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Recent Entries

B'ridge
Greenpoint industrial debris
LIRRain
Soundwalk
Religion and commerce in Crown Heights
Crown Heights Hasidim
Bushwick Avenue, part 4
Bushwick Avenue, part 3
A note on graffiti
Bushwick Avenue, part 2

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Satan's Laundromat

B'ridge

09/30/03

Wanna buy a bridge?
Verrazano Brokerage

Hand-lettered Salvation Army sign

Nothing Fits!

Cold Cuts, Cigarettes, Cold Beer over an American flag
Bay Ridge, Brooklyn

10:00 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

Greenpoint industrial debris

09/29/03

Walsh's Shoe Factory

ASBESTOLITH

Bad Apples / Sour Grapes

Hand-lettered sign for tag/envelope manufacturer

CM BUILDING ENTRANCE, other words covered by plywood
Greenpoint, Brooklyn

10:53 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

LIRRain

09/28/03

Track 2 indicator

Reflected head and platforms
Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn

 

Parking for Funky Only
Jamaica, Queens

 

Jamaica sign, plus cone

Trains to New York, Brooklyn and Queens

Water dripping onto train

People waiting for train
Jamaica Station

 

Rainy window next to the person in front of me

 

Umbrella and stairs
Mineola

7:57 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Soundwalk

09/27/03

I took these pictures along the Soundwalk for the 5 and 6 trains in the South Bronx.

Stop sign painted on plywood

Magazines Newspapers

Wall sculpture of girls playing double dutch
(more by this artist)

We-open on Sunday's

Pizzeria menu

This is the most diverse restaurant I've ever seen. I count Italian, Salvadorean, Jamaican, Mexican, Greek, and whatever cuisines heroes and burgers are. Astounding. (I think it beats its competition, but it's a close call.)

Pizza and Papusas

5:54 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Religion and commerce in Crown Heights

09/26/03

God's Property beauty salon
(more religious stores)

Here we have a soon-to-be-church with the trappings of a soon-to-be-business:
Opening soon: South American & West Indian baptist church

Squatter code

That was on the church-to-be. I've seen hundreds of abandoned buildings with what I assume are squatters' codes: I'm guessing the X and "R.O." stands for "roof open." Does anyone know more about these codes? Are they painted by would-be squatters or by property owners? Or maybe by the fire department?

Note that the next storefront is simultaneously a storefront church and a furniture store. (Why choose just one?) The pastor's name is also Joe. On this particular block, of the 21 storefronts that showed signs of past or present use, six and a half were storefront churches.
Storefront church and furniture store

Closeup of the above
Crown Heights, Brooklyn

2:08 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

Crown Heights Hasidim

09/25/03

The Crown Heights Lubavitcher Hasidic community has split, since the death of Rebbe Menachem Schneerson, over whether he was the messiah (Moshiach).

Chinese restaurant welcoming Moshiach

His picture is everywhere, even on fake mini police vehicles. (NYPD uses these too; I wonder if they realize how silly they look.)
Crown Heights safety patrol vehicle

Children boarding a school bus

When I catch you you will be delt with accordingly
Crown Heights, Brooklyn

9:49 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0)

Bushwick Avenue, part 4

09/23/03

Businesses named after physical features of their buildings would do well to maintain those features.
On Time Auto

vacant lot with scarecrow and tattered flag

www.ghetto-fabulous.com
Broadway Junction, Brooklyn

 

Are we all tired of Bushwick Avenue? Here's a sneak preview of what's next:
M. HURWITZ bus and young Hasidim

 

Also: Ruavista: Signs of the City. Why have I only found this site now? It "strives to promote a new form of urban tourism based upon visiting ordinary streets and paying attention to details rather than famous spots and beautiful architecture." I wholeheartedly approve. (In a stroke of beauty, the site's creator was born on rue du Pourquoi-Pas -- "Why-Not Street" -- in Toulon. I, alas, was born on the rather pedestrian East 77th.)

8:49 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (1)

Bushwick Avenue, part 3

09/22/03

pain control machine

front stoop made of cinderblocks

strange mail slot

no hanging in front of building sign
Bushwick, Brooklyn

7:43 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

A note on graffiti

09/21/03

First, familiarize yourself with this entry, and note Lauren's comment.

Then, take a look at this. Apparently it only lasted a couple weeks after I took my photo.

Is there anyone who lives in the area and can comment on whether it's been repainted, or how often this happens?

I love New York.

Gratuitous graffiti shot, from the 7 train in western Queens:
Graffiti-covered building

8:53 PM | Comments (24) | TrackBack (0)

Bushwick Avenue, part 2

09/21/03

PS 274 school hours

Gorgeous structure, possibly called the Annex

Old building with ufo tag
(More by this graffiti artist)

Jesus Saves graffiti

Auto mechanic also offering tattoos
Bushwick, Brooklyn

From today's Times: audio walking tours of Chinatown, Times Square, DUMBO, the Lower East Side, and the Bronx.

8:31 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Bushwick Avenue, part 1

09/20/03

DENTIST  DENTISTA
(First thought: mmm, cognates. Second thought: remake of this?)

BIG WILLIE

Store hours

French LEANE

ALTTEXT
East Williamsburg, Brooklyn

6:10 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

New new new

09/18/03

Pay phone with subway rules stickers
Fort Greene, Brooklyn

 

Don't monkey around with trucking

The laundromat that never sleeps (neon sign)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn (David points out that the laundromat sign has been edited.)

