Posted: May 2nd, 2012 | Filed under: Manhattan, Queens, The Bronx
If you stare deeply enough into your drink, messages appear:
Custom House in Lower Manhattan:
Even though we missed the scheduled tour, one of the park ranger people let us into the ornate Collector’s Reception Room:
Back in June, the Freedom Tower was still short enough to fit into the camera frame:
I already talked about visiting Yankee Stadium.
The awesome Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens:
I could watch the exhibit showing how they produce a live baseball game for for hours:
The 36th Avenue Subway Station in Astoria.
Block Drugs on Second Avenue:
The remnants of Mars Bar also on Second Avenue:
We already talked about seeing the Phillies play the Cubs.
There’s a lot of stuff behind fences in the East Village. Albert’s Garden:
And the New York Marble Cemetery:
They were even using St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery for some sort of film shoot.
Prince Street in Lower Manhattan:
(Funny detail: The Google Street View up right now is from right around when I went walking around there — theirs is from July 2011 — so all the billboards look the same . . .)
There’s a great view of Union Square from the Whole Foods cafe on the second floor. They also have a bathroom you can use:
Astoria Park at dusk on the longest day of the year; this is at 8:40 in the evening (I knew there was a reason I took this but it took a while to remember):
Staring out the front door at Coppelia on 14th Street:
There’s nothing more depressing than an emergency room entrance at an abandoned hospital:
Well, OK, maybe some things are less depressing . . .
I honestly don’t remember what interested me about 60 Spring Street:
Was it because it was a blue jean store or something? Who knows . . .
The Astoria Market at the Beer Garden:
It took me two years to get two pictures of the San Antonio Abate Festival on Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria. Maybe in another year I’ll put a link up to the page:
Posted: April 11th, 2012 | Filed under: Out Of Town
We were up in the Rhinebeck area for a wedding during Memorial Day 2011.
Market Street, with its requisite iconic wooden Indian and Doughboy:
The A.L. Stickle store on Market Street is hard to describe — other than totally awesome, that is. It’s a time capsule of sorts what with all those Revell model car kits (do you remember Revell model cars? do kids still sniff model glue?) and vintage display cases. I remember huge zipper displays in our local supermarket — what happened to all that stuff? I haven’t thought about some of these things in years. So wonderful . . .
We bought some herbs and various plants at the Rhinebeck Farmers Market for the backyard.
Mill Street and Montgomery Street both comprise U.S. 9 around Rhinebeck; one is U.S. 9 north of Market Street and the other is U.S. 9 south of Market Street. The Rhinebeck Reformed Church is on Mill Street, just past the Lions Club Eyeglass Drop Box:
The wedding was at Camp Rising Sun in Clinton.
Posted: April 1st, 2012 | Filed under: Brooklyn, Citywide, Manhattan
Chief of which is Brooklyn Bridge Park, which was a lot more elegant than I expected, especially considering how ugly/utilitarian the piers used to be:
It’s like, where did all that dirt come from?
There’s a staircase thing-place that overlooks Lower Manhattan, which is just stunning. Propose here:
Grimaldi’s has since moved from its longtime location, just down the street at 1 Old Fulton Street:
I really, really want to start a “I [Heart] Unicorns 4-Eva” meme:
Remember when they thought the world would end on May 21? And people spent their life savings on subway ads? Why did they do that? Not because they weren’t right (they weren’t), but what difference would it make if you saw this ad on the subway beforehand?
One day they’ll finish the East Side Access project. For now, it’s kind of a constant thing:
Vacant spaces are so strange looking, like repeating a word over and over until it sounds completely foreign:
I sat outside a bar one night in May 2011 staring at the bright lights in this space, just sort of pondering how weird it looked. Now I know that it’s a “cursed” spot, only recently occupied by a somewhat stable business.
Posted: March 28th, 2012 | Filed under: Brooklyn, Out Of Town, Queens
First part of 2011 . . . I’m caught up to about May now . . .
