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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Don't Litter, in Tompkins Square Park

Tompkins Square sign
Photo by myself, in Tompkins Square Park.

Litter is awful to see in the city. You see it on every sidewalk.

This sign in Tompkins Square Park reminds people to properly dispose of their rubbish. We do share this planet, after all.


Can it be the end of 2011 already?! It's hard for me to believe.

I wish to thank all the readers and visitors to my blog. I've enjoyed sharing my experience of New York with you every day. Your comments and visits are what keep me going.

Here's to a happy and healthy 2012! xoxo!

Related posts: Now on Sale, in Midtown, On Mulberry Street and Small Packages, and More Free Hugs, in Union Square.


Friday, December 30, 2011

Streetside, in Midtown

Drink cart, NYC
Photo by myself around 35th Street and Broadway, in Midtown.

Ah yes, another street food cart.

Various carts can be found on just about every street corner. There are street carts serving up cooked meat, hot dogs, pastries and drinks. The fancier trucks sell special foods, like crepes or gourmet cupcakes.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Related posts: Under the Lights at 54th and Fifth, On the Soup Station and Snow, and Serving it up from the Back of a Truck.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

On the Rockefeller Tree and New York in Pictures

Rock Center, NYC
Photo by myself in Rockfeller Center, around 50th Street and Fifth Avenue.

The stretch of Fifth Avenue between 35th and 59th Streets was absolutely packed with people, Wednesday afternoon. Many people are probably here to celebrate New Year's Eve.

This year's tree is a Norway Spruce over 70 feet tall, from Pennsylvania. It is lit with 47,000 LED lights that are partially powered by solar panels.

I usually have a deep aversion to crowds (!) and this stretch of Fifth Avenue was insanely packed with people. The opportunity to take a few photos is hard to pass up.


By the way, the Lens Blog on the NY Times site recently posted a collection of photos of New York from this year's news. It's a pretty good assortment of striking images.

To see the Lens Blog post, click here.

Related posts: The Rink at Rockefeller Center, On Kids in the Slope and in the Country, and Have Yourselves a Very Merry Christmas.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Behind the Counter at Ray's Candy, in Alphabet City

Inside Ray's Candy, NYC
Photo by myself in Ray's Candy Store, at 7th Street and Avenue A, in Alphabet City.

The signs inside Ray's Candy look un-spellchecked and unchanged from another time.

I stopped by this weekend for a snack of mouthwatering beignets, which are small pieces of fried dough, sprinkled with powdered sugar. They were divine!

This store is absolutely tiny, with just enough room for a couple customers to stand at the counter. Behind the counter is a whirlwind of signs and other crap, advertising what unhealthy stuff you can get here - egg creams, sandwiches, ice cream cones.

There have been rumors over the last couple years of Ray's closing its doors. I hope they are only rumors. This place is authentic as it gets.

Here's an interview with Ray, who started the store in 1974:

Related posts: Holy Smokes, in the East Village, On the Pricelessness of New York Delis, and Open 24/7, in Brooklyn.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Look Ma, No Hands...in the East Village

Unicycle, NYC
Photo by myself, around 7th Street and First Avenue, in the East Village.

A fellow pedalled around the East Village, Christmas Day.

You see cyclists and pedicabs in the city all the time. Unicycles, not so much.


A friend of mine was hit by a two-wheeled cyclist recently.

Like many New Yorkers, he was crossing in the middle of the street. It was on a one-way street, but my friend didn't look both ways. The cyclist was riding in the wrong direction, wasn't expecting to encounter someone, and, KABOOM!

Accident. Bodies flung in the air. There were some scrapes and bruising but no one was terribly hurt, thank goodness.

The trouble here is that everyone thinks s/he has the right of way.

The drivers curse at other drivers for being indecisive, or looking for parking spaces, or not signaling, or putting on their signal when they're not turning. The cyclists curse the drivers for not watching out and for being generally obnoxious.

The pedestrians curse everyone because, god knows, New York is a pedestrian city and pedestrians are always right.

