An evening at the U.S. Open - Venus Williams vs. Alona Bondarenko, Rafael Nadal vs. Janko Tipsarevic, high-up cheap seats, greasy chips, cold beer, running commentary from an annoying neighboor, feet on the seats, little breeze, late night subway, perfect start for a long w.e. and ... celebrate my little blog first month anniversary! Woo-hoo!!! More pictures of "my" U.S.Open here.
I am always fascinated by those articulated buses with their accordion-style center that allows them to bend around turns. For a moment, I thought this one would never make it.
It is a 60-foot-long bus with capacity for up to 90 passengers. Articulated buses have 50 percent more capacity than a standard bus (which has a 60-passenger capacity).
Check out this one in the L.A. Times (they will have their very own ones next week in the city where everybody sits in traffic). "It is part of a new trend in recent years of transit agencies around the world ordering longer buses for their commuters. In Shanghai, officials recently started using massive three-section articulated buses that hold up to 300 people. In London, articulated buses are so successful that they have replaced the iconic, red double-decker buses."
Every few blocks in the city, you can find your favorite newspaper or magazine. This newstand happens to be just accross from a Barnes & Nobles, a popular bookstore in the U.S. They must have a friendly agreement, as the B&N range of papers is much more limited there than elsewhere.
“A good neighbor is a fellow who smiles at you over the back fence, but doesn't climb over it” - Arthur Baer
I found this guy on Broadway, working on his laptop, oblivious to the street straffic. There's an increasing number of hot spots in the city: you can get internet access in some parks, public spaces, at your local coffee shop, generous neighboors,... Which is probably why this fellow was sitting there, in front of a new building which advertised being fully wired up.
It will take you just a 45-minute subway ride from midtown (plus a pleasant 10-minute walk through Fort Tryon Park) to get to The Cloisters. It is the uptown branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and it is very worth your trip. Perched on the tip of Manhattan, the castle-like museum is comprised of five medieval cloisters imported from France and filled with art and artifacts.
Among the works of arts on display, the most celebrated ones are The Unicorn Tapestries, a group of seven Belgian tapestries depicting the mythological hunt and capture of a unicorn. A must for medieval afficionados! Many visitors come for the building itself: one room recreates a 12th-century chapel and the monastery gardens are breathtaking. The cool, shadowy buildings are ideal for escaping steamy summer days. The views of the Hudson River are spectacular.
And hey, New York Magazine even nominated it as this year "Best Not-Cheap-Feeling All-Day-Long Cheap Date". Read more about it here. And since you are there, print this page from the magazine for more ideas to explore Wahington Heights, the neighborhood where this is located.
I am always stunned to notice that many New Yorkers have no clue this beautiful location even exists. Any best kept secret in your area?
We're at the 79th Street Boat Basin, by the Hudson River. Behind us, New Jersey. Right in front, the boardwalk, the 79th Street Boat Basin Café, Riverside Drive and the Upper West Side.
The Boat Basin was founded in 1937 and is home to special events such as the Dragon Boat Competition and the New York City Triathlon. The New York City Department of Park & Recreation's webiste indicates that the marina "was designed by Robert Moses to be the "Recreational Boating Gateway to New York City." The Boat Basin is one of 11 marinas under the jurisdiction of Parks & Recreation. In total, Parks marinas, including the World's Fair Marina at Flushing Meadows- Corona Park, support 2,500 recreational boats each year."
At the 79th Street Boat Basin, the view's the thing—especially the view of the sun as it gorgeously sinks behind the Palisades every clear night. This is the Upper West Side's unofficial summer HQ, full of grill smoke from the café and dogs on leashes, babies in carriages, runners, bikers, roller bladers and all kind of people strolling on the boardwalk. There's even a number of boathouses in the marina. Could you see yourself living on a boat there?
(click on picture to enlarge and see the right side of the photo completely- otherwise my comment will not make much sense) I took this picture for this month scavenger hunt on Flickr. One of the photos to look for was "street named after someone famous". So I took this one, focusing on the street name, which of course gave me a great flower pot in the foreground.
There are many streets with double names like this one (W84th St. a.k.a. Edgar Allan Poe Street). In this street, there is also a very weird and charming café, Edgar's café, named for the morbid writer, who once occupied the café’s very address. The décor is quite disconcerting. Walls painted in trompe l’oeil style are made to look as though they were cracking open. If you can pass that first surprise, it is a quiet little place serving mainly coffee and cake but also light lunch/dinner fare like omelettes, quiches and salads.
Any "street named after someone famous" in your neighboorhood?
