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Friday, September 30, 2011

All Ablur, on Broadway

Night, Broadway
Photo by myself, around 28th Street and Broadway, in the Flatiron District.

Even on dark streets, you can find people wandering around until late.

This photo was taken Thursday night. It was nice and summery outside, perfect long-walk-after-dinner weather.

Not many businesses are open in this area at night, yet there is a sense of safety. I'm not sure where the line is drawn between 'safe' and 'unsafe', but a line definitely exists.

The same area must have been desolate and dangerous a few decades ago.

Related posts: Bright Lights, Big City, Columbus Circle, At Dusk and Under the Lights, at 54th and Fifth.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Double Decker View, in Midtown

Touring view
Photo by myself, somewhere in Midtown.

The view from the double decker buses is a unique one.

Apart from the crowded sidewalk, you have long vistas of the avenues. You're also close to the detail of all the older buildings, which is sometimes lost blocked by signage and canopies.

A number of tour bus companies offer single day tickets where you can hop on and off.


Apologies for the tardy and spotty posts of late. It has been soooo busy here.

At home, I've been dealing with downed elevators and building leaks. At work, I've been drawing up fancy Kitchens and Dining Room tables that seat 12 or more. This is a little disconcerting, since many New York apartments don't even have Dining Rooms.

There have been warnings of another dip in the economy, but judging by the surge of projects and project deadlines, we have nothing to worry about.

Related posts: Tourist's Eye View, Fifth Avenue, Greetings from Above, in Midtown and On New York Bike Tours and Real Housewives.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

String Duet, Below Brooklyn

Violinists, NYC
Photo by myself at the Atlantic Pacific subway station, in Brooklyn.

Two young violinists serenaded subway riders, Tuesday evening. They played a series of classical duets.

I spoke briefly with Abi and Tim, who were very talented and friendly. Both have completed their training and are trying to 'make it' in the City.

Abi told me she performs and teaches, no longer working part-time at a cafe. She said the hardest part about relying on music for a living is not knowing how much you'll earn each day.

They be found playing at various subway stations in Brooklyn and the Upper West Side, near Columbia University. (Union Square, Tim says, is oversaturated).

A large crowd formed at one point, before the subway came. The nice thing is, the violin case they were using was filled with donations.

Related posts: Pulling Strings on the Subway Platform, Singing the Blues, Below Ground and Strike Up the Band, in Washington Square Park.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Walking and Reading, Downtown

Walking and Reading
Photo by myself around Cortlandt and Church Streets, in the Financial District.

Walking is the primary form of transport in the city.

Multitasking while walking is common. All the better to get stuff done.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Related posts: On the Federal Buildings and Statistics, On Line for the Ferry, at Pier 11 and Reflections from the Freedom Tower.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Taking A Break, on Sixth Avenue

Waitstaff, NYC
Photo by myself around Sixth Avenue and 35th Street, in Midtown.

What looked like restaurant cooks took a break on a street corner, last week.

I was walking to the office and these guys made a noticeable sight. I believe they were cooking for an event held later for the UN and President Obama.

Scores of streets were shut down for the UN last Tuesday, by the way. The sidewalks were hemmed in with metal barricades, to prevent pedestrian traffic. It made the commute home difficult.

Correction - A Flickr friend told me these guys actually work around the corner at a steakhouse.

Related posts: Skating Under the Empire State, On the Menu and Serving up Sushi at 15 East 15th.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Skating In-Line, in Prospect Park Brooklyn

In line race, Prospect Park
Photo by myself in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.

The main loop in Prospect Park was busy with a race for in-line skaters, Saturday morning.

Serious rollerbladers geared up in colorful jerseys zipped around in formation. The usual crowd of runners, joggers and cyclists were out, too, despite high humidity.

There are always tons of activities in Prospect Park, including bird walks, nature classes and farmers' markets. Check out the Prospect Park calendar, here.

Related posts: Skating Under the Empire State, Playing Ball in the Public Courts and Enjoying a Ride, in Central Park.


Friday, September 23, 2011

A Glimpse of the Naked Cowboy, in Times Square

Naked Cowboy, Times Square
Photo by myself in Times Square.

A fellow dressed as the Naked Cowboy performed for crowds in Times Square.

I posted photos of the cowboy earlier, here, and he was much, much more muscular (!).

Like any good capitalist, whoever the real Naked Cowboy is, must rent out his name and likeness. He's probably lounging along the Riveria while his clones work the streets.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Related posts: Looking Around, in Times Square, At a Crossroads, in Times Square and On the View in Times Square and Street Photography.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Signs of Attitude, on the West Side

Manhattan Mini Storage
Photo by myself, somewhere on the West Side.

