Monthly Archives: January 2013

nightmare in the elevator

except for the fact that my last apartment was less than 400 square feet, i really liked it.  it was on the first floor, it was quiet and best of all it had a back yard. the building had 20 units and 24 people lived in the 73rd street apartment house.

424 E 73rd St yard May 2008 (5)

as sweet as it was, what you will see below was pretty much the entire floor space in the living room

Dale & Ivan

this was my office in it’s entirety (in living room on opposite the wall with door in picture above)

03 19 08 424 e 73rd (11)

and the bedroom was so small, this was all i could get in a photograph:

Ivan sleeping Mar 09 (2)

the bed was solidly tucked in to 3 of the bedroom walls with just enough standing room to – well, stand.  ivan would take a running leap in from the kitchen to get into the bed at night.

the building was over 100 years old and people were much smaller back then.  if you stood in the middle of the hallway and raised your elbows to the sides, each elbow would easily reach the walls.

2009 042

living on the first floor gives you a kind of freedom to come and go a lot easier and quicker than having to do the stairs; especially when there are 5 flights of them (see 5th floor living).

now i live in a 600 square foot studio in a building with 137 apartments, approximately 250 people and 2 elevators and i’ve come to find out that elevators are over rated.  last night for example, ivan had to go out and he needed to go out quickly.  he had been suffering from an upset stomach for the last couple of days and although i had been taking him out every 2 hours, apparently it wasn’t enough.  as we waited for the elevator ivan held his tail tight between his legs and looked at me with wide eyes telling me he was trying as hard as he could to wait for the elevator.  he seemed to be panic stricken as i assured him the elevator was on it’s way and would be here any second.  finally that second arrived. the elevator doors opened, we jumped in, i pressed the lobby button and the doors closed.

the whole process took at least 5 minutes and ivan just didn’t have that kind of time.  i will spare you the details.


“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.”
~ Dalai Lama

signs in the city

do you think a parking sign could make nyc feel sober, subdued & in control?  how would one measure this?

new parking signs are going up between 14th street and 60th streets in manhattan and apparently the designer of the signs was going for the feelings of sobriety and subtle control.   going forward, i will make a point of noticing the energetic differences when i travel downtown, to the upper east, or upper west sides, and i will let you know if the new parking signs have affected the overall vibe of the peeps in midtown.

according to michael beirut, a partner at pentagram, the design firm hired to create the new look,  “we just tried to make it feel a little bit more sober and subdued and in control.”   the new york observer  identifies michael beirut as “one of the most renowned designers in the world.”   i wonder if it was really necessary to hire one of the most renowned designers in the world from an international design firm for this particular job.

referred to in this article  as  “a longtime supporter of syntactic clarity,”
(?? . . .    “hi, meet my friend jane, a longtime supporter of syntactic clarity.”)  “you shouldn’t need a ph.d in parking signage to understand where you are allowed to leave your car in new york,”  said city council member daniel garodnick.

here is what the international design firm has developed:

before                                        after


the epoch times reported that the project cost $180,000.00.  i don’t know how much of that was paid to the international design firm for their part in this project, but i’m 99.9% sure i could have done this myself and for a lot less money. i sure wish the city would check with me on this type of stuff before making the final decisions.


“All action results from thought, so it is thoughts that matter.”
~ Sai Baba 

boxer bag


boxer bag

proof that there is something for everybody!  if you’re that someone, this bag can be all yours for only $19.99 on e-bay.

“The only real elegance is in the mind; if you’ve got that, the rest really comes from it.”

Diana Vreeland

mission control


“new thinking is always the answer.”
~ Mike Dooley





good morning new york!

nyc skyline (15)


i want to take this time to publicly thank the city for it’s sheer awesomeness!  just imagine all of the greatness that is unfolding on this tiny island as i write .  it’s almost hard to wrap your head around it all . . . .


