Photo by myself at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
A nest made purely of bamboo has invaded the roof of the Met.
Now until the end of October, this sculpture is on display overlooking Central Park. It is inhabitable, too - stairways and ramps are constructed within the 100-foot length, where visitors can go for guided tours.
The sculpture is made of interlocking bamboo poles lashed together with elasticized nylon, and was conceived as a work in progress. Its form will morph over the course of the installation and spread east. The sheltered space underneath is used for people to mill about or stand on line for drinks.
Below the sculpture, small groups of people convene in the shade.
Stairs and ramps are built into the structure.
The sculpture looks like a bird's nest from the outside.
Lights are discretely strung up for nighttime illumination.
The roof of the Met is a popular spot for drinks on Fridays, since it is open until 9 pm. The view is incredibly romantic, since you can see the sun setting and the expanse of Central Park.
While waiting in line at the bar, I noticed people hanging onto the poles. Bamboo is known for its remarkable strength, and is routinely used in tropical countries as scaffolding material. Despite its chaotic form and height, the sculpture seems in no danger of collapse.
The wonderful thing about this sculpture are the spaces it creates. I have seen this installation from afar, and it doesn't look like much, just a heap of sticks. Up close and within, it's a different story.
Thankfully, the designers left the gorgeous view of the Park unobstructed.
The spectacular view southward through Central Park.
For more about the exhibit, visit the Met website here.
Related posts: East (Side) Versus West (Side), On View, from the Upper East Side and Another View at the New Museum, The Bowery.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
Another photo from my stash, above.
I've been so, so mad busy recently. The days have been very stressful, with everyone wanting everything now, which is okay, until it isn't. Seriously, Momma needs a day off.
The city is in full swing, by the way. The streets were packed on Thursday night, and it took about 15 minutes before I could find a cab to get home. Everyone was out strolling around. My cab driver told me that Thursday night is the new Friday night.
Related posts: Hope for Better Times, in the East Village, Reasons to be Pretty, Times Square and Free Hugs, in Union Square.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Photo by myself, in Midtown.
Sitting outside the Polish Consulate in Midtown, a woman shared a bench with a polite dude. I caught her while doing her nails, and she caught me taking her photo. She does not look pleased.
The sculpture depicts Jan Karski, a Polish hero from the Second World War. Apparently he liked chess, so there's a chess board beside him. I assume he's winning the game.
Read more about the sculpture here, at a site dedicated to the public sculptures in New York City. There are over 150 statues listed within the five boroughs.
When I showed this photo to Mark he groaned. It triggered his 'I-hate-when-people-do-their-nails-in-public' reflex.
Honestly though, we NYers have seen it all - guys shaving with battery-powered razors on the sidewalk, women applying make up on the subway, men clipping their fingernails, people brushing their teeth on the outside. Yeeeeeesh.
In a city, the line between personal and public space is blurred. You gotta put up with a lot, sometimes.
Related posts: Surprise, Surprise, Life in High Contrast and Village People, in Sheridan Square.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Photo by myself at the 59th Street subway station.
Daylight and fluorescent light intersect at the station at 59th Street, on the Upper West Side.
These tracks are very tidy, a highly uncommon sight. Usually in between the tracks are enormous brown puddles and litter. And rats, of course. Don't forget them.
Some subway stations, like this one, are located directly under the street. The light comes in from grates in the sidewalk, like skylights. Rain falls directly onto the tracks.
Other subway stations, serving more than one subway line, have layers of tunnels. You have to navigate among stairways or escalators and pedestrian tunnels. For those with baby carriages, wheelchairs or crutches, you can use the scary elevators. Good luck. Nice knowing you! ;-)
Mark tells me that one of the deepest subway station occurs at Lexington and 63rd Street. F trains are coming in from below the East River from Queens, while the street level in Midtown is high.
I made the mistake of getting out at 63rd and Lex once, late for a meeting at 63rd and Madison. I had to run up two monster escalators to another escalator to reach the real world. It felt like I was emerging from the center of the earth.
