(145 St, Manhattan)
It was hard to hear Ride of the Valkyries because those Ospreys are very loud birds.
(Downtown Manhattan Heliport)
Nothing wakes you up from a red-eye like NYC winter weather.
The transformation of far west Chelsea is really breathtaking, especially since it’s nowhere near over. It’s part of a decades-long metamorphosis of the west side of Manhattan that stretches from the Village to the Upper West Side and which shows no sign of stopping.
I remember how these blocks on Tenth Avenue used to feel so desolate, forgotten, a little dangerous. It always seemed like this part of Manhattan was secret hiding in plain sight, not far from the busy corridors but never really seen.
Then over the course of twenty years came Chelsea Piers, Hudson River Park, clubs, galleries, Chelsea Market, the High Line, Google, IAC, and high-end residential.
And with Citi Bike stations all over the neighborhood, now even those long blocks from the subway on Eighth Avenue don’t seem so long anymore.
I haven’t circled Manhattan on my bike in several years, so I decided last-minute to try it again yesterday afternoon.
The good news: it’s easier than ever to do this route now, despite the few missing links. The path almost everywhere is in very good condition and you’ll have plenty of company except along the Harlem River parts.
The bad news: at one of the missing links uptown, I ran into a dead end (on the FDR!) which extended my ride. Those few extra minutes were enough to fully drain the GoPro’s batteries, so you won’t see my triumphant finish in this video.
But it’s all about the journey not the destination, right?
It’s been raining all day in NYC. But to paraphrase one of my neighbors, it’s a mediocre rain — not a dramatic downpour that inspires awe and not a pleasant drizzle that lifts your spirits. It’s just average wet.
I’m really excited about Citi Bike and I think it has the potential to greatly change the way New Yorkers get around. The stations are going up now and the bikes come next month. Check it out, New York!
In the past year, I’ve become increasingly worried about my lack of basic knowledge in science and the natural world. I’m embarrassed that as a supposedly-educated adult I still can’t explain fundamental concepts like how electricity flows through the cameras I use everyday nor can I name any of the trees I can see from my window.
I don’t want to leave this planet being so ignorant about how it actually works.
Hopefully, all of this changes starting today. I’m a now a museum member again for the first time in years and I plan to make the most of it. My goal is to (re)learn these fundamental concepts, with AMNH as my school.
My membership gives me a +1 on admission, so I plan to drag friends along for the ride as (involuntary) study buddies. After all, science says that humans are social creatures.
Stumbled on this photoshoot on my way home past 42 St & 6 Av. The model was standing atop a New York Times vending machine, so I thought it might be for the paper. But from what I overheard, the shoot is actually for LensCrafters.
It’s gonna be a cool shot either way. NYC rush hour may not be fun to be in, but it’s got great production value.
It’s very sobering to pass by St. Vincent’s during its demolition. You can’t help but think about all the human experiences that must have taken place there. They’re ghosts now, and the building is following them.
I don’t know nearly enough about the situation to say whether it’s good or bad that St. Vincent’s Hospital is being replaced with (very pricey) housing. But I can say I have a definite emotional reaction every time I pass by this site.
Just wanted to give a shout-out to the man who, in an average week for me, cooks almost ten percent of my meals.
Mohamed of the Palomino halal truck at 116 St & Lenox, thank you for feeding me so well. And yes, I really do want extra extra red sauce.
From “Where Do All the Cabs Go in the Late Afternoon?” in the January 11, 2011 New York Times:
The hour from 4 to 5 p.m. has long been considered a low tide of taxi service, the maddening moment when, in apparent violation of the laws of supply and demand, entire fleets of empty yellow cabs flip on their off-duty lights and proceed past the outstretched hands of office workers seeking a way home.
To my total delight, I stumbled upon this shift change at the BP gas station at Houston and Lafayette. It’s quite fun to watch. If you love NYC, add this to your bucket list.
My recommendation, in all seriousness, is to put a dog on it. Just like how putting a bird on something can make it art in Portland, putting a Hachikō at a transit entrance can elevate an otherwise utilitarian space into something much more inviting. Maybe even inspirational.
A cat would be okay, too.
