-- --

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

After Hurricane Sandy, Outside the Ace Hotel

Recharging, Outside the Ace Hotel
Photo by a friend, at Broadway and 29th Street in the Flatiron District.

My friend Christine took the photo above, Tuesday night, outside the Ace Hotel. At this point, she is the Manhattan correspondent for this blog (!). She took the photo on her iphone after charging it up outside.

This one lone block had electricity, post-Hurricane Sandy. All of Manhattan south of 39th Street has been without power, since the storm on Monday.

Folks were sitting outside, recharging their devices with a shared surge protector that was plugged into an exterior outlet.

Mark and I spent almost the entire day Tuesday, watching the news. We have been so lucky here in Park Slope, Brooklyn, having nothing of the terrible flooding that others are experiencing elsewhere in New York and New Jersey.

Christine lives in Murray Hill and is one of the thousands of people without electricity. She sent me a couple other photos from her wanderings:
Outside the Ace Hotel, after Hurricane Sandy
Another view of the hotel exterior and people plugged in.

After Hurricane Sandy
A tree had toppled onto a car around 31st and Third Avenue, in Murray Hill. Ouch.

No Apples, after Hurricane Sandy
The fruit section in this deli was picked clean. I'm sure there are zombies loitering in the back room.

I am so tempted to venture into the city, but...we'll see. Our Mayor Bloomberg has requested that people NOT to go into the city and increase traffic.

At this writing, all tunnels to and from Manhattan, except the Lincoln Tunnel, are closed. Bridges are open. Subways are not running.

The Times has an incredible series of photos of the hurricane aftermath. You can see it here.

Related posts: On Man V. Nature and the Gowanus Canal, On the Opera Collective and Hurricane Irene, and Wet and Not-So-Wonderful, Downtown.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

After Hurricane Sandy, in Park Slope, Brooklyn

Hurricane Sandy, Prospect Park
Photo by myself in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.

A large tree lost one of its major limbs as a result of Hurricane Sandy.

Most likely, this tree will need to be put out of its misery. The Parks Department was out first thing in the morning, making sure that tree branches wouldn't injure anyone.

Park Slope, Brooklyn, is breathing a sigh of relief. We were extremely lucky in this devastating storm. We are located very close to Manhattan, but somehow managed to come out without losing power and without any flooding. The aftermath only looks like the result of a bad storm.

Mark, Rupert and I took a very short trip to Prospect Park this morning, since Rupert was going stir crazy. Just a handful of owners and dogs were there, while the chilly wind whipped through the trees.

Like many others, Mark and I are tuned into the news on TV. Seeing familiar places and tunnels underwater is shocking. The power is out in Manhattan south of 39th Street, which means our offices are closed.

I'm not sure how we'd even get to work anyway, since it will take days before the subways are restored. The enormity of the situation is such that it's difficult for our little brains to grasp what it all means.

Our building is fine; one elevator conked out, but windows are intact. 90% of Long Island, just a stone's throw away, does not have electricity (!). Friends living in Manhattan are without power and heat. They say that all they can hear outside is the constant sound of sirens.

Our thoughts are with the rest of New York City. It was a huge comfort to hear Mayor Bloomberg give his status report on television, this morning.

I don't agree with all Bloomberg's ideas but I do feel he is enormously practical. It is good to know that we are in capable hands.

Hurricane Sandy, Prospect Park
Along the west side of Prospect Park, folks were already coming and going this morning.

Hurricane Sandy, Prospect Park
A typical street in Park Slope, this morning. It was a miracle to come out of the hurricane virtually unscathed.

Related posts: Goodbye Irene, from Park Slope, Brooklyn, On Taking Snaps, and More on Irene, and An Early Snowfall, in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Shoeshine Guy, on Fifth Avenue

Shoeshine, NYC
Photo by myself at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, in Midtown.

A photo from the stash, from an earlier, sunnier, calmer time.

A shoeshine guy relaxed in his raised perch, near the New York Public Library. People, mostly men, do get their shoes shined on the sidewalks. I often see fellas on their lunch breaks or just off of work in the chairs.

A huge thank you to everyone for the good wishes to our city, during Hurricane Sandy.

Apologies for the very late post today. We spent the whole day hunkered down, listening to the wind howl outside and watching the lights flicker.

