Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Morning Walk #63

67 degrees and 63% humidity

A human waffle

A human cup of coffee

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Morning Walk #62 - SoHo, West Village

67 degrees and 61% humidity

Another quiet day in the city. Has everyone left early for those August vacations?

Lots of restaurants with plenty of places to sit

It is amazing how quickly the neighborhoods change block by block...commercial, residential, rundown, chi-chi

I thought I had headed towards unknown areas but I found some familiarity

The Beasty Feast sounded like an interesting restaurant till I got closer and saw that it was a business for pets

The Sweetery Food Truck parked near the Rickshaw Dumplings truck

A stop at a post office with a seriously helpful person at the counter

The meatpacking district has little to do with meat any more but in 1900 was home to 250 slaughterhouses and packing plants. Prior to that after the Civil War it became more about manufacturing with turpentine and camphene distilleries.  These businesses called for a railroad which was later elevated as the High Line to transport goods.  After a decline and some less savory businesses it has become home to some expensive designer clothes boutiques and restaurants.

Getting tired of those last few blocks to home.  North, south, east or west...they've all become very familiar so I have to look harder for something different

Steps: 6573

Monday, July 29, 2013

Morning Walk #61 - Stuyvesant Square Park

This is a bread delivery at a restaurant that doesn't open for breakfast and apparently doesn't care to pay someone to be there to accept an early morning delivery. I wonder how many days the bread is stolen.

69 degrees & 92% humidity

A quiet Monday morning

Block after block of trucks for a shoot of the TV show "White Collar"

Lots of dog walkers in Stuyvesant Square Park

Many benches are a little wet

A woman with wet hair drops a bag of trash in the corner public trash container on her way to work

A coffee mug in a store window says Good Morning A**hole

A food truck called Carpe Donut.  I did not carpe but I wanted to

Across the street another food truck called Think Different

Office workers bustling

Construction workers lifting and hauling

Steps: 7865

Friday, July 26, 2013

Morning Walk # 60 - Riverwalk

68 degrees, gray & 69% humidity

There are so many runners on the riverwalk that it's hard to be a walker

A 2 person kayak going upriver

A tiny glimpse of blue sky through the gray clouds

A stop at the bench to read email but the runners are practically running into my knees

Heading back past 1800-something residences with lace curtains in the windows

A father riding a bike with a helmeted toddler strapped on --- also guiding a dog by the leash

Another father with a fancy seat for his helmeted son...a pedestrian talking to the father about the seat as they pass

Stepping carefully across cobblestone streets

Back to the neighborhood

My 60th morning walk means 12 weeks of weekday walks.  Can't believe I've stuck to it.

Steps: 6961

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Morning Walk #59 - West Village

Surprise!  It's 66 degrees, gray and 53% humidity!

Still 84 degrees in my apartment...

Lots of bikes parked outside the fitness center

The Second Cemetery of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, 1805 - 1829, on West 11th Street.  I've seen the Third Cemetery but not this tiny triangular one.  Apparently it was bigger until some graves were moved uptown to make way for the continuance of 11th Street.

The fountain and sprinklers are running in Washington Square Park

A bust of Alexander Lyman Holley (1832 - 1882) says "In Honor of Alexander Lyman Holley Foremost Among Those Whose Genius and Energy Established in America and Improved Throughout the World The Manufacture of Bessemer Steel - This Memorial is Erected by Engineers of Two Hemispheres."

Two questions:  Why is this Brooklyn resident immortalized in this particular location in Washington Square Park?  And how many of the engineers of 2 hemispheres decided on and/or erected this monument?

It still amazes me that whole neighborhoods of the West Village could be used as sets of movies and television shows set in the 1830's to the 1880's just by removing the cars parked on the streets.

Speaking of television, I walked by a recent shoot for the show "Elementary"

Walked past 75 1/2 Bedford Street, said to be the smallest house in NYC at 9 feet 6 inches wide.  It was home to Edna St. Vincent Millay from 1923 - 1924 and later to Margaret Mead.