The weather here has really turned cooler these past few days. It does feel as if the summer is over for good. But we can still stretch it a bit with a few summery pictures. You've probably experienced this too. When you live somewhere for a while, you become an expert at spotting tourists. It becomes second nature. Some people make it just a little bit easier than others. Like this couple enjoying a latte and the urban atmosphere in Bryant Park, midtown Manhattan. I actually think they are cute is a weirdly charming way.
What do YOU think? Do you spot tourists easily? Where do you think these folks are from? If pressed, I would say Ohio. I also think their names are Bob and Sheila.
And as I can't decide which title to opt for, I am taking the pulse and making you vote! Here's what I've got so far: • sorry we're not from here • I know what you did last summer What do you think? Suggestions are welcome. I'll change the title of this post tomorrow morning.
Bagels anyone? Those are from H&H Bagels on W80th & Broadway. They say they are "like no other bagels in the world". It is the largest bagel manufacturer in New York City and one of the largest bagel manufacturers in the world, producing about 80,000 bagels a day.
H&H Bagels has become a New York cultural landmark, featured in numerous television shows and movies: • You've Got Mail ; • Manhattan Murder Mystery (Woody Allen carried a bag of H&H Bagels) ; • Seinfeld episode "The Strike" (Kramer attempted to return to work there after a 12 year strike) ; • Entourage episode " The Boys Are Back in Town" (Turtle had a large batch delivered to LA) ; • Sex and the City episode Time and Punishment (Carrie Bradshaw delivered a bag of bagels to her friend Miranda Hobbes' apartment) ; • ...
Bagels were brought to America by Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe as a breakfast staple. Today bagels are no longer an "ethnic" food as millions of Americans embrace the breads as a healthful breakfast choice or snack.
This is "a massive sculpture depicting a pregnant female human, with layers removed from one side to expose the fœtus, muscle and tissue layers, and skull underneath. This work was purchased by real estate magnate Aby Rosen for display on the plaza of one of his properties, the Lever House, in New York City" says Wikipedia.
As one blogger noticed, she does look very much like Degas' Little Dancer. To convince you, here and here are alternative views. Alors, do you recognize her?
There was an old fashioned appartment building on this corner not too long ago (West End Avenue & W86 St). It has just been demolished. The empty lot is surrounded by those blue wooden pannels. Someone cut a window through this one and we can peek at the back of the streets. You can see a picture of the corner here and here.
A very ordinary Sunday. These guys caught my eyes, or my ears rather, as I was shopping at the farmer's market. They were just accross the street from it and they were good!
I was waiting for a taxi to drive by (you always want a yellow cab in a New York street picture) and then this guy flew by on his scooter.
This was taken on Colombus Avenue, in the Upper West Side. The trees that you see a the very back are the limits of Central Park West. The ones just accross the street are hiding the American Museum of Natural History.
NB: I have a little video here. The quality is attrocious (it was taken from my picture camera) but it gives you an idea of the atmosphere.
There's really no reason not to stay hydrated, as this fellow demonstrates, balancing a tall, full plastic water bottle on his bald head.
Every Saturday, Sunday, and Monday holiday, skaters come jammin' in Central Park's “Skaters Road,” just south of the bandshell. Either in quads (traditional) or blades (rollerblades.) And they've been doing so for a while as I read in this article of The New York Times.
"With blasts of disco, tight, flashy costumes and acrobatic flourishes, the skate dancers took over a paved oval in Central Park as rebels. Now, 30 years later, they are part of its establishment, and some of the heavily padded knees are a bit creaky. The music is still loud, but at a legal decibel level, and with the closing of three roller-disco shrines in little more than a year, there is a feeling of wistfulness in the air that was once foggy with marijuana smoke."
“Look at all the people in here. Old, young, male, female, black, white, brown, yellow. If the world was like this microcosm of humanity, there wouldn’t be any wars and death. No one is calling anybody a filthy Jew or a rotten Arab in the skate circle. Some skaters are millionaires, some are just two notches away from being homeless.” says Lezly Ziering, leader, and Central Park Dance Skaters Association chairman in an interview for the New York Magazine.
NB: to see them in action, check out this little video that I took from my camera. The quality is not great but it will give you an idea.
Yes, it's Thursday: time to take a deep breath, stretch, release all your stress and strike a pose. A yoga pose, that is.
Free yoga classes are held in Bryant Park all summer long on Thursdays at 6pm. It's free and yoga mats are provided. Leave work early and join in. Comfortable clothes and good spirit is all that you need.
* warning: girly ramblings ahead - read at your own risk *
Ever since I ventured in one of the beads store on 6th Avenue in the Fashion District (*), this question has indeed started to haunt me. Before that fatidic day, my life was simple. Yes, I knew they were there. Somewhere. Out there. I just never questioned their existence. I never approached them that close.
