Saturday, December 29, 2012
Actually, these classic Zippo lighters would make great "collectibles" and well worth the $25-$35 this funky store on Second Avenue in Midtown wants for them. (They also have old cute ashtrays with ceramic figurines on them).
Get them while they last, I suspect....I noticed when I took this picture that all the ashtrays were now gone except for one...
My sister once told me she felt guilty when she first got a nanny for her kids so she could keep working at her landscape architect job....I told her look, everyone who can afford a nanny in NYC has one, and I doubt it is much different up there in Massachusetts....
She and her husband continued to live their incredibly busy social life as well...as it happened, she told me morosely some years later that her younger son DID however say to her one day, "when I grow up I am going to be rich enough(as if his parents were not well off!) so that my wife never has to work and we need a nanny."
Induced enormous guilt trip in my sister of course...but not enough for her to dismiss any of the nannies that came and went...
Today was a sunny, very pleasant day for late December...great for walking around, of which I did plenty.
Snow comes in tomorrow and then the deep freeze on Sunday...New Year's Eve will be cold for all the people who want to go up to Times Square ( I have NEVER wanted to do that! I even find watching it on TV something of a drag)....
Been to some great Holiday parties but never to a really good New Year's Eve one. Even back when I was young and it was safe to come home extremely late on the subway or walk home if it that were feasible...(shows you how old I am!!)
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Wonder what happened. That's one of the things about NYC street art, it is rarely permanent unless it is painted on a wall or something....this was some kind of cut-out thing.
I really love the parka I got from Eddie Bauer some years back at half price this time of year...unfortunately, the items I have ordered recently I have had to send back....they went bankrupt but are still operating...however, their stuff does not seem to be as good as it used to be. Several other people have told me they have experienced the same thing, not just with Bauer but also with Land's End etc.
Looks like they are moving production of clothes to cheaper and cheaper factories in China and elsewhere to increase the profit margin...
Monday, December 24, 2012
This was taken not too long ago at the Epiphany School down below Kips Bay...
In the future I will try to get more work photos posted here.
Saturday, December 22, 2012
Midtown was flooded a while back by an incredible crowd of Santas, Santa's helpers and reindeer...it is part of some international charity event...most of them who were traveling in groups usually in Midtown were also heading for any available bar...
These two young ladies were willing to let me take their picture ( most people say no if you ask them in NYC, especially the natives)--they seem to be enjoying themselves OK.
Never looked all that interesting to me from the outside, googled it up and--wow--does it get mixed reviews. A lot of people say "skip it," very definitely, others liked it a lot...
That trip advisor link is a good one to find out a lot about the Museum of Sex--
I checked out the Museum's website and found the senior admission was $17.50. Am not sure if I want to risk it or not...(you cannot take photos indoors anyway).
That Mayan prophecy thing is the kind of nutty concept that gets under the skin of people in these turbulent, uncertain times-- one study for the BBC found that 10% of the people worldwide were actually made nervous about it.
Well, it certainly reminded me of "Bleak December" and Shakespeare's " Bare ruined choirs" today-- although for me it mostly meant a visit to the doctor and getting antibiotics and other prescriptions...
This photo was taken a few days ago actually but I felt it was unusually appropriate for today...
Thursday, December 20, 2012
He just came on Facebook and found that someone I knew had added him as a friend and so I contacted him.
Now retired, Harmon volunteers for the KittyKind cat rescue project. This is at 17th Street and Broadway, the Northern end of Union Square.
KittyKind is a cat rescue service which finds new homes for lots of kitties
that have become stray or are given up for adoption for various reasons
( all the cats offered are basically healthy and have their shots, etc.). If you are in New York, drop by on a weekday afternoon and you will
probably find Harmon at Petco-- and maybe you can adopt a kitty! More about KittyKind at http://www.kittykind.org/ci/index.php/pages/index/home
Saturday, December 8, 2012
Of course, in the Northern part of Kips Bay, many people and places insist on using the name "Murray Hill," which I think they believe is more upscale. It certainly use to be, but with the endless gentrification that has affected just about all of Manhattan, Kips Bay is about as expensive as anywhere now....except, of course, the toniest parts of the Upper East Side and a few other areas ( like Tribeca).
This one, on Fifth Avenue in the mid-upper-30's, seems to have brought all sorts of odd stuff from out of storage to put out with the rest of its merchandise....
Jazz at Kitano on East 38th Street on the edge of Murray Hill is a perfect example. It attracts international jazz fans to what is described as a "Pan Asian atmosphere."
