Month: March 2014

what’s in a subway transfer?

This is for all the times I feel like the MTA is out to get me,  yes sometimes it feels personal.  I mean how can they always know when I am in a hurry and running behind because it never fails that is when the dreaded “we are being held by the train’s dispatcher” and “we are being held due to train traffic ahead” announcements come crackling through.   And while we are on this subject,  why is it that you can never hear the important messages but when they want you wait,  that message comes through loud and clear? 

So what is my revenge you say?  It is the 59th St. N/Q/R/4/5/6 transfer to the 63rd St. F.  Four blocks to walk but two hours to make it from point A to point B.  A lot can be done in two hours and it has become my mission to try to make the most of it each and every time.  Today was no exception,  Lexington Avenue was buzzing.  

First up,  NYC’s first cupcake ATM.   Not sure where I fall on this one,  but it will keep the tourists busy and lined up for hours away from other maybe more interesting things,  so it is all good.

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No cupcakes for this poor lad…

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Just down the street from the Cupcake ATM the scene was much different.  

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Time for the annual Greek Day Parade on 5th Avenue.  Floats and their riders were mustering on the side streets ready for the call to enter.

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Four blocks later and at the entrance to the subway, one last chance to capture the local wildlife.

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So remember,  the next time you want to get one over on the MTA consider the 59th to 63rd transfer and see what is up on Lexington Avenue.

 

 

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mr. selfridge would be proud part 2

As promised yesterday here are the shots from above:

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These ribbon flowers were something else!  According to the tour guides they were done over many, many hours by Macy’s employees,  no glue or tying involved.

Today’s installment includes a treat. As always if you just let things unfold the city rewards. Just as I was leaving Macy’s I had the good fortune to run into Oswaldo Gomez, Ms. Colombia. A mainstay at every colorful city celebration for years I have had the pleasure of photographing him before.  

and all the painted poodles, too

it isn't a parade without ms colombia

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This is the first time I stopped and had a conversation and I am so glad I did.  What an engaging and all around joyful man!  I can’t until the next time we meet.  And yes,  he was in his element at the Flower Show,  as he said, “Lady Gaga is in the house.” 

As we come to the end of another year and another flower show I will leave you where we began,  with the Lady in Red.

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For a peek at least year’s show:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.397339997040755.1073741830.287949161313173&type=1

mr. selfridge would be proud

What does Mr. Selfridge have to do with anything, other than it is about to premiere its second season here in the U.S.?  Well, actually more than you would think. Harry Selfridge was the king of the spectacle, the lure, the irresistible bait to bring in the crowds. Modern retail has twisted this into something mostly unrecognizable, unrecognizable with one exception, Macy’s. To this day Macy’s continues the tradition of the spectacle with the Thanksgiving Day Parade, Santaland and the spring Flower Show. The Flower Show began at their San Francisco location in 1946. The first Herald Square show was in 1953. It was discontinued in 1966 due to the high cost of fresh flowers but brought back in 1974 and continues to this day.

Celebrating the return to the newly renovated show floor this year they pulled out all the stops, (the last two years the show had been confined to a tractor trailer in the middle of Herald Square). Now… that renovated show floor,  another matter entirely and I can’t say as I am pleased with the results. The old Macy’s was a thing of beauty with rich warm woods and a sense of grandeur and history. But that is a discussion for another day. By now I am sure you are saying… bring on the flowers!! So, here we go:

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The centerpiece and star of the show is the Lady in Red.  She towers above as you enter through the main doors.  With thousands of blossoms and a stately air about her, she is the perfect start to the flower show experience.

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What is a spectacle without a guide?  Regular tours are scheduled throughout the day.

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The Bouquet of the Day,  a butterfly’s delight!  

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This is as good a place as any to take a break and save the rest for tomorrow.  

Scenes from above and Ms. Colombia, a tease that I hope brings you back.

 

i love ny… another day or two

Still loving NY even though I sure do wish this cold weather would find another home and give us at least a day or two of true spring before the summer soup season begins.  

Another group of “i love ny” captures, no matter where you go in the city the sentiment is never far from the surface. Even though our words may at times seem to say different, we really do love ny.  

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For more “i love ny” don’t forget to check out my flickr set https://www.flickr.com/photos/bytegirl/sets/72157626596284257/

And of course,  hope you stay tuned for what’s to come!

about a wall

NYC graffiti artist Jim Joe has been busy lately.  He has a message for the new year and found the perfect canvas.  A wall on Houston Street in Soho.

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Seems some do not find interest in his message.

