Chicago, city of meat
After those two I was expecting to see a himblargar stand somewhere, but alas no.
Des Plaines, IL
Is Chicago, Is Not Chicago
A very Brooklyn Christmas
After a wonderful Italian Sunday dinner with a wonderful Italian family, we were off to see the Christmas lights in Dyker Heights. 84th Street between 10th and 12th Avenues is famous for particularly outlandish displays, but I actually enjoyed some of the displays that weren't on 84th Street even better.
On 84th Street:
Why yes, Elmo does have a pitcher of money.
Not on 84th Street:
Support our [Toy] Troops
I think there's a house behind all those geegaws, but I'm not certain:
My friend Tonia said: "Baby Jesus Casserole!"
And, saving the best for last:
Note the electric reindeer hanging out on the power lines. It's on 14th Avenue in the lower 70s, in case you want to take a look -- and you should.
Rough translation, according to a guy I met on the street: "How long did it take the Twin Towers to fall? 8 seconds. How long will it take to save Williamsburg from the artists???" (He stumbled over the word "artists," so I suspect it's a not-so-polite term for hipsters.)
Update: An apparently more accurate translation, via Choire:
"How long did it take for the 'Twin Towers' to fall apart? 8 seconds... How long will it take for Williamsburg? God forbid!"
Below, some of what will be destroyed if Bruce Ratner, who has a history of making attractive-looking plans into rather hideous buildings, succeeds in getting the city to condemn six blocks for his Gehry-designed arena development. The plans include about 7,000,000 square feet on 21 acres; for comparison, the World Trade Center towers had about 9,000,000 square feet on 16 acres. The buildings I'll miss most? The enigmatic Samuel Underberg Building on Atlantic Avenue (background) and the simply stunning Atlantic Art Building at 636 Pacific Street. And, of course, the HOT BIRD ads. The neighborhood is up in arms.
"Bread Tank / Liquid [?]elose / Dextrose"
Have you ever had the "Oh my God we're about to hit the Williamsburgh Savings Bank Building and...whoa, there's my house!" approach to LaGuardia?
I just did.
I hope my pictures turned out.
(Update: sort of.)
Some red to go with the green. What, you were expecting Christmas lights?
Old, but new to me: In Passing..., a collection of hilarious, or insightful, or nonsensical things people say, mostly in Berkeley.
[Welcome MeFi visitors.]
No pictures today.
I was on my way home tonight, on the Manhattan Bridge, when I saw a few people at the railing, looking like they were taking pictures of the incredible view of downtown and the Brooklyn Bridge. But one of them, looking pained, motioned me over; I threw my bike down; an old Chinese man who didn't seem to speak English handed me a cell phone. Then I saw her: a girl, about 15 or 20, standing on the ledge on the wrong side of the fence, a hundred feet above the East River, trying to escape from the three people who were pulling her in. After a bit of confusion, I called 911 from my phone and tried to convey to the clueless-seeming dispatcher that THERE WAS A PERSON JUMPING FROM THE BRIDGE and YES, they should send help. And call the Coast Guard.
By now the girl was slumping down, resisting the people who were trying to hold her back -- two women, a jogger and a cyclist, were talking to her (without much in the way of a response), and they and the Chinese man were holding on. I grabbed her leg, trying to afford her the dignity of looking away from her naked torso (for the others had apparently grabbed onto her shirt and succeeded only in bunching it up around her sleeves). Another cyclist stopped, and I asked him for his locking cable, which he threaded around her leg. I grabbed the girl's hand, held on to it, then also her wrist, until the Coast Guard called me back for information and I found someone to replace me and my numb left hand.
Eventually the cops showed up, first one, then two, then a few dozen on the bridge, four boats below, and a helicopter or two. They shut down the bridge to traffic and trains, handcuffed the girl to the railing, cut the fence away, harnessed up a cop and pulled the girl to safety, all while I was standing there feeling useless except for the belt I had lent to the cause and the possibility that the Coast Guard would call me again. The girl didn't look happy to be saved as the cops loaded her into a stretcher, her hands bloodied by the handcuffs, but she was alive.
I wish this were fiction. But if you pass the big gap in the chain-link fence on the bridge before they replace it, you will know it's not.
At this time of the year, let's be thankful for the first person who recognized the situation, stopped what she was doing, and saved a life tonight.
To my great shock, the MTA updated a sign the very day it should have:
Hoyt-Schermerhorn station, Brooklyn
Congrats, MTA. Anti-congrats to the Port Authority for replacing a fast, free shuttle bus with a fancy-shmancy train that costs $4.17 and saves maybe two or three minutes.
This is the same Port Authority that imposed a $2 New York ripoff surcharge on people taking the Newark Airtrain from New York City (but not from anywhere else). To get around that ripoff, buy a train ticket to North Elizabeth (the next station after the airport), get off at Newark Airport, and buy a separate airport-access ticket there. You save $2 each way, and even more if your trip times qualify you for a round-trip off-peak ticket to North Elizabeth.
It's also the same Port Authority that pissed me off by setting the signs on all the roadways at LaGuardia to display "God Bless America" -- an expression utterly devoid of any meaning other than one offensive to the nonreligious -- on Thanksgiving Day.
Times Plaza, Brooklyn
Fort Greene, Brooklyn
"Eric Sucks Dick", Ground Zero pit
Atlantic Avenue station, Brooklyn, long-hidden wall exposed by construction
Patriotism takes many forms
Hutchinson River Parkway, The Bronx
Flatbush Avenue, Park Slope/Prospect Heights Neutral Zone, Brooklyn
The Rockaways, Queens
Hamilton Heights, Manhattan
New photolog, with a suspiciously familiar design: Chicago Snapshot
Fort Greene, Brooklyn
Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
Well qualified to represent the LBC
"The Bagel Club"
Long Beach, NY
The lost art of mapmaking
Times Square (larger version, to 96th Street: note Third and Myrtle Avenue Els and now-closed stations at 91st, 19th, 18th, Worth, Court and Myrtle)