Related posts: The Elevated Tracks, in Park Slope, Brooklyn, Moving on Up and Across the Tracks.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Photo by myself at Bryant Park, at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue.
The above photo fails to convey how many people were packed onto the lawn at Bryant Park last night. The lawn is surrounded by modern towers and the classic New York Public Library building.
The raised terrace outside the library (to the right, out of frame) was packed with onlookers. People also sat on chairs below the trees to either side of the park. Mob scene, all for a free movie.
On Monday nights during the summer, it's a tradition that classic movies are shown outside. Claim your seats early, because as the billions of other people come, your territory will dwindle. Battles take place over square inches.
Last night, the crowd enjoyed 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail'. There are only four movies left to the summer. For the movie calendar, click here.
Click here to see my aerial view of the park. You'd be surprised how big the lawn is compared to this foreshortened view.
Related posts: What's Swinging in Bryant Park, The Towers Near Riverside Park and Holiday Cheer, Already in Bryant Park.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Photo by myself in Riverside Park, on the Upper West Side, around 68th Street.
Trump Place is not one building, but a series of 16 very similar-looking apartment buildings on the West Side.
The raised highway running in front of the buildings is the West Side Highway. The highway eventually touches ground and runs along the edge of Manhattan.
If you have the chance, take a cab ride up the West Side Highway. Zipping across these buildings is a dramatic view, as well as seeing the whole back side of Midtown.
Happy Monday, everyone!
Related posts: Sunset Along the West Side Highway, The Towers Near Riverside Park and Life on the Water, in Riverside Park.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Photo by myself around 10th Street and 8th Avenue, in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
In the spirit of old-timey goodness, a knife sharpening truck still tours the streets Brooklyn. People can bring out their knives and scissors to be sharpened on the spot.
The service has gotten mixed reviews online, but I like the spirit of it, just the same. There is more than one knife sharpening company here, believe it or not, so the tradition is not quite at the brink of extinction.
Related posts: Bay Ridge, Back in Time, in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn and Meat Market, Ninth Avenue.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
We are in for an absolute scorcher today, with highs near 100F. With the bright sun and humidity, it's supposed to feel like it's 105F.
In such weather, I'm not sure I could ever sit in a pedicab being pulled by someone, even if he is doing it for money. By the way, I have only seen male pedicab drivers. If I ever see a female driver, I certainly will stop and take a photo!
Related posts: Riding in Style, in the Village, Enjoying a Ride, in Central Park and Kicking Back, on Firm Ground.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Photo by myself on Broadway and 79th Street, on the Upper West Side.
Many times, musicians will stop playing when they know they are being photographed. I'm not sure whether it's a ploy for money or whether it's an assertion of their rights.
A saxophone player was playing a merry tune, Thursday. The tyke in the hat was dancing along, until I pointed my camera, ruining everything.
Related posts: See Saw, Underground, Music While You Wait and On Art and Music, Below Times Square.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Photo by myself in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.
A typical summer weekend in the Prospect Park, a major park in Brooklyn. This park serves as the backyard for many Brooklynites.
Above, many bbqs were going on at once, creating a smoky haze. With the police presence, I seriously thought an accident had occurred. No, it was just bbq smoke.
Usually a big mess is created with the garbage, but the park does a good job cleaning it up. By the time everything is spruced up, the next round of bbqs are lit and the park becomes messy again. It's the cycle of life.
Last weekend, The Roots performed in Prospect Park, drawing a crowd of about
a billion twelve thousand. Mark and I walked by and were astounded by how many people were there.
Thanks to all who left kind comments to my post yesterday. We pet mums and dads go into these relationships knowing we will deal with health issues and loss.
It is comforting to know there are so many good owners out there, willing to take on the role of caregiver.
Related posts: Fall Foliage in Prospect Park, On the Trails, in Prospect Park and A Blanket of Snow, in Prospect Park.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Photo by myself of Dida, our dear calico.
Mark, Rupert and I are terribly sad to announce that we lost our cat Dida yesterday. Dida succumbed very quickly, after a long and valiant fight with kidney disease.
