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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Calatrava's New Station, Near Ground Zero

Calatrava, nyc
Photo by myself at Dey and Church Streets, downtown.

Closer up to the Freedom Tower, is the delicate white spines of the new transpiration hub by Santiago Calatrava.

The new 4-billion dollar station will soon open, serving as the Path Station for commuters from New Jersey. The project is about two months behind schedule and 2-billion dollars over budget (!) The structure has been criticized heavily by the press.

The space below the sculpture is not open to the public yet.

By the way, La Guardia airport is scheduled to completely rebuilt soon, with some of its airstrips lengthened. (Completely means being demolished to the ground). The cost of that renovation? Also 4-billion dollars. Hm.

Calatrava, nyc
A few steps away, you can get a better sense of the overall shape.

Related posts: Remembrance, at the World Trade Center Memorial, The Freedom Tower, at Dusk, and Remembrance, at the World Trade Center.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The View of the Freedom Tower, Downtown

Freedom tower, nyc
Photo by myself around MacDougal Street, in the Village.

Though the side street is in mild disarray, it has a nice view of the Freedom Tower.

As usual there are tons of repairs going on in the city. Either the streets are being torn up for the cables or sewers below, or the buildings are under scaffolding. Never a dull moment.

Related posts: Remembrance, at the World Trade Center Memorial, The Freedom Tower, at Dusk, and Remembrance, at the World Trade Center.


Monday, July 20, 2015

Neighborhood Dog Show, in Brooklyn

Dog show, nyc
Photo by myself, in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Despite the intense heat and humidity, there was a huge turn out of contestants and onlookers at a dog costume contest, in Park Slope this weekend.

Either there were a lot of female contestants, or when people think of costume, they think of embarrassing tutus. The majority of clothed dogs wore ballerina type things. Above, a black pug was surrounded by a lot of pink, while wearing pink, herself.

It was so insanely hot, I couldn't stick around to see who won.

Dog show, nyc
Dog and owner posed on a raised runway for photos.

Dog show, nyc
One youngster greeted another.

Dog show, nyc
There was a lot of sniffing, drinking, posing and fun.

Related posts: Dogs in Costume, at Tompkins Square Park, Dogs in Fur Coats, on Madison Avenue, and A New York Mascot.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Naked, in Herald Square

Naked, Herald Sq
Photo by myself in Herald Square, in Midtown.

Erm...perhaps the oddest thing I've seen yet.

A man and woman stood in the middle of Herald Square, one of the busiest spots in Manhattan. They were naked, but for a layer of paint. Meanwhile, another man was painting lines on the naked man.

This photo makes the area seem empty but there were video cameras, people standing around awkwardly, and the usual crowds crossing the street.  This all took place on a little triangle of space where Broadway and Sixth Avenue cross one another, during lunch hour, one of the busiest times of day.


Related posts: Cooling Off, in Midtown, Jingling and Jogging, in Prospect Park, and Vent Your Annoyance, for a Buck.


Friday, July 10, 2015

Village Psychic, Below Ground

Village psychic, nyc
Photo by myself, in the Village.

I must say (with a little sarcasm) that New York must have the highest psychic population per capita.

Just about every small neighborhood has one or five psychics. Most of the time, their signs sit in second floor windows. Sometimes there are sandwich boards on the sidewalk.

Once in a while, the psychic herself (invariably psychics are female, I'm not sure why) will sit outside on the sidewalk on a folding chair.

By the way, it was all over the local news recently when a man was scammed out of $700,000 by a psychic in Times Square. The psychic promised to unite him with a woman he was infatuated with.

The story was so dramatic and hard to believe (involving spells that were cast and expensive jewelry that was purchased as offerings to spirits), it made it to the New York Times. One must say though that the fellow deserved to be swindled so much money because the was so very gullible.

Read the Times article about the psychic here.

Related posts: In Neon, on Seventh Avenue, Shining Bright, at Live Bait, and Only in New York.


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Film Crew, on West 3rd Street

Film Crew, in the Village
Photo by myself on West 3rd and MacDougal Streets, in the Village.

There must be a lot of movies shooting in New York these days; Monday evening, I saw two different film crews in completely different neighborhoods.

Shooting film or tv involves a lot of down time, where they're trying to get the shot right, before 'action' is called. These guys were standing around the crane thing carrying the camera, while they were blocking the shot across the street. One of the guys gave me a peace symbol.

For a lot of reasons, there were zero cars around. First, pedestrians and cyclists have seemed to take over the area. Second, it is pretty impossible to find parking in this neighborhood, so why even try driving? So people were moving huge pieces of equipment around without any thought to danger.

Film crew, in the Village
Across the street, a huge diffuser aimed light at a crew member. He is standing on the 'mark', where eventually an actor would stand.

