Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

Central Park in Spring

May 14, 2008

Over the weekend, I realized I hadn’t been to Central Park since February. That’s a long time for me.

And it is most definitely Springtime in the park. What’s not to love about Central Park in Spring?

I was only around the southern part of the Park, just avoiding going up to the Sheep Meadow and the Great Lawn. They may not be open yet, simply to give the grass a chance to grow and get anchored in for the hordes of New Yorkers later in the season.

But, as you can tell, this part of the park is nicely wooded and has a lot of schist outcrops.  That’s the rock on which all of the skyscapers are are set. 

And, as I love to point out, even with all the trees, there is a rather unsubtle reminder that you are in NYC.


Central Synagogue on Lexington Avenue

May 13, 2008

Located on 55th Street and Lexington Avenue, NYC’s Central Synagogue is very distinctive and really stands out from the nearby buildings.

The building style is noted as “Moorish” and that seems absolutely appropriate to the structure. It’s pretty cool looking.

But you know the one thing that really caught my eye?  Not the style (although that helped).  Instead, it has the most absolutely perfect announcement/services sign that I have ever seen on any house of worship. I am just so used to the ones that some poor deacon has to go out and put up the plastic lettering on. For Central Synagogue, it is just a nice standard digital display.

It’s such a minor thing, but just something I don’t know that I’ve seen before.  Well, I’ve seen Churches with the scrolling letter signs, but not something as simple and as nice as the above.

Incidentally, despite its old-style appearance, it is a Reform synagogue.


Yeshiva University

May 8, 2008

At the corner of Lexington Avenue and 35th Street is Yeshiva University.


But not quite.  The main body of the university is in upper Manhattan.  This is apparently a branch of the University, The Stern College for Women.


Yeshiva is apparently a part of the Orthodox part of Judaism, but I must admit never noticing any greater-than-normal number of people in yamulkes around the area.  That had always puzzled me because I’m aware that Yeshiva has a pretty good reputation for scholastics (rated #52 by US News and World Report in 2008) and I thought it was a decent-sized university.  However, if it is primarily a women’s school in this part of the City, that would seem to explain it.  And, it turns out that Yeshiva University has a total of only 3,000 or so students.  And that’s divided among several campuses of which this is only one.


NYC Interview Number 001

April 28, 2008

Recently, a friend suggested that I expand my blog to include people.  After all, NYC is a whole lot more than its places.  “There are eight million stories…” and so on.

So, I’ve started to do exactly that.  This will be a periodic posting, but we’ll see how it goes.

I was wandering around Tompkins Square Park in the Lower East Side and ran into my first interviewee/victim:  Zemer Avital.

I had a nice prepared list of questions and the like for the poor guy and he was more than willing to accommodate this strange character talking about his “blog” and all.

He’s originally from Israel and has only been in NYC for about six weeks. We got into the age-old philosophical question of whether than makes him a resident or non-resident of NYC. My position is pretty straightforward: if you’ve been here long enough to walk a block or two, you’re practically a native born New Yorker.

His favorite part of the City: the West Village. He also recommends off-off-Broadway shows as the great don’t-miss-it sort of thing to do in NYC. I agree very strongly with that evaluation.

I did ask him, as a long-time resident of NYC of six weeks, to tell me the strangest sight he’s seen so far. He answered that it was a sight at Union Square where he found a man doing a street show with a potato peeler. I knew exactly who he was talking about. That’s one of the characters I’ve occasionally looked for to put on the blog. It isn’t so much a “show” as it is a “sales pitch”. The guy has this wonderful act where he sells these peelers.

At the end of the interview, Zemer looked through my list of Resident Favorite Facts About NYC.  I will only allow three to be chosen. After lengthy contemplation Zemer chose:

  • d. Queens is the heart of NYC, but nobody knows it. Maybe if you’d send us some of those extra Brooklyn celebrities…
  • m. I keep meaning to ride the complete route of the subway, but I don’t have a spare week to do it.
  • w. “East Village”? There’s no such “East Village”, it’s the Lower East Side!

Thanks very much Zemer! You were a sport to be my first interview! Enjoy NYC.


A Busy Weekend

April 6, 2008

The parade season has begun.  This weekend, two of ’em.  First, the 2008 Tartan Day Parade held on 6th Avenue on Saturday; second, the 2008 Greek Independence Day Parade held Sunday on Fifth Avenue (or is that “Sixth Avenue and 5th Avenue, respectively?).

Yeah, I went to both of them and I’ll be posting on both.  Expect multi-day posts for them.  Too many pictures and such divergent parade styles.