It should come as no surprise that you can find several warehouses to store your stuff in New York.

Manhattan Mini Storage is known for its snarky ads. For an article about their campaign in AdWeek, click here.

Related posts: Our Commander in Chief, Above 7th Avenue, Signs of Evil, on 8th Street and Shoot the Freak, Coney Island.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Woman with a Cat on Her Back

Cat and friends, Midtown
Photo by myself, in Midtown.

A cat lounged with his giant, stuffed buddies, Monday afternoon.

Just down the street from my office, there is a cat that lives in a shop. Nearly every day, he comes out and sits on the sidewalk across from two stuffed teddy bears.

For many minutes, he will sit and stare at the bears. Sometimes he sits and stares at his own reflection in the metal storefront. For a cat, he is an odd bird ;-)

After I took the above photo, I crossed the street. Moments later, a woman walked down the sidewalk and said hello to the cat.

She squatted down to pet the cat. The cat then....climbed up on her lap....and then climbed up on her back. Haha. I was lucky to catch the acrobatics.

By the way, one of the most popular posts on this site is The Guy with a Cat on His Head. He and his cat are fixtures here in the city.

The Woman with a Cat on her back

Related posts: Cats on Leashes, Cat on a Leash, in Midtown and Beware of Cat, East Village.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

With Pushcart, in Chelsea

Chelsea, NYC
Photo by myself, somewhere in Chelsea.

I've written before that it's not easy for the elderly to get around the city. In fact, it's a mixed bag.

Walking up and down multiple stairs to the subway or to one's apartment can be difficult, and sidewalks are often crowded and uneven. But the buses are a great alternative and they're reliable, too.

If you live in an elevator building, then daily life is much easier. You can get groceries delivered for a few bucks.

Related posts: The Jazzman, 34th Street, Old Friends, in Alphabet City and Older Birds, on Fifth Avenue.


Monday, September 19, 2011

On Line, in Midtown

On line, Midtown
Photo by myself, somewhere in Midtown.

A line of people were waiting for their morning coffee or pastries, in Midtown. For some reason, this coffee truck was very popular.

Coffee trucks can be more personal than larger shops. The owner will often remember your daily order and serve it up with a smile and without any instruction.

Back to the daily grind. Happy Monday, everyone!

Related posts: In Line, on the Phone, Lining Up, Election Day and Waiting on Line, Fifth Avenue.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Bit of Nature in New York

Photo by myself, somewhere in the East Village.

Here's a palate cleanser, a little nature in the city.

Our dog Rupert encountered a little stylish dog in the East Village a while ago.

You know the type - a chip on the shoulder, a certain bounce in his walk. He probably knows everything about celebrity gossip and has several tattoos. ;-)

The East Village is still a little rough around the edges. Their fashion sense follows suit.


Little bird
Meanwhile, Saturday morning, we were in Prospect Park. Dogs are allowed to run around off leash before 9 am.

Out of nowhere, a little bird flew up to another dog owner and perched on his shoulder. The little bird started hopping around on the man's arms. It was bizarre, and several people noticed.

The man took out a dog biscuit and started feeding the bird. I talked to him briefly and he was just as astounded but remained calm, so not to startle the bird.

I saw something about birds on tv a while ago, where a similar thing happened with a goose. Out of nowhere, the goose decided to attach himself to a man, and a relationship ensued.

Birds tend to make long attachments, so I have to wonder whether the little bird and man are still together?

Related posts: The Bird Man of Washington Square Park, On Swinging Jazz and Sniffing Dogs and Odd and Colorful Birds, in Bryant Park.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

On Getting Around the City

Car wash, NYC
Photo by myself around 25th Street and 10th Avenue, in Chelsea.

A view at the entrance to a car wash, on 25th Street, near the West Side Highway.

There are gas stations and car dealerships in Manhattan, too.


By the way, the city has announced a bike share program starting in the summer of 2012.

Apparently people sign up with $100 a year. Bike stations will be located all over the place, where you pick up or drop off your ride.

It's a big debate now about whether this is a good idea or a horrible one. Many New Yorkers are very nervous about how congested the sidewalks are already.

For an article in the Gothamist and an assortment of comments, click here.

Related posts: Pedalling Around Columbus Circle, On the West Side Highway and Crossing Broadway, on Wheels.


Friday, September 16, 2011

On a Cigarette Break, in Chelsea

Cigarette Break, Chelsea
Photo by myself, around 27th Street and 11th Avenue.

Way west in Chelsea are large warehouse buildings used for storage, offices and art galleries.

