October 7, 2013

King of the Parade

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

TV Party Tonight

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

Weiners and Losers

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

Window Washer's Nightmare

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

Fries for Three

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

Snake Charmers

It's only once a year, but it is one of those events that is always sure to create some sort of chaos or at least a lot of loud noise all day long in Midtown. I'm talking about the Puerto Rican Day Parade. The yearly parade is a huge source of pride for the island, one of only six inhabited unincorporated territories of the United States. In case you were wondering, the others are American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Wake Island. I've never heard of Wake Island and neither have you unless you play the game Battlefield.

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

Points and Angles

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

What Time It Is

Did you notice that this kid is wearing an enormous watch? Location: Somewhere in the 40s on 6th Avenue.

June 4, 2013

A Sunny Day For Cameron Diaz

Did you ever notice that the sun always falls just right on Cameron Diaz? Spotted on 41st Street and 5th Avenue at 3PM today.

June 3, 2013

The Last of the Newspaper Men

In just a few short years, there will no longer be street vendors selling newspapers on the streets of New York City. They used to be all over the place hawking the papers and shouting the headlines out loud, but this is one of the only remaining ones I see selling papers on the street. I sure would have enjoyed hearing him bellow out, "SEX GAVE ME CANCER" this morning, but mostly this vendor sits quietly and waits for someone to intermittently buy a paper.

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

Bruce Willis Wasn't

Bruce Willis was in Midtown Manhattn on Wednesday night at the Zeigfeld Theater for the premiere of the mostly unwatchable and supposedly Scientology-inspired new Will Smith movie, "After Earth." I caught the always jovial Mr. Willis as he was headed to his awaiting SUV with his beautiful girlfriend Emma Heming. Of course it was a spur of the moment picture-taking opportunity so I didn't realize that my camera was on the wrong setting. I noticed a few minutes later as their car zoomed away that just about all my pictures were super blurry and out of focus. This is the best of the lot, but sometimes you take what you can get.

April 4, 2013

Google Makes Driving Easy

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

Lost Eveything

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

Valentine's Day Shuffle

Today was a clear winter day that was just perfect for a brisk walk up Madison Avenue looking in store windows at Valentine's Day presents.

February 10, 2013

Snow Sweeping

The massive snow storm that hit the city this past Friday largely spared New York City and dumped only about 11" in Central Park. It started early Friday afternoon when the freezing rain turned to snow. Here are a few maintenance workers in front of the Credit Agricole CIB skyscraper at 1301 6th Avenue breaking out their Gravely Snowbrush to begin making early passes at snow removal. What's even more interesting to me in this picture is that despite the freezing temperatures and icy snow, people are outside buying hot dogs on the street and taking a smoke break against the building.

February 8, 2013

Basquiat Bonanza

There was a very, very crowded art opening tonight on 24th Street in Chelsea at the Gagosian Gallery for a major exhibition of paintings by Jean-Michel Basquiat. I waited in a long line in the freezing cold for over 20 minutes just to get in the front door. Gagosian is one of the largest galleries in NYC and it was was filled with over 50 large colorful paintings and lots and lots of people. Mr. Gagosian was standing right near the entrance greeting wealthy collectors and other assorted art fans. You certainly wouldn't know it from my picture above, but the place was packed. I would have taken more pictures, but a guard warned me not to take pictures even though I saw dozens of people snapping cell phone pictures which are probably posted all over Instagram.

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.