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Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day 2010 on 35th Street

Warm Memorial Day finds strange flowers blooming along 35th Street...

Photographer is fascinated with mirrors on other side of garage entrance. Wonder what he finds so it the reflection?

Basketball players as ever in St. Vartan's Park...also handball players and one sided tennis, plus the big playground and the children's area...saw a little girl in a wet bathing suit walking back from there...they must have a sprinkler set up.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Hot Holiday Weekend

Outside Grand Central Terminal on the hot Memorial Day weekend, two tourists consult their maps and argue which is the best way to get somewhere...

In the concourse inside leading to the main hall of the terminal, other tourists are entranced by a Svarowski Crystal display themed around "Sex and the City 2" ( that paean to mindless materialism)...

And there are still--after so many years-- a couple of downscale Irish pubs in the area-- Muldoon's and the Blarney Stone over on Third Avenue.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bleakness in Murray Hill

On a hot, muggy Memorial Day weekend, Murray Hill has aspects that take on a kind of bleak look...

Tasteless renovations from the 1950's and 60's, lack of maintenance, and of course the faceless Verizon building, a paean to International Style Architecture that looms up in an unfriendly way.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Hidden courtyard; Summerset Players

Just two photos today-- first one of church courtyard that is hard to photograph ( never any light, for one thing) -- a lot of ornate buildings on East 29th Street.

Second is a rerun of photo of me and Sioux Oehler Mclane from high school...

Summerset Players production of "Li'l Abner"-- me as Senator Jack E. Phogbound and Sioux as "Stupefyin' Jones."

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Churchly No Smoking in Gardens

Guess the New Church on East 35th Street has had a problem with people smoking in the garden...

It was funny, just after I took the picture of the No Smoking sign, man arrived to sweep up garden.
Nothing like a tidy garden...

Another garden ( not for the first time) back at Tudor City, the lamps are on even though the sun is shining ( not very much, but it's daytime).

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Scorcher Day; Fruit Vendor

Scorching hot day for May--feels more like August--people flock to a street fruit vendor, paying about half of what they would pay at a Manhattan supermarket..( I only buy fruit from the street stands now)..

On 35th Street: Met Evelyn( who works in my building) and Sandra ( who lives here) -- Evelyn and me and Evelyn and Sandra pose in front of St. Vartan's park.

Really a nice day to be outdoors if you don't hike about in the sun too much.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Real and Faux Stanford White buildings; store window

Rather non-descript old apartment building is the real Stanford White one...( circa 1889) 35 East 30th Street, a co-op called the Nottingham building looks like what people expect a S. White building to be.

In fairness, the 1889 building ( gee, what a lot of work must have gone into keeping that building functioning properly over all these co-op on sale for $2 million in the building ( nothing that grand-- it's just that we are, after all in Manhattan)-- ad says electrical connections have all been updated. That's a relief.

Store window has Tiffany-like lamps and carpet samples...this photo makes me wish I had a polarizing filter for my camera or that the camera had a polarizing element built into it ( it is a Samsung, and they boast about their technology, so why not?).

Like the combination of colors...

Monday, May 24, 2010

How Safe is Your Balcony; Clover Deli

A man fell to his death when his balcony collapsed under him at Co-op City lately, prompting the City to tell people not to go on their balconies until they have been checked for safety.

A lot of balconies, like these, look sort of shaky... these have been patched up as you can see.

The Clover Deli at 34th and Second is another one of those very old ( for this neighborhood) stores....

The open display of cookies makes them more tempting than they are wrapped up in the Supermarket .

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Familiar Face; Two Restaurants on Third Avenue

Familiar smiling face on weekends belongs to Janette, hard working lady who has another job during the week...

Janette grew up the daughter of a career soldier and doesn't think the experience did her any harm.

She is a partisan of the Bronx and very proud of all the progress that has been made in turning the borough around...