She had some other ailments too, but faced all these with the bravery and typical stiff upper lip cats have. Dida loved sunny windowsills and lots of attention. She was rescued from the streets of New York around Hell's Kitchen, after giving birth to a beautiful litter of kittens. She was a very sweet and affectionate cat, despite her shyness.
Our household is a bit shaken up right now, specifically the humans. Rupert has yet to figure out that he is the lone four-legged beast among us.
Do give your animal family members an extra hug. Take more photos of them than you think proper. Spoil them a lot.
Dida and Rupert shared a fondness for napping.
Related posts: Our Extended Family, Clever Cat (Not) and Tempting Fate.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Photo by myself on Avenue A, in Alphabet City.
Ah yes, just another day in the neighborhood.
Related posts: Movie in the Making, in Alphabet City, Walking the Walk, in Midtown and Fashionably Late, in Midtown.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Photo by myself, in the East Village.
It's fairly common for people to sell their unwanted stuff on the sidewalks. These are called 'stoop sales', where a 'stoop' is the short run of steps to the first floor. You can find everything, both tasteful and tasteless, right on the street.
I enjoy browsing through stoop sales because it's akin to walking through someone's home. Usually I don't find anything I like. It's more like 'This grimy overstuffed chair was in your Living Room?! And you sat in it while wearing this embroidered vest and playing the accordian?!'
Negotiations expected. Cash only.
Related posts: On Shopping on West 4th and My Insider's Guide, Living in Style, in Williamsburg and Still Life, Antique Store.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Photo by myself, from a footbridge in Central Park. Beyond lies the Upper West Side.
My fiance Mark and I recently toured around Central Park with our dog Rupert. Bringing a picnic lunch and plenty of water, we walked about and explored the lower half of the 770-acre park.
It was a weekday afternoon and the park was filled with people - visitors, dancers, rollerbladers, jugglers, lovers, boaters and a cellist. Rupert, our Boston Terrier, had a grand time exploring the paths that weave through all sorts of terrain.
At the Mall, a cathedral of stately old oaks frame a seemingly endless view.
A young cellist played for passersby. Rupert can be seen walking ahead.
What looks like a quaint chalet is actually a park store.
At the Lake, looking toward Central Park South.
What I love about Central Park is that generally you are unaware of the city around you. Only at certain carefully planned times does the vista open up to reveal that you're in the middle of Manhattan.
If you're ever visiting, I recommend taking a leisurely afternoon to explore the park. Don't bother with a map. Get lost, discover, and enjoy.
City Portraits is an ongoing, once-in-a-while installment featuring parts of New York.
Related posts: City Portraits - The East Village, City Portraits - The New York City Library and City Portraits - Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Photo by myself, on the 9th Street subway platform, in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
A rare moment, being alone on the subway platform. The early morning light was filtering in from above the train tracks. There was temporary fencing up, while (continuous) repair work is being done.
There are a few raised subway platforms in Manhattan and Brooklyn, but most subway stations are located below ground. Indoor stations are a mixed bag - they provide shelter in the cold winter months, but are stifling in the summer.
I had to cross from this platform to another one Friday morning, and walked through a series of stairs and tunnels. I was slightly freaked out because no one else was around. Something could happen in those empty tunnels and I was completely vulnerable.
Rationally, I knew nothing would happen, and thankfully nothing did. There is safety in numbers. New York is safe because bars are open late, people walk the streets, and there is a sense that if something happened, people would know about it and you'd be okay.
Being alone in a subway tunnel? A rare event and a different story.
Related posts: Commuting in the Hood - on the Atlantic/Pacific Platform, See Saw, Underground and Moving on Up.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Ah, the end to another week. Happy Friday, everyone!
Related posts: Making a Splash, at Lincoln Center, One Really Big Fountain and At the Base of Merchant's Gate, Central Park.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Photo by myself around West and Vestry Streets, on the West Side.
You can just imagine this scene in older times, when the streets were paved with cobblestone, and New York was a thriving port city.
West Street is part of the West Side Highway, which runs along the western edge of Manhattan. If you're driving on this road, pay attention. The exits come fast and furious. Before you know it, you've whipped around the island and you're on the East Side.