1:35 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

Surreal

09/14/03

Utterly unique 2 train signage
Nevins Street, Brooklyn

 

Crab in fountain

Flowers in fountain

Crab in fountain
Staten Island waterfront

2:51 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Odds and ends 2

09/13/03

Schmuck Bros
East Harlem

 

feast rate in effect
Chinatown

 

ALTTEXT
57 Street/6 Avenue station. Someone told me this station still had old-fashioned phone booths, but that appears not to be the case.

 

Ugly houses with ugly driveways
Rosebank, Staten Island

6:17 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Tribute in Light

09/11/03

From the 39th floor in Midtown, I thought, "Is that it?"

By Houston Street, it blew me away.

Tribute in Light from Hudson River Park

Tribute in Light from Ground Zero

Tribute in Light from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade

"Is there something I can do for you in return?"

11:44 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (2)

MOB #8

09/10/03

MOB #8, tonight at 42nd Street and 6th Avenue, was the final New York flash mob. The instructions read: "At 7:41, a performance will begin on the sidewalk....Be an enthusiastic audience...disperse at 7:46 no matter what the 'performer' does...."

The intended performer was a recorded message on a boom box. Instead, a man with a bright neon sign reading "Cafe Thou Art" in a suitcase hijacked the mob by displaying his sign and making a peace sign with his right hand. (Who carries a neon sign in a suitcase?) The crowd, playing along and not realizing the neon sign was an interloper, briefly chanted "Peace, peace, peace!", drowning out the boom box.

Fred Hoysted has pictures of the neon sign; I was behind it and couldn't get any. Fred also says that where he was standing, the boom box was audible. Where I was, it certainly wasn't, and I didn't know it even existed until afterward.

The crowd waiting for anything recognizable to happen:
crowd and scaffolding

The crowd watching Neon Sign Guy:
Crowd

Neon Sign Guy illuminated by a flash

The glow from the neon sign:
neon glow

After the mob, Neon Sign Guy posed for pictures (and also accepted a dollar from mobber Bryan Fitzgerald of Connecticut).
Neon Sign Guy and an admirer

On the whole, I thought this was a fitting end to the Mob Project, and in a way even its hijacking by an unidentified performance artist worked. (No one could hear the boom box, anyway, and the impenetrable message on the neon sign lent an air of surreality to the whole thing.) Better that it be hijacked by incomprehensible art than by a corporation; nobody wants to go to an AT&T Flash Mob.

Thanks, Bill, for starting this project, coming up with mob ideas, and ending it at the right time. It was just the thing for a humid, rainy New York summer.

More coverage: Fred Hoysted, Glowlab, Cheesebikini, bjoseph, Moist and Tasty, Ginger

( MOB #2 at Macy's | MOB #3 at the Grand Hyatt | MOB #4 at Otto Tootsi Plohound | MOB #5 in Central Park | MOB #6 at Toys R Us | MOB #7 at St. Patrick's Cathedral )

10:20 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack (3)

Civic duty

09/09/03

Vote Here / Vote Aqui

Are there really more Korean speakers in Brooklyn than, say, Russian speakers? Or even in New York as a whole?
Voting machines and mural

I must say that the mural inspired me to carefully consider my choices. Not that I had very many:

ballot in the voting machine

8:54 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Budget chowhound

09/09/03

This is what you get for your dollar at Deluxe Food Market, 79 Elizabeth Street:

Pork bun and two quarters

Eat the huuuuge, delicious pork bun -- it's bigger than it looks in the picture -- and take the quarters back to the counter and get another. There are also veggie buns, just as huge but not quite as tasty, distinguished by the red dots on top. And if you can pass up the chance to brag that you just had a delicious meal in Manhattan for a dollar, there are also 50-cent desserts. The sushi on the Mott Street side is pretty good as well, and coming from me "pretty good" is high praise for sushi. Stand at the counters, or sit at the tables, and watch old Chinese people gossip while you eat.

8:20 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (1)

South Bronx

09/08/03

Chained-down trash can lids

House with two numbers
Mott Haven, The Bronx

 

decrepit funeral home

RIP Black Jesus

Pizza Chicken dot com
Melrose, The Bronx

 

stencil: All persons must leave when draw gong sounds
Willis Avenue Bridge

 

At Glowlab, "a new photo series of the faces that quietly watch us from lamp posts, street signs and shadowy doorways."

8:30 PM | Comments (435) | TrackBack (0)

Staten Island signage

09/07/03

Weird billboard with aliens

Church sign asking the community to respect it
Rosebank, Staten Island

 

Oddly-painted building

St. Paul's Laundromat
Tompkinsville, Staten Island

 

Stapleton Animal Hospital: We Care, God Heals
Stapleton, Staten Island

 

EXT PARK
St. George, Staten Island

7:22 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Fort Wadsworth

09/06/03

Lower fort at Fort Wadsworth

Upper fort

Places where plaques used to be

roofline and windows

Stone and brickwork
Fort Wadsworth, Staten Island

6:33 PM | Comments (236) | TrackBack (1)

Means of transportation

09/05/03

This car appears to be missing a bumper. I just happen to have one available.
missing bumper painted BROOKLYN
Fort Greene, Brooklyn

 

BLIMPIE OPEN

Fujifilm blimp and contrail
Canal Street, Manhattan; Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn

 

Posed wedding photo in front of a white '50s Rolls Royce
Albertson, Long Island

7:43 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Steamy night in Bed-Stuy

09/03/03

U LIKE Chinese Food

Brownstone

Jungle gym

Street scene with smokestack

Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, lit from above
Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn

10:55 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

Hard times

09/01/03

I knew the economy was bad, but I didn't realize times were quite this grim:

We have barrels
Crown Heights, Brooklyn

 

no park in driveway

READ THIS plus graffiti
Crown Heights, Brooklyn

 

DEAD
Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn

9:01 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack (1)