Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Anniversary

I arrived in New York City on Halloween a couple decades ago. To honor this anniversary I offer a quote from John Updike.

"The true New Yorker secretly believes that people living anywhere else have to be, in some sense, kidding."

Morning Walk #129 - Cloudy Halloween

67 degrees & 77% humidity

Lots of barricades in the Village in preparation for this evening's Halloween Parade. The parade was started 40 years ago as a safe Halloween walk for some children in the Village. It's a huge event now. Anyone in costume can participate. Last year's parade was canceled due to Hurricane Sandy so everyone will be happy to have it back.

A sign proclaims November 2 as National Family Pajamas Night

Filming for Hostages has taken place most of the week using the Serbian Church as a holding area and restroom stop. Interesting...since Hostages is set in Washington DC

A woman picking up acorns in the park

Leaves falling off the trees one after the other

No children in costume this morning but one little girl was being escorted to school by her father who had a knife through his head. She was just young enough to not be embarrassed by that!

Happy Halloween!

Steps: 6899

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Morning Walk #128 - Urban Fall

47 degrees & 68% humidity

A little darker but a little warmer this morning

Not thinking I'll try out a hair salon called Cowlicks

A woman vacuuming the elevator...maybe not such a good idea to have carpeting in the elevator anyway

A little dog wearing a black & white polka dot dress with orange ruffles

Two dog walkers in the park stop to discuss their own individual physical therapies

A little girl with her silver glittery shoes

An Escalade parked by the park...shaking from the loud music within

Steps: 7481

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Morning Walk #127 - Daybreak

44 degrees & 55% humidity

Last week of daylight savings and the mornings are darker every day

A sidewalk fruit stand with empty boxes thrown across the entire bike lane

A man with a sign "Lost all my stuff..." At least, he didn't lose the iPhone he's using to stream music

Tiny school kids with their huge backpacks

A little girl in her faux leopard coat hugging her brown teddy bear tightly

Steps: 5870

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Birthday Tag

I made a clean and simple gift tag for a green loving friend.
Happy Birthday, Deanne!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Morning Walk #125 - Frozen Face

Apparently "Rebirth is Possible" - the benches told me so.

41 degrees (feels like 38) and 64% humidity

I was dressed warmly but it doesn't take long to freeze the face

The sign in the park said "You are being photographed" - apparently for a project called "Love is Dead."

Judson Memorial Church on Washington Square Park - built in memory of Adoniram Judson said to be the first missionary sent from North America. He spent nearly 40 years in Burma from around 1817. He must have been some kind of a guy. There are at least 36 U.S. churches named after him as well as a university in Illinois, a town in Arkansas, several other buildings, several churches and buildings in Burma and a World War II ship.

A father and 2 children each on their own scooters zooming through the park

A dog in his little sweater with a jack-o-lantern knitted into it

Sparrows hopping around on the marble tables

A few red maple leaves on the asphalt

Steps: 8881

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Morning Walk #124 - Nice and cool

42 degrees (feels like 39) and 67% humidity

Off to the 24 hour print & copy center. I need one color copy. Naturally their only color copier is broken (for 4 days)!

Hardly anyone in the park - a little cool to sit on the benches for long

Dogs greeting their buddies at the dog run while their moms drink coffee on the side

A mother & daughter on their scooters off to school and work

A high school class heading to the A train on a field trip

Gotta head home and prepare for the next errands

Steps: 6585

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Morning Walk #123 - Hump Day

49 degrees & 56% humidity

A big rat trap in front of a brownstone. I am glad I have never seen a rat as big as that trap would indicate they might be.

A cast iron building (1900) with big display windows that look like original wavy glass

Mums are everywhere...even at places that don't display flowers any other time of the year

A guy sitting on a bench...his head tipped back...snoring as loudly as I've ever heard

Another guy on the other side of the park loudly practicing his Halloween pirate's voice

Walking down the street a guy stops, peers in the window of an antique shop and howls like a wolf

Xavier High School established in 1847 by Jesuits as a college. It became a military secondary school and is still an all male school.

