Posts Tagged ‘Metro Areas’

Just like the TV station, USA, New York City could have the same slogan, “Characters Welcome”.  If ever there was one place in the world where anything and anyone and everyone and everything goes – this is it.  Everybody does their own thing here, whether they be human, animal or even plant.  The fact that all of this diversity and individuality and sometimes quirkiness is contained in the 22.7 square miles that Manhattan is made of, only serves to intensify the total impact.  Here are a just a few of the characters spotted in The City yesterday!

Siesta in the Park

Siesta in the Park

New Construction Underway

New Construction Underway

Fashion Forward

Fashion Forward

"What's that you say"?

“What’s that you say”?

One Must Always Dress For Croquet

One Must Always Dress For Croquet

A Regiment Of Turtles

A Regiment Of Turtles

Decked Out In Spring Colors

Decked Out In Spring Colors

"Up To My Knees In ...."

“Up To My Knees In ….”

"Goin' My Way"?

“Goin’ My Way”?



All photos courtesy of Murray Head


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What a city this is!! New York speaks loud and clear and in many language, it’s just one ginormous kaleidoscope of humanity.  You just never know what or who you’re going to come across in an afternoon.

green market, cyclists, backpack

Green Market Greenies
ice skater, Bryant Park, Central Park

Practice, practice, practice

central park

Two Tourists in Central Park

ICONIC Still Life-A girl, a dog and two birds

stretching, warm up,

Cirque du Soleil here I come!


central park, squirrel

Burying A Nut

A Nuthatch Seeking Insects

All photos courtesy of Murray Head

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If you live in New York City, you have seen this!  A ginormous blow up rat squatting in the middle of the sidewalk or on the street (taking up a parking space!).

I saw this photo and comments from my friend, Greg Moore on Facebook.  I asked for permission to reprint it because first of all, I wish I had thought of posting a blog about it myself and secondly, it seemed so perfect a contribution to my ONLY IN NEW YORK category.  Now here’s my question, does this only happen in New York City?  Please comment and let us know if the RAT has relatives in other cities.

union rat, Greg Moore, New York city, contractors

I’m the City Mouse!

This thing is about as “New York” as the Statue of Liberty…or the Empire State Building! I have a feeling this is one of those “only-in-New-York” kinda things! It’s the giant, inflatable “strike rat”! Whenever there’s a labor dispute or a strike where they feel that a business is hiring workers unfairly, they (I guess) call “Rent-a-Rat”, this huge, hideously ugly, inflatable rat, which they park on the sidewalk in front of the offending business. This guy has been outside my office building all week. I’m DYING to interview this guy who sits next to the rat all day long. I have so many QUESTIONS for him: What is your job title? What do you tell your family you do? What do you put on your resume? What is the rat’s name? What would differentiate a “good” day from a “bad” one? I saw him pack it in, right at 5PM. He deflated his rat, shoved it in a bag along with his folding chair and headed toward the subway. (this one, by the way is the SMALLER one! They also have one that’s about 3-stories high! I know that, because the apartment building next to mine apparently hired non-union doormen and they hauled out the HUGE rat…and its head appeared right outside my third-story window for about a week! Rather alarming…but very New York!).

Thanks to Greg Moore for his astute observation and comments.

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But if you can’t find it or don’t want to hunt, just stick around for a few minutes because Murray discovered some great RED last weekend.  For the past couple of years, he has been photographing an annual event in New York City known as the Dragon Races.  Since this is a Chinese festival event, you can count on seeing red and I don’t mean the angry kind of red.  No, this is the good luck, good fortune red and fortunate we are to have these wonderful photos.  Thank you Murray for sharing!

Dragon race, dragon,

“Oh my what a big mouth you have”

captain, Dragon races

I Don’t Think His Team Won!

Dragon race, New York city

You GO girl!

Dragon races, captain

Do NOT Mess With This Guy

Good luck, dragon, dragon races

And the Dragon Wins!

All photos courtesy of Murray Head





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It’s a grand day to be Irish for sure…however, if you live in New York City like I do, then even if you’re not Irish, it’s grand day after all.  The sun is shining, the City is full of green-clad, shamrock-adorned folks.  Kids are wearing Irish cable knit sweaters and green deely-boppers on their heads. Kilts in every tartan you can imagine, politicians sporting green carnation boutineers and tams.  The air has been filled all day with the wailing mournful sound of the bagpipes.

We went to the parade early today and took Finley with us.  She enjoyed hanging onto the barricade at curbside and watched as bagpipers, horn-blowers and drummers marched by.  The flags were flying, the bands marching, majorettes twirling and thousands of people walking up Fifth Avenue following the famous green center line.

It was the perfect day for a parade, not too hot, not too cold and not raining  as it has in some past years.  However, I knew it was only a matter of time before I would hear the familiar “I have to pee”.  If you’ve been to a parade with a child, you know it’s inevitable and if you’re on Fifth Avenue in the middle of Manhattan, you know it’s impossible!

