Friday, May 31, 2013

Morning Walk #20 - Irving Place & Union Square

There's something interesting about an ornate staircase seen through the windows (Siegel - Cooper Building, 1896)

Sunny & 75 degrees

A woman tries to hail a cab as cab after cab passes by. Lucky 13 stops to pick her up. Who knew it would be so hard to catch a cab at 7am?

The Hellmuth Building (1906) originally housed Mr. Hellmuth's printing ink company.

Across the street is the Altman Building (1896) - built as stables for the delivery horses and carriages servicing B. Altman's customers.

An 1894 firehouse is ornate in architectural detail but the arched bay is narrow for today's fire engines.

An 1885 bust of Washington Irving (1783 - 1859) looks over Irving Place

Park benches are full of people on a warm morning

A delivery guy sits on a bench reading his phone with catering boxes of some company's breakfast standing on a dolly next to him

A thin, stooped backpacker walks by with his straining at the seams huge backpack weighing him down

An older man sits on a bench eating a quart container of cantaloupe chunks. When it's empty he starts on a banana

A woman on her cellphone sternly lectures the father of her daughter on the behavior required of him if he wishes to see said daughter

Dropping off compost and buying vegetables at the GreenMarket

A jagged hunk of sidewalk leaps up to trip me.  I stumble but (surprisingly) find my balance before stumble becomes tumble.  I announce to the world "Wow! Good recovery!"

A woman pushes her puppy - bow and all - in a doggie stroller

Steps: 7384

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Morning Walk #19 - Chelsea & Hudson Riverwalk

Next door to Heavenly Bodyworks, an auto body shop

Sunny and humid! I guess it's always humid in the morning but this was intense

Just noticed that the renovations being done to Clement Clarke Moore's seminary was actually the development of the Highline Hotel in some of the original gothic buildings

Another small construction site must be bigger than it looks because it's a 4 porta-potty site

At the riverwalk lots of purple plants in bloom

The biggest dandelion plants I've ever seen

Huge bees buzzing around flowers

A police boat pulling a smaller silver boat on the river

Lots of boats this morning in addition to ferries - a barge and its' tugboat, pleasure craft and a kayak

A runner passes by with music so loud he must be hearing impaired

The Frederic Fleming House - originally a 1920's residence for "wage earning young women" now a residence for formerly homeless individuals

Chelsea Community Church welcomes people of all faiths and of uncertain faith


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Sculpture: Nose Job

Andra Ursuta's "Nose Job"
Nothing like a nose job on the High Line!

Morning Walk #18 - Madison Square Park

The Flatiron peeking through the trees on another gray morning

I expected rain but it was humid, gray and dry

License plates on cars parked within 2 blocks of my neighborhood: FL, NJ, CT, PA, NH, WA, TX and, of course, NY

Then a plate with a "PSY" insignia...I was ready to go gangnum style but it's probably a doctor designation

7am kickboxing class in the studio window

Victorian architecture intrigues me although I generally prefer plain and simple

I find a dryish bench in the park

A squirrel sits beside me and tries to get into my bag when he thinks I'm not looking

A man with brown suede slip on shoes, no socks, black slacks and a navy sportcoat

One lone jogger, an older man, circles the park

The oak tree replanted from the estate of President James Madison in 1936 on the centennial of Madison Avenue

A grocery stop on the way back

Steps: 6199

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Morning Walk #17 - Hudson Riverwalk & the High Line

I appreciate people who name their trees

Perfect weather: cool & sunny

People already heading for the High Line

A new sculpture has appeared along the now familiar Riverwalk

Lots of staff in golf carts & and cute Toro mini-pickups

Most of the joggers run solo but today there were 2 sets of 2

Walking back through the brownstone lined streets

And up to the High Line at Gansevoort

Workers changing or repairing one of the wood chaises

I try one's not comfortable

The 17th Street tenants flower garden could use some work

Amazing fanciful paintings on the walls at the playground

Steps: 5825

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day

My grandma always called it Decoration Day.  Although it came to be called Memorial Day after World War II, the name didn't officially change until 1967.

Since the Civil War this day has been set aside to honor the military personnel who have died in the service of our country.

Rest in peace.

Morning Walk #16 - Union Square Park, West Village

Pigeon cozies up to me, hoping for a handout but turns shy when the camera comes out

Cool but sunny. I can finally wear the sunglasses again!