Steps: 7368

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Morning Walk #122 - Another October Morning

57 degrees & 58% humidity

A hot pink bike chained to a signpost turns out to be advertising for Zen Bikes

A pair of shoes tied together by shoelaces are hanging from the traffic light

A boy on a scooter runs into his little brother who was running along side. It was not really either one's fault. They both fell and the littler boy got flattened but they'll live to scoot and run another day.

Leaves are turning color but not as picturesquely as in non-urban areas

People carrying Halloween-type decorations and objects

A line of people waiting to get travel visas

Another line of people waiting to apply for jobs

Steps: 7209

Monday, October 21, 2013

Morning Walk #121 - The River & the High Line

51 degrees & 54% humidity

Sun rising in the east and the 98% full moon still shining in the west

Chelsea Market waking up

Fishing off Pier 51

Park employee opening the playground then doing some chin-ups on the monkey bars

It's 51 degrees and a roller skater rolls by with no shirt on

Detective Store International "when you need to know"

Man walking 6 dogs including one very large dog who had just done his very large business

Man on the High Line consulting a paper with photos and then taking his own photos like he's on a photo scavenger hunt

Woman and toddler with a blanket and breakfast spread out on a wooden chaise

A little boy looking for the Statue of Liberty

Steps: 8282

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Magic that is NYC

Sunday afternoon
Washington Square Park
The fountain
A grand piano
A concert

Friday, October 18, 2013

Morning Walk #120 - Stuyvesant

Fall Flowers

58 degrees and 56% humidity

Crisp Fall morning

Garbage trucks picking up trash. I had not heard of them being called carting companies till I came to NYC.

Channel 2 mobile weather station setting up at Union Square

Walking past Union Square to Stuyvesant Square which is quiet. Only a few dog walkers then kids and parents start walking through on their way to school

The parks are still looking green but brown leaves are on the ground

Lots of fall flowers planted in Gramercy Park and around the Edmund Booth statue

Number 10 Gramercy Park - the residence of painter, Robert Henri, from 1909 to 1929. Interesting painter who championed realistic paintings and was part of the Ashcan artists.

A stack of A.M. newspapers leaning against a building. The headlines written in chalk on the sidewalk with an arrow towards the stack. It's either high tech phone stuff or low tech chalk!
Steps: 7260

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Morning Walk #119 - Misty Morning

Misty morning on the Hudson

62 degrees & 86% humidity

Misty & foggy but no rain

The high school has separate entrances for Students with ID and Students without ID. If that is for the students who forgot their ID...I wonder which line is longer.

Four guys sprinting down the pier

Large dog pulling his owner along

Lots of traffic on the westside highway

Are scooters the number one elementary school age accessory?

Plaque noting the location of Clement Clarke Moore's home on his Chelsea estate

At 348 West 23rd Street is a Queen Anne style building. It was originally a brownstone home but was redesigned in 1885 as 4 full floor apartments for upper class tenants.  This was a new concept at the time. Wealthy people owned homes. Poor people lived in apartments or tenements. But these new apartments were not affordable for the masses and became accepted as suitable homes for those with money. The rest is history. Literally.

Dropped off compost at the Commuter Compost booth

Steps: 6653

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Morning Walk #118 - Sleeping in the Park

58 degrees and 80% humidity

A man in plaid pajamas walking his dog

The Church of the Ascension built 1840 - 41. It was the site of the wedding of President John Tyler to his second wife, Julia Gardiner in 1844. As you'll recall, Tyler was the first Vice-President to become President due to the death of the elected President. He was also the first President to marry while in office but not sure why they chose to marry in New York City. The courtship was a little odd. Julia, her sister, and her father joined Tyler on a Presidential excursion on the Princeton, a new steam frigate where a naval gun exploded - killing Julia's father. The President consoled the bereft daughter right into marriage. But, in spite of the 30 year difference in their ages, they were apparently happy till death did them part.