City Love



tourist destination . . . . not.

every morning the first thing i do after i turn on the computer is look at my blog stats.  due to my current un-employment status, i can no longer use income as a indicator of how i’m doing in the outside world so blog readership is the substitute. it makes me feel like i have something to do that matters (although i am under no delusion that it does).

my first and most important daily assignment is to see how many visitors read my blog the day before, and then i move onto content.  wordpress offers statistics on the pages that were viewed as well as the country each reader is located. it’s always interesting when i see countries like india, japan or russia listed on ‘my morning report’.  many times i use way too much time imagining a japanese monk surfing the net over tea in his zen garden or, a native indian in the squatting position on his dirt floor in rajasthan navigating the web with one hand and scooping breakfast porridge into his mouth with the other.

you can imagine my surprise when this morning i saw a reader had visited my zen city all the way from the isle of man.  what??  did i hear you thinking that you’ve never heard of the isle of man?  well, no worries, i hadn’t either.

since you most likely have a job to get to, i will save you the trip to wikipedia and give you a quick summary here, straight from the big book:

The island has been inhabited since before 6500 BC

The Isle of Man is located in the middle of the northern Irish Sea

The main telephone provider on the Isle of Man is Manx Telecom

The island was ruled by Manannán mac Lir, a Celtic sea god, who would draw his misty cloak around the island to protect it from invaders

Traditionally the national dish of the island is Spuds and Herrin (but!)  A more recent claim for the title of national dish would be the ubiquitous chips, cheese and gravy.  This dish, which is similar to poutine, is found in most of the island’s fast-food outlets, and consists of thick cut chips, covered in shredded Cheddar cheese and topped with a thick gravy

There are two domestic animals specifically connected to the Isle of Man

1. The Manx cat is a breed of cat noted for having a genetic mutation that causes it to have a shortened tail.  The length of this tail can range from a few inches, known as a “stumpy“, to being completely nonexistent, or “rumpy” 

2. The Manx Loaghtan sheep is a breed native to the island. It has dark brown wool and four, or sometimes six horns

and finally, the bee gee’s (maurice gibb, barry gibb and robin gibb) were born & raised on the isle of man.

road trip anyone??


“Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.”
 ~ John Lennon

simply noticing

i took the bus this week.  it was the m15 which travels up 1st avenue.  it was an enjoyable ride up 1st avenue and i did a lot of excellent people watching.  i was amazed at the lady directly across the isle from me who managed to remove a contact lens with one swoop of her finger and no mirror.  i was even more astounded when she popped the lens into her mouth, rolled it around a bit with her tongue and then placed it back in her eye.

directly in front of me sat a boy who appeared to be about 2 years old, along with his mother.  apparently in fear of bus germs, mom slathered the boys hands with a humungous sized dollop of purell and spent the next five minutes trying to rub it all in.  immediately upon the release of his freshly sanitized hands, he licked his palms and announced, “that tastes good!”





“It’s a troublesome world. All the people who’re in it
are troubled with troubles almost every minute.
You ought to be thankful, a whole heaping lot,
for the places and people you’re lucky you’re not.”
~ Dr. Seuss

strange in the city

i think it’s funny how some people discard their christmas trees the moment christmas is over.  i imagine there are several reasons;
1. they are just not that into the ho, ho, ho of the season and relish the day it’s behind them
2. they have had enough of the cat climbing the tree and smashing many ornaments in the process
3.  the dog thinks the tree is an indoor port-a-potty
4. they’ve fled to paris or some exotic island to ring in the new year, leaving the staff in charge of tree disposal prior to their return to the city.

there may be other reasons, but those are the first that come to mind.  of course there are the peeps whom prolong the merriment of the season throughout the entire month of january and some into february.  whatever the case, dying trees line the city streets from the end of december through mid february.

this year i’ve noticed something quite odd about the discarded trees. maybe you can explain.  take a look at these east midtown pix and see if you notice anything odd.

tinselless trees (6)

tinselless trees (7) tinselless trees (8) tinselless trees (10) tinselless trees (11) tinselless trees (12) tinselless trees (13) tinselless trees (14) tinselless trees (15) tinselless trees (16) tinselless trees (17) tinselless trees (1)


have you noticed anything unusual about these discarded trees?  every day since christmas, i see the same thing and i have yet to figure it out.  what is confusing me is why not one tree has a shred of tinsel left on it.  i haven’t had a tree in many years, but i can clearly remember that it is virtually impossible to remove every single strand of tinsel from a decorated tree.  did i miss the news about the tinsel ban?  did something terrible happen with tinsel and it’s no longer available?  how can people properly decorate a christmas tree without tinsel?  have tinsel-less trees become all the rage and no one bothered to tell me?

