Categories
City Life

Whitehall and I 4

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/3993055/

You can see Governors Island just beyond the ferry ramps from the comfort of the new waiting room. I wish I’d been able to catch the always-gratifying sight of a boat about to dock during this visit. Well, that’s just another reason to come back.

(Whitehall Ferry Terminal, Manhattan)

Categories
City Life

Whitehall and I 3

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/3993013/

The use of supergraphics seems dated to me (although I enjoy it at the entrance), but I really like the interplay of line, light, and shadow when the sun is out.

(Whitehall Ferry Terminal, Manhattan)

Categories
City Life

Whitehall and I 2

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/3992989/

The new waiting room is a junior version of the soaring steel and glass pavilions you see at newer airports.

(Whitehall Ferry Terminal, Manhattan)

Categories
City Life

Whitehall and I

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/3993018/

The starting point (if you don’t live in SI) to NYC’s best cheap date just went upscale, so you can feel a little less like a cheapskate bringing someone here before splitting the check at Gray’s Papaya. Can it really be that the spectacular Staten Island Ferry ride is still free? Yes.

(Whitehall Ferry Terminal, Manhattan)

Categories
Uncategorized

Forever in Bluejeans

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/3866746/

I’ve been meaning to blog about the numerous health benefits of drinking at least eight glasses of water a day and eating a diet rich in fiber. And as soon as I can spend more than 15 minutes away from the toilet, I will.

Categories
Tech

Androids Dreaming of Electric Sheep

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/3826699/

Help me, I cannot escape the Cult of Mac. I own a PowerBook. I own an iPod. I want to buy more Apple stuff, even though I don’t need it. A power adapter, some extra RAM, even one of those damn iPod socks — I need to buy something…

Or help you buy it. If you need assistance purchasing a Mac or an iPod, I can offer advice and probably even help you set it up if I have enough frequent flyer miles to get to where you are. Just drop me a line. You know the URL. Please do it quickly.

(Apple Store SoHo, 103 Prince St at Greene St, +1-212-226-3126, open 7 days)

Categories
City Life Haiku

The Big Drink

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/3809628/

Quench a City’s thirst
With Hudson River Cocktail
Ice cold refreshment

(Battery Park)

Categories
City Life

Heavy & Light 2

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/3771249/

(Broad St)

Categories
City Life

On a Rooftop in Brooklyn 2

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/3771223/

Categories
City Life

On a Rooftop in Brooklyn

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/3701318/

I guess it was a bona fide blizzard after all.

Categories
City Life

Heavy & Light

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/3653408/

Not sure if what we’re getting this weekend qualifies as a bona fide blizzard, but whatever it is, I love it. A good dumping of snow always transforms the City, hushing its noise, covering its eyesores, lightening its mood.

All kids love snow — and more adults should. So bundle up, watch your step, stay off thin ice, don’t eat yellow snow, and enjoy yourself.

Categories
What in the World?

What in the world…?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/3607841/

ZRFONE PTSI

Categories
City Life

Golden Touch

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/3573909/

If you want to avoid severe confusion, don’t read more than one self-help book at a time. Just take my word on this.

(1 St & 4 Av, Bklyn)

Categories
City Life Transit

Lost in the Land of the Lost

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/3538321/

Although it’s a fairly common belief here in Brooklyn that early humans spent their days battling dinosaurs for food and real estate, it simply isn’t true. The fossil record unambiguously shows that dinosaurs and humans never co-existed, which precludes scenes like the one hanging in my living room of a scantly clad she-warrior riding a triceratops. During the Age of the Great Lizards, in fact, mammals were a lowly bunch of pre-human scavengers and deadbeats, bolting in fear at the mere mention of a brontosaurus. (Broadway’s Les Miserables is an excellent chronicle of the mammalian struggle to get out from under the thumb of T-Rex and his scaly ilk, if you’re into musicals.) It wasn’t until the Great Comet/Ice Age/Alien Invasion that these ferocious and ornery beasts were vanquished, making way for the ascent of mammals, who were next on the waiting list. Through evolution, these creatures would eventually become the species we call “people.”

I’ve often taken pleasure in smugly deriding the “humans vs. dinosaurs” myth as silly “Land of the Lost”-based history, but now I wonder how long I’ll be able to say it with confidence. Recently, researchers from the American Museum of Natural History reported their discovery of a small prehistoric mammal fossil in China — with an even smaller dinosaur partially digested inside its stomach. Mammals munching on baby dinosaurs? That’s bad-ass, yo. Now that we know early mammals were much more gangsta than we’d been led to believe, what other revelations await us?

Perhaps we have already seen the Land of the Lost — and it looks a lot like Brooklyn.

