Translation from English

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Midtown Nostalgia

Walking in misty Midtown Manhattan on a Sunday, seeing old sights brought back a flood of memories..

To start with there were the Citicorp and nearby "Lipstick" building where Bernie Madoff had his HQ.

Have been walking past these buildings for more years than I care to remember.

Then there is the Waldorf Astoria, where I stayed in the summer orf 1963.

Remember there was a black man in a business suit checking in in the hotel lobby, and thought how you wouldn't see that at the Palmer House in Chicago, say.

Took the Fifth Avenue bus to Washington Square Park ( where the buses turned around and went back up Fifth Avenue in those days-- before all the one way streets.)

Went to an interview at Washington Square College at NYU. I had already been accepted, this was just to meet an advisor.

What was to be typical of my experience there, I got a bored woman professor who was completely out of it and who was worse than useless helping me plan courses for the first semester. In some ways I think she actually sabotaged me==but it's a long story.

Finally, here are some shots of secluded gardens at Tudor City....they look better in person than they do in photos.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Signs of Spring, 2010; those NYC Street Signs

Spring is traipsing in, right on schedule...of course, it won't be complete until we have a typical late March snowfall.

Daffodils are up and tulips are pushing for it; overnight at tree on Third Avenue came to life.

Those NYC Street Signs..

Don't know if anyplace but New York revels in weird street signs, like "Tunnel Approach Street" and the pompous "Library Way."

Not to mention all the signs that honor some person you have probably never heard of, such as " Herbert T. Applebaum Way."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

NYC History- the famed Tibetan Kitchen

Great piece of NYC history is associated with this place on Third Avenue near 31st Street...

Refugee Tibetan man opened restaurant and had mural painted on side wall, showing Tibetan mountains.

It didn't remain unsullied for long.
Smack dab in the middle of it was placed a large poster/newspaper page self-published by a fringe communist type who manage to slap these things all over Midtown and the Village.

They were usually mostly unintelligible rants about the Trilateral Commission and conspiracy theories...

This time, however, owner of restaurant complained directly to Mayor Koch and ( wonder of wonders) some action was taken.

Guy was apprehended putting up his posters on other people's property somewhere in early hours of the a.m.

Not unsurprisingly ( if you remember NYC of that period) he was a tenured City employee in some bureaucracy who lived in one of those big, cheap rent controlled apartments of that era....
and simply survived on his city job to "do his thing."

Looks like the restaurant never bothered to try to recreate mural...just painted wall over.

This is a story that represents another New York that is a "lost city"-- lots of people who today couldn't afford to live in Manhattan, and all the residual Trotskyites and other types who would have been shot if they had been in Russia or China at the time.

Their memory lingers on, however....NYC still has plenty of iconoclasts. Though most of them richer.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Notes on Taking Pix in Midtown

While pausing to get my camera out of my pocket and take a picture of some architectural detail of the Chrysler building....

a tourist family ( I would say from Midwest or Canada) asked me worriedly, " Are you taking OUR picture?"

Had to assure them no. Thinking it over, I should have asked them "Why? What are you doing wrong?"--what are THESE people hiding!!??

Just for fun, another shot of buildings around Bryant Park. New skyscraper very self consciously is eclectic in design...I think it's OK.

Bryant Park and environs

This is a beautiful Spring day so I thought I 'd visit Bryant Park, behind the main Public Library and smack dab in the middle of Midtown.

It's not my favorite place. It has an upscale restaurant at one end, and offers a lot of welcome open space in this overbuilt area...

Looks like they are digging up the area where the ice rink was, wonder what is going on.

Old skyscrapers to South have interesting period detail.

Friday, March 19, 2010

42nd Street- East Side

42nd Street is usually associated with showbiz, but that's the West Side. The East Side is basically commercial/office space with Tudor City at the East River.

Never get tired of strolling around Tudor City-- will have to get more shots of building details in the future.

At Lexington Avenue there is the iconic Chrysler Building, and at Fifth Avenue the NYC Public Library main branch with its stone lions.

Some of the buildings in the vicinity are great vintage skyscrapers from the early 1920's.

Fifth Avenue also has some memorabilia shops-- which are crass but fun.

Friday, March 12, 2010

World Trade Center - On Being a Cassandra

The City of New York is now paying out hundreds of millions of dollars to first responders at the World Trade Center and others who breathed in all those poisonous dust particles...

I predicted all this misery would happen when I saw the firemen and others going through the clouds of dust and rubble at the time.

"They are just breathing in all that stuff without any protection," I said to anyone who would listen, "eventually a lot of those people are going to get very sick!!"

Nobody seemed to care at the time...I guess a crisis on that scale deranges people to a degree and a lot of common sense gets tossed overboard--

And it didn't help that the Head of the EPA overseeing the event seemed to think nothing was really that amiss.

Some say hundreds of people who breathed in all that dust have already died.

The only positive effect from all this on me was that it made me resolve to give up smoking no matter what or how long it took me...which I eventually did.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Obama's Inexperience

Nobody talks about it, but I am beginning to feel that Obama's lack of experience in Congressional politics is behind some of his problems...

That, and being treated like a "rock star" by crowds and the press for so long.

I never liked that aspect of him. He seemed too complacent when campaigning because he drew such huge crowds all the time.

But he was speaking a lot then about the present economic difficulties of the ordinary American, a topic which he seemed to drop once he became president.

Finally, people like Rahm Emanuel seem long on bluster and short on ideas...never ever liked the idea he had some foul mouthed "hard guy" doing his dirty work for him!

Monday, March 1, 2010

How Will I Get Rid of Bed Bugs for Good?

Haven't mentioned it in a while, but I am still fighting a war with cimex lectularius (the common bed bug)--which came into my place from next door.

Exterminators have been here three times.

My apartment looks like a warehouse with all these clothes and other items sealed up in big plastic bags.

Using non toxic spray that kills bugs and their littlest offspring on contact, but has no residual effect ( supposed to be much safer this way; you don't want to poison yourself while zapping the bugs). Product called Ecobug.

If anyone has ever had bed bugs I am sure they will sympathize...if you have some tips on speeding up the process of getting rid of them , let me know.