Tag Archives: New York Blogs

Lelabar Decorates the Street in NYC’s West Village

At first glance I thought, jeez, why would someone knock over those pots full of corks in the little plot of dirt on the sidewalk. Then I thought, wait, why are the corks there anyway?  With this thought process you’d think I already had a few chiantis at Lelabar, the West Village wine bar responsible for the decoration.  You can find random flower assortments and even some doodads, yes doodads, in plots throughout the village.  But I have to give it to Lelabar for the themed arrangement. Definitely makes it more interesting.

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Warm Weather Brings Out the Sounds of New York City

I noticed something when the sun went down last night on the Hudson – I wasn’t freezing to death! In fact, it was a beautiful night. And aside from the welcomed warmth, I noticed that the weather brought new sounds as well.  Cyclists now wooshed along the West Side pathway. Joggers chatted in between breaths. All the while, I fixated on the Hudson River sunset.

Cars rushed south on the West Side Highway. In winter, they greedily hold in heat and sound. Tonight, windows were down and even as commuters blew past me, I could hear music coming from their systems. Rolling Stones, Jay-Z, and even a quick hit of Aretha Franklin at one point.  Of course if you’re on the phone or eager for a moment’s peace, this isn’t cool.  But, for anyone who like’s to sing “sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me,” forever on end, hey, that sound bite of Aretha is all you need.

When the cars were still, the sound of kids playing on brightly lit astroturf fields filled the air. Coaches blew their whistles and called out instructions. Their energy radiated to all who passed by, probably pausing to remember when they were just a kid on a field, dreaming of going pro some day.  All the while, the city skyline, quiet as the clouds, speaks louder to New Yorkers than all the joggers, cars and soccer-playing kids combined.

Here comes spring in New York City.

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The Storms Keep Rolling In

Not much respite from the rain here in New York City — though this afternoon the clouds have cleared and we are experiencing a nice day. The storms are supposed to continue and it will rain more. Those of you who live and work without a view towards New Jersey don’t get to see these storms approaching like I do. This is what they look like (Wednesday), taken from the rooftop of my office building in the West Village.

Storm Cloud Comes in From Jersey

Storm Cloud Comes in From Jersey

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Metropolitan Life Cupola – Why is it shiny?

The cupola at the very top of New York City’s Metropolitan Life Tower serves as an “eternal light” for the city, which stays illuminated even after the rest of the building’s lighting system has been turned off for the night. But is that real gold up there?

It's gold, Jerry! Gold!

It's gold, Jerry! Gold!

Yup. The cupola is gilded in 23.75 karat Italian gold leaf.

View from 23rd Street

View from 23rd Street

Now you can impress your friends or visiting family members with this quick bit of I Spy NYC info. Let the tours begin!

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Plane Crash Floating By (1.16.09)

I couldn’t think of anything else walking to work today other than the US. Airways plane crash on the Hudson that happened yesterday. My office is on the Hudson. We knew something big had happened when we saw a mess of ferries and helicopters headed up river.

Then CNN.com reported of a plane crash and our hearts sank. We went to the roof to see what we could, but I think secretly we were trying to prepare ourselves for the news–what everyone expected to be tragic. If the crash didn’t do it, it was so bitterly cold along the river we knew only a few minutes in the water would be all a heart could take.

Slowly but surely the plane and all the boats floated right in front of our office. By this time, miraculously, all of the passengers had been brought to safety.

US Airways Crash Rescue Effort

US Airways Crash Rescue Effort

US Airways Rescue

US Airways Rescue

US Airways tail of crash

US Airways tail of crash

We were so thankful for the rescue effort, for the competence of the pilot, and for the safety of the passengers. If the plane had gone down just a few miles up river (less than a minute when flying), where it has iced over, the outcome would have been dramatically different. I can’t find any word better to describe it than a miracle.

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Hoboken Burgers? (1.15.09)

On snowy days like this one, where the chill turns your fingers numb in mere minutes, or when I’m running late, I hop on the Path train at 23rd Street and head towards New Jersey. I get off at Christopher Street, the last stop in Manhattan, yet I feel a strong connection with “the dirty Jers.” Maybe it’s the proximity – just 6 minutes to Hoboken. Or maybe it’s the gum that I stepped in a while back, chewed possibly by a Harrison teen on her way to the Rockband Live concert at the Prudential Center.

