Sunday, July 17, 2016

At Least It's Not A Rat

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Putting The 'Ugh' Into 'Outer Borough'

This is of course the 'ugh' in 'borough' adorning the outside wall of the Queens Public Library's HQ, in Jamaica, Queens.
Let me ramble on a bit more.
In Washington Heights a few years ago, there was a room renting service on whose business card were the unforgettable words: We Cover All Four Boroughs!
Last night, I had the unpleasant experience of walking just one and a half blocks of 42nd Street, the lower end of Times Square.  Not only was the area
c r a w l i n g with uniformed cops, there must have been hundreds of undercovers too.
Normally that distance might take six, seven minutes to walk.  Last evening, amongst the hordes of rowdy locals and gawking tourists, I think it took 25 minutes... and we were penned in: guard rails of the crowd control/ crash barrier variety now run all along the length of 42nd Street. Was this a safety measure after what happened in Nice?  The Police Commissioner says no... but the sense of being penned in, of having nowhere to run, only added to one's tingling anxiety.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Float Like A Butterfly,


...spell like a moron? How can you screw up spelling the name of someone as famous as the late Greatest of All Time? Especially when you are painting it on a wall.

A couple of people have tried to argue with me that the spelling is not wrong, that it is somehow... not spelt wrong. But it is! That has never been, nor will it ever be, how one spells 'Ali'. 'A-L-I'. 

Monday, July 04, 2016

Heroic Moment In Central Park


An Associated Press photographer took this very unusual photo yesterday, after an 18 year-old visitor to NYC lost part of his foot after stepping on what the cops sort of concluded was an abandoned homemade firework.

Poor kid. But what a dramatic scene: it almost seemed staged in this image, the lush, deep, green forest as background, in the foreground both as barrier and terrace, the familiar granite rocks of Central Park, the dark blue uniforms, with bright blue stripes on their pants... how carefully has the artist concealed the victim's face and upper body!... The splashes of bright reds and oranges and the various poses of the EMT guys make it all seem staged and lit. Or, to quote Robert Browning! ~

"Paint must never hope to reproduce the faint 
Half-flush that dies along her throat"!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Train For Nieces

The Onion has published The Neu Jorker, a parody of The New Yorker magazine, and as such things go, it's rather good, all the way to the fine details, including the fake full-page ads, one of which is below, and which I thought was hilarious: 


Acela: the train for nieces. 

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

In Memory of Muhammed Ali

Saturday, June 04, 2016

At That Point, He Thought: "Should I Call A Doctor?"

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Bent By The Prisms Of Glory

Monday, May 02, 2016

Well, Flip Me! I Missed My Gosh-darn Train!

Readers of this blog may know of my great love for and abiding interest in the Hell Gate Bridge, which is 100 years old this year.



My friend Rob suggested that rather than gaze up at the mighty crossing, as I've done many times, I should take a train trip that would go over the bridge.

So I went to the Amtrak web site: I've seen the Acela crossing the Hell Gate Bridge often, so I knew that the Boston-NYC service takes that route. At Amtrak.com I see that there is a helpful little bot, "Ask Julie | Your Virtual Assistant!"

I started talking to Julie, and aware that my railroad trip is not a simple NYC-Boston commute (and that I'm talking to a bot), I was trying to be as simple with my query as possible:

I would like to take a trip on Amtrak on the route that crosses the #%*! Gate Bridge.

Wait a minute. Didn't I just type Hell Gate Bridge?



Oh.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

'Are You Insane?'


Too many ways to reply! 



What's The Point In Opening A Store Like This?


At the Last Stop Inconvenience Store, Woodlawn, The Bronx, NY.

Cigars, cigarettes, hookahs — but no drinks. Snacks, candy, chips — but no cans of soda. Gum, aspirins, Imodium, alka seltzer — but no bottled soft drinks. Chocolate! Nuts, salted and unsalted! Welch's fruit snacks! Pretzels! Fluorescent things with less than 0% nutritional value! Heart-shaped confectionaries all year round! But no drinks of any kind. 

What is the point? 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Equal Parts Boredom And Anxiety



A flower I painted. What I had intended this to be, ended up nothing like it, as usual


Out walking last summer. 


A face in the crowd, on a tree, on West 23rd Street. 


Dawn at South Ferry/Whitehall, lower Lower Manhattan. 


(Year of Our Lord, 1928).


Eighth Avenue in Harlem.


Me, thanks to the Harris Shutter. 


Bradhurst Avenue in Harlem. 

Again

In June 2013, I noticed a very odd little piece of self-referential art at the Nostrand Avenue A train stop in Brooklyn. It was a photograph of one of the mosaics that decorate the station walls at intervals, declaring the station name: NOSTRAND AVE. And it was glued to the tiled wall directly below one of the mosaics. In a sense it was like seeing a mirror reflected in another mirror.

I never did find out the origins of the photo of the Nostrand Avenue sign next to the same sign. A few days ago, a similar 'work' appeared at 23rd Street, on the uptown A, C and E lines:  






Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Ladies & Gentlemen


The following is the text of a pre-recorded customer advisory announcement from the NYC subway system. The recording was made by a woman. In my opinion, it is pure poetry, right through to how she stresses the last line. It has to be heard to be appreciated, and I'll try to find an audio file. 

Ladies and gentlemen, 
If your destination is South Ferry,
You must be in one of the first five cars
Ahead of the conductor's position,
If you wish to exit the train
At the South Ferry Station. 

ҫпешӥҭing the night away...


"And then what happened?"

"Well, officer, I looked over, and he... he... He ҫпешӥҭєd!" 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Buy Our Things!


On Fulton Street in Cypress Hills, a 99¢ store is selling… "witer". Two for the price of one! 

Writers? Winters?  Good luck trying to return them. 

Monday, February 29, 2016

No Wonder The Place Is Such A Mess!