Monthly Archives: November 2008

Favorite NYC Blogs (11.29.08)

In keeping up with my daily posts of life, thoughts and sightings on my NYC morning commute I’ve come across a few really good blogs this week. If you love NYC and are interested in different views you should check out these blogs (of course after you’ve visited mine, linked to it and told your friends about it!)

http://nycronicals.wordpress.com

http://mingum.blogspot.com

http://newyorkshitty.com

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Driving (11.29.08)

I’ve been home for a few days and away from the walking world of New York City. My commutes thus far have been 30 minutes to my grandparent’s house for a Thanksgiving feast that left me asleep on the couch by 6. (Eating begins at two o’clock and runs straight through until dinner, which begins promptly at four-thirty). The other commute was a drive of a little over an hour to visit my friend’s new house.

After both of these drives I can’t help but reflect on how not present I as during either of them. The car is moving you. You make minor adjustments – pressing a peddel an inch closer to the ground or letting it come an inch up or moving a hydraulicly assisted wheel to the right or left – but really it’s the car doing all the work. Not so when you have to walk through New York every morning and night in the now cold and windy weather. With walking you feel every step. You hear your breathing change. You know one second to the next how you feel.

When I was driving I swear there were entire miles when I was zoned out. And I now realize why people stay in New York their entire lives. Because it’s there that they feel something. Whether it’s good or bad. Even with the sting of walking a half an hour on a twenty-degree morning. Smelling the dog urine that covers one block or the aromatic flower shop on the next corner. Seeing a homeless man wrapped in blankets or a movie star, kids playing the the park or a super hot movie star (yes, I have walked past Uma Thurman and Debra Messing). Good or bad, you know you’re alive. You’re not a drifter, being carried along a highway.

No matter how fast that car can take you, the feeling is never as permeating as the thoughtful steps you take from one block to another.

Just a thought.

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Lithographers take Manhattan (11.25.08)

Through the raindrops this morning I noticed this seal, resting high on the wall of a beautiful building on University Place. What is a lithographer, you ask? Here’s there sight. Basically lithographer is a fancy word for “copier” due to the fact that the practice can use lithograph paper.

New York Lithographers Union

New York Lithographers Union

I wondered how they could afford such a swanky piece of real estate. Then I noticed that they have been around since the 1880s. If they got this baby rent controlled then they probably just drop off a carton of eggs and some twine at the management company’s doorstep each month.

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Stupid T-Shirts (11.24.08)

As seen from this photo, taken of a novelty shirt and vintage goods store on Christopher and 6th, the stupid t-shirt trend is still curving upwards. Seriously people? Do you really need to tell the world you love Guacamole and peeing?
T-Shirts

T-Shirts

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Winter: Biggest Excuse to Wear Stupid Hats (11.21.08)

With the cold weather comes warm clothing. And with that warm clothing comes hats. Take a look at the picture below. Here you have your typical New York guy wearing nice leather shoes, tight jeans, a long jacket and a Davy Crocket racoon skin hat. What?

I Spy NYC Winter Hat

I Spy NYC Winter Hat

 This is why I like New York fashion. Because you don’t have to be a woodsman to incorporate that style into your urban sheik attire. Mix and match. Live a little. But above all this winter, stay warm. And that’s exactly why this guy bought the hat. Because it’s warm. That’s it.

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It’s not Christmas until Gandhi says so (11.20.08)

Well, apparently it’s Christmas season. How do I know? Not by looking at a calendar. No, Gandhi told me. I saw him wearing a festive necklace, standing among red and white seasonal storesthis morning on my commute that cuts through Union Square in Manhattan.

Shopping Gandhi

Shopping Gandhi

Perhaps there is a new wrap that Gandhi has his eye on. I know they sell hand crafted walking sticks at the Treasures of Nepal stand, which also sells alpaca sweaters and hats that would certainly keep Gandhi warm throughout the harsh New York winter.

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Where the *#$@in NYC? (11.18.08)

Since I wasn’t able to do a post yesterday I thought I’d make up for it with a game of Where the *#$@ in NYC is this?

Where is this?

Where is this?

So, where the *#$@ is it? 
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Gramercy Park – When will they let humans in? (11.18.08)

When will they let humans in Gramercy Park? I walk by here most mornings and I have yet to see a human in the park. Oh, I see things that resemble people, but I cannot confirm that they are actually human, with feelings, and the ability to smile. I don’t know how one can lock him/herself in a park in the middle of New York city.

