Saturday, June 16, 2012

lives in the ClockTower

the cast iron special

When all the travel guides and restaurant reviews agree where the “Best of Kyoto” dumplings are, you gotta go, right?

Anzukko is a modest little place, not much seating, no English menu.
They are famous for this:
A dozen pork dumplings seared to a crisp in a circular, cast iron bowl.
But first we tried the vegetable.
Then we tried the shrimp. Both were excellent.
And then the sisters offered us a little tofu palate cleanser before the cast iron special.
Yum. That was good. We were ready. Would they be as good as the travel guides said?
oh yeah.
12 pork dumplings for Y980, about $12.50.

Friday, June 15, 2012

first, let’s all remain composed

It's Friday night. Thank goodness. Composing a photo, in effect “framing it” before you shoot, is as important as anything else like exposure or focus.

I like this photo. My daughter took it, it arrived from Lisbon last week. You can make it larger by clicking on it. 

See the woman walking up the hill in the foreground? She’s a focal point. Put your finger on your monitor and cover her up, then look at the photo again.
The heirarchy changes, see? The static seated diners in the background remain but now the black car has more prominence. It’s what’s happening in the foreground without the woman. Now move your finger and put the woman back. The composition shifts again, and she re-takes our attention.
And that’s the better picture, right? With her in it.

Sammy? I’ve got your back

I wanted takeout shrimp on CityIsland and Sammy’s seemed a good bet.

A bit steep maybe, but it’s tourist season and if they don’t make their money by Labor Day, they don’t make it. 

Sammy packed it really well.
I found a place in the grass with a view for a picnic, not hard to do on CityIsland.

Seven jumbo shrimp meant about half a pound, a generous serving. The cole slaw was also very good. I love good cole slaw.

And they gave me this awesome Sammy’s mousepad which, y’know, I’ll never use. Old school, but generous.
The shrimp were close to perfect. They had a fresh taste of the sea that crunched. The fries were better than I expected, too.

Bloomberg probably wants our deadly fried food next. 
After smoking and big soda’s.
Come and get me sucker.

who says smoking is dirty?

“The Health Department reported that smoking-related litter on beaches dropped by about two-thirds--66%-- between the summer of 2010 and 2011.”

 “A year since the implementation of the City’s smoking ban in parks and beaches these beautiful public spaces are cleaner and safer for everyone.”

Thursday, June 14, 2012

you can take the man out of the adventure

2010 Gary Fisher TIBERON

1997 BMW R1100rs

rude but not illegal

Street photography isn’t as easy as it was back when I was shooting film, and I found two real objectors yesterday.

Bear in mind that no institution less than our freakin’ Department of Justice has defended The Photographer’s Right to record in public, even the police:
So I figured a couple of New York City electrical painters weren’t gonna care. I was wrong.
They looked cool to me and so I took a photo.
No no NO! they waved their hands at me. When I smiled and waved back and kept taking pictures she hid behind the lightpole.
I walked over and said hello, 
to apologize if I had made them uncomfortable.

Neither spoke very good English. “MY LAW RIGHT” the older man in the basket lectured, as if to say he had a right to control his image in public. Which he doesn’t, actually. No one does. So I explained that in simple terms and told him it might be a matter of bad manners perhaps, but the law was clearly with me on this one.

“ETIQUITTO!” he cried with his finger in the air, understanding that the moral aspects are where he might have “rights”.
“Yes! I shouted back over the traffic, 
I’m being RUDE but not illegal!”
“But my fameelee my fameelee” the painter lady said, younger and from the DR, “if they see me on the YouTube they will think I am doing better than I am!”

That’s what she said. And she was serious, I think. 
So there you have it.

If I want daily content I have to take a lot of pictures in public. That doesn’t work for some people.
I apologize for my bad manners but the First and Fourteenth Amendments need no apology. What do you think?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

artistic genius

I am a visitor from another world.

My name is “Testastratone”. I am a Super Futuristic, technologically advanced, artistic genius with eternally deep infinitely exotic cosmic wisdom.

I hold a Ph.D in spiritual sexophone tone communication.
My vehicle is called “The Swaggatist”.
My greatest respects to all the ladies here on West 87th Street but when nobodies [sic] looking, do not try to do sex stuff to me.
To all cougars:
I am still a youngster.

So keep your horny hands off me.
(NYPD’s cameras are filming you)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

still a favorite around here

From Lekman’s new album, “I Know What Love Isn’t”, 
due out in September.

and from 2007, the very excellent:

what goes up

In the 1970’s, the shell of a Harlem brownstone could be had for twenty-five or $30,000.

By the 1980‘s a Harlem brownstone still cost less than $100,000 but few areas saw the boom and bust cycle of the 1990‘s-2000‘s as brutally as Harlem did.

This wonderful example from 1909 at 2007 Fifth Avenue was swept up in the gentrification.

For awhile, Harlem’s economy developed monthly and its neglected town homes fetched prices unheard-of for the area.
According to the NYTimes, “the townhouse at 2007 Fifth was sold in 2000 to the rapper DMX for $725,000.”

From 2004 to 2007  the median sale price for a brownstone jumped by about 150 percent, to $1.4 million from $554,250. 

But 2007 Fifth was sold again in the Fall of 2008 for just $571,005.

Now it’s listed again at $1.97 million.
What’s going on here? Recession. And the market sorting out.

“Brownstones that cost more than $1 million two years ago are now fetching less than half that price”, according to brokers with Massey Knakal Realty Services.

In 2008, 27 Harlem town homes sold for an average of $1.3 million apiece.
In the first half of 2009, 11 more sold for an average of $1.1 million; a drop of more than 15% in six months.

This gets worse before it gets better.