June 30, 2009

Thanks EMPTY

Life is good if you're in the parking business.

Both on a Bike

This is a totally crazy bike that you crank pedal with your hands. Rider in the back basket is totally optional. Definitely a unique way to get around in Manhattan.

As for me...don't worry I didn't buy a ridiculous bike like the one pictured above. I bought a completely normal one with no baskets or other extraneous junk on it. It's matte black. I took off all the stickers and reflectors and Sharpied out any other bright spots so that it's now totally black. It looks way cooler now. My friend Celeste told me to get a colorful bike, but I'd rather not stick out and I certainly don't want to attract the bike thieves again. I also bought a very durable lock. Not that it will help much if they rip the sign out of the sidewalk again, but it will help.

Have you seen the new Lily Allen video? I don't even like her that much, but it's pretty great and I totally share her sentiments for all sorts of reasons. She's probably really cool in person though.

Tons of Tomatoes

I went to Whole Foods for lunch today at Columbus Circle and I ended up buying way more food than I intended to buy. This always happens to me at Whole Foods. I just want one or two things and then I go and spend $80. I had a very good lunch, but when I got home and was unpacking my bag I noticed a couple things I bought were not there. Ugh.

Here's what happened.

For the first time ever, I had a bag with me and so I said, "I can just put them in here." I felt so good about single-handedly saving the entire environment in Midtown Manhattan today that I didn't even notice that a couple things didn't make it into my bag. So much for conserving on an extra bag. I like those brown paper shopping bags they use. They're super useful for carrying stuff around. Well, that's the last time I try to help the world out. Now I have to go all the way back to Whole Foods tomorrow and get my refund. I'm just no good at being Al Gore.

Whole Foods doesn't let you take pictures either, but I stole this picture of some fiery red tomatoes.

Plenty of Parades

There were parades both days this weekend. I only made it to the International Immigrants Day Parade cause the other one didn't much interest me. This is a dancer that I caught marching up 6th Avenue.

June 28, 2009

Out The Window

A view out my window on a sunny Sunday.

I went and bought a new bicycle today. I don't know how I'm going to be able to afford it, but I bought it anyway.

The Good News and The Bad News

I took this picture on my bicycle on 5th Avenue on Friday.

First, the good news.

I went to get lunch at the deli down the street on Friday. Since I had been out riding my bike through Central Park, I decided rather than go all the way home I would just park my bike in front of the deli, get lunch and then go home. Why go all the way upstairs to put my bike away and then have to turn around and go outside again. I can just do it all at once. Since it was lunch time (around 12:30pm or so) there were lots of business people out and about getting lunch in midtown. I figured it will only take a couple minutes to get my sandwich and a root beer so I just left my bike parked up against a light pole. I didn't bother to lock it up. Who's going to steal it? There were three other delivery bikes from a Japanese restaurant next door and I've been more trusting lately. I mean who's going to walk up and run off with my bike? Slim chance. I go inside, order my sandwich, wait around while they make it, get my bottle of root beer, pay and then head outside. I must have been thinking about something else and was completely lost in thought since I had my lunch and I was hungry. Either that or Alzheimer's. I just walked 1/2 block home. I didn't even give my bike a second though. What was I thinking? I was totally distracted. I must have been thinking about Michael Jackson or something. I left my bike totally unattended on the sidewalk.

Hours and hours later...

It's 10:30pm and I decide on the spur of the moment that I want to go out and see a movie. I'm spontaneous like that. A quick check of Moviefone.com and "The Hurt Locker" is playing at 68th and Broadway at 10:45. I've walked there plenty of times, but there is absolutely no way I'm going to get there by 10:45 if I walk. I hate missing the previews. Oh, I know, I'll just ride my bike. It will take about 5-10 minutes and I'll get there in plenty of time. Ok. And then...hmmm, where's my bike? Oh no! It's on 56th Street, down the block, unlocked! Oops. What are the chances it's still there? 15%? 10%? 2%? I rush down the street and ... there it is. But it's locked up to the other three delivery bikes. There is a note taped to the handlebars. "Call Me. Your Bike Not Lock. Reg." I call the number and five seconds later there is the coolest Japanese delivery guy in New York City who has just come out of the Japanese restaurant next door standing there right in front of me on his cell phone. After a few moments, he unlocks my bike as though it were the most natural thing to do. Of course I tip him and I speed off towards the UWS to the movie theater. Wow. This is not something that happens every day, especially not in a city like this one.

This was the good news.