We saw the Supermoon on March 19, 2011 from the Westfield New Jersey Transit station:
Hard to believe how little snow there was this year, especially compared to last year:
One thing I’ll miss/won’t miss about our old neighborhood is how many film shoots there were there:
There’s a sort of park/playground in the old neighborhood that was created from a sliver of land leftover from the Queens-Midtown Tunnel called Old Hickory Park, which the Parks Department seems to have disowned, at least judging by the fact that it’s somehow disappeared from their website. The name is a goof on Jackson Avenue, “Old Hickory” being Andrew Jackson’s nickname. Stupidly esoteric:
Robert Moses did a lot of neat things in the New York City area. He also oversaw a bunch of ridiculous orphan roads. The Prospect Expressway, for example:
Blockbuster closed and some guys eventually took away the sign:
Back when we lived in Astoria we called this passage to the municipal parking lot “Deuce Alley” because it smelled like people took shits back there. Now it’s gussied up all fancy and such:
I love the fact that there are public restrooms at the end of the subway lines. This is graffiti from the Ditmars Boulevard Station on the N/Q line in Queens. The idea of having sex in one of these restrooms boggles my mind; I can’t think of a worse place to do it:
On the other end of the spectrum, Michael Bolton graffiti at Sweet Afton, which is where we celebrated Kawama:
Posted: March 19th, 2012 | Filed under: The Bronx
Now that I’m caught up with baseball outings from 2011, we can finally get ready for the regular season. In 2011 we saw the Diamondbacks vs. Giants at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, the Phillies vs. Braves, Phillies vs. Rangers and Phillies vs. Cubs at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, and the Yankees vs. Red Sox at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.
It occurs to me that we saw some pretty good teams in 2011 — I definitely didn’t expect the D-Backs to be that good when we saw them back in April. We saw four playoff teams play. In fact, I challenge anyone to have seen teams with a better combined record than we saw in 2011 (minimum five games? can we create a variable to take into account how many total games one saw?). Let’s tease this out:
Arizona Diamondbacks: 94-68
San Francisco Giants: 86-76
Philadelphia Phillies: 102-60
Atlanta Braves: 89–73
Texas Rangers: 96-66
Chicago Cubs: 71-91 (you can always depend on the Cubs to screw up at least one thing a season)
New York Yankees: 97-65
Boston Red Sox: 90-72
Total win-loss record: 725-571 for a .559 winning percentage.
Well, did any of you do any better?
Mom and Dad were in town while the Red Sox were playing the Yankees and they had never been to see the new stadium, so we went early. I had never seen Monument Park, and neither had they, so we got to see that. Much has been said about the giant Steinbrenner plaque in the center of everything. Here it is:
We also had time to visit the Yankees Museum with all the hardware:
The collection of signed baseballs from everyone who ever played for the organization is actually very cool. Here’s Cory Lidle, who crashed the plane he was flying into an Upper East Side building in 2006:
And I searched out Ian Kennedy’s ball:
This was the first full season after Steinbrenner died, so there were a lot of tributes to him around the park (in addition to the oversized plaque in Monument Park:
Oh, and we had good seats, for once:
This was Jorge Posada’s last season, which we didn’t know at the time:
And “We Want Pie” is a shoutout to A.J. Burnett, if I’m not mistaken (yup, that’s it); that’s all behind us now as well:
The Red Sox won, by the way; A-Rod struck out to end the game:
Posted: March 13th, 2012 | Filed under: Out Of Town
We didn’t get down to Philadelphia as much as we usually do in 2011, what with moving and baby stuff, but there were a few Phillies games we went down there for, basically in May and June.
We (or some of us at least) ate a Pork Scrapple slider at White Dog in University City:
Before we installed the toilet at Kawama, and before we even ordered the toilet on Amazon, we checked out toilets at the Lowe’s in South Philadelphia. They want you to know that it’s not too difficult to install them yourself:
Just across the parking lot at IKEA (where we bought pulls for the cabinets) you get a nice view of the S.S. United States from the Meatball Chamber:
At the Braves-Phillies game, we saw how much of the Spectrum was finally gone:
Later in May, I think I took this picture because I was surprised how expensive gas was. That seems reasonable today . . .
