Tag Archives: manhattan

overheard in the city


woman talking on phone on e. 73rd street:
“only hookers wear red lipstick. only puerto ricans wear red nail polish”

“you’re only 21; you ain’t been out there. you don’t know nothing.”

walking on east 63rd street:
3 year old boy asks mom,
“why are there so many streets?”
mom: “what do you mean?”
boy: “why are there so many streets???”
mom: “do you mean why are there so many streets in manhattan?”
boy: “no, why are there so many streets in the bronx?”

on the m15 bus going up first avenue:
mother slathers 2 year old’s hands with purell.
2 year old boy promptly licks palm & announces:
“that tastes good.”

on 2nd ave at 47th street :
man in suit walking with woman also in a business suit:
“is this 42nd street?”

the bus headed uptown on first ave:
3 year old child told his mother;
“he was dead and he couldn’t walk so he had to go to the hospital.”

on the sidewalk of east 52nd street:
when asked where his young son goes to pre-school;
man #1: “sutton place temple.”
man #2:  “is it true that the more money you give at temple, the closer you get to sit to the menorah?”

corner of 53rd street & 3rd avenue:
woman on phone – late 50ish – heavy new yawk accent;
“did you eat?”
“are you full?”
“are you sure?”

2nd ave & 58th street:
teenager asked mother, “who is  ed  koch?”

50th street & 3rd avenue on st. patrick’s day:
20 something girl #1:  “i’ve never been to a st. patrick’s day parade.”
20 something girl #2:  “neither have i.  i didn’t even know there
was one.”

51th street & 2nd avenue on st. patrick’s day:
me:  “it’s crazy out here.”
doorman: “yeah, it’s a beautiful day to throw up.”

1st avenue at 56th st:
2 moms, 2 strollers, 2 two year old children;
mom #1:  “how does he like camp?”
mom #2:  “i don’t know, he never tells me anything.”

#1 favorite!
while shooting pix with my canon 7d on park avenue:
“she has a better camera than you”


nyc public toilet (2)



one thousand word picture

sometime the most unexpected things show up.  for instance, in this photo i took of first avenue at twilight, what are these things???  how did they get in my photo & what do they want?  it’s been said, a picture is worth a thousand words, any guesses on what’s being said here?




“Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others. He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind.”
 ~ Buddha


moving on 2nd avenue

this sure must be easier than having to pack and unpack all those boxes. . . .

2014-11-25 22.15.58


Traffic is only one of the side effects of growth.
 ~ Roy Barnes


residents of nyc

in nyc you’ll find people of all colors, shapes & sizes – animals too.  since most residents  ‘weekend out east‘,  on sunday,  i hung out with this guy in central park.



“Life was never meant to be a struggle, just a gentle progression from one point to another, much like walking through a valley on a sunny day.”
 ~ Stewart Wilde


getting ready

you know when it rains it pours.  it’s pouring on east 52nd street today even though it’s 79 degrees and sunny outside.

i’m getting   trying to get my apartment ready for a visitor who is arriving tomorrow for one week.   the rain began last night when i attempted to connect a digital converter to the tv so that my guest can watch at least the basic channels. no can do.

ivan has developed a leak.  a big leak.  he is 98 in people years and i guess these things happen – but still . . .  i have ordered doggie diapers with money i don’t have, and should receive the diapers on saturday.  in the mean time, i have throw rugs on top of blankets covering every square inch of floor space to protect the rugs and flooring. all of these rugs and blankets need to be washed everyday at $7.00 per load.

then the dishwasher overflowed and flooded the entire kitchen.  there was so much water, i had to use my bath towels to stop it from running out into the living room.  since i now have massive amounts of laundry to do, i took the shower curtain & liner down and threw it in the laundry bag along with all of the pee soaked floor rugs.

upon returning home from my early walk with ivan, there was an irate tenant in the lobby who looked me right in the eyes and yelled, “i hate this building!”  when i asked what was going on, she replied, “i have a huge meeting at work today and the water is coming out black. i can’t shower and i have to go out and look for a place to brush my teeth!”

it is now 12:49 in the afternoon and i have not yet brushed my teeth, showered or begun the 5 loads of laundry i have contained in a hefty bag, growing mildew, in my living room.  i cannot clean the bathroom or the kitchen until i have clean water. 

