September 30, 2008

Pile o' Bikes

A pile of bikes in midtown early in the morning.

Later in the day these bikes will be dispatched throughout the city to bring Chinese takeout food to the starving people of Manhattan.

Personally, my favorites are Szechuan Gourmet, Wu Liang Ye, and Grand Sichuan.

September 29, 2008

All Oreos

The supermarkets in New York are packed with stuff just like everywhere else in America. Plenty of Oreos to choose from: Oreo Fudge Rings (Fudge Striped Cookies), Double Stuff Peanut Butter Creme, Reduced Fat, Double Stuff Cool Mint Creme, Golden Oreo, Halloween Oreo, Double Stuff Oreo, and just Plain Oreo.

September 28, 2008

Driving around Midtown

A totally graffiti bombed truck in Midtown East parked in front of Artisanal. I've never been, but I want to eat there. If you are ever driving around in one of these trucks, this is an appropriate song by the Frantix to play...loud.

The Staples' Art Collection

I've been trying to take more positive pictures of the city, since I only seem to notice the homeless people, trucks covered in graffiti, abandoned bicycles, etc.

But then the other night on the way over to see the David Blaine extravaganza in Central Park, I noticed all this beautiful Staples trash. Beauty is in the they say, right? So you can decide for yourself if it's just a pile of trash or a beautiful collection of boxes temporarily assembled on the sidewalk. I like the colors and the boxes and the the way they are all stacked up so high. It's semi-reminds me of the artwork by the french artist Arman who is best known for his great accumulations/assemblages.

For the non-New Yorkers out there - since there aren't that many alleys in the city, all the trash sits on the sidewalk after being placed on the curbs late in the evening. Noisy garbage trucks come by and pick it all up after 11PM making it hard for the residents of New York to sleep soundly. It is a very loud city!

September 27, 2008

High and Low

Leaders from the one hundred ninety-two members of the United Nations gathered in New York this week for the new General Assembly. There were parties and events all over town. Traffic was a mess and many streets were closed and cars and pedestrians redirected.

One of the events may have been at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) the other evening. The important people ate at nicely appointed tables upstairs in the beautiful museum while the caterers ate the same food a few feet away in the loading dock.

A large green Andy Warhol "Flowers" painting hangs above the museum information desk. A large overflowing coat rack is situated in the loading dock area. If you really think about it, the coat rack is perhaps a slightly more interesting piece of art. Andy once said, "
Art is anything you can get away with." I'm calling the "Coat Rack (found jackets, uniforms, and two coat racks, 2008)" art. Consider it a temporary installation.

September 26, 2008

September 24, 2008

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Sitting on a box. 11:30pm. Radio City Music Hall subway station.

September 23, 2008

David Blaine in Central Park - 2AM

One of my favorite things about living in New York is that there is always something going on. Even at 2AM.

It's typically not a very smart idea to walk thorough Central Park in the middle of the night (knife-wielding muggers, raccoons, fire-breathing dragons, etc.), but after seeing this on CNN and reading about it in the news, I set off early this morning to go to Central Park and witness David Blaine's latest endurance challenge. It also helps if you live within walking distance from the park. I've been to most of his other stunts in the city and I wanted to go see this one for myself. These performances are really amazing to witness in person and this one was no exception. It's even better if you get a chance to talk to him. The woman in the bright yellow coat was a English reporter doing a live interview for a morning show in the U.K.

The complicated rigging is set up in the middle of Donald Trump's Wollman Rink which is near the south end of the park. You'll see from my pictures that there is a harness set up so that he can rest his head which means he is not always as totally upside down as you might imagine, but close enough.

There was a small crowd assembled around David and he seemed like he was in a pretty good mood, smiling and answering questions. There were only about 20 or so people there so I walked up and asked him if his legs fell asleep and he said "Continuously." I also asked him if he planned to go to sleep and he replied, "I don't know how."

This is one of my favorite fake David Blaine videos.