Breaking in some new walking shoes

Positive thinking when naming your business: Excel Dentistry & Good Restaurant

A doorman watering the sidewalk agrees with me that it is very quiet this morning

A dog decides to do his business in the middle of the crosswalk as the light changes.  He won't move.  His panicked owner waves her arms and mouths "I'm sorry" to those driving around them. Not even the cabdrivers honk. Business done. Walk resumed. Light changes. A lone turd lies in the middle of the crosswalk.

A very small GreenMarket with very light traffic

Fresh vegetables loaded into the Jean Georges restaurant van

I add my compost to a nearly empty container

Gandhi who has been walking Union Square since 1986 currently occupies a lush corner thanks to the rain

Steps: 7610

Sunday, May 26, 2013


The bikes are here! The rent-a-bike program is almost ready. Citibike has been installing the bike racks all over town for weeks and the bikes have been arriving this weekend. Tomorrow is the big day for annual pass holders.  Weekly and daily users will have to wait a bit longer.

I'm really interested to see how the program works.  I am probably afraid to ever try riding a bike in the city but I am ready to watch!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Morning Walk #15 - Chelsea Piers

Surprisingly, no rain yet again in a week with predicitons for morning rains 4 out of 5 weekdays

Heading towards Chelsea Piers for possible shelter in case of a downpour

A memorial of candles, flowers and photos along a chain link fence

A large bronze plaque for Mayor George B. McClellan Jr. (son of the Civil War general) 1904 - 1909. He was responsible for the building of the Chelsea Piers as well as much other construction in NYC including Grand Central Terminal. 

Signs for the High School for Public Service Prom

The area north of Chelsea Piers is quiet with few people

A woman holding what looks like a large pink flower above her head with arms outstretched. It turns out to be a pink umbrella - not opened completely but no clue as to why she is holding it like that.

Always amazing to find parks, playgrounds, and playing fields tucked in between high rise buildings

Old 19th century buildings reborn in the 21st century

A sign for the Susan B. Anthony Real Estate Company...apparently not named for the famed Miss Susan B. but a modern day woman of the same name

A little girl in a gray pleated skirt runs on her orange scooter

A sign says the building on W. 22nd Street is the 1835 James N. Wells Mansion - it's not looking very mansion-y but interesting just the same.  Mr. Wells was instrumental in developing Clement Clarke Moore's Chelsea estate into lots (and making himself a lot of money).  The house became a home for the aged and is now 30 apartments.

Heading back home amid a sea of children heading every which way to school

Steps: 6168

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Morning Walk #14 - Hudson Riverwalk

70 degrees and the humidity is palpable

People wearing jackets are making me sweat

Closest highway crossing to the riverwalk is not pretty but there are some benches

Flowering shrubs growing next to and through chain link fences

Pier 54 - you can still make out the rusty traces of long removed letters for Cunard White Star

An older jogger looking like she's about to collapse but wearing a cute skirt over her tattoed legs

Scavenger checking the trash receptacles for cans and bottles

A line waiting for the use of Mr. John

Two men wearing fluorescent green shirts and red plaid kilts

A low marble wall - an AIDS memorial:  "I can sail without wind.  I can row without oars but I cannot part from my friend without tears."

River traffic is confined to ferries until finally...a barge escorted by a tug boat

Ducks and floating bottles - for some reason reminds me that my first childhood awareness of litter was trash in the lake

Walking back through streets of rowhouses

Looking at the very fashionable clothes in the window of a children's store

Finding my way back to my neighborhood

Steps: 5794

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wood & Steel Sculpture

Lotus 2013 by Jaehyo Lee at Union Square Park

Morning Walk #13 - West Village, Union Square Park & the GreenMarket

Finally! A bathroom just for me! And apparently one where I can lie down for a nap.

How can it be 59 degrees outside and 83 degrees in my apartment?

Another gray morning but glad to see no rain

A pile of empty clam shells in the street

A man and dogs playing in the storefront window at Biscuits and Bath

At the tiny park: no dogs allowed, no smoking, keep out of planted areas. I appreciate the sentiments but Wow! The negativity!

Dropping off my compost at the GreenMarket

Yay! First rhubarb sighting!

Ostrich jerky & bison jerky

8:24am - Picking up a prescription at the crowded drugstore

Admiring a large bottle of magic bubble making liquid

Coincidentally, seeing a man making bubbles on the corner of 6th & 23rd moments later

The Happy Child Transport bus: first person off, an unsteady elderly woman helped by not one but two people. I hope I'm a Happy Child when I reach her age!

