Translation from English

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Random Christmas store windows in Midtown

Fifth Avenue stores are now all decked out for Christmas is just a quick sampling of some of them:

TOP: Saks Fifth Avenue windows are all under-lit dramatically and I could not get good pix of them,--only this Saks Kids' window was well-lit-- its them is "The Yeti" ( The Abominable Snowman)--kind of weird, huh?

SECOND FROM TOP: High fashion store with the weird name has very elegant stuff as usual

THIRD FROM TOP:  Ann Taylor window has Santa with huge globe behind him

FOURTH FROM TOP: All of Lord & Taylor's  main windows are very "busy" ( small windows on side streets are more coherent)-- this holiday window has everything but the kitchen sink

More store windows and shoppers etc. as season progresses....

Saturday, November 24, 2012

"Black Friday," Macy's Windows for Christmas

"Black Friday," as I remember, was the name of a scary B-movie from about 1941 with Bela Lugosi ( you can google this if you want to)--it had famous scene where man hiding in kitchen closet finds he cannot get out because refrigerator has been moved in front of it....and he goes beserk. The movie leaves him there, poor wretch...

Anyway, these days "Black Friday" is simply the day after Thanksgiving when retailers open early, some really early, for what is supposed to be the biggest sale/shopping day of the Christmas season.

Herald Square around Macy's was of course mobbed with bargain hunters....

Macy's has its new Christmas windows ready. I did not find them all that impressive ( the ones they had last year were a lot fancier and more inventive. This year's windows are colorful, though, and attract just as much attention as the windows always do.

I was in Herald Square yesterday too, and 34th Street was just as mobbed as it was today...all tourists, it seemed to me. The Korean tourists were very much in evidence in the neaby Korean Town area, with all their suitcases on wheels and shopping bags and glazed expressions as they drifted through the crowded streets without seeming to know how to navigate their way in a crowd...

I read an article in the New York Times once that a study crew from Columbia University had set up all these hidden cameras and taken pix for hours just to see how people wended their way through places where the sidewalks were always very crowded. Seems like some people, mostly the native New Yorkers, had a distinctive habit of looking at WHERE they were headed at any given moment which gave other people a clue as to how to navigate around THEM...a lot of peripheral vision involved in this, I guess.

Enough really crowded sidewalks for me for a while, the next few days I am going to be looking to walk places that are not so frenetic and where it seems like you are always close to being trampled to death or something.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

More NYC Street Art

Street Art in Midtown changes in some places and in others is more permanent ( or can at least look that way-- I recently saw a wall painting that had been drastically modified, for what reason I know not).

Top: Weird Mural on doors on Fifth Avenue. Who knows what artist had in mind...guess it is up to the viewer to interpret it.

Bottom: At Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations, big half-eaten donut or bagel has chrome interior...I had a shot of this from a better angle with some people looking at it to give it scale but that was kind of blurry...think you can tell from street lamp just behind it that it is pretty big.

What's New at Astro?

Astro Gems and Minerals continues to have delightful windows....dinosaur skeleton it is menaces passers by---while Egyptian themed window with pyramid, obelisks and Nefertiti is nearby.

I believe Astro will be making its move to its new store soon...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Driveway Graffiti Signage

This is extremely clever use of graffiti style signage...I appreciate the wit of this but nothing will ever make me really accept the look of graffiti comfortably, it has too many bad associations from the 1980's for me....when subway cars were covered over with the stuff so you could not even see out the windows and it increased the feeling that the subway was just one big dangerous sewer with scary crazies roaming around everywhere too...

Nathan Straus Houses

Ah, the City of New York set out on its Public Housing schemes with such good intentions...except from the beginning the money was never there to provide either adequate security or maintenance ( and in many cases the buildings themselves were not exactly great works of construction).

The Nathan Straus Houses in Kips Bay is ensconced in an extremely safe--almost cozy-- environment, and I noticed people coming and going looking perfectly content with the somewhat ramshackle atmosphere of the place...

November Playground

It is mid-November now and the light fades early....a Saturday afternoon still finds kids eager to play in a little park in Kips Bay...why not? I remember as a small kid, I loved to play in little parks like this as long as they were not covered with snow....

