New York City Diary

Words and pictures from my interesting life in New York.

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Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

What New York City Looks Like, Part 1

I've been carrying my camera around for the last couple of days and it has really helped me see things in New York City that I otherwise might not have paid much attention to. I took 109 pictures today. I promise I won't post them all. Here are a few highlights.

At around 1:30 p.m. I met Jenn on the sidewalk in front of her office. There were about ten Falun Gong protestors there, acting out Chinese torture techniques and handing out fliers. They had people in makeshift stocks and cages and shackles, but I've seen it all before.

I wanted Jenn to sign a birthday card for my mom so I could put it in the post. Jenn had plans to meet her mother at Starbucks on 59th Street, so I walked with her and said hi to Pat and then continued to the post office, where I dropped my mom's card in the mail slot. I have always liked post offices but that's for another time.

I headed back east on 59th and took some pictures of a Mister Softee truck. I heard the sound of tapping on glass and realized I was standing right in front of Starbucks where Jenn and her mom were sitting. This picture shows Jenn's mom on the left, Jenn on the right, and the Mister Softee truck in the reflection. I did not purchase a Mister Softee ice cream cone, but I do like them very much.

It would have been nice to have a cool treat because it was 94 degrees Fahrenheit (like 34 Celcius) but I hadn't had lunch yet, and my stomach wants me to eat foods in the correct order. So I walked into the Time Warner Center, one of New York's newest skyscrapers. It's located on Columbus Circle, although I think they give themselves a Central Park West address. To me the two addresses sound equal in stature.

The first four levels of the Time Warner Center are a public shopping mall with high-end stores. In the basement there's a huge Whole Foods Market, which is the place to go for the moderately-priced-but-healthy business lunch in the area. I usually don't go there because I'm too cheap, I prefer my four-dollar turkey sandwich from the Korean deli (JY Deli on Eighth Avenue and 56th Street) to an eight-dollar tossed salad, but I will admit that Whole Foods has good stuff.

Here's a picture of the brand-new Columbus Circle pedestrian park, the area in the center of the traffic circle. It was completely torn up for what seemed like such a long time, but they recently completed it and I think it's darn nice. Of course, for real elbow room, Central Park is just off to the left.

To take this picture I took the escalators to the highest shopping mall level that gives you a nice lookout through the huge windows.

From where I was standing, I could look down and see some of those Whole Foods business lunch people munching on their dumplings and whatnot. Here's a look, although you only get a small glimpse into a very large organic grocery store.

Satisfied with my photographs, I left Time Warner and walked into the new Columbus Circle pedestrian area. As I was going in that direction I bumped into one of our editors and said hello. He must have been on his lunch break as well.

We briefly talked about the Huntington Hartford building, which is pictured below. Do you think it's too ugly to preserve?

We said goodbye and he went back to the office while I continued my NYC photo safari. On the right is a photo of the new Time Warner building. The shopping center is the glass atrium area between the two towers. I had been standing on the fourth floor of the atrium just below where this picture ends.

I then sat on the edge of a fountain and tried very hard to squeeze in both Time Warner towers, the Columbus statue, and Trump Tower into this photo. What do you think?

Here's a picture of the new fountain, a hippo party truck, and the southwest corner entrance to Central Park. This is where we entered the park to see The Gates by Christo. Anyway, I was getting hot and hungry, so I walked down Eighth Avenue to my deli.

On the way to the deli I took this picture of the Hearst Tower, currently under construction. I think it looks pretty cool.

Then I went to the deli and bought my sandwich. Here's a blurry picture of the JY Deli.

I walked back to the office and shot this as I was crossing 57th Street.

Fast-forward to 6:30 p.m. I finished up at work and took the subway home to Brooklyn. Jenn was going to visit her friend in Bay Ridge, so I'm on my own until she gets home.

This is a picture of my bodega, with the fish monger on the right. It's everything a Brooklyn bodega should be, and everything a Brooklyn fish monger should be.

And here's a picture of a girl talking on her cell phone and deciding what beer to purchase.

I made my purchase (okay, I bought beer) and the proprietor, my friend Richie, accidentally gave me change for a $20 when I had only given him a $10. I gave Richie back the extra change and he was very thankful. He told me how one time a guy accidentally dropped $200 at the counter and left, and Richie found the guy and gave the money back to him. The guy had little kids and was very much a working-class guy so he was really grateful. I told Richie that guys like him and me sleep well at night. He agreed and shook my hand. It's true.

I like this building on my street. To me it looks like something from an Edward Hopper painting.

Finally, here's a picture of the apartment building, nearly completed, that's right across the street from the Edward Hopper building. It's an example of how Williamsburg, Brooklyn is really moving up in the New York City real estate world. Modern-looking buildings like this are going up all around us.

I put the camera away and came home. It was a really hot day, so the first thing I did was open all the windows, turn on the fans, and take a cold shower. It was the shower of champions, a sweet piece of shower victory.

Now it's 9:21 p.m. and I need to think about dinner. No more photos for now, but I hope you've enjoyed seeing what one small part of New York looks like. I look forward to posting some downtown photos soon. Jenn called, she's on her way home.


Blogger Bitty said...

Actually, I indeed thank you very much for those photos--they're quite a public service! Consider that what most of us who don't live in NYC see of it comes primarily from (1) Law & Order, (2) Sex and the City, or (3) outside the studios of one of the morning news shows.

Speaking of, I've had a theory for a while that FedEx has a person (or maybe several) on duty specifically to drive in circles around the block directly behind where Today has concerts outside. Does that sound plausible to you, or are the morning streets of NYC crowded with FedEx trucks?

I've been trolling around the web, bookmarking interesting blogs in which people talk about their lives, and yours was one of the first I chose.

6:15 PM  

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