The above warehouse building was probably renovated into very nice apartments. The original shutters are made of iron.
This building has a moat around it, and I'm not sure why. Perhaps after it was built, the level of the ground around it was raised? Many areas of Lower Manhattan, such as Battery Park City, was added as landfill in the 1980s.
Related posts: Duane Street, Tribeca, Details, Details and Going Postal in Midtown.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Photo by myself around 76th Street and Broadway, on the Upper West Side.
The eye-catching Street Sweets truck can be seen from afar.
New Yorkers have fallen in love with street food. Anything served from a fancy, painted truck will do - ice cream, falafel, pastries, burritos, crepes, dumplings, you name it.
I attribute this to the city streets, which are cleaner than ever. There is also something irresistible about people waiting visibly in line that draws even more people into the line. Throw in a clever name and cool graphics, and you have a hit.
The Street Sweets truck serves up liquids and solids. On their menu are all sorts of caffeinated beverages, quiches, cupcakes and cakes. And they cater!
For their super duper website, click here.
Related posts: Street Eats, Midtown, Dirty Water Dogs, Midtown and A La Carte.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Photo by myself in Central Park.
Beyond the lake in Central Park, lies the Upper West Side. In the background are the stately twin towers of the San Remo, a luxury co-op building on Central Park West. Meanwhile, a couple lounged idly in the grass.
Celebrities such as Tiger Woods, Stephen Spielberg, Demi Moore and Steve Jobs have called the San Remo home. The building was constructed in the early 1930's, just before the Great Depression.
Apartments in the San Remo have recently been listed for as much as 17 million dollars. The apartments high up in the towers routinely command asking prices of $2,500-$3,500 per square foot.
In comparison, typical Upper West Side apartments were priced at $1,000-$1,100 per square foot, at the height of the real estate boom.
Click here for the Wiki entry for the building.
Related posts: Sledding Outside the San Remo, Looking Out to Central Park West and Enjoying a Ride, in Central Park.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Photo by myself, below the arch in Washington Square Park.
It was brightly, painfully sunny and hot on Sunday. These wonderful singers donned sunglasses so they could sing in relative comfort.
Street singers often animate their acts with hand gestures, shout-outs and poses. It's not enough just to stand there and sing. Singers need to cajole their audience to give up their hard-earned cash.
Most sane New Yorkers were inside or out of town, because of the intense heat. There was barely a breeze. I was silly enough to go shoe shopping and wound up walking around in circles, delirious and sweating. Oh, what we ladies do in the name of fashion!
Happy week, everyone!
Related posts: Singing the Blues, Below Ground, Seranading the Crowds on the Subway Platform and Performing Free, in Bryant Park.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Photo by myself in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
A boy with a water balloon is a creature never to be trusted. Ha.
These kids were making the best of it on a hot summer day in the city. The street was shut off from traffic for a summer neighborhood party. The fire hydrant is the urban equivalent of a sprinkler.
The above photos come at the perfect time.
I was recently invited to write a guest post for Brooklyn Memories Most Green. Jamie Dedes asked me to post on her blog, where she reflects on her fond memories of growing up in Brooklyn.
Kids in Manhattan grow up very quickly. They usually live in larger apartment buildings and see just about everything under the sun. It's tough to shock a kid who has grown up in Manhattan.
Kids who call Brooklyn home have an easier time of it. They often know their neighbors and there is a sense of neighborhood. The pace is slower. Though their homes are certainly in the city, there is room to be a kid.
Check out Jamie's blog when you can, by clicking here.
Related posts: It's a Kid's Life, in Brooklyn, Playing Ball in the Public Courts and A Careful Choice, in Chinatown.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Photo at the carousel in Central Park, around 65th Street.
Yes, there is a carousel, zoo and lake, all within Central Park. There are actually many bodies of water, since what would a park be without water?
The park has soccer fields, baseball fields, an outdoor theater, a turtle pond, horse trails and formal gardens. There are 58 miles of pathways and trails. You can while away an entire day by wandering around the 863 acres, right in the middle of Manhattan.