Frankly, I'm surprised accidents don't happen more often!

Related posts: Pedalling Around Columbus Circle, On Riding Around Sixth Avenue and the Travel Channel, and On NY Bike Tours and Real Housewives.


Monday, December 26, 2011

Seeking Help, on the Upper East Side

Please help...UES
Photo by myself at Fifth Avenue and 81st Street, on the Upper East Side.

A woman stood outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art, seeking the generosity of strangers. This image was taken on a windy and cold day last week.

Fifth Avenue on the Upper East Side is known for its fancy apartment buildings. Manhattan is an expensive place to live in general, and especially so in this neighborhood.

Related posts: On Needy Causes, in Midtown and Beyond, Ringing Bells, in Midtown, and Seasons Greetings, from the MTA.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas, from the East Village

Santa, East Village
Photo by myself, at 9th Street and Second Avenue in the East Village.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Here's a little paste-up from the East Village. Mark and I were in town briefly today.

I hope you all are enjoying a warm and happy holiday season.

Related posts: Subway Sunset on the Ride Home, Sunset Along the West Side Highway, and The Brooklyn Bridge, in the Balance.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Sunset, on the Ride to Brooklyn

On the Ride Home, Brooklyn
Photo by myself, crossing the Manhattan Bridge on the Q train.

The ride home to Brooklyn from Manhattan can be a scenic one, if you're on the right train.

The N, Q, B and D trains pop up above ground to cross the East River. The sun was setting on the ride home, Friday night. You can see the Brooklyn Bridge, beyond.

Not long ago I overheard a Manhattanite talking about riding the train to someone visiting. 'When you see daylight, then you know you've gone too far.'

'You don't know what you're missing,' I was thinking. 'Brooklyn is the best!'

But I wasn't in my nosy-New Yorker mood. So I kept it to myself. ;-)


The last couple weeks have been a complete blur. Has it been that way with everyone else??! Labor Day thru New Year's typically speeds by, but this year was on hyperdrive at work and at home.

Here's the good news: Thursday marked the winter solstice. From now on, the days get gradually longer. Soon, the feeling of living in complete darkness will be a memory. It's usually tough in the winter to take photos, since we have such limited daylight. Hurrah!

Related posts: Subway Sunset on the Ride Home, Sunset Along the West Side Highway, and The Brooklyn Bridge, in the Balance.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Sixth Avenue, in the Rain

Rain, Midtown
Photo by myself, near 34th Street and Sixth Avenue.

The streets have been super crowded with shoppers, as one can imagine.

I work near Herald Square, where Macy's is. My coworkers and I often stay late in order to avoid the crazy sidewalks.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Related posts: In the Rain, Midtown, On Rainy Nights and Busy Days, and Rain, Rain, Go Away.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Costumed Serenade, at 59th Street Columbus Circle

Xylopholks, 59th Street
Photo by myself, below 59th Street.

Everyone has a schtick these days.

This three-piece ragtime band features a pink gorilla playing a string bass. A fellow in a dog suit and his young friend played the xylophone, at the 59th Street subway station.

From their website, it looks like they have been around for a little while. I saw them for the first time Tuesday night. Their suitcase was half full with donations.

This group calls itself 'Xylopholks'. They've been written up in the New York Times and Village Voice. Other band members include a giant frog, giant chicken and the cookie monster, who must have had the night off.

Here's a super authentic self-produced video of their tour through around New York, haha:

Related posts: What's Hoppin' in Park Slope, Brooklyn, Man of Steel, Hawkin' Stuff, and All Abuzz About a Bee, in Union Square.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Lost in Thought, Outside Lord & Taylor in Midtown

Xmas Window
Photo by myself on Fifth Avenue, around 40th Street.

The windows of every major storefront is decorated with holiday, wintry themes. These windows are at Lord and Taylor in Midtown.

The windows at Bergdorfs just blocks north of here are by far the most elaborate in the city. They are usually brimming with stuff. I'll try to get over there for a peek before the season is over.