It was a near perfect, beautiful summer night, ideal weather for a quick bike ride up Central Park South. I get to the movie theater right on time. Everything is smooth as can be. On my way to the the movies, I think about what a valuable lesson I have learned. You can be sure that this time I take the extra time to properly lock my bike up to a No Parking sign in front of the theater.

I go into the movie, quickly buy my ticket at the kiosk and get a coupon for $1 Milk Duds. Things are going well. The movie is crowded, but not too crowded. I get a good seat. The movie is really great. An enjoyable, fast moving action/war movie about a small group of bomb experts during the Iraq war. Super direction, interesting story, compelling characters. $12.50 to see a movie in New York is retardly overpriced, but it was a good movie. It's certainly a hell of a lot better than "Public Enemies" which I saw at a screening last week. One complaint: Loews Lincoln Square is completely disgusting. Please clean up the refreshment counters. The management and staff there are terrible at making it a good experience. I'll take pictures the next time I go there. You'll see what I mean and be horrified at how dirty the area is around where you get your straws and napkins. Anyway, I digress.

Now to the bad news.

So I get out of the theater and on the way down the escalator I'm thinking about how cool it was that Reg, the random Japanese delivery food guy, saved my bike by thoughtfully locking it up. Very nice move and definitely not what you might expect. I get to the revolving doors and head out of the Loews Lincoln Square theater towards my bike locked up on 68th Street and...where's my bike? It was just there two hours ago. It can't be missing, can it? As I look up and down the block, confused for a second as to where I might have locked up my bike, I realize there is an even much better question to ask. Where's the hell is the No Parking sign where my bike was locked? It's missing. And then much to my chagrin, I spot the 10 foot tall No Parking sign lying flat on the sidewalk. There is a hole in the ground where the sign used to be. Someone (or several someones) has taken the street sign right out of the ground, placed it on the sidewalk and walked off with my beloved bicycle. My bike is long gone. Beyond long gone. Stolen. Ripped Off. Vanished. I walked home. You would think that Loews would have some sort of security cams posted outside the theater. It was right there in front of the movie theater. I think the least that they could do is get the street sign fixed. Where's my bike?

Bike Parking Tip #1: Make sure the sign is not loose and can be ripped right out of the ground before you lock your bike to such a sign.

June 26, 2009

Breakfast Treat

Continuing with this week's breakfast theme...

Peanut Butter and Jelly Doughnuts at Dean & Deluca.

June 25, 2009

English Muffin Graffiti Truck

This looks to be the start of an awesome graffiti truck. I like how some enterprising young graffiti artist artfully tagged the unmelted butter.

I really like English Muffins, but I think they may be just way too crazy and unpredictable for me. All those nooks and crannies are enough to drive anyone nuts. I'm sticking with cinnamon toast for now.

Stop Don't Stop Stop Don't Park

Don't these signs seem just a tiny bit confusing? Stop? Don't Stop? Whatever you don't Don't Park there! If you weren't from the city, I don't think you'd know exactly what to do. You'll find these friendly signs across the street from Saks Fifth Avenue right near Rockefeller Center.

It does look like there is a big sale at Cole Haan though.

Audrina Partridge's Graffiti Truck

It was another rainy day in NYC and of course I neglected to bring my umbrella. But I did run into Audrina Patridge parking her yellow graffiti truck outside of Bergdorf Goodman as she made a dash inside for a quick shopping trip. She's damn lucky she found a parking space and she did a super good job with the parallel parking.

Her truck almost matches her bikini, don't you think?

June 24, 2009

Three Cane Crew

As luck would have it, I just happened to find the Three Cane Crew chilling on the church stairs for an impromptu early evening chat in Chinatown. Word up!

Payphones in Chinatown

Do you think it is absolutely neccessary to have four payphones right next to each other? Of course, none of them are probably in working order. Find more payphones here.

One of these is not like the others. Can you spot all the differences?

Fruits & Vegetables

Inexpensive fruits and vegetables in Chinatown. I should have bought some cherries. Only $2 a pound. They are way cheaper than Whole Foods and probably a hell of a lot tastier. All that organic stuff can sure get annoying after a while.

June 22, 2009

Lunch Time at Brasserie

Brasserie is a French restaurant in the Seagram Building off Park Avenue. It's been around for a long time (since 1959?) and the food is generally excellent. It's a place I like to go for lunch or a weekend brunch which I don't do all that often, but when I do it has never disappointed. Many eons ago it used to be open all night long, but in its newest incarnation it closes at a regular hour (regular for New York is 12 or 1am). I realize that things shut down in other cities at around 10 or 11pm so this is still on the late side if you're from Texas, but I kinda wish places like this were open all night long. They serve French onion soup day and night that is all right by me. If you go here, definitely try to get a booth. The semi-private booths are the way to go.

