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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Where is Spring?

WELL, we are all still waiting for Spring to show up.

I was watching the Weather Report on TV last night and they were showing how much warmer last March was than this year...last year we almost really didn't have a winter at all, in fact.

This year was closer to normal, and right now it is finally starting to warm up. The days have been off and on sunny and you can see the tulips want to bloom soon...

This has been a time for me to just take care of medical problems--just had a cystoscopy ( read on the internet that it would be horrible but it wasn't) ( I am OK, by the way) and waiting to see a surgeon about a hernia I just developed.

This  just gives me one more chance to wish a Happy Passover and Easter to everyone who is observing them! Let's hope Spring comes in soon, too!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Passover, Easter arrive and Chocolate is all over

Passover has just started ( note this store has sign saying it sells Kosher chocolate)-- and, of course, there are the traditional treats from Barton's in NYC like the Chocolate Matzoh and other favorites.

This big Easter Bunny in the center of the window is bedecked with (what are those, marshmallow eggs?)-- have to go back and get a better look.

More New(?) Clothes- Men vs. Women

The Gap always features casual clothes and for ages now the men's stuff seems stuck back in a time warp...when it comes to casual men's clothing, men seem to just like to stick to the tried and true.

Women are always a little more adventurous, but not that much either...these dresses are either for Spring or for Summer, I am not sure which

Cannot Wait for Spring- Late March 2013

This was a day or two before an end of March snowfall was predicted-- a milder day and people swarming to St. Vartan's Park, itching like crazy for the real Spring to begin.

Spring is coming, it's coming, just have to wait a little while...

Friday, March 15, 2013

Chapel- Source of All Consolation-East 33rd Street

This chapel-- " Source of All Consolation"-- is on East 33rd Street between First and Second Avenues..

Ideal spot for a nice refuge from noise of City--this is probably quietest place around here possible...note that chapel dates from 2009, although I thought I noticed them working on it not so long ago ( maybe time has just flown that fast)


Back to "Alphaville" March 2013

"Public seating space" in Kips Bay housing area near NYU Dental School is even gloomier and more oppressive in winter than in summer, where people sit out on the concrete and eat lunch etc. anyway

I always wonder how Community Boards just approve this stuff automatically as an "amenity"

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

March, The Time of Great Flux

March has always been noted as a month of great flux and rising and falling temperatures, Spring like days followed by cold snaps, and sometime during the month the unlikely emergence of the first daffodils, (especially in Central Park) -- little harbingers of Spring which however do not rule out the chance of getting whammied by one last big Winter Nor'easter and a foot of snow, on, say, March 22...

Landmark buildings as you look up Third Avenue from Murray Hill, the Chanin Building on the left ( named after its architect who was way ahead of his time in the design of tall office buildings) and of course the Chrysler Building with its distinctive spire( and when you get closer where you can see the ornamental art deco eagle type shapes perched up on corners of the building, looking like hood ornaments from the first "streamlined" cars of the 1930's)...

Murray Hill and Kips Bay more family oriented than ever

It seems to me that this area of Murray Hill and adjacent Kips Bay is more oriented to young families ( or people with infants and young children anyway-- adults are often older now when they have their first kid I have noticed). Sometimes hard to tell if someone like woman with baby (above) are mothers or nannies.

Variety in Turtle Bay

One of the things I love about the Turtle Bay section of Manhattan ( roughly between 45th and 54th streets from Park Avenue over to East River) is what a hodgepodge of architectural styles it encompasses and how charming it is on a quiet Sunday when the residential aspect of it dominates...

The Turtle Bay Music School is still there too, and seems to have changed and updated itself in the last year or used to be that it served many kids who grew up in Turtle Bay, which I suppose it still does, but it seems people are on the move more than ever these days and whereas people used to live for generations ,say, in parts of the Upper West Side, that no longer seems to be true. Yuppies move in, have a couple of kids, and then either go elsewhere to find more room or out of the City altogether.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Landmark Alley pretty as always

Landmark Alley ( really a Courtyard now ) in Murray Hill remains a real treat to the eye as you pass it ( not shown here: Big black fancy iron gate that seals it off from street).