For a view of the Bergdorf windows in 2009, click here.

Related posts: Holiday Displays, Fifth Avenue, Christmas Windows to Warm the Heart, and Peering into Another World, at Macy's Midtown.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Get Your Christmas Tree, in Soho

Xmas Trees, Soho
Photo by myself, around Mulberry and Grand Streets, in Soho.

It's suddenly become very cold here, with temps in the 20's. All fine until there is a gust of wind. Brr.

This photo is from Sunday afternoon. Christmas trees can be purchased in virtually every neighborhood in the city.

Vendors often line the sidewalk with trees of various sizes, tree stands and wreaths. Delivery is usually free or a token amount.

In early January, the Department of Sanitation will pick up Christmas trees for free. From January 3rd to January 15th, New Yorkers leave their trees on their regular pick up days on the sidewalk. Trees must be clear of ornaments and lights.

Discarded trees are recycled as mulch, to be used in city parks and community gardens. New Yorkers can also pick up free mulch for their own use.

To know more about the city rules of mulching, click here.

Related posts: Choose Your Tree on Seventh Avenue, Get Your Christmas Tree, on the Upper West Side, and Happy Christmas Eve.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Knit Art, in the East Village

Olek street art
Photo by myself on 4th Street and Second Avenue, in the East Village.

Yes, this is a shopping cart, covered in crochet.

It's also considered street art. A woman named Olek has covered various outdoor items with crochet, including the well known bronze bull sculpture near Wall Street.

Is her work art? I'm not sure. I suppose you could draw a parallel with Christo, the artist worked on a larger scale, shrouding buildings and bridges with colored fabric.

Some Olek's pieces have appeared at the Whitney Museum, and she has been featured at the Jonathan Levine Gallery. You can read more about the artist on her Wiki page, here.

For another Olek piece posted here earlier, click here

Related posts: Giant Head, in Madison Square Park, Art, for Public's Sake, and Sand Artist, in Washington Square Park.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

The View Above Park Avenue, in Midtown

Towers, lower Park Avenue
Photo by myself, around 40th Street and Park Avenue in Midtown.

From this view high above Park Avenue in Midtown, you can see the motley mix of Midtown. Pre-war and modern buildings of varying heights line the streets.

This view is looking southeast, from the 20th floor. Beyond, you can barely see the East River and Brooklyn.


New Yorkers were shaken to the core late last week by news of an awful, freak elevator accident.

We heard the ambulance sirens from my office, which is also in Midtown. Coworkers and I first assumed that the elevator plunged down. It actually lurched up, crushing a woman within the elevator shaft. Ugh.

My fiance Mark works in the same field (advertising) and knows someone who knew her well. She was a wonderful, caring person who was universally liked.

Riding elevators is a way of life in cities. According to the Times, there are 60,000 elevators in New York City.

Related posts: Buried Among Towers, in Midtown, Transit for the Masses, and The Rooftops on Central Park West.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Decor, on the Upper East Side

Upper East Side, NYC
Photo by myself on 80th Street and Madison Avenue, on the Upper East Side.

A very different street scene from the one posted yesterday. I was in this fancy schmancy neighborhood on Thursday afternoon.

A townhouse was done up with holiday decorations. There were large ornaments and nutcracker guards within the front garden area.

I probably should have taken this shot from further away, but there were cars parked along the street, that would have gotten in the way. My camera (the Leica) was also accidentally set to take square images. Oops!

The Leica has a neat feature which allows you to set different proportions for your image, so you can compose your shot better. With a simple twist of the lens barrel, you can change from a square image to 3:2, 4:3 or 16:9.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Related posts: Deck the Halls of the Plaza Hotel, Putting Up the Lights, in Koreatown, and Merry Xmas Eve, from Fifth Avenue.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Growing Up Among Graffiti, Downtown

Graffiti, Downtown
Photo by myself, somewhere downtown.

You might think of graffiti and roll-down doors when thinking of New York, but you might not think about children. There are kids who grow up in the city however, in every conceivable economic circumstance.

