Monday, October 24, 2011

Good Signs in/on the Lower East Side

New Yorkers I guess say "on line" instead of "in line" - I thought this was some kind of apoclyptic digital-age thing, but apparently they have always said "on line" here. It's also common to say "on" the Lower East Side instead of "in," like in the Blondie song In the Flesh where she sings
I saw you walking one day on the Lower East Side
which is really funny because it's a parody of 50's romance songs and the Lower East Side was trashy as hell back then. Anyway, "on the Lower East Side" doesn't really roll off my tongue, and I'm not going to say "on line," you know???

Old Sort of Sidewalk in Tribeca

This was raised off the ground, surrounding the beautiful old industrial buildings around here, so it was kind of a raised platform and not a sidewalk per se. One of the things I love about Manhattan is that you can explore a completely new area by wandering off an area you're more familiar with. Wandering south of the West Village, I was surprised to come across the mainly empty streets of this area, with its old brick buildings, cobblestones streets, and faded signs advertising port-related businesses. Even in post-gentrified NYC, the quaintness and charm of the city can still blow ya away!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Neither More Nor Less

Here are some photos taken by street photographer Bob Arihood of Neither More Nor Less, who died recently. Hid blog detailed the comings and goings of the street people of Tompkins Square Park and the surrounding area, as well as reporting on their stories.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Deep Thoughts on 9/11

Last night, we took a walk through DUMBO- the skyline was beautiful, with the ghostly towers and all. It seemed like it should have been a solemn moment, but there were tourists everywhere, some carrying 9/11 Memorial gift bags. There was a group of Italian men in suits laughing and screaming and taking goofy photos against the skyline, and a group of Mormons taking photos of each other from every possible angle. It seemed like 5 out of 10 people was carrying a tripod to take their award-winning photo.

It was the same spot my friends and I had tried to se Ghostbusters at this summer, but there had been too many people, especially a lot of tourists, to even get close. It seems pretty harsh that even 9/11 has turned into one of those many other things (or maybe it was always like this, of course I am not from New York) that caters to people who are just visiting rather than people who live here, and especially not long-term residents, who, like New York accents, barely even exist these days.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Clinton Hill

Clinton Hill has the best vacant lots in town, graffiti and cool old cars. The lot on Classon and Myrtle used to have a huge cutout of Angela Davis on the plywood surrounding it, now she is gone and its been paved over- when I moved here I of course didn't think about the inevitability of all the lots getting developed. Of course, none of these people who live in Brooklyn (including me) would have moved here if it hadn't
been developed.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

4th of July

V.I.P. Men's Suits

On lower Broadway, V.I.P Men's Suits was closing. Two men in suits came downstairs while I was taking the photo from across the street.

$300 Off Every Puppy

Sure, there didn't seem to be anyone in the old, locally owned business I passed in the West Village, but there were plenty of people in the boutiques and the designer dog stores. Usually the puppies in the windows are capering about, but on this day every puppy seemed to be slumped over forlornly, adding to the pathos of the situation.

West End of Canal Street

Deco post office and family.

Yuppie Apocalypse

It's amazing how people go into any place with this vibe and outdoor seating. According to the internets, this is a very popular restaurant and it is 100% organic, started by a South American businessman and confessed "foodie" who polled NYC diners on what kind of restaurant they want. They advertise gluten-free pasta on the awning. Like other Manhattan restaurants, this would not look at all out of place in an airport or mall:

Sure, I complain about the ubiquity of subway tile and pressed tin ceilings in Brooklyn, but at least those elements have some character and link to what New York is supposed to be about. I think the bottom line is that yuppies especially don't have good taste. How could you voluntarily spend all day in a Starbucks? Does no one notice that it's ugly and gross in there?

Also, watch out for lime green! Everything is lime green!

Slobbily dressed yuppie couple out for a stroll.

Here's a similar business, advertising nothing over 500 calories on the sign. And the lime green.

Okay, so I guess I should just go up to people and ask to photograph them instead of taking these blurry photos, but I just wanted to point out how poorly these people dress, and how men and women of this social group are constantly in workout clothes. A blight!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I Don't Remember Where This Is

Old-Fashioned Signs in South Williamsburg

Is it really South Williamsburg or is it Wallabout? Is Wallabout a real neighborhood name? I like this area a lot, it is between Clinton Hill and south Williamsburg, following the BQE.

I don't think this blog will be a success because it's very hard for me to take a decent photo of a building. Anyway, I walked around this Hasidic neighborhood on a Saturday, the Sabbath, and it was ghostly-empty. It's weird to be in New York when no one's around. The sound of a plastic bag blowing in the wind startled me. Plus it was one of those going-to-rain days where the air is gusty and a storm seems to be a-brewin. I love that weather. I also love all these old signs. God, the Feltly hats one! It's like stepping back in time. Too bad it's such a cruddy photo.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Wigs In the Wig District

I had an internship in the Wig District (kinda Flatiron, kinda "Midtown South") last winter. It was exciting to commute to Manhattan among the rush hour hordes, and even though it was usually too bitter out to explore the neighborhood all that much, I feel like I got a good overview. And I discovered (meaning 'found on the internet') the excellent Chandni restaurant, and the charming Johny's Luncheonette. I always cannot help but feel anger at the people who, given the huge amount of cheap, delicious and varied lunch options in the city, opt instead to eat at nasty Chipotle every day.

Chandni is located directly across from the uber-fancy Ace Hotel, which, at present, is refreshingly at odds with the wig stores, the wholesale purse stores, the African men hustling on the street, and the constant traffic of deliverymen wheeling huge carts of stuff or racks of clothes through crowded streets. Despite the obvious shift going on away from manufacturing/blue collar jobs, plenty of people in New York labor in a more traditional way. And plenty of people also love the Opening Ceremony store inside the Ace Hotel, but what they don't know is that any suburban Goodwill will have the same looks for less.
Why do I have this blog? I already have like nine other blogs. But since I am constantly thinking about New York as a place, and constantly taking photos here, I need a place to archive my photos and also complain kind of like they are always complaining on all the NYC blogs I read. I assume the people who read my fashion blog don't care about my wistful views on the city, and we all know what it's like to get into a blog and then have the bloggers interests shift to something you find boring, like sports or children. And the world needs another blog.

My muse Dan in front of Moishe's bake shop, which of course is great. It could almost be the 70's in this photo.

View From the Williamsburg Bridge

I think South Williamsburg is so beautiful.