Sunday, November 15, 2015

Don't Be Getting Fersh With Me!

*Sigh*... Yes, they had 'Fersh Jumbo Eggs" at this supermarket... 

And then I noticed a sign in a painting and decorating store window...for 'temporary wallpaper'… but… isn't all wallpaper… in some way,…temporary???!

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Talking Trash

Today, there were big heaps of trash all around town, not least of which was this inane piece of inspirational corporate signage... "It's less important to have more friends, and more important to have friends who download your app!"  Listen, moron: people who download your app, aren't necessarily 'friends'...

Amongst the piles of Hallowe'en-themed trash, some fool found a huge spider, and a nice faux-leather leash. It occurred to me, sorry, him, to make it look like spidey has been leashed to a fire hydrant by its owner, then abandoned, Poor, poor spidey!

Meanwhile...: Rafael! Urena gutter!! 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Funny Thing On Franklin Avenue

Today I was passing through the Franklin Avenue subway station for the A, C and Shuttle trains in Brooklyn. I had time to take my time, so I stopped in the main station area, where I noticed a very strange sound. 

It was so high-pitched that I imagine most people might not be able to hear it. It was so high-pitched that as it pulsed on and off, it sounded like a sharp snap as it penetrated my ears, jarring enough to generate the beginnings of a slight headache. 

But it was not so uncomfortable that I wanted to find what was causing this sharp swishing, seering sound. So I walked in its direction. At first I saw the large white speaker or fan or whatever, above.

But I quickly realized that the source of this regular, piercing sound was the smaller dark green box to the left, above. It's some type of speaker. 

What on earth is it? This is a piercing sound, in the most literal sense: it pulses on and off with about a two second duration, then a one second delay, then on again. The sound is almost outside human ability to hear, but it must be disturbing for dogs and cats nearby, as well as for young children. I'm not sure why I could hear it, but I could, or even perhaps it is true to say that I winced as I felt it.

Later: I'm wondering if it could be some kind of rodent and roach deterrent?

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Dinosaurs Are Not All Dead

The other evening as I walked the western edge of Soho, from Canal Street northwards, I happened to pass an enormous, slumbering creature, lurking silently on a dark city side street. 

This crane must have weighed hundreds of tons, and could lift nearly as much. These are the  counterweights at the rear (below):

I expected the tracks to be rubber of some kind, not these vastly-heavier steel treads:

And the - pardon my complete lack of technical vocabulary! - the long arm that does the lifting, soared way up into the dark night sky!

The title of this post is from a poem which I first heard when I was at primary (elementary) school in Northern Ireland. Here is the poem in full. Even today, I find it as enchanting as I did when my teacher read it aloud, and the rhythm of that bright, breezy first line, stuck in my head in an instant:

Steam Shovel

By Charles Malam

The dinosaurs are not all dead.
I saw one raise its iron head
To watch me walking down the road
Beyond our house today.
Its jaws were dripping with a load
Of earth and grass that it had cropped.
It must have heard me where I stopped,
Snorted white steam my way,
And stretched its long neck out to see,
And chewed, and grinned quite amiably.

And finally, words fail me!... the crane in Soho is engineered and built by a famous company, Liebherr. The final photo, below, is from a Liebherr exhibition, showing off just how much their cranes can lift... ... ...

I'm guessing that the one I saw in Soho is the second-smallest in this photo?

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Weekend

Frederick Douglass Boulevard, Harlem. 

Travelers, Tinton Falls, NJ. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Jaws That Bite,The Claws That Catch…

He or she dropped out of the sky one recent afternoon, landing with a thump on a patch of grass, with a grey lump of still-living, quivering rat or pigeon in those killer claws. 

I took these (above) photos from the sidewalk near Lehman College in the Bronx. I am no expert at estimating size, but this was a big bird, maybe 16 inches tall or more. Whatever it was that had met its fate gave a wriggle or spasm, and the hawk turned from staring at me to look down at its victim for just an instant, before giving it one final, lethal jab with its beak.

From a killer look to the softly-sweet sound of a little dove: as I sat on the sun-soaked steps of St Nicholas Park, a very different bird came along and waddled around next to me. 


Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Obama Rubs Out McKinley

Mount McKinley will be renamed Denali by President Obama!