Saying hello to those resting in peace in the Third Shearith Israel Cemetary (first burial in 1829 when 6th & 21st was considered the north edge of the city). It looks peaceful but not sure the dearly departed appreciate the modern hustle and bustle.

Steps:  8373

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Morning Walk #12 - Hudson Riverwalk & Abingdon Square

Mr. John arrives on the Riverwalk

The sun trying to peek through the mist

Roses blooming in front of the Department of Sanitation building

More women runners than men on the Riverwalk

Not many walkers

Man grabs tree trunk and runs round and round then reverses

Resting at Abingdon Square

Humidity + old joints = more sitting than walking today

On the sidewalk - teen boys procrastinating arrival at school

Steps:  5802

Monday, May 20, 2013

Morning Walk #11 - Madison Square Park

8:00am - Foggy and gray at Madison Square park
It rained most of the night but now it's just foggy and humid

The store windows reflect my hair getting exponentially larger in the high humidity

One lone robin scavenging for food with a pack of pigeons

Finding a dry spot on a bench - trying not to think about the homeless person who might have kept it dry

A squirrel hops up next to me on the bench maybe a foot away

Groups of people walk through the park after trains and buses arrive nearby

One lone man under his umbrella though there is neither rain nor sun

Watching the fog descend and the tops of the buildings disappear

A woman pushes her toddler in a stroller as he holds his bright yellow smiley face umbrella

Finding a single white flower in a plastic sleeve - maybe a boutonniere 

Steps:  7698

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Table & Chair Sculpture


I saw this on the Hudson Riverwalk at 29th Street. I saw chairs but apparently the artists, Allan Wexler and Ellen Wexler, saw tables because they named it Two Too Large Tables. I have nothing against tables but chairs will always have a special place in my heart!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Sculpture: Red, Yellow and Blue

Orly Genger's Red, Yellow and Blue can be seen in Madison Square Park. The sculpture is comprised of 1.4 million feet of knotted rope. Looks like a combination of macrame, knitting and crochet to me. Check it out until September 8.

Friday, May 17, 2013


Bench Predictions

Morning Walk #10 - Hudson Riverwalk & the High Line

8x10 photos posted on a plywood wall
On the sidewalk by 6:15am - an hour early - but the same amount of people out on a sunny day

A man carrying crutches

Always lots of traffic on the Westside Highway

Water ferries on the river

Joggers coming and going

One jogger stops suddenly to take a photo with her phone

The Statue of Liberty and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in the distance

A couple of people with impressive cameras

Helicopters arriving to & departing from the VIP Helioport

Walking through streets by construction sites with diverted pedestrian walkways

The 30th Street High Line entrance amid the construction

A landscaper watering plants with a watering can. It could take her days to water the whole High Line!

From the 26th Street Viewing Spur - school buses arriving below - every child wearing a backpack

Birds singing in the High Line trees

Steps: 7773

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Tulip Bondage

You lose your flower and you get tied up

Morning Walk #9 - West Village & Washington Square Park

Streetcleaner vehicles out in force

Seems like there is big construction every other block

Seems like there is a park every other block

Signs in parks: do not feed the pigeons, no skateboarding, no swimming in the fountains

A cop at an ATM

A man with a baby strapped to his chest, a dog leash in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other

A woman in a long flowered skirt with a very expanded purple suitcase

Another multi-tasking man, brown bag in hand, with a baby girl in a stroller and 2 dogs

Man riding lawnmower, no hands on the steering wheel...too busy texting

A green parks van emblazoned with "Mr. Playground" it wrong that my first thought was that sounds like a setup for child molestation?

A man walks out of his apartment building with a briefcase in one hand, a newspaper under one arm and a huge load of dry cleaning in the other arm.  Based on the checked sportcoat he was wearing I think he waited too long to get to the dry cleaners!

A man in a business suit and a woman in a hoodie kissing while her dog drops a load on the sidewalk

Steps: 7815

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Saving Bags

A long, long time ago in a decade far away...well, maybe the late 90's...I decided to keep track of how many lives of bags I was saving. I had been carrying a canvas tote with me at nearly all times and when I was specifically going grocery shopping I brought multiple bags. (I love totebags.)

In those days, it was often hard to convince people that I didn't want a bag, be it plastic or paper.  Occasionally I was told I HAD to take a bag if I wanted to take purchases out of the store. Sometimes a salesperson would keep putting an item in a bag "to protect" it no matter how much I protested.

