Friday, November 30, 2012

Gloomy Day

A gloomy day in NYC with rain, fog, mist and light snow. Most of the downtown skyline is hidden in the fog

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Lower East Side Rooftops

Roof tops of the Hillman Co-op, Lower East Side, Manhattan.These buildings were originally built around the late 1940s by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America as part of a larger urban renewal / slum clearance program. It's one of the 4 housing cooperatives along the eastern end of Grand Street, collectively known as Cooperative Village (Co-op Village).

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


In the foreground is just one of the empty lots (now used for parking) in the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA) on the Lower East Side. SPURA was cleared of its tenements, and residents relocated, in the early-mid 1960s as part of an urban renewal project and has been stalled ever since as different neighborhood groups debated over what should be built, how much housing v. commercial, how much "affordable" v. market rate housing, etc. Today it remains the largest plot of undeveloped land in Manhattan south of 96th Street. But a plan was recently agreed to which will build a mix of commercial and residential (about 40/60) with about 1,000 apartments (50% of which will be "affordable" - this view will change dramatically within the next few years.

Beyond this SPURA lot is Delancey Street, a busy shopping street which also carries a high volume of traffic to/from the Williamsburg Bridge (just out of view to the right). Beyond Delancey Street are two of the newer buildings built over the past few years - The Hotel on Rivington (THOR) towards the center and the Blue condo at the right.

Monday, November 26, 2012

FDNY - 42nd Street

FDNY response at 42nd Street near the Grand Hyatt Hotel / Grand Central Station. I don't know what, if anything, was burning and didn't smell smoke. But there was a lot of water being cleaned up inside Grand Central Station's Lexington Passage, presumably from the fire hoses.

Meanwhile, I solved the mystery of what I thought was a vision/medication interaction that I even consulted with my eye doctor about. While my vision has deteriorated slightly since last year, I'm relieved to know that it was a stupid resolution error! Since late August/early September I've been uploading photos here that are smaller than I'm displaying them. I couldn't understand why sometimes I would look at the same photo and it looked sharp and other times it appeared slightly blurred. I never made the connection that all of the blurred occurences were here on this blog while the sharper ones were elsewhere. I really thought my vision was going bad. Ha! I've gone back and re-uploaded all of the photos with higher res versions

Thursday, November 15, 2012

1WTC Day and Night

One World Trade Center by day and by night - seen from the Lower East Side.The two construction cranes at the top were pointing towards each other (don't recall ever seeing them that way) seeimg to form a house stick-figure. Both shots taken yesterday, Nov 14.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

FDR Drive After Sandy

This is my one and only photo of Hurricane Sandy and it's being posted two weeks after the fact. Sandy knocked out power to our entire neighborhood (in fact, to almost all of Manhattan south of 36th Street - an area now nicknamed SoPo for "South of Power"). For those of us living in highrise apartments this resulted not only in lack of power and all of the obvious things that go along with that (no phone or cell service, or power to even recharge cell phones) - but also lack of running water and flushing toilets. After 3 nights in the dark I found shelter at a hotel in Queens. After showering and then finding a warm meal, I returned to the hotel and turned on the the TV and saw, for the first time, the devastation all around the NYC area. That was when I realized how lucky I was to have made it through the storm with what, in the grand scheme of things, was just a minor inconvenience (however severe it seemed to me at the time). It took almost a week for the power to come back at home... and another 24 hours for heat and hot water to return. But when I returned home on Sunday, my apartment building and apartment were intact and I was able to get my daily routine back to normal - even though my head is still not quite back to normal. There are tens of thousands of people in surrounding communities who are not so lucky - who's lives have been turned upside down and whose homes have been completely destroyed. Yesterday I had an appointment in the financial district (FiDi) and I walked past some skyscrapers that I had worked in at various times in the past. These are huge fortresses of concrete and steel - yet they were no match for the force of mother nature and they will remain uninhabitable for months (one for up to a year). Sandy has shaken my sense of safety and security more than 9/11 did and it took took quite a while for me to feel "right" after 9/11.

This photo was taken the morning after Sandy hit bringing record flooding along the East River. The FDR Drive and adjacent streets and parks had been completely under water the night before. Most of the water receded back into the river by morning.