Archive for October 2007

Ankling West 72nd Street

October 26, 2007

For me, West 72nd Street is Manhattan.  It’s absurd, but whenever I try to picture Manhattan into a single sort of place, this is the street for me.

I used to live in the area, and I would walk down parts of 72nd Street twice a day (to/from the subway).

And, although it’s only been 2 years since I’ve moved, it’s changing.  Mostly subtle, but it’s emblematic of Manhattan that there’s a continuous creative destruction in process.

At the far east part of W. 72nd is the Dakota.  One of my favorite buildings just because of its architecture.  I’ve posted about it before.  I’ve never been in it and never expect to be.

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As I’ve commented before, I find the window air conditioners on such a hyper-expensive building to be amusing more than anything else.

Further down the street is one of those views that are so typical of the Upper West Side.

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As you get to Broadway, you run into Verdi Square where the subway station is.  The square is created when Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue intersect.

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And once you get to West End Avenue you’re nearly at the Hudson River.  Looking back toward Broadway is a view I’ve seen hundreds of times and that I really like. (Sorry that the shade is so intense on the sunny day that I took the picture.)

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If you look closely, you’ll see the water tanks on some of the older buildings.  The newer ones have them, too.  They’re just better hidden.

-H

5th Avenue at night

October 25, 2007

I was out one evening and took a few pictures along 5th Avenue (or is it “Fifth Avenue”, I never know when to use one or the other).

I was up about 50th and wandered around Rockefeller Center a bit.

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Just across the way is St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.  It is awesome in the evening.

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The front doors are also impressive.  Here’s a full shot of the door followed by a closeup of one of the panels.  (Each of the door’s panels is different.)

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The above panel is for St. Isaac Jogues, the first priest to come to Manhattan.  His journeys from Manhattan in the early 1600’s took him all the way to Lake Superior and he apparently even had some dealings with the Sioux tribe.  Amazing.  He was martyred after a long series of trials and tortures that he survived, even returning to Europe and then coming back to America, only to be killed by the Iroquois only a couple of hundred miles from New York City.

-H

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

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