Archive for June 2008

Basketball at South Street Seaport

June 30, 2008

I was down at the South Street Seaport area over the weekend and saw that they were setting up a basketball court.

Not that they were going to play any games there, though. Instead, it seemed to be a combination of Verizon, the NBA, and the WNBA to publicize their products and to let some locals have some fun. It was around 12:30 or so when I first walked by and people were already lined up and waiting to join in.

There seemed to be some minor obstacles to perform. In honesty, I only saw one person do the process and that was when I was leaving the area. Basically, it was something like shoot a basket, dribble the ball around the cutout figures, pass a basketball to a holding area, and then shoot another basket. I have no idea why I remember those steps. Like I said, it was just one person doing it and that may have just been a staff member testing it out. But everyone else was patiently waiting their turn.

While I was wandering, I did get a nice elevated shot of the area. Everyone on the court in the below view is actually a staff member. Man, those people in line were very patient for such a hot day.

I saw the same sort of thing last year. I think that they actually had some WNBA players on hand at that event. I don’t know if they did at this one or not. It just didn’t interest me enough to wait around for who knows how long to find out.


Tudor City Greens

June 29, 2008

I don’t put much personal information on this site, but I have mentioned a number of times that I live in the Tudor City section of Manhattan. It’s generally older and a little more residential in nature than a lot of other areas. There’s a bit of retail, but you usually have to go a block or so to get to a store.

Coming from 2nd Avenue, there’s a rise to an elevated portion of the area. At that point, you’re basically surrounded by Tudor City buildings and just to the side is the area called “Tudor City Greens”.

It’s a park. A pretty small park, but it has a few very redeeming features. First, it’s relatively quiet as the traffic is minor (at least by NYC standards). Second, it’s broken into two parts; a north park and a south park. They are split by 42nd Street. (I live near the south part of the Greens.) Third, the landscaping is wonderful.

In Spring and Summer, there always seems to be something or another in bloom.

And there’s lots and lots of seating. Both inside and just outside the park.

The rules (aren’t there always rules) basically state that you can come in and sit. No music (unless there’s a band playing) or games. It’s all strictly for relaxing and silently enjoying.


And it is open to the public. Mostly locals enjoy it, but I know a number of non-locals who always comment about that little park just up the street from me. They know a nearly perfect park when they see it.


Waterfalls in New York City

June 28, 2008

It appears that some Danish/Icelandic artist by the name of Olafur Eliasson set up four waterfalls near Manhattan. I can now attest to two of them. I don’t know about the others.

I went down to the South Street Seaport today to take a look. I had seen the early setup of one of them on the Brooklyn Bridge so I knew where to start looking. Sure enough, there it was on the east side of the Brooklyn Bridge.

It’s a nice waterfall, but it ain’t Niagara. Of course, that’d be way too expensive even for NYC. It looked a bit higher but less wide than the Brooklyn Bridge waterfall.

The second waterfall was on the Manhattan side of the East River.

I wasn’t in the ideal spot for watching. I noticed two variations of watching it. First, just to the south of the waterfall, there seemed to be a viewing area.

You can see by the next picture how good my zoom was for the picture. People were kicking back and relaxing on the third level of the South Street Seaport.

The other great way to see the waterfalls appeared to be by boat. The New York Water Taxi and some tour boats were doing a bang-up business taking people out there.

As I understand it, this will be going on for the next five months or so. Maybe I’ll get over to the other side to see it. But maybe not. Like I said, it’s no Niagara.


Cruising Around Manhattan. Boat Cruise, that is…

June 27, 2008

I recently got the chance to go on a work-related boat cruise around Manhattan (well, actually, only about a third of the way and back) and did have my camera. Being Famous Ankles, I spent a lot of the trip just snapping pictures.

There’s not much of a storyline to the photos, so I’ll be brief. Oh, and I got a lot of pictures. I’ll break it into a number of posts, but I won’t do my usual consecutive postings with “Part 1”, “Part 2” and so-forth. Just the occasional post when I feel like it.

We started off on the World Yacht pier at about 41st and 12th Avenue. No point in describing the boat. It was nice. 