You can read more about it at this link:
Sunday, December 2, 2012
They had closed the gates to the Esplanade...the morning high tide gave no indication how bad the evening surge would be...just that the situation was getting hairy.
Last night, the local ABC affiliate here showed a half hour special on "Extreme Weather NYC" which predicted what were once odd occasional tornadoes and other meteorological events around this area would become more common and also get worse...
Due of course, to global warming and climate change. As the polar ice cap melts in the summer now (more and more...eventually it will melt away to nothing during the summer) and the Atlantic continues to rise in temperature, the difference between air temperatures in the far North and down towards the Equator will become less pronounced.
This will influence the flow of weather from West to East across the country...making it loop around in all sorts of ways, and even double back on itself as it did in the case of Sandy ( which should have headed out to sea instead of turning inland and slamming the South New Jersey Coast--and, of course, bringing all the flooding to the NJ-NY area).
Now that the weather in the Pacific Ocean is more or less "neutral" (neither much of an El Nino or a La Nina effect), storms in the North Atlantic will arise on their own out of nowhere and with less warning.
So, we could be in for more storm surges this winter...and who knows how bad they might be.
Nobody wants to consider worst case scenarios at the moment, but one grumpy old weather guy on the ABC show said that " Sandy was not "The Big One" when it comes to storm surges...we will have much worse ones in the future."
So, people like NYC Mayor Bloomberg and NY Governor Cuomo are talking now about what can be done to deal with the extreme weather of the future. They seem to be confused a little here, not knowing whether to rebuild some sections like the Rockaways ( which might not be worth it, given what the future is like)...and they talk of rebuilding the boardwalk at Long Beach on the South Shore of Long Island with concrete rather than wood. (Local residents are indignant about this and insist it be rebuilt with wood. They seem to think that living there is a workable proposition for the future, which one wonders about now. I mean, they ARE going to be wiped out again sooner or later and maybe sooner).
Some of the plans for helping to seal off the subway tunnels from water with inflatable plugs seem a little science fiction-ish, (and will take years to really work out if they decide to do it).
Just for this winter: what if there is another big storm surge and more flooding and another big power outage? The big problem will be all the boilers in buildings that will not be functioning and tons of people in the area suddenly finding themselves in the middle of the winter without heat...( or power, for that matter). How can the government handle this? Nobody even wants to consider this happening right now....and it may never happen, at least not THIS winter.
The future is just sure to have a lot more extreme weather and we had all better get used to the idea, that's all.
Saturday, December 1, 2012
They have banned people like this from Times Square for--among other reasons-- complaints from veterans who are food vendors there.
One of few breaks veterans get in NYC is top priority for being food vendors in Times Square. One vendor referred to this as "one of the few crumbs they throw to us." Sad.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
TOP: Saks Fifth Avenue windows are all under-lit dramatically and I could not get good pix of them,--only this Saks Kids' window was well-lit-- its them is "The Yeti" ( The Abominable Snowman)--kind of weird, huh?
SECOND FROM TOP: High fashion store with the weird name has very elegant stuff as usual
THIRD FROM TOP: Ann Taylor window has Santa with huge globe behind him
FOURTH FROM TOP: All of Lord & Taylor's main windows are very "busy" ( small windows on side streets are more coherent)-- this holiday window has everything but the kitchen sink
More store windows and shoppers etc. as season progresses....
Saturday, November 24, 2012
Anyway, these days "Black Friday" is simply the day after Thanksgiving when retailers open early, some really early, for what is supposed to be the biggest sale/shopping day of the Christmas season.
Herald Square around Macy's was of course mobbed with bargain hunters....
Macy's has its new Christmas windows ready. I did not find them all that impressive ( the ones they had last year were a lot fancier and more inventive. This year's windows are colorful, though, and attract just as much attention as the windows always do.
I was in Herald Square yesterday too, and 34th Street was just as mobbed as it was today...all tourists, it seemed to me. The Korean tourists were very much in evidence in the neaby Korean Town area, with all their suitcases on wheels and shopping bags and glazed expressions as they drifted through the crowded streets without seeming to know how to navigate their way in a crowd...
I read an article in the New York Times once that a study crew from Columbia University had set up all these hidden cameras and taken pix for hours just to see how people wended their way through places where the sidewalks were always very crowded. Seems like some people, mostly the native New Yorkers, had a distinctive habit of looking at WHERE they were headed at any given moment which gave other people a clue as to how to navigate around THEM...a lot of peripheral vision involved in this, I guess.
Enough really crowded sidewalks for me for a while, though....in the next few days I am going to be looking to walk places that are not so frenetic and where it seems like you are always close to being trampled to death or something.