I bought some Keebler Fudge Shoppe Deluxe Grahams. They say the serving size is 3 cookies, but who can eat just three? I had seven. Cookies are good. Especially ones with chocolate. But don't buy any of that refrigerated cookie dough. Bad news.

Through These Doors

Live Girls Girls Girls Girls. It's like Motley Crue + extra.

Big Seed Drawing

Today was my third time cruising through the Compass in Hand exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. My approach is just to walk around until something catches my eye. It's great to have a membership to the museum and live so close because I don't feel any pressure to see everything and I can go back any time I want. I see something different that I like every time I check out this exhibition which runs until early next year. It's a good thing because there's plenty of time for me to go back several more times and find lots more art to like.

The work on display is from the Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection, and was acquired by the Museum in 2005. It is an extraordinary collection of over 2,500 contemporary works on paper though only 250 or so are on display which kind of sucks because I am sure there are so many more great pieces that will never been seen. I guess that's what the catalog is for. If I had a couple million dollars I'd love to acquire a huge collection of art, but I don't so I'll just have to pretend. I do have a couple of excellent pieces of art by Ian Burns and Fred Tomaselli in my small art collection. I just looked and found that Tomaselli piece has increased in value almost 20 times. I need to buy more art.

Anyway, at the MOMA today I decided to pick out one work and it's one that has been catching my eye on every visit. It's called "Big Seed Drawing" and is by an artist I really like, Mark Grotjahn. He made this one with ballpoint pen, color pencil and linseed oil on marked paper. It's fairly large at 29 x 23" (73.7 x 58.4 cm). Grothjahn usually works with colored pencils and makes work that's geometric and fairly formal in composition. This ones a bit looser than other pieces I've seen, but I like the messy surface and personal touch to his work. The colors remind me of some of Frank Stella's colorful work from the 1960's.

First Day of Summer 2009

Today was the first day of the summer and it was also Father's Day. Since I don't have a father and I'm not one myself, I celebrated the first day of summer.

This is a look at a completely deserted Sheep's Meadow in Central Park. On a typical Sunday afternoon the expansive green grassy field in the middle of New York City would be filled with hundreds and hundreds (if not thousands) of people. You would see girls in bikinis, frisbee throwing lunkheads, dozens of picnics and all sorts of sunny day activities. The rain and wet grass scared everyone away.

Late this afternoon, I went to the Museum of Modern Art to look at some art and I also went for a bike ride. The museum was great, not too crowded and so many great things to see. The bike ride was less successful as it was going exceptionally well until it just happened to start pouring rain about half way through my trek. I got soaked! I didn't really care though and I continued anyway since I was determined to go around the loop four times. Mission accomplished.

June 21, 2009

Adult Books

There are plenty of these types of stores surrounding Times Square, they just aren't in Times Square. Disney cleaned up the area, but they can't clean up the entire city.

Kung Fu. Huh? Not sure exactly what that is but this could be where David Carradine did his shopping when he was in the Big Apple. For all the ladies -- I am sure this is exactly the quality kind of place you would want to shop for your lingerie. If you're lucky they'll be having a big sale on a few select items from La Perla or Vannina Vesperini.

June 20, 2009

Rain, Flowers and Horse Drawn Carriages

Another cloudy and rainy day in June, but it has been a very good day so far. I found these very bright flowers right near Central Park. You can see the horses and carriages in the background that will take you on a fun carriage ride in Central Park. They run all day until late at night and I think it can be a very romantic thing to do. After a ride in the park there are lots of places to go and get an ice cream cone. There really nothing better than ice cream in the summer. Except sometimes maybe a SnoCone or Fla-Vor-Ice. Fla-Vor-Ice is so totally underrated.

I ❤ NY

A stack of I ♥ NY t-shirts in a Times Square area store.

4 for only $10. At these recession-era prices, I highly recommend skipping the sale at Bergdorf Goodman and instead buy eight of these shirts for $20. That way you'll have one to wear every day of the week and an extra one for when you spill your iced coffee.

Yo! MTV Raps

Yo! MTV Raps was a huge show in the late-80s/early 90s on MTV. If you are reading this, you probably saw at least a few episodes. It ran from August 1988 to August 1995 and was the first hip hop music show on MTV. It was hosted by Doctor Dré, Ed Lover and Fab 5 Freddy.