September 22, 2008

Al and Bob

Saturday night at the Zeigfeld Theatre, the largest movie theater in Manhattan. It seats 1,100 people, but there were only about 30 people there for the 9:30 show. It's much, much bigger than my lame picture makes it appear. Cleaview Cinemas needs to fix their outdoor signage. "Righteous Kill," the latest Al Pacino and Robert Deniro movie (terrible title, terrible movie) is currently playing there.
It looks like they have a lot of surplus Indiana Jones-themed M&Ms to get rid of. This is what happens when a movie bombs - extra M&M's.

I used to love the Zeigfeld, but they haven't had any good movies there for a long time. now I prefer the Paris Theatre which is the only other single screen movie theater in New York that I can think of right now.
Adam and the Ants were cool. What ever happened to Ant Music?

Final Ride

This is obviously a starter graffiti truck. The driver of the vehicle was blaring this song as he was parked in front of Serafina restaurant at 54th and Broadway, just north of Times Square.

September 21, 2008

Power to the People

A perfect Sunday afternoon can be interrupted with a traffic snarling street fair. I have never heard anyone say anything complimentary about these frequent events. This fair stretched through the Upper West Side.

A scourge on the good people of Manhattan, these rain or shine, make-shift bazaars can run for blocks and blocks and are typically filled with inexpensive sock vendors, tourist t-shirt specials, greasy food and dozens of booths selling a host of miscellaneous non-native items. However, power shakes are good.

Even though there is something remarkably unsanitary about the scene pictured above, how can you not love a florescent lime green "I ♥ NY" t-shirt wearing man with a huge watermelon-chopping cleaver in his hand?

Sleep Straight

Sleeping in a public place is always difficult, but he sure makes it look easy.

September 19, 2008

Shoeshine, Mister?

When you are rushing through Times Square on the way to an important meeting, there is always time to stop and get a quick shoeshine at a portable cart set up right on the sidewalk.

It seems to me that we often take these types of sidewalk conveniences for granted in the middle of the city, but they don't have these in Phoenix or Cleveland. Also it's a great place to multitask and make a phone call while you get your shoes super shiny. Getting a shoeshine in the city costs anywhere from $3 to $5 (depending on the tip). In 1936, a shoeshine was only a nickle!

Notice the newsstand in the background? It probably won't be there for long. This is a relatively new one, but all of the rickety green metal newsstands scattered throughout the city are slowly being replaced with new sparkly silver ultramodern stands. You might also see some large colorful round signs across the street if you look closely.

We Got The Neutron Bomb

If we had the neutron bomb, I'm thinking the best place to hide it would be at night in a colorful, fully-bombed graffiti truck just north of Union Square.

Hailing from Los Angeles, The Weirdos were arguably the first American punk band and as such were hugely influential. In 1977 they released one of the coolest records ever. This is Side A.

September 18, 2008

Warriors, Come Out To Play!

The classic movie The Warriors was originally released in 1979. This is such a good movie and definitely worth renting if you've never seen it before. It's one of my favorite movies of all time and I remember watching it multiple times on TV when I was growing up.

I never could have predicted that almost 20 years later the gang would still be going strong and that I would run into them posing for tourist pictures on Coney Island. What they were doing on a Sunday afternoon is anyone's guess, but I think they came out to play. Judging from the pictures above, you can tell that this is one super scary gang!

For no particular reason this reminds me of the excellent song Jah War by The Ruts. Staring at the Rude Boys is just as good. Enjoy!

Business Meeting in Starbucks

A late morning business meeting in the local Starbucks. These two businessmen seem to be very focused at accomplishing a lot of important things.

If you look out the window behind these men, you will see a ton of stores closely grouped together. There is a flower shop on the corner (never been there), a dry cleaners upstairs (good for laundry, but sucky for anything else - whoever heard of paying $3 to clean a shirt?), a massage parlor across from the cleaners, and a Korean deli - Pro Deli (I used to go there and get breakfast every morning and coffee, but then they got a nasty new owner who yelled at me one day for no reason - so I never went back), a nail salon and an amazing Japanese noodle shop that is open late and serves the best cheap food in the neighborhood.