So far, we've been very lucky. Park Slope, where we live, is just outside the flood zone. Park Slope, as the name implies, is situated on a slope (!) that slopes up inland, away from the East River. Areas closer to the water such as Red Hook, Coney Island and lower Manhattan were evacuated.

Our electric supply lines are buried underground, so there is less a chance of an outage, though one due to flooding is always possible. Mark's mom out in Long Island lost her power this afternoon.

During the day we heard reports of the tunnels closing, then bridges closing, then water rising in the tunnels. Eek. Thankfully, work was cancelled today and tomorrow.

What struck me most about this hurricane is that hurricanes last a long time. Hurricane Irene took a while too, but most of it took place in the wee hours, after we went to bed. Today, the winds battered our building the entire day. I mean, the entire day.

'How much longer?' I'd ask after hours of listening to things thud against the windows.

Mark would look at the weather and say, 'Well, we're not at the high point yet. Another hour or so...'

Oh my gosh.

I'll venture out tomorrow morning and send photos then.

Related posts: A Little Spit and Polish, in Midtown, The Day After, and Read All About It.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Bracing for Hurricane Sandy, in Brooklyn

Soup Aisle, Brooklyn
Photo by myself at the local supermarket in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

The canned soup section at my supermarket looked like it'd been raided, this morning. I'm sure it will be completely desolate later today.

It was a mob scene, with people running around with shopping baskets, looking very stressed. Then they got in line and stood there, for a long, long time.

We are all preparing for Hurricane Sandy, which is due to hit us later tonight and tomorrow. Very heavy rain and tropical-force winds are in the forecast.

New York is not typically hurricane territory, but it's become that way in the last couple years. Most New Yorkers are not 'home owners' in the typical sense. Since most of us live in apartment buildings, we don't clean out gutters or rake leaves. And so we're a little clueless when it comes to forces of nature.

This morning, I fielded questions from neighbors about what utilities go out if the power went out. Will we have cold water? Will the stove work? The intercom system? That kind of thing.

I'll be sure to post 'After' photos on Tuesday.

Supermarket, Brooklyn
Lines for each cash register snaked down the aisles, Sunday afternoon.

Related posts: Goodbye Irene, from Park Slope, Brooklyn, On Taking Snaps, and More on Irene, and An Early Snowfall, in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

I Heart NY for Sale, in Midtown

T shirts, NYC
Photo by myself on Fifth Avenue around 36th Street, in Midtown.

Some young ladies browsed through postcards and momentos of New York, while their father looked on.

This photo was taken a bit earlier this year. It's not cold, but it's no longer shorts weather.

New York is bracing itself for Hurricane Sandy. We are not used to hurricanes, and take to these alarms with a huge helping of skepticism.

Sandy is due to arrive in town on Tuesday. Residents are taking the weekend to tape windows. At my apartment building, we'll be putting garbage cans away so they don't fly around and break windows!

Related posts: On NYC Slogans, and a Rupert Update, I *Heart* New York, Downtown, and NY Attitude, for Sale.


Friday, October 26, 2012

In Sequins, in Midtown

Dress Shop, nyc
Photo by myself on Sixth Avenue around 35th Street, in Midtown.

A store selling sequin dresses had mannequins at the front window. Each mannequin wore a fur hat in a different color.

There are a number of stores in Midtown that sell to wholesale buyers only. Many of the stores are located near the Garment District.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Related posts: Hats Anyone?, NY Attitude for Sale, and I Heart NY, in Midtown.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Strangers, Below Columbus Circle

Strangers, nyc
Photo by myself at the 59th Street subway station.

Three strangers sat on a bench at the Columbus Circle subway station, the other night.

Related posts: In Darkness, Below Ground, All Lit Up on the D Train, and The Morning Commute, Underground.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Drop Off and Self Serve, in Chelsea

Laundry, nyc
Photo by myself, around 15th Street and 7th Avenue, in Chelsea.

Ah yes. Trucking one's underwear down the sidewalk is a familiar sight to every New Yorker.

Many New Yorkers do not have laundry in their apartments, or even in their apartment buildings. This means hauling a large bag down the street, putting it into a machine, waiting, and hauling it back.

The fancier way about it is to drop it off and let someone else do your laundry. If you don't mind someone touching your underwear, you pay by the pound and wind up with all your laundry folded.