Related posts: It's a Kid's Life, in Brooklyn, The Carousel, Bryant Park, and Playing Ball, in the Public Courts.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

On the Daily Grind, in Midtown

Sixth Ave, NYC
Photo by myself on Sixth Avenue, around 35th Street in Midtown.

A photo from a couple months ago, when it was a little warmer.

Whenever I meet someone who has worked in Midtown, as I did earlier this week, we commiserate: on how dirty it is, how crowded, how there's no real good places to eat.

But when I look back on these photos, I see how good we have it. There is tons to look at, and tons of different types of people. At night, the ambiance can be brilliant, with the bright storefronts and taxis whizzing by.

When it rains, legions of umbrellas appear and move like massive umbrella creatures toward the subway stations. They are mostly black umbrellas, of course, and the next day you'll find tattered ones, thrown aside on the sidewalk.

The streets will be a bit cleaner, but just for a moment. Life goes on.

Related posts: Wonder, 34th Street, Bright Lights, Big City, and Lighting the Way.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

On Hipsters and Rupert, Downtown

Hipster, NYC
Photo by myself at Houston Street and First Avenue, on the Lower East Side.

A photo from last weekend, in front of Yonah Schimmel, a knishery that first opened in 1890.

Catching sight of a hipster fellow in this spot was just dumb luck. Both the haircut and the signage harken back a few decades.


The above was taken a couple weekends ago, during a long walk in town. This past weekend, we did almost nothing, since Mark was laid up with a bad back. He is now extremely crooked, and the smallest movements issue groans of pain. Poor kid.

Anyway, see below for another photo from the same walk. We found a little painting of a Boston Terrier named 'Pickles', outside the Alias Restaurant.

Rupert obliged me with a pose. He is not 'breedist', however, and treats all dogs pretty much equally.

Outside the Alias Restaurant, LES

Related posts: Where the Kids Are - The L Train Platform, Street Corner, in Midtown, and Old and New, on Fifth Avenue.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Outside All Saint's, on 13th Street

All Saints, NYC
Photo by myself at 13th and Washington Streets in the Meatpacking District.

The facade of the All Saint's clothing store is a neat one, with row upon row of old Singer Featherweight sewing machines.

The machines are the facade; there is no glass. Not sure what they do in mid-winter (!).The old-fashioned aesthetic of the store is ironic, since the clothing is hip and rock star-ish.

For a peek at the All Saint's website, click here.

Related posts: Shopping Til Dropping, on Canal Street, Living in Style, in Williamsburg, and 3-D Billboard, Fifth Avenue.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

On Line Behind Santa, Underground

Santa, NYC
Photo by myself at the West 4th subway station, in the Village.

Saturday happened to be SantaCon, 2011. Above, the reindeer must have had the night off, so Santa purchased a Metrocard to ride the subway.

Short for 'Santa Convention', SantaCon takes place each year in a different outdoor location in the city. People in Santa, elf and reindeer costumes assemble outside, then go from bar to bar.

Santas also bring food to be donated to those less fortunate. So there is a good cause beyond all the revelry and alcohol intake, ha.

This year's SantaCon took place in New York near the Financial District in Manhattan and near Brooklyn Bridge Park. This year, the day was also observed in 225 other cities, worldwide.

Related posts: Leaving the Santa Convention, in the East Village, Santas on Parade, in Washington Square Park, and Happy Christmas All, from the Village.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

With Bells on at the Jingle Bell Jog, in Prospect Park

Jingle Bell Run, Prospect Park
Photo by myself in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.

Thousands of runners showed up for the Jingle Bell Jog, a 3.7 mile run around Prospect Park, Saturday morning.

Runners were given little bells to tie onto their sneakers. There was the constant, faint sound of jingling as feet pounded the asphalt. Runners were encouraged to wear holiday garb, to celebrate the season.

There were giant snowflakes, elves, reindeer, and of course, Santas. There were also runners in random costumes, like gorilla suits and tutus (!).