I gathered her up and we pushed our way through the crowds to get to a side street.  We were in the East mid-60’s so I figured if we got to Madison, perhaps I would find a restaurant or store where she could use the rest room.  As we were rushing past stores and shops, I was telling Finley, “no, not this one, no we can’t go in there, no bathroom”.   With that inimitable wisdom of a three and a half year old, Finley said, “Why not, every place has a bathroom”. As they say, out of the mouths of babes!  After a two block hike with little Finny repeating her needs to me in a plaintive voice, I spied Bar Italia and walked in and said to the hostess at the door that I needed to take her (Finley) to the bathroom.  She looked at me and smiled and said, “I’m sorry, the rest rooms are only for our customers”.  I was furious!  I looked at her and said in a loud voice, “That’s ridiculous and it’s illegal” and swept past her carrying Finley and walked right through the entire restaurant to the back, asked a bus boy where the ladies room was and carried Finny in.   I noticed someone had left a Dior compact on the vanity so on my way out, for a final coup de grace,  I slapped the compact down on the counter in front of her and muttered, “someone left this in your ladies room” and stormed out.

Boy did that feel good!  By the way, I don’t know whether it’s legal or not to restrict the use of a bathroom in a public restaurant and I certainly understand that  restaurants don’t want derelicts or homeless people coming in to use the facilities;  However, I’m a woman of a certain age carrying a toddler, really what horrible things  might we have done in that bathroom?

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Central Park is New York City’s largest and best playground!  Adults have as much fun here as kids do and certainly tourists.  On any given day (but especially on weekends) you can watch jugglers, mimes, break dancers, listen to music, play tennis, roller blade, bird watch, dog walk, jog, bike, eat, read in a quiet glade, explore a castle, visit an old dairy, meander through Strawberry Fields, sail a toy boat, ice skate in the winter – need I say more?

A mild and sunny Sunday in January brought out hundreds of visitors to the park.  Some came to watch and some came to…….

central park

Spin A Frisbee in the Park

central park

Skateboard (sort of) in the Park

central park Make Music in the Park

Roller Blade in the Park

Do Frisbee Tricks in the Park

Paint in the Park

cental park

Inspecting One's Kingdom in the Park

Blow Bubbles in the Park

Show Off in the Park

All photos courtesy of Murray Head

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Talk about air time, yesterday was the Mayor Mike/Guv Christie show all day long!! Mike Bloomberg was determined that New York City under his watch would be prepared for the impending disaster.  By and large, most New Yorkers followed his lead.  Murray took the photos of Grand Central Terminal just before it was shut down (nobody’s leavin’ this town) – https://pbenjay.wordpress.com/2011/08/27/high-noon-in-new-york-city-irene-is-on-her-way/ and some other pre-Irene photos.  Today he went out and captured some great photos of Irene’s aftermath.  Here they are for your pleasure.

new york city, hurricane Irene

Cut the Red Tape, Use the Blue

new york city

Armed and Ready for Action

hurricane Irene, Apple store

We ARE Open 24/7

apple store new york city

Except When Irene's in Town

hurricane Irene

Park Avenue

A Fly Amid the Rain Drops

Some diid not survive the storm

new york city

The Mayor said "Stay Home"

purple flower

Fragile BUT A Survivor

Storm Sewer Detritus

hurricane Irene

Whew! What A Storm!

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Goodnight is right!!! Oh dear God, hurricane fever has been here for days and NOW, Irene is almost here.

It all started for me on Thursday. Peter arrived late in the afternoon and I was still at the Tea Room finishing up and we decided to go to the store and pick up a few Finley items such as whole milk and orange juice without pulp.  Once I arrived at Wegman’s two things became instantly apparent;  Finley probably wasn’t coming to the Jersey Shore and Hurricane Irene was on her way – have you ever been in a major grocery store and seen all the bread shelves EMPTY?? I mean EMPTY!  We did get milk because after all, milk is PERISHABLE and everyone knows you are supposed to stock up on non-perishable foods.  I think all of Monmouth County is planning on eating Pb & J’s all weekend!!!

And so it began….no news except hurricane news, talk, talk, talk, only about the impending storm and plans A, B, and C formulated in each household.  Who was staying and who was going, that was the really BIG QUESTION.  My thoughts immediately were to stay and I  think at that point I wasn’t really comprehending the breadth and depth of what was to come.  I said, “well the apartment is safe and the cottage is vulnerable, so I need to be here to protect it.”  Peter thought about this and agreed.  We really didn’t think we would be in real danger, just that house might be in some and perhaps if we were here, we could prevent and/or protect.  The thought of being in NYC and watching the happenings and wondering what was happening to my sweet La Vie en Rose was quite disconcerting, so I said, “We’re staying”.  Thursday night seems much like any other night.  Peter even went to get me ice cream.

