Sunlight and Taxis

via Daily Prompt: Yellow

As a New Yorker, I will forever associate YELLOW with sunlight cutting through and bouncing off of buildings, and of course, with taxis.

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An Upper East Side street, as seen from the Roosevelt Island Tram

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Tree(s) Grow in the Bronx (Riverdale)

This is a mini post to serve as an update to last summer’s chronicle of my trip to The Bronx’s Grand Concourse neighborhood. Two friends and I recently went back to the area, braving the January chill to climb the many hills of Riverdale in the Northwest Bronx.

It was a great escape, we felt like we had travelled Upstate, but in fact we never left New York City.  There’s a lovely, leafy suburban vilkage feeling to the place, even in the dead of winter.

If  you go, I recommend fortifying yourself at Tin Marin, where you can enjoy tasty tapas and drinks in avrelaxed setting. http://www.tinmarintapas.com

New Second Avenue Subway Stations Offer a Top Notch Art Experience for $2.75 or Less

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A few of Vik Muniz’s “characters,” or people seen riding the subway, from actual photos

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The dawn of a new year has brought considerable excitement to residents of Manhattan’s storied Upper East Side, to Q line subway  riders (myself included), to transit enthusiasts, and to admirers of public and contemporary art (me again!).

The multi-billion Second Avenue Subway project, decades in the making, opened with a bang on New Years Day 2017, debuting a reconfigured 63rd and Lexington Avenue Station, and three bright and spacious new stations at 72nd Street, 86th Street and 96th Street and Second Avenue, all serviced by the Q train.

It’s not often that we New Yorkers feel good about our subway stations, but what I saw blew me away.  I won’t go into great detail*, as much has already been written, but will share some images of the permanent art on display.

Over the last 20+ years, commissioned public art has become much more commonplace in the City’s transit hubs.  The art is usually added to rehabilitated stations.  This time, the art and the stations where designed with each other in mind and the result is stunning!

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Sarah Sze’s monumental “Blueprint for a Landscape” at the 96th Street station

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Some of the murals and mosaics can be viewed by simply entering the stations before one reaches the turnstiles, like this one, by Chuck Close.

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To see all of the art work, one can pay only $2.75, ride up to 96th Street, and then visit each stop: 86th, 72nd and 63rd  on the way back downtown. There’s no need to pay $25 to visit a local art museum!

The slideshow below features images by Chuck Close at the 86th Street Station

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Kudos to all who worked to complete these stations.  They are worth a visit!

*For more on the history of the Second Avenue Subway: http://nyti.ms/2iGcmey

Season’s Greetings

As we gather together at the end of a troubled year, I wish to offer this sentiment:

Attempt to up-cycle the past, reconstructing it into something more positive and shining in 2017.  Hug your friends and family, note your recent accomplishments, and be glad!

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A light fixture made of upcycled auto tail lights illuminates the Montreal Science Centre

Daily Prompt: Missing

via Daily Prompt: Missing

Missing/Loss

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.

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Scenes from Brooklyn’s Beach Avenues

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.

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Swans in Motion, Sheepshead Bay

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Rocks at the Seawall

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Sheepshead Bay

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Ropes by the Bay

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Track Practice, Oriental Boulevard

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Residential Manhattan Beach/Oriental Blvd

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Brighton Beach, LIttle Russia By the Sea

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Brighton Beach Avenue under the Elevated Tracks

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Brighton Beach Elevated at Sundown

 

Quest: For Old New York

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.

The weekly theme is ‘quest’.

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Yonah Schimmel’s Knishery, Established 1911

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Old New York Favorites the Knish and the Egg Cream are Joined Here by Borscht

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Block’s Drug Store- a True Time Warp

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Memorabilia at Yonah’s

A Tree Grows in The Bronx

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.

Trees definitely grow in the Bronx!

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Admire- Creativity

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!

The garage's neighbor.

Painted house on a commercial street

 

Puppeteer and Puppet, San Telmo.

Puppeteer and Puppet, San Telmo.

Detail of painted house

Detail of painted house

Ostrich Feather man- see lots of these.

Ostrich Feather man- see lots of these.

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Tango Band- Ciudad Baigon?

 

 

 

Admire

Summer in the City: a Mobile Phone Photo Tour

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, Rubin Museum Block Party

Performers at the Rubin Museum’s Block Party

6th Avenue Mural

A New Mural on 6th Avenue

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The Rubin Museum drew large crowds for its Block Party and open house

Dancing, Pier 45

Dancing on a Pier in the West Village

Dancing at Sundown, Long Island City

And Now Dancing in Long Island City Queens

Dancing, Long Island City, view of Chrysler and Empire State buildings

Dancers with Manhattan as a Backdrop

View of Manhattan from Long Island City, at Sundown

Sundown as seen from Long Island City

Thunderstorm looming over Queens

A Thunderstorm Looms Over Queens

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The Rose Garden at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

The Beach at Coney Island

Cooling Off at a Brooklyn Beach

July 3rd Fireworks, Coney Island

Weekend Fireworks at Coney Island

At MCU Park, Cyclones Game, Brooklyn

Americana Glore at a Brooklyn Cyclones Game

New York Aquarium, Seal Show

Enjoying a Sea Lion Show at the New York Aquarium, Coney Island