The race was held by the New York Road Runner's Club (NYRRC), so tons of people from all boroughs were there. I had to leave sooner than expected, since my hands were freezing. It was in the 40s and a bit windy.

Jingle Bell Run, Prospect Park
Costumes were not limited to the holidays!

Jingle Bell Run, Prospect Park
It was chilly out for this fellow to run, nearly naked.

Jingle Bell Run, Prospect Park

Jingle Bell Run, Prospect Park

By the way, sign-up for the NYRRC's annual run up the Empire State Building ends tomorrow. The actual race is in February. The run is up 86 flights up stairs and only a lucky 600 applicants participate. Runners are selected via lottery.

For a little more about this weekend's Jingle Bell Jog on the New York Road Runner's site, click here

Related posts: Get Your Zumba on for Free, in Herald Square, Balancing Act, in Bryant Park, and Running Atop the Brooklyn Bridge.


Friday, December 9, 2011

The Mark of the Quel Beast, near Bowery Street

Quel Beast, NYC
Photo by myself, around Bowery and Third Street.

What looked like a few large metal containers were covered in graffiti.

'Quel Beast' turns out to be a street artist whose work focuses on faces, that almost emerge from the wall. His work involves hyper-expressive faces in day-glo colors.

Check out Quel Beast's portofolio here.

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


Thursday, December 8, 2011

On Twinkly Lights and Parking, in Brooklyn

Park Slope stoop
Photo by myself in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

A view of a typical townhouse, decorated for the holidays.

Like many townhouses, this one in Park Slope has bars on the lower floor windows and trash cans in the front yard.

Many townhouses don't have driveways or parking spaces out front. As a result, there is no space to store things as commonplace as trash cans.

If you own a car and don't want to pay for a garage, you have to find parking on the street. In Manhattan, you often have to move your car to avoid street cleaning twice a week. In Brooklyn, you only have to move your car once a week.

For instance, the north side of a street might be cleaned on Tuesday, while the south side is cleaned on Thursday. This means thinking about when you'll use the car again, before choosing your parking space.


By the way, yesterday's 'No Dumping' photo is also posted on The Lo-Down, a site that reports news from the Lower East Side every day.

Click here to see my photo in action.

Related posts: The Low Down on Walk Ups, Hidden Treasure in the Village, and Layers in Time, in the Village.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

No Dumping, on the Lower East Side

No Dumping, LES
Photo by myself, somewhere on the Lower East Side.

A bit of razor wire, some stickers, and old plastic bag. It's just business as usual on the Lower East Side.

Not too long ago, this area used to be dangerous. Actually, all of New York was considered a little dangerous. There was always the risk of something happening.

You'd walk home at night from the subway with your ears tuned to the slightest noise, and your keys in your hand. Footsteps coming up from behind. Shadows in the doorways. That kind of thing.

Now, not so much. The city is much safer. There are more people on the streets at all hours, more bars and restaurants open late. People park fancy cars outside without a thought.

Related posts: Shoot the Freak, in Coney Island, Signs of Evil, on 8th Street, and Holy Smokes, in the East Village.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

This Season, at the Union Square Holiday Market

Union Square Markets, NYC
Photo by myself in Union Square.

The holiday markets at Union Square are in full swing. From now until Christmas Eve, you can browse hundreds of outdoor kiosks for arty gifts.

There are few things resembling plastic here, and nothing is wrapped in plastic. There are no 'name brands' or electronics, from what I could tell. The vibe is 'handmade' or at least looking handmade, and therefore unique.

There is a lot of winter gear (hats, scarves, mittens), doodads (desktop sculptures, wind chimes, buddhas, candles), art and jewelry. You could easily spend an hour or two, browsing.

Union Square Markets, NYC
The usual animal hats and scarves are available, with or without pom poms.

Union Square Markets, NYC
Decorative objects and colorful ornaments make shopping tough. How does one choose?

Union Square Markets, NYC
Some kiosks offer food and hot drinks, to fortify weary shoppers.

