Archive for October 2007

Stiles Farmers Market

October 24, 2007

This farmers market is a little different than most of the ones I mention in my wanderings.

I’d seen it before, even walked through it once long ago when I first wandered Hell’s Kitchen.  Stiles is located at the corner of 41st Street and 9th Avenue.

It’s not like they typical market:  it’s semi-permanent.

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Yeah, it’s  pretty much just a tent.  A nice tent.  But it is a tent.

When I wandered in the other day, I was struck by the quality of the produce and the low price.

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In fact, it struck me more as a grocery store than a tent. But it is a tent.

I generally don’t like the quality of produce in NYC.  You have to pay some pretty good money for marginal stuff from a small selection.  To find a good selection, and it can be found, you have to do a lot of hunting and pay for it.  Here was stuff and selection that was pretty good (although not up to suburban grocery standards like my favorite, Publix).  I gathered up a bunch and escaped for way less than $10.  That’s astonishing for me.

I’m heading back soon.

-H

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The New New York Times Building

October 23, 2007

The New York Times has moved to its new digs on 8th Avenue.  Right across from the Port Authority Bus Terminal.  Not a ritzy neighborhood, but who am I to complain?  The new building is between 40th and 41st Street.

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The building is actually pretty big, but the Times only occupies part of it.

Oh, they have a “watcher”.

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Who watches them from under the overhang?  Who stands vigil on the Gray Lady?

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Yeah, that’s him.  Ralph Kramden:  bus driver, Raccoon Lodge treasurer, and dreamer (or so the plaque says).

This isn’t the first time that Ralph (aka Jackie Gleason) has show up in my wanderings.

-H

Bryant Park Ice Rink is Under Construction

October 22, 2007

On Saturday, I was walking near Bryant Park and noticed the ice rink is under construction.

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It’s a free rink generally filled with amatuers just having a good time.  I love going by there on occasion and seeing the extreme variation of skills.  (And rooting for the most inept to improve.  Really.)

There’s a good view for all, on and off the rink.

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Last year, I did go skating at Rockefeller Center.  This year…I’m going there again.

-H

Ankling to the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market

October 21, 2007

Or, if you prefer, the Clinton Flea Market.  Hah!  No one ‘cept realtors calls it “Clinton” (named after New York’s first governor and not its current junior senator).

The official name:

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The flea market is pretty famous, at least locally.  I’ve been there about three times and I’d have to say it has gotten smaller each time.  Saturday’s displays filled only a fraction of the road blocked off for it (at the corner of 9th Avenue and 39th Street, going to 10th Avenue). 

However, the most wonderful thing about it is that it is a true flea market.  You want dishes, glasses, silverware, watches, furniture, records, cds, DVDs…whatever?  They got it.

This guy is not for sale (but I guess you could make an offer).

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The displays were pretty spread out, but there was a central area that was chock-a-block with stuff.

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I have to admit that I was startled by one item.  A “secretary”.

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“Startled” only begins my emotions on it.  I inherited a near exact version from my grandmother.  It sits in my little Manhattan co-op even as I type away.

But the flea market version is in better condition.  And it has a real lock, and it has little supports that pivot out to support the desk top when it swings out, and it has FOUR drawers (mine has three).  Mostly, it seems too….inexpensive.  Not that I would ever sell mine (family would kill me if I did), but $295 seems awfully little for something I treasure so much.  Who knows how much I could have knocked the price down to?

-H

Tea Time at Ten Ren Tea Time

October 20, 2007

Of all the neighborhoods I go into, the one I’m least likely to eat in is Chinatown.  I love Chinese food and Chinatown boasts some great Chinese eating, but I’m generally put off by the smell from the grocery stores.  I’ve mentioned this issue in an earlier post.

But there’s one place in Chinatown that I love to go to and partake of the comestibles: Ten Ren Tea Time.

Ten Ren Tea Time

It’s a tiny place, but kept impeccably clean.  It’s on Mott Street, just to the south of Canal Street (it’s on the west side of Mott).  Tiny in width, but about 50 feet deep, there’s enough seating for maybe 15 people.

And all they serve is tea.  Lots of different teas, but for me there’s only one:  bubble tea.

Passion Fruit Bubble Tea

That’s the “passion fruit bubble tea”.  I’m mostly fond of the mango.

Okay, maybe bubble tea is old hat to you, but most of the people I’ve taken there, or tried to take there, have been blissfully unaware of what it is.  Okay, it’s tea….with bubbles.  A lie!  Actually, if you look at the picture, the dark stuff at the bottom is the “bubble” part of the tea.  Every cup gets the same set of bubbles.  And the bubbles are large pearls of tapioca.  If you can’t tell, the straw in the cup is huge.  It’s specially sized to pull in the tapioca bubbles just right (or, more likely, the bubbles are sized the the oversized straw).  Whatever.  It’s a wonderful, wonderful combination.

-H

The Hispanic Columbus Day Parade Part 4

October 19, 2007

I don’t know what happened to Part 3 of my Hispanic Columbus Day Parade coverage.  Yesterday, the post’s content had disappeared, although I could view it in “preview mode”.  But, when I posted it, zip.  I’m going to see about re-constructing it, but I’m not hopeful.  I may just end up posting the pictures.

We’ll see. 

 I enjoyed the parade, but I didn’t stay the entire time.  I had waited two hours before it started and had already been away from home for two hours before that.  It was just too much time at a parade after going to three of them last week.

The marchers certainly made my time there worth spending.  I can’t express how much I admire their skill and pride.

Here’s a sequence that was too good not to include two photos from.

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Leaping Vaqueros!

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Like the guys in yesterday’s post, these guys above jangled when they walked.  Instead of spurs, they had bells sewed into their pants.  The same with the next picture.  They also re-created the serpentine.

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Lots of other dancers showed.  Of all sorts of ages.

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The next woman was really good.  Surrounded by other women and girls, she just danced up a storm.

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My notes tell me that these were Ecuadorian/Equadorian dancers.  (I’m told it’s properly spelled with a “c”, but I think I was taught with a “q” and just have a hard time accepting the other spelling.)

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And others busted the stereotype of women in skirts.  Still Ecuadorian…Equadorian…

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I particularly like the ones below.  I think it’s the true sort of peasant look to it that catches my eye.

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I’m going to end the post, and this series of posts, with this next picture.  Very simple.  Very colorful.  Wonderful to watch.

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-H

Problem with posting

October 18, 2007

Nothing seems to be printing.  Will try tomorrow.  (Looks like I’ve lost some posts.)