-- --

Monday, February 28, 2011

Remembering the View From Brooklyn

From the Brooklyn Promenade
Photo by myself from the Brooklyn Promenade.

A photo from the stash. The view of lower Manhattan from Brooklyn Promenade, at the edge of Brooklyn.

A framed photo of the World Trade Towers is a poignant reminder of what you no longer see.


Can it be the end of February already?

Like many people, I stayed up much too late watching the Oscars on television. Shockingly, this year they ended on time!

Related posts: The City in Silhouette, Looking out from the Promenade and Looking out at Manhattan.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Bit of Fog, in Central Park

Central Park, in Fog
Photo by myself in Central Park, around Central Park West and 59th Street.

It was drippy at the end of last week.

You could see a white mist hugging the ground in Central Park. A Pedicab driver stood outside of the frame to the right, calling to passersby for a ride.

On the right, you can barely see the buildings along Central Park South. Ahead are buildings along Fifth Avenue.

The snow on the ground is left over from the Christmas blizzard. Boy, are we ready for Spring!

Related posts: A Blanket of Snow, in Prospect Park, Riding in Style, in the Village and Kicking Back on Firm Ground.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Dollar and a Dream

A Dollar and a Dream
Photo by myself in Midtown.

That's right, the jackpot for the New York Powerball is up to $184 million dollars. The drawing takes place tonight (Saturday) at 11pm EST.

Each ticket costs a dollar. You choose 5 regular numbers and 1 Powerball number out of 59. The odds of drawing all 6 numbers is 1 in 195,249,054, which is pretty darned small.

Inside this small booth are instant ramen noodles, key chains, gum, snacks and cigarettes. There is just enough room for one guy to sit on a stool. I'm not sure whether this little booth is open 24/7, but many are.

Related posts: On the Pricelessness of New York Delis, Open 24/7, Brooklyn and Start Spreading the News.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Looking Up, on Fifth Avenue

Looking up
Photo by myself near Rockefeller Center, on Fifth avenue in Midtown.

There is a lot to see in Midtown.

I believe this photo was taken just outside Rockefeller Center, where there is a large bronze sculpture of Atlas shouldering the world.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Related posts: Looking Like a Tourist, in Midtown, Touring Along Fifth Avenue, in Midtown and The Whole World in his Hands.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Couple, in Times Square

Times Square
Photo by myself at 42nd Street and Broadway.

Doesn't this couple look like a pair of figure skaters, with their slim build?

It was briskly cold, Wednesday morning. Walking through Times Square is very different in the daytime.

I recommend visiting just before dusk, so you can see the sky turn dark and the signage stand out in contrast.

Related posts: At a Crossroads, in Times Square, On Times Square and Our Rupert and Life in the Balance.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Waiting, Below Union Square

Tracks, 14th Street
Photo by myself on the subway platform at 14th Street, Union Square.

The subway tracks look rather clean in this photo.

Usually, there are puddles in the subway tracks, stray newspapers, bottles and the occasional rat. The rats are not as big as dogs or cats, though people joke about it. They are more like large squirrels. Or simply rats.

The yellow strip of tiles near the edge of the tracks have warning bumps on them for the visually impaired. The edge of the tracks is precarious, without gates or rails. People are mindful of the edge, and usually the platforms are not overcrowded.

I have to wonder whether the New York subway will ever be as modern as the trains in Japan, which run so well. Some Japanese stations have rails along the sides. The trains pull into the station exactly, so the doors align with the spaces between the rails.

Apologies for the grainy photo. I've been using my small camera which is good in low light, but not nearly as fantastic as my big one.

For a photo of a Japanese train from our trip to Japan last August, click here.

Related posts: Tempting Fate, On the Subway Platform and on Parade and What's Hopping, Below Ground.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

In Chinatown and a Rupert Update

Snow, in Chinatown NYC
Photo by myself, somewhere in Chinatown.

Another photo from the stash. The sidewalks in Chinatown are typically crowded with passersby and vendors.

This photo was taken a couple months ago. There is much less snow on the ground now, though a light blanket came down Monday morning.

When there is a lot of snow, there is nowhere to put it. As you can see, crossing the street can be difficult.


This past Monday was a federal holiday in the US.

President's Day is observed on the third Monday of February; George Washington's birthday was on February 22nd. Kids have a day off from school and most offices are closed.

Finally, I just have to share a recent photo of Rupert. This is what I have to confront daily:

Fishing for treats
The 'Don't Mess with Me, I'm Emotionally Fragile' face.

