December 21, 2010

Above the Star 2

All new commentary free blog. Make up your own witty and snarky comments.

December 15, 2010

Above The Star

A view down on the Crystal Snowflake on 57th Street from the windows of Bergdorf Goodman. This is a nice view of the Bulgari and Tiffany stores that you don't see very often from this perspective. It's actually the UNICEF Snowflake and was designed by Ingo Maurer and features over 16,000 Baccarat crystals. UNICEF's marketing department does a totally crap job of promoting the snowflake because everyone knows about it cause it hangs in the middle of the city for six to eight weeks every year at the corner of one of the busiest intersections in the world, but no one has any clue that it's put up by UNICEF. Where's Audrey Hepburn when you need her?

December 12, 2010

Pee-wee Herman on Broadway

Pee-wee Herman outside the Steven Sondheim Theater on Sunday after a rainy evening performance. His show plays on Broadway until early next month. My six word review: "It was very entertaining and funny."

December 10, 2010

It's Like Halloween Never Ended

I was out in midtown Manhattan earlier this evening and I saw an interesting guy crossing 2nd Avenue at 53rd street. Normally you don't see anything out of the ordinary in this neighborhood, but when you see someone dressed in 8" silver boots and a full length fur coat and feathers it makes you stop and stare. Of course, this being NYC, no one really stops to give this much of a second thought. It's as if nothing was all that unusual about this sort of look. I stopped and waited for him to come out of Walgreen's. I was actually wondering what he purchased,

Anyway, I don't know quite know how to explain the face paint or the rest of his look, but it certainly makes a pretty good statement and I appreciate that. When I asked him to take his picture, he was more than happy to stop for a portrait. Beautiful.

December 1, 2010

Rainy Day

A standard rainy day in New York City. Energy levels are low today. December 1st too.

November 16, 2010

What a Racquet!

I spotted this enormous racquet on 6th Avenue and 40th Street. He gives private lessons too and if you need to improve your game you probably won't miss many shots with this one.

Late Night Skittles

Cool girls from the Bronx know that the only acceptable late night candy is Skittles. They really don't get any cooler than this. No fake ID required.

November 12, 2010

Christmas and a Coffee Con

For the past week or two I've been going over to 55th Street (adjacent to the Robert Indiana "Love" sculpture partially visible in the background) in the morning to get my coffee. There's a little breakfast cart there and a large coffee is only $1.25 which is the cheapest in the neighborhood and, quite frankly, I think it tastes a lot better than Starbucks, Zibetto, Fika or any of the other fancy places in the area. There are, no joke, at least 30 different places to buy coffee in a two block radius of my house. I've tried them all. Maybe not all, but most of them. Not including the four Starbucks locations which are all the same...awful. So I've been going to this new cart to get my no-frills coffee which is great aside from the fact that the guy calls everyone "Boss" which is only slightly grating, but not enough so that I don't still go there in the morning.

Today, as I was walking back and passing in front of the unbelievably and wildly overpriced supermarket pictured above, a reasonably articulate and casually dressed black man approached me. In New York City, when a stranger approaches you it's always startling for a second. Your guard immediately goes up, more so than it already is, but that's just the way it is. After you realize that the person is semi-normal or just a tourist or not otherwise frothing at the mouth it's really not such a big deal to tell them where Carnegie Hall is located or how to get to the F train. This morning, however, was slightly different.

I'm walking back with my morning coffee (I resisted the urge to get a couple of high calorie doughnuts) and this guy approaches me on the sidewalk. I must have jumped a bit or something because he immediately apologized and said sorry to bother me, but he didn't want anything. Whew. Everyone wants something.

Ok, so I am thinking to myself, what do you want then? He begins his lengthy explanation. Somehow he dropped his car keys in the sewer on the corner and it's wet and watery down there and he couldn't get them out with a coat hanger. Dubious enough, but I'm sort of intrigued where this story might be going. He says that everything is OK, he's not going to get towed, the traffic cop has already assured him of that. At this point, I should have just walked away because traffic cops in New York don't care if you are the man in the moon because you are so getting towed whether you dropped your keys or have a crying baby locked up in the back seat. Since I was in no particular rush and I sort of enjoy these versions of street theater I decided to continue to hear him out if for no other reason than my own personal amusement. He continued. He reassured me that he didn't want anything and that because his keys were dropped down somewhere irretrievably in the sewer that he needed to go home to the Bronx or some other distant borough to get his spare set. The man told me that he would give me his license to hold and....blah blah blah. Now he lost me. I just tuned him out completely. I don't want some stranger's license. I don't want to be bothered on the way home from getting my morning coffee. I don't want anything other than to drink my hot coffee. I am more than happy to tell you where to get a great bagel or which diner serves the best breakfast, the best exhibition at MoMA or even how to get to Carnegie Hall (practice!) or really any other basic thing, but holding your license while you take the imaginary bus back to the Bronx is way too much for 9:30am in the morning. Of course he wanted money. So I just lied and told him that I had no money on me and he actually thanked me and moved on, eager I am sure to find his next more gullible morning coffee con.