I've always been very stingy so I've done my own laundry. Now Mark and I have our own washer/dryer and we feel very spoiled.

Related posts: Outside Bedford Street Laundry, in the Village, Last Wash, Brooklyn, and Sunday Morning, in Park Slope, Brooklyn.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Remembrance, on 15th Street

Wreath, 15th Street, New York
Photo by myself around 15th Street and 8th Avenue, in Chelsea.

A white wreath and photo paid tribute to a man named Mario, who passed away just a few days ago. A sign nearby announced the funeral service.

One might be surprised that there are funeral homes in Manhattan. Just about every neighborhood has one.

Most people do not own cars in New York, and local funeral homes allow entire neighborhoods to come together to pay respect.

Related posts: On the Steps of St. Stanlislaus on 7th Street, Remembering Memorial Day, and Remembering Ten Years Ago.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Evening in Park Slope, Brooklyn

7th Avenue, Park Slope
Photo by myself on Seventh Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

An evening photo from Park Slope, Brooklyn, after a rain. Across the street were a diner and a well-stocked liquor store.

As far as neighborhoods go, Park Slope is very nice. There are pretty brownstone townhouses, an eclectic assortment of very good restaurants and sidewalks free of crowds and trash.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Related posts: After the Rain, in Midtown, West 10th Street, at Night, and Night View, from Union Square.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Dogs in Costume, at Tompkins Square Park

Halloween, Tompkins Sq Park
Photo by myself, in Tompkins Square Park.

A Boston Terrier wore a sombrero and colorful wrap at Tompkins Square Park, Saturday. He seems oblivious of the paparazzi, snapping photos in the background.

There was a huge crowd of onlookers as dogs went on parade in Tompkins Square Park, Saturday afternoon. It was the 22nd annual Halloween Parade for dogs.

There was a mob scene and tons of people taking photos. This must be what it's like on the red carpet at the Academy Awards? We managed to see only saw a tiny fraction of the dogs, since we arrived a little late and the area was so crowded.

Halloween, Tompkins Sq Park
Yes, it's Mr. T, complete with fauxhawk and tiny boxing gloves. He looks deep in thought.

Halloween, Tompkins Sq Park
A French bulldog wore an outfit of prison stripes. His hat says 'Bad Dog'. And yet, he is grinning ear to ear.

Halloween, Tompkins Sq Park
A pug posed as Evita, in sequins, blonde wig and a ball gown. 

Halloween, Tompkins Sq Park
Human and canine versions of Wonder Woman.

Halloween, Tompkins Sq Park
Goldilocks, I think? I am a little rusty with my fables.

Halloween, Tompkins Sq Park
Rupert did not dress in costume, but he was sure to check out those who were!

I've always wanted to go to this parade, but never looked around early enough to know when it was. If you ever want to attend, get there early. This is a hugely popular event, mobbed with people and pets.

For more photos of the parade, click here.

Related posts: All Ears, in Park Slope, Brooklyn, Taking a Dip, in Prospect Park Pond, and Dog's Head on the Subway.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Baby Grand, in Washington Square Park

Pianist, Washing Sq Park
Photo by myself in Washington Square Park.

A pianist performed outdoors in Washington Square Park.

This was on a Sunday, and people were enjoying the weather. I don't recall what the pianist was playing, perhaps Chopin?

I never know what I will encounter in Washington Square Park. For whatever reason, it seems this is the location for music. Sometimes there will be a small jazz band. I've seen upright pianos, too.

Apologies for the skipped day and late post, today.

Mark has been going through some health issues, and I came down with a cold. No fun. Plus, we're going through some dreary weather here.

The other day the police arrested a young man who was planning to bomb the Federal Reserve Bank. I don't think he got beyond the planning stages, but it was a startling announcement, coming on a typical day like any other.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Related posts: On Outdoor Piano Recitals and a Visitor's Point of View, Playing Pianos as Public Art, and Father and Son Serenade.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Outside a Creperie, in Park Slope, Brooklyn

Creperie, Brooklyn
Photo by myself around 6th Street and 7th Avenue, in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

A patient pug waited outside a creperie in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Crespella serves up sweet and savory crepes all day. I stopped by for a crepe stuffed with scrambled egg and pancetta the other night. It was de-lish.

I was sorely tempted to have one with strawberry jam and fresh ricotta. Oh, and another with lemon curd and raspberries! Argh!! Decisions, decisions...