A greater consciousness about saving the earth has made it easier to use alternate totes and leave the store bags in the store. However, sometimes it's still a work in progress. 

Yesterday the Trader Joe's cashier and I briefly discussed the song on the sound system.Then I produced my cloth bag and said I wanted to put other items in my backpack so I didn't have to take any of his bags. He agreed that saving bags was a good thing and remarked that he had a huge collection of plastic bags at home.

As he scanned items, he discovered that I had picked up a partially open package of chicken. I ran back to get another package which took me longer than expected while I dodged people and tried to get close to the chicken case. When I arrived back at the cash register I discovered that the cashier had bagged my ground beef, carton of eggs and bananas in separate produce bags (5 total). While I understand the impulse to bag meat - What part of "I don't want any of your bags" had he missed???

And saving those bags?...for three years (until we lost interest in tracking) my brother and I kept track of the bags we were saving by not taking the bags offered at the stores and shops. Each year we came in just under 600 bags for the two of us - 596, 599, 598. I don't know why we couldn't hit 600 but regardless, that's a lot of bag lives saved!

Morning Walk #8 - GreenMarket

Multi-level bike parking on the Do Not Enter sign

Plastic catering trays of fruit & brownies in Jackson Square - an offering for the hungry

Teenager holding a lit cigarette - wavering between defiant and uneasy

Business suit clad man hails a cab which stops then takes off immediately

Halfway up the same block a cab stops and attempts to solicit me as the next fare

Older, frail woman leans heavily on a cane while her leashed dog tries to pull her along

Middle-aged woman using a cane sees her bus and takes off running with the cane held aloft

Homeless man tucked behind a mesh screen at a construction site - he's propped up on the ground reading a magazine as if he's reading in bed.  I guess he is.

Graffiti message on a table top leaning against a building: F*** School!

Restaurant staff shopping for fresh vegetables at the GreenMarket. (I hope they change their white chef's coats when they get back.)

Mountain Sweet Berry Farm selling only ramps - a lot of ramps

Park cleaning crew hanging out in a group of 5 - chatting much, working little

A woman calls to her curious dog, "Come on Sniffy Snifferson!"

Steps:  8784

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Morning Walk #7 - West Village & Hudson Riverwalk

If you have to have scaffolding in front of your building you might as well decorate the posts with twigs and twinkle lights!

Bright sun & 42 degrees
I tried to head south but was drawn to the west
Streets paved with bricks are quaint but look like a sprained ankle waiting to happen
Interesting shop names - Splendid Dry Cleaners, Mint Julep, End of History
Lots of joggers
A group running through exercises at Pier 45
Trash floating together along the pier - styrofoam cups, a water bottle, 2 volleyballs, a 3 ft molded plastic case
Ducks swimming through the weathered wooden pillings
Cars being towed - women pulling rolling suitcases - people hailing cabs
Steps:  6309

Monday, May 13, 2013

Tribute to a Pet

On a bench in Madison Square Park
Is it a coincidence that these paw prints were in front of this bench?

Morning Walk #6 - High Line

Sunny and 47 degrees.  I'll take it!

Monday morning blues.  People look like they are having a tough time getting the work week started.

I've lost my walking stamina.

The High Line opens at 7am.  That's when it's not busy.

Landscapers on the High Line with wheelbarrows and lawnmowers

Runners and power walkers

A woman with a cup of coffee in one hand, pushing her baby in a stroller with the other

Is the 26th Street Viewing Spur for High Liners to view the street level or for the street level to view the High Liners?

New buildings going up very close to the High Line.  Some views will be lost and parts of the High Line will be in a concrete canyon.

A little boy with a big backpack and an orange scooter

Asphalt patching on the block

Steps:  6143

Sunday, May 12, 2013


The decal on the door indicates that this is a bus!


Saturday, May 11, 2013

American Museum of Natural History

It was nice to see the Museum again.  I was last there 9 years ago.  Non-flash photography is difficult but the dinosaurs had the best light.


There were several groups of school kids and some of the rooms magnified the sounds of lots of excited kids.

Really seeing the sizes of some of the dinosaurs is amazing.  There were also stories of the changing ideas about various species due to continuing research.