What would you have done? Most people in New York City, busy and rushed on their way to work on a Friday morning, probably wouldn't have even stopped for 5 seconds. At least I gave him an opportunity to work on his pitch.

Oh and the picture above is right outside where he stopped me. The city is crazed right now with every business installing Christmas lights and decorations. I sure wish they'd wait another week to give us a break between the holidays.

November 11, 2010

Art Party

I went downtown to a small party/cocktail sort of thing last night. There was wine and cheese and it featured the work of the artist Spencer Tunick. Moby was there for a while and here he is talking to Spencer. The works on the table in front of them are 8" x 10" color photos of various installations around the world.

A Trip Down 57th Street

Rush hour on November 10, 2010.

November 6, 2010

Marathon Madness

The New York City Marathon brings people to the city from all over the world. Here's a group from Japan crossing 57th Street on Saturday morning.

November 1, 2010

Halloween 2010

It was another wild night in New York City for Halloween. The streets in the Village were jammed with thousands and thousands of people out in creative costumes celebrating the holiday and there was a massive parade as well. I'm not really sure exactly what everyone is celebrating. What is the point of Halloween anyway? Are people celebrating the arrival of the Great Pumpkin? Time to check Wikipedia. I thought it was a worldwide phenomenon, but it looks like the don't have Halloween in Russia, China, Italy, New Zealand or basically just about anywhere aside from Ireland, Scotland, US and Canada. How is this possible? Don't they eat candy in the rest of the world?

I went out for a delicious sushi dinner and then enjoyed everyone acting crazy and running around in costumes. As far as I could tell, everyone seemed super happy and like they were having a really good time. I'll all for that.

October 30, 2010

Halloween Cupcakes

The good thing about cupcakes is that they can manage to make them fit for any holiday. These kinds of sweet Halloween treats are available just about everywhere.

October 29, 2010

Two Months Until Christmas

I should really update more regularly, but I seemed to have lost my inspiration for being consistent. At any rate, I kind of think that my observations would be better received if they were a lot more timely.

Case in point is the above picture which I shot on October 8th. I know that Barnes & Noble at Lincoln Center is closing after the 2010 Holiday season, but who came up with the brilliant idea to yank out the Christmas wrapping paper in early October and display it all over the main floor? Do the sales execs at B&N actually think that anyone who is not completely sane would buy gift wrap in October? I know times are tough, but that doesn't mean we want to be whacked over the head with anything even remotely dealing with Christmas before Halloween. What's next, Easter baskets in January?

And what's up with the kid with the glasses? I think he was as shocked as I was. This is a really good way to ruin Columbus Day, Halloween and Thanksgiving for everyone, Barnes & Noble.

October 26, 2010

Gnip Gnop

I don't often go to charity events like this, but a friend was involved so I was somehow convinced to venture down to 23rd Street to this huge cavernous basement space called Spin New York. It's filled with over 30 ping pong tables and a bar and lots of young New Yorkers and some not so young ones too. The place has been around for over a year and seems to draw a crowd. This just shows you how many places there are and how much stuff goes on in New York that you can't possibly be on top of everything no matter how much you read Urban Daddy and Very Short List and every other semi-informative email newsletter.

For a Monday night charity table tennis tournament (models vs. whoever else), the place was reasonably full, if only because there were globs of models and semi-famous actors there for the breast cancer charity event. I don't know how it fares on other nights of the week. Unfortunately, you can't really see any models in my picture, but just imagine a bunch of tall thin girls with long hair wearing tight black pants and tank tops and you'll get the idea. I didn't see Susan Sarandon (she's an investor in the place), but I wasn't really looking for her either. I saw lots of models or wanna-be models. I mostly liked the green floor. I admired that. I said hello to a few people that I just happen to know and then it was off to other events and happenings in the big city.

For the record, I'm not so bad at table tennis. Anyone want to play?