From “Chinese Moving to East Harlem in a Quiet Shift From Downtown” in today’s New York Times:
It also thrust into violent relief an otherwise hidden demographic change in East Harlem: The population of Asian residents, mostly Chinese, has quietly ballooned in the last decade, doubling in the southern part of the neighborhood and tripling in the north, according to census figures.
I moved to Central Harlem from Brooklyn four-and-a-half years ago. I love my current digs, but I missed the convenient access to Chinatown that I had when living on the Q train, which passed through the heart of Manhattan’s Chinatown.
I used to eat and shop in Chinatown at least once a week; now it’s more like once a month. I miss the cheap and tasty restaurants, the cheap and fresh groceries, the easy availability of the “ying yang” tea/coffee drink I’m addicted to.
Given how Chinatowns have sprouted up around NYC, I’ve been hoping that new one would grow in Harlem or the South Bronx. If this article is accurate, it looks like it might finally be happening.
Elmo: What up, Grover? What are you doing here?
Grover: Oh, just meeting up with some friends at Bubba Gump. You wanna join us?
Elmo: No, I can’t. I’m seeing a play at the Roundabout.
Grover: All right, see you later.
Elmo: Catch you later, man.
I found myself surrounded by shouting Taiwanese from New Jersey and was instantly transported back to my childhood.
(Mulberry St & Mott St, Manhattan)
I’m shooting time-lapses at the busiest corner in Soho and…
– The biggest rat I’ve ever seen hops past me and into the veggie stand on the corner. The rat was literally rabbit-sized. The only witnesses were myself and two teens standing next to me. And all the three of us could say was “shit…”
– A very scuffy-looking middle-aged guy was picking up cigarette butts around the subway entrance and putting them in his pocket. He noticed my camera and asked if I was shooting a “still sequence.” I said, “Yes, I’m doing a time-lapse.” He then asked if I was “getting releases” from the passerby that were in my shot. I replied that releases weren’t necessary since nobody could be personally identified in this kind of shot. He nodded in agreement and said “I know” as he walked off.
All this happened in just the first ten minutes here at this corner. In a city that’s always moving, it’s worth taking the time to just stop and watch every now and then. Because you might find that there’s whole ‘nother city to discover.
(Broadway & Houston St, Manhattan)
(43 St & Madison Av, Manhattan)
It’s no fun to get caught in it, but it’s always awesome to watch fierce rain in NYC.
(Avenue B & 11 St, Manhattan)
I’m surprised how many New Yorkers have never been on the Staten Island Ferry, especially considering that it’s free and super-easy to get to.
Fortunately, I’m not one of those New Yorkers. But I feel bad for them.
(Andrew J. Barberi Ferryboat, Staten Island Ferry)
(130 West 42 St, Manhattan)
(West 124 St & Frederick Douglass Blvd, Manhattan)
If you’ve got something important to say, best say it in neon.
(52 St & 8 Av, Manhattan)
So it turns out my favorite museum on the planet is probably even cooler behind the scenes than I imagined. At tonight’s Gizmodo/io9 Tech Tweetup at AMNH (Twitter: #AMNHTweetup), we were treated to a short tour and talk with the folks developing the technology behind some of their latest exhibit.
Among the fascinating revelations: AMNH custom-builds their own multitouch surfaces for exhibits because, as one staffer put it, the off-the-shelf stuff “gets destroyed by ten year-old boys in like five minutes.”
(American Museum of Natural History, Manhattan)
(West 70 St & Broadway, Manhattan)
The sun was setting spectacularly over Manhattan in the distance. But it couldn’t compete with the dancers in Sunset Park last night.
(Sunset Park, Brooklyn)
(191 St Subway Station, Manhattan)
(915 Broadway, Manhattan)
(Mister Softee, 44 St & 5 Av, Manhattan)
(30 St & 7 Av, Manhattan)
Not as soft as he looks, but still cuddly.
(Untitled [Lamp/Bear] by Urs Fischer, Park Avenue, Manhattan)
Ted Hughes’ Birthday Letters is magnificent, but hard to read on the train. I picked it up for the first time in years this morning and wept on the 3 train. Missed my stop too.
Lest you think this display of emotion happens rarely, just yesterday I cried laughing on the 2 train. I was watching THE FOOT FIST WAY on my iPad. I think spit may have flown out my mouth and onto someone sitting nearby. Hopefully on clothing, not mouth. Sorry, ma’am.