“hi, welcome to my dirty apartment.  i hope you won’t need to shower this week because the shower curtain and bath towels are in that bag over there.  cooking and television will not be available options during your stay either.  please come in . . . .”



Reality is the leading cause of stress among those in touch with it.
 ~ Lily Tomlin 


hairy turtles

strolling through central park, i found myself wondering, what has happened to the turtles?

central park ducks turtles birds (24).

“Everything in the universe has a purpose. Indeed, the invisible intelligence that flows through everything in a purposeful fashion is also flowing through you.”
~ Wayne Dyer 


what the beep?

it’s the start of memorial day weekend – even if it’s only 9:30  friday morning.   horns have been beeping incessantly since 7:00 am.  here’s what first avenue looked like out my window, from the united nations at 48th street to 51st street:

1st ave traffic mem day 2013 (4) 

and from 52nd up to 56th street:

1st ave traffic mem day 2013 (1) 

if i had to guess, i would say about 10% of the car horns were honking so much they made up for the other 90%.   it’s 9:30 in the morning –  shouldn’t these peeps be at work already?  i’m trying to find the happy in this.

i look forward to rush hour out of the city this evening and hope all of these folks get the rest & relaxation they apparently need.

happy memorial day!

“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”
 ~ Dr. Seuss 

where the heart is . . .

we’re home!

Ivan Aug 2012 (1)

and resting comfortably. Ivan Aug 2012 (3)

the wildlife in the apartment isn’t quite the same as in the woods upstate, but it also doesn’t move around when you’re trying photograph it.

ivan cutest dog ever oct 2012 (9)

“True humility is contentment.”
~ Henri Frederic Amiel 

how urban sprawl begins

it’s been 5 days on my country hiatus now and  i’m thinking of heading back to the city later this afternoon.  so far today i’ve seen 3 deer,  1 blue jay and a woodpecker and look what i found yesterday:

sheep columbia county (3) black cows (2)

i’m taking this as a sign from the universe that it just may be time to get back to the crowds in the city . . .

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”
 ~ Lao Tzu 

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 

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



whoa nelly!

thankfully, sandy was much kinder to east midtown than it was to the chelsea area. this apartment building in chelsea lost it’s entire facade.  can you imagine, you’re cuddled up under the covers with a good book and maybe a really good looking man, when all of the sudden the entire outside world can see you as you fly out of bed and scramble around  in a mad rush to find your robe?   oy.





here on east 52nd street, there was not much to report and we are all extremely grateful. here is an update on the view from my window looking up first avenue:

an enormous tree branch fell in front of my friend tracey’s building, but more interesting was the way her building staff saved their awning:

the folks across the street from me would have benefited from the ingenuity of the staff over at tracey’s.


the mission to thailand which is directly across the street didn’t think to take their flags in before the hurricane.  several people in my building sat in the lobby for a good part of the night and witnessed the flags get shredded by the wind. 

although i missed the water actually come over the barrier right onto the fdr drive, here is what the roadway looked like this morning:


the city felt so strange today – as if everything was off somehow.   most businesses remained closed since public transportation is still shut down and few people went to work. the streets were jam packed with people, which is unusual for mid-day on a tuesday, and all of the restaurants which opened for business were quite crowded.  i suppose people needed to get out  after 24 hours confined indoors. skies remain thick with gray clouds.

around 2:00 this afternoon the cars on first ave began honking their horns.  it sounded like they were all honking so i took a look out the window:


it was the army and folks were beeping to show their appreciation.   nice.

i end this post by thanking god for keeping my entire family and all of my friends safe.  i would also like to ask everyone who reads this to say a prayer for the people who were killed or injured, for the 111 people who lost their homes in the fire in breezy point, those who lost their businesses or homes in the floods and also for all the heroes who provided service to people in need during the storm.