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Top: Weird Mural on doors on Fifth Avenue. Who knows what artist had in mind...guess it is up to the viewer to interpret it.
Bottom: At Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations, big half-eaten donut or bagel has chrome interior...I had a shot of this from a better angle with some people looking at it to give it scale but that was kind of blurry...think you can tell from street lamp just behind it that it is pretty big.
I believe Astro will be making its move to its new store soon...
Sunday, November 18, 2012
The Nathan Straus Houses in Kips Bay is ensconced in an extremely safe--almost cozy-- environment, and I noticed people coming and going looking perfectly content with the somewhat ramshackle atmosphere of the place...
Saturday, November 10, 2012
We lost power here Monday night of Hurricane precisely at 8:30 p.m. I know because
I had just started to eat a banana and had just glanced at the time... Power company had called me earlier (robot call) and told me to shut off all major appliances, except refrigerator (do not unplug!)-- I even unplugged my computer from power surge strip after shutting if off, just as I had unplugged the TV. Was able to get more batteries for my flashlight, luckily (later).. and still had gas and running water after power failed. However, I already also had a bathtub full of water so I used that to flush following the Los Angeles motto ( "If it's yellow, it's mellow, if it's brown, flush it down). Pain came when it got cold and of course no heat because boiler relies on electric
turn on. Slept with my clothes and down jacket on under some blankets and just
felt cold in my feet because I was nervous... Power was promised by Bloomberg to be on Friday night by Midnight. Went
downstairsthen to talk to woman working here and also other people who had
come down. She had a battery powered radio. We heard how power was coming on,
section by section, starting with the lowest tip of Manhattan. By Midnight
still no power and it was obvious we would be last little piece in jigsaw puzzle. I was lighting my gas stove with a cigarette lighter I had bought at little deli without power ( was later able to get kitchen matches--glad for these because I kept burning
my fingers lighting gas using lighter!) Woman working here on Friday night summed it up neatly, "Dammit, I am getting
TIRED of it being so dark all the time." Power and heat came on some time early Saturday morning. I woke up about 6 p.m.
and saw clock radio time flashing as well as flashing answering machine ( answering
machine HELL to reset I don't know why they make it so damn complicated). But SO SO lucky compared to scores of thousands of people in NY-NJ-CT area, so
manyof whom lost their homes or stayed despite being told to leave and then
still stayed aslong as they could to flooded houses... Many scores of thousands around here still without power as I write this. They have
been pumping out subway tunnels since right after storm flooded them but not
all lines were back for some time..and of course people still tried to get to work
anyway they could ( some of the auto tunnels were flooded , too, including
the Midtown one just north of me, which was supposedly built never to flood!
Some planning goof there, huh? Actually, I believe Climate change is just setting
us up for more and more unprecedented storms like this). Oh yeah, had canned food and peanut butter and bottled water ( boiled water for
endless cups of instant coffee) and then found out on my travels that power
NEVER WENT OFF just five blocks North of here..so supermarkets open
there and restocking withnew food immediately except for bottled water. Attaching just a dozen of Post-Hurricane photos ( self explanatory, I think, like the one of people from no-power zone trying to get to work in power-on zone and
stoppingfor coffee anywhere they could) etc. We got off so lightly here, really, I can't complain ( but of course I do). Our elevator went out and then went whacky when power came back on. Will
probably require someone from Power company to fix it ( electrician who was
supposed to comeyesterday never made it today either I noticed). Yeah, I am happy with election just because of all the time I put in as Obama
volunteer ( including afternoon shift at phone bank on election day. Obama was
rightwhen he said he won because of small donations ( I made a lot of them,
includingthese women Senate candidates who were running against Rape-nut
case remark Tea Party fools
...the Dem women all won! Only gave $20 to Obama himself but figured that was
in line with what they were asking for ,,,millions of small donations. All these people from NYC (and State) also took all these buses to Ohio and
Pennsylvania for weeks before election and also were there on election day
to get out the vote...every last one we could identify.
Happy but numb about all politics even though Obama website keeps sending
me messages and telling me to stay ready for more action.
What could they have in mind?
I am so tired of politics I do not even care about the "fiscal cliff"-- screw
Boehner and intransigent Republicans, country will survive. There WAS
a mandate for richer people paying their fare share.
HA HA to Koch Bros. and other plutocrats who spent hundreds of millions of
dollars and believed all of Karl Rove's usual nonsense. They are mad as hell
at Rove, who will just blame someone/something else for his own stupidity.
My best wishes to all who are still suffering, --hope things improve for you soon!