Three teen girls meet on a corner...2 dressed in skinny jeans and boots. The jean clad girls were checking out the Halloween patterned boxers "fashionably" peeking out of the waistband of the 3rd girl's sloppy gray sweatpants

Lots of big dogs walking the park this morning and lots of trash around

A man walks by with his daughter strapped to his chest so that she can see what he sees. Though non-verbal, she happily babbles all the way.

A young man squats against a tree to read his book in spite of many empty benches available to him

The Church of St. Joseph built in 1833. Although apparently the 6th Roman Catholic parish in New York City, a plaque proclaims the edifice to be the oldest in the city. An early pastor of the church was Father John McCloskey who became Bishop of New York, Archbishop and the first U.S. Cardinal (1875).

Film shoot: Moonquake

Steps: 6491

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Morning Walk #117 - Flatiron

54 degrees and 86% humidity

Thought I was in smoker's alley...everyone was smoking. Had to cross the street.

Three good ol' boys discussing twerking. What could it be?

Less people hanging out in the parks

A woman walking 2 dogs.  Their leashes and a ceramic mug of coffee in one hand and texting on her phone in the other hand.

Commuter Composting - a new program to collect compost at some subway stops between 8am and 11am.

Steps: 6700

Monday, October 14, 2013

Morning Walk #116 - Columbus Day

53 degrees & 73% humidity

I guess most people no longer believe that Christopher Columbus "discovered" America. He just seems to have had the best PR. Some celebrate the day as Italian heritage day. South Dakota proclaims this day Native American Day. And I saw a show that indicated there were visitors here in 800 AD. But for now it's a government holiday and that's what works for most people.

A new Pie Face location in Chelsea. This chain is apparently from Australia and features savory pies, pastries and sandwiches.

A woman in jeans and very high wedge heels sashaying down the sidewalk. If she could see the way those heels distort her whole body (at least from the rear view) she might not wear them in public.

Mo Math - the Museum of Mathematics along the north side of Madison Square Park

A woman in Batman print tights (that she is wearing as pants with her cropped jean jacket)

Steps: 6917

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Captain Phillips

A movie worth the money. When I thought I might be interested in seeing this movie I deliberately did NOT refresh my memory about the story. Having now read some reports the basic story seems to be fairly real.

The movie in a nutshell is about an American cargo ship boarded by Somali pirates. When they perceive that the ship is dead in the water the pirates take the captain hostage and leave the ship in a lifeboat. The remainder of the story covers their escape from the ship and the military rescue mission.

The movie gives a little insight into why the Somalis might "choose" to be pirates...if you consider their lifestyle to be a choice rather than what they might have seen as a necessity. It helps the viewer to understand a little why 4 young Somalis might take on a huge cargo ship and then the United States government and even think they had a chance to win.

Tom Hanks, not unexpectedly, does a great job with the role. Barkhad Abdi also nails his role as leader of the pirates. And the director, Paul Greenglass, has a way with a story...a little unexpected at times which isn't all bad.

Once the military got involved I was slightly distracted by the thoughts of the millions of dollars that had to be expended on this rescue mission...and that there really are people already trained for missions such as this.

Semi-spoiler alert: You leave the theatre knowing that there is a young Somali man serving a sentence of 33 years for piracy in an Indiana Penitentiary and Captain Phillips was back on the high seas in just over a year after his harrowing hostage situation.

(By reading the movie credits I noticed that the Department of Defense has an Entertainment Division.)