Entering one of those store can make your head spin: there's colors, textures, shapes, styles everywhere. Tempting. Tempting. Oh so tempting. See, beads are wonderful because they are glamorous, seductive, sparkling, chic, fun, stunning, original, bold, simple, beautiful, mesmerizing, captivating, intricate, bright, subtle, ...
If, like me, you're toying with the idea of creating your own little jewelry project, you might want to take a look at this website: The Bead Society of Greater New York. They organize classes, share tips and tricks. You may even stumble on Suzanne Golden's mesmerizing montage "365 Days of Aunt Susie" on YouTube. An original fashionista and beading guru, from what I understand.
(*) Grosso modo located from 6th Avenue to further West, between Times Square and Macy's (34th Street)
Every year on the anniversary marking the end of World War II, the Times Square Alliance invites couples (though strangers would be more appropriate) to come make out in the same spot this nameless couple did just 62 years ago.
"Couples of all ages and from all walks of life were invited to meet in front of the sculpture “Unconditional Surrender”, which was created by acclaimed artist Seward Johnson, memorializing a famous photo snapped by Lieutenant Victor Jorgenson and evoking the iconic LIFE magazine cover photo taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt.", reported the Alliance website.
Kissers were handed out a sailor cap, roses and... breath mints!
Yes, that's right: Spiderman takes E55 Street. Well, you know New York is his hometown. So it should come as no surprise to find Spidey hanging down in this public space in the Upper East Side. This one was a teaser, here's a full view of the space and the man.
This guy has one of the best booths of GreenFlea, the flea market at W77th & Columbus. He sells working vintage toasters and other collectible small kitchen appliances, from the 1920's and up.
He greated me in a slightly sleezy tone that made me laugh, by a "So, you like my toasters?" They are all in perfect working condition, he said . To prove it, he makes toasts all day long. You can actually smell his booth from a distance. I got a little history of toast making. I think this one is probably my favorite. If my memory serves me well, this is called a reversible toaster. After one side of the slice is toasted, the whole cage rotates on the horizontal axis to flip the bread from one side to the other. Fancy, no?
If you're looking for a vintage toaster or have one to repair, check out his website: www.toastercentral.com Some great gift ideas there.
On the left, what not to do: do not leave your back wheel unattended. With the tricky mechanism of the derailleur, that's the one you do not want to see disappear.
On the right, the trick: detach your front wheel, put it against your back wheel and attach them together, your lock getting around the body of the bike. And of course, lock it to something immovable and solid. If there are other bikes parked nearby, park yours next to one with inferior security! An opportunist will always take the easy option.
In any case, you want to opt for a strong, solid lock. May be the New York Fahgettaboudit® U-lock. Seems appropriate if you ask me. But as Lydia Polgreen from The New York Times notes in her article The Pen Is Mightier Than the Lock: "The cunning bicycle thieves of New York City always seem to be one step ahead of lockmakers. Design a more sophisticated lock and the thieves make a better pick. Make a sturdier chain and they get bigger bolt cutters. And if all else fails, they just dig up the parking meter or stop sign to unshackle the bike from it. But to open some of the toughest locks on the market, a thief needs only to flick his Bic pen."
You can also get a security for your saddle. A friend of mine left his bike outside overnight, too tired to carry it up the four floors of his walkup appartment. He had the unfortunate surprise to find it saddleless in the morning... Those little rascals!
So what's the best way to keep your wheels (and saddle) safe? Do like me: think of it as a sculptural element in your appartment. Very trendy.
Yes, it's raining again. It hardly ever stopped all day. Nothing as comparable as Wednesday. No, just a presistant, nasty little drizzle combined with the right dose of wind. Just enough to get your feet wet and wish you were sporting those stylish rainboots.
Take a seat, tune out the buzz of the city for a nice game of chess in Bryant Park, in midtown Manhattan. For a small fee ($3 for a half hour), the New York Chess & Backgammon Club rents chess, checkers, backgammon and Scrabble boards. Alongside the manicured lawns of the public library, office workers face off while their colleagues hover over the tables munching sandwiches. These two found a quiet spot. And... there's an empty table! Chess anyone?
Goodness gracious! Today was one of my longest commute!
To give you an idea, I live about 40 blocks from my office. That's 15 minutes with the subway. Sometimes less if you jump from the local to the express on the second stop. Sometimes more if that express you jumped on happens to run much slower than the local. Yes, it happens. Most of the time actually.
That's about an hour if you walk. A bit less if you have the right shoes. A lot more if you don't and window shop along the way.Today, I am wearing these...
