Saturday, October 30, 2010

Hanging Around at De Kalb

I spent far too much time waiting for trains today.  Still, this De Kalb tiling is handsome, & I kind of like the contrast of the jazzy reflective stripes.

Another Tree Decoration

Friday, October 29, 2010

At Bryant Park in Late October

Bryant Park has now been taken over by Christmas booths, so its early morning bucolic vistas are gone.  That plus it's pretty dark in the park at 7:00 a.m., and the dwindling light seems to have brought out the rats. Time to turn one's back on it more often, & consider the streets. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

After The Rain

This afternoon's rainbow was beautiful.  Unfortunately my photographs made it seem incredibly humdrum , so I've settled for this picture instead.  At this point the rainbrow had faded back into the sky, but the light took on a vivid, wild intensity.


More Astoria

Fourth Avenue

This is a sad Crime Stoppers poster, at the Fourth Avenue station, relating to a murder case from 1987.

OTB Replacement?

Work is underway at the former OTB site on 5th.  I was told that we are to expect "a supermarket or something", which is rather on the vague side. A superette or deli?
Meanwhile, the Magnolia renovation on 6th kicked into action a few days ago, but the interior looks much the same.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Some Local & Not So Local Stuff

According to the chatter at the Brooklynian/Daily Slope, Freddy's has found a site for its reincarnation  - 627 5th Avenue, between 17th & 18th.  The former Ellis Bar...

Next weekend  On November 6th, there will be a Park Slope Civic Society walkabout and discussion, related to the "evolution" of Fourth Avenue.  This will kick off at 9:30 a.m. on November 6, at the Fourth Avenue station underpass.  The Civic Council often seems rather too brownstone/food co-op-centric for me, but I was pleased to see their agenda includes the reopening of the station entrance on the east side of Fourth.  Their proposed design is a bit bland (I'm curiously attached to the station's decrepitude) , but the thought of zipping up east side steps, instead of navigating the hell of rush-hour traffic, is quite thrilling.  Still, I don't expect miracles, & have often abided by the words of the Second World War poet Keith Douglas:

"To live without hope is the best form of insurance.  It does not mean to live hopelessly."

Keith Douglas, 1920 - 1944

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Rosario's

Rosario's (2255 31st Street) right by the Ditmars Boulevard stop, in Astoria, is a classic deli, with a justly praised pizza slice (one kind only), hefty arancini oozing mozzarella, & a whole heap of grocery items to explore.  There's a small table at the back, where you can hang for a bit, have a bite, & enjoy the store life going on around you - a steady stream of appreciative customers, the old guy holding court at the stool opposite the counter, a lot of laughs.  Who wouldn't want to become a regular?

Queensborough Plaza

Socrates Sculpture Park

Los Portales, 25-08 Broadway, Astoria

If you look through the window of Los Portales, you'll see a big pot of mysterious meat, with sausage & onions bobbing alongside.  If you ask about this inside, you'll discover that it's marinated veal flank steak.  Sit down & try some of the excellent, diminuative tacos (veal a speciality), all priced at $1.50 each.  Fresh, homemade tortillas, with lime, onion & radish garnishes, & a good sprinkle of chopped cilantro, make these little tacos a delight.  Oh & the red & green sauces are great, especially the subtle, smoky red.  Los Portales is pleasingly decorated - pretty sparse, with some old black & white photographs of Mexico & a big TV in the back.  Really nice staff, good atmosphere, & terrific food.  Want to go back & try some other things on the menu.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Less Abstract (Blurry) View from 500

"Aspire Higher"

Today I went to an open house at the 500 Fourth Avenue apartment building, which offers "a new higher level of quality and value for the South Slope". These open houses are very tightly controlled events, and I'm sure I was unconvincing as a prospective buyer.  I think I got the cursory version of the tour, but I did get to hear about the concierge service (no problem getting tickets for Broadway shows!), the $300 per month parking opportunities,  & the Cold Room on the ground floor where the concierge could store my Fresh Direct deliveries until I was ready to pick them up.  I saw the gym, and of course, the suede paneled lobby.  I got shown one apartment on the seventh floor, with glitzy bathrooms ("Lagos Gold honed limestone walls with accents of Mosaic Toffee"), & a rather fabulous view, but was NOT ALLOWED on the balcony (grr).  Nor would my hostess let me visit the groovy Club 500 lounge, with its adjacent landscaped terrace.  Damn. She did let me take photographs through the apartment windows, but they did no justice at all to what I saw.  So here's a blurry might-hurt-your-eyes sort of shot instead. I kind of like it.

Post

Friday, October 15, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Time Travel at Magnolia

Meanwhile, the storm seems to have sent Magnolia hurtling back in time ...

Leaves, Leaves, Leaves ...

Decimation

With every trace of color ripped from the garden, and plants & trees shorn of leaves, the yard is pretty much finished for the season.  Well, a few vines are limping along & it's worth giving them a chance at survival, but basically I'm reduced to putting trays like this in sunny windows, and contemplating recipes for green tomatoes:

Monday, October 11, 2010

Hail Storm

That was a burst of craziness.  Felt like the windows would crack & the sound on the roof was crazy.  Poor quality photographs, but here are some of the ice pellets/hailstones/whatever you call them ...


Friday, October 8, 2010

Spoons

Who could resist the Schama-esque pleasure of spoons at the Ashmolean?

Work, Laurence, Work ...

This morning's NY Times reports on the declining availability of picture books, and finds that current child rearing practices are partially to blame.  Apparently today's Gradgrind parents insist that their children renounce the decadent kicks that illustrated texts offer, & buckle down to chapter book reading, pronto:

Some parents say they just want to advance their children’s skills. Amanda Gignac, a stay-at-home mother in San Antonio who writes The Zen Leaf, a book blog, said her youngest son, Laurence, started reading chapter books when he was 4.

Now Laurence is 6 ½, and while he regularly tackles 80-page chapter books, he is still a “reluctant reader,” Ms. Gignac said.
Sometimes, she said, he tries to go back to picture books.
“He would still read picture books now if we let him, because he doesn’t want to work to read,” she said, adding that she and her husband have kept him reading chapter books.

Who wouldn't want to rescue poor, deprived little Laurence from such monstrous clutches?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

All Souls

It's taking me a while to disengage from my brief stay in Oxford.  Clearly, I haven't been out & about in the neighbourhood very much. I'm still relying on photographs taken over the last weekend & they're mostly of a rather touristy nature.  I'd like to go back, with more free time, & dig a little deeper.  And I will!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Ever Changing Magnolia Sign

Not promising, somehow ...

Lintel Frieze, Hertford College

Bergen

Jeremiah's Vanishing New York gets that scary Bergen Pintchik block just right. Shades of The Twilight Zone. I'm pretty amused by Eponymy, though - for some time it's had my vote for silliest store name of the borough, and even possibly the entire city.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Hunt in the Forest - Paolo Ucello (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford)

Click on image for full picture.

Who so list to hunt, I know where is an hind,
But as for me, alas! I may no more:
The vain travail hath worried me so sore,
I am of them that farthest cometh behind;
Yet may I by no means my wearied mind
Draw from the deer: but as she fleeth afore,
Fainting I follow. I leave off therefore,
Since in a net I seek to hold the wind.
Who list her hunt, I put him out of doubt,
As well as I may spend his time in vain;
And, graven in diamonds, in letters plain
There is written her fair neck round about:
"Noli me tangere," for Caesar's I am,
And wild for to hold, though I seem tame."

Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503 - 1542)

Too Tired to Say Much