In other NYC news - Comic Con is in town at the Javits Center and the post-movie "show" was a treat.  Many convention attendees were walking to the Javits in various degrees of costume...from very elaborate (and expensive) full costumes to just the addition of a cape or weapon to their regular street clothes. Better than Halloween!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Yes, there ARE trees in NYC

People who don't live in NYC often seem to think trees are rare here. That's not true. Really. There are trees everywhere (not just in Central Park). In fact, there are parks everywhere. But give an unimaginative tweeter person a piece of sidewalk chalk and they resort to stating the obvious.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Morning Walk #115 - Around Chelsea

61 degrees & 75% humidity

Once again the predicted rain held off for my walk

574 Sixth Avenue, a four floor building, opened in 1904 for the Knickerbocker Jewelry Company. Its' elaborate cornice was designed to attract attention of the riders on the 6th Avenue Elevated Train. Today the ground floor tenant is the Hollywood Diner.

The lamp posts are lit in Union Square Park.

A woman wipes off a bench and sits. She clasps her hands, closes her eyes and, presumably, meditates with a smile on her face...for a long time

Trucks drive carefully down the walkway of the park. Tree trimming about to begin

Reading email I see that my friend, Ken, a runner, has had a serious injury to his ankle and foot. Please send healing thoughts his way.

Dropping off the compost then heading over for a grocery stop

Steps: 6563

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Morning Walk #114 - National Postage Stamp Show

54 degrees & 88% humidity

Today I headed up to the New Yorker Hotel on my morning walk. I had received a post card a few weeks ago that announced the ASDA Stamp Show. Investigating it online told me that this is an event for serious stamp collectors.  Postage stamps would be sold, mail could be cancelled with a special show cancellation stamp, and today would be the first day of issue for the Poinsettia stamp.

So why not...there's a first time for everything. I decorated a few postcards to be sent to friends with the show cancellation. I was a little confused about the first day of issue situation so I didn't make the best of it.

From the looks of it there probably was just about any stamp available that you could want from the US and other countries. And there were some very serious stamp collectors.

I perused the Harry Potter display which included stamps from other countries that had been issued to commemorate the Harry Potter series. There were many nice stamps but I thought it was a bit of a stretch to include a Polish flower stamp of a lily because apparently Harry's mother's name was Lily Potter.

The US Postal Service had a couple of booths and were supposedly selling every US stamp currently available.  They were doing a brisk business even though this is only a block from the James Farley post office (the big one) that even has a Philatelic window to sell you the exact same stamps.

At noon, there was a short and oddly touching ceremony to officially present the Poinsettia stamp.  A small crowd gathered and was treated to S. Lynne Watson - Miyamoto (a postal employee) singing of The Star Spangled Banner - a capella and nicely done. There was the presentation of colors by the George Washington High School Navy Junior ROTC.

A few short speeches preceded the official unveiling of the design by a postal representative and the artists. As we entered we had been given an envelope with the stamp and the first day of issue cancellation which we could then have autographed by the artists.  I passed on the autograph.

Interesting experience (which was free) and the rain held off for my walk.

On the way home, a man, his slice of pizza and I dodged back and forth as we tried to get out of each other's way.  We finally passed as he said, "Thanks for the dance!"

Steps: 8818

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Morning Walk #113 - On the High Line

A view from the High Line - The top of an early 1800's building in the foreground, the water tower, and the gothic tower in front of the Empire State Building

53 degrees and 61% humidity

A little gray but great weather for a walk

Sharing the High Line elevator with a vendor and his dolly full of tables and supplies...and his instructions on where I should stand and when I should get on and off the elevator

It's quiet not even many landscapers yet though I see one trainer already running his client through his routine

And then...the smell of manure. Not what I expect in NYC. Apparently, the odor was coming from a raised planter that was getting some water.

Some sort of promotional piece being filmed. They seem to wait for people to pass by. If they wanted people-less shots they should have started earlier!

Walking the full circle from one end to the other and back to my entry point

Steps: 8342

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Morning Walk #112 - Washington Square Park

56 degrees and 61% humidity

Feeling very fall-ish (meaning great temperatures!)