It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life, that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”
 ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

east 52nd street reality show

2 months after i moved into my first doorman building, the doormen went on strike.  along with the strike came no more ups deliveries (or any other union organization services like verizon, garbage pickup, con-edison) broken laundry machines,   foul odors from rotting garbage, rodents and many other inconvenient features i could easily have in a much lower rent, non-doorman building.    

a temporary staff of inexperienced people willing to work for minimum wages was put in place for the last 18 months.  the application process consisted of responding to an ad on craigslist and telling the owner of the staffing company what the name on the weekly paycheck should be.  it should be noted that the owner of the staffing company, modern staffing and security, has a criminal record for indecent exposure, writing worthless checks, theft of state funds, lewd & lascivious behavior as well as a long list of liens and judgments against him)  yes, he would be in charge of staffing the building with people who have complete access to our building as well as the resident’s keys.  most residents claimed their spare keys quickly and many others simply moved out.  to add levity to a disastrous situation, the east 52nd street reality show was born.  
all of the stories are true.

[Note to reader: Building Residents are referred to as Resident Cast Members or, RCM’s,  William Koeppel is the devious owner of the building and James Rexroat is the owner of Modern Staffing & Security, the company in charge of the replacement staff]

The Ultimate in a Full Service Building!

Here at East 52nd Street all of the cast & crew have been given the opportunity to pay exorbitant rents in exchange for services that truly go above and beyond other doorman buildings in midtown.   For instance, the doorman will graciously give your key to anyone, just for the asking. Where else can one get that kind of service? Only at 350!

[scene: Early on a Saturday morning,  Resident Cast Member X (RCM-X) sits with his coffee and his thoughts in the privacy of his own living room at 350 East 52nd Street. To the shock and surprise of RCM-X, the door to his apartment opens and in walks a complete stranger.  Scene begins with RCM-X flying off couch in surprise as steaming hot coffee spills onto couch, carpet and self]

RCM-X:  OMG! Jesus Christ!  Who are you??? What are you doing in my apartment?

Stranger:  I don’t know.

RCM-X:  Get the [bleep!] out of my home –


Stranger scurries back into hallway.  

After calming heart palpitations and icing burns on body, RCM-X storms down to lobby where he finds new weekend doorman who appears to be about 17 years old.   RCM-X asks the child “manning” the lobby how the [bleep!] someone had the key to RCM – X’s [bleeping] apartment and what the [bleep] was going on?  The door-child was pretty close to a complete loss for words and then offered the following explanation:  They asked me for the keys.

RCM-X:  So you just gave them my keys?

Door-Child:  Yes.

RCM-X:   What he [bleep] is wrong with you?

About this time RCM-L returns from morning walk with dog and enters lobby of 350.

RCM-X says to RCM-L,  This guy just gave my keys to a complete stranger who just walked into my apartment!  What should I do?

RCM-L:  Someone just walked in on you in your apartment?  Did you call the police?  I would call the police.

RCM-X  turns to door-child and demands he find the stranger –  ”NOW!” and stranger is summoned to lobby for questioning.  Door-child begins shaking and tells self how sorry he is. He becomes wrought with fear over the possibility of losing his job after only 3 weekends on duty. Both Resident Cast Members take a few seconds to contemplate the moment.  Suddenly, the intruding stranger emerges from elevator bank and rounds the corner into the lobby to answer to RCM-X.

RCM-X: How did you get the keys to my apartment?  Who are you?

Stranger:  I asked the doorman for them. I hope I didn’t  get him in trouble – this was a mistake.

RCM-X:  Who are you???

Stranger:  Charlene.

RCM-X:  Why did you have the keys to my apartment?  Do you live here? Do you know anyone who lives in this building? Have you ever been to this building before?  Do you know the doorman?  How did you even get in the building?

Charlene explains to the irate RCM that she did not live in the building, had never been to the building before, did not know the door-child, had come to clean an apartment on the 2nd floor and apparently there had been a mistake at the “office”, as they had instructed her to go to apartment 12-X rather than 2-X.

RCM-X  asked Charlene the name of her cleaning company to which Charlene replied,  Well it’s really just me and my husband. We advertise our cleaning services on Craigslist and someone from this building called. When my husband got the call, he must have wrote [sic] down the wrong apartment number.

RCM-X:  So you don’t know the person who called you, you have never been to 350 East 52nd Street before, you ran an ad on Craigslist and the doorman just handed you my keys?

Charlene:  Yes, I hope I didn’t get him in trouble.

