Saturday, July 13, 2013

picking up the feces

Alright, so this is really bad news today. Don’t read this if you like Orchard Beach and City Island as much as I do.

The Environmental Protection Agency tries to balance health with recreation, so their rules are a little slack. If the contamination is such that only one swimmer in 28 gets sick, that beach is “safe.”

That’s just gross. It gets worse and the Natural Resources Defense Council isn’t buying it anymore. 

Says the NRDC: 

Orchard Beach, our Bronx’s own, tests “polluted with human feces” 6.67% higher than the national average of all the beaches that failed. 

It’s not bad enough we failed. 
We are almost 7% more polluted than all the other failed beaches.

And oh joy, the NRDC reports the change from 2011 is “much worse.”

Friday, July 12, 2013


When the KFC fried chicken place disappeared, CTT photographed and profiled the lot.
That was about 2 years ago.

Today we can see what’s finally planned, eight stories of housing and two big box stores.

ABS Real Estate is campaigning new retail space at
 “255 East 138th Street”.

The word “gentrification” is descended from the term “gentry.”

Gentry comes from an old French word “genterise” from the 14th century, meaning “of gentle birth;” “landed gentry” are people “wellborn of good breeding, refined and polite.”

Today gentrification has evolved to mean the influx of middle-class people displacing lower class residents in urban neighborhoods.

We ClockTowerTenants, with our fab martini bar, in a way are landed gentry.

We are even part of their marketing campaign.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

loafin’ around

Back in the day, Abraham Orwasher’s bread was the bomb on the UpperEastSide.

He opened in 1916 but even as late as the mid-1970‘s, his bread was the destination loaf in the hood.

An immigrant from eastern Europe, his rye and pumpernickel and those cloud-light challah breads were community staples.

His son Louis took the business during World War 2 and later grandson Abram was in charge, using the same coal-fired brick ovens his grandfather had built in the cellar. 
And the bread was consistently the same.

In 2007 the business left family hands for the first time in 91 years.

The awning is new and the graphics have changed and the breads are different now, based in Long Island wine grape starters instead of Eastern European sourdough.

They’re still very good. These salt sticks were terrific.

But I miss the chewy originals.  

And that's the yeast of it.

308 East 78th Street, (212) 288-6569

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

different spokes for different folks

Mayor Bloomberg had to get between smokers and their fix the last time he upset so many people. That was back in March, 2003.

Today, a small but vocal contingent of conservative New Yorkers love to hate him for his CitiBike program, by all accounts a rousing success.

There’s a fun article about this over at the morning news. Citibike is at the nexus of all things loathed by Conservative New Yorkers.


So of course we had to try it.

At first the whole “dock it every 30 minutes” thing is annoying, you just wanna Go!

But we learned to adapt and use the 30-minute intervals for water and a rest. 

We picked it up at 58th and Third, rode down to Second Street in Alphabet City, then back to 58th again, although we didn’t have to return it. 

The whole point is you can leave it anywhere you want as long as it’s a CityBike docking station.

The little bike is low and heavy, a “step through” without a top tube. But the weight is carried low, too, so it feels deceptively lighter than its robust 50 pounds. 

With only three gears it cries out for a fourth and even fifth, especially downhill when you can’t pedal fast enough to keep up with the free ride.

But it’s a blast. 
No wonder it’s succeeding. 
Ten bucks for 24 hours and as many rides as you want.

Just dock it, swig your water and in 2 minutes you are back out in traffic in serious danger again!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

our own star

Monday, July 8, 2013

digital dramatics

Click the link and scroll.