I must say that I also like Gnip Gnop. It's just as fun and you can play at home. We had this toy growing up. Add it to the Christmas list.

October 7, 2010

Bruce Willis' Graffiti Truck

I spotted this amazing truck in very crowded rush hour traffic on Lexington Avenue in the 60s. Bruce Willis appeared to be making his way incognito down towards Bloomingdales. As hard as they try to go unnoticed, you can always spot the famous celebrities driving around town in graffiti trucks.

October 6, 2010


Morning in Manhattan.

I haven't been uploading very many new pictures lately. Not sure why, but I have a ton of photographs that I have just never posted. Some are good and some are great. I delete the really bad ones. I suppose I've been distracted. Sometimes I feel like posting and sometimes I don't.

September 27, 2010

How Not To Ride A Bike

Spotted in Central Park. Four things to note:

1. No helmet
2. No hands
3. Flip flops!
4. Talking on cell phone

I wanted to bump into him just ever so slightly so that he crashed horribly on the pavement, but realized just in time that it wouldn't be so nice. I'm ok with the no helmet in the park, but surely get a headset for talking in the park and the flip flop bike riding is only ever OK near a beach. Your rules may differ.

September 15, 2010

Fashion Week

Last Friday night on the streets of the West Village. This plaid-suited pair sauntered along as a large group of friends and acquaintances ate dinner outside.

Here's a smart tip, good manners go a long way. So always remember when you return your suits to the closet that there's no need to be offensive to someone you just met. Even if you are wearing a goofy plaid suit.

September 13, 2010

The Truth About Shopping

Dior is renovating their store on 57th Street for the next few months. They'll have a brand new boutique opened just in time for Christmas. Instead of putting up an ugly plywood wall to cover the construction, they came up with a brilliantly designed large handbag. It's one of the best examples I've seen of how to do something super creative with what is usually a very boring construction site.

A lot of people love shopping and I think that this article is probably one of the most informative articles I've ever read on the subject.

Big Mac Attack

I was trying to take a picture and then this bus went by right in front of me. No wonder everyone in America is so fat. These things look (and taste) delicious.

East Side Serious

More seriousness on the East Side. A grim look is common in NYC especially when you are on the way to the tanning salon.

Random Midtown Corner

This picture gives you a brief sense of how busy it sometimes gets on the streets of my neighborhood during the middle of the day.

Directly across from the the architectural monstrosity called Trump Tower is the busy NYC location of Abercrombie & Fitch. The worst thing about it, aside from the idiotic line to get in, is that they pump tons of A&F scent into the street and it smells awful. If you are allergic to bad cologne and find yourself in Midtown, steer clear of this corner. You can see Tiffany's and Louis Vuitton in the background. Gucci is across the street too. It's a busy retail location.

I have no idea who the gentleman is who happened to be standing there right at the precise moment I took the photo, but I must have seen his blue jacket and I decided to capture his stoic countenance. So good and serious.

September 12, 2010

Doggy Bag

If you're going to bring home a doggy bag, then it makes total sense to have the dog carry it.

August 12, 2010

Open Door Policy

Why does every guy who owns an expensive and flashy sports car in New York City feel the compulsive need to open all the doors and windows in the middle of the street? Is this absolutely necessary? Ok, we get it. You have a snazzy car. It matches your small penis.

In case you are wondering, the car is a Lotus.

Three other automobile related things I just noticed in picture. (1) Stylish looking woman wearing white trenchcoat and smoking is carrying a Mercedes Benz tote bag. (2) Zipcar office in background. (3) Food establishment on corner called "Speedy's."

August 9, 2010

Dominican Devils

I'm not sure exactly what these two characters are dressed up as, but they sure look like devils to me. I found this unlikely pair standing on the corner of 56th Street and 6th Avenue on my way to lunch at the MoMA this afternoon. Halloween is still months away so unfortunately they didn't have any candy for me. Though I do especially like the Tropicana Orange Juice bottle.

I later found out they were part of the the 28th Annual Dominican Day Parade where New York's Dominican community comes out to celebrate their heritage with dancers, musicians and bold costumes on 6th Avenue in Midtown. There's always something going on in NYC. I don't even have to barely step outside the front door to find something unique and interesting. I suppose this is why I pay so much to live here. Enjoy the photos. Buy an Andy Warhol book.

August 7, 2010

Saturday Siesta

Taking a well-deserved nap after a sunny Saturday spent biking tourists around midtown. 58th Street and Broadway. 6:15pm.