Parts, anyway.

(“Alligator” by the awesome Tom Otterness, MetroTech Commons, Brooklyn)

Categories
City Life Transit

To Serve or Protect?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/3502092/

They seemed awfully young, they were wearing dress uniforms, and they didn’t have guns. They looked alert, scanning the throngs of busy commuters quietly and methodically. I thought they might be a symbolic sort of protection, not unlike the unarmed National Guardsmen that are stationed at Grand Central and Penn Station. Or maybe it was part of their training, the way NYPD rookies are now sent into the worst precincts right out of the Academy. Was Atlantic Av Station on high alert now? Whatever the reason, they became part of my daily commute.

One day, one of them made eye contact with me. I felt I was being checked out. Did I look suspicious? I wasn’t offended, just curious as to why I had merited any attention. For some reason, the moment stayed in my mind.

On Saturday, I saw them again — differently. They had pamphlets, brochures. They were speaking to young men. They were recruiting.

(Atlantic Av Station, Brooklyn)

Categories
Uncategorized

NYC > AC 8

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/3435189/

When choosing a beachfront condo, make sure beach chair storage is included in your common fee. If it’s not, you may find yourself, er, saddled with unanticipated charges.

(Atlantic City)

Categories
Uncategorized

NYC > AC 7

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/3431393/

Lucy the Margate Elephant has been around for a real long time, but she still looks great.

(Atlantic Av, Margate)

Categories
Uncategorized

NYC > AC 6

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/3431376/

Ventnor City is a quiet town (at least in January) next door to Atlantic City. There’s a lovely beach and some beautiful old homes here.

(Ventnor City Beach)

Categories
Uncategorized

NYC > AC 5

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/3431366/

Woof.

(Ventnor City Beach)

Categories
Uncategorized

NYC > AC 4

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/3431349/

Das upsidedown boot.

(Boardwalk, Ventnor City)

Categories
Uncategorized

NYC > AC 3

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/3411185/

Finally arrived in AC, in a quiet residential area far from the casinos. Between losing my shirt at Pai Gow and getting slapped by a cocktail waitress last time I was I was at TropWorld, it’s just as well I’m nowhere near the floor.

(Boardwalk, Atlantic City)

Categories
Uncategorized

NYC > AC 2

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/3402957/

EZ-Pass is great, but old-school toll baskets have their own charms. If we had a sunroof, I might have tested my hook shot.

(Atlantic City Expressway)

Categories
Uncategorized

NYC > AC

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/3402946/

Helping a friend move some stuff to an apartment in Atlantic City is as good a reason as any for a road trip. Getting behind the wheel every now and then is fun.

This stretch of the Autobahn Gardenstaten is where NJ’s version of the Ruhr Valley begins. I’ve never seen the famous (and gigantic) German industrial area, so I can’t compare, but this one is pretty darn impressive. With the airport on one side, the seaport on the other, and a forest of factory smokestacks as far as you can see, it’s like a blue-collar version of Manhattan.

It always reminds me of the opening shot of Blade Runner. It also always makes me wonder if NYC should have traded all these dirty industries for a cleaner but less diverse service-based economy. It’s no fun to live next door to a filthy factory, but it’s also not great to have your entire workforce pushing paper, sweeping floors, flipping burgers, or performing in one-person mixed-media shows.

Large-scale manufacturing will never return to New York, but perhaps more could be done to encourage small, clean, “boutique” manufacturers that can employ those who don’t have the skills or desire to work in an office job. A more diverse range of industries would be good for NYC.

(NJ Turnpike, near Newark Airport)

Categories
City Life

Public Service Announcement 2

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/3352627/

And this is for everyone in sunny climes who could use a little change in the weather.

(Brooklyn Heights from Lower Manhattan)

Categories
Uncategorized

Public Service Announcement

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/3351552/

This small bit of sunshine and warm weather is for everyone enduring a gray rainy day in NYC (and elsewhere).

(Long Beach, CA, March 14, 2004)

Categories
City Life

Always A Diversity of Opinion

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/3349403/

NYC’s high density of zealots and smart-asses of all stripes means that signs and ads often become mini public forums. I love the juxtaposition of messages, the multiple layers of meaning, and always the humor — intended or not.

(Whitehall Ferry Terminal, Manhattan)

Categories
What in the World?

What in the world…?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/3310135/

This is my own version of something I remember reading as a child – the “What in the world…?” feature of World magazine, now known as National Geographic Kids. Every issue they’d print a closeup photo of something from nature and challenge the young readers to guess what it was. As a clue, the answer would be scrambled as below:

RANNIWG TSRPI

You can use this blog’s Comments feature to post your guesses.

