Translation from English

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Plethora of Historic Designations in Manhattan

The Griffon Apartment building on Park Avenue in Murray Hill has an Historic so many other places around the area.

Let me see what internet has on the Griffon:(This is from what is basically a real estate listing...some tantalizing bits in here though if you keep reading)

Three Bedrooms from $1,950,000 (updated January 23, 2012)
One Bedroom from $995,000 (updated January 26, 2012)

Contact us about buying or selling an apartment in The Griffon .
Email Us OR Call (212) 755-5544

The Griffon - 77 Park Avenue: CARTER'S REVIEW

This 127-unit condominium building was designed by Margon & Glaser and completed in 1925. Its apartments have fireplaces and the building has an elevator person and a roof garden. One of the closest residential buildings to Grand Central Terminal, this Murray Hill property achieved some notoriety in 1936 when Special Prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey accused one of its residents, Mrs. Abraham Z. Schiebel, alias Mary Briggs, of having violated the Mann Act by transporting "Boots" Carter from Pittsburgh for immoral purposes and running a place of prostitution in her apartment in the building.
"Names of customers found in her records included the owner of a major league baseball team, a bank president, and some major business executives," according to James Trager in his book, "Park Avenue, Street of Dreams," 1990, Atheneum. Mrs. Schiebel was sentenced to four years in prison ...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Finally, Snow and a More Recognizable January....

This has been an unusually mild winter for New York City, with scant snow ever making it to the ground...I can only remember one snowfall so far for the whole season, in fact...

That may be changing now...the first real January snowstorm started out promisingly...but, I have to admit, it petered out into drizzle and what the weather forecasters call a "wintry mix"-- and the cleared up and was just very cold ( but hardly anything unheard of for this time of year).

New York is not alone in this...most of the middle of the country has seen a milder winter with a lot less snow...

The main thing about this snowfall was how really treacherous it became underfoot....I was wearing thick soled winter boots designed to provide you with maximum traction and I still had to watch my step.

I am used to long walks on pretty much a daily basis, and only got to walk a moderate amount was just too dangerous feeling. Saw couples holding hands to help each other keep their balance...and two young Asian women who left their apartment building in three inch heels and soon realized their mistake ( they last I saw, I think they were desperately trying to get a cab).

Well, the forecast is just for cold weather tomorrow and then another mild spell...guess REAL winter will not get here until February.

I feel convinced it will come, though...just a matter of the law of averages. Even if global warming is being documented more and more ( some glacier in Chile is melting at an alarming rate--right of that movie "An Inconvenient Truth."

Friday, January 20, 2012

Madison Avenue in lower East 30's--one carpet store after another

Historically, stores in the same business cluster in same areas in Manhattan ( particularly the Garment District....which used to spill outwards in all directions for blocks and blocks and with little extensions for certainly specialties appearing a long way from the center of the District).

Going back about 40 years, I can remember how there were all these stores on the Bowery which specialized in kitchen fixtures, like sinks....and some in kitchenwares....also was then the home of the old, old Sammy's Bowery Follies, a big barn of a place which tried to carry on traditions that went back to the 1890's ( it was really something of a tourist trap but fascinating).

Today neighborhood down there is pretty much gentrified...would not be surprised if office buildings with carpet showrooms did not some day get turned into condo buildings..but not in this economy.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Aerial Tramway to Roosevelt Island....

While there is a subway station on Roosevelt Island, many people prefer the aerial tramway.

This posting seems silly and incomplete without a picture of the tram car itself...have waited around forever and tram car never appeared ( or saw it speed by when I was not ready with camera).

Here is a link to a YouTube posting on the aerial tramway...

Watching this will give you an appreciation of the whole operation.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Designer Glasses

Designer glasses, if my memory serves me right, started to come in in the early 1970's with the advent of "aviator frames" and the increased popularity of gold rimmed glasses.... ( I wear gold rimmed retro aviator type frames now, as do tons of other fact, found myself on a subway car a couple of months ago and realized that there were--Good Lord-- half a dozen older men, all of us with similar physiques, and ALL wearing gold rimmed aviator style frames! Makes you realize again that no matter how individual you think your choices are, there are loads of other people who will make the same or a similar choice! Same goes for "new ideas" in the Arts, Politics,  etc. ( which often turn out to have precedents and are not as new as they may seem to the people who come up with them).

But I digress-- woman used to hate to wear glasses especially ( --there was the famous Dorothy Parker line, "men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses"--) though growing boys sure did not like being called " four eyes" ( I did not wear glasses until I was over 16 and suffering all kinds of symptoms that turned out to be part of the thyroid cancer I was suffering from)..

