October 29, 2009

Horror Guitar

Either he's got a morbid guitar case or he's walking around in the rain carrying a fancy white casket with a handle. Either way, he's stuck in the city trying to flag down a cab. It was funny to run into him again about ten blocks later trying to get another taxi after his cab broke down in the middle of a very busy 8th Avenue. We had a good laugh about that.

October 28, 2009

Esopus Magazine Issue #13

I went to the Esopus Magazine Issue #13 launch party at Esopus Space on Tuesday night in Greenwich Village. I met some people and enjoyed the artwork on display. I especially liked this piece by the super talented Alex Masket. He's only 22 and his colorful collage work is spectacular. He's got a very unique story highlighted by the fact that he is severely autistic. You can read more in the new issue of Esopus on newsstands now.

Too Much Halloween

Another Halloween window display that I liked. This is the Ralph Lauren store on Bleecker Street.

Even though this is a good display, I'm kind of overdosed on Halloween already. I haven't even eaten much candy (oh, except for the expensive Jacques Torres chocolate I bought last weekend). It sure seems like everyone is really pushing the holiday entirely too hard this year. I'm not even sure what we are celebrating. But I do like pumpkin pie and baked pumpkin seeds.

October 27, 2009

Macy's Owls

There are a pair of owls perched outside of Macy's if you know where to look for them.

Haunted Car Repair

Somewhere on 11th Avenue in the 50's, you can get your oil changed, get your car inspected and get mildly scared out of your mind.

October 26, 2009

Don't Feed The Pigeons

Don't run them over with your bike either.

Counting, But Not Counting Very Well

Widely excoriated as being clunky and just plain bad advertising, Unthink is the latest campaign from Kentucky Fried Chicken (is it even called that anymore or is it KFC or is it KGC?). Here's an example of faulty advertising technology at work. Unthink is the tagline for Kentucky Whatever that has been around for the last six months or so. Rather than Unthink, I think someone ought to take a moment on Monday afternoon and put their thinking cap on to figure out a way to get this sign working. Given what it costs to rent billboard space in Times Square, every minute this sign isn't working is money out the window and branding opportunities forever lost.

October 24, 2009

Elvis in the Window

A look in the window at Great Jones Cafe on Great Jones Street in Greenwich Village.

Nighttime Nine

This large numeral 9 is instantly recognizable to anyone who's ever walked down West 57th. It's right in front of 9 West 57th Street which is of course the famous sloping Solow Building. It was built in 1974.

October 21, 2009

Lutron Sets Up Camp

All bets are off when the Lutron RV sets up in your neighborhood. There was some serious lighting controls and window shade activity going down this morning on 6th Avenue and 55th Street.

A Good Speacial

There's just no passing up an incredible "Halloween Speacial" like this one. Plus underarms for free! I expect the line will be around the block once this news gets out. Spread the word.

Speeding Along

Today was one of those days when it seems everyone was breaking out their weird three-wheeled vehicles and taking them for a spin around Central Park.

October 19, 2009

The Recession Lumbers On...

Even Mr. Orange is depressed. Please wake us when it's over. Or at least until you get some new cat food.

Have a Nice Day?

Today was sort of a strange Monday, don't you think? It seemed like everyone was in zombieland.

Maybe you need a closer look? See! I was right. Zombies.

Rainy Wet Sunday Afternoon

I think that more than half the time the taxis in New York aim for you. You have to be quick on your toes if you don't want to get hit. Of course, nearly every New Yorker that's lived here for longer than a week jaywalks so perhaps that's half the problem right there.

6th Avenue has the weirdest pavement. It's most definitely not conducive to skateboarding.

October 18, 2009

Friendly Advice

Some solid advice for a rainy Sunday. Good font choice too.

I've been appreciating some English punk from the late 70s this past week. Here's "Typical Girls" by the Slits, one of my faves. I love the way the lead singer dances and red is always a good color for a jacket.

Bad Ass Barber Shop

3 Aces on 9th Avenue with an old-fashioned barber pole outside.

October 16, 2009

Miley Cyrus on the "Sex and the City" 2 Set

I noticed that "Sex and the City 2" was filming this evening in my neighborhood so I wandered down the street a little after 11PM to check out the filming. There were loads of huge campers and trucks taking up all the parking spaces in the area which is a really good sign that it's a big movie. I walked around the set and took a couple of pictures for your enjoyment.

To be honest, I didn't see the first movie and I wasn't a huge fan of the HBO TV series so it really isn't my thing, but it was semi-entertaining to have a major motion picture take up residence so close by my house. In case you've never visited a movie set, it is really pretty boring to stand around while it's being filmed. It seems exciting, but there's not much to see. All the good stuff happens in the editing room. It's mostly set up and waiting around time, but even still there were lots and lots of people who were milling about on 54th and 55th Streets hoping to catch a quick glimpse of a celebrity or two.

