Friday, April 7, 2017

Over the Hillz (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

As Hillary fades from history (although hopefully she still has more to contribute) so do the posters that had tried to turn her into an icon. And threw Mao in just for the hell of it.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Empire State Building (Midtown Manhttan)

It's a wonderful New York tradition that the Empire State Building changes its colors to celebrate various people, places and causes. Today the ESB turned magenta in honor of International Women's Day and HeForShe (which I'd never heard of but sounds pretty cool.)

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Moonlight Memories (Lincoln Center)


I was lucky enough to attend the opening of Moonlight last October at the New York Film Festival. I remember reading the description of the film and thinking, "A movie about being black and gay? Sounds interesting." And of course I was happy we bought the tickets because it turned out to be amazing.

I never posted the photos because I took them with my phone, which does a lousy job in low light. But in honor of Moonlight's Oscar win, I thought I could celebrate by sharing them.

Congrats Barry Jenkins, Mahershala Ali, and the rest of the creators, cast and crew!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Fighting for a Free Press (Times Square, Manhattan)

In the desire to protect American values — and rights — that are under direct fire (this week the vulnerable value is a free press--see this, this and this) a demonstration started at The New York Times building and wended its way to the studios of Fox News.

Protest signs are the new street art, but the best signs at this protest were real signs but the tape some people wore over their mouths (although I also liked the "unpaid protester" sign, visible just above the hat of the woman with the blue tape.)

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Three Pigeons in a Tree (Upper West Side, Manhattan)

These three birds were sitting in a tree as a I exited the subway. Pigeons, of course, are common in the city--flying rats, some people call them. But I rarely see them sitting in a tree. Usually they're strutting across the pavement or perched on a fire escape or window ledge. And they also seemed oddly personable, sitting calmly as they were just a few feet from a busy subway entrance/exit.

Maybe they were behaving strangely because the day was strange--over 60 degrees in the middle of February, another sign that we've entered an alternate universe.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Subways need cleaning too (Times Square, Manhattan)

Subway stations in New York City tend to be filthy. The tracks are often filled with muddy puddles and festooned with trash--old papers, discarded food wrappers and the rotting detritus of urban life. Not to mention rats. There are almost always rats splashing in the puddles, investigating the garbage, scaling the rails and then vanishing seconds before the train arrives.

And the rafters are equally disgusting. If you look overhead, the girders and beams are covered with soot and stalactites of grime. Compared to rail and rafters, the platforms tend to be clean (although I've seen plenty of trash and the occasional rat there as well). I suppose it's because the Transit Authority actually sends employees to clean the platforms--or at least they did at 1 a.m. on my way home. The crowd stood to the side to avoid getting wet, but I'm pretty sure we all shared a sense of amazement that someone was applying soap and water to a place synonymous with dirt.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Protest, Protest, Protest (Lower Manhattan)

It's not surprising that "the most unpopular new president in modern times" is generating daily protests, including a vow to ensure rallies follow him wherever he goes. The remarkable thing is how many people show up at these rallies--three times as many showed in Washington for the Women's March as attended his inauguration (and 2.5 million joined them around the world). Of course, numbers can always be questioned but with the president making such a big issue out of them, people seem to be more meticulous in their counting.

These photos are from a protest and march against Trump's executive order banning refugees and travelers from seven Muslim-dominant countries. The march went from Battery Park to Foley Square. Media reported that about 10,000 attended but, as Trump would say, it looked like more than that to me.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

A Sense of Risk: Culture, Trampolines and Mexico (Parque de España, Mexico City)

When I was a little kid in Illinois, I remember some neighbors had toy trampolines in their backyards. But by the time I was eight or 10, they had all disappeared, and I remember my mother telling me they'd been banned as toys because too many people were getting injured.

Although I can't find any record via Google that a ban actually occurred in the 1970ws, there's plenty of information today regarding the risks of casual trampolining and the precautions people should take. That's why it was both alarming and refreshing when I saw these folks setting up a big trampoline for kids to play on in a public park in Mexico City.

Of course, safety is crucial. Playgrounds should be safe spaces. And I'm not saying that trampolines without safety belts and mats are safe toys. But I sometimes get the feeling that the average American playground is too safe.

Does every swing and jungle gym need a mat under it? Isn't it sometimes OK if a kid, while playing, gets a scrape or a bruise now and then?

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Three Cultures (Plaza de Tres Culturas, Mexico City)

The Plaza of Three Cultures / Plaza de Tres Culturas is remarkable not only for the collision of past and present but the numerous tragedies that have occurred there, starting with Cortez' massacre of the Aztecs followed hundreds of years later by the Army's murder of hundreds of student protesters in 1968 and finally the 1985 earthquake.

We visited on a bright quiet day and there were only a few other tourists but the place was crowded with lessons and, no doubt, ghosts.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Doggy School (Parque de España, Mexico City)

Dogs are a big deal in Mexico City, and folks who live near the Parque de España like their pooches well trained. A trainer takes one dog at a time for a lesson in heeling while the other students wait their turn.