Obviously, it looks like I found someone coming from an audition for a Kid 'n Play reunion video. It's the 90s Kid walking on 6th Avenue and 43rd Street this afternoon. He's pretty much got the look down, but I think his boom box needed to be just a little bit larger. Cassette tapes are cool though. If it wasn't the middle of June, I would have sworn he was on the way to a Halloween party. Yes, he does have Mickey Mouse cut into the back of his hair cut.

Are you a 90s kid?

Search & Destroy

Search & Destroy is a great vintage punk clothing store on St. Marks Place. Some say it's the best in NYC. I don't normally go out vintage shopping, but I should do it more often. If you were a punk in high school and listened to Minor Threat and Black Flag, then this is the place for you. They definitely don't want you to sit on their steps. Nice use of the Misfits skulls for their signage.

June 18, 2009

You Can Add Any Of These In Any Noodle

Don't they teach proper knife use in culinary school? This might not be the best way to slice the tofu.

Men Kui Tei is a really great Japanese noodle shop located on 56th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue. I go there from time to time. It's a small, narrow shop that is always bustling with activity and packed with Japanese people. I sat at the counter for dinner tonight with a stack of new magazines to read and ordered the Char-Han (Fried rice with egg, green peas, pork, scallions and shrimp), Shumai (Steamed pork dumplings) and green tea. Totally delicious.

One of the magazines I was reading is the always fantastic Kasino A4 from Finland. It's consistently full of superb graphics and compelling content. Highly recommended. This video with lots of drinking, dancing and laughing is sure to put you in a very good mood. I think it's a excellent way to start your day or whenever you get around to reading this. It's countryside craziness in Masku, Finland by the We Are Kasino gang featuring the song “Totuus minusta” by the wonderful and catchy Finnish electropop group Regina who you've probably never even heard of before. OK, go ahead, sing along (lyrics here). More cool music from around the world. You can thank me later for this one.

Sinners Rejoice

Sin will find you out. It's probably already found you and in that case it really doesn't matter since there's nothing new to uncover.

June 14, 2009

Turning the Corner

An elderly woman scoots around the corner on 2nd Avenue.

I like the hat and oversized sunglasses combo. That looks like a Spring 2009 Chanel coat, doesn't it? It's pretty obvious from this picture that the Olsen Twins get all their unique fashion tips from the nursing home set. I think Ashley should get one of these carts to push around cause it's a great accessory and would help her and her sister carry all their Starbucks home. I'm predicting these old lady carts will be big fashion trend for fall 2009/spring 2010. They are available in black.

Interview Magazine

You'll find a very large floor to ceiling painting of Andy Warhol in the lobby of 575 Broadway. This is the building that houses the offices for Interview Magazine.

June 13, 2009

Breakfast scene outside Balthazar on Friday morning. I don't go here all that often, but it's a good place to meet for breakfast or anytime really. It's not open late enough. I think it should be open until 2am. This reminds me of one time when I went there for lunch and didn't meet someone who was there at the exact same time. You can't really count on crazy people to ever do what they say they are going to do.

June 12, 2009

Eeney, Meeny, Miny and Moe

Four orange kittens (and one black and white one) playing in a pet store window on 2nd Avenue. Don't you think I should take home all four of the tiny orange ones? Not sure Mr. Orange will appreciate them, but I don't think you can possibly go wrong with four little kitties.

June 11, 2009

First Sale of the Day

Japan Premium Beef is a very clean, minimalist Japanese butcher shop located on Great Jones Street. I am not sure what they are called: Japan Premium Beef or Japanese Premium Beef. The NY Times says Japanese, but the sign says Japan. Their sign is written in chalk on a painted black brick wall so it's pretty hard to tell. Either way, they just opened and I wish I had a grill because I would be shopping here and having some pretty fantastic BBQs this summer if I did. It's pretty safe to say this store offers super delicious, very expensive cuts of meat. So go there, buy a ton of great stuff and then invite me to your place for a BBQ. This place has my stamp of approval. See ya soon!

Does anyone actually read this blog?

This is a Test

Do you know how to pass this test? Yes, you. Get started now. What are you waiting for?

Green Mercedes

A very well maintained and gleaming old style green Mercedes Benz on 62nd Street. Vintage unknown. Unusual curtains in the back seat caught my eye.

June 9, 2009

Starbucks Explosion

Am I missing something? I'm really no expert in this sort of thing, but it doesn't seem too hard to figure this one out. Where can I pick up the reward?

No Swimming

Empty pool. Central Park North.

Who Follows Directions?

I'm always surprised that no one seems to read the signs in New York. Why should the building entrance be able to take away a perfectly good parking space anyway.