I'm not sure what kind of building this was, but it looks like a fellow just received a shipment of bread. He looks like the type who should not be messed around with. Very serious.

By the way, at some delis, a pack of cigarettes costs $15 bucks right now. That's 75 cents per smoke. Smoking is an expensive habit here.

Happy Friday, everyone.

Related posts: Open Spaces, in Chelsea, A Moment Alone, in the East Village and Texting, Schmexting.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Cuppa Joe to Go, in Midtown

Crowd, Midtown
Photo by myself around 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue, in Midtown.

A photo taken from a cab, Wednesday afternoon.

You can see a Starbucks sign in the background. I tried to figure out how many Starbucks locations there are in Manhattan, by doing a search on the Starbucks website.

There are well over 50 locations in the city. (Unfortunately, the site only allows up to 50 listings per search). Anyway, if you're ever going to meet someone 'at Starbucks', be specific in terms of the coordinates!

I made this mistake a while back when planning to meet my cousin at a Starbucks on the Upper West Side. At the time, there are two that were located virtually around the corner from each other.

There is absolutely no reason not to be caffeinated at all times.


The crazy thing is, I wrote the top part of this post before looking at today's Times. By coincidence, is an article there about...Starbucks in New York (!!)

There are 186 Starbucks in Manhattan. There are more Starbucks locations than subway stations. Mark swears there must have been more at some point. #187 is due to open this Friday.

Yes, there is a Zeitgeist.

Check out the Starbucks article, here.

Related posts: Street Corner, in Midtown, Sharing the Sidewalk, 42nd Street and Across the Crowded Sidewalk, in Midtown.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lit up, on Fifth Avenue

Fifth Avenue, NYC
Photo by myself in Midtown.

Some of the street signs in Midtown are internally lit with LED lighting. As a result, street lights aren't needed and people can find their way in the dark.

The stretch of Fifth Avenue between 42nd Street and 23rd Street is relatively quiet at night. Most of the businesses there are open only during the day. Lighting the way for pedestrians at night therefore is an issue.

Related posts: Holy Smokes, in the East Village, On Mulberry Street and Small Packages and Shoot the Freak, in Coney Island.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cabs Galore, on Lexington

Little India, NYC
Photo by myself around 28th Street and Lexington Avenue.

This tiny neighborhood called 'Curry Hill' is usually lined with Indian and Pakhistani restaurants, and taxi cabs. Many taxi drivers are natives of those countries or they are fans of the delicious cuisine ;-)

I don't blame them! This is one style of food where vegetarian dishes are as tasty or more than meat ones.


By the way, this is the 1,500th post on this blog. Wow! It's been a quick and wild ride.

Thank you all for dropping by and sticking with me! If you have a spare second, try out the 'random post' option on the right margin. You never know what you'll get.

Related posts: Stuck on 8th Ave, Fixing Flats in the Streets and In Search of a Cab, in Midtown.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Waiting out the Rain, in Curry Hill

Waiting, NYC
Photo by myself around 30th Street and Lexington, in Curry Hill.

A group of attractive women sat under an awning to avoid the raindrops, Saturday afternoon.

'Curry Hill' is so named for its abundance of Indian and Pakistani restaurants. Lexington Avenue and the upper 20's smells like curry (!). Yum!

This is the area to visit, too, if you're shopping for Indian spices and herbal remedies. Kalustyan's is one of the more well-known spice shops. They have over 100 types of salt, alone (!).

You can check out the Kalustyan site, here.

Related posts: What's Cooking, in Curry Hill, Beautiful People, the East Village and Wet and Not-So-Wonderful, Downtown.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering Ten Years Ago Today

WTC Tribute
Photo by myself near the World Trade Center, in the Financial District.

Above, makeshift memorials are placed near the World Trade Center site, honoring fire fighters who were killed in the line of duty on September 11, 2001.


Today marks the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy. A ceremony for the families at the World Trade Center site is being held this morning.

In that time, New York has encountered some false alarms. Police still conduct searches outside subway stations. Subway riders are reminded to be watchful.

Every New Yorker has been affected. Every New Yorker living here at the time clearly remembers where they were that morning. Most of us know people who worked at the towers or whose family or friends worked there.

One of my high school classmates was on one of the planes. My current downstairs neighbor worked on a lower floor of one of the towers. A friend of a friend lost his wife there. They were newlyweds.

It sounds crazy, but it's still difficult to comprehend that this event even occurred.

WTC Mementos
A poem and tributes placed near the site.

Related posts: Life Goes On, Almost, Seven Years Ago and Salvaged from the World Trade Center.