It's amazing how much traffic I am getting from all over the world. Click the map to the right a few times to blow it up full screen and see where. Also buy a copy of my new Andy Warhol book, "The Autobiography and Sex Life of Andy Warhol." It's inexpensive and if you like art and appreciate great photography you are sure to enjoy it. It's less than $30 on Amazon. What a bargain!

August 3, 2010

Street Bracelets

A selection of colorful woven cloth bracelets for sale at one of those awful 6th Avenue (who calls it Avenue of the Americas?) street fairs at 7pm on Saturday.

Happy Ice Cream

A very happy man holding a just purchased ice cream cone on Saturday night on 14th Street and Broadway just below Union Square.

What gives with my camera and the blurry images? Ugh.

Shirts at the Strand

There are a bunch of t-shirts featuring literary classics for sale at New York's largest bookstore, The Strand.

This one caught my eye mostly because I can't imagine that J.D. Salinger's heirs would give permission for this cover to be exploited so brazenly, but they probably don't control the rights to the image and now that he's dead who really cares anyway. I always thought his "don't publish club, don't talk about don't publish club" credo was a little bit of a put-on anyway. If he didn't want to publish his writing it's really no big deal since it seems he kind of went off the proverbial deep end back in the mid-60s. Besides his behavior was really odd in the years to follow no matter how you look at it and I'm sure his writing was more "Raise High The Roof Beam" than "Catcher in the Rye."

At least someone's making some money off these shirts.

July 30, 2010

Lunch Time

You can always find time to grab a quick bite to eat on the busy sidewalks of New York City. This is true especially if you're taking a short break from your intensive summertime training for the New York City Marathon.

July 21, 2010

Stoop Sitting

Sometimes I wish I lived downtown so I wouldn't have to post pictures like this one. Typical stoop sitter, uptown-style.

July 13, 2010

Lights at Night

A look out at New York City on a typical summer evening.

I haven't been very good about posting lately. I've been preoccupied with a million other things and it seem that every time I think to get around to posting, it's always so late and I feel too tired to post anything. I have been taking a lot of pictures, some good, mostly bad. I am going to try to be better about it. I have been good about riding my bike a lot lately. 10-15 miles a day or so. I am in really good shape now so that's something to feel good about.

Fun Slide

A slightly abbreviated summertime view of the amusement park in Central Park.

July 3, 2010

Norwegian Elevator Constructors Union

A few months back I received an unusual email from Norway. Coincidentally, I visited Norway back in October, 2008 when I attended the wonderful annual film festival in Bergen. A movie I produced, "Guest of Cindy Sherman," was invited to screen in the festival and I had an amazing time there. I thought the email might have something to do with the movie or my trip to Norway, but it was entirely unrelated.

The email I got was from the Norwegian Elevator Constructors Union asking about a picture they had seen on this very blog. They were writing an upcoming article about escalators, especially the old wooden ones, and wanted to know if they could use a picture for their member's magazine which is published a few times a year. Even though there was no fee for the usage, I said "Sure, go ahead and use my picture." The picture they liked was the one I took of the old wooden escalators in Macy's. It is sort of fitting that this comes up today as tomorrow is the great big Macy's 4th of July Fireworks show. At any rate, the original photograph ran here a little over a year ago in May, 2009.

Months have passed and I had almost forgotten about it until I when to get the mail today. There was a large white envelope from Norway and contained in it was my complimentary issue of the magazine. Even though I can't read a single word of it (since it's entirely in Norwegian), I was pleasantly surprised to see that not only did they use my picture "in" the magazine, they used my picture on the cover. In some ways I suppose this makes me a professional photographer now. It seems these kinds of things happen to me all the time. One day I decide to start a blog of random pictures and the next one of my picture is selected to appear on the cover of a magazine.

I feel a little bit like they owe me a payment. There's a big difference between using the picture in the magazine and using it for the entire cover in full color, don't you think?

July 1, 2010

Gwyneth Paltrow's Graffiti Truck

When she's not off on a movie set, jetsetting around the world to Spain and other exotic destinations or writing for her Goop website, Gwyneth Paltrow can be see beating around town in this fabulous graffiti truck.

I came across this one parked way out in Queens by MoMA PS1. It's obviously way cheaper to park out there and a lot easier for her to get a spot than in the overcrowded West Village.

June 30, 2010

Hey Asshole!

You really shouldn't take random pictures of homeless people with any sort of crazy look in their eyes. I should learn this lesson quickly, but I haven't yet.