For the Crespella website, which includes a current menu, click here.

Related posts: Pork is the Answer, on the Lower East Side, Brunch at Barbuto, in the West Village, and Colorful Eats, at Kelley and Ping, Soho.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Portrait of a Man and Dog, on Sixth Avenue

Man and Dog, nyc
Photo by myself on Sixth Avenue in Midtown.

A man named John sat with his dog, Aria, Monday afternoon. A sign in front of him reads 'Everyone needs a little help now and then'.

I'd seen John earlier this year and gave him some money. You often see homeless people on the streets, but only a small percentage have dogs with them.

Monday I stopped to speak with John. Aria, a pit bull mix, was extremely friendly, wiggling about and giving me hearty licks. She has an ID tag because she is a trained therapy dog.

'You've been here a long time,' I said. 'I saw you earlier this year.'

'Not that long', he said. 'About two months' (!).

I have mixed feelings about people on the streets with animals, since the animals are used to induce sympathy. In my case, it worked, though Aria obviously cares for her master.

On more than one occasion, I've seen mothers sitting on the sidewalk with their small children, requesting donations. It is very, very sad.

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

Related posts: Portrait of a Guy, on Sixth Avenue, Portrait of a Musician, in Midtown, and Portrait of Five New Yorkers, on the Upper East Side.


Monday, October 15, 2012

32nd and Fifth, in Midtown

32nd Street, nyc
Photo by myself on 32nd Street and Fifth Avenue.

Just a little view of the hodge podge of Fifth Avenue. There is an assortment of souvenir stores there between 40th and 26th Streets.

Technically, 32nd Street between 5th and 6th Avenues is part of Koreatown, or more familiarly, Ktown.

The neighborhood is comprised of only a few city blocks, lined with Korean bbq restaurants, karoake bars and desert places. Many of the restaurants are open 24 hours.

Related posts: Snapshot from Koreatown, 32nd Street, For Your Listening Pleasure, and Much More on Food.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

On Canal Street, in Chinatown

Canal Street, nyc
Photo by myself on Canal Street, in Chinatown.

Just a glimpse down Canal Street, from a little while ago, when it was still warm enough for t-shirts.

You can get all sorts of sunglasses, bags, perfumes, watches and knickknacks here, all for a steal.

Related posts: Sunday, on Canal Street, In Chinatown and a Rupert Update, and Getting the Goods, on Canal Street.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Carriage Driver, on Central Park South

Carriage driver, nyc
Photo by myself at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue.

One of the horse-drawn carriage drivers stood in my sights, Wednesday afternoon.

If you squint a little, this scene might have taken place a hundred years ago. Central Park is to the right, out of frame.

The New York Food and Wine Festival is taking place this weekend. Tons of talks and tastings are going on around the city.

There are special brunches, tasting menus and wine pairings. There are dinners where you eat the food, then meet the farmer that grew the food.

There are samplings of sandwiches and dumplings and pickles and beer. The Festival is a 4-day event, through October 14th.

For more information, see the Festival website, here.

Related posts: A Repent Sign Guy Meets a Horse Carriage Guy..., Enjoying a Ride, in Central Park, and Carriage Horse, in Central Park.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

In Love, Near 59th Street

Couple, 59th Street
Photo by myself at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue.

A couple sat on a bench near the Plaza Hotel, Wednesday.

They were completely immersed in each other, while the world whirled around them.

Related posts: Sharing a Moment, in Times Square, Love is in the Air, in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, and Holding Hands, in Midtown.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Evening at 72nd Street, on the Upper West Side

W72nd Street, UWS
Photo by myself at 72nd Street and Broadway, on the Upper West Side.

A night view of the subway station at 72nd Street and Broadway, on the Upper West Side. It was cool and clammy, Tuesday night.

This is one of the major subway stations uptown, since the express and local trains stop here. The 2 and 3 trains run express, while the 1 and 9 trains run locally.

This is near the neighborhood where Seinfeld lived, in the tv show. The real Jerry Seinfeld is rumored to have lived in an unglamorous walk-up building on West 81st Street, before he became the famous gazillionare that he is.

Related posts: Outside Park 79 on the Upper West Side, Dusk, at 72nd Street Station, and Outside Big Nick's, on the Upper West Side.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Playing the Zither, Below Times Square

Chinese zither, 42nd Street
Photo by myself on the Times Square subway platform.