Friday dawned sunny and bright and the buzz was everywhere.  Some neighbors immediately started hauling in porch furniture and tying down everything else.  Mmmmm should we go after all?  Several conversations later, it was decided that Finley would be better off in NYC with her Daddy and her baby sister.  Chiara HAD to go to the middle of New Jersey to attend a wedding on Saturday;  she is a Bridesmaid.   I thought she would never get off “the Island” which was probably evacuating itself westward to the City.  But she made it, dropped them off and kept on going.  I hope for the bride’s sake some people come to this wedding.

I don’t hold out much hope though because the NEWS which was now broadcasting 24/7 alternated between Governor Christie declaring a State of Emergency on THURSDAY and Mayor Bloomberg saying the City was in the cross hairs of the storm and therefore, the subway and bus systems would be shut down, the news just got more dire by the hour.

By Friday afternoon, Peter and I had packed up the back yard furniture, put away the umbrella, turned the glass top table upside down, removed bird feeders, and with bungee cords anchored the trash cans and some chairs.  I moved the upstairs porch furniture into the guest room making my tiny cottage just that much more smaller.  Things were beginning to feel weird!

Ocean grove, police tape. beach is closed

Beach is CLOSED

Let’s go to the beach!  It was 4:00 the sun was still somewhat high in the sky so we took off to get a good long look-see at our beach not knowing when we would see it next or in what condition it would be.  There was police tape across the  entrances to the beach so we walked a ways to Bradley Beach and got onto the beach there.  We took our chairs and our books and sat down near the water’s edge for about an hour or so enjoying the last of the sunshine, sharing the experience with about 5 other people as far as the eye could see.  The tide was extraordinarily high which was the result of new moon.   Well clearly we were illegal and I heard later on that if you got caught going into the water, you could get a $500 fine.  Of course Peter had to push the envelope a bit and get his bathing suit wet which caused the young ticket taker on the boardwalk to come rushing down to inform us that the “main lifeguard” sent him down to tell us we could NOT be in the water.   Why didn’t someone tell the surfers that?  As we left the beach, two young surfer dudes, boards under arms and a young girl passed us on their way to the shore.  The young girl looked at Peter and shook her head and rolled her eyes.  Governor Christie told everybody to get off the beach in Asbury Park, they had enough tan, now get out!

Governor of New Jersey

Christie says "Get Off The Beach"


Ocean Grove, beach is closed

From Here to Asbury Park

Friday night we had dinner out because it would probably be our last good meal once the power went out and surely it will, they say.  And in New York City, Broadway was shut down, the subways system cut back and Battery Park City under mandatory evacuation!  We received numerous calls imploring us to return to NYC and truly we vacillated so many times I couldn’t tell you what the number was, but something has kept us here.  It didn’t help that the beach town north of us and two towns to the south of us were under mandatory evacuation, and the Governor reversed the highways so you could only leave and not come, they even made the tolls free.   There is a bit of foolhardy adventurism at play, the swagger that comes from having toughed it out and not the least, the need to be here to protect the homestead.  At 11:30pm an email alert came through from Neptune Township informing us that Broadway from Ocean to Pilgrim Pathway was under mandatory evacuation: WOW we are two houses in from Pilgrim Pathway.  I sure hope the storm surge knows where it is supposed to stop.  Tomorrow is another day and Irene is expected to hit the Jersey Shore in the early evening. 

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A while ago I said I was introducing a new category; it is a combination of Only in New York and the subcategory of FAB FOTOS – AIWYFI a/k/a Art Is Where You Find It.  And in New York, art takes many forms.  Sometimes it’s in the architecture, sometimes the people, and sometimes it’s a slice, a snippet, an angle of something, someplace or someone that Murray has captured in his lens.

I hope you enjoy these Postcards from the City

New York City

Two Buildings For The Price Of One

New York City, grate

I Call It "Oozing Grate"

New York City, taxi cabs

Advancing Forces

Roosevelt Island tram

Heading to Roosevelt Island

Bridge to Roosevelt Island

Or You Can Take The Bridge

All Photos Courtesy of Murray Head


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Some people think New York City is a lonely place and they couldn’t be more WRONG!  You never have to be alone in this city especially if you live in the East 40’s,  specifically Dag  Hammarskjold Plaza.  There’s always some art installations around the City.  If you think back, I’ve published photos of many.  such as the giant flowers on Park Avenue in the snow,  the fanciful creatures of   Tom Otterness and now there is a veritable crowd of not quite humans and not quite androids and they have taken up residence in this famous plaza near the United Nations.  They seem friendly enough although not great conversationalists!

Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, New York city

Back to Back

Dag Hammarskjold Plaza

Do you really mean it?

Can you tell me how to get to Bloomingdale's?










"The sun feels good doesn't"?

The Thinker


















"I was just sayin' "

A bit nippy for the end of March








All photos by Murray Head

It’s not Friday but these are some FAB FOTOS!

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