Gramercy Gate

Gramercy Gate

Public parks are what New York is all about. I think of all the value I’d lose if I was locked by myself in a park. The crazy things you overhear, the families playing, the hipsters in full body black denim on a 95 degree summer day. I would never better myself as a person, learning to deal with the negatives and latching onto the positives.

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Reverse Commute (11.14.08)

I realized one thing this morning and learned another. What I realized is how great the reverse commute is when taking the Path train from 23rd or 33rd to Christopher St. or even to Jersey. I get off at Christopher Street after a brief ride on a train with practically no other people sitting, sneezing, talking, yelling, profisizing, or fighting like they did when I took the 1/2/3 downtown from 96th street. This morning there was no one in my particular car, just a Path officer.

Empty Path Train

Empty Path Train

After I took this shot the officer approched me with a big, “Hey! What are you doing?” like my point and shoot shot of an empty train was the beginings of a scheme to destroy the subway. All I could do was look confused (quite easy for me) and say, “What?” 

“You can’t take pictures on the subway!” he said, looking fairly miffed for what I had done.

“Ok,” I said, and put my camera away. He walked away. End of story. Have a good weekend.

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Post No Bills (11.13.08)

Post no bills. That’s what the sign says. To be honest, I was rushed this morning and I don’t even remember which street this was on. You can see them all around New York. My problem with construction sites like this is that if we were allowed to post bills, or signs, the whole thing would look a hell of a lot better. Wouldn’t you love to see an ads for good entertainment like Growin Up Gotti or Paris Hilton’s My New BFF on your neighborhood construction site? I would.

Post No Bills

Post No Bills

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Tree Houses in Madison Sq. Park (11.12.08)

There isn’t exactly a profusion of tree houses in New York City. Wait, apparently there is. Madison Square Park’s latest installation art piece features wooden huts/tree houses tucked into the branches of park trees. According to a curbed.com piece, “To some, they may evoke childhood memories of hiding out in treehouses; to others, they may suggest flimsy shelters built by the homeless.” I would definitely go with the childhood bit.

Tree Houses in Mad. Sq. Park

Tree Houses in Mad. Sq. Park

Tree House

Tree House

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Brontosaurus on 13th Street (11.11.08)

New York is starting to get chilly. And my walk to work has certainly lost some of the energy of fall. The winds have picked up a bit, meeting you head on around a corner or pushing you along from behind as you try to control your steps. Still, the same city surprises are abundant. Today I noticed a completely random mural of a brontosaurus on top of a gothic furniture shop on 13th and 3rd. Were dinosaurs big fans of gothic furniture? Aparently the two go hand in hand like a handshake.

Dinosaur Furniture

Dinosaur Furniture

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Met Life Tower (11.10.08)

Whenever I am running late I walk crosstown on 23rd street to the Path right past one of my favorite NYC buildings, the Metropolitan Life North Building and Tower. The Metropolitan Life Tower was the world’s tallest building from 1909 to 1913. The design for the tower was inspired (stolen) from none other than the Italians and the Campanile in St. Mark’s square, Venice. Still, the tower is 52 stories, more than twice the height of the Campanile.
Met Life Building From Lexington

Metropolitan Life Tower From Lexington

Met Life Building from B'way and 23rd

Metropolitan Life Tower from Broadway

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Eat Fruit and Die (11.7.08)

“Eat fruit and die.” That’s what the sticker on a mail relay box at the corner of Morton and Greenwich St. says. I don’t know about you, but my life includes a few loftier goals. Eating the recommended amount of fruit fits squarely into that plan, but in no way dominates it in such a way to suggest an obsessive focus. Eat fruit and die?  How about eat fruit and live? How about get a job, start a family, and see what happens?

Eat fruit and die.

Eat fruit and die.

The denseness of this sticker however is no match for the denseness of the people I see trying to slide pieces of mail into these relay boxes. There are no slots, no holes, no nothing. The sole purpose of these green mail boxes is to act as mini post offices where mailmen can store mail on its way to another location. Apparently many people don’t know this and do about three cirles around the box before moving on in frustration, letter in hand.

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Overheard (11.6.08)

In an ode to Overheard in New York, today’s post is something I heard a guy say to his friend as we crossed paths near Barrow and Bedford Streets.

“I told her I’d give her a bite of my sandwich but she just stared at me like a bitch.”

I don’t think I’d like that guy.

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