This morning, however, I saw a poster that made me question the Path and New Jersey in general.

Path Sign
Path Sign

“And you haven’t had a beer and a burger until you’ve had one in Hoboken,” it reads.

Really, guys? Is that the case?  What is it about Hoboken that makes the beer taste better?  Where is one going to have these life-changing burgers?

Help me out here people of New Jersey.

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A Note from the Dead (1.14.09)

There is a sign outside of St. Luke’s Chapel on Hudson Street in the West Village that I find fascinating. St. Lukes is New York City’s third oldest church (St. Paul’s and St. Mark’s in the Bowery are the oldest). The sign is very un-churchy and yet it transmits values and emotions in a very powerful way. The letters have faded.  Age has tarnished what was once clean. But if you the take the time to read it (uncover it more like it), the feeling is timeless, like the old citizens of New York are speaking to you.
 St. Thomas Church

St. Luke's Chapel

Here’s what it says: The Old Village Church of Greenwich Village, Built 1822.

Friends, this village church
Open stands for thee.
Thou mayest enter, think
Kneel and pray.
Remember whence thou art
And what must be.
Thine end. Remember us.
Then go thy way.

Ooh, I just caught a chill.

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Northern Dispensary (1.13.09)

I took the photo of this building in the West Village, the Northern Dispensary, but then found that New York Daily Photo already did all of my legwork, and better than I ever could. Sometimes you just have to recognize the work of others.

Northern Dispensary

Northern Dispensary

 From New York Daily Photo Blog, September 18, 2006: On one of the most unique corners in NYC sits one of the most mysterious buildings, previously owned by one of the most eccentric real estate investors – the Northern Dispensary, a triangular Georgian brick building, unoccupied since 1998. Click here for more photos. It is remarkable for having been continuously operated since 1827 as a public clinic – Edgar Allen Poe was treated here at no charge for a cold in 1937. It is also unique in that it has one side on two streets (Grove meets Christopher) and two sides on streets with the same name – where Waverly meets Waverly (click here for photo). The previous owner, William Gottlieb, drove a beat up station wagon with broken windows, yet after his death in 1999, his collection of properties was found to have a value of between 100-300 million dollars. He was notorious for acquiring properties and doing nothing with them – his sister Mollie Bender continues the Gottlieb tradition with no apparent plans for the building. A private deed placed on the building stated that the property had to be used to provide medical care to the “worthy poor.” However, since the deed is private, it is not clear whether it could be enforced. So its future is very unclear as the building stands eerily empty.

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The Road to Victory (1.12.09)

I think my hands froze off somewhere around West 11th. My face lost the ability to move near the Mud Truck at Christopher Street. And by the time I sat down at my desk I found that even my ass was completely numb. In case you can’t tell, it’s freezing this morning in New York. Still, my half hour walk to work was a beautiful one. With every wind that blew I would simply think back to the two huge events that took place yesterday and it didn’t seem so cold.

First, the Eagles beat the Giants in a stressful, back and forth, smashmouth game. Seriously, after such a long season that was seemingly in the trash a few weeks ago, to see them persevere and make it to the NFC Championship game is a gift. Never mind the serious flack I got from Bed, Bath & Beyond employees when they noticed my Eagles hat and jersey, it’s a good time to be a Philly sports fan.

Second…Springsteen took home the Golden Globe! That’s right! Bruce Springsteen won the best original song for a movie (The Wrestler), which I saw last week. It’s an excellent movie that shows that sometimes, sadly, the self in self worth can screw things up for everyone. A must see, but be prepared to reflect on the characters and maybe not be so happy for the rest of the night.

See, I wrote this whole piece without thinking about my walk. Sometimes that happens.

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I Spy NYC Blogs of the Week (1.9.09)

I’ve found so many great New York city blogs this week.  The first is like the Bible of New York mapping websites.

NYSonglines.com charts all of Manhattan with snapshots of buildings and points of interest in a format resembling streets. As if you’re walking, it’s a history lesson with interesting facts that must have taken a painstaking amount of work to compile. The author, Jim Naureckas, is my hero.

Walkingoffthebigapple.com is a comprehensive site with great links to all things walking New York. Great detail and a fun site.

Have a great weekend!

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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!)




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