Above, when I ask the simple question: "Want one?" this dog becomes wickedly serious.

Yes, indeed, he wants one. You bet he wants one.

Rupert has an excellent trick of pirouetting for treats, that is, spinning round and round while standing on his hind legs. Mark hasn't created a video in a long time. There must be another installment soon!

Related posts: From Under the Banner, in Chinatown, Getting the Goods on Canal Street and Selling Grapes on Canal Street.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Portrait of Style, on the Subway Platform

Cool Cats, in Brooklyn
Photo by myself on the De Kalb subway platform, in Brooklyn.

A group of seriously cool cats graciously allowed me to take their photograph while we waited for the train. Each person displays his own distinct personality.

The fellow on the right is currently living in New York. His friends were visiting from nearby Washington DC and Philadelphia. Together they were so photogenic, they looked like actors on television or a musical group.

Sunday I was in the office to do some extra work. So sad! I was excited to take a nice photo before hopping back on the train.

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

Related posts: Portrait of a Film Shoot, in Brooklyn Heights, Portrait of an Artist, on the Upper East Side and Portrait of Five New Yorkers, on the Upper East Side.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Peeking into Pearl, Downtown

Pearl Oyster Bar, NYC
Photo by myself at Cornelia and Bleecker Streets.

A glimpse into a tiny oyster bar in the Village. A fellow was sitting at the bar.

This little restaurant offers all sorts of raw and prepared seafood, from salt crusted shrimp to lobster rolls to bouillabaisse. I've never eaten there, but the reviews are consistently very good.

Special dishes are offered daily. The dessert menu looks especially good, including blueberry crumble pie, hot fudge sundaes and chocolate mousse.

For a review of the food and ambiance, click here.
You can see the restaurant website and menus here.

Related posts: Night View, the Village, Downtown, 24/7 and Beautiful People, the East Village.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sitting Outside, on Broadway

72nd and Broadway
Photo by myself around 71st Street and Broadway, on the Upper West Side.

A photo taken from the back seat of a cab.

There are fast food chain restaurants in Manhattan, like the McDonald's in the background, though not too many. You'll find burger and fried chicken chain restaurants in just about every neighborhood.

A median strip runs down the middle of Broadway, a major street that runs north-south in Manhattan. Two lanes of traffic and one bus lane run uptown and downtown on either side.

The median strip is used for plantings. Often, park benches are located at the intersections.


Temperatures on Friday were in the mid-60's. For one brief moment, in the middle of February, it felt like Spring. People were sitting outside and walking around in tee shirts.

Related posts: Only in New York, Bright Lights and Cured Meats, on the Upper West Side and Fresh, on the Upper West Side.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Father and Son Serenade

Street music
Photo by myself on the subway platform at 34th Street, in Midtown.

A little boy played along with a musical track on an electric keyboard, while his father conducted. I posted a photo of this youngster last month, here.

A large group of young visitors watched and applauded after each piece, Thursday evening. Above, the subway platform is usually not so crowded.

I had mixed feelings about this performance. Was the little boy being exploited? He looked like he was enjoying himself, but was he really happy? Shouldn't he be running around outside with his buddies?

What was most interesting was how everyone perked up when the little boy interacted with his father. Suddenly, people started paying real attention.

Onlookers chuckled and clucked at the obvious gestures of affection, which were nice to see.

Street music
During a break between pieces, the little boy aimed at his father with a toy gun.

Related posts: Singer and Sax, Along the Tracks, Celebrating Spring, in Union Square and Don't Stop the Music, on the Upper West Side.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Stylin', on East Houston Street

Couple, East Houston Street
Photo by myself on the Lower East Side, on Houston Street.

A photo from the stash.

A fashionable couple walked around the Lower East Side, looking like they were cast in a movie. Everything about these two, from their accessories to their haircuts, are simply perfect.


I apologize everyone, I've been insanely busy lately, and on top of it, suffering from a mild creative slump. Hopefully this will all end soon.

Related posts: Old New York, on the Lower East Side, Seeing Red, on the Lower East Side and Making Off, with the Lower East Side.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

In Search of a Cab, on Fifth Avenue

Hailing a Cab, Fifth Avenue
Photo by myself somewhere on Fifth Avenue, in Midtown.

A woman struck a pose very familiar to New Yorkers.

Generally, it's easiest to get a cab in the mornings. After about 3 in the afternoon, it starts becoming tougher.