And I think that some of the science fiction movie makers must have gotten ideas from the various creatures and cultures portrayed in the museum because they are oddly familiar!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Sidewalk Musings

For rats only...or at least for those that can read

Morning Walk #5 - Madison Square Park

Dead trees make me sad

There is always construction noise in the city

There are always people walking dogs

And sometimes dogs walking people

I like Madison Square Park (1847)

I like that it has been used as a public space since 1686

Squirrels like Madison Square Park

I like grass and trees

I'm allergic to grass and trees

But I still like them

Steps:  6587

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Sidewalk Musings

On the sidewalk next to a church 

Morning Walk #4 - Hudson Riverwalk

Mist and rain off and on

The city that never sleeps looks sleepy at 7am

Stinky fish deliveries at the fish monger's

Becoming addicted to the Hudson River

The walkways and landscaping along the river where the dilapidated waterfront used to be

Clement Clark Moore's General Theological Seminary (1827)

The greenery looking lush around the Seminary

Steps:  5435

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Small business - Scrap Metal

In the mornings on my way to work, I used to see the man with this homemade wagon.  Interesting idea for making money in the Manhattan though it looks like a lot of work to me.  This morning I saw the wagon chained to a bike rack not far from where I live.

Morning Walk #3 - Chelsea Piers

Frank Gehry's IAC Building
Gray, rainy day (recordbreaking 3.04 inches)

Singing in the rain

A film crew parking trucks & trailers next to the projects in Chelsea

Colorful umbrellas (which is unusual in NYC's sea of black)

Fog over the Hudson River

Taking shelter in Chelsea Piers and studying the history wall

Deep puddles at all the storm drains

Teenagers walking into school with wet pant legs up to their knees

Little kids happy to be in their raincoats and rubber boots

Steps: 5102

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Morning Walk #2 - Gramercy Park & Union Square Park

On a bench in Union Square Park

Men in business suits walking their kids to school
Pete's Tavern, established 1864
Various architecture from multiple decades as well as multiple centuries
The myserious and slightly creepy Gramercy Park (which was a swamp till 1833)
The Brotherhood Synagogue in the former Friends Meeting House (1859) which was a stop on the Underground Railroad
A man in a business suit performing Tai Chi in Union Square Park
Squirrels running up and down the mostly vacant park benches
A park employee rousting sleeping people on the benches
The Henry Kirke Brown statue of Abraham Lincoln cast in bronze in 1868

Steps:  7125

Monday, May 6, 2013

Morning Walk #1 - Hudson Riverwalk

Abandoned on the riverside

Overcast skies above the Hudson River.

Rotting wooden pilings in the river.
A woman doing Tai Chi in an otherwise deserted playground.
A pigeon landing 3 feet in front of me to preen.
An older runner looking like he's about to collapse but still putting one foot in front of the other.
Vans loading and unloading in the meatpacking district.
A cleaning woman dusting the display computers at the Apple store.
The smell of bread baking at Subway.
Steps:  5105

Friday, May 3, 2013

Springtime on the High Line

I live pretty close to the High Line though I don't take advantage of it as often as I should.  I think it's a miracle of adaptive reuse.  I remember what the abandoned railway looked like in all it's rusty glory.  From a nearby building I once looked down on the grass and weeds growing wild.  In 2009, a crumbling railway was reborn and opened as a living city park.

The mid-1800's railroad along the west side of Manhattan was elevated in the 1930's after a history of hazards to life and traffic in the city.  The train ran up along and sometimes into buildings along the route as it made stops as needed.   By the 1950's highways were replacing railroads for transporting goods but the trains ran along the High Line till 1980. 

There are always lots of visitors to view the scenes throughout the changing seasons.  There are interesting art displays throughout the length of the park.  I could use a little more shade but that would have its' problems.

My favorite parts are areas where you can see the plants and trees growing in and around the railroad tracks.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Luckiest People in the World - Mythbusters

Every so often I see people and think they must be some of the luckiest people in the world.  Usually it's because I think they are living their dreams...I don't necessarily want to be them I just give them a hand for following their dreams!

Today I nominate the Mythbusters crew as some of the Luckiest People in the World.  Jamie and Adam have had full and varied careers prior to embarking on ten years of mythbusting.  They have the background and the knowledge to pull off all sorts of feats to test myths and urban legends and it seems that the Discovery Channel is willing to support them in their quests.  And they get to blow stuff up!  (Don't try this at home!)

So I nominate Jamie, Adam, Tory, Kari and Grant as some of the Luckiest People in the World.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Instant Playground

NYC knows how to use space where real estate is limited.  There is a school way down towards the background of this photo.  It doesn't have much outdoor space for kids to play during recess.  H'mmm.  What to do?  How about a couple of barricades to stop traffic and a Street Closed sign in the middle?  And my mom used to tell me not to play in the street.