Who would have guessed that the Maine-born Millay would be named in part after St. Vincent's Hospital where her uncle's life was saved shortly before her birth.  Unfortunately St. Vincent's Hospital's life was recently extinguished and new construction marks the spot.

This is my 100th post...not so long in the blogworld...but still hard to believe I've kept at it this long.

Steps: 7825

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Morning Walk #58 - Union Square Park

76 degrees and 78% humidity

The liquor store tells me to "Do Something Extraordinary"

Office Furniture Heaven is "Where a steal is not a sin"

More people sleeping in the park than usual. Not looking like homeless people...just people stretching out for a nap with their backpacks as pillows

Lots of birds but the squirrels are scarce this morning

A kid walks shirt and his pants hanging just below his butt so he has to hold them up to his blue jockey shorts.  I thought this fad was fading away...

Dumping the compost and buying some vegetables at the GreenMarket...a pile of kirbies will be pickles soon

The Wing'n It food truck - apparently known for their wings but selling veggie wraps and oatmeal for breakfast.  Their words of wisdom: A man without ambition is like a bird without wings"

My heavy backpack turns out to only be 21 pounds (felt like 100!)

Steps: 8639

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Morning Walk #57 - Madison Square Park

But have fun!

74 degrees & 93% humidity

Slightly wet sidewalks

Barry's Bootcamp has a sign saying 1 hour 1000 calories

Abracadabra Magic Shop also has a sign saying "Great American Masquerade Gag, Gift & Gadget Shop Inc."

Next door is the Showbiz Store & Café

The Rhong Tiam restaurant suggests you "Express your inner Thai"

The 1892 Church Missions House was designed for the Episcopal Church with Flemish & Dutch architectural touches. It now houses the Federation of Protestant Welfare ornate building for social services

The benches are damp in Madison Square park

An NYPD SUV with red lights flashing drives slowly through the park

Steps: 8010

Monday, July 22, 2013

Morning Walk #56 - SoHo, West Village

Wall art in the projects

76 degrees and 78% humidity

The Holland Tunnel was started in 1920 and opened in 1927. It was the first of its kind at the time. It connects Manhattan with Jersey City by going through the bedrock under the Hudson River. (I don't like to think about this when traveling through the tunnel.) It also had an innovative ventilation system at the time which directs air in at road level and removes exhaust at the ceiling. The fans remove the air every 90 seconds.  It was named after its first engineer who died before completion of the project.

The Grand Sichuan restaurant offering a "holiday special" on lobster....just not sure what the holiday is...

Houston looked like a historic place till I got up close. Instead it's a beer hall and a new one at that though the interior is old timey looking.

McCarthy Square - an odd shaped tiny parcel of land (.04 acre) with a flagpole that was originally located at the 1939 World's Fair in Queens. It's named for the first Greenwich Village resident to die in World War II.  Bernard Joseph McCarthy, a marine, was killed at Guadalcanal in 1942.

Steps: 6006

Friday, July 19, 2013

Morning Walk #55

75 degrees & 84% humidity

These morning temperatures have been the lowest of the day although the humidity always makes it feel hotter.  By afternoon, it has been 90-something every day!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Morning Walk #50 - Bok Tower

81 degrees, cloudy, 83% humidity

A walk around Bok Tower and Gardens.

Not too crowded so the docents were eager to talk

Peaceful and serene

Lots of greenery

A carillon concert

A thundershower while standing under the branches of a tree

Steps: 5997

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Morning Walk #49 - Hello Florida

83 degrees, sunny and 86% humidity

You would think I would go somewhere cooler

Quiet neighborhoods

Palm trees and Spanish moss

Brief thunderstorms

Increasing temperature

Steps:  5997

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Morning Walk #48 - LGA

78 degrees, still humid & hazy

Okay, I didn't walk TO LaGuardia airport but I've walked around in it a bit

Friendly and helpful cab driver

What did I forget? My suitcase only weighed 30 lbs

Early afternoon flights are apparently a good time to fly...hardly any waiting

So glad I don't have to entertain a child at the airport and on the plane

Plenty of children will be on this flight

No working drinking fountains in this wing

Every available electric plug is in use with some kind of charger

Time to board (I hope)