Watch out for the tow trucks!

Castle at the St. Regis

NOW AVAILABLE: Here is your chance to acquire one of the only castles in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. It is ideally located overlooking the world-famous Fifth Avenue, across from the St. Regis New York. If you have been looking for a palace to call your own, here it is for your immediate consideration.

Here are the top ten most fascinating castles and palaces.

This brand new castle includes full access to all of The St. Regis features including the signature twenty-four hour St. Regis Butler Service, an on-site florist, the historic King Cole Bar and the critically acclaimed Adour Alain Ducasse, a relatively new signature restaurant.

This exclusive Quite All Right listing features:

• A Brand New Brightly Colored Estate fit for a King, designed for a Queen
• Price Available Upon Request
• Located adjacent to the exclusive St. Regis Hotel on 5th Avenue
• New York, New York
• Over 60 feet of protected frontage with open drawbridge and no fixed bridges
• Entirely new construction that meets all of Bloomberg-era zoning and landmark regulations
• 100,000 sq ft lot
• Approximately 50,000 sq ft
• Concrete moat featuring dozens of homeless people sleeping at all hours of the day
• 12-story main castle with 16 bedrooms and 18 bathrooms, approximately 35,000 sq ft
• Cabana/Guest House with 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, approximately 7,000 sq ft
• Staff/Maid’s quarters w/6 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms w/service kitchen, approximately 8,000 sq ft
• Spacious open floor plan, 22’ ceilings throughout
• Terrazzo floors and limestone bathrooms
• Six wood burning fireplaces throughout the palace
• Rooftop terrace with legal and smokeless BBQ grills that will not bother your neighbors
• Three commercial elevators that will not break down on national holidays
• Free delivery from Original Ray's Pizza throughout the city
• State of the art elegant modern European style kitchens and appliances
• Heated his and hers Olympic sized lap pools and full service spas
• Includes a massive 8-car garage for all your most prized possessions
• Underground subway access to A, C, and E lines
• Impact doors and windows - dozens of deadbolt locks to keep winos and junkies away
• Guaranteed spray paint and soot resistant
• Manicured landscaped grounds throughout
• Underground access to all 5th Avenue boutiques and shops including Gucci, Prada, Bergdorf Goodman, Takashimya, Henri Bendel and Bottega Venetta, among others

This property is also available for rent! Only $325,000 per month or best offer.

June 7, 2009

Fairly Tired

After a very long day at the street fair, just about any random place will do for a quick mid-block nap even if it's in the middle of the street.

I'm really liking the new Kasabian album, "West Rider Pauper Lunatic Asylum." You can listen to the whole thing at their MySpace page. It comes out on Tuesday. You should listen to it now.

Tangled Traffic Balloons

Don't you hate it when this happens?

A mess of white, blue and pink balloons on 3rd Avenue on Sunday afternoon.

The Block Sees You

Another tremendously good reason not to have a dog. Your bitchy neighbors are watching.

The sign reads:

The Block Sees You
Morning & Night
This is not poopy park. Please take your dogs poop home & flush. Don't think the Block Watchers don't see you. You have lined the front of this house with poop. You continue to fill my garbage can with your dog poop. You have now forced me to install a camera. Please, please take poop home & flush.
Thank you.
460 Clinton Ave.

Does anyone have a link to the Poopy Cam? Surely we can stop this from happening again! It could be just like the Obama Sign Cam. Poopy Cam is way more catchy.

If I lived in this neighborhood, I'd totally want to rip down this sign. To me this type of rant posted duct-taped to a tree is far worse for the neighborhood than stepping around some dog shit. But poopy cam is a good idea.

Unrelated: The new Kasabian album is great.

Mean Clown

A truly angry looking clown at the Brooklyn Flea Market. I seem to have good luck at finding the evil ones and the difficult ones.

June 6, 2009

Blowing Up Stuff

When you want to blow things up, these are the guys to call. It's not really a truck you want to get very near. I booked it down the street after I took this picture. Ever hear of unexpected accidents? I don't want to read a newspaper headline like "Explosives Truck Explodes on 58th Street" or something along those lines.

June 5, 2009


When you break your leg and have to wear crutches, you are going to have to be really clever if you're going to hail a cab around rush hour in NYC. Here's a method that usually works. Outside the News Corp. Building on 6th Avenue near Rockefeller Center in Midtown.

Nudes and Nails

I briefly met this girl named Christina at Richard Kern's opening of mostly nude nude and semi-nude photographs. She had cool flat black nail polish and she loved Spencer Tunick's work.