Archive for the ‘Union Square’ category

Union Square Dog Run

February 22, 2008

I recently posted on the Tompkins Square Park dog run and how it was considered one of the top dog runs around.  I made the comment that I’ve never seen a dog run with any grass in it and decided I’d go ahead and post on the one dog run that I see on a regular basis:  in Union Square.

Actually, it’s in the park connected to the square.


Generally, the place is jammed, but the one time I decided to take some pictures, there were just a couple of dogs in the whole place.


The place is small…and not a blade of grass.



Interviewer Contortions at Obama Table in Union Square

January 8, 2008

As it is the day of the New Hampshire primary, I thought I’d do my little bit of election posting regarding something I watched in Union Square on Sunday.

I haven’t seen any of the presidential ads yet, probably because NYC isn’t on their radar yet or maybe because they think that it’s a gimmee for Hillary.  But, for the first time this cycle, I have spotted a group pushing their candidate:  Barack Obama.


As you can see, it’s sparsely attended.  Hey, it’s cold and we don’t have an immediate primary on the horizon.  Also, it’s just a table in the square.  I just noted it as the first I’ve seen.

But what I loved was a vignette going on behind the table.  There was a small film crew (reporter and cameraman) interviewing one of the staff.  I never heard a word.  I don’t know if it was a news reporter or a campaign reporter.

But I loved the contortions.





The interviewer was apparently trying everything she could to keep out of the frame but have the mic close to the speaker.  The speaker was game and never seemed to blink as the reported kept changing stances.  Although, on close inspection she is cracking a smile on the third picture.


CBS Interactive Art at Union Square

January 5, 2008

Maybe this has spread far and wide, but I’ve recently seen an interesting phenomena where technology allows people to interact physically with projected pictures.  The most elaborate have been games where you “herd” ducks into a nest (that’s located in the South Street Seaport), but when I was at Union Square, I ran into this one and wasn’t the only one who found it interesting.


The sign was normally just a blue background with a “CBS Outdoors” logo projected onto a tile wall.  Whenever someone walked between the projector and the wall, it would cause a cascade of “bubbles” as if the person’s walk caused cavitation.


Utterly of no use, it was nonetheless visually interesting.  But, then, I’m easily amused.  And I wasn’t the only one; there were about 3 of us watching as people did “the walk”.


Protest against foreclosures

December 29, 2007

I did a lot of wandering about on Christmas Eve.  I ended up in the East Village, near Union Square, and saw a protest going on.


It was being held near a Washington Mutual branch and they were protesting foreclosures.


They had a couple of camera crews and the occasional passing-by viewer/photographer like Famous Ankles.


I’ve no idea of the affiliation of the protesters or of the film crews, but I can say that aside from the organized protestors and the film crews, the spontaneous joiners numbered about zero.  I presume they were trying to identify WaMu with Mr. Potter in “It’s a Wonderful Life” or perhaps with Scrooge.


Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2007

It’s Christmas Eve and I’ve spent the day doing my NYC tradition:  wandering around wishing people Merry Christmas!  And I did wander.

I started by going up to Harlem.  It’s been way too long and I wanted to see how Harlem’s streets are set for Christmas.  I went this morning and found that Harlem’s streets are mostly deserted at 10am on a Christmas Eve.  I’ll be posting pictures over the next few days, but it was pretty devoid of Christmas decorations.  I didn’t do any of the backstreets where a lot of the small Churches are, so there may have been more.  The most I saw was a Christmas tree outside of the Adam Clayton Powell building.  On the other hand, the stores did have a lot of Christmas stuff.  I wished a couple of people a Merry Christmas, but I was delighted when someone wished it of me first.  That seldom happens and is very welcome.

After a little over an hour, I left Harlem and went to Greenwich Village.  The Village had a bit more in terms of public decoration.  I wandered on West 10th Street and saw an interesting sight:  a lot of the townhouses have put out evergreen decorations.  A lot of them also had lights, but it was too early to have them on.  Nevertheless, the evergreen branches were a nice touch.  I did wish a number of people a Merry Christmas and had roughly half of them respond in kind.  I then went over to Union Square and looked for Schleiermacher.  The guy running the Unemployed Philosophers Guild confessed they didn’t have his fridge magnet.  Woe is me.  I looked, just in case, but they actually seemed to be light on the philosopher fridge magnets.  They had a lot of historical figures and writers, though.

This evening, I wandered around my part of town and wished the random passers-by a Merry Christmas.  Once again, about half responded.

And now I’m at home.  I’ll go out in the morning/afternoon and do the same sort of thing.  It’s nice to do and it gets me out of my place; and I really enjoy it when somebody beats me to it.

I hope to get a chance to post some of today’s photos and some pics from the weekend when I wandered in Times Square and Gramercy Park.


Union Square Holiday Shops

December 19, 2007

Once again:  an open area in NYC during December?  Put up some open-air shops!  Union Square, one of my favorite places in all of NYC, goes whole hog into the Christmas shopping frenzy.


As you can see, it takes up all of the cemented area at Union Square (the actual square is WAAAAY larger than this area, but this is where a lot of the real “stuff” happens).

There are lots and lots of these little kiosks in the area.  How many?  Maybe 100 or so(?).


There’s all kinds of places.  Usually, it is small gifts for adults, but kids get their share of these.  This “” shop was pretty well attended.


But my favorite is the Unemployed Philosophers Guild.  I’ve seen them each year for the past three years.  Great stuff! It’s as whimsical as you could hope for.


The items in the light green boxes are “Freudian Slippers”.  The stuff to the right are philosopher refrigerator magnets.  There are nice little descriptors on the magnets, too.  (Just in case you’ve forgotten who Kant was.  I couldn’t find any Schleiermacher, though.  Must have sold out.)

And, of course, lots and lots of Christmas decorations.


Okay, I confess…I actually didn’t look for Schleiermacher.  I oughta go back and look.  I took a class on Schleiermacher many years ago and remember it fondly.  I barely remember anything about his philosophy, but I can spell his name without any need of reference.


The 14th Street Salvation Army Headquarters

November 16, 2007

Nowadays, Manhattan is wealthy and nicely appointed.  Union Square and 14th Street are nice and fashionable areas for the most part.  But only a few years ago they were horrid areas filled with wasted and wasting people.

But the Salvation Army was there for them.  The Army still has its headquarters on the spot.  It’s about 11 stories high and takes up a big chunk of the block near Fifth Avenue. 


At the front is a large entryway (not shown above) with a long quote from their founder General William Booth.

“While women weep, as they do now,
  I’ll fight;
While men go to prison, in and out,
In and out, as they do now,
  I’ll fight;
While there is a drunkard left,
While there is a poor lost girl
Upon the streets,
While there remains one dark soul,
Without the light of God,
  I’ll fight —
I’ll fight to the very end!”

Okay, now that I wrote it, I might as well show the picture.


I’ve seen the place a bunch of times before. I think extremely highly of the Salvation Army and I thank God that there are people there to reach down to areas of humanity that I’d have a tough time dealing with and treat them with compassion and love.

I met a few of the “soldiers” or whatever they call themselves as they were loading into a van.  One of them thought she recognized me.  She said “I know you.”  She looked pretty intently at me, as if she’d worked with me on occasion.  I’ve had some times in my life, but I’ve never had the need of the Salvation Army so I just smiled and said that I didn’t think so.  She then said that she thought I looked like one of her colleagues, but I think she was just embarrassed.

I did tell them that I admired them for their work and their dedication and that people really needed what they did.  I think they appreciated that.