On 9/11/16, about 100 other New Yorkers and I went to a pier on Manhattan’s west side to dance Argentine tango. The event takes place every Sunday, weather permitting, but this evening as the sun went down we were also in a prime spot to view the annual commemoration, via a beam of light, of that tragic day now 15 years in the past, when our city was attacked by terrorists.
Now that the new Freedom tower is up, the light beam memorial looks a little different. This is a quick photo taken on my phone that doesn’t do the image justice, but I feel it definitely conveys the concept of Missing.
A few unusual and colorful roads run parallel through Brooklyn’s diverse beach communities. Brooklyn’s beaches occupy a small jetty of land that runs three or four miles east to west, with the Atlantic Ocean to the south and Sheepshead Bay, Jamaica Bay and Coney Island Creek to the north east.
The pictures that follow were taken along Oriental Boulevard, Brighton Beach Avenue and Shore Parkway. I hope that they capture some of the great diversity of life in these communities.
A walk around New York’s Lower East Side and East Village never disappoints. Surprises abound. Perhaps the most surprising for me during a recent walk there is that in the midst of constant change, gentrification and “progress”, there are some locals clearly on a quest to remain the same. Old New York lives on through their businesses–this is no easy task in our city.
In addition the places shown below, my quest took me to a Polish butcher shop, two antiques stores and past an old Dairy Restaurant, so named for it’s adherence to Kosher provisions regarding serving dairy and meat products in the same area.
Of New York City’s five boroughs, The Bronx often seems to get the short end of the stick. Brooklyn once rivaled it for grit and swagger but today has become rather like an extension of Manhattan, hip, glamorous and a burg of widening extremes. This summer I decided to make only my third trip up there to walk the borough’s grandest Avenue: the Grand Concourse.
The Concourse, designed to be a self-contained residential and commercial hub, did not disappoint. In reading about it before my visit, I learned that the number of Art Deco buildings still standing along the Grand Concourse is rivaled only by Miami Beach. I also remembered that of all of New York’s boroughs, The Bronx has the most parkland and also the City’s largest park, Van Cortlandt.
My walk took me near Yankee Stadium, past three small parks, grand Art Deco government buildings and apartment houses, into the Bronx Museum of the Arts (it’s free!) and past a large shopping mall.
In response to the Daily Post prompt for July 30th, I immediately thought about creativity. I admire this quality because it doesn’t require money, material goods, or specialized education. All it takes to be creative is to challenge oneself to be expressive, to solve a problem or to see something in a new light.
At the same time, social media reminded me that I was in Buenos Aires nine years ago this month. It was my second trip to the city, the first being the year before, when the Argentine summer brought music and dance out in to the streets from noon to well past dusk. This time it was winter, and although it was chilly and grey and the city was suffering from the great recession, creativity still managed to crop up around nearly every street corner in the city center. Here are some of my favorite photos from that trip. The streets were alive with creativity!
My trusty mobile phone has recorded some of my summer adventures to date this year. They are grouped by borough, first up are images from Manhattan, then Queens and Brooklyn. I hope that they begin to convey the diversity of activities that New York City has to offer in the warmer months.
Performers at the Rubin Museum’s Block Party
A New Mural on 6th Avenue
The Rubin Museum drew large crowds for its Block Party and open house
Dancing on a Pier in the West Village
And Now Dancing in Long Island City Queens
Dancers with Manhattan as a Backdrop
Sundown as seen from Long Island City
A Thunderstorm Looms Over Queens
The Rose Garden at Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Cooling Off at a Brooklyn Beach
Weekend Fireworks at Coney Island
Americana Glore at a Brooklyn Cyclones Game
Enjoying a Sea Lion Show at the New York Aquarium, Coney Island
While waiting for the train yesterday yesterday, my boredom was interrupted by an unfamiliar sound, a different sort of chugging noise. I looked up to see a vintage subway train riding along the track across from me, full of smiling people sticking their heads through the large open windows. My curiosity was piqued, so I googled “vintage subway” and “2016” and found that the New York City Transit Museum was running historic trains in celebration of their 40th anniversary.
The MTA New York City Transit agency is more than 100 years old and made up of the amalgamation of what were once several different lines, some elevated, some underground, some travelling between boroughs and some running more local routes. In this post I will take you on a photographic replay of the trip I made through the Brighton Beach/Coney Island area on two vintage trains, one built in the late 1920s and one built in 1915.
The advertising in the cars was quite interesting, there was everything from 5 cent soap to corned beef in a can and Liberty Bonds for sale.
Interior, 100 Year Old Car
I couldn’t end this post without a comment on the view. I travel this route frequently, although at higher speeds and without the benefit of open windows. The scenery, while not beautiful or even remarkable, does comment on this story. The tight blocks with their facades of varying ages and views of the long-storied Brighton and Manhattan Beaches are players in this saga, just like the vintage trains themselves. Time marches on
The magic of the annual Dance Parade lies in its diversity and inclusiveness. Performers of dance traditions from around the world travel from all corners of the USA to troop their colors and celebrate their traditions with New Yorkers. A large swath of downtown yields to this colorful onslaught of energy and spirit.
In my humble opinion, the parade is a national treasure, the best free entertainment available and a means of opening the eyes of thousands to new cultures.
Here are some shots of children dancing down Union Square West in the Parade.
Demonstrating that men dance too, here are some powerful male performers.
Strong, beautiful women of all kinds shined as well.
Long live the New York City Dance Parade and Festival!
I am not a portrait-taker. Despite the fact that I am usually attuned to scenes and cityscapes as subjects for my photos, sometimes faces find their way in in meaningful ways. In response to WordPress’s photo challenge this week, I have chosen these few shots to honor the faces in the crowd.