Union Square Markets, NYC
Many shoppers were eyeing the fine art and jewelry displays.

For the holiday market site, including a link to the vendor list, click

Related posts: 100-Vendors Selling at Union Square Market, 'Tis the Season, from Herald Square, and The Markets in Union Square.


Monday, December 5, 2011

On Orchard Street and Laying Over in New York

Orchard Street, LES
Photo by myself at Orchard and Rivington Streets, on the Lower East Side.

As usual, Orchard Street was shut off from car traffic for the weekend. Stores left racks of merchandise out front for people to browse through.

One of the store people who posed for me reflected on 'the good old days'. He said that it used to be that you couldn't walk down the street because of all the people wandering around.

There were only a few people looking around, Sunday afternoon. Most people who we saw were having brunch nearby.

Orchard Street, LES

Orchard Street, LES
One salesman mugged for the camera.

By the way, if you have a chance, do try to catch Anthony Bourdain's new series called 'The Layover'. Bourdain travels to various cities and suggests hotels, restaurants and bars to visit if you're ever stuck there for a short time.

New York is featured this first season. The show is chock full of Bourdain's usual over-the-top, tell-it-like-it-is descriptions, and includes snippets of travel advice from New Yorkers on the street.

Mark and I haven't been to most of the restaurants featured, so now we have a little list of places to try out. The food featured looks delicious but won't send you to the poorhouse. Be sure you watch the show on a full stomach or with some Doritos on hand!

For video clips from the show, just click here.

Related posts: Making Off with the Lower East Side, Old New York, on the Lower East Side, and Signs of Old Times, on the Lower East Side.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Esposito & Sons, in Hell's Kitchen

Esposito & Sons, NYC
Photo by myself at 38th Street and Ninth Avenue, in Hell's Kitchen.

Esposito's & Sons is an old-fashioned meat market in Hell's Kitchen. They've been around since 1933.

Esposito's supposedly sells 10,000 lbs of sausage every week to nearby restaurants. I haven't shopped here, but the online reviews are terrific.

For Esposito's online store, click here.


The few blocks south of the Port Authority Bus Terminal at 42nd Street is still a little sketchy. The people hanging out on the street corners look like they are up to no good. I wouldn't say that it's unsafe, but I would not attempt to take candids there, for fear of offending people.

Related posts: Meat Market, Ninth Avenue, Outside O. Ottomanelli's Market, in the Village, and Food on the Brain.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

On Ice, in Bryant Park

Skating in Bryant Park
Photo by myself in Bryant Park.

The ice rink is all set up in Bryant Park. It was packed with people, Friday night.

From now til February, you can skate for free, if you bring your own ice skates. A huge Christmas tree stands at one end of the rink. In the background, you can see the Empire State Building, which is just a few blocks south.

Many little kiosks are arranged around the rink selling gifts and food for the holiday season. There are even outdoor seating areas for groups to sit and have hot cider. There are restaurants and outdoor bars.

In the last few years, Bryant Park has made an incredible transformation. It used to be that there was no real place to hang out in Midtown. 'Going downtown' after work meant going out to eat or have fun. Not any longer.

For more about the activities in Bryant Park, click for their website here.

Related posts: On the Ice, in Midtown, The Rink at Rockefeller Center, and And the Crowd Roared, in Bryant Park.


Friday, December 2, 2011

NYPD Blue, on the Sidewalk

Woman Down, NYC
Photo by myself around Sixth Avenue and 28th Street, in Midtown.

The sidewalk resembled the beginning of a Law and Order episode, Thursday afternoon.

A well-dressed woman was lying on the sidewalk. She seemed fine, just disoriented. A policeman stood over her, waiting for assistance.

In general we do hear sirens now and again in the city, but nothing like the mayhem you see on tv, thank goodness. I'm actually surprised we don't have more accidents, given the drivers who don't use turn signals, pedestrians who cross against the lights and bike messengers who ride against the traffic.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Related posts: The NYPD in Action, Underground, NYPD Blues, and Directing Traffic, on Fifth Avenue.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Setting the Scene, near the Plaza Hotel

Xmas trimmer, NYC
Photo by myself at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue.