Red Heads

Monday, August 31, 2015

Braaaa Humbug

    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

How We Laughed

This is the Sedan crater in Nevada, site of a nuclear test explosion (July 6, 1962). It certainly is impressive.

I thought what it might be like to visit such a site: is it even open to the public? So I looked it up on Google Maps: oh snort! 

The Sedan crater is in an area of the Nevada desert called 'Butte Wash'… how could anyone take that seriously?!

Mid-August, 2015

Sunflower on Throop Avenue, Brooklyn. 

Weathered sign on Herkimer Street, Brooklyn. 

Mallow bush emerging from sidewalk, Harlem. 

A brick field in Chelsea. 

Armored rhino, Chelsea. 

He gets bad cat hair. 

Elegy in brass for Chris Christie? A trombonist practices underneath the George Washington Bridge. 

Farewell, Baron: my friend's elderly boxer went to a dog rest home somewhere near Albany... 

Remembering George, who was murdered in Trenton, New Jersey, a year ago on July 30th. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Old And The New

Summer of love...... 

...Uber me pizza!

Chelsea: north-east corner, West 14th Street & Eighth Avenue.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Donald Trump's Biggest Fan In Washington Heights

No human is entirely free of vanity, but amongst politicians, it's an especially dangerous occupational hazard (Max Weber). 

Donald Trump's biggest fan is a short, slim man of late middle-age, neatly dressed, with a twinkle in his eye and a willingness to share his views on politics with just about anyone, including me, who asked him for a light on a recent weekday morning. He's also a mess of contradictions — or perhaps a very subtle comedian, I'm not sure which. 

A steady stream of neatly-dressed commuters flowed towards the swinging doors that lead through a short tunnel to the A train on West 184th Street. Donald Trump's biggest fan did not yet reveal himself, as he readily offered me a light. I turned casually away, and reached into a newspaper box for a copy of Metro NYC. "Thanks," I said. Then he spoke. 

His voice was gravelly and smoky, and it carried clear down the street. 

"You know what?" he said, "I think that what Donald Trump has been saying is right, and I'm glad he's speaking his mind, we should listen to him, he's a self-made man, and he knows what he's talking about."

For anyone who does not yet know, Donald Trump is running for election to become the Republican Party candidate for U.S. President, in the very early days of a campaign that promises to be really quite wild, and also utterly meaningless: candidates will heap scorn and outrage upon each other in the manner of those WWF wrestling morons, then they will try in turn to look their most operatically outraged: a nonexistent moral high ground will be fought over. Casualties will include the truth, and candidates who are vying to show their abilities to control the public purse strings, will spend like shopaholics. 

New Yorkers have an undeserved reputation for being horrifically rude, and an actual horrifically rude native son like Trump is unlikely to find any love in his hometown — which is what made this sudden outbreak of pro-Trump trumpetry surprising, spilling like a chamber pot and its contents, out into the beautiful August morning: a Trump supporter, here, in Washington Heights? 

But what completely shocked me was this: as I turn slightly to get a better look at Donald's biggest backer, and just as he's going on about how honest Trump is and what a hardworking straight arrow New Yorker he is, a real reproach to all his critics, I see that our man is now elbow-deep in a trash can, rootling and rummaging away, until finally he pulls out… a paper coffee cup

And then he's over at the swing doors to the A train, swinging one of them open for each and every commuter, and each one gets a hearty "good morning!… what a fine day, sir!… good morning, ma'am!… thank you, sir!… hello, little fella! Off to school?…

Each commuter faces a shake of the cup, which is soon rattling with coins. 

Donald Trump, self-made man, up-by-the-bootstraps local lad, total boor and sexist pig: you have a fan in Washington Heights. He blows a lot of air on your behalf. And he's a homeless bum.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Look Who's Back!

There I was, on an early morning stroll through Times Square, when suddenly I saw them, lips locked in that eternal, age-defying kiss, as if time itself had locked, and it was August 14th, 1945 again, just after 7PM… 

Imagine the crick in their necks after 75 years! 

"Rigidly they 

Persisted, linked, through lengths and breadths 
Of time. Snow fell, undated. Light 
Each summer thronged the grass. A bright 
Litter of birdcalls strewed the same 
Bone-littered ground. And up the paths 
The endless altered people came, 

Washing at their identity…

Monday, July 06, 2015

Are You Interesting!?

If you are boring... please visit our competitor, next door.