For maps and more information about the park, click here for the official Central Park website.
Related posts: Enjoying the Air, in Central Park, The Carousel, Bryant Park and At the Lake, in Central Park.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Photo by myself in Columbus Circle, at 59th Street and Central Park West.
The language of many fashionable women of a certain set is shown above: little black dresses, big bags, small dogs. Most of the time, the small dogs are placed into the big bags during subway rides.*
There is a requisite splash of jewelry. There are sandals, pedicured feet and plucked eyebrows. There are bodies toned from daily gym routines and nightly evenings on the town.
*All dogs, except seeing-eye dogs, must be placed in carriers while on the subway. If the dog is too large for a bag, they cannot get on the train.
Related posts: Uggs in Times Square, Outside Biography Books, Bleeker Street and On Dogs and Dogs.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Photo by myself around 28th Street and 7th Avenue, in Chelsea.
Ah yes. We New Yorkers certainly have the image of being tough-talking folks. Above, several obnoxious t-shirts printed on black and dark grey, our traditional colors.
Slogans include various swear words we are known to use liberally, starting with the letter 'F'. Among the quotes, 'Duck, Mother F-er', 'Do I look like a f-ing people person?' and 'New York F-ing City'. Nice.
Don't mess with us. Don't even try. ;-)
Related posts: Buying in Bulk, Shopping til Dropping, on Canal Street and On Shopping on West 4th Street, and My Insider's Guide.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
What was particularly remarkable was how cool these guys looked. Already by 9am it was in near 90 degrees Fahrenheit, brightly sunny with high humidity. It was beyond hot. It was sweltering, punishing and extreme.
By 9 in the evening, after getting above 100 degrees during the day, it was still stifling. Walking on the sidewalk, people welcomed any relief to the smothering air. It was unhealthy for the elderly to be outside.
Some tips for surviving this heat:
1. Never get on an empty subway car. Forget about it. Most likely, the air conditioning is broken and you'll be sitting there sweating, wishing you were on the subway platform, where at least the passing trains would bring some relief.
2. If visiting New York, bring a couple plastic bottles. Fill them 3/4 way with water at night, leave them in the fridge uncovered. Voila, a frozen water bottle that melts as you walk around. Stay hydrated. Stay cool.
3. Don't overdo it. All too often people faint from the heat. Good thing is, should you faint, don't worry. You won't wake up with your pockets picked. New Yorkers are good people and will rush to your aid.
Related posts: On the Picket Line, in Hell's Kitchen, Waiting on Line, Fifth Avenue and The Latest Thing.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Photo by myself at Lincoln Center, around 62nd Street and Broadway.
Above, the latest outdoor public art installation called Play Me I'm Yours. 60 pianos were placed around Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island for pedestrians to sit down and play.
I caught these two behind the Lincoln Center complex last week, playing a rowdy duet. I must say the element of discovery - rounding the corner and finding a real piano - is so very New York.
All the pianos were donated, then painted in playful colors by artists before going on display. The event lasted two weeks, from June 21st to July 5th. The installation has also been staged in other cities, like London, Barcelona and
For more about the effort, go to the organization's website, or read an article in the Times here.
Related posts: From the Rooftops in Madison Square Park, Village People, in Sheridan Square and I *Heart* New York, Downtown.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Photo by myself on Mott and Pell Streets, in Chinatown.
A fellow sat on a stoop in Chinatown on a hot summer night.
Chinatown is fully of eateries and markets. Tourists flock to the area to shop for inexpensive goods. During the daytime, the crowds make it near impossible to walk down the sidewalk. (If you're in a hurry, forget it. Try walking in the street along the curb).
The area clears out at nightfall. Stores and restaurants remain open, but tourists tend to find the dark corners and alleys spooky.
I've heard of Chinese gangs threatening store owners for protection money, but I haven't heard of random crime in this area. New York is rather safe these days.
Related posts: Talking About the Weather, Surprise, Surprise and On Canal Street and Annie Liebovitz.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Photo by myself in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Park Slope is known for its brownstones but there are also shingled and clapboard houses lined up side-by-side. Most buildings have stoops and tiny gardens in front.