Hate to think what it must cost to live here now, as real estate prices in Manhattan continue to soar ( average one bedroom apt. in New York City is now $3,500 a month or something, or maybe that is just Manhattan).

Fun to see this place with the seasons-- I will miss this neighborhood a lot when I eventually move out in 2017.

Park Handball and Tennis Courts in use all Winter

The handball, basketball and single tennis areas of St. Vartan's Park here in lower Murray Hill have only been shut down a few days this winter (because of snow or slush)--otherwise people (mostly men and boys) are out in them all the time no matter what the weather is like otherwise.

Bigger playground gave children a chance to make snowmen only once so far this year...we may yet get another snowfall before March is over ( it used to be so typical for the weather to be nice and Springlike for St. Patrick's Day and then slam us with a snowstorm a week later, but with Climate Change who knows).

More than retro, Vintage influence in clothes

Have noticed that Women's Spring Fashions are already much on display.

Seems to be a theme of old fashioned looking clothes that goes back to even 1950's. Note the collar on this dress for instance.

Men's clothing stays very traditional and just does variations on themes. High end stuff has more custom made white stylized shirts etc. I suppose and suits which are cut somewhat differently than before but the kinds of "looks" of fabrics etc. seems much the same.

Notice men's shirts (even when wearing ties) are often shown left out or have half of the front not tucked in. I take this as being like the whims in men's facial hair and also the fact that more celebrity men appear wearing glasses than ever before ( of course, this may be just because a lot of them are getting older, period).

Bullfighting- Dying Out or Here to Stay?

Paintings like this used to be such a staple of American motel rooms as to be something of a joke...also, what for years were those kitsch pictures of matadors done on felt or something.

Barcelona in Spain recently outlawed bullfighting ( which they see as Spanish and they are still on trip that they are Catalonians, not Spaniards or something.

Animal Rights Activists of course hate bullfighting but it is so entrenched in Hispanic culture ( just like the "running with the bulls" will probably never stop in Spain--it attracts too much tourist money now which Spain needs desperately).

I have no interest in bullfighting at all and would never go to see one but think it is kind of pointless to make too much of it in the United States where very few people are interested in it anyway.

Let the people in the Hispanic world deal with it, it is all about their traditions etc. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Freedom Tower from Uptown recalls Twin Towers

Now nearing completion, Freedom Tower in Lower Manhattan seen from Sixth Avenue and 27th Street....seeing new tower suddenly reminds me of how you used to see Twin Towers rearing up on horizon in much the same way before...
Freedom Tower and whole area has taken so long to build it is kind of incredible. Part of this, of course, is all these people who want to get their two cents in about what everything would be like, down to tiniest details, and how to accomplish this in a way the developers could afford.

Ever-Shrinking Flower District, VERY quiet now

This time of year, ever shrinking Flower District is smaller than ever in its outdoor manifestations..Of course, this is all part of Midtown that autocratic billionaire Mayor Bloomberg has long been determined to do away with and replace with luxury condos ( a process already well underway in the Broadway area and East of that)...(Also, shrinking Garment District is losing famed Parsons School of Design to trendy 14th Street at Union Square)...all this shown here is wholesale goods, of course-- interestingly, retail outlets for flowers right now in Midtown are overflowing...(such as the local new Fairway Supermarket at Kips Bay Plaza).-- Oh yes, one other factor slowing down the replacement of this area of Midtown is the big surge in new condo space being done in Lower Manhattan, where after flooding from Sandy, corporations and other businesses deserted knocked out office buildings in droves-- landlords converting most of the space now to residential. This is in an area that has seen its population grow by something like 240% since 2005 or so..