Translation from English

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fred French Revisited--and not all of it complimentary....

Here we have memorial plaque for the French Building....French has his name on a lot of buildings around Grand Central, particularly some apartment buildings on Park Avenue...

This plaque was put in the sidewalk by the Kalikow corporation...a real estate business run by Peter Kalikow that was in the news a lot some years ago, often wrapped in bitter controversy about his attempts to evict tenants from rent controlled buildings etc.

I believe I have written about  Frederick French before...just a brief review: ( from Wikipedia)

He was born in Manhattan, New York City on October 14, 1883 and attended the Horace Mann School.[1] He built Tudor City, a housing development on Manhattan's East Side, for the rising middle class in the 1920s.[2] He also developed Knickerbocker Village, middleclass housing on the Lower East Side between the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge. His original intention for the project was to build housing for "junior Wall Street executives".[3] His Fred F. French Building is a well-known skyscraper on Fifth Avenue in Midtown.
French and his company served as the developer and landlord of Knickerbocker Village, important in the history of tenant rights. When the tenants were to take possession of their apartments, they found conditions to be unlivable.[4] Facilities were either unfinished or poorly equipped, including non-working elevators and inoperable laundry rooms.[5] The tenants formed the Knickerbocker Village Tenants Association and started a strike, withholding their rent checks until their grievances were dealt with. The conflict that arose from the tenants' dissatisfaction led to New York City's rent control laws. He died on August 30, 1936 in Pawling, New York of a heart attack.[6][7]

What is Khojaly?

This is some new propaganda poster about some place called Khojaly...let me see if I can find something on the internet about we go:

World must stop ignoring Khojaly massacre
by Ceyhun Osmanlı*

26 February 2012, Sunday / ,
Twenty years ago today, Azerbaijanis witnessed one of the most brutal events in their history when the town of Khojaly in Azerbaijan, with its 7,000 population, came under indiscriminate attack by Armenians.
The inhabitants were generally people who were deported en masse from Armenia in the course of the war between 1988 and 1990.
In 1992, on the night of Feb. 25-26 the Armenian Army attacked the town. Innocent, unarmed people who couldn’t understand what they were facing fled for their lives. However, all entrance and exit points of the town were closed. On that night, Armenian soldiers bloodthirstily shot everybody -- including women, children and the elderly.
The official death toll of the massacre is at least 613 -- 106 were women and 63 were children; 160 residents of the town are still missing and 76 are crippled. Eight families were completely exterminated, and 154 children became orphans. It was only possible to bury the bodies of 335 murdered people. The feet of 200 Khojaly residents, who were trying to escape from the hail of bullets, froze and became gangrenous, while 1257 residents of the town -- captives and prisoners -- were tortured by Armenian soldiers.
The people who committed this savagery have gone unpunished as the world has ignored this massacre.

Hooray for Hollywood....women's shoes

Just saw TV show about Oscars saying how fashion is focusing on women's shoes these objects like these from Ferragamo as shown are now IMPORTANT.

Just an internet note on Ferragamo: (Wikipedia)

Salvatore Ferragamo (June 5, 1898 – August 7, 1960) was a Florentine and Italian shoe designer. He worked with many Hollywood stars in the 1920s, before returning to Italy to found the eponymous company making unique hand-made footwear. His scientific and creative approach to shoes spawned many innovations such as the wedge heel and cage heel. Film stars and celebrities continue to patronize his company, which has evolved into a luxury goods empire spanning the world.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Vitacost involved in all kinds of scams

I have been getting unwanted "targeted advertising" from this outfit..sent them an email to stop.
It is actually largely the fault of GOOGLE.

Vitacost is listed on the internet as having been involved in all kinds of scams, as well as just being a lousy company-- see

Library Way, Langston Hughes plaque in sidewalk

Plaque in Library Way on 41st Street in Manhattan, just East of the Main Public Library...all these plaques set in the sidewalk with quotes from famous authors.

From the internet:

Few Manhattan pedestrians, whether locals or tourists, are aware that this two-block stretch - starting in the shadows of Grand Central Station and ending across the street from Patience and Fortitude, the lions guarding the entrance to the majestic main branch of the New York Public Library, contains a collection of ninety-six bronze plaques, quoting forty-five writers, imbedded in the sidewalk. The project - the brainchild of the Grand Central Partnership, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to revitalizing the midtown area - was started in the early 1990s and finally reached completion in May 2004, when it was dedicated by Mayor Bloomberg. Each one - selected from the works of an eclectic group that includes Marcus Aurelius, E.B. White, Willa Cather, and Tom Stoppard - includes artwork inspired by the text. Anyone intent on studying these for more than a brief moment is advised to do so on a Sunday, when foot traffic is minimal. To attempt to do so midweek will no doubt leave you trampled by impatient office workers frantic to eat and run errands during lunch hour or anxious to catch the train home.

Manhattan...all that brickwork!

Manhattan has a fair number of buildings that seem to be mostly concrete, glass and steel but this is still a place made up essentially of zillions of bricks used as the "curtain wall" on most buildings...
Remember when I was in  Prague I was struck by how the central part of town there is almost all stonework exteriors...true of a lot of European cities I suppose.

This is just part of an online description of the wonderful Chrysler building ( not all that far from where this photo was taken)

77 floors, 319.5m (1048 feet) high, 29961 tons of steel, 3,826,000 bricks, near 5000 windows. Cost: $ 20,000,000
The building is clad in white brick and dark gray brickwork is used as horizontal decoration to enhance the window rows. The eccentric crescent-shaped steps of the spire (spire scaffolding) were made of stainless steel (or rather, similar nirosta chrome-nickel steel) as a stylized sunburst motif, and underneath it steel gargoyles, depicting American eagles (image), stare over the city. Sculptures modeled after Chrysler automobile radiator caps (image) decorate the lower setbacks, along with ornaments of car wheels. 

By the way,  that cost of $20 million is from back in 1928-30....hard to imagine how much it would take to replicate the Chrysler building today!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Blame it on the Pedestrians

Signage around Midtown Tunnel entrance has changed for what I feel is the worse...used to be all about telling traffic to yield to pedestrians, and they had real cops out to direct traffic who got respect from drivers.

Now, signs seem to be all about telling pedestrians to WATCH OUT and underpaid traffic cops ( the kind without guns) do a hit-or-miss job of traffic control.

Skyscraper Apartments in Midtown

Every once in a while, you suddenly get struck by the verticality of the upper part of Murray Hill area near 42nd Street....and what a mild day it was today, sunny and so Spring-like. Cheered me up...

Signs of mid Feburary

IT has been such a mild winter that the ornamental kale put in for temporary looks all over Murray Hill is  blooming away...

Likewise, tulip shoots in median strip of Park Avenue are sprouting up very early this year.

Little touch of real winter ( a real possibility yet) would whammy everything...,however, Park Avenue Association that takes care of the median strips would just replace them with other flowers...funny how they have so much money for things like this in the middle of a recession. But that's Manhattan for you.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

St. Valentine's Day is coming....

St. Valentine's Day is coming soon now ( on the 14th--next Tuesday).....all sorts of goods in stores for the event. This little shop looked very cheerful....

Dig We Must

Wherever you are in Midtown, they are tearing up a street to replace a pipe or something not all that far away...guess this guy was happy he was not doing it in the snowstorm that never materialized.

Snowstorm doesn't materialize- Februrary 11 2012 is not all that bad

There was supposed to be up to 3 inches of snow today...instead, snow flurries went through early and melted., leaving St. Vartan's Park open for young men to play touch football. They act like it is Spring like ( it was really fairly cold)....guess the vigorous exercise kept them warm.