It's the dog days of summer, all right - bright sunshine, humidity, lazy dogs, and barbecues.
Mark and I had our own little cookout last night on our balcony. Those without balconies can tote their gear to some of the public parks, which have designated areas for grilling.
This year the fireworks are being held over the Hudson River on the west side. Best views are located between 23rd and 59th Streets in Manhattan, or on the other side of the Hudson, in New Jersey. For tips about where to go, click here for a guide by New York Magazine.
Since the Fourth of July falls on a Sunday this year, most Americans have Monday off from work. Hooray!
Related posts: The Veteran's Day Parade, Down Fifth Avenue, Lower Fifth Avenue and Back in Time, in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Photo by myself in Midtown.
Well here it is, the inflatable sheep, wearing a garter belt on a
balcony fire escape. With him is his buddy the Italian restaurant guy. Below, one of many acupuncture and massage places in the city.
Perhaps we New Yorkers are all stressed out? There is no shortage of massage places here, where you pay by the minute to have someone pound on your back or feet.
I thought the inflatable sheep was a hoot. Mark thought there wasn't enough interest. I usually follow his advice, and he has infinite patience as I ask his opinion almost every day.
Finally, I didn't know what to file this under and have created a new label called 'random'. Thing is, there are many random things going on this city, how do you draw the line? I may need 'semi-random' and 'truly random' labels, to distinguish levels of oddity.
I prefer images showing the everyday, myself. Anyway, I recommend clicking on labels once in a while, or using the Random Post Generator on the sidebar. There are over 1,000 posts here, never a shortage of schtuff.
Related posts: Scooby Doo, in the West Village, Surprise, Surprise and Keeping Your Dogs in a Row.
Friday, July 2, 2010
Photo by myself in Little Italy/Chinatown, at Elizabeth and Hester Streets.
Little Italy bleeds into Chinatown in this part of Manhattan. A woman was waiting on the sidewalk in front of a pizza place. You can see my reflection in the glass over her right shoulder.
I had a devil of a time figuring out what to post today.
It was a toss up between an inflatable sheep wearing a garter belt, standing on a fire escape, (sounds enticing but actually not the greatest photo) and some shots of the Washington Square Park arch taken from a cab the other night. Hm. I finally settled on the one above.
If you visit New York today, it is absolutely gorgeous. Actually, the tide turned a couple days ago. and we're having picture-perfect, sunny, temperate, beautiful weather.
It's hard to believe it's July. July means 'humid-beyond-belief-must-vacate-town' to most New Yorkers. Many a July 4th is spent standing in a huge crowd of sweaty people encroaching on your vision, waiting and waiting for the fireworks to begin.
I was at a job site recently and we were talking about installing the central air conditioning. The HVAC guy mentioned how humid it gets.
'Ten days a year', he said, referring to how nice it was that day. We all nodded in silent agreement. Meaning there were only ten days a year of absolutely perfect days in New York, and this was one of them.
Related posts: Soap Bubbles, Chinatown, Selling Grapes on Canal Street and Running Amok in the Streets.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Photo by myself in Midtown.
Stepping out of the office Wednesday, I was blinded by the sunset. All the taxis on the street were bathed in the delicious glow of light. Yes, it's Manhattanhenge (or thereabouts).
So named after Stonehenge, Manhattanhenge is the phenomenon where the position of the sun aligns with the street grid of Manhattan. Last night, the sun was not exactly in the center of the street, but it was pretty darned close. People were stumbling down sidewalks toward the sun, which was framed by buildings.
Technically, Manhattanhenge falls on May 28th and July 12th or 13th, which are to either side of the summer solstice. Of course, the sun aligns with the streets at both sunset and sunrise. Just be sure to not look into the sun too long ;-)
The Gothamist wrote about Manhattanhenge and published photos a few weeks ago in late May.
Related posts: Sunset Along the West Side Highway, Strange Skies Above Sunset Park, Brooklyn and Sunset Outside Battery Park City.