Archive for March 2008

James J. Walker Park in the West Village

March 22, 2008

Jimmy Walker was one of NYC’s great (or perhaps “controversial” is a better term) mayors.  In Greenwich Village, they’ve got a small, but somewhat unusual park, named after him.

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The park isn’t very big, just a few acres.  Among other things, it has a children’s playground and a ballfield.

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Something I found interesting:  it also has a handball court.  You don’t see too many of these.

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Oh, and a bocci/bocce ball court.  You see very few of these.

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All pleasant, but not particularly unusual.

What’s unusual for a park is a grave.  Perhaps a mass grave as the place was a cemetery for quite some time.

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Okay, it looks like a monument.  It has two plaques on it (okay, one plaque and one engraving, well, two ‘cuz one’s on the other side).

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It reads, “This ground was used as a cemetery by Trinity Parish during the years 1834-1898.  It was made a public park by the city of New York in the year 1897-8.  This monument stood in the cemetery and was removed to this spot in the year 1898.”

The engraving on the monument reads:  “Here are interred the bodies of Eugene Underhill aged 20 years 7 months and 9 days and Frederick A. Ward aged 22 years 1 month and 16 days.  Who lost their lives by the falling of a building while engaged in the discharge of their duty as FIRE MEN on the first day of July MDCCCXXXIV.”  I believe that’s Roman numeral for 1834.

 That would make the monument one of the first in the cemetery.  I presume the “removed to this location” in the first plaque means somewhere on the block to this side of a relatively unused area, instead of perhaps in the middle of the ballfield.

-H

Good Friday

March 21, 2008

Some days I have more in mind than than touring NYC and work.

Matthew Chapter 27 (King James Version):

27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers.
28 And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.

29 And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!

30 And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.

31 And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.

32 And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.

33 And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull,

34 They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.

35 And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.

36 And sitting down they watched him there;

37 And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

38 Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.

39 And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,

40 And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.

41 Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said,

42 He saved others; himself he cannot  save.  If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.

43 He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.

44 The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.

45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.

46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

47 Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said , This man calleth for Elias.

48 And straightway one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.

49 The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.

50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,

53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

54 Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.

55 And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him:

56 Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s children.

57 When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple:

58 He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.

59 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,

60 And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.

61 And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre.

62 Now the next day, that followed  the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,

63 Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.

64 Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.

65 Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.

66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.

-H

Dumpling Man. Food Fit for Famous Ankles

March 20, 2008

In the Lower East Side, just down St. Marks Place, sitting on the south side of the street; is a little slice of perfection:  Dumpling Man!

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If you read reviews of Dumpling Man, you’ll note they claim they make the dumplings right in front of you.  True, but not the truth.  They make scores, even hundreds, of dumplings in front of you; but when I was there they tossed my pre-made dumplings into the cooker while they were rolling and setting up the dough flats in preparation of making more hundreds of dumplings.

And mighty fine dumplings they are.  Mighty fine dumplings.

My advice (take it for what it’s worth); run to Dumpling Man and grab a mess o’ them.  But just use the soy sause and the chili sause that’s out for all to use.  I didn’t have much use for their extra charged “super hot” sause.  It wasn’t anywhere as good as the chili and soy combo I combined and scarfed down at the counter.

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I wimped out inside.  I asked if I could take a picture of the place and the woman making the dumplings said she didn’t want her picture taken.  I shoulda anyway.  She makes a fine dumpling and should be proud of it.

-H

Clown Ride in Greenwich Village

March 19, 2008

This is a little ridiculous, but I’ll post on it anyway.

In my March 12 post, I mentioned finding out about the Bike Lane Liberation Clown Ride scheduled for Saturday, March 15.  Well, decided to go there and then I messed up my view of the event.

It was scheduled for 2:30pm and I got to the site long before it happened.  I did wander around Greenwich Village and have a number of posts from that wandering that I’ll post on over the coming days/week.

Here’s the site of the gathering.  (A clown gathering, what a concept!)

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It’s a bike rental/sales store located on Morton Street.  The picture is taken from Greenwich Street.  At about 2pm, I walked past and found only a handful of people there, and only one in clown makeup.  I didn’t stop in, not wanting to be accosted as a clown stalker.  Or maybe I was terrified of being drawn into the clown side.

I walked by a bit later and found a few others gathering there, but still only two or three in costume.  So, I decided to stake out what I suspected to be part of their route.

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I was all prepared.  I also managed to catch the owner of “The Love Bike” in her quest to reach the clown gathering!

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Yes, there’s a dog with her.  Not necessarily a clown dog, but definitely a clown’s dog.

So, I walked by again and saw that the crowd had grown.  I proceeded around the block to catch them at their rideoff…and they apparently went out before I reached my viewing point.  Or maybe they took a different route.

I’m a lousy clown hunter.  Ditched by them without so much as a honk of a nose horn.

-H

Movie Shoot in Greenwich Village

March 18, 2008

If you’re in NYC for any length of time, you start to see these sorts of signs all over the place.  And the prettier/grittier the place, the more often you see them.

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It’s a notice that, if you had parked on this street (Greenwich Street) on Sunday, March 16th, you’d have been towed away.  They’re making a movie called “New York, I Love You”.

Hey, I sympathize with the sentiment.  I checked IMDB and they have this.  At this time, the entry is pretty bare, but it says that 12 filmmakers are making an anthology based on the title’s premise.  The directors and actors seem like a pretty first-rate crew, too.  But, then, I don’t go to movies that often so I only recognized about a third of the names.

But, like I said, I like the sentiment of the title.

I still have a problem with the sentiment of the notice, though.  NYC really lets the movie/TV industry have their way on everything.  I don’t know if I really like giving these guys the right to block off entire streets for hours/days.  But, it does let people see NYC in its best light.

I don’t know where they’re filming, as these signs go up not only next to the location of the shots, but to areas they are going to be parking all of the vehicles used in carrying cameras and food and actors and all.  But, I did see some photogenic looking buildings here.

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Yeah, that’s the same sign.

-H