Today, it took me close to two hours to get to the office.
Why, you ask? Because it rained. Apparently a lot. A deluge, in fact. I had no idea, really. At night, I sleep. "The storm dropped about 3 inches of rain on the New York metropolitan area in about an hour, flooding major thoroughfares, cutting off power to thousands of homes and causing confusion that lingered through a humid, sweaty day." said The New York Times. Full article here.
It took 30 min. to get a subway. About 30 more to move two stops that usually take about five minutes. After which I was fed up, got out of the subway and walked the rest of the way. In the liquifying heat. And yes, in these... The subway was just too much: too slow, too hot, too sticky and way too crowded, as you can see in this picture from The New York Times.
I really have nothing to complain about. For some of my colleagues living outside of the city, it took five hours to get to the office (instead of one). The railroad tracks were floaded.
When I took the subway at night, this was the only proof of the flood I could get for you...
Seems like they did a pretty good job pumping water all day.
Did you know that today was National Underwear Day? To commemorate the event, a fashion show took place right in the middle of Times Square. The main sponsor was, and I am not making that up, freshpair.com.
I know, I am already bending the rules. Yes, two pictures instead of one. But come on, I wouldn't want you to accuse me of gender discrimination.
I'll leave you with three quotes gathered on the subject. One from a man who knows what he's talking about. The two others on underwear teasing methods:
Underwear is important to people; there are underwear freaks who just can't wait to show off what they're wearing. Calvin Klein, fashion designer - born right here, in the Bronx
A lady is one who never shows her underwear unintentionally. Lillian Day, novelist, biographer, playwright, New Yorker
I don't always wear underwear. When I'm in the heat, especially, I can't wear it. Like, if I'm wearing a flower dress, why do I have to wear underwear? Naomi Campbell, American top model
I'll let you guess which one I prefer.
NB: For a much better view, check out this article on aol new york. For a video clip and more, visit freshpair.com, the sponsors of the event.
One of the things that is typically New York is buying a hot dog, a pretzel or a bagel and a coffee from one of the street carts you can see at every corner. Depending on the corner, a bottle of water can range from $1 to $2. Comes lunch time and a whole new fleet of street carts set shop for the hungry and thrifty office workers. Like this one on Broadway and 40ish. No line. Either it's too early or the weather a bit too summery for such comfort food. One day, I'll try. Just not today.
One thing I love to do on Sundays, is going to the farmers' market. There are several ones in the city. The biggest and most popular one is in Union Square. This one is on 77th Street at Columbus Avenue. You can find gorgeous vegetables like those appetizing yellow beans or zuchini flowers, delicious and fragrant fruits (like peaches, strawberries, cute red currants and black (yes, black) raspberries to die for). Everything looks better, tastes better and smells better than at your local supermarket. And, if you are a bit curious like me, you can learn new recipes and cool tips just by asking a few questions to the owners.
NB: the links will lead you to other pictures I took and posted on my flickr account. Check them out and, while you're at it, leave me a comment.
Ah the summer... It's hot and sticky and everybody is a tad sleepy. Especially in the subway. This gentleman is catching up on his beauty sleep on the short ride in the shuttle from Times Square to Grand Central.
Shooting or pointing? That is the question! If you are lucky to work near Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan like I do, your lunch time can be full of discoveries. Did you know there was pétanque lessons? in the park? every day? at lunch time? I had no idea. I like this picture because you see a mix of generations and professions, all strategizing on the best moves to reach the elusive cochonet.
I saw this new add at Papaya King, the famous hot doggery in Manhattan (they claim their hot dogs are tastier than filet mignons - err, I don't know about that...). This one is located near the W72nd subway on Broadway. It made me laugh - I had just read an article in the New York Times about Mike Bloomberg and how hum...in the morning, they did spot him disappearing into a suv parked in front of his Upper East Side house. After five weeks of investigation, they had enough material to make this the front page of the venerable journal. See, Mike Bloomberg is the biggest cheerleader of our city transportation system. And he makes it a point to take the subway every day on his way to City Hall. Not just all the way. I happen to like the guy and found it amusing that this news was worth an article and thorough research. Five weeks of it. Which made this reporter from NPR say "I think I know how Ruppert Murdoch just bought the Wall Street Journal". You can listen to his short podcast here: N.Y. City Mayor Bloomberg Chauffeured To Subway. It's rather amusing.
Belgian gal, French speaking, lands in Manhattan for work. Falls in love with her new city and stays. Keeps on discovering it every single day and loves it! Shares it with you through daily pictures. Makes no pretense of being a photographer. Is more of a happy-snapper note-taker.