On T-Shirt Slogans and the New Yorker Festival

I heart Bronx
Photo by myself around Lexington and 28th Street.

I saw the above New Yorker on the street and hailed him down. He was so nice to allow me to take his photo.

Just after posting that New Yorkers don't wear New York items, I stand corrected. There are exceptions. Some of us have a sense of humor!


By the way, the schedule for this year's New Yorker Festival has been announced. Friday, September 30th to Sunday October 2nd, some 50 talks and lectures are scheduled to take place.

Each year, the New Yorker Magazine hosts the event, with various writers, thinkers and notables. Many celebrities are taking part this year, including Paul Giamatti, Steve Martin, Owen Wilson and Frank Gehry.

In the past, Mark and I have seen a few Festival talks. We've heard Steve Martin, Chuck Close, David Byrne and Trey Parker and Matt Stone (the creators of South Park), among others.

For the New Yorker Festival website, where you can buy tickets, click here.

Related posts: I Heart NY, in Midtown, T Shirts with New York Attitude, in Chelsea and Art for the Masses.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Under Cover, in Midtown

NY rain
Photo by myself in Midtown.

A photo from earlier in the week, when it was raining just about every %*@#/! day.

The two women above were probably visiting from elsewhere. Most people who tote things with 'New York' logos don't live in New York.

New Yorkers have more of a love-hate relationship with the city ;-)


I saw the women above, while leaving my office. I practically chased them down the sidewalk, getting my camera out and set up.

Fortunately, they came to a stop at the intersection and I was able to snap a couple quick shots. I'm sure I looked like a crazy person to passersby.

Related posts: The Met Life Tower, in the Rain, On Rainy Nights and Busy Days and Rain, Rain, Go Away.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Near the World Trade Center, Downtown

WTC worker
Photo by myself near the World Trade Center, at Washington and Albany Streets.

One of the workers at the World Trade Center took a break, Thursday morning.

Tons of people work in the World Financial Center, a group of towers near the World Trade Center site. As a result, the sidewalks are very crowded, especially during rush hour. The site itself is walled off and under construction.

In the last few days, there have been more reflections on 9/11 in the media. The ten-year anniversary is upon us. This year, the date falls on a Sunday.

In the past, the names of all the victims have been read aloud in a ceremony held at the site. It is a very long list.

WTC progress
The glass towers to the right are part of the new World Trade Center. The beige towers to the left are part of the World Financial Center.


By the way, the Times has an incredible slideshow of photographs showing the construction, life and end of the original World Trade Towers, online. Click here to see the slideshow.

Related posts: Night View, at the World Trade Center, Remembrance, at the World Trade Center and On Street Corners in the East Village.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

On the IFC Center and Rain, Downtown

IFC, W4th
Photo by myself on Sixth Avenue around West 4th Street, in the Village.

The IFC Center in the Village specializes in independent and classic films. They play a ton of different movies every day.

There are several movie theaters around the city that also play indie and foreign films. Other movie places show normal big budget films. Usually you purchase tickets early and wait in line for a while before getting in. Fun.

Tickets at the IFC Center are $13 per adult. Prices are less expensive with a yearly membership.

For more information about the IFC Center, click here.


It's been raining like mad here and is supposed to rain all week.

Sometimes I feel bad for those visiting that they have to deal with rain. However, my secret thought is that New York is at its most photogenic and romantic looking in rainy weather.

The pavements are wet and a little reflective, and you see all the lights reflected in the puddles and on the streets.

The bad thing is, everything and everyone moves slower in this weather. Subways run more slowly and the subway floors can be a bit disgusting.

Related posts: Bright Lights at BAM, For Your Viewing Pleasure and On View at Open House NY.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cold Turkey, in Park Slope, Brooklyn

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

A sign outside a neighborhood bar bore a quote from one H. (Homer) Simpson. Ha.


I celebrated a birthday last week, and Mark prodded me with questions.

'What do you want for your birthday? A camera?'

No, no, I am perfectly fine with my cameras, I assured him.

But then. I got. To thinking. (!!!)

My little Canon G11 has a little smudge on the lens that will not go away. My Canon 40D is perfect but very heavy to carry on a daily basis. Plus when focusing, it looks like I'm aiming a bazooka.

I envy my Flickr friends who toggle easily between many cameras. Could I free myself from monogamy?

So I've been looking at the Sony NEX cameras and the Leica D-Lux 5. Oh how to choose! My head is all a-swirl.

Do any readers use one of these cameras? If so, please leave me a note. I'd love to know your experiences. What is the ideal small, inconspicuous camera that takes great photos quickly?