I always find it noteworthy to see how close you can get to the filming and just blend right in to the scenery. I walked right up the the area where the directors and producers sit to watch the video playback and took a couple pictures of the director's chairs with the movie logo printed on them. I should have headed over to craft service and grabbed some food since they usually have a great selection of snacks, but I wasn't feeling so bold tonight. The scene they were filming tonight was being shot outside the Zeigfeld theater on 54th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues. From the looks of it (and my pictures) I think the scene calls for the actors to be going to some sort of fake lame action movie premiere called "Heart of the Desert."

Afterwards as I was walking home, I noticed a large crowd gathered in the cold (40 degrees!) around one of the actor's trailers. I assumed they were waiting for an actor to come out on the way to the set and I waited around for a few minutes outside with a bunch of tourists, foreigners and paparazzi. It sure sucks to be a paparazzo. You can cross that out for one of my potential career choices. I'm not that good of a photographer anyway so it's an easy choice to make. Plus who really wants to wait around outside in the cold and jostle with many overweight grimy men equipped with enormous cameras?

As luck would have it, after a few minutes the trailer doors opened and out popped Miley Cyrus (Miley! Hey Miley! MILEY! MILEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEY!) surrounded by a number of police and security personnel. She seems tall. I don't know why I mention that, but it seems like that's what you are supposed to comment on when you see a celebrity in real life. I took a picture or two of her (sort of) and it was just about to rain so I went home. You can see what a madhouse it was surrounding her short walk to the set. She had nice hair and seemed way older than 16. I wanted to ask her about dumping her Twitter account, but even though she walked right by me, security was kind of tight and I forgot to ask.

Halloween Chocolate

In keeping with the Austrian theme of tonight's postings, I was walking by this tiny little store right off Madison Avenue in the 60s. Judging by the signs on the chocolate, I think it is a Kron Chocolate shop. Unfortunately, they were closed for the evening so I couldn't really confirm that.

New York has loads and loads of chocolate stores if you know where to look, but this seems to be one of the smallest ones I can possibly imagine. By the looks of it they are selling some fantastic chocolate. I couldn't really tell if its a Diane Kron chocolate shop or Kron Chocolatier or whatever the name of the store is and there wasn't any information that I could find on the internet to give me any additional clues. There wasn't even a sign on the door, but the signage in the window seems to indicate it is Kron Chocolatier. If anyone has any info on this store, please let me know.
In 1973, Diane and Tom Krön established Krön Chocolatier in New York City based on recipes from Tom's great grandfather, chocolate-maker to Emperor Franz Josef of Austro-Hungary. They soon became very famous for the quality and novelty of their chocolates (Tom invented the chocolate-covered strawberry) and opened many Krön stores across the U.S.

Among their many devoted customers were: Jacqueline Kennedy, Richard Avedon, Gregory Peck, Katherine Hepburn, Andy Warhol, Estee Lauder, Henry Ford, Walter Cronkite, etc. Diane and Tom Krön sold Krön Chocolatier in 1983 and retired from the chocolate business to travel and raise their family. New management took over and the company went in other directions.
They have a couple of stores in Los Angeles and the windows sure boasted a nice selection of Halloween chocolates. I am sure a box is way out of my price range, but I do love delicious chocolate. Would someone please tell them that "The Rolls Royce of Chocolate" is a crappy tag line. Besides Royce Chocolate is already using it. I'm happy to come up with a better sales line. How about "Great Chocolate, Really Expensive?" Rolls Royce cars aren't cheap, you know?

Here's a cool video of a black cat. Seems fittingly Halloween-ish.

Smoke on the Water

Catching a smoke in the rain outside the Consulate General of Austria on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

October 15, 2009

Vintage Thrift

Window display from Vintage Thrift, a vintage shop on 3rd Avenue near 22nd Street.

October 14, 2009

Walk or Don't Walk

Talk about mixed signals. Walk or Don't Walk? You decide.

It's easier to decide who to vote for Mayor.

October 13, 2009

Ghost Dog

I really don't understand dogs. Or the people who own them. But whatever floats their boat. It seems exceptionally weird to me that you would just leave your dog unattended tied up to a post outside in a city like New York.

October 12, 2009

Headless Homeless

It sucks to be homeless because you have to sleep in a doorway near Macy's, but I think it sucks worse to lose your head.

October 9, 2009

Unnecessary Noise

This is the kind of sign they must have stopped manufacturing because they sure need a lot more of these installed throughout the city.

Art Collector, October 2009

It's always a good idea to be ready with your shopping cart for the unexpected Impressionist masterpiece that shows up curbside when Sotheby's can't seem to move it. Another terrific sign that we are slowly emerging from the recession is when you see the homeless guys on the Upper East Side busy reassembling their art collections again.

Handheld Hermes

Two strangely very identical dudes simultaneously taking videos of the window display at Hermes.

Green, Yellow & Blue

I haven't posted a picture of a cool bicycle in a long time.

International Magazines

Rizzoli Books on 57th Street has an excellent selection of foreign magazines if you're looking for some obscure titles while you are uptown and done with all your shopping down the street at Bergdorfs.

