Saturday, May 31, 2014


That's a tiny sun way in the distance

The clouds were not my friends

The brave photographers took the streets. It didn't occur to me to take the shot of the photographers till I was finished looking for the sun so the crowd had diminished substantially.

Manhattanhenge happens four days this year. It occurs when the sunset perfectly aligns with the east west street grid in Manhattan. The design of the Manhattan street grid is unlikely to have anything to do with astrology as it seems Stonehenge did...but who knows what future generations will think!

The weather was not in a cooperative mood this year. On Thursday the cloud cover was so thick there wasn't even a hint of a sunset glow to be seen. Friday gave me a couple chances but I should have thought more about the best streets for photo ops.

Hoping for better luck next time.

Friday, May 30, 2014

A Good Ol' Guy

1994 - 2014

Morning temperature: 55 degrees
Morning steps: 7455

Thursday, May 29, 2014


One of my favorite arbor spots on the High Line

The first time I went to the High Line there was much to like about it. The only slightly negative comment I had was "no shade"! The trees were too young to provide any shade though there are a couple places where you can walk through buildings if you really need some shade.

By now the trees are growing and shade is available in various places. Unfortunately the high rises along side are growing too which is a different kind of shade.

Morning temperature: 52 degrees
Morning steps: 5702

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Hump Day

Morning temperature: 58 degrees, 82% humidity (and it's still 84 in my apartment!)
Morning steps: 5774

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Post Memorial Day

It's the day after a holiday weekend and people are moving kind of slowly back to work. It's a humid morning and heading for 87 degrees which is not nice for a back to work day!

Morning temperature: 71 degrees, 52% humidity
Morning steps: 6327

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

Remembering the members of the military who have died in service to our country. Each yellow ribbon symbolizes one of the more recently deceased military service members. This is maybe 20% of the ribbons hanging around the exterior of the Marble Collegiate Church on 5th Avenue. This church was founded in 1628 while the city was New Amsterdam. The current building opened in 1854. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale was senior minister here and served along with his wife, Ruth Stafford Peale, for 52 years.

It was a lazy start to the least for most people. The streets were pretty bare. Speaking of bare, before 8am a woman passed me in her shorts and bathing suit top. She had a beach chair in one hand and 2 plastic bags and her dog's leash in the other hand. A good day to head to the beach or park.

I walked across 6th avenue and saw a street fair just beginning to come to life.

When I got to the park there were more people sitting on the benches than usual for early in the morning. A group of people, mostly women, gathered wearing army green t-shirts emblazoned with the words "Boot Camp". They started running around one of the sections that would be a little less than 25% of the park. As they ran round and round some of the people fell behind till the leaders were passing them. They stopped for jumping jacks, crab walks, sprint walks and a reverse pushup using park benches. (I don't really know what those exercises are called because I am allergic to that stuff!) More power to them...especially to those trailing behind yet not giving up!

I stayed a little longer than usual and read a magazine while I waited for some stores to open up. A couple weeks ago I had seen some tourist trap stores selling NYC postcards 20 for $1 and even 30 for $1. I don't often mail NYC postcards - in fact, I usually make my postcards - but I wanted to send some out and a bargain is a bargain! I headed back to the nearest store and spent my dollar...they didn't even add on tax!

On my way home, I walked through that street fair. It was still early and not too busy. Lots of the usual vendors but there was an interesting tea and spice booth that I hadn't seen before. They had a big display of open bowls of their teas and spices. If I was more of a tea drinker I would have grabbed up some of the fruit flavored teas. They looked and smelled pretty darn good.

Heading for some's going to be a hot one!

Morning temperature:  66 degrees - heading for 86!
Morning steps: 9726

Sunday, May 25, 2014


When I first saw this cooler on the High Line I thought "What a great idea! Another opportunity for beverages."

And then I noticed there were no electrical I had to take a closer look.

No drinks...just art. Part of the Archeo collection on the High Line, Josh Kline's "Skittles" depicts various contemporary lifestyles as smoothies.

Not being a smoothie aficionado I had not seen the real smoothies pictured below till several weeks later.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Friday, May 23, 2014

High Line Photo Shoot

This photo is not from the High Line. It's in front of a brownstone on 22nd Street

This morning I was back on the High Line. In addition to catching up with all the wonders of the landscaping it's a good place to go when there is a threat of rain because there are a couple of covered areas.

The magic water feature was running for the first time this season. The water comes up, flows across a section of the sidewalk and disappears...all rather mysteriously and on a seemingly flat surface with no edges to contain the water. Yet it never runs onto the regular walkway.

Mostly what I noticed was a photographer with a killer camera lens standing in the water and taking photos down below him.