It started by heading north to the Upper West Side. The next picture is still in Mid-Town West, though.

Another Mid-Town West shot (mid-town is in the 30s or so to about 59th Street). This is a view I’ve seen many, many times: kayakers. It is always cool to think about how popular kayaking is on the Hudson River. Of course, with 8 or 10 million people in the NYC area, three kayakers does not a massive trend make.

My old stomping grounds. This is the view of Trump Place. Some of the Trump Place buildings are rental, others are condos. At the far left, the tall building with the circular structure on the top is one of the condo buildings and is one of the more iconic Trump Place buildings.

Here’s a better show with, perhaps, four of the Trump Place buildings. The “iconic” one is on the far left. The third building from the left; the brownish one? That’s my old building. I lived there for a year when I first got to NYC. I was on the 17th floor. That’s about the top of the first level of the building. I was about the second window from the far left. As good as this view is of it; I had a better view: the Hudson and even New Jersey. (For my earlier posts on Trump Place, see here and here.)

Here’s a marina that is just to the north of Trump Place. Incidentally, this is probably around 80th Street if you want to know.

Another shot of the marina.

The highest we got was just north of the marina. I did max out my 5x telescopic lens (built-in) to get this picture of the George Washington Bridge in the distance. I’m surprised it came out as well as it did.

Coming back down the Hudson now. This barge was parked on the river just north of Trump Place. That was something I always loved to see: lots of barges would spend the weekend anchored off here. (Not sarcasm: I really did like seeing them. Some were wonderfully set up and others were somewhat dilapidated. I enjoyed them all. I never did see a human on any of them.)

The sun was starting to go down when I took this next picture. (Okay, okay. I took a lot more in between, but they’re redundant or not as good as the ones I’m showing.) That’s the Empire State Building in the distance. It’s located midway across Manhattan.

I tried to frame this right, but chopped off the top of the Empire State. There were a number of boats on the water, but not as many as the warm Friday night would normally bring out. Probably gas was too expensive.

What can I say? Chelsea Piers at twilight is a good way to describe this next picture. The “frame” on the right part of the picture is the golf driving range.

I took so many variations of this shot! This isn’t the best, but I’ll post another or two at another date. But the view is wonderful. This is southern Manhattan. A few years ago, you’d have seen the twin towers.

Here’s another shot of Chelsea Piers, this time with the Empire State Building in the background. Incidentally, Chelsea Piers is in the 20’s. It’s a bit fuzzy, but I wanted to have the boat in the picture, too.

Last picture for the day: southern Manhattan with a sailboat.

I’ve put a statement in this blog a number of times: if you visit, take the Circle Line Cruise. Take the long one! It goes completely around Manhattan.


307th Infantry Memorial in Central Park

June 26, 2008

Near the clamshell in Central Park (at the level of 69th Street and just to the east of Fifth Avenue) is a war memorial that I have never noticed before.

It’s the World War I memorial to the dead of the 307th Infantry, 77th Division of the Allied Expeditionary Forces from New York. The area is marked, but it is very unobtrusive. There’s a stone with information carved into it. It’s already fading away. But it notes that from 1917 to 1919 there were 590 deaths of officers and men. Yes, WWI only lasted until 1918, but I presume some died of their injuries after the armistice.

The memorial is spread out and really consists of plaques in front of trees.

There’s a second larger stone, more professionally done (and recently cleaned of grafitti) that commemorates the members that were, I guess, masons from the order of the Knights of Pythias.

There are two kinds of plaques. The first is copper and shiny. I didn’t see one that didn’t have some sort of prymarks or damage. One each of these is a list of names of the 590. The names on the different plaques don’t seem to overlap. Each group of soldiers has their own plaque.

The second type of plaque is more brass. This one commemorates the members of the machine gun company who were killed in action. Two sergeants and ten privates in this case.

There’s actually a bit of an overlook of the area nearby. An outcropping of schist and I got a grand overview of it.


Some of the trees that had plaques in front of them have already been removed. Perhaps age, perhaps blight. I don’t know if there are plans to replant, but I would certainly hope so.