Saturday, October 2, 2010

A little 80’s pop tune

...that just wasn't written until 2003 and recorded just under a year ago.

But when Daryl swings into the bridge at one minute in,
 the 80’s are all around.

Come one, come all.

The ClockTower Salon presents The Seduction of Decay, a group exhibition of international photography curated by Diana Rivera, featuring the images of Salvador Angel, Emily J. Hara, Shane Perez, and Rivera herself.

 From the press release:
"The exhibition discusses cultural constructs of beauty, asking the viewer to re-evaluate aesthetics, while introducing them to an underground world of unexpected, forgotten environments. The work pushes the boundaries of the relationship between photographer and subject by accessing the forbidden, and juxtaposing the ephemeral with the enduring effects of time."  

Friday, October 1, 2010

so many years ago

The exposed eastern face of our ClockTower along Bruckner Boulevard is an urban archeologists dream. It has stairwells and doorways punched through indicating clues to the adjacent building that has since been demolished. In fact, one of the remaining railings still hangs on the brick!
It also features a very old billboard painted right on the building that advertises an address in London, England.
Interesting, no?

London, England, 12 Rathbone Place, Oxford is plain as day, and it obviously predates the stairwells and doors. It’s been painted there a long time.
But #12 doesn’t come up as a standalone address in London anymore, 
The satellite view reveals a 12-13 address.

There’s a SUBWAY sandwich shop next door.

The London Bureau of CNN is at one end of the block.

The iconic BT Tower (British Telecom) is at the other end.

12-13 can easily be spotted in this closeup 
from Google street view.

And the ubiquitous British surveillance camera is front and center as always.
But the glassy facade of #12-13 is fairly nondescript. And it doesn't appear very active.

Looking north, that Subway at #14 is visible next door again...

But no clue to the address or its occupants or purpose.
Probably #12 was razed years ago and the hybrid 12-13 was built in its place. The facade looks fairly modern.
Any ideas?
Does anyone know anything about #12 Rathbone Place, or why it would have been advertised on our building in the Bronx so many years ago?

Thursday, September 30, 2010


A fascinating story appeared in the news today,
For the first time ever, scientists have found an Earth-like planet which, they believe, is habitable for life. Announced Wednesday by scientists, the planet is called Gliese 581G and is relatively close to the Earth—just 20 light years away from our solar system. Its size and distance from the sun is comparable to Earth’s, which has led scientists to believe that the conditions on the planet would mean there is water in liquid form and has a gravitational pull to hold an atmosphere around it. The Gliese 581 system also exhibits similar characteristics to our solar system. “This is our first Goldilocks planet—just the right size and the right distance from its sun,” said Paul Butler, an astronomer at the Carnegie Institution of Washington to the Washington Post."

As Arthur C. Clarke, British science fiction writer and author of 2001: A Space Odyssey once observed,

Just the thing for a rainy day

For those who know Daft Punk, you already know they do interesting things. Comprised of two (now) 35 year old Frenchmen, they defined the electronic house music scene for much of Europe in the late 1990’s. 

They are about to release their new original motion picture score to TRON:Legacy, due out November 22nd.

A mashup of old black and white charleston dance film mixed to the hypnotic beats of the Daft. 1:51 guaranteed to make you grin.
Around the world, 
Around the world, 
Around the world, 
Around the world, 
Around the world, 
Around the world, 
Around the world, 
Around the world, 
Around the world, 
Around the world, 
Around the world, 
Around the world, 
Around the world, 
Around the world, 
Around the world, 
Around the world.
Around the world, 
Around the world, 
Around the world, 
Around the world, 
Around the world, 
Around the world, 
Around the world, 
Around the...

I moved in and that was that.

with a hat tip to Snowdon.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Benjamin Moore, since 1883, 3 years before the ClockTower

Choosing paint colors? Are you confused? Too many choices? Oil? Latex? What kind? What color? What sheen? 
What’s the difference?
I can help.
As an offer to my ClockTower neighbors: ask me. I know something about paint. I’ve been specifying type, finish, color and application for a very long time.
I have all the Benjamin Moore colorchip fandecks, too. 
Little ones and big ones.

After reviewing the ClockTower era in history I chose Benjamin Moore HC (historic color) Stratton Blue for my loft, more green than blue if you ask me.

Feel free.

I heard from my old pal Fred, yesterday

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pumpkins everywhere

are getting nervous.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Hungry, for another year.

The 84th annual Feast of San Gennaro, 
NYC’s largest and longest running religious outdoor festival, closed last evening.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


That's all.

Enter the tanks

 “Paris has the Eiffel Tower, Pisa has the Leaning Tower and New York has the water tower," said Andy Rosenwach who manages the family business, Rosenwach Tank Company. We have a fading relic of theirs right in our own backyard.

The business was started on the Lower East Side in 1866 then taken over 30 years later by a Polish immigrant Harris Rosenwach who bought the "lumber, tools and goodwill" for $55. Now 100 years later there are about 10,000 tanks in New York. Why?

It has to do with water pressure. Lowrise coastal cities can often deliver water to higher floors because the cities are at sea level but the source is four or five thousand feet higher in the mountains. If the buildings are low enough, the delivery works the same way as an artesian well.
From Wikipedia:

Got it?
But water pressure created by electric pumps in a highrise increases exponentially, not arithmetically, so if we say a single unit of pressure can deliver to the second floor, it may take 10 times that pressure to get to the third and 100 times that pressure to the fourth, and so on.

At 100 units of pressure on the fourth floor the water works fine, but on the third floor it’s way too powerful and it can be used to cut glass on the second. See the problem? Enter the tanks. The water is pumped up to the roof and held there so the gravity drain-down process ensures everyone in the building has adequate, relatively even service. The higher the building, the more likely this method is used.

Metal is expensive or can rust, plastic doesn’t insulate well against freezing and fiberglas is forbidden by NYC FireCode. Redwood was always the material of choice because it could last half a century but those forests are unsustainable and redwood is now a protected material. A cedar tank lasts 35 years. They are often disguised on the roof with a masonry wrap, left open on top for maintenance.

Cost? A 10,000-gallon tank costs $30,000 and can be dismantled and replaced like a giant barrel in a single working day. The planks are still prepped at a company wood mill in an old stable in Williamsburg, using machines from the 1930s. Click on this picture and check out some very brave guys.