Tag Archives: architecture

It’s Always Something

The 11 year old and I headed to the Washington Heights Armory late this afternoon to watch a high school track meet img_3533 in which the 14 year old did her thing.

It’s a quick ride north to 168th Street on the No. 1 train during which the 11 year old noted that everyone in the subway spoke Spanish. Everyone but the two of us, of course, which is only fodder for the school kid to continue his language studies. He proceeded to conjugate ir/to go for me and told me how to say 168th Street in Spanish. In less than 20 minutes, we arrived at the designated subway station, with it’s high ceilings, globe lanterns img_3517, wall mounted lighting, AND an overpass (rather than the underpass to traverse the tracks, all of which looked quite different from midtown and downtown stations. One of the highlights as we headed toward the station exit was an obligatory elevator ride up to ground level. An “operator” sat on a stool nestled behind a yellow barricade of sorts while he pushed buttons. He played a recording of latin music for our listening enjoyment. No head phones, the real deal.

Once above ground, it’s hard not to notice NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center as it covers most of the surrounding blocks. Historically, Washington Heights was a refuge for eastern European Jews and for all I know, my paternal grandparents lived there before they “made it” in the garment industry and moved to Lawrence, NY. I’ll never know since there’s no one around to ask… Today, it’s said to have a heavy concentration of Dominicans but a Starbucks on a corner overshadowed any obvious ethnicity. Of course, our mission was to find The Armory, an indoor track and field situation for high schoolers. Who knew? The 100 year old building charged $5 for spectator admission but it was well worth the price to see the interior and cheer for the home team. When I asked the 11 year old, if he was enjoying our adventure north, he replied “every minute of it,” and smiled sincerely. It helped that his school had athletes racing in the boys’ heats.

Legwork complete, we headed homeward. Again, though in reverse, it was easy to ride the No. 1 train south from 168th street. We hopped off at Columbus Circle to catch the No. 5 bus across town. During the transfer, a series of police cars lined the circle, in formation, img_3542 red lights flashing. The officers informed us that “occasionally they are stationed at random points for surveillance.” Sure. Whatever. The bus came, we rode across town in time to see Bergdorf Goodman’s creepy holiday window decorations img_3553 being dismantled. The snowflake twinkling above the intersection of 57th Street on Fifth Avenue, however, still shines bright, img_35472 as a reminder of UNICEF’s efforts to help save, protect and improve the lives of children around the world through immunization, education, health care, nutrition, clean water and sanitation. There’s so much to be done…

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hey downtown!

Hey Downtown. One of my favorite things about living in NYC is Central Park. Ok, it IS my favorite thing. It’s a crystal clear blue sky morning, temps in the mid-30’s and after taking the ten-year old to school on the Upper West Side (UWS) by taxi, I stopped for my usual decaf-grande soy latte on the corner of 72nd and broadway, headed west with a stop at Crumbs for a half-dozen Valentine’s Day cupcakes for the family and five beeee-u-feeeefull pink and whites (cookies) for my favorite police officer/Super and his fun police sargent wife. All this in anticipation of my cross-park walk.unknown-1.jpeg

I continued east on 72nd with a right turn on Central Park West. I always get a kick out of walking past the San Remo and the Dakota, reminiscing respectively about celeb residents Bono and rejected Madonna, “Ghost Busters,” and John Lennon , Yoko Ono, spooky Rosemary’s Baby and the Democratic party I attended in celebration of the Dem convention in NYC years ago.

All this to say, I love the park. As the ten-year old said while we held hands and rode in a yellow cab this morning (mohammed was our driver), “you can’t hear the cars” when you’re walking in the park. Yeah. that’s why it’s so great. The quiet, the nature, the Central Park South skyline, the solitude. Not long ago, the ten-year old and I bumped into an actor-son of one of our former LA neighbors. To say this city is small is an understatement. I’ll save that story for another post.

Today’s meander had me cherishing the sky, admiring Sir Norman Foster’s Hearst Tower and wondering why it is that CNN got the distinct privilege of attaching their graphic to the top of their tall building. It struck me that no other entities have their name plastered high above. Meanwhile, I stepped carefully and kept one eye on the ground because there are small piles of icy snow along pathways; a subtle reminder of the snowstorm that wasn’t night before last. While it started off with a bang, yesterday’s heavy rains dashed all dreams of a blizzard and/or snow day.

I passed a movie shoot along the rocks where the 10-year old and I watched Bill Nye, The Science Guy, last summer. Bill reported about our precious water supply coupled with consumption. Today’s stars were not known to me. A 20-30 something couple, he in a grey flannel coat, she wore a big brown mink coat. I thought her outer garment, with it’s symbol of wealth partnered with her perfectly coiffed blond main was an uneven match for his proletariat style. Soulful hardworking man meets soulful rich girl? It won’t work.

And speaking of movies, Definitely Maybe, which opens today received a wonderful review by A.O. Scott in today’s NYTimes. “Definitely, Maybe,” written and directed by Adam Brooks, is a nimble and winning little romance. As you know, the ten-year old, who missed a day of school last year “act” as an extra, ended up on the cutting room floor, but we had the distinct privilege of attending the premiere on Tuesday, snow-storm and all, and some of us went to the party at The Four Seasons to celebrate with cast, crew, production and friends. Much fun and despite not seeing the boy on screen, according to A.O. concludes “it navigates the choppy waters of modern courtship with commendable, understated honesty. Perhaps the best evidence of this is that this movie, unlike almost every other Hollywood tale of New York singles, was actually filmed in the city.”definitely-maybe.jpeg

The city where we live.

Exited the Park at 61st, just across from the Pierre Hotel. It always cracks me up as I pass the place, doormen, fancy people coming and going. Continuing East on 61st Street, I look in the windows of Barneys. Today is their “bag” day which means goodies are handed out with every purchase of $x.

I’m in the saddle now, settling down for another day of “concentrated” writing interrupted by peeks at email and facebook. I can’t seem to get a handle on the facebook thing given my weird “handle”: 70’s talk for my name. I tweaked it when the then 13-year old and I registered for an account in an effort to understand what all the excitement is about. Now that she’s 14, she still doesn’t want an account. Our mutual friend, yours and mine, encouraged me to join our “group” which I did… now I can’t get enough of the stuff.

So, a-writing I will go, coupled with aforementioned time-sinks, some basic “housekeeping” calls, downtown to order biz cards and then up to 116th for my beloved “news and journalism” class.

talk soon. xxoo