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Post Hurricane Sandy Photos in Midtown, election

We lost power here Monday night of Hurricane precisely at 8:30 p.m. I know because
 I had just started to eat a banana and had just glanced at the time...

Power company had called me earlier (robot call) and told me to shut off all major 
appliances, except refrigerator (do not unplug!)-- I even unplugged my computer from 
power surge strip after shutting if off, just as I had unplugged the TV.

Was able to get more batteries for my flashlight, luckily (later)..
and still had gas and running water after power failed. However, I already also had a 
bathtub full of water so I used that to flush following the Los Angeles motto ( "If 
it's yellow, it's mellow, if it's brown, flush it down).

Pain came when it got cold and of course no heat because boiler relies on electric 
turn on. Slept with my clothes and down jacket on under some blankets and just
 felt cold in my feet because I was nervous...

Power was promised by Bloomberg to be on Friday night by Midnight. Went
 downstairsthen to talk to woman working here and also other people who had 
come down. She had a battery powered radio. We heard how power was coming on,
 section by section, starting with the lowest tip of Manhattan. By Midnight
 still no power and it was obvious we would be last little piece in jigsaw puzzle.

I was lighting my gas stove with a cigarette lighter I had bought at little deli without 
power ( was later able to get kitchen matches--glad for these because I kept burning 
my fingers lighting gas using lighter!)

Woman working here on Friday night summed it up neatly, "Dammit, I am getting 
TIRED of it being so dark all the time."

Power and heat came on some time early Saturday morning. I woke up about 6 p.m. 
and saw clock radio time flashing as well as flashing answering machine ( answering
 machine HELL to reset I don't know why they make it so damn complicated).

But SO SO lucky compared to scores of thousands of people in NY-NJ-CT area, so 
manyof whom lost their homes or stayed despite being told to leave and then 
still stayed aslong as they could to flooded houses...

Many scores of thousands around here still without power as I write this. They have 
been pumping out subway tunnels since right after storm flooded them but not 
all lines were back for some time..and of course people still tried to get to work 
anyway they could ( some of the auto tunnels were flooded , too, including 
the Midtown one just north of me, which was supposedly built never to flood! 
Some planning goof there, huh? Actually, I believe Climate change is just setting 
us up for more and more unprecedented storms like this).

Oh yeah, had canned food and peanut butter and bottled water ( boiled water for 
endless cups of instant coffee) and then found out on my travels that power 
NEVER WENT OFF just five blocks North of supermarkets open 
there and restocking withnew food immediately except for bottled water.

Attaching just a dozen of Post-Hurricane photos ( self explanatory, I think, like the 
one of people from no-power zone trying to get to work in power-on zone and 
stoppingfor coffee anywhere they could) etc.

We got off so lightly here, really, I can't complain ( but of course I do).

Our elevator went out and then went whacky when power came back on. Will 
probably require someone from Power company to fix it ( electrician who was 
supposed to comeyesterday never made it today either I noticed).

Yeah, I am happy with election just because of all the time I put in as Obama 
volunteer ( including afternoon shift at phone bank on election day. Obama was
 rightwhen he said he won because of small donations ( I made a lot of them,
 includingthese women Senate candidates who were running against Rape-nut
 case remark Tea Party fools
...the Dem women all won! Only gave $20 to Obama himself but figured that was
 in line with what they were asking for ,,,millions of small donations.

All these people from NYC (and State) also took all these buses to Ohio and
 Pennsylvania for weeks before election and also were there on election day
 to get out the vote...every last one we could identify.
Happy but numb about all politics even though Obama website keeps sending
 me messages and telling me to stay ready for more action. 
What could they have in mind?
I am  so tired of politics I do not even care about the "fiscal cliff"-- screw
 Boehner and intransigent Republicans, country will survive. There WAS 
a mandate for richer people paying their fare share.

HA HA to Koch Bros. and other plutocrats who spent hundreds of millions of 
dollars and believed all of Karl Rove's usual nonsense. They are mad as hell
 at Rove, who will just blame someone/something else for his own stupidity.
My best wishes to all who are still suffering, --hope things improve for you soon!