I continued my walk to the beginning of the High Line and then back to the 16th Street area to one of my favorite spots. I like to sit under some young trees looking south for a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty (she was just visible through the fog) and check my email.

I had passed the photographer again and saw the young couple who were the subjects of his photo shoot. Now as I waited for my phone to turn on the woman asked if I minded moving for a few minutes so they could take some shots there.

I, of course, got up immediately...there are plenty of benches on the High Line...even if that was one of my favorite areas! I asked if they were taking engagement photos. No, they were having a professional photo shoot for their 5 year anniversary. The photographer went into marketing mode exclaiming what a great idea it was to mark a 5 year anniversary as an important milestone - especially in the this city.

It IS a good idea to mark the milestones. But speaking of milestones, I was feeling pretty old looking at these 2 young people - especially that baby-faced young husband - and realizing that they were old enough to have been married for 5 years!

Morning temperature: 60 degrees
Morning steps: 6105

Thursday, May 22, 2014


A mosaic eye in the subway station

It rained during the night but was holding off in the morning. Another fog filled sky above.

The High Line had few people at first. Then a class of junior high students was suddenly everywhere. They had a paper list and were taking photos with cameras and tablets...on some kind of photo scavenger hunt it seems.

A little further along the way, an adult family was walking along...two people with purple graduation gowns and assorted parents and siblings probably. They would stop from time to time and take photos with different combinations of the people.

Morning temperature: 61 degrees, 96% humidity
Morning steps: 6469

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Coast Guard

I am not entirely sure that seeing a gun of that nature on the front of a boat makes me feel safer. It's not meant to make me feel safe but it looks like a tragedy waiting to happen
It was another nice morning for a walk although the sun gave way to clouds quite quickly. There's rain coming.

There are people from a religious sect at all the parks. I'm not sure who they are but they are seeking donations and approach with a card and a bracelet. They are everywhere!

The foliage gets more dense and the flowers change. There's always something new to see.

Morning temperature: 64 degrees
Morning steps: 5200

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Charging Bull

Tourists love the bull

The charging bull has become a Wall Street icon since it's appearance in 1989. The artist, Arturo Di Modica, installed the sculpture in front of the New York Stock Exchange as a Christmas gift to the people of New York. It was impounded by the police but the public outcry inspired the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation to put it in Bowling Green Park.

Although the bull has become a symbol of the Financial District, the sculptor maintains the copyright and is not hesitant to file lawsuits when he sees it being used for profit.

Morning temperature: 55 degrees
Morning steps: 7826

Monday, May 19, 2014

The First American-born Saint

The former mansion on the right side is the older Federal style portion

The windows from the inside of Our Lady of the Rosary Church

Saint Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton and friend

The second stop on our Sacred Sites tour was Our Lady of the Rosary Church for the Saint Elizabeth Seton Shrine. This was a confusing place that took some time to figure out because there was no one to talk to at the location.

The oldest part of the building was originally the Watson Mansion completed in 1793. That home was combined with the house next door around 1806. It later became the Mission of Our Lady, an organization that helped single women Irish immigrants as the arrived to New York. In 1912, when the Titanic survivors arrived, the wealthy travelers were taken uptown to The Waldorf Hotel. The steerage survivors were taken to the Mission of Our Lady.

A much more recent chapel was built to honor the first American born Saint, Elizabeth Seton when it was discovered that she had lived in the mansion for a time. She converted to Catholicism as an adult, later taking vows and starting the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph. Mother Seton also started the first Catholic school in the United States.

Morning temperature: 50 degrees
Morning steps: 6085

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sacred Sites

There was nothing left of the window in this location for a restoration so they commissioned an original art piece.

The New York Landmark Conservancy invited the public to a Sacred Sites Open House. We chose to visit the Eldridge Street Museum & Synagogue on the Lower East Side.

The Synagogue was opened in 1887 and was the first Synagogue built in the US by Jews from Eastern Europe. A 20 year restoration project was completed in 2007.

The neighborhood now has more Chinese residents and shopkeepers. The Museum joins in with the Egg Rolls and Egg Creams Festival this year on June 8 to celebrate their multi-cultural neighborhood

Chinatown fish

Dragon Fruit

Bilingual signs in Chinatown

For bilingual plant thieves

Confucius in Chinatown

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Ninth Ave International Food Festival

It was hard to get a comprehensive shot but that's all people down through the middle of the photo

Turkey legs!

Lots of interesting flavors

Every food fair needs a NY Lottery booth


The smallest booth


The Porkmobile

Drinks too!