Seems today people like Tina Fey and others in show biz have led the way in making wearing glasses a  kind of "look" that more people enjoy.

Of course, contact lenses now exist that will even correct for stigmatism and then there is the extreme measure of laser surgery ( a woman Spanish professor of mine at City Tech some years back had her eyes "done" and I remember she had quite a few difficulties and adjustments to make once the procedure had been is not for everybody, and some of its early adherents now question whether it is really a good idea).

Finally, let me see if there is anything of value on the internet about Designer Glasses:

(Here I had to delete a bit of the history of glasses because of technical difficulties...will just take a bit from this really interesting website I found)

Though roughly made, early spectacles were full of charm and rapidly became a symbol of wisdom and learning. Later glasses quickly became more technically sophisticated. One of the most important industries, the German spectacles industry, was formulated in 1535 with the issuance of regulations of the Nuremberg spectacle makers’ guild. In London in 1629, King Charles I granted a charter incorporating the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers. Unfortunately all of their earliest records were destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666 except for that charter. During most of the 17th century, Germany remained the center of spectacle making. Germans made the finest frames while the Italians made the highest quality lenses. The early lenses were still cloudy until manufacturing developed and flint was added to make the glass clearer. Genuine, original pre-1700 spectacles are exceedingly rare today and are highly treasured by museums and collectors alike.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Midtown Manhattan as a discount center....e.g., for electronics

For years and years, tourists have shopped in Midtown Manhattan, looking for bargains for all kinds of goods...especially such items as digital cameras ( unless they are Asian, who are already well equipped that way).

Apropos of nothing, just heard a broadcast on NPR about the horrible conditions some Chinese workers suffer woman was allowed to join a union,(to her surprise), but when she had a complaint she was immediately fired-- and, she discovered, put on this huge "Blacklist" that the Chinese companies share with each other to make sure they never hire anybody who may be a potential "troublemaker."

There was also one old Chinese man who had had his hand deformed working in a factory that produced ipads for Apple. The reporter who spoke to him happened to have one and showed it to him...he said the old man's eyes lit up when he saw it turned on...he had never seen one in operation!!

The last American electronics firm to hold out at all from the Asian onslaught was, I believe, Motorola...think some Asian company owns that name now.

Just a little something from the internet about discount stores in Manhattan--

Bill would bag phony-purse buyers

Last Updated: 11:05 AM, April 26, 2011
Posted: 12:46 AM, April 26, 2011
Pretty soon, it could be more than just the fashion police who have a problem with your shoddy knockoff bag, like this bogus Louis Vuitton.
Buyers could face a year in jail or a $,1000 fine under a proposed bill by a city councilwoman fed up with cheapskate tourists and Big Apple residents flooding her district in search of fake designer merchandise.
"We don't want to be known as the place to come to get counterfeit goods," said Councilwoman Margaret Chin, whose Chinatown district is ground zero for counterfeiters.
Under Chin's bill, which is being introduced Thursday, shoppers caught buying any counterfeit product could be jailed or slapped with a fine of $1,000 -- a little less than the price of Marc Jacobs' frequently copied Baroque Quilting Mini Stam bag, which retails for $1,250.
"It's a very big problem," Chin said of the counterfeit market. "People are still coming, and the industry is growing, and we have to stop the demand. We need people to know that they are feeding this demand."

Friday, January 6, 2012

(English Speaking Union offices in Murray Hill

Among the many consulate, organizations and associations in Murray Hill is the English Speaking Union...

It was set up to foster relations between English speaking people. They don't speak about it on their website, but I am convinced it attracts people who have an interest in maintaining the "Special Relationship" between the U.S. and the U.K.

Here is just something from the internet (wikipedia):

he English-Speaking Union (ESU) is an international educational charity which was founded by the journalist Sir Evelyn Wrench in 1918. The ESU aims to "bring(s) together and empower(s) people of different languages and cultures," by building skills and confidence in communication, such that individuals realize their potential[1]. With almost 40 branches in the United Kingdom and over 50 international branches in countries around the world, the ESU promotes a variety of activities such as debating, public speaking and student exchange programmes, runs conferences and seminars, and offers scholarships, to encourage the effective use of the English language around the globe.
The mission statement of the English-Speaking Union (as stated on its website) is to:
  • Provide a forum for international friendship through the support of the worldwide network of ESUs and the provision of secretariat facilities for the International Council at the ESU's headquarters at Dartmouth House, London;
  • Facilitate and assist the establishment and recognition of ESUs worldwide;
  • Focus on key current affairs issues through regular international conferences, seminars and taff and voluntary helpers;
  • Work in close and innovative partnership with its corporate members and sponsors.