Tag Archives: NYC

Smoking Walkers

Lately I have been wanting to confront rude people whom I encounter while walking not the sidewalk or riding the subway. I struggle to understand why so many people are rude, self-absorbed and offensive to the people around them.

Let’s look at public smokers. I’m not so concerned with smokers who stand or sit i one spot when they smoke. But the mobile smokers, they are the worst. There are some smokers who will walk blocks with a lit cigarette in hand,  puffing occasionally, leaving a toxic wake behind them. If I’m downwind of them, sometimes I can smell them a block away.

Either they are oblivious or they are aware that their secondhand smoke is being breathed by the people around them. If they are oblivious, maybe they just need to be alerted to what their actions are doing. If they are aware, then they make a conscious choose to harm others.

I am flummoxed in the wake of their disregard. It baffles me that they  harm other people with impunity. They may argue that it’s just a bit of smoke in public. Here in NYC, it is common knowledge that first and secondhand smoke causes cancer. Public service announcements have been common ever since smoking was banned from bars and restaurants during the Bloomberg administration.

Maybe the sidewalk smokers are just so addicted to smoking that whatever empathy they have for their fellow humans  is temporarily paralyzed. I wonder what I could do to bring them out of their haze. But trying to teach empathy to some people is near impossible but it could be fun trying. More on possible methods another time. I just wanted to complain about it first.

Colossal Media – Hand Painters of Giant Murals

I was walking along 7th Avenue this afternoon and saw a young woman overseeing a digital SLR mounted on a tripod. The camera was aimed up at a building that is situated across the avenue. On the side of it, a giant mural was in the process of being painted and the camera was taking time-lapse photos of the process.

The mural was being painted by Colossal Media which “is the largest hand painted mural company in the world.” I realize now that I should have made a few photographs of my own in order to document the documentation of mural-in-progress. Next time. Instead, check out the video that I’ve included in this post. It’s a brief introduction to their work.

So, the next time you are in NYC, keep looking up and see if you can spot a hand painted mural on the side of a building. It just might be painted by Colossal.

Up Above

I made this photograph when I was flying to LaGuardia Airport. The plane was flying right above the Upper West Side of Manhattan. I was seated next to a starboard window and had a good view of the city below. We were flying the full length of the island, from The Battery to The Bronx. Seeing the city from that height fills me with childlike delight and wonder, as it always does when I get that opportunity. Each time I get the chance, I try to absorb all the details. The movement. The point of view. The ground illumination by streetlights, traffic lights, vehicle headlights and brake lights. City of lights. The evening light providing just enough illumination to see the buildings contained by avenues and roads and streets and lanes. It goes by so fast.

Friday Lunch at Barney Greengrass

After having a final meal at Popover Cafe before it closes this Sunday Jan.  5, 2014, I had a craving for some other comfort food at Barney Greengrass which is right next door to Popover’s. It was a mid-afternoon lunch for two and it was delicious.

[Please note: The food photos have captions and little blurbs that can be read when viewing the shots in slide show “carousel” mode. If you are reading this on a small screen, be sure to scroll down a bit to read them.]

Popover Cafe To Close

Another independent restaurant in NYC will be closing in a few days.  This time, it’s the Popover Cafe on Amsterdam Avenue between 86th and 87th Streets in Manhattan.  They lost their lease and will shut down on Jan. 5 in a couple of days.  Whether or not they will reopen elsewhere remains to be seen.  They opened for business in 1981 and became known for their gigantic popovers that are crispy on the outside and eggy and cavernous on the inside.

I stopped by the cafe this past evening to have one last meal.   I opted to have brunch for dinner and ordered the Aegian Scramble.  The accompanying popover,  shmeered with the homemade  strawberry butter, was delicious.  Only now do I realize that I could have done without the scramble and instead devoured two or three more popovers.  That would have been a fine meal.  For anyone who doesn’t know,  a Popover Cafe popover is special.  Compare the popovers in this wikipedia article to the photos of the one that I had at the Popover Cafe.  The difference is (ahem) huge.

Some people might find it a bit odd that I am writing about the closing of a restaurant that I had only dined at two times prior to this last meal.  But it’s the Popover Cafe and there is no other place like it in NYC!  When the voice of a unique business, especially a restaurant, is silenced in NYC (let alone any city or town), the vibrancy of the metropolis diminishes.  Yes, the closing of Popover Cafe will provide an opportunity for another business to grow and possibly become beloved by customers.  Unfortunately, businesses that closed in the Upper West Side of Manhattan over the past eight or so years have been replaced by banal brands.

So, thank you Popover Cafe.  Hopefully you’ll find new life and a better lease somewhere in the neighborhood.  In the mean time, I’ll pop over next door to Barney Greengrass (the sturgeon king) and get a shmeer of a different kind.

Times Square, New Year’s Day 2014

Times Square was still teeming with tourists in the early evening of New Year’s Day 2014.  Aside from shopping, most people were meandering along the sidewalks and the swath of Broadway that is  now a pedestrian mall.  Cameras, mobile phones and tablet computers (mostly iPad’s) could be seen popping up capturing photos and videos of friends and families.  Tourists going solo were making selfies with the variety of landmarks that make up the canyon of Times Square as their backdrops.  And all the while, traffic was making its way south along Seventh Avenue.