A fellow trimming the holiday foliage near the Plaza Hotel gave me a big smile, Wednesday afternoon. He stood on a ladder on the sidewalk, above the crowds.


It is suddenly colder and more wintry like, after a few days of weather in the 60's. Time to get back to wearing big coats and waddling about.

New York City is an island, so the closer you are to the water during the winter, the colder it is. The wind comes barreling across the water at high speeds, without buildings to block its force.

I used to live on the edge of the Upper West Side, near West End Avenue. Walking home every night during the winter was like encountering arctic winds. I'd have to wrap my head in a scarf with just my eyeballs peeking out. Eek, what a sight that must have been!

Related posts: Holiday Greetings, from Times Square, Deck the Halls of the Plaza Hotel, and Christmas Ornaments on Sixth Avenue.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Death & Co., Behind Closed Doors

Death & Co., NYC
Photo by myself, at East 6th Street and Avenue A in the East Village.

Above, just a snippet of the facade of Death & Co., a small bar in the East Village. The entrance caught my eye last weekend because of the metal and wood grain.

Unfortunately, the doors were locked. Judging from the website, the interiors are small but very atmospheric. You can see some interior shots on the Death & Co. website, here.


Mark and I just got back from vacation, Tuesday evening. Pardon me, while I get my feets under me!

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


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sampling Street Food on Fifth Avenue

Fifth Ave, NYC
Photo by myself on Fifth Avenue in Midtown.

It's that time of year again, when street vendors are selling chestnuts and other hot snacks under bright lights.

On Fifth Avenue, between 59th and 35th Streets, the vendors are especially festive around the holiday months. The street is lined with fancy stores there, and many visitors are there to shop or just look around.

Above 59th Street, Fifth Avenue is residential. Street vendors are not permitted. If you're in that area looking for your morning coffee, you are out of luck.


On a recent cab ride down Fifth Avenue recently, coworkers and I noticed that the vibe of the street has changed.

The stores along Fifth Avenue were of the more ritzy variety for the longest time. The Henri Bendel, Bergdorf, Saks, Cartier, Armani and Tiffany stores are located there.

In the last couple of years, a number of new flagship stores have moved in. Huge stores for H&M, Uniqlo, Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch now draw a younger crowd.

I suppose this is not a bad thing, it's more inclusive for all. It feels less like an outdoor high end shopping mall than a regularly-priced one.

Related posts: The Markets in Union Square, Christmas Windows to Warm the Heart, and Under the Lights, at 54th and 5th.


Monday, November 28, 2011

In the News, Underground

Newsstand, NYC
Photo by myself at the 42nd Street subway station.

Many of the larger subway stations have newspaper stands on the platforms. The vendors sell everything from magazines to candy to cigarettes.


Mark and I are still in Puerto Rico, where we have been vacationing with relatives.

We're having a great time, though we've been trying to get used to how much sun there is. Even in the summer months, the sun is never that strong in New York.

I have to wonder what NYC would be like with more sun. New Yorkers would certainly be a less grumbly bunch!

Related posts: Kiosk at Night, Hitting the Newsstand, Underground, and The Subway Platform, 59th Street.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

The View Above Central Park, from the Upper East Side

From 80th Street, NYC
Photo by myself, around 80th Street and Fifth Avenue on the Upper East Side.

The view of Central Park during Fall is quite nice. Most of the leaves have already turned color by now.

This is the view looking southwest. The glass towers on the left at Columbus Circle were built not long ago. The two limestone towers ahead belong to the San Remo, around 74th Street and Central Park West.

The ropes on the left belongs to a window washing rig. The building next door was getting its windows cleaned. Window washers do their work on a platform that is pulled up using pulleys.

Related posts: Looking Out to Central Park West, Sledding Outside the San Remo, and The Skyline on the Upper West Side.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Reading, on Second Avenue

Reading, NYC
Photo by myself, around Second Avenue and 9th Street.