A woman performed what looks to be a Chinese zither on the subway platform. In her hands were tiny mallets that she used to hit the strings.

Related posts: Pulling Strings on the Subway Platform, Duet, on the 59th Street Platform, and The Morning Serenade.


Monday, October 8, 2012

The Lights on Broadway, in the Perfume District

Broadway, NYC
Photo by myself around Broadway and 28th Street.

Broadway around 28th Street is lined with stores selling fragrances, wigs and beauty supplies.

Alas, we had a grey-ish, chilly weekend, here. This photo is from the stash.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Related posts: You Looking at Me? in the Perfume District, Kiosk at Night, and Shining Bright at Live Bait.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Dusk, in Bryant Park

Bryant Park, nyc
Photo by myself in Bryant Park, at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue.

My favorite time of day is just before darkness, when all the street lights turn on.

There is something European about Bryant Park. Perhaps it's the formal squares of planting, or the little cafe chairs spread about? In any case, surrounded by tall buildings, the park is a welcome relief to the hard edges of Midtown.

As an update, everything thing is business as usual, here.

My profession (architecture) is a tad slow right now. People are very, very cautious with their money. Clients are always asking us to figure out how they can save money, which is a little upsetting, since our fee is based on the construction cost (!).

My fiance Mark is in advertising, which is hopping, on the other hand. Always something to sell.

Related posts: Washington Square Park, at Dusk, The Empire State, at Dusk, and Buried Among Towers, in Midtown.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Outside the Neue Gallery, on the Upper East Side

Neue Gallery, UES
Photo by myself at 86th Street and Fifth Avenue, on the Upper East Side.

A number of yellow vehicles convened at an intersection outside the Neue Gallery, on the Upper East Side. I took this photo from the rear seat of a similar yellow vehicle ;-)

The Neue Gallery is a small gallery devoted to the decorative art of Germany and Austria from the turn of the 19th Century. They regularly exhibit drawings and paintings by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka.

The museum is housed in a stunning townhouse built in 1914. The roof is covered with slate tiles and the round attic windows are clad with copper, against the weather.

Related posts: The Whitney Museum, on the Upper East Side, The Getty Villa, in Malibu California, and The New York Historical Society, at Dusk.


Friday, October 5, 2012

Chess Showdown, in Washington Square Park

Chess, Washington Sq Park
Photo by myself in Washington Square Park.

A small crowd looked on as a youngster took on a very serious looking adult in a game of chess.

Another photographer was in the background. There are many chess tables at this park, all for free public use. All you have to do is bring yourself, some chess pieces and some patience!

Related posts: Speed Chess, in Bryant Park, Rat Pack, on Avenue C, and On Chess and the New Yorker Festival.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Crosswalk, at Prince Street, Soho

Crosswalk, Soho
Photo by myself at Prince Street and Broadway, in Soho.

The white lines of a crosswalk were mixed with graffiti to create a sort of American flag. Near the opposite curb was printed 'Live for Today Now'.

This is the busiest intersection in Soho. The N/R Prince Street subway stop is located here. If you want to go to the central area of Soho, this is the subway stop for you.

Related posts: Graff Attack, in the Meatpacking District, Rat Pack, on Avenue C, and Written on the Walls, in Nolita and East Harlem.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Below Hunter College, on the Upper East Side

Hunter College subway, nyc
Photo by myself below ground at Lexington and 68th Street on the Upper East Side.

There is nothing like commuting on a Monday morning. For some reason, just about everyone was grouchy. Note the subtle agitated body language, above.

The weather has become more Fall-like in the last couple of weeks. The scarves and jackets and high boots have come out of the closet.

Related posts: Bundled Up, on the Way Home, Morning Commute, Underground, and On the Ride Home.


Monday, October 1, 2012

Cowboy, in Park Slope, Brooklyn

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

A cowboy ornament attached to a car antenna caught my eye, Sunday afternoon.

In the background, a typical street in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Like many older walk-up buildings, the fire escapes are afterthoughts and attached to the front side.

Most of the lower floor windows have bars on them, but this is a relatively safe neighborhood.

Related posts: Parked, in Park Slope, The Camera Van, in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and Old-Fashioned Knife Sharpening, in Park Slope.