Saturday, August 20, 2011

beauty is all around

Don’t just look.
87th between Fifth and Madison

Friday, August 19, 2011

#$%^&*@ !!!

“Residents of Highbridge are fuming over the opening of a 200-bed men’s homeless shelter.”

“A group of concerned citizens held a press conference outside of the facility, the men’s “Stadium” at 1260 Sedgwick Avenue……. calling on the Department of Homeless Services to turn it back into a shelter for women and children, as had previously operated at the location before October 2010. A transition to housing homeless men was complete by mid-November 2010.”

“At the press conference, residents voiced opposition to the shelter. They spoke of homeless men cat-calling at women and children that they believe are from the shelter.”

Fact: While I was shooting these photos an old man came out of the shelter and shouted curses at another passerby. Hm.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

1 Riverdale Avenue

The Dutch landed in this region we now call New York very early, about 1613. 
They formed a fur trading company in lower Manhattan called New Amsterdam and a northern outpost called New Haarlem after two of their cities back home. Then the Duke of York took over in 1664 and renamed it all for himself. That’s when the “New Haven-New London-New Hampshire Brit-influenced naming trend took over. 

But Dutch influence is everywhere, from Amsterdam Avenue and New Amsterdam Beer to Spuyten Duyvil (spouting devil) and the word kill meaning water instead of murder, as in Fishkill, or Catskill or the Kill van Kull. 
The Dutch left their architecture behind, too, and I found a “stepped gable” replica in Riverdale the other day. 

This stock image below in brick is from the original Haarlem, a city in the north of the Netherlands and the namesake of that early Dutch outpost around 125th Street.

Dutch builders often set a roof-line in steps so the surfaces could support a plank end-to-end, creating a handy scaffold when the tile roof needed mending.
Need an office?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

the cable guys

and................. Cooper Union lightpoles.


1959 -- Ann Sainte-Marie for Saks Fifth Avenue

America enjoyed a post-war reputation of elegance and sophistication---cocktails at the Copa, clever conversation in the Met, women in hats, men holding doors, fox trots and Fred Astaire and Dorothy Parker’s witty observations. 
We did take a small hit from Bill Clinton’s Oval Office cigar insertion but hey, America carried on.

But then came Jersey Shore.
Apparently Abercrombie and Fitch has had enough. They’ve offered an endorsement deal to Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino to not wear their clothing line in public.

“We are deeply concerned that Mr. Sorrentino’s association with our brand could cause significant damage to our image. We understand that the show is for entertainment purposes, but believe this association is contrary to the aspirational nature of our brand, and may be distressing to many of our fans.” 
“We have therefore offered a substantial payment to Michael ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino and the producers of MTV’s Jersey Shore to have the character wear an alternate brand. We have also extended this offer to other members of the cast, and are urgently waiting a response,” the press release added.

Something about this feels suspect but stay classy, America. 

Perhaps A&F can make a offer to the cast to just stop. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

eye in the sky

ICX Technologies is a surveillance company and part of our military-industrial complex. Their Skywatch Sentinel is used by the NYPD.

I happened upon one of their “tactical platforms” at 141st and Beekman Avenue, not far from here.

The police officer guarding the platform from a squadcar was friendly and professional and has no issue with me shooting photos of the tower. I told him I was likely to post this on ClockTowerTenants. “No problem.” he said, smiling from the front seat. That’s my bicycle to the right of his car.

The crime rate on 141st street is climbing two years into a harsh recession. Unemployment benefits are running out now that layoffs are over a year old, and this platform is the NYPD’s response.

From ICX’s webpage:  “The SkyWatch Sentinel provides the high profile deterrence and surveillance capabilities police officers and security professionals need, one officer can cover an area previously requiring three or more personnel.”

The tower hooks up to a light post for its power but also features a battery back-up so the officer inside retains control in a black-out when looting is more likely.

There’s a camera on the bottom. It’s interesting how ICX uses calming music in a video that showcases their towers in TimeSquare, as if they were the most natural thing in the world. They’re not.

I’m not sure what to think about this. Looks like George Orwell might have been right.
Be careful out there.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

get out in that kitchen

and rattle those pots and pans.

The great Patsy Cline