We New Yorkers can be an informal bunch.

Most New Yorkers don't have their own front or back yards, and apartments tend to be small. As a result, you'll find people doing private things in public spaces.

It's not uncommon to see women putting on their makeup outside, for instance. I've seen people brushing their teeth and shaving their beards with battery operated trimmers (!). It's not for the squeamish.

Related posts: Working the Streets, Surprise, Surprise, and Waiting for the Train, at Atlantic-Pacific Streets, Brooklyn.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Eat Here Now, Now Eat Here, in the West Village

hot choc sm
Photo by myself around Jane and Greenwich Streets, in the West Village.

Talk about subliminal advertising.

Mark and I had just been fantasizing about opening a food truck serving hot chocolate. Lo and behold, we encountered one on our walk last weekend in the West Village.

This truck also served breakfast burritos, enchiladas and grass-fed beef burgers. Yup. The hot chocolates were going for $3 a cup.

I will try to put this blog on a diet and post about non-food-related things for a bit. We'll see how long that lasts!

Related posts: Eating on the Cheap, Restaurant Week, On the Mud Truck and Hotel Grammercy Park, and Hot Off the Grille, in the East Village.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Outside Jane's Buns, in the East Village

Outside Jane's Buns
Photo by myself around St. Mark's Place and First Avenue, in the East Village.

A fellow napped outside a cheery bakery called Jane's Sweet Buns, not long ago.

This bakery has gotten mixed reviews on line. As always, please do some research before going to any place posted here. I haven't eaten at every place.

I'm sorry I don't have a more appropriate photograph today, except maybe most people feel like the way this guy looks after a Thanksgiving meal.

It's Thanksgiving in the US, where most people celebrate by having a large meal with their families. It is often also a time to reflect on the past year and to give thanks for the good things in life.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Related posts: Tongue in Cheek, on the Sidewalk and in the Subway, Napping, in Midtown, and A Much-Needed Nap.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Taking Out at the Stage Resturant, in the East Village

Stage Restaurant, NYC
Photo by myself, on Second Avenue around 8th Street in the East Village.

Stage Restaurant serves up everything from omelettes to challah French toast to borscht. Breakfast is served all day.

Mark and I were in the neighborhood this weekend, and they were busy. It looks like a small old-fashioned diner from the outside, with a counter facing a narrow open kitchen.

There is a pick-up window along the sidewalk that makes picking up orders easy. The window is probably open during the summer months, for fresh air.

I've never eaten there, but the online reviews are great. The menu is huge and the prices are reasonable. If we lived in the neighborhood, we'd be at that counter at least once a week.

For the menu and reviews, click here.


It's been cold and rainy here in the City. Mark and I will be away for a few days in Puerto Rico, where we went a couple years ago. We haven't had a break in a while, and this is a much-needed one.

Posts will continue daily here, as usual!

Related posts: It's a Free Country, After All, Outside Zucco, on the Lower East Side, and Shining Bright, at Live Bait.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The View from 24th Street, Chelsea

The View from Chelsea
Photo by myself around 24th Street and 9th Avenue, in Chelsea.

If you look out from Chelsea northeast, you'll see the Empire State Building.

For orientation's sake, imagine the island of Manhattan. You're on the lower left side. The ESB is near the center of the island.

This is the view from London Terrace Towers. The building fills one city block, bounded by 23rd and 24th Streets on the north and south, and 8th and 9th Avenues on the east and west.

The building is a co-operative and its apartments are charming. There is a gym, garage and indoor pool in the building.

One of the apartments listed for sale there at the moment (not the one in my photo), is a four-bedroom for nearly 5 million dollars. The maintenance fee alone is over $6,500 US per month. For gorgeous photos of the apartment, click here.

I don't have any hard facts, but I guarantee that if you can write 'Empire State Building views' in your real estate ads, the apartment will raise in value.

Related posts: It's a Free Country, After All, A Peek Through Central Park, and The Sky is Falling.