Modern Staffing employees, who are only required to write their first and last name on a post it and have no proper training, do not warrant their ability to provide the tenants with a safe and secure environment, commiserate with the advertised “Luxury Living” standard. Tenants shall look solely to Modern Staffing and William Koeppel who shall remain liable for the personal safety as well as any and all incidental, consequential or special damages arising out of their failure to provide “Luxury Living” standards tenants were promised.

Note from the Sponsor: We have advised both Modern Staffing and William Koeppell on several occasions of the vast array of problems (see past episodes-especially ARREST) and they have steadfastly refused to conduct basic background checks, train the new staff, or responds to any of our complaints.

more of my favorite episodes can be found here, here, here & here.

obstacles and all,  i remain eternally committed to being zen in the city. 

“Chaos is inherent in all compounded things. Strive on with diligence.”
 ~ Buddha 


be sure to check our show!


6 1/2 avenue

just over  2 weeks ago while walking down 57th street i noticed a new avenue.  yes, a new avenue smack in the heart of midtown.  i took a few photos and continued on my journey cross town wondering what that was all about.  

 a bit slow on the uptake & hardly ‘news’ at this point, today the ny post reported the story: 

As if stop-and-go driving in Midtown weren’t bad enough . . .

Stop signs were permanently installed in the middle of some of the city’s most traffic-clogged crosstown streets yesterday in order to accommodate new pedestrian walkways — and drivers are fuming.

The new quarter-mile walkway comes complete with new street signs that say “6 1/2 Ave.”

According to the DOT, more than 1,200 people crossed in the middle of the street each hour, darting between parked cars and moving vehicles to reach businesses and restaurants — a tragedy waiting to happen.   full story

just keeping you “posted”. . . . (get it??)  sometimes i crack myself up.  😉

“Better never than late.”
 ~ George Bernard Shaw


if you’re short on reading material

it’s good to know you can just honk . . .

“Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you.”
~ Carl Gustav Jung

trending neon

neon does not look good on anyone!!

the trend began with neon shoelaces – that’s what i noticed in nyc.  neon shoelaces are tolerable, although not my personal preference.  then came the entire sneaker – in awful neon colors.  mostly orange and pink with green trending not to far behind.  it almost hurts my eyes.

ridiculous looking neon “fashion”  now  comes in nail polish, purses, shirts, shoes and dresses.  mixing neons is even worse.   please people, let’s come together here – help save the reputation of my favorite city and ditch the neon!

if you want to see yourself featured in a magazine, keep on with the neon and you could end up a  “glamour don’t”.  lets keep the neon where it belongs – please?

“We must beware of yielding to the pressure of a spirit of cowardly conformity which proclaims itself everybody’s friend in the hope that everybody will obligingly return the compliment.”
 ― Antonin Sertillanges

overheard in the city

the bus headed uptown on first ave:
3 year old child told his mother;
“he was dead and he couldn’t walk so he had to go to the hospital.”

on the sidewalk of east 52nd street:
when asked where his young son goes to pre-school;
man #1: “sutton place temple.”
man #2:  “is it true that the more money you give at temple, the closer you get to sit to the menorah?”

corner of 53rd street & 3rd avenue:
woman on phone – late 50ish – heavy new yawk accent;
“did you eat?”
“are you full?”
are you sure?”

2nd ave & 58th street:
teenager asked mother, “who is  ed  koch?”

50th street & 3rd avenue on st. patrick’s day:
20 something girl #1:  “i’ve never been to a st. patrick’s day parade.”
20 something girl #2:  “neither have i.  i didn’t even know there
was one.”

51th street & 2nd avenue on st. patrick’s day:
me:  “it’s crazy out here.”
doorman: “yeah, it’s a beautiful day to throw up.”

1st avenue at 56th st:
2 moms, 2 strollers, 2 two year old children;
mom #1:  “how does he like camp?”
mom #2:  “i don’t know, he never tells me anything.”