Related posts: Missing, on Broadway, It's the Unofficial End of Summer and Reasons to be Pretty, Times Square.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Dash of Charm, in the Village

the village
Photo by myself, somewhere in the Village.

Many of the historic townhouses have such charm.

In the one above, the lintel above one of the windows was obviously crooked. The bricks to either side of the window must have settled at some point.

Apologies for the last post today. Happy Fall, everyone!

Related posts: Cozy Interior on Perry Street, in the West Village, Peeking into Pearl, Downtown and A Peek into Grove Court, in the West Village.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Outside Bedford Street Laundry, in the Village

Bedford Laundry, nyc
Photo by myself at Bedford and Morton Streets, in the Village.

This laundromat looks like it's temporarily closed, with wash waiting to be picked up.

I was surprised (and disappointed) to find out that it's shuttered for good, after some rooting around on the internet. The sign alone has such character.

ps: As you can see in the comments section, the original Owners sold the laundry in 2009 to fund their daughter Jessica's clothing line, which was then named Bedford Street Laundry.

For a look at the Jessica's contemporary designs, click here.


As a rule of thumb, there is a laundromat, dry cleaners, shoe repair, coffee shop, grocery, bank, post office, drug store and many restaurants within walking distance of any place in Manhattan.

Now of course, it's more like one Duane Reade pharmacy, three Starbucks and several fancy dessert places. But you get the point. You don't need a car in this city!

Related posts: Signs of Old Times, on the Lower East Side, The Quality Mending Company, in Soho and Meat Market, Ninth Avenue.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Graff Attack, in the Meatpacking District

Paste ups, NYC
Photo by myself at 13th Street and Washington, in the Meatpacking District.

The area known as the Meatpacking District is photogenic in its own way.

This neighborhood used to be desolate, lined with large warehouses and the occasional bar. In as late as 2003, there were still slaughterhouses here. Now there is a mix of very high end boutiques and restaurants.

Every neighborhood has a BID, or Business Improvement District. Businesses unite and contribute money to improve the streets by adding signage and street furniture. Events are scheduled. Graffiti is removed.

New York is commerce driven. The more inviting the streets are, the more customers are likely to visit your store and the more sales will result. And so on.

I posted about BIDs earlier, here.

Related posts: The Truth in Advertising, in the East Village, Pasted Up, in the Meatpacking District and Abandoned Lot, East Village.


Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Morning Commute, Underground

Morning Commute
Photo by myself at the DeKalb subway station in Brooklyn.

It's Labor Day weekend, which marks the end of summer and beginning of the school year.

The morning commute will not take place on Monday, as most people have the day off. Hooray! Banks and post offices are closed.

As you can imagine, rush hour in New York can be a little too close for comfort. Most New Yorkers wind up standing very close to strangers and no words are exchanged except the occasional 'Sorry' or 'Excuse me' as the train jostles along.

For whatever reason, we also tend to avoid looking at each other. The subway is often much more packed with people than in the photo above.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Related posts: Delays on the B Train, Underground, In Line, on the Phone and A Moment, on the Subway Platform.


Friday, September 2, 2011

School is In, at Parsons on 13th Street

Parsons, 13th Street
Photo by myself at 13th Street and Fifth Avenue, in the Village.

The headquarters of the Parsons New School for Design was all a-bustle the other day, as new students were in for the academic year. The canopy serves as a striking front sign.

Parsons is the design branch of The New School. You can obtain a degree in graphic design, fine arts, architecture, interior design or fashion. They also offer continuing education courses for those who already have a degree.

The New School campus differs from a traditional college, in that buildings are not located close together. The New School has buildings in the Village, Chelsea, on the Upper West Side and even in lower Manhattan.

Parsons, 13th Street

Related posts: School's Out, on the Upper East Side, Sand Artist, in Washington Square Park and Charging Through Wall Street.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

In the Shadow of the Standard Hotel, on the West Side

Giant Kaws, NYC
Photo by myself below the Standard Hotel, at West 13th and Washington Streets.

Way, way, way over on the far west side, tucked under The High Line and the towering Standard Hotel, is a giant piece of public art.

The sculpture was created by the street artist named Kaws. It is only 16 feet tall, however seems much taller. Influences from Mickey Mouse can be seen in the 'gloves'. (The artist started his career as a freelancer at Disney).

People were eating and relaxing nearby in the gorgeous weather. The Standard is a super cool building that straddles The High Line, the elevated public park. Rates at The Standard vary from about $450 to $2,200 per night.

Giant Kaws, NYC

Related posts: Public Art and Other Freebies, Portrait of a Young Man, Without a Home and Portrait of FIve New Yorkers, on the Upper East Side.