October 7, 2013
Many of the side streets in Midtown were closed on Sunday afternoon for the 76th annual Pulaski Day Parade, otherwise known to all the locals who are inconvenienced as the Polish Day Parade. Without even trying, I stumbled upon an elderly gentleman on 56th Street who, just purely based on his unique sartorial choices, is clearly the King of the Parade.
October 2, 2013
New York City is the capital of anything goes, so when it comes to unusual behavior there isn't much that is off limits. You don't see this happen very often, but don't be surprised if you see a guy wearing earphones (better to block out the street noises) who finds a clean lamp post on 57th Street across from Bergdorf Goodman, opens it up to hack into the electricity, plugs in a old school full size television set and sets up a chair Archie Bunker style right on the sidewalk at 10PM. It's unlikely anyone will bother you, so cozy up next to a telephone booth and you can watch all your favorite shows in relative comfort. The fall weather in the city has been exceptionally nice so bust out the wide screen and get out on the street.
September 11, 2013
Embattled former mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner appeared at Connolly's Pub in New York City to concede the Democratic Primary on Tuesday evening. It's clear he came in a dismal fifth place because he couldn't overcome his recent scandalous activities and capture the interests of New Yorkers. His online paramour, Sydney Leathers, was rumored to be waiting outside the pub on 47th Street in midtown to greet him, but I didn't see any sign of her. He is in the middle of a large group of reporters as he leaves the bar right after giving his concession speech to an obviously disappointed group of animated supporters.
June 12, 2013
Here's something you don't see very often. This afternoon one of those crazy window washing devices that ferry men up and down skyscrapers came loose off the Hearst Tower located on 57th Street and 8th Avenue. According to various news reports, two window washers are currently trapped way up there on broken scaffolding near the very top of the building.
This is way scarier than the singing garbageman I saw a few months ago.
June 11, 2013
There's nothing quite like a delicious bag of fries from McDonalds, but these three have an extremely valuable lesson to learn. Sure, it's nice to share, but it's no fun to share your french fries from McDonalds. You need your own bag. Also, no wonder the youth of America have so many back problems because it looks as if these kids are wearing 60 pound backpacks filled with 30 days of rations and ammunition that are more fitting for soldiers stationed in Afghanistan. Of course, if they filled them up with french fries that would be cool too.
Also the woman in the background (their mom?) has a pretty serious early summer tan.
June 9, 2013
Invariably, at one of these large parades rolling down 5th Avenue, you will find a couple of what I call "the snake charmers." These are always virile young men who think it is exceptionally cool to walk around with a slithering legless reptile strapped around their neck. I am not entirely sure, but there must be a group of women who find this really appealing. To the people that aren't repulsed by these creatures (the snakes, not the young men), they are endlessly fascinating. I'm not sure it's healthy to bring your snake to a loud outdoor event, but since most people think snakes are deaf anyway, I'm sure it doesn't matter much to these snake charmers.
June 6, 2013
If you've traveled up 6th Avenue this year and taken a look out the right hand side of your taxicab window then you've surely seen the large, single-hued, kaleidoscopic, blue metal man standing at attention on 53rd Street. It's called "Jean-Marc" and is a rendering of the artist Jean-Marc Bustamante by the French artist Xavier Veilhan.
June 5, 2013
June 4, 2013
June 3, 2013
This should be no surprise to anyone as it's been a long time coming since there are only really three viable newspapers in Manhattan right now: The New York Times, and the two tabloids, The New York Post and the New York Daily News. I guess you could also include The Wall Street Journal, but to me that is more of a nationally-focused newspaper though they do have an excellent local section. The tabloids always have the best headlines and today's editions focus on the 25 shootings that happened in the city over the weekend and Michael Douglas' surprising revelation that he caught cancer from having oral sex (presumably with his wife). That seems so unlikely to me and my best guess is that Douglas is an investor in some dental dam company and this is a great way to boost their stock. Who knows!
This street vendor is located on the NE corner of Madison Avenue at 47th Street and does a reasonable decent business to various commuters and businessmen (and women) who are mostly on their way to or from Grand Central Station. There is an entrance to Grand Central Station and the the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad on this corner as well. Of course, there are still plenty of what you might call "newsstands" in the city, but they mostly sell magazines, candy/gum, lottery tickets and cigarettes, but they are disappearing rapidly too.
June 2, 2013
April 4, 2013
The Google Self-Driving Car made a test drive in New York City on Thursday afternoon at around 5pm. I came across the car illegally parked (partially in the crosswalk) on 55th Street and Lexington Avenue. There was a guy crammed in the back seat and a driver in the front seat.
When I told him that he was cheating by sitting in the driver's seat he replied, "New York State law requires a driver in the car." I am sure Google's presumably trying to get this law changed. Some guy walking by told me that it was the "first test drive," but you can't believe everything a random stranger in New York City tells you or next thing you know you'll be driving off the Brooklyn Bridge.
Also no idea if the car parked itself or not or how it performs U-turns, illegal right hand turns, navigating potholes, running red lights, hitting bicyclists, or brushing up against pedestrians at crosswalks in the city, but judging from the scrapes on the side of car it will do just fine in our fair city.
February 15, 2013
Sometimes I feel like I have lost everything too, but then I realize that I haven't really lost anything at all. There are a lot of people in a city as large as New York that are looking for something. Things they've lost, things that they need, things that seem completely elusive. Simple things that many of us take for granted like shelter, a hearty meal, or even just a warm blanket and a couple of dollars.
