The LOFT Gets Presumptuous With 23rd Street Ad

Has an ad ever made you stop and question the very fiber of your being as much as this one from LOFT?  Witnessed on 23rd and Broadway, I was nearly trampled by a line of commuters close on my heels as I paused to contemplate its claim. Who is this woman that I, a man of 30, am supposed to be? Do I really look this happy in a double-button sweater jacket?  Should I have left the black rimmed hat at home?

And is it ever any time other than now?  A few more moments of contemplation and I confirmed that this is in fact not me but this is most definitely now.  And now is now, too.  With those questions out of the way I thought about the actual “you” in the ad — the model.  What happens when she sees this?  Does she stop and say, “holy shit, LOFT!  You’re right!” and hi-five the thing?   If so, I want to be there when she does. That would be an I Spy NYC moment for the record books.

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An Open Letter to Spirit Airlines, LaGuardia

Dear Spirit Airlines,

As I sit here in LaGuardia Airport long after the flight to my friend’s wedding in Mexico was supposed to take off I admit that it would be easy to blast you with expletives and trash the customer service. However, I’ll refrain. I am a firm believer that life’s best lessons are found in emotionally challenging moments and this one is packed with oh so many lessons – certainly more than the number of bags packed on that plane. You’re probably going to get some nasty notes from my fellow passengers so I hope that this comes as a more uplifting communication.

First, I recently learned in the Dalai Lama’s book on happiness that a “sedentary life” is like a present perpetually wrapped. With that in mind, thank you for having Zone 1 line up to board and waiting for twenty minutes to make the announcement that you should not have done that and don’t actually know when boarding will begin. The fact that the first first flight of the day has a last minute mechanical issue was not your fault, you told us so yourselves. After waking up at 3am to make my 6:45 flight, sitting in that airport chair was just lulling me back to sleep and into the dreaded ‘sedentary life’ anyway. Honestly, and I mean this, standing really helped to get the blood flowing. As the sun peaked over the rooftops of Queens, I felt alive.

Did you happen to catch the Oprah show where the pediatrician lectured on childhood obesity? I’m guessing you did because after the standing and then sitting back down again, having all of the people with children begin boarding only to have them come back up the ramp again really got those little hearts going. Although it was only one repetition I’m sure some calories were burned. Crying burns calories too, I think.

And I hate to bring my own personal issues to the discussion, but this experience has brought to light something I’ve felt for a long time.  It’s hard to meet anyone in New York. Honestly, with so many people here that may seem counter intuitive, but it’s true. That’s why I’m so glad that after our flight was delayed for, well now it’s been nearly three hours, you still had the passengers on next departing flight come to the same gate. I had never met any of them before! Some really nice folks. In GQ a few months ago it said that you have to meet 40 people before you can make one lasting connection. Those are terrible odds. But with that in mind I am on my way to making at least five new connections. No, not flight connections, personal ones.

Before I go (No, not to my friend’s wedding. I have to find some Advil), and above all, thank you for teaching me how to communicate in a cynical, ineffective and at times rambling manner with a message riddled with misinformation. Without that lesson this email would have simply been explatives and trash talk.

Yours Truly,
(formerly) Seat 2B

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Empire State of Commuting

This blog started because I wanted to document my morning commute.  Then it morphed into a quasi photo blog and now, well, I really don’t know what it is other than a virtual wall I throw stuff at every now and then to see if it sticks. This morning, as I crossed over Broadway and 22nd, I realized that I’ve never done a post about the Empire State Building.  What???

I suppose I’ve been too intent on finding the little things, the New York nuances, the unheralded oddities that make me think twice.  But I’d be remiss to walk past this scene every day and not say here, pubilcly, to my seven regular readers, that seeing the Empire State Building every day is a real gift.

I guess you have to invest as much attention on the significance of the big things in life as in seeking out the small things. Just another commute.

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Lunchtime in the Wilds of the West Village

Even five minutes in the little park at the Church of St. Luke at lunch is a great break to the day. Somehow time in nature is stretched to feel longer than time away from nature.


Beautiful Evening on the East Side

So the west side of Manhattan gets the sunsets. I’m fine with that. I can deal.  Especially on nights like tonight when the setting sun illuminates the clouds over the East River.  I was running after work and had to stop to snap a few shots. Thank you, iPhone and hipstamatic!  A couple treatments, so tell me which one you like best.

Click each to see larger files.

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Dekalb Market in Brooklyn

Proof that salvaged shipping containers can be used for more than just shipping and containing. I’m not really sure if anyone was out to prove it before, but, well, there’s no denying it now. Good food, beer, and very cool store spaces inside the containers.
market, brooklyn, new york city market

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Brooklyn Bridge Stroll

A great idea shared by, oh, ten thousand other people. Still, a special way to start the weekend.

bridge, brooklyn bridge, iconic bridges, new york city

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Cool Building in the West Village

Who wouldn’t want to live in an ivy-covered building in the heart of the West Village?  This one is at 11th and Greenwich.  Pretty awesome.


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Weird Gristedes Sign

I walked into Gristedes to find this sign on the door and then again inside near the stacks of baskets. Although the phrase is virtually owned by Seth Myers and Amy Poehler, “Really, Gristedes?” How many ways can you apologize for a typographical error by replacing it with a grammattical one? Were masses of peach and strawberry loving customers complaining about the sign? How bad is the error? “Three strawberries for $wehatepuppies”?

Idea: just change the original peaches and strawberries sign. We wouldn’t have known.

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Searching for the Moon

I finally had a chance to head out at night, if for only a bit, to take a few shots of the moon. Without a long lens I had to fit it into a scene. Here, among all of the lights of 14th street, mini moons in their own right, the real moon looms overhead.

Walking home I came upon these tourists lost at the north end of Union Square. Nothing to do with the moon, just liked the shot. Although I’d like to imagine the guy telling his wife, “I don’t know, honey, this says the moon should be right around here.”

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The Williamsburg Bridge

This is what you take pictures of when you are waiting for a moon that doesn’t come until you have to be home.


A Walk to Nowhere

Seriously, a walk around 1 block (West Village) can be interesting. At least to me.  iPhone in hand.

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