Scary hot oil

Fun for the kids

The Asian Food Booth

Don't forget Myrna's

Still a ton of people in the background
The Ninth Avenue International Food Festival takes place on Ninth Avenue (surprise!) between 42nd Street and 57th Street. We walked the length and back. This street fair has some of the same vendors as other street fairs but, of course, it has a ton of food.

Some of the food establishments on these blocks buy the space in front of their restaurants and have some outdoor food. It's probably well worth it because otherwise people aren't stopping in to their restaurants with so much else to tempt them.

I saw fried pickles and fried Oreos. Steak sandwiches and pulled pork sandwiches were calling my name but I stuck with an ear of corn which was grilled to perfection!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Foggy Morning

This is what it looks like out a 33rd floor window when the fog is shrouding the even taller buildings!

We've had this rainy humid weather off and on for several days. My hair has always been prone to frizz but I have never seen it as bad as it has been lately. It literally sticks straight out from my head like in those cartoons when a character sticks a finger in an electric socket!

Which is worse...feeling damp and clammy all the time or having a frizz ball head?

Morning temperature: 65 degrees
Morning steps: 6786

Thursday, May 15, 2014


I must be one of the few people who doesn't drink coffee. I don't like it and never have so when coffee drinking became a national hobby I wasn't even tempted.

I do like some coffee and mocha flavored foods (like ice cream!) but please don't make me drink it!

Morning temperature: 60 degrees (and rainy)
Morning steps: 6641

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Even though it was a little cooler again this morning...people are still out everywhere! What were they doing on those cold winter mornings?

I saw a nicely suited man carrying a briefcase in one hand and a blue Tiffany bag and a bouquet of flowers in his other hand. It was not yet 8am so I prefer to think he was bringing a birthday gift to someone in his office. May I work there, please?

Another man I see from time to time walks through the park reading his phone. In a shoulder tote bag that he carries towards his back is a little dog. He always has his head and one arm hanging out of the bag.

As I walked past the precinct I saw an officer - actually a Sergeant - power washing the sidewalk in front of the station. Not really what I pictured when they said law enforcement was cleaning up the city.

My favorite character of the day was a woman in a full length brown coat with the attached hood pulled up over her head. At first glance I thought she was also wearing a yellow pillbox-type hat on her head (under the hood.) As she walked by me I saw that it was a yellow plastic dog food dish on her head. She looked great in yellow!

Morning temperature: 52 degrees
Morning steps: 6437

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Musashino Zelkova

Yesterday before 8am several trucks pulled up in front of the apartment building. A team of guys started breaking up a section of the sidewalk. They threw the sidewalk chunks in the back of the truck, dug a big hole and planted a cute little Musashino Zelkova. (It came with a note saying it was "One in a Million" and listing the species.)

This Japanese tree is described as "columnar in nature. Perfect for planting on city streets." My neighbor insists it is the same as the next closest tree we have in front of the building but I'm not buying it. The older tree is nowhere near "columnar" (and the leaves are different too.)

We have quite a few trees on the block so I'm not sure how we got so lucky but thank you NYC Parks Department. Welcome to the neighborhood, little tree!

Morning temperature: At 6:30am it was 68 degrees. Before 8am it was 60 degrees.
Morning steps: 6369

Monday, May 12, 2014

NYC SAFE Disposal

I don't know these people but apparently photo ops with walking recycling containers were only allowed if people were in the photo too

Yesterday I visited one of the  NYC SAFE Disposal events at Union Square Park. They really had an organized set up to accept and sort various items. It was a nice day and I hope they were busier as the day unfolded.

I was able to drop off some old medications, burnt out fluorescent bulbs and electronics for appropriate disposal. It's so nice to have opportunities to get the stuff taken care of in the right manner.

By next year, NYC will not allow electronics to be tossed in the trash and already many of the major electronics stores will accept the throwaways but one stop disposal is nice!

Morning temperature: 65 degrees
Morning steps: 5940

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to my mom and all the other moms out there.
It's a tough job but someone has to do it! sent me email saying they had found some fun facts about some of the mothers in my family tree.
The email said my 4th great grandmother was the youngest mother. She had her first child at age 10. Oh, oh! I think I have a little research to do. Checking my tree I see that she is from a branch I haven't yet verified. She was born in 1740 in Virginia and it looks like it was twins at age 10! But I'm still not believing it!
Then they wanted to tell me which ancestor had the longest span between first and last child. That apparently is my 8th great grandmother who had her first child at age 19 and her last at 97! We have some great longevity genes in the family but I'm guessing there's a little mix up there too.
I later looked her up and she was born in 1650 in Virginia,was married at 23 and died at 53 so that's not working out for me. 
But I do kind of like those stories! Times were tough in the old days!