My utter lack of “street face” is a bit embarrassing, but this kind of escapism sure beats getting annoyed by fellow passengers on a crowded train. Transcendence on the daily commute is not easy to come by.
Shot this from inside a bank. I love these fruit carts even though I gotta admit I never buy from them.
I wish the reflection weren’t in the photo, but I’ll rationalize that it adds to the moment somehow.
(48 St & Madison Av, Manhattan)
A very subtle bit of street art. Nice work, dude.
(Apple Store Upper West Side, 67 St & Broadway, Manhattan)
(42 St & 6 Av, Manhattan)
(42 St-Bryant Park Station, Manhattan)
I’m not sure exactly what these kids were competing in, but they were intensely focused at it.
(Flushing Mall, Queens)
Ya gotta love a business model that requires nothing more than a shovel, sticky notes, and a willingness.
(Charlton St, Manhattan)
Supposedly the snow is coming, but it’s not really here yet.
Haters, please wait for the train directly behind this one.
I read about this guy in the Times’ CityRoom blog, then a few hours later he actually showed up while I was waiting for a friend. True to the Flatiron neighborhood, he had literally more than a dozen photos taken of him (including mine) by passerby in the 10 minutes I waited there. (Most shots were taken with iPhones.) If this isn’t some kind of prank or performance art piece, it’s seriously misguided on his part.
(Madison Sq Park, Manhattan)
It was 25F outside, but that didn’t stop this cat from having a grand old time on the hood of this parked car. He would lick the hood, then tumble around.I don’t know what he was tasting, but it must have been delicious. I’m just glad his tounge didn’t stick to the metal.
(Bayard St, Manhattan)
(Lai Heng Jewelry, Doyers St & Bowery, Manhattan)
(Fifth Av & 43 St, Manhattan)
(NYCHA Martin Luther King Houses, 115 St, Manhattan)
(LaGuardia Airport, Terminal B Parking, Queens)
(Bed Bath & Beyond, Broadway & 65 St, Manhattan)
Still waiting for your CityRack request to be answered? Why not roll your own with just a bucket, some piping, and a little concrete?
(Fuji Restaurant, 36 St & 9 Av, Manhattan)
The good news: when I called Apple support to report a dead ATI Radeon 2600 XT, they arranged to have a replacement one ready for me to swap at the famous 24-hour Fifth Avenue Apple Store. No hassles whatsoever.
The bad news: when I left the store with the new graphics card in my hands, I had a $115 parking ticket waiting for me, on top of the $25 I’d just spent on a Zipcar to get down there.The moral: Apple good, taking the subway to Apple Store even better.
(Apple Store Fifth Avenue, Manhattan)
(Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, University Pl, Manhattan)
An otherwise random 7 train encounter means a lot more if you’ve seen this.
(7 train, Queens)
I love dogs too, but they will just never be as cool as cats.
(Grand St, Manhattan)
My parting shot from the unfinished phase 2, looking north from near 23 Street. Looking forward to taking the “after” version of this photo when this section of the line opens next year.
(High Line, Manhattan)
Looking south down what I think is Phase 2 of the project, opening next year. Too bad the surface isn’t smooth enough for a killer bike/skate park before the green stuff and benches come in.
(High Line, Manhattan)
This is from the south side of the rail yards, looking east.That pointy building in the distance looks kind of familiar. The building on the right is one of those filing cabinets for widows and young professionals that Manhattan is especially good at manufacturing lately.
(High Line, Manhattan)
The first phase of the High Line is open and it’s a smash. If you haven’t visited yet, you need to.
Today I was lucky to go on a tour of the parts not yet open to the public.
This photo is of the section that loops around the West Side Yards, just south of the Javits Center. We’re looking to the southeast here.
(High Line, Manhattan)
(NY Philharmonic @ Great Lawn, Central Park, Manhattan)
(Empire Diner, 22 St & 10 Av, Manhattan)
(9 Av, Manhattan)
(Bedford Av & North 5 St, Bklyn)
(New York Public Library, 5 Av & 41 St, Manhattan)
(Lever House, 52 St & Park Av, Manhattan)
It’s wet but spirits are high at the 2009 Five Boro Bike Tour.