September 17, 2008

Gap x Colette

Inside the Colette x Gap pop-up store on 5th avenue. It's a mashup of the hip boutique in Paris and the faltering American chain that sometimes makes good advertisements and otherwise boring and inexpensive clothing for the masses.

It's a very well-designed store and some of the small array of products are intriguing, if a bit overpriced. I bought a gray t-shirt that's very comfortable and fits great. The store makes Gap seem cool for about five seconds, but I still couldn't find anything in the regular store that I need or want.

Day Empire

A view of the Empire State Building this afternoon. If you look closely you can see the window washing scaffolding. It seems like they are always washing the windows.

"During spring and fall bird migration seasons and particularly on cloudy, humid and/or foggy nights, when large numbers of birds are seen flying near the building, the tower lights are turned off. Observatory personnel on the 86th floor outdoor deck notify the engineers. The birds are attracted by the lights and there is a danger they will fly into the building and be killed."

September 16, 2008

Full Moon Over Central Park South

9:00PM Monday night.

Henry Rollins, Sells Out or Cashes In?

Henry Rollins, patron saint of the commercialized underground, does another advertisement - this time for Vans. In his defense, Vans is a totally independent company and Henry has worn their sneakers for decades. But a huge billboard on St. Marks Place is either really cool or supremely lame. Or both.

On closer inspection (click the first picture) "Five Shots of Anything for $10. All Day/All Night" What??? This is obviously the place in New York to go get your cheapo drunk on!

Party on my loyal blog readers. After you've had FIVE shots, don't forget to get an Angus Third Pounder next door at McDonalds. Tell them Henry sent you.

September 14, 2008

Billy's Bakery

Located on 9th Avenue and 21st Street, Billy's Bakery has been making delicious cupcakes since 2003. Although Billy's isn't nearly as well known as The Magnolia Bakery, it's definitely a bit cooler and the lines are a lot shorter. Magnolia has been around since the mid-1990s and along with its "Sex and the City" connection is responsible for starting the cupcake craze that was oddly popular some years ago.

Today the temperature in Billy's was anything but cool. It was 90 degrees inside and everyone streamed outside to sit on the pair of conveniently located bright green benches in front.

While certain other people were enjoying lunch uptown at Fred's, I had a small red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting and a large iced tea. $5.00.

Third Avenue - 4:45PM

I see these all the time! Another one of those crazy graffiti trucks that bomb around the city.

Scene of the Crime

It's easy to imagine that some awful NYC crime was committed here on the stairway down to the subway platform.

Look closer all around the yellow tape and what do you see? All those dark spots. No it's not blood, it's gum! It's a crime the way people throw or spit their gum on the cement. I'm not exactly saying we need to enact laws like they had in Singapore, but there's got to be a way to get people to stop spitting their gum out.


Another great graffiti truck. Upper East Side.

September 13, 2008

Boat on the Hudson River

Is this a paddle boat, steam boat, paddle steamer? I saw this last weekend cruising up the Hudson River. Whatever you want to call this unusual floating contraption, every one of the hat-wearing hipsters on it seemed to be having a good time.

September 12, 2008

Machine Guns on the Avenue

Morning of 9/11/08. It's scary to have a machine gun pointed in your general direction. There were lots of police on the streets and nary a terrorist in sight.

September 10, 2008

Headless Mao

A 5.5 ton, 10-foot tall metal sculpture of a Mao jacket on the median of Park Avenue in front of the Asia Society at 70th Street. The sculpture, by Chinese contemporary artist Sui Jianguo, will be on display through mid-November in conjunction with the Asia Society Museum exhibition "Art and China's Revolution."

September 9, 2008

Central Park and Time Warner Center

The view from above Columbus Circle.  Almost seems European.  

Warhol at the Met

The Met is so big and it's a lot of fun to visit on a leisurely afternoon.  Suggested donaton for admisson is $20, but if you read the fine print you'll realize that you can give a dime and they'll let you in.  Always something new to discover and the cafe food is pretty good too.