Steps: 3104

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Morning Walk #47 - Hudson Riverwalk

75 degrees, hazy sun, 73% humidity

A garden at the projects...full of plastic animals...a man tells me he is the landscaper of the garden and LOVES it.  He's 65 and has lived in the building for 44 years.  He offers to unlock the gate so I can take better photos (well...closer photos...better is not always in the cards for me)

These city owned apartment houses built in 1965 are now surrounded by expensive stores and restaurants as the area gentrifies

The Church of the Guardian Angel was founded in 1888 to minister to the workers at the Hudson River waterfront. The current 1930 Romanesque building is decorated with both religious sculpture and some gargoyles that seem in conflict with the message.

The waterfront is peaceful with only the chirping of birds and the occasional boat or helicopter buzzing by

The waves are gentle but the moored yachts rock from some mysterious underwater action

A woman walks backward down the pier. I later try the same. It uses a whole different set of muscles

I dig a glow necklace from between the slats of the boardwalk. It is stamped "Macy's Fireworks 2013"

The Chelsea Piers are hopping this morning with children's activities.  Twenty-some little kids (mostly boys) line up in t-shirts saying Chelsea Piers Golf Camp

On the way back there are lots of people on their way to amazing amount of them going in and coming out of coffee shops

The ever present construction sites have been in full swing for hours

A lone man pushes a wheelbarrow full of wet cement

Steps: 7565

Monday, July 8, 2013

Morning Walk #46 - SoHo

Interesting ad campaign for SoHo NYC

74 degrees, sunny, 76% humidity

I could feel a slight coolness and 74 degrees should be perfect but still that humidity!

Took the train to an appointment in SoHo which ended up to be just barely in SoHo and not as far as I thought so I walked home afterwards

Unfortunately my route was kind of boring while I stuck to the shady side of the streets

A man is looking for Bleecker.  We are both confused by the diagonal streets.

A tiny triangular park...some trees and a few benches

A sparrow gobbles up an insect

A statue of General Jose Artigas (1764 - 1850) - the National Hero of Uruguay - not entirely sure why there is a statue of him in NYC

The Gourmet Garage does not sound like an inviting place to shop for food

And do I want to eat at the Galway Hooker?

Steps:  7822

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sign Advice

...because the police don't have anything better to do than to ask people not to sit in front of your door!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Morning Walk #45 - Chelsea & Union Square Park

77 degrees, sunny, 84% humidity

Still quiet in the city but quite a few people pulling suitcases behind them

The 1904 YMCA longer the Y but there is still a 3 floor gym

Dogs barking at the doggy day care center

A car with the license plate "Jesus365"

A runner stops me to ask directions to Times Square

The park is not the cool oasis I'd hoped

The GreenMarket comes to life with the Dancing Ewe Farm and Berried Treasures

A man says hello, introduces himself (Horace) and talks and talks

Some trash bags on the street are labeled "rodent repellant trash bags"

Steps: 6473

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Morning Walk # 44 - Hudson Riverwalk & West Village

75 degrees, gray clouds, 93% humidity

Some of the tall buildings have lost their tops in the low hanging clouds it quiet in the city!

I've never noticed the Tipsy Parson but then I see that it is on the fishmonger's block that I usually avoid for the odor...they seem to be closed today

Cushman Row - 7 Greek Revival brownstones built in 1840 across from Clement Clarke Moore's Seminary

Heading over to the Riverwalk at Chelsea Piers only to discover it's blocked off and closed...a park employee telling runners to exit.  Probably closed for fireworks preparation but disappointing anyway

Turning south, the Riverwalk is much quieter than usual

A black SUV driven by an NYPD officer drives behind a runner on the Riverwalk.  Is he trying to get through or providing protection for the runner?

A young man riding a bike - smiling and singing "I don't care" over and over

A lone man standing on a paddleboard...paddling his way up the Hudson

A red tugboat, a barge and a few pleasure boats but no high speed ferries

A young man says "Happy 4th of July" to everyone he passes

Cutting back over through the West Village

A stop for bread at the coldest grocery store in Manhattan.  The windows are covered with condensation.  As I exit my glasses steam up. It takes 3 blocks for them to clear up.