(Franklin St & Church St, Manhattan)
Haven’t tried the products, but the place smells great.
(Tortilleria Chinantla, 975 Grand St, Brooklyn)
(Broadway & Spring St, Manhattan)
I was biking home through Central Park one night when I saw a light up ahead on the Park Loop. I figured it was a low-flying NYPD helicopter and paid it no mind. It was hovering directly in front of my path, illuminating the ground with a strong spotlight. I wanted to avoid the light but there was no way to do it without going off the road and into the grass. Plus, something drew me to the light. Something I couldn’t explain. I rode right into the spotlight and stopped. I looked up but could see nothing but blinding light. The earth shook and the trees swayed like in a hurricane. My bike and my heart rattled so loudly I thought I would shatter into a thousand pieces.
Then, suddenly, the light was gone.The next few weeks were a strange time. Jo couldn’t understand why I had sunburn on only half of my face. I would catch my cat whispering whenever I turned my back. I made strange sculptures with my mashed potatoes. I kept trying to change my iPhone ringtone to some song I’d never heard before but couldn’t stop humming.One night, while working late at the office, I decided I had to get out. I thought I’d pick Jo up at school, since her class was just about to get out. When I got out of the 66 Street Subway Station, I saw the lights. The mothership was landing. And I finally recognized the song I coudn’t get out of my head. The musical juggernaut had come to take me.
(Juilliard School, 65 St & Broadway, Manhattan)
(Obama Fried Chicken & Pizza, St. Nicholas Av & 115 St, Manhattan)
(Canal St & Hudson St, Manhattan)
I don’t drink, and even if I did I couldn’t afford to do it at The Campbell Apartment. But I appreciate this goregeous room just the same. Thankfully, it costs nothing to just visit and gawk.
(Campbell Apartment, Grand Central Terminal, Manhattan)
Spencer’s master says a Bedlington hasn’t won Westminster since 1947, but this dog looks lucky to me. Kick some butt, Spence!
(7 Av & 33 St, Manhattan)
(7 Av South, Manhattan)
Stop right where you are! You know the score, pal. You’re not cop, you’re little people. – Captain Bryant
(43 St & Broadway, Manhattan)
Our big move is preceded by a smaller move via Zipcar. My aging G5 and Jo’s beloved eMac get the white glove treatment, as will Marla the cat. Some things are just too precious to leave to the movers.
(New Bklyn Blggng HQ, Manhattan)
It’s loud and smells bad when they repave your road in the wee hours, but that’s the price of progress – or maybe just maintenance.
The cyclist in me did wonder whether the guys painting stripes would add a bike lane…if I slipped them a twenty.
(32 St, Manhattan)
(Bklyn Blggng HQ)
(Bklyn Blggng HQ)
(Prospect Park, Brooklyn)
Whoa, I’m way behind in posting here due to another crazy busy summer. So here comes the backlog…
(Fenimore St, Brooklyn)
(Queens-Midtown Tunnel, Queens)
Why birds here? Why not?
(Adorama Camera, 18 St & 6 Av, Manhattan)
These pigeons greet EST patrons in their own special way.
(Ensemble Studio Theatre, 52 St & 10 Av, Manhattan)
On my way back from a dental appointment, I accidentally stumble upon a crowd waiting to hear Senator Clinton’s (potentially) big announcement.
(Baruch College, Manhattan)
(Roosevelt Island Tram, East River)
(13 St & 3 Av, Manhattan)
(East River & 34 St, Manhattan)
(Mulberry St & Canal St, Manhattan)
Like many others, I enjoy the halal cart at 53 St & 6 Av, even though I usually avoid street food I and I generally refuse to wait more than 10 minutes in line at any New York eatery. But the food here is pretty tasty, and the line is actually part of the experience.
But at visit last week, I didn’t get red sauce, and this time they didn’t give me red sauce or their famous white sauce. No white sauce?! This is practically grounds for a civil suit in New York, though to be fair I was in a rush…and so were they.
(6 Av & 53 St, Manhattan)
(Columbus Circle, Manhattan)
(John St, Brooklyn)
It was a perfect day for a ride.
(North 11 St, Brooklyn)