Friday, February 24, 2017



I noticed that the barbershop at Fifth & 13th had had its shutters down for a while.  Today the guys in the deli next door to the shop told me that Frank was taken ill recently.  He said most likely the barbershop wouldn't be re-opening.  I don't know how long Frank's had been around on Fifth, but over thirty years at least.



Thursday, February 23, 2017

En La Capilla

Building Sight

262 18th has had a SWO in effect since November.  Just the look of this 'two family' screams Construction Contrary to Plan.  There seems to be no plan at all really, just a kind of makeshift improvisation, dependent perhaps on the random availability of building materials.  The older (yellow) section at least has symmetry going for it, but what happened with those window openings over on the green side?  When I looked this way last July, work had been proceeding under an implausible Alt 2 permit, and a partial SWO had just been issued. The building was only half its glorious width back then. By October a new building permit was approved. but it took less than a month for the site to be shut down again.  Nothing's pretty here.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


I came across this picture quite by chance, when I was looking for something else.
Second Avenue, 2012.

At Night

"Walking at night involves displacements both of the city and of consciousness - like the ones Guy Debord alluded to when, in Paris in the mid-1950s, he celebrated a relationship to the spaces of the metropolis that undermines or upsets habitual influences and is 'insubordinate to usual attractions'."
                                              Nightwalking: A Nocturnal History of London - Matthew Beaumont

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Troubling Signs

The Hank's flames are looking awfully dim with that giant MARJAM up there.

And over at St Marks, the eleven plastic letters have gone into hiding.  Well, we hope they're still holding on.

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Troopers

Why are State Troopers now patrolling Fifth Avenue?  They were out on Fifth yesterday, much to the concern of passers-by, and I saw them pulling over a black woman driver, for reasons unknown. Prior to this, they'd been double parked a couple of blocks farther north.  When I asked them why they were there, one of the troopers told me that Cuomo was sending state police out to "help the city." I asked her why they needed to be here on Fifth - hardly a hotbed of crime - & she asked me if I'd been paying attention to the news.  Well, there's a surplus of news to pay attention to right now, with most of it far more serious than the endless Cuomo/DeBlasio feuding, and I couldn't say I'd heard anything about a state police initiative in NYC.  I wanted to try and find out more, but our conversation, such as it was, was abruptly halted when the two troopers turned on their lights & sped off to stop the driver I referred to earlier.  She was allowed to drive away after a few minutes.

I can't recall ever having seen state police working round here before.

Early Morning

Saturday, February 18, 2017


Dios Vive 

Browse Every Art Exhibition Held at MoMA Since 1929 with the New “MoMA Exhibition Spelunker” (Open Culture)
How a Museum in Queens Became a Neighborhood Ally (Next City)
Sunset Park Officials, Activists Call For More Engagement On Development Projects (Updated)
(Sunset Park Patch)
Labor dispute emerging at major city recycling center (Politico)
Employees at the Sims Municipal Recycling facility in Sunset Park have been attempting to join Teamsters Local 210 since December, they said, citing excessive health care costs and what they claim is poor treatment from management.
4 Decades After Eminent Domain Loss, Gowanus Concrete Plant Ready to Leave (DNAinfo)
Dora, the badass red-tailed hawk of Tompkins Square Park (Laura Goggin Photography)
Stanley Bard, Who Ran Chelsea Hotel as a Bohemian Sanctuary, Dies at 82 (NY Times)
Calling the Chelsea Hotel Home (NY Times)
Luc Sante, The Art of Nonfiction No. 9 (Paris Review)
A Bowery tinsmith paints his city of memory (Ephemeral New York)
“This Case of Conscience”: Spiritual Flushing and the Remonstrance (Queens Museum)
In the new millennium, religion, its relation to the state and mutual respect are hot-button issues across the globe. In Flushing, Queens, this very conversation started 350 years ago with the Flushing Remonstrance. The Flushing Remonstrance was drafted in 1657 and signed by a group of Flushing residents who were offended by the persecution of religions outside the established Reformed Dutch Church. This document is considered by many to be a precursor to the Bill of Rights’ provision for freedom of religion

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Frames Down on 22nd

It's demolition time for 334 and 336 22nd Street.  The two frame buildings sold last year for $1.9 & $1.5M respectively, to an LLC with a Long Island address.  As yet, there are no permits filed for a new building.  A look at the 80's tax photos shows 334 looking pretty much unchanged from thirty years ago, but 336 is revealed as an old sweetheart of a building.  You could always bet that the cover-up job in more recent years had kept a lot of its details under wraps.

In 1886, the house was sold at auction for unpaid taxes, for the sum of $125.

Soft Times