Weather matters. In the rain and severe cold, taxis are harder to find.

Here are a few things that are required by law:
1. Passengers must enter and exit a cab on the sidewalk side. You may be fined, otherwise!
2. Taxi drivers cannot use cellphones while driving, though many do use headsets.
3. Taxi drivers must drive anyone to any address in the five boroughs of New York City. That means that drivers need to know how to generally drive anywhere you ask, and they cannot discriminate against you for any reason.

It is very common for a taxi driver to ask you where you're going and pretend he's going on a break if you wish to go outside Manhattan, where he might not get a return fare. This is against the law. You can report a driver by calling '311' and citing his badge number.

For more trivia about NYC Taxis, check out the Taxi and Limousine Commission site, here.

Related posts: Hailing in the Rain, Midtown, Stuck, on 8th Ave and Hailing a Cab, in Times Square.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

In Neon, on the Upper West Side

Open 24/7
Photo by myself around 78th Street and Broadway, on the Upper West Side.

Europan is a chain of dine-in bakeries in Manhattan. There are several locations on the Upper West and Upper East Sides.

I wish I could say this chain were special, but there are many, many similar delis, bakeries and small food stores in Manhattan. Each of these places are great if you're hungry and short on time.

Related posts: Neon Storefronts, in Midtown, Only in New York and Open 24/7, Brooklyn.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Statues of Liberty, in Midtown

Statues of Liberty
Photo by myself in Midtown.

Hm...seems like there's a few versions of this lady New York icon out there.

Happy Monday and Valentine's Day, everyone!

Related posts: Greetings from New York, The View of Liberty and Way Off in the Distance, Miss Liberty.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

In Thought, Along the East River

Under the Manhattan Bridge
Photo by myself near the Manhattan Bridge, with the East River and Brooklyn beyond.

A photo from earlier this year. A young man stood in thought just below the Manhattan Bridge, on the edge of Manhattan.

As you can see, the edge of Brooklyn is not as built up as it could be. Only recently have developers been building apartment buildings with a waterfront view. The city is also just starting to add public parks along the water's edge.

You can get access to the Manhattan Bridge from Canal Street in Chinatown, and wind up in Downtown Brooklyn on the other side. There are walkways on either side for pedestrians, cyclists and runners to enjoy the view.

Related posts: From the Edge of DUMBO, On What's Down Under the Manhattan Bridge and Down Under and Enjoying the View of the Manhattan Bridge.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

The New York Public Library, Unveiled

At the New York Public Library
Photo by myself outside the main branch of the New York Public Library, at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue.

A couple of women took photos in front of the main branch of the New York Public Library, Friday afternoon.

Only recently, the scaffolding and netting has been taken down at this New York City landmark. The facade has undergone cleaning and restoration for what seems like eons.

The front is a modified temple front in the Beaux-Arts style, with deep arches in between Corinthian columns.

Detail at the New York Public Library

The library cost $9 million dollars and eight years to build, all the way back in 1911. Designed by Carrere and Hastings, the building received between 30,000 and 50,000 visitors on opening day.

For more information about this gorgeous landmark building, visit the New York Public Library site here.
For a tour with me through the Library, click here.

The South Wing
The south wing of the library. Tall windows on the first floor bring light into the public reading room.

Related posts: City Portraits - the New York Public Library, Outside the NYPL and on the Subway and On the Steps of the New York Public Library.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Twinkly Lights at The Breslin

The Breslin, at the Ace Hotel
Photo by myself at the Breslin Bar, at 29th and Broadway.

The bar at The Breslin is laden with neon, twinkly lights and mirrored reflections.

This area of town is a bit of an in-between zone, just south of the Empire State Building and north of the Flatiron Building. These few blocks are usually deserted, since most of the gift shops and stores close at night.

The Breslin Bar recently opened as part of a complex, along with the The Ace Hotel and John Dory Oyster Bar in the same bulding. They've gotten rave reviews. Suddenly, this area has become a destination. The interiors are evocative of aged British pubs, complete with water-stained ceilings.

Porcine specialties include pig's foot and pork belly. Have a snack of a Scotch egg or caramel popcorn. If you're looking for a meal, the lamb ribs with creme fraiche or duck sausage with fennel sound delicious.

The Breslin, at the Ace Hotel
The Dining Room part of the Breslin offers cozy booths and soaring ceilings.

Check out The Breslin's quirky website here.
Read a detailed (rave) review in the Times here.