Related posts: Filming outside Grand Prospect Hall, Brooklyn, Fake New York Marathon, at Columbus Circle, and Film Shoot, in Midtown.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Daily Chess, in Bryant Park

Chess, Bryant Park
Photo by myself in Bryant Park, at 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue.

What looks like an intense battle of killer chess was actually a good-natured game between acquaintances.

I was truly surprised by how friendly and light-hearted the crowd at Bryant Park was. People seemed to know each other and were having a good time. The instructor told me that the same players convene every day during the summer months.

Below, a rapid fire game, where each player had three minutes on the clock. At one point, it was a flurry of hands.

For the Bryant Park chess page, click here.

Chess, Bryant Park

Related posts: On Hipsters and Rupert, Downtown, An Update on NYC and Rupert, and On Gotham City and a Rupert Update.


Monday, June 22, 2015

Rupert as Usual, Ready to Play

Boston Terrier, with ball
Photo by myself in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

A little bit of a palate cleanser for a Monday. Our dog, Rupert, poses with his well-worn ball, ready for action.

Some dogs are people-oriented, others dog-oriented. Rupert is decidedly fetch-oriented, to the point of OCD. We will take him outside to play fetch with a big blue ball, then he'll come inside and play fetch with a little blue ball. For some reason, the game does not get boring to him.

This ball has seen better days. It once had feet and a sponge in the middle that made a squeaky sound. Now it is in shreds but Rupert prefers it over a newer one.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Related posts: On Hipsters and Rupert, Downtown, An Update on NYC and Rupert, and On Gotham City and a Rupert Update.


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Architecture Underfoot, in Midtown

Pan Am Building, nyc
Photo by myself around 40th Street and Park Avenue, in Midtown.

Embedded in the ground at an urban plaza, display engravings of buildings in the neighboring area. Above, a plaque showing the Pan Am Building roosting above the sculpture at Grand Central, just a couple blocks north.

The plaques were installed in 1996, as part of the Grand Central Partnership. Most NYC neighborhoods belong to 'partnerships', where businesses contribute money, used toward creating a neighborhood identity. Special signage, art or trash bins might be commissioned, for instance.

The plaques were created by Gregg LeFevre, a New York City sculptor. To check out more of his work, click here.

NY Daily News Building, nyc
Above, the entrance to the New York Daily News building, on 42nd Street.

Related posts: Remembering Memorial Day, I *Heart* New York, on the Sidewalk, and En Route to a Peaceful Protest, Downtown.'


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Protest for Kalief Browder, in Union Square

Union Square protest
Photo by myself in Union Square.

A protest was held in Union Square, Tuesday evening in memory of Kalief Browder, a young man who endured three years imprisonment at Riker's Island without having been convicted of any crime.

Kalief spent 400 days in solitary confinement and multiple beatings from prison guards. Kalief was only 16 when he entered the jail, which houses adults. Released in 2013, he committed suicide earlier this month.

Known here simply as 'Rikers', the prison is located in the Bronx and has a long, terrible history of violence and abuse. From many published accounts, Rikers is in dire need of reform. Tuesday's protest is one of a series of events. A march to shut down the prison is scheduled for June 27.

I was very moved by the protest. The sincerity of these strangers for a New Yorker they never knew was touching, and I could not fathom how much senseless pain this young man suffered.

Union Square protest

For an article about Kalief in the New Yorker, click here.
For an article in the NY Daily News, click here.

Related posts: Occupy Town Square, in Tompkins Square Park, Women in Black, Against War, and En Route to a Peaceful Protest, Downtown.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Grilling Guinea Pigs, in Prospect Park

Roast guinea pig, nyc
Photo by myself in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.

A man grilled one of several guinea pigs this weekend, in Prospect Park.

He was a very sweet man, actually, and when I approached him, he said 'cuy' (pronounced 'quee'). I asked whether he was from Ecuador, and he said yes.

Later, Mark saw that someone had called the police, thinking the man was 'mistreating a squirrel'. The police call made it to several internet news sites, including the New York Daily News.

Guinea pigs are popular pets for children here, hence the surprise.

For the NY Daily News article, click here.
For the DNAinfo post, click here.

Related posts: Pork is the Answer, on the Lower East Side, Visions of a Cheeseburger, in Midtown, and Cow Appreciation Day, on Fifth Avenue.'


Friday, June 12, 2015

Beam Me Up, from Madison Square Park

Mad Sq Park, nyc
Photo by myself in Madison Square Park, at 23rd Street and Fifth Avenue.

A group of people looking like they were communicating with outer space were actually communicating with their inner space, via meditation (!)

A placard nearby explained that they were members of Falun Dafa, also called Falun Gong.

Related posts: Yoga, in the Rain, Balancing Act, Below 42nd Street, and Sun Salutation, East Village.