February 14, 2013
February 10, 2013
February 8, 2013
This painting is entitled "Eyes and Eggs" and is from 1983 when he was producing lots of great art. This enormous painting is nearly 10' x 8' in size and is acrylic, oil paint stick and paper collage on cotton drop cloth. Since Basquiat often painted on the floor, you can see his dirty sneaker prints directly on the canvas. The show runs until April 6th and is completely free so you have plenty of time to get over there.
December 7, 2012
Totally capitalizing (or exploiting) the latest culinary trend to sweep the city, they offer one thing and one thing only. You guessed it, meatballs. I stopped by to try their food a few months ago and I can tell you that if you like meatballs then this place is for you. They offer steaming hot cups of turkey, beef or pork sausage meatballs that are supremely delicious and not too expensive either. You can also get your balls served in a pocket sandwich, but their specialty is obviously served best in a cup. To top things off, they offer a choice of cheeses and a good selection of soft drinks including my favorites Cherry and Vanilla Cream. There is a small table with a lamp pushed up against the side of the building where you can stand up and casually eat your food on the street if you choose or you can always take it and run.
Also nice to see that they've totally festooned their shop for Christmas.
December 5, 2012
Of course, you'll recall the construction crane that nearly toppled right onto 57th Street from the skyscraper site during the middle of Hurricane Sandy. The 90 story building depicted in gingerbread above is One 57 and its located almost directly across the street from Carnegie Hall and the hotel. The police and fire department forced the hotel to shut down for almost an entire week after the storm because all of the streets around the hotel were closed and residents were evacuated.
If you drop in to check out all of the gingerbread creations, make sure to stop by the front desk and buy a raffle ticket for $1 to vote for your favorite. The winner will get a 5 night stay at the luxurious Parker Palm Springs and all the money raised is going to the food rescue charity, City Harvest.
December 4, 2012
November 28, 2012
I find it sort of confusing though because Cartier has the trademark on "Panther" and they have a Panthère jewelry brand, but some people say it's not really a panther at all, but is actually a leopard. You'll see what I mean when you look at this commercial. Isn't that a leopard? I have no clue and I suppose it doesn't matter either way. Their classic men's timepiece is the Tank watch so I assume it looks a lot nicer to put a ferocious wild animal in lights on the building than a ferocious military vehicle.
November 25, 2012
October 24, 2012
October 20, 2012
October 13, 2012
September 28, 2012
September 24, 2012
All you have to do is just plop down your sleeping bag on the sidewalk next to a busy subway stop, snuggle up comfortably inside, and take a mid-afternoon siesta. What's even more amazing is that there are hundreds of people assembled only one block away yelling and screaming all day long to protest against the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who is staying at the Warwick Hotel this week. Did I also mention the dozens of heavily armed policemen stationed outside the hotel as well?
If these sorts of things don't bother you then you have what it takes to be an urban camper. You'll also quickly learn to ignore things like taxi cab exhaust, curbside trash, cigarette smokers, and the thousands of people that trample by your camp site as they walk on by in Midtown Manhattan on a typical Monday afternoon.
August 2, 2012
August 1, 2012
I love the neon of the Famous Oyster Bar, but I've never been there. It's been around forever and about the only thing I can think to recommend about it beside the neon is the location. It always gets uniformly negative reviews on Citysearch and Yelp.
If you are from out of town and are looking for a place to go for oysters, go to the Grand Central Oyster Bar. It's located in the basement of Grand Central Terminal and and I highly recommend it. It's definitely not to be missed if you visit New York City.
July 31, 2012
July 24, 2012
The best day and time to visit the Guggenheim is Saturday night from 5:45PM to 7:45PM. The museum is open late (though not late enough in my opinion) and the admission fee is reduced from $22 for adults to the very reasonable "Pay What You Wish." If you're on a budget or traveling or otherwise aren't swimming in $22 bills, it's a great time to get uptown and experience a wonderful museum for a nickle or a dime or a dollar or whatever you think is appropriate. There's usually a line, but don't worry it moves quickly.
On a recent evening, I went to see the retrospective of the Dutch photographer Rineke Dijkstra. It was exceptionally well-curated and is a highly recommended photography show.
She gave a reading and book signing last week at Barnes & Noble on the Upper West Side and even though I missed the reading, I arrived just in time to be the very last person to get their book signed. There's nothing better than a signed first edition hardcover of an author's first book.
July 18, 2012
Passing by the restaurant at the Whitney on Saturday night, I saw that it is decorated with these oversize and festive polka dot balls.
Here'e the idea. Pick the business guys up in the Hustler truck down on Wall Street after trading closes at set times (4:15PM, 4:30PM, 4:45PM etc.) and offer free shuttle service home to the Upper East Side, Greenwich, Westchester. Not so sure their housewives will appreciate seeing their husbands getting dropped off at home in this sort of truck, but they're probably going to go there anyway and it sure beats taking Metro West or the subway.
Are mobile strip clubs even legal?
July 17, 2012
File this one in the Liz Smith "Only in New York" category because here's something you don't see every day. In New York City, even the homeless people soliciting for money on 5th Avenue have cell phone plans. Who gives money to a homeless guy talking on a cell phone?
I didn't notice until later when I took a look at my photos from today that he gave me the finger for taking his picture. He didn't get off his call though. That made me laugh.