Related posts: Lure Fish Bar, SoHo, Colorful Eats, at Kelley and Ping, SoHo and The Royalton, Renovated.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tagged at 5 Pointz, Long Island City

5 Pointz, Queens
Photo by myself on Davis Street in Long Island City, in Queens. A warehouse just down the street from the 5 Pointz building.

On a desolate street in Long Island City, just a couple subway stops outside Manhattan, is one of the most visited monuments to graffiti art.

5 Pointz is a sprawling building of artist studios, and is absolutely covered with graffiti. The graffiti extends down the street, covering several buildings.

The incredible thing is that the 5 Pointz building allows itself to be tagged. Visitors flock from all over the world, bearing aerosol cans to add their mark to the building.

I'd seen and heard about this building for the longest time. Wednesday night I happened to be in the area, visiting a contractor's office. It was spooky to walk down the street, which was deserted and freezing.

5 Pointz, Queens
Set back from the street, the famed 5 Points building is covered with graffiti.

5 Pointz is located on Davis Street, just beyond Jackson Avenue. It is a short walk from the Court Square subway stops (E, M and G trains). You cannot miss it.

For the wiki entry about 5 Pointz, click here.
For the 5 Pointz website, including some incredible photos, click here.

Related posts: The Urban Art Form, Downtown, Pasted Up in the Meatpacking District and The Truth in Advertising, in the East Village


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

At 59th Street and a Visitor's Point of View

Newstand, 59th Street
Photo by myself on the subway platform at 59th Street, Columbus Circle.

Temperatures fell Tuesday night to about 18 degrees Fahrenheit.

Due to gusty winds, the temperature feels like it is 2 degrees Fahrenheit, or negative 7 degrees Celcius. Indoor photos are best during this type of weather.

Some of the larger subway platforms have newstands. They are a nice opportunity to grab a magazine or a drink before taking the train.


Here's another installment of New York photographs from a visitor's point of view. My friend Washington from Curitiba, Brazil, visited New York last summer. He and his wife Marcia stayed for 15 days and saw just about everything there was to see.

They toured every neighborhood in Manhattan, saw a bit of Brooklyn and even went out to Harlem and New Jersey.

washington esb sm
Washington's photo: An incredible view of the Empire State Building, at sunset. Taken from Rockefeller Center.

The Flatiron Building
Washington's photo: The Flatiron building, at 23rd Street and Fifth Avenue, surrounded by gorgeous clouds.

washington gay st sm
Some wonderful contrast of color and texture, in the Village.

For more of Washington's photos, visit a blog he's created just showing his trip to New York, here.

Related posts: Moving and Shaking, The Diamond District, Lost in a Crowd, Midtown and Fighting the Crowds in Midtown.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Making Deals on 47th Street, The Diamond District

Moving, Shaking
Photo by myself on 47th Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, in Midtown

The Diamond District is comprised of one block in Midtown, lined with retailers of gemstones and pawn shops.

People stand outside each store, watching for passersby and making deals. It's not clear what is being said or done, but there is a constant, underlying energy.

The retail stores are filled with little booths and smaller stores inside. In addition to diamonds, you can also find platinum, gold, gemstones and pearls. If you are shopping, you can trade some of your jewelry in as part of the deal.

Most of the workers on the sidewalks and in the booths are men, for whatever reason. Traditionally too, there are many Orthodox Jews in this business. One man in the center is wearing a fur hat and overcoat, the other is wearing a yarmulke.

The last time I tried taking photos on this block, I was confronted by a store worker. Maybe he thought I was planning a robbery? It looks like chaos but people are very watchful on this street.

For more information about the Diamond District, visit the website for the neighborhood here.

Related posts: Moving and Shaking, The Diamond District, Lost in a Crowd, Midtown and Fighting the Crowds in Midtown.


Monday, February 7, 2011

It's All in the Details, on the Upper East Side

75th and Park, NYC
Photo by myself at 75th Street and Park Avenue on the Upper East Side.

The photo above was not modified, beyond a little tweaking with the contrast. Two townhouses located side-by-side were built by the same contractor at the same time.

One building was built with terra cotta bricks, the other with grey bricks. The builder used Roman bricks, which are longer and skinnier than the ones commonly used today.


Happy Monday, everyone!

The sun finally, finally peeked out on Sunday, starting to melt all our snow. Maybe the groundhogs Punxsutawney Phil and Staten Island Chuck will be right in Spring coming early this year?

