
Photo by myself in Boerum Hill Brooklyn, at Pacific and Smith Streets.

This outdoor beer garden was bustling the other night. You would never know that it's located in a bustling Brooklyn neighborhood, full of brownstones, fine restaurants and little stores.


Earlier this week, the New York State Mega Millions was up to $180 Million dollars!

I usually don't do these things but I bought tickets with some friends. No one bought the winning ticket, and now the pot is up to $220 Million. The drawing is today.

I won't start celebrating yet, since the odds are 1 in 175,711,536. You can still get your tickets before 11pm today!

Related posts: Time for Valentine's, All Lit Up on Canal Street and Decisions, Decisions.