TERMS & CONDITIONS: As always, no prizes of any kind will be awarded and all ideas having potential financial value will be considered property of the blog author. And no, it’s NOT cool to ask your parents for help.

Categories
City Life

Meet Me at the Corner of Dirt & McGirt

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/3270378/

I’m a fan of Mayor Bloomberg. I think his pursuit of educational reform is nothing short of noble and I hope he’s re-elected this year by a large margin. Fixing the City’s schools is a politically risky and hugely complicated task, but he’s shown real courage in tackling the issue head on. New York City has a million kids in the public school system, many of whom are poor and/or immigrants. For them, a decent education is their only chance at a better life. Let’s support the Mayor in his efforts.

It’s true, however, that Mayor Mike can come off as being “out of touch” with the common man at times. However, I think this is because he does much less cheap populist pandering than most other politicians, which on the whole is a good thing. But the truth is we’ve been weaned on political gimmickry and we can’t help but be a little suspicious and disappointed when we don’t get it. For example, I wish he had pandered to us a little bit by renaming this street Ol’ Dirty Slip after ODB’s untimely passing last year.

(Old Slip & Water St)

Categories
Fictional

Old & New

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/3233865/

I was taking a short nap in the corner when Clocks burst into the break room. (His real name was Hoyt, but everyone in the precinct called him Clocks because he always wore two watches [“in case one dies,” he’d always say].) Clocks was balding, plump, and also a bit of a police buff, even after ten years on the job. But he always seemed like a kid because he was never ashamed of his enthusiasm.

“Guys,” he said breathlessly, “It’s here. It’s finally here.”

“What’s here, Clocks,” asked Stick, whose real name actually was Stick.

“The new RMP,” he cried. “I gotta tell the others!”

And in a blink he was gone and we could hear his heavy footsteps fading away in the direction of the locker room. The rest of us got up slowly, so as not to look too interested in the new arrival, even though we each knew how excited we all were. But we pretended not to care — not much, anyway. It was habit.

Twenty years later, I still remember the first time I saw that Radio Motor Patrol, that RMP, that cop car. Orange, blue, black, sleek. It made me feel proud — and it still does, even though I never did get to drive it. You see, everything on the job is doled out by seniority. By the time I had enough years to be first in line for a new RMP, this one was already too old for an old timer like me. We let the rookies have it.

(Old Slip & South St)

Categories
City Life Transit

The Lean

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/3194008/

Maybe in other cities’ new-fangled subways they have those screens and announcements that tell you when the next train is coming, but here in NYC, we do it the old fashioned way.

Categories
Uncategorized

Truth in Advertising

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/3065764/

This sign still makes me laugh every time I pass it. Are they being modest or evasive? It’s funnier not to know.

(Factory Shoe Outlet, 1 Rector St)

Categories
Uncategorized

Church vs State (vs Market)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/3017620/

I wonder what would happen if there were only one spare bulb left and both the flag and the tree needed it.

(New York Stock Exchange, Broad St & Wall St)

Categories
Uncategorized

A Six, A Gull, A Statue

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/2975795/

I was going to make this entry a haiku (what else?) that would be this homage (aka look-how-smart-I-am-reference) to the William Carlos Williams poem “The Great Figure,” which I know only by way of the Charles Demuth painting “The Figure 5 in Gold,” which I knew only as “that cool painting at the Met with all the 5s in it” until I Googled it.

But the truth is that haiku, to say nothing of pretention, takes work and I’m just too tired right now to make the effort. So please enjoy this nice photo of a metal sign, a bird, and the Statue of Liberty on its own terms.

(Battery Park)

Categories
Uncategorized

DT via EC #1

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/2945512/

This is Hell, this is Hell
I am sorry to tell you
It never gets better or worse
But you’ll get used to it, after a spell
For heaven is hell in reverse

-Elvis Costello, “This Is Hell”

(Trinity Church, Wall St & Broadway)

Categories
Uncategorized

Monday Music

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/2875285/

Top 5:
1. Father To A Sister Of Thought – Pavement
2. Queen Bitch – David Bowie
3. Clocks – The Casual Dots
4. You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory – Johnny Thunders
5. Siboney – Connie Francis

Categories
Uncategorized

Happy New Year

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpchan/2834720/

I’m not one to impose my views on others, except everytime I open my mouth or send an email or post a blog entry or ‘tag’ a beloved neighborhood landmark or spray urine on the trunk of a tree, so I will only *gently* suggest that a good New Year’s resolution for virtually everyone would be to spend more time on a bike and less time in front of a TV (or even a computer) this year.

Happy New Year everybody.

(Prospect Park loop, from my bike [look ma, no hands].)