Brownstones decorated for Halloween can look pretty creepy with faux spider webs and plastic tombstones, skulls and bones

A little bit of leaf color in Washington Square Park

Fur flying while a guy grooms a dog on a table in the park

Fewer people sitting in the park...due to cooler temperatures(?)

Businesses seem to be closing. Every block has a vacancy.

But construction keeps moving on

ConEd emergency workers in the West Village

Kids swarming the deli on their way to school

Steps: 6023

Monday, October 7, 2013

Morning Walk #111 - Still looking like Fall

Fall at the GreenMarket

70 degrees and 88% humidity

I expected rain so I tried to not be pissy about the humidity but even with anti-frizz cream in my hair it looks like I stuck my finger in that electric socket

The top of the Empire State Building lost in fog

A boy standing on his scooter...hanging on to his dad's arm for momentum

Seeing people in darkened stores hours before opening time

Another see-through lace...this time a knitted black lace mini-skirt...the design featuring large holes. No lining just black bikini panties. How do you wear that to the office?

A woman asks me if I know where the New School is because she wants to return a lost ID. I tell her there are several locations...all are east and south of where we stand. She points north and west and says she will try that location. There isn't one there but if she is determined...why did she ask?

Steps: 10,707

Sunday, October 6, 2013


The movie.

I could have saved the money and waited for cable on this one. If you always wondered about tragedy in's one story. (I don't often wonder about that.) And if you are wondering if you should do 3D...don't pay extra for it.  Other than a little debris in your face...not really necessary. (And debris in my face is never really necessary.)

Sandra Bullock hyperventilated through most of the movie. Granted there were a lot of life threatening issues but hyperventilating in limited oxygen situations is never a good thing. You probably learn that in astronaut school. Other than finding that annoying I thought she did a good job with the role.

George Clooney was George Clooney...calm and joking his way through some of the same situations Sandra Bullock was hyperventilating through.  Maybe a veteran astronaut has it together. And it's never a bad thing to have to look at Clooney for a while.

Not a total waste of time but even at 91minutes I was ready for it to be over.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Morning Walk #110 to Union Square Park

66 degrees & 74% humidity

A homeless man sleeping on the sidewalk. His head in one plastic milk crate and his feet in another

A man in a portable donut & coffee cart singing (and echoing) his heart out

80 5th Avenue: an ornate 16 story office building built in 1908

A woman dressed in a business suit wearing latex gloves

The chess tables set up on the south side of Union Square Park. Who comes out to play at 7:30am?

A park employee with a leaf blower moves people off the benches so he can stir up the leaves and dirt

Lots of cauliflower at the GreenMarket including purple and yellow heads

Steps: 8261

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Morning Walk #109 - High Line

and thanks for sharing

63 degrees and 75% humidity

Feeling a little weak today but headed for the High Line

Lots of planting going on.

Amazon setting up some kind of display or event

A woman knitting on a bench

Lots of whole families apparently walking the kids to school together

A woman in ratty jeans and shiny gold heels

Doing lots of sitting and not so much walking

Steps: 5022

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Morning Walk #108 - Still Going

64 degrees and 67% humidity

Going to be an 85-ish summer day

And I have a cold

When did they stop selling antihistamines?

People obviously not sure what to wear this morning.  Dress for 64 degrees or 85 degrees?

Landscapers out in force

Halloween pop-up stores all over

Steps: 5713

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Morning Walk #107 - On the River

61 degrees and 67% humidity

Happy October!

Back to the river this morning

Lots of guys in chef's coats hanging out at Pier 57. Still not sure what kind of place they are creating there.

Gentle waves

A tree with no leaves left and yet I'm not seeing changing colors in any other leaves

A skiff with 6 rowers going upstream

A fisherman on pier 51 and another at pier 49

Runners, dog walkers, and people walkers everywhere

Traffic cops seem to be out in force today checking out parking on the streets

Girls in uniform heading to Notre Dame School

Today is a run off primary for the post of Public Advocate. It was a light turnout at the early morning locations.

Steps: 7638