A Saturday in NYC

Posted September 12, 2009 by Famous Ankles
Categories: Broadway, Central Park, Events, Manhattan, Parades

It’s been a while since I’ve done a post. Actually, it’s been a while since I’ve done any significant new wandering around NYC; but today I did.

It’s cool, dreary, and overcast with occasional rainshowers. My kind of day. I got up and couldn’t figure out what I felt like doing and realized it’s been forever since I’ve wandered through Central Park. So, off I went. Without my camera (so no new pictures).

I took the bus up to East 72nd Street and started to wander over to the Park. I immediately spotted something interesting: people walking around with runner numbers over their shirts. It turned out that there had been a big fitness run in Central Park and I was getting there too late to see anything of it. Well, except for one or two hundred ex-runners wandering the streets of Manhattan. No big issue, but mixed amongst them were men in kilts! Not with runner numbers…but with musical instruments. Mostly drums. (I would have loved to see bagpipes, but didn’t notice any.) I’ve never heard of bands going along with a fitness run. I realized something else must be going on. Then I started noticing people in identical shirts. Lots of them. Lots and lots of them.

I had accidentally run into the terminus of the annual labor union parade. I don’t know when and where it started, but it was being terminated at 5th Avenue and E. 72nd Street around 11am. The cops were sending the floats in one direction and the marchers in another. The marchers were wandering off toward home (I presume). I started noticing a lot of signs promoting their unions and Democratic Party politicians. No Republicans need apply around that group. I did notice one of the politicians (I recognized him from one of the posters) hugging various marchers. I think I remember his name, but I won’t guess it here.

So I stopped to watch for a little while. There was one good band with cheerleaders, but the rest was pretty boring. No, it was actually very, very, very boring. This and the St. Patricks Day Parade have to be some of my least favorite parades. Just too “municipal government-oriented” for my taste; although I have to point out that a number of the paraders were not associated with the City government. But a whole lot were. I think that if I had stuck around, I’d have seen a very similar contingent to the St. Pat’s grouping.

I did stick around for about 45 minutes. I don’t know why.

Then I entered the Park. Ahhhh! Very pleasant. I didn’t stray too far from a beeline across, but I did get to the sailboat pond where people rent remote control sailboats. There was some sort of birthday party or story-telling going on near the Lewis Carroll statues. Only two sailboats being operated, but both were being controlled pretty well. At least up until the users started using the little engines on them and they started going very quickly and ruined the casual ambiance I was feeling.

I left there and went by the boathouse where you can rent real rowboats. I didn’t see anybody out on the lake, though. The most fun thing I’ve always noticed about that place is that when a man and woman rent the boat, the woman almost always does the rowing. I don’t know why, but that seems to be the standard.

From there I went to Bethesda Fountain and saw a wedding that was just finishing. I always see brides and grooms around there on a weekend.

I did a little more wandering and decided to head out to my favorite Manhattan Street: West 72nd. It hasn’t changed over the past year or so. At least to my eye. I found a little aquarium/tropical fish store and spent a while going through there. I was actually slightly tempted. But my place is way too small for a decent aquarium. And the dead fish smell (probably starting within days of my purchase) would be too pervasive.

I went to Broadway and saw that my old favorite open-air bookselling place is still going strong. Street vendors with used books are always there. I went up Broadway to 51st Street or so and had a hamburger at Nick’s. It wasn’t as good as I remember, but the ambiance is absolutely unchanged. It is the quintessential greasy spoon and is always jammed with stoves, tables, and people.

Afterward, I went home. It was just about a 2 hour jaunt, but very pleasant.


Flat Stanley and Famous Ankles Part 4

Posted July 14, 2009 by Famous Ankles
Categories: Events, Manhattan

I hope that James T. of Falls Church is enjoying this series. He sent me Flat Stanley and asked for pictures.

James T. lives next to Washington D.C. That’s the current capital of the United States, but I wonder if he knew that New York City used to be the capital of the United States. When George Washington became president of the United States, this is where he took his oath of office. It is called “Federal Hall”.