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But New Yorkers are known for being in a world of their own.  Does this constitute operating a moving vehicle without a hands free device?  

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2014 Confusion (yep,  seems like there is plenty enough of that to go around) guided by a clear sense of purpose (here’s hoping)..thanks, Jim Joe!

wallnuts at work

A beautiful day in the city. Hope for spring is here. Decided to stay in Queens today and see what the city might give and as so often happens I was rewarded. Stumbled on to the Wallnuts Crew working on 21st. in Long Island City.  

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Some of the people that came by to watch brought snacks.  

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For more information about the Wallnuts be sure to check out their facebook page at 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Wallnuts-Crew-Graffiti-Artists/104064389658129

march macaron madness

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Macarons–good ones are a revelation,  bad ones a major disappointment.  Patience, years of practice and years of failure go into perfecting the proper French Macaron.  Many boast but few come close to achieving the “perfect” macaron.  Of those that do boast, several have organized to give us the National Macaron Day in NYC now in its 5th year.  Today was that day .

So after printing out a list of participants and a map to help us navigate the always confusing Village, the son and I headed out in search of the perfect FREE  macaron.  The son fancies himself a pretty decent macaron maker and was very excited to try those that are constantly rated some of the best in the city.  

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Macaron Cafe gave us the ones with the biggest burst of flavor. My Passionfruit was the perfect combination of cookie and  burst of fresh, tart passionfruit.

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The macaron man himself,  François Payard who had several different establishments on today’s macaron crawl.  His coffee flavored at the Columbus Circle location was voted the son’s favorite hands down of the nine different we tried today.

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Chef Payard heading out on his Ducati…  macarons bring in the bucks.


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In honor of today being The World Day of Happiness…  BE HAPPY oh and eat macarons.

a bit of the irish in all of us…

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And now for the characters of the day,  I love parades and holidays that encourage people to participate in the celebration.  Saint Patrick’s Day is certainly one of those as everyone’s Irish is on display!

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It is also one of those few days when men in skirts (ok, kilts…. manskirts) are not an unusual sight.   A good lesson in why pants were probably invented in the first place.

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And as in so many celebrations in New York CIty, the celebrants also include those intent on spreading their word, whether it is applicable to the event or not.

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The stars of the show!   

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The one day a year when it really is easy being green,  but I can’t imagine it was quite as easy yesterday once the parade was over and the green wasn’t.

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Another side effect of the bitterly cold day.  The usual Saint Patty’s.. errhmmmmmmmmmmm drinking and lack of dress (there is that a nice way of saying it)? was tempered by the soul-sucking winds and there were far fewer bits of bare flesh roaming the streets as in past years.

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The year of the mustache… can we all say enough of this trend now?

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And finally.. selfies for EVERYONE.. you take a selfie,  I take a selfie,  They take a selfie…

Tomorrow is National Macaron Day!  Free Macarons for EVERYONE!

https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=214037756870259842706.0004d617cdf682874d175&hl=en&ie=UTF8&t=m&source=embed&ll=40.754019,-73.966827&spn=0.208059,0.438766&z=11

lucky day the irish way

I always shoot the parade or should I say I alway shoot near the parade.  I rarely see the actual marchers because of the enormous crowds.  I have never felt like I missed out on much because there is always plenty enough crazy for blocks around.   

Yesterday was different,  we left the house late with the intent of just hanging out along 6th Avenue and watching the people walk by.  Got off the subway at 49th and immediately noticed lighter than normal crowds.  Walked through Rockefeller Center straight to 5th Avenue and right up to the barricades just as the parade was starting.  

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In all the years of going I have never seen so few people…. it was a crowd phobic photographer’s dream.   But, it was also obvious why the people stayed home.  IT WAS COLD,  did I say it was cold?  Cold doesn’t really work,  frigid is closer, bitter maybe but lacks the punch, nothing short of a string of obscenities will really do it justice. It was %#^&$%*%&^ing COLD!  Oh,  and the wind was blowing.

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My fingers survived (barely) and I had fun watching the parade.  This first series is primarily of the parade so keep coming back for more of the characters that make Saint Patrick’s Day in New York City a very special experience.

 

 

a trip down the lane… on color

Another in the ongoing a trip down the lane series.

When people travel to New York often they ask what they should bring along to wear.  The standard answer is whatever you want as long as it is black.  Most would think the city is a sea of black and grey and while that is true in some parts of town it is certainly not the uniform of choice.   So this edition of a trip down the lane is dedicated to the pops of color.  

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So while NYers do like their black the city is not without color.  Beautiful bright pops of color.