At the day game on the 21st against the Rangers, it was just after the end of the world and everyone was still a little anxious:
And at the game in June against the Cubs, expectations about the season were sky high:
Of course we know how that turned out:
Posted: March 11th, 2012 | Filed under: Queens
This Times article about the Millennium Theater in Brighton Beach was interesting — so many theaters have been shuttered over the years that it’s cool to see a theater being used for something approximating what it was meant for — i.e., some performance of some sort.
It’s cool because so many theaters are now Duane Reades or whatnot, to which @RICANROLL tweeted like the theater on 30th Avenue and Steinway is now a Duane Reade. Yup, that’s exactly which one I was thinking. We walked by it yesterday:
In this case, the Astoria Sixplex (which I actually went to once or twice before it closed in 2002) actually became a Duane Reade, a Chase bank and a New York Sports Club.
I’m not even upset that @RICANROLL fucked me by spoiling a Walking Dead plot point.
Posted: March 6th, 2012 | Filed under: Out Of Town
On the airplane (new page for Airplanes, by the way) . . . some strange things. Here, for example, is the way the Royal Jordanian in-flight magazine described Eat, Pray, Love:
And here is the way the Delta in-flight magazine described it:
We also marveled at the come-hither look the lady on the Delta fasten seat belt announcement had. Hubba hubba:
In Phoenix, we went back to Hance Park and saw the I-10 plaque installed there. Under Hance Park (aka Deck Park) is the final link in the transcontinental interstate, completed in 1992:
A new page for the Palm Tree Stealth Monopole at 15th Avenue and Camelback Road. I love these things:
In April, we had to fly through O’Hare and saw one of these old school Airfones. I almost forgot about these things:
We ate at Culver’s (nearest location to NYC is about 473 miles west in Reynoldsburg, Ohio).
We saw the D-Backs vs. Giants at Chase Field early in the season when no one — no one! — knew that the D-Backs would be that good:
Posted: December 27th, 2011 | Filed under: Brooklyn
The Seddio Christmas House in Canarsie, Brooklyn at the Southwest corner of Flatlands Avenue and East 93rd Street features 50,000 lights and can be seen from planes landing at Kennedy:
Clearly there was some hubbub going on between the Seddios and the Department of Sanitation; not sure if it stretches all the way back to 2003, but here’s some evidence of that:
In all, quite a display and worth the trip if you can make it out there!
Posted: November 19th, 2011 | Filed under: The Bronx
The New York Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show is one of my favorite things about Christmas in New York. I mean, yes, there is that gigantic tree in Rockefeller Center and, sure, the Christmas windows all around Midtown are a sight to behold, but there’s nothing like taking in the collection of 140 New York City landmarks entirely constructed from plant material (!) in the Haupt Conservatory.
I mean, have you ever seen a montage of Midtown skyscrapers built from plant material?
Dr. Chi hipped me to it a while back shortly after I moved here and that was his point — there is this thing that happens each year where people make replicas of New York City landmarks entirely from plant material. He probably said something along the lines of, “The original Penn Station constructed from twigs — twigs!”:
The old version of the old Yankee Stadium:
Rockefeller Plaza’s sunken plaza:
And my new favorite, JFK’s Terminal 5:
Here’s the original:
Are the Barney’s windows fun? No question! But the heartfelt, homespun tradition at NYBG is really something special. It would be demeaning to call it “outsider art,” but the near-obsessive attention to detail evokes that spirit. And I suppose to a certain extent, the inclusion of model trains is a dog whistle of sorts for the like-minded among us who celebrate that spirit. So be it. Let the Lionel-Industrial Complex have its time of year. But really, a G-gauge Brooklyn Trolley is only gilding the lily. The train show runs between mid-November and mid-January at NYBG (details).