20090711 Flat Stanley 06 Federal Hall

Falls Church Virginia is named for its famous “Falls Church”. When he was president of the United States, George Washington would go to Church at St. Paul’s Chapel in New York City. They have saved where he used to sit. Here’s Flat Stanley in front of it.

20090711 Flat Stanley 08 St Pauls Chapel pew

Actually, George Washington was president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. New York City was the capital only from 1785 to 1790. So George Washington wasn’t in New York City for all of his time as president.

St. Paul’s Chapel is very old (it was old when George Washington went to it). But it is famous for other reasons than being old and being where George Washington went to Church. In 2001, after the World Trade Center was destroyed, St. Paul’s Chapel served as a headquarters for the rescue teams. There are lots of memorials for what happened there. Inside St. Paul’s Chapel, one os them is made of badges from firefighters all over the world who came and helped.

20090711 Flat Stanley 09 Firefighter badges


Flat Stanley and Famous Ankles Part 3

Posted July 13, 2009 by Famous Ankles
Categories: Events, Manhattan

My continuing adventure with Flat Stanley on behalf of the fine and noble James T. of Falls Church, Virginia.

My next stop took me to a very famous location New York: Wall Street. That street is famous for the New York Stock Exchange which is where lots of people buy and sell shares of stock. When lots of people are buying, it is called a “bull market”. That’s always viewed as a good thing on Wall Street, so an artist created a statue of the bull. It was built in 1989. It is 11 feet tall and weighs 7,000 pounds.
20090711 Flat Stanley 05 Wall Street Bull

Flat Stanley also posed in front of one of the entrances to the New York Stock Exchange.

20090711 Flat Stanley 07 Stock Exchange


Flat Stanley and Famous Ankles Part 2

Posted July 12, 2009 by Famous Ankles
Categories: Events, Manhattan

I decided that I needed to take Flat Stanley to see the Statue of Liberty. The Statue of Liberty is 305 feet tall and is located on a small island in New York harbor. That’s south of the island of Manhattan. The island is located pretty far out in the harbor.

When I got to the southern tip of Manhattan, I found two nice kids who were happy to pose with Flat Stanley. (The girl had just finished reading Flat Stanley’s book and was a big fan of his.)

20090711 Flat Stanley 02 Kids and Statue of Liberty
The problem with the picture is that the Statue of Liberty is very far out, so it isn’t very big on the picture. I didn’t want to spend about three hours to get out there, so I needed to find a quick solution!

So, I found another Statue of Liberty just a one minute walk away. There are lots of “street performers” who do strange things in Manhattan, and this is one of them. She poses for pictures all day long with tourists. She wasn’t 305 feet tall. Actually, I’m not sure she was 5 feet tall. But she was very nice.

You always know the ones that aren’t the real Statue of Liberty because they like to wear sunglasses. And they aren’t 305 feet tall.
20090711 Flat Stanley 03 Statue of Liberty


Flat Stanley and Famous Ankles Part 1

Posted July 8, 2009 by Famous Ankles
Categories: Events, Manhattan

I received a letter from James T. from Falls Church in Virginia. In his letter, James sent a famous person to meet Famous Ankles! I’m honored to host a visit from Flat Stanley and show him around New York City.

The first thing I did was take Flat Stanley to see the United Nations Building. It is often called the “U.N.” and it has hundreds and hundreds of people from countries all over the globe. You have to have a special pass to get inside, so we only looked from outside.

20090708 01 Flat Stanley and the UN

Nearby, there was a small park called “Tudor City Greens” where there was a lot of music and singing going on. It was a concert featuring a lot of singers called caberet singers. Flat Stanley liked it. Especially the singer right behind him in the next picture. Her name is Julie Reyburn.

20090708 01 Flat Stanley listens to singer

After she sang, she came out into the crowd. Flat Stanley and I asked her if she knew about him, and she said “I love Flat Stanley!” She even posed for a picture with him.

20090708 02 Flat Stanley and singer Julie Reyburn

Stay tuned James, for more adventures.