Yes, here is Kool Blog restaurant which I was able to photograph during a gap in traffic...guess there is nothing that special about this place yet I like the name.

Speaking of names, wasn't there a Broadway play called " The Inn of the Sixth Happiness" many years ago?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Signs on Third Avenue

There are a lot of interesting shop signs on the local stretch of Third Avenue...

One I really wanted to get-- the "Kool Blog" restaurant-- is situated so that it is just about impossible to get an in-focus shot of the sign without getting run over by traffic on Third Avenue.

Love My Soup is self-explanatory..

The Bravest refers to the motto of the NYC Fire this is a " Firemen's Bar."

Energy Kitchen ( which shares a corner spot with a Pizzeria right on top of it) features menu items under 500 calories.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Another Empire shutterbug: "calder" furniture; pharmacy

This man on sidewalk has just lost his balance crouching down trying to get just the "right shot" of the Empire State Building...

As I have noted, could get a shot like this every day if I just waited around long enough.

"Modern" Calder-inspired ( I guess) furniture in shop window on 34th Street...doesn't appeal to me, I could never get into it, so to speak.

Finally, an independent pharmacy of the kind whose numbers are dwindling rapidly as we get another CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens and Duane Reade on every other corner.

Like the name, "Pasteur Pharmacy."

Monday, May 17, 2010

Empire Area; Blast from the Past; Madison Sq. Play area

Another grab bag of photos this time: First, building next to Empire State has interesting glass arches...wonder if were ever modified after it was built...

Second, photo of me and friend named Sioux Oehler McLane in a 1963, end -0f-high-school summer stock production of "L'il Abner"--we are Senator Phogbound and Stupefyin's Jones...the group was called Summerset Players and I ought to google it to see if it still exists...

Finally, a nice children's play area in Madison Square...east midtown and Murray Hill have a certain number of playgrounds for kids, but not all that many.

Sunday, May 16, 2010, Norman Thomas HS building

Banners in Midtown announce turns out to be a pretty interesting website on NYC places and activities-- oriented towards tourists but useful for locals as well.

Sunday finds this office building plaza empty....Monday afternoon, it will be chaos as the students stampede out of Norman Thomas High School, which is in the building.

Have a friend whose brother went there...wonder if he knows yet who Norman Thomas was ( or cares).

Find the office building itself sort of an eyesore...some buildings and sculpture grow on you, others do the opposite...this building I find more and more oppressive with each passing year.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Balmy Spring Evening, Pedicab, Shutterbugs

Balmy spring evening brings people outside to enjoy the weather, sightsee and hang out..

First, my neighbors Craig and John sit over at St. Vartan Park boundary and hang out, probably discussing activities involving the Tenants' Association of our building....Craig is the Chair of it.

Know pedicabs are proliferating in Midtown but this is first time I have been able to get a shot of one...

Finally,--I could get a shot of this every day-- people photographing the Empire State Building from nearby ( men often crouching down). Every one you know who visits NYC probably has a shot of the Empire State...which is why I try to avoid having it on this blog!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fifth Avenue, New Sunlight, & Guinness is Good 4U

Another grab bag of Midtown snapshots:

Bald mannequins with sunglasses on Fifth Avenue,

Apartments that had not seen daylight in scores of years do again after building next door is set back from street, and Paddy Reilly's bar poster extols the merits of Guinness...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Steam Heat, "French Nails" and the UU's

"Dig We Must" used to be Con Ed's catchphrase ( now they use the silly "On It!" with an upturned thumb....yeah, they are probably " on it" like BP is on the Gulf of Mexico crisis.

Always wondered where this "French Cleaners" cliche came from in NYC--notice this place has "French Nails" too-- yes, another Nail Salon!

The local Unitarian Church is celebrating Love, which sounds sort of wishy washy ( what is this, "All You Need is Love?" "Agape" or something?)--which is why I only occasionally attend services there. The UU's are certainly well intentioned, though....