Bedford

•January 15, 2008 • 1 Comment

Two weekends ago Isaac and I went for a walk.

The Beginning, Bedford Avenue and Avenue Y

A very long walk.

Bedford Victorian

Almost the entire length of Bedford Avenue, give or take a block or two. Why? Because Bedford is either the longest or the second longest street contained entirely within the Borough of Kings (aka, Brooklyn). Who wouldn’t want to walk that?

Hats

Walking the length of Bedford Avenue takes you through every type of house, neighborhood and era imaginable. As cheesy as it may sound, it’s a walk through history.

The End, Greenpoint

For those not in Brooklyn or not able to take the walk, click on any photo for an annotated map of our amblings.

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Serious Bling

•December 3, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Jeff Koons makes big art. His Flower Puppy was one of the greatest works of public, ephemeral art ever erected in the city in my humble opinion.

Just before the fall sales at Christie’s, across the street from Rockefeller Plaza, his ”Blue Diamond” (2005) was on display for all the world to gawk at.

Jeff Koons, ''Blue Diamond'' (2005)

Like many a tourist, it stopped me in my tracks. The blue is so blue! And shiny! And reflective! Check it out, you can see the sign for Top Of The Rock in one of its facets. And look! There’s a Warhol behind it! Possibly owned by Hugh Grant! (It sold for $23.7 million in case you were wondering).

See? Even us jaded New Yorkers can get excited about stuff.

Jeff Koons, ''Blue Diamond'' (2005)

Unfortunately the work didn’t excite the bidders and ”Blue Diamond” sold for “only” $11.8 million, far below its pre-sale estimate of $12-20 million.

But don’t feel too bad for Mr. Koons. His ”Hanging Heart (Magenta/Gold)” sold for $23,561,000 handily beating the low end of its $15 million estimate and set a new record for the most expensive piece of art sold by a living artist.

We should all be so lucky in our second careers.

Sunday In The Park

•November 11, 2007 • 1 Comment

Propsect Park on the perfect autumn weekend may be the most beautiful place in New York City.

Autumn in Prospect Park

War Monument, Prospect Park

Autumn in Prospect Park

Duck

Duck

Turtle

Autumn in Prospect Park

Duck

Autumn in Prospect Park

Autumn in Prospect Park

Dog's Best Friend

Cricket!

Prospect Park Arch

Grand Army Plaza

Hanging From A Star

•October 24, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Have you ever looked up when crossing the vast, marble expanse of Grand Central Terminal and wondered what’s behind the stars twinkling in their aqua blue sky?

Grand Central Terminal

If you’ve ever read Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin, you have an inkling, probably a very unrealistic inkling, but one, all the same, that fills you with awe each time you look up.

Grand Central Terminal

In Helprin’s epic love story, the hero, Peter Lake, takes refuge from the Bowery gang the Dead Rabbits in Grand Central’s vault.  He pulls up a star to act as his bedside light and nearly makes a daring escape by lowering himself through a hatch, hanging perilously above the clueless commuters.

Grand Central Terminal

Some may find Helprin’s novel tedious and needlessly wordy, but I love it for changing the way I look at the world.

My Commute

•October 15, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I have three choices for getting to work in the morning; the bus, the D train or the N train.

The N is my favored option as it lets me out in the middle of Union Square. I can go to the greenmarket and have a wicked assortment of places to grab breakfast and a coffee.

Then, to get to the office I have to cross Fifth Avenue.  Sometimes I remember to look up the avenue, most days I do not.  A few days ago, I did, and this is what I saw:

Empire State Building

Quite the way to start your morning, no?

The Other Bridge

•September 28, 2007 • 4 Comments

The Brooklyn Bridge gets all the press.

Brooklyn Bridge From The Manhattan Bridge

She gets all the best scenes in movies, hundreds of books are written about her.  But where do you get the best views of the Brooklyn Bridge?  From the Manhattan Bridge of course.

Manhattan Bridge

Built entirely out of steel and completely in 1909, it may lack the gothic gravitas of the Brooklyn Bridge, but it’s gorgeous in it’s own right, with lovely, small details that you can only appreciate when you’re up close.

Manhattan Bridge

The Manhattan Bridge has two walkways: one of bikers, one for walkers.  This alone makes it vastly superior to the Brooklyn Bridge for walking, but since all the tourists opt to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, it’s a nicer stroll entirely.

Manhattan Bridge

It’s fall, the very best time for walking in New York City, so get out there, walk over the Manhattan Bridge.  If you start in Manhattan and walk to Brooklyn, you can reward yourself with some Jacques Torres hot chocolate on the other side, or brunch at Bubby’s or a pie at Grimaldi’s or a Man of Leisure at Jack the Horse Tavern.

Manhattan Bridge

If you walk from Brooklyn into Chinatown and the Lower East Side reward yourself with dim sum at Dim Sum Go Go, or burgers and herring at Good World, or pho at Nha Trang or a panini at ‘inoteca.

Because, isn’t that why we walk to begin with?  Food!

I ♥ NY

•September 11, 2007 • Comments Off on I ♥ NY

Lower Manhattan From Bay Ridge

A poem compresses much in a small space and adds music, thus heightening its meaning. The city is like poetry: it compresses all life, all races and breeds, into a small island and adds music and the accompaniment of internal engines.

New York is nothing like Paris; it is nothing like London; and it is not Spokane multiplied by sixty, or Detroit multiplied by four. It is the loftiest of cities… It is a miracle that New York works at all.

~E.B. White Here Is New York