Saturday, August 28, 2010


A good, old school block party.  Nothing fancy.  The fire hydrant open.  Kids on bikes, kids on scooters, kids playing ball.  Some food, some dancing, the music cranked up nice & loud.  Despite the changes in the neighborhood, on 12th Street between Sixth & Seventh - unlike surrounding blocks- there's a real, neighborly, hanging out crowd, & a real cultural mix.  Walking this way on a late summer day, with a kind, mellow heat & a deep blue sky, it's a just about perfect New York.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Kostas the barber, formerly at George's shop on 11th just north of Fifth, now has a chair in the beauty shop across the avenue, next to Cafe Regular.  He also has a folding chair, on which he sits for a good deal of the day, out on the sidewalk.  This morning he was to be seen inside the shop, fixing the broken leg of a chair.  In case you weren't aware of the move, let me direct you to the three signs announcing his presence, all within a few feet of each other. Seems like a deal.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Inside Cup & Saucer Luncheonette

You can't go wrong here.


I'm a couple of days late, but the OTB finally shut up shop on Monday.  In the background you can see an Eyewitness News van.  Filming was going on across the street in relation to Saturday night's murder, with a tearful gathering of family & friends speaking about the incident.  Crimestopper vans have been circling the neighborhood, & TIPS posters are in evidence.  Around the whole intersection, signs of the evening's incident are clearly evident.

Monday, August 2, 2010


I love the shoe designs at these repair shops.  They have a very dapper look to them.  The men's shoe here is similar to the one at Bravo, posted the other day, but has a taller & more protruding heel.  The store here (off 86th Street) seems to have had a former incarnation as a video business.  Shoe repair places get neither enough custom nor respect, & this one, like its brethren, has a sad, side street, air of neglect.


Spent the morning in Bensonhurst.  Saw a lot of fig, plum & peach trees. The easily anticipated assortment of Italian social clubs, pizza joints, bakeries & the like.  A clothing store sign for "Regular, Big Men, & Portly." "Portly" - a word barely ever used these days. Among the Asian & Spanish businesses was very taken with Pig Girl 99 Cent Store. Visited the local library.  Impressed by the foreign language sections, but not so much by the Danielle Steele dominated general fiction.   Who knew there were so many different biographies of Ronald Reagan? Like every branch, customers more focused on DVDs & computers than books. Went to a nondescript deli on 18th & 82nd Street, and got a meticulously made salami & provolone sandwich. Sandwich slowly put together by an elderly man clad in deli whites. Selects & opens roll, slices  salami with great deliberation, ditto the provolone, layers these on roll, adds lettuce, shuffles over to customer side of counter to select a tomato, returns behind counter, washes & dries tomato with care, slices & adds to roll, then the holy sprinkling of salt & pepper, a judicious application of mayo, the closing of the sandwich, the slicing into two, the stately wrapping of sandwich in white paper, & the application of tape.  This might have been the most carefully & slowly made sandwich I've ever ordered.  Nothing fancy, but perfectly done.  Ate sandwich in nearby park, surrounded by elderly Chinese playing board games, & a gaggle of Italian men gambling over cards.  The streets were Monday quiet, with barely a soul under seventy out and about.