Saturday, March 23, 2013

and all this time I thought the slab was fun

I never climbed buildings. My buds and I liked rock and ice. Back in the ‘80‘s we tackled The Adirondack’s famous “Chapel Pond Slab.” 

The Mountain Project shot the slab in Autumn foliage:

We climbed it and shot it in winter. It’s about 800 feet.

From the bottom up:

From the top down:

That’s my red pickup truck down there. You can see our rope in the lower right.

Now imagine this:

For 41 years our 1250 foot Empire State Building was the tallest building in the world. Now it’s #9. The 2100 foot Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the world’s tallest.

The Burj is on the far left in the chart, the Empire State is the shortest building on the right. For scale, the red line on the far left would be the top of the Chapel Pond Slab.

Joe McNally is a NatGeo photog with balls and an obvious death wish.

Mere mortals take an elevator to level 124, that garden area way down below Joe’s toes.

Joe rode to there and then climbed to the top of the mast and shot that photo of his shoes. 

There is no higher manmade place still attached to the earth.


Friday, March 22, 2013

it's always something


Thursday, March 21, 2013

TimesSquare ClockTower

Sometimes it’s easy to forget we are not the only historic ClockTower in New York City.
The Paramount Building in Times Square at 1501 Broadway is rich in music history and also features clockfaces at the top. 
At thirty-three stories the Paramount Building was the tallest structure on Broadway north of the Woolworth Building and its 20 foot illuminated glass globe could be seen as far as New Jersey.
It was built in 1926 at a cost of $13.5 million.  
That’s about $176 million today.
It was home to the famous Paramount Theater. 
That’s a HARD ROCK Cafe now.
On December 30, 1942, Sinatra made a "legendary opening" at the Paramount Theater. Jack Benny later said, "I thought the goddamned building was going to cave in. I never heard such a commotion... All this for a fellow I never heard of."
Like our home, it’s beautiful at night.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

backlit windows, Bronxstyle


what goes around, comes around

There’s an old saying “There are no new ideas.”

Shakespeare, for instance, is said to have “stolen” and recycled every one of his plots while insisting they were
 “True Originall.”

Fashion, especially, evolves upward; first creative from the street.

Ethnic and cultural groups embrace a certain look at street level and before long that look is on the runway, distilled down for mass market.

New York street artist De La Vega offers an excellent example of this.

He has long used an original fish bowl motif to express complex ideas in a simple, universal graphic.

Soon his ideas migrated to the galleries for collectors.

But once you’ve been appropriated by a corporate megalith like IKEA for profit (and without any attribution), that cycle is complete.

It’s time for a “new” idea.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

sheer Gaul

The traditional 3-course French luncheon washed down with a good bottle of Bordeaux is on its way out.

Last year 54% of the French food market was in fast food, can you imagine?!...up from 40% just one year earlier.

In 1975 the average French meal took an hour and 20 minutes to complete.

Today dinner is wolfed in 30 minutes.
On average, lunch is inhaled in only twenty two.

Take-out grocery shoppes are the big winners, up 6%.

I wonder what this says about the pace of French romance?

Monday, March 18, 2013

transition complete

Our red brick Victorian ClockTower is designed as Richardsonian Romanesque. 1886 was primetime in the development of that showy and romantic style.

As the 20th century turned, neo-classic detailing in stone foundation and later, columns and white stone flourishes became apparent.

Architecture was moving towards the “Beaux Arts” style. The Fifth Avenue Post Office, the Metropolitan Museum and Grand Central (1913) are all exemplary.

The little baby brother to our ClockTower pictured above Grand Central is near the corner of Washington Avenue and 176th Street. 

It dates from 1910.

Note the details; red brick, archtop windows, corbeled brickwork under the triple bay window, even decorative terracotta inserts along the gutterline.

But it is now 24 years later and the stone foundation anticipates Beaux Arts.

It’s almost as if our ClockTower had offspring and the other parent was the Beaux Art’s Chase Bank Building. :-) 

From 1911, naturally.