Men in the Women's Room

The only place in New York City that I know of where men are definitely encouraged to spend time in the Women's Room (aside from maybe Marquee club or the unisex bathrooms at Bungalow 8) is in the Astor Place subway stop where they've converted the women's bathroom into a newsstand.

Times are tough, but at least he's doing his part to keep The New York Times in business.

Where The Money Is

You may not realize what's going on in this picture, but the guy in the red jumpsuit pretending to sweep the street is actually trying to distract the driver while four other guys are about to storm the back of the truck and take all the money. It's just like a Nicolas Cage/John Travolta movie.

Just Counting Cars

I saw these two sitting on the corner of 57th Street and 5th Avenue on Thursday night. Obviously, I was super curious to find out what they were doing with these crazy counting contraptions while they were watching the traffic. I asked, "What are you counting?" Their response? You guessed it. "Just counting cars."

It nice to see that the city still has money in the budget to keep them employed in such a worthwhile occupation. Excellent use of pencils too. You never see people using pencils anymore. You'd think since they're sitting right smack in front of the expensive Bergdorf Goodman window displays that the store would spring for some designer duds to spiffy up this intrepid duo's appearance.

This would make a really good performance art piece, don't you think?

October 6, 2009

Tuesday Night Traffic

Crosstown Tuesday night.

New Yorkers Are Not Rude

If you're not from New York then you surely know that the city has a reputation for a certain amount of rudeness. It's really not true. New Yorkers aren't any ruder than anyone else or from any other city. Yes, we do everything a lot faster and have less patience for slowness than elsewhere in the world. However, I think we just don't want to be bothered by anyone handing us flyers or begging for money or asking directions or any other sort of random nonsense and that comes off as rudeness. But most New Yorkers are actually very helpful if they aren't rushing off somewhere. Though that's actually rather rare that we're not rushing from one place to another. We do have helpful opinions and ideas about everything and anything and are usually not afraid to share a good tip on a restaurant or a quick way to get somewhere.

One thing we New Yorkers do love is to point out other people's rudeness. So we're used to seeing great signs like the one taped to the information desk/book pick up counter downstairs in the basement at The Strand Book Store telling us exactly how not to be rude. There are a lot of books behind the counter awaiting pickup and I can just imagine it can get pretty frustrating when people come up to the desk all day long and point a finger in the general direction of the massive wall of books and say "I have those books right THERE on hold."

All that being said, The Strand has a really great system for ordering books. You just call and place your order and they find it in the 18 trillion miles of books (and growing) and wrap a rubber band around the books and place them behind the counter awaiting your eventual pickup. It's super efficient, just don't be rude and point your finger.

Happy Sukkot


I was in Union Square this afternoon to visit my doctor after a 24-48 hour case of H1N1 hysteria. I convinced myself that I had all the symptoms (I did!), but alas, it was just some regular old terrible cold and I'm in no danger of imminently dying. As I was leaving my doctor's office and crossing towards the park, this extremely happy truck pictured above passed by and it was just interesting and homemade enough that it warranted taking a picture or two. It's not technically a graffiti truck per se, but it also kind of is so I took a picture anyway.

I've lived in New York for many years now, but for some reason I have never heard of Sukkot before. The friendly driver was definitely excited that I was taking his picture. He asked me if I was Jewish and when I said no, he told me to Google "Sukkot" to find out more about the holiday (which I did). "Sukkot is a seven day holiday, with the first day celebrated as a full festival with special prayer services and holiday meals."

Several hours later, I went out to dinner with one of my friends who lives in Israel and was visiting New York for a night and I showed her the picture and because I was curious I asked her what "Happy Sukkot" was. Of course, I mistakenly pronounced it and said, "What's 'Happy Suck It?'" It's actually pronounced like "sue cot," but obviously I didn't know that. My knowledge of religious holidays is definitely pretty lacking. She thought my mispronunciation was pretty much totally hilarious and laughed and laughed at me. I laughed too. So everyone, if you're Jewish, I hope you have a Happy Sukkot and if you're not, well then you know what to do.

October 5, 2009

October 4, 2009

Manhattan Bound

Somewhere out in Queens, waiting for the subway back to the city.

October 3, 2009

Sandra Bullock's Graffiti Truck

In 2007, Sandra Bullock was ranked as the 14th richest female celebrity with an estimated fortune of $85 million. That's a lot of money. Lots of crazy stuff has happened to her and she's even donated $2 million dollars to the American Red Cross.

I'll forgive some of the really crappy movies she's made because she seems like a pretty OK person. And besides, she drives a rad graffiti truck. I saw her parking this snazzy model on Saturday afternoon on 55th Street.

UPDATE: It's a joke people! I can't believe that some people actually think that Sandra Bullock drives this around the city. I mean, it would be totally cool if she did, but c'mon, celebrities don't really drive graffiti trucks.

October 2, 2009

News from the Street

Some more brilliant spontaneous thoughts from the chalk graffiti gang.