I have spent an inordinate amount of time looking for evidence of tinsel everywhere in the east fifties and have yet to see even one stray strand anywhere.
there has not even been one small piece of remaining garland hiding in the branches.

can someone please tell me what is going on?


“To perceive Christmas through its wrappings becomes more difficult with every year. ”
 ~ E. B. White 

try not to cry


story peeps


“I have found that if you love life, life will love you back.”
– Arthur Rubinstein

union square numbers

established in 1999, i have walked by these numbers on the building in union square countless times.  until this week, by the time i get home, i completely forget about my intention to look online to find out just exactly what the numbers represent.

union square clock

as a public service to all new yorkers with adhd, i offer the following straight from wikipedia:

On the left side of the work is a set of fifteen large LED digits, called “The Passage”, which display the time in24-hour format. The seven leftmost digits show the time in conventional 24-hour format, as hours (2 digits), minutes (2 digits), seconds (2 digits), tenths of a second (1 digit). The seven rightmost digits display the amount of time remaining in a 24-hour day, as tenths of a second (1 digit), seconds (2 digits), minutes (2 digits), hours (2 digits). The center digit represents hundredths of a second, and appears as a blur.

For instance, if the clock reads “195641188180304” (as in the picture at right), it means that time is 19:56 (7:56 PM) and 41.1 seconds, and that there are 04 hours, 03 minutes, and 18.8 seconds remaining in the day.  (wikipedia)

“Life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you so quickly you hardly catch it going”
 Tennessee Williams

good advice

“once you get the message, hang up the phone.”

 ~ Ram Dass

moon icon



saturday in the city

1. wake up way too early  (thank you, ivan).

2. walk dog, meditate, shower, check e-mails, straighten apartment, walk dog again.

3. hear very loud explosions directly below my windows on 1st avenue.

4. look out window and see only thick clouds of heavy smoke, preventing view of buildings directly across the street.

5. panic (naturally)

6. grab camera, get ivan, bang on all doors alerting everyone on the 12th floor and begin the descent down as fast as possible carrying 70 lb dog and my camera.

7. walk traumatized dog 1/2 way down smoke filled block before noticing angry officer screaming at me to get inside.

e 52 st electrical fire (1)

8. spend the next 2 hours sneaking outside for some pictures, getting yelled at and waiting in the lobby with many neighbors –  waiting for the elevator to be turned back on.

e 52 st electrical fire (3)

e 52 st electrical fire (19)

9. persuade building porter to let me take elevator by convincing him of my impending death if
a.)  i have to carry ivan up 12 flights or
b.) i have to stand in the lobby one more second.

10. watch cops, firemen and con ed peeps from 12th floor and wonder if i am actually safer up stairs or in lobby should the building blow.

e 52 st electrical fire (37)a

11. it is now around 4:30 and beginning to get dark outside. all building electricity goes out.  stairwells & hallways are so dark i could not see anything other than pure blackness.

12. light many candles & check on elderly neighbor with emphysema to see if he has candles and a back up generator for his oxygen tank.  he’s ok for now.

13. wait.

14.  wait some more

15. feed ivan his dinner & continue waiting.

16. notice ivan by door signaling strong desire to go out.

17. carry 70lb dog down 12 flights for second time today.

18. return from walk with ivan and leave him with friends on the second floor  (thank you monica & eddie).

19. wander aimlessly through midtown for a couple of hours spying on people being all cozy in their well lit apartments.

20. return home approximately 30 minutes before electricity came back some time around 9:30 pm –  waited, walked the dog, reset the clocks and watched a movie.

this is not what i had planned for the day.

e 52 st electrical fire (18)

“First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.”
 ~ Napoleon Hill 


that’s all i have to say

jan 3 2013



“If life doesn’t offer a game worth playing, then invent a new one.”
Anthony J. D’Angelo