#1 favorite!
while shooting pix with my canon 7d on park avenue:
“she has a better camera than you”


be sure to check the page,  overheard in the city  in the
only in ny section on this site for future updates!

a day in the park

once again with no plans for the weekend, all of the locals gone to their summer retreats, i thank god i live in the city.  where else can you do so much with no money when you have nothing to do?  in nyc i can just pick a neighborhood, head out with my camera and be busy and entertained for the day.  this sunday, central park was my playground.

before i even made it into the park, i spotted this amazing 1956 desoto parked in front of the plaza:

i sat on the fountain wall for 30 minutes or so just watching all the people ogling   the car while it’s owner answered all of their questions.  almost everyone asked if the could sit inside and have their picture taken. the car’s owner, morgan denied them permission to get into his prized possession, but was happy to  take their picture next to his car.

from a stretch hummer limo that pulled up in front of the plaza emerged an entire clan of 13 year old boys celebrating a bar mitzvah.  rather than going into the hotel they headed right for the desoto. 🙂

even on his big day, morgan did not let the bar mitzvah boy get into the car but did offer to take his picture standing next to the car.  the boy seemed happy and posed as all of his friends looked on with envy.

after about 15 minutes of observing morgan and the tourists, i learned everything there is to know about  1956 desotos.  morgan saw me taking pictures of his car from the sidelines and i suppose he was curious as to why i wasn’t bombarding him with questions like the dozens of other people who surrounded him.  he left his posse and walked over to me and began to ask me questions . . .

my brain was  filled to the brim with desoto facts by this time and so morgan was compelled to pull out the big guns to impress me –  at which point he asked me to accompany him over to the car.  he opened the biggest trunk i ever saw, which was filled with desoto paraphernalia that he rifled through untl he found what he was looking for – the original ads for the ’56 desoto. “have you ever seen any of these?” he asked.


after showing me all of the advertisements, i admitted to morgan that i had indeed never seen any of those ads before.   morgan then looked at my camera and asked me if i would like him to take a picture of me inside his car – i agreed.


onward to the park:

i stopped to pet 3 carriage horses at the traffic circle where there was a very loud, very angry carriage horse protest taking place.  i proceeded into central park for a few wild life photo ops. 

i listened to some amazing music,

 ran into andy golub  painting one of his many naked models,

watched lots of amazing street dancing by some of ny’s most talented,


i considered going to summer stage to see salt-n-pepa but the line was outrageous. i  sat  on a bench & listened and just imagined what they looked like on the stage.  


all people to the left of the roadway are in line for the free concert ( ERIC BENET / SALT-N-PEPA / CHRISTOPHER WILLIAMS / KENNY LATTIMORE / Q PARKER / DJ DWIZ) which was already well underway. 

i watched people of all kinds  –  doing their thing:



and then did a bit of window shopping on the walk back home:


when i arrived back home, i fell onto the couch and wondered why there was no one here to walk the dog and cook dinner for me.

“All alone!
Whether you like it or not,
alone is something you’ll 
be quite a lot”
 ~ Dr. Seuss


share the love!

free vibrators! ooops . . . never mind

another example of why watching television in unnecessary when you live in the city (especially when you only have channels 2 through 13, minus channel 12).

who would argue that this ny post article isn’t as good as any seinfeld episode?

City officials pull the plug on vibrator giveaway, leaving thousands dissatisfied


 Last Updated: 6:18 AM, August 9, 2012

They must have rubbed Mayor Bloomberg the wrong way.

City officials pulled the plug on a vibrator giveaway by the Trojan condom company yesterday, disappointing potentially thousands of pleasure-seeking women who hoped to get their hands on some no-cost sex toys.

“I’m 57 years old. I should be able to get a vibrator!” declared Linda Postell, who was among hundreds of women (and men!) waiting in the heat on Pearl Street only to be left unsatisfied. “I have a problem with the smoking ban, and the soda ban — and now this!”

Trojan sent tingles of excitement across the city when it announced the giveaway of some 10,000 vibrating sex toys from hot-dog-style pushcarts.


But instead of climaxing in a successful giveaway, the promotion was prematurely interrupted by City Hall, which sent a dark-suited representative to put the squeeze on Trojan’s “Pleasure Carts.”

“Bloomberg doesn’t want anyone to have fun. You can’t have a giant soda. You can’t have a vibrator.”

photo: Dan Brinzac

full article.

“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”
 ~ Dr. Seuss