Bits of blue sky peeking through the gray clouds

Happy Independence Day!

Steps: 8282

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Morning Walk #43 - Flatiron District & Madison Square Park

Best idea yet for people with brown thumbs - plant a big rock in your planter!  If you want some color just paint it! (Of course, those stubborn weeds may still grow around it.)

73 degrees, hazy and 87% humidity

A street cleaner truck is stopped at a corner as I walk a couple blocks towards it.  Naturally it decides to honk when I step into the street.

An impromptu PVC pipe drains water from somewhere high above...maybe from a scary source

Looking at the sidewalk vault lights on 19th & Fifth.  These little thick glass lenses were put in sidewalks to allow daylight through to the basements below.  I've seen the prisms used on old sailing
ships also.

Quote on a Spa sign:  "Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you" - Rumi.  The first service listed on the sign is the colonic followed by other de-tox services.

Two men doing tai chi in the park...not together.  One man's routine is interrupted when he stops to take a phone call.

A park employee with fire engine red hair sets up tables

Most of the city parks have a closing time...10pm, midnight, 1am.  Some have gates that can be locked, others have barricades that are moved in.  Many have tables and chairs that are stacked and locked together every night...then redistributed every morning.  The daily process provides jobs but would it be cheaper to risk theft?

Many stores advertise 4th of July sales.  I know when I think of the 4th of July I immediately think of shopping for bargains.

Many people will have a day off tomorrow but I don't see the anticipation in their faces

Steps: 7426

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Morning Walk #42 - Penn Station & the High Line

Yikes! Who put Jesus in a cage?

74 degrees, gray, 90% humidity

It really seems that a lot of people must have taken this entire week off for vacation because they aren't on the streets

Heading to Penn Station to satisfy a craving.  Have been unable to find a simple chocolate glazed donut in my neighborhood for a week.  I don't often have donuts but I can't get it out of my it's a trip to Krispy Kreme

Quite a few people waiting for trains...commuters, travelers, a man in fatigues

The air conditioner is helped by huge fans around the waiting area

I score at the Krispy Kreme booth but will save it for later

An NYPD sergeant carrying a duffle bag emblazoned "NYPD Traffic Intelligence". Really?

Over to the High Line at 30th...still nasty construction at street level and it takes one traffic officer and 3 construction people to get pedestrians across the street

On the High Line level I can see the work being done on the last portion of the elevated railroad tracks.  This will be the only east-west portion of the High Line.  Still lots to do.

The greenery has grown in well since my last visit but a newly chopped off tree branch sits along the path

A man with his baby strapped to his chest walks back and forth

A woman drops to the ground and does some exercises...kind of in the way of the passing walkers

More recycling and trash bins and the neighboring construction gets higher floor by floor

Strange to walk back home without encountering hoards of kids on their way to school

Steps: 7495

Monday, July 1, 2013

Morning Walk #41 - Stuyvesant Park

74 degrees, gray and, yes, still humid

Another Monday with people looking sorry to greet it (even with a holiday looming)

The Pride parade route looks pretty cleaned up with stacks of barricades ready to be picked up...though some side streets have accumulated more than the usual amount of litter

There are fewer squirrels in Stuyvesant Park than Union Square Park and fewer passersby also...maybe the neighborhood is on vacation already

A woman with an upswept hairdo wearing a white tank top and long peach skirt looks cool while she sits on a bench and talks on the phone.  She passes by me when she finishes her long call and I see the large tattoo of the comedy and tragedy masks on her neck

I think of the 1890's photos I've seen with women in long sleeved shirts and long skirts throughout the summer.  Modesty prevented cooler clothes and probably contributed to fainting spells.  And now even the women who have most skin covered are wearing skin tight clothes that leave little to the imagination

I stop at the GreenMarket to dump my compost.  A man peers in the compost barrels and then pulls out a professional looking camera with a serious lens for a compost photo shoot

In store windows I see the reflection of my humidity influenced (scary) hairdo

Steps: 7683