Related posts: Details, Details, The Flatiron Building, in Detail and Going Postal, in Midtown.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

In Sun and Snow, Washington Square Park

In Sun and Snow
Photo by myself in Washington Square Park, in the village.

Just outside the dog run in Washington Square Park, and older fellow sat in a lawn chair enjoying the sun.

In one hand, he held a transistor radio. The other hand, he held a reflective shield, which is unfortunately hard to see.

Yes, folks, this man was tanning! What else is there to do on the weekend?!

I tried getting a better photo from the front, but there was no chance. He was onto my dastardly tricks.

Related posts: Summering in the City, Out to Lunch and Enjoying the View Across the East River.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Matt Umanov Guitars, on Bleecker Street

Matt Umanov, NYC
Photo by myself at Bleecker and Morton Streets, in the village.

Above, one of the many specialty shops in the village. Matt Umanov Guitars has been selling vintage guitars since 1965.

I'm not too familiar with guitars, but a brief survey of their shop window and website was impressive. Umanov stocks banjos, electric guitars, basses, mandolins, and acoustic and classical guitars.

Prices range from $1,500 up to $9,000 per instrument. Above, what looks like a figure in blue toward the left is actually a cardboard cutout in the shape of Elvis Presley.

Matt Umanov, NYC
Guitar enthusiasts ogle at some of the electric guitars on display.

I happened to pass by the other day as the sun was setting and a few days before that in the daytime.

The front window is not as impressive during the day. The window is covered with a yellow film that protects the instruments from sunlight.

You can check out the Matt Umanov website here.

Related posts: Crazy Fantasy, Anyone?, Outside Three Lives, in the Village and Downtown, 24/7.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Twilight, on West 4th Street

135 West 4th Street
Photo by myself on West 4th Street and Sixth Avenue.

Believe it or not, this is not a photo of a church.

Originally built as a Methodist Church in 1860, this building was converted into condominium units in 2006. Not the best timing in terms of the real estate market.

Perhaps because people don't like the thought of living in a church, the apartments have not been selling too well. Many of the units are now being rented out by the developer.

A 3-bedroom penthouse apartment there was recently sold for $6.9 million dollars. 2-bedroom loft apartments are being rented for just under $10k a month.

Related posts: On Eating Chicken Sandwiches in Montreal, 184 3/4 West 4th Street and City Portraits: Washington Square Park.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Outside O. Ottomanelli's Meat Market, in The Village

Photo by myself at Bleecker and Jones Streets, in the Village.

The storefront of O. Ottomanelli's, a specialty meat market in Greenwich Village, was steamed up due to the weather Wednesday evening.

This traditional style butcher has received rave reviews for their wide selection and friendly service.

Unfortunately they are so traditional, they do not have a website. From what I could tell from the reviews, you can get everything including dry-aged steak, sweetbreads, bone marrow, quail, goose, buffalo...the list goes on.

A flyer below the window announced the health benefits of ostrich meat.

For the O. Ottomanelli reviews on Yelp, click here.


I was in the village briefly early Wednesday evening, around 6 pm. The streets were deserted. Stores were closing up and it was a bit too early for dinner.

In every restaurant, candles were lit, tablecloths were smoothed down. It was as if everyone were breathlessly waiting for the night to begin.

Related posts: Through the Glass at Russ and Daughters, Meat Market, Ninth Avenue and Food on the Brain.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sharing Sweet Dreams, on the Subway

Asleep Together
Photo by myself on the subway, in Brooklyn.

I'm not sure whether these two people knew each other or whether they were random strangers. They were certainly in the same frame of mind at the end of a long day.

The subway can be seen as an extension of the New York City apartment. People sleep there and entertain there, they put on their make up, read, eat, knit.

So if it seems like this blog shows lots of photos taken on the subway and subway platform, you know why. The subway plays a huge role in peoples' daily lives and is usually the fastest and most reliable way to get around the city.

Related posts: Stealing a Nap, Underground, Passing the Time, Underground and Asleep on the D Train.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Bundled Up, on the Ride Home

Q Train, NYC
Photo by myself, underground

The thing about winter in New York is that (obviously) people need to wear more clothing to combat the elements. The subway cars become cramped more quickly than in the warmer months.

Many of us in New York are suffering from the winter 'blahs'. This is caused by tromping through snow in the same big coats every day, and being stuffed in cramped airless spaces. Symptoms of the blahs include surliness, heavy sighs and eye-rolling.

And there is more snow in the forecast!!

Related posts: The Trains are Hopping, Tempting Fate and The Day After.