Is it any surprise that instead of thanking me for taking such a wonderful portrait that this guy/woman, proceeded to scream obscenities at me (including the wonderful blog title above) in broad daylight and literally chase me down the street? I had to actually run away. I took off in the direction of the Museum of Modern Art and deftly eluded capture. You know you don't have a great picture until you have to run to get it.

I see this guy around a lot in my neighborhood. In 85 degree heat he's usually seen dressed in his stylish bright red jacket and scarf while lugging a couple of roller suitcases filled with God knows what. Most notably though, if you're lucky to catch him on a good day, you'll see him/her with a full face of lipstick smeared all around his lips. It's crazy interesting so if you have an extra compact to donate to the homeless, I know someone in need.

June 29, 2010

Gagosian Shop

Following the sold out event at the New York Public Library on Wednesday night, last Thursday John Wilcock, Gretchen Berg and yours truly did a book signing at the Gagosian Shop for the new book on Andy Warhol that I just published. The book is called "The Autobiography and Sex Life of Andy Warhol" and it's available at Gagosian (featured in the window!) It's also available through Amazon or at most bookstores and museums around the world. It's gotten great reviews everywhere. I should probably post a lot more pictures about it on here, but you can find a ton more information on the Facebook page.

We had a really fun time hanging out and signing books at Gagosian. They have an amazing selection of books, limited edition posters and prints and all sorts of stuff I would want to buy. Everyone was really nice at the shop and John told a bunch of great stories about the time he spent with Marilyn Monroe back in the 1950s. After the signing we went out for a celebratory dinner at Elaine's way up on the Upper East Side.

It was a great time. Wish you were there!

June 28, 2010

An Afternoon Stroll

When you leave the house on a hot summer Sunday, you certainly don't want to forget your yellow parasol. Spotted on 72nd and Madison.

June 22, 2010

Sienna Miller's Graffiti Truck

When you visit New York, you definitely want to drive around in a truck that makes a statement. I saw this one parked in front of the New York office building for the Director's Guild of America on 57th Street which is where Sienna always gets a legal parking spot.

This location is close to the Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien where every star visiting the area grabs a burger and fries. It's also only a block or two down the street if she needs to run in and pick up something at Bergdorf Goodman, Louis Vuitton, Chanel or even the Apple Store.

June 15, 2010

American Elm

This should be the title of the next Green Day album. Surely it's better than American Idiot. Plus they get to save a couple hundred trees in Central Park.

Can Collecting

When the weather is nice, it's a good time for can collecting on the Upper East Side. I forget where I shot this, but somewhere way uptown where aluminum cans and plastic bottles are plentiful.

June 11, 2010

Love NYC Style

After you live in the New York City for a while, you come to realize that nearly anything goes here. So if you are planning a NYC destination wedding (assuming you have to get married), you might as well make the very most of it. Thus, it's totally a-OK if that involves taking your wedding photographs during a mid-week rush hour in Midtown.

When you and your spouse-to-be come to New York to get married you're definitely going to get those precious photographs of the two of you that you'll cherish for a lifetime. You only have to make sure you do it just right.

For best results, I recommend that you pick the absolute busiest time of the day. A few minutes after 5pm is ideal for the perfect light and catching hundreds of thousands of people headed out of work in the concrete jungle. Also make sure you take your photographs smack in the middle of Midtown right next to one of the most photographed landmark art sculptures in the city as well. You'll also want to commandeer a super busy bus stop, push everyone out of the way and work around the tourists and elderly gentlemen waiting for the Uptown local. No one will mind one bit. Of course, you should try to ignore the extremely smelly homeless man who's been using the bench as his see-through bedroom. Also don't worry if there are multiple bags of trash strewn carelessly about the sidewalk. You'll probably want to photoshop these out of your photos, but I think all this adds to the realism of the location.

I didn't intend to be a wedding photographer, but I think I got the shot.

May 24, 2010

The Balloons at the End

They always save the balloons for the very last song. LCD Soundsystem played four sold out shows in New York City. I went to the last show on Sunday night at Terminal 5 (a huge spacious club on the West Side of Manhattan) and if this picture is any indication, it was a great concert.

May 19, 2010

His and Hers

A pair of Vespas near Grand Central Station.

Out of Business

This seems like one of those stores that we'll look back at ten years from now and say, "Can you believe that were actually stores that you brought your junk to and they sold it for you on eBay?" Google Maps has a picture during obviously better days.

Umbrella Pole

People die; cats die, but life goes on. Spring ambles on. Today was one of those days where it was so rainy and windy that broken umbrellas were wrapped around street signs.