After lunch with Jon and Elizabeth in Midtown, I wandered over to Times Square to see what the scene was like. This was taken just before 2:30 pm and already it’s super crowded and just impossible to walk around. Why people insist on coming here so early or even at all, still amazes me to this day. I’ll give a pass for the first time revelers since I get that they want to mark this off their bucket list but for the repeat offenders, I ask “WHY!!!???”
Have a fun and safe New Year’s Eve celebration, everyone.
I’m not gonna pile on against the MTA here – they’ve taken enough hits from the public. I just wanted to say it’s pretty funny to see snow in the underground stations like the one where I get on the M/R. At the height of the storm on Sunday night, there were some underground stations that looked like they were above ground and outdoors. The 57th Street entrance in the second photo was just a mess. People were gripping onto the handrails for dear life and that hardly mattered since one in every five still managed to slip and slide.
I raced down the block last night to take these photos. Why was I so excited that I had to do that just to get some photos of a snow plow? Because at 10:25 pm last night, my block finally saw its first Sanitation Department snow plow, only two-plus days after it stopped snowing. This blizzard has been just one huge clusterf*ck for the city – Mayor Bloomberg, Sanitation, and the MTA, in that order, should all be ashamed of themselves for the way they’ve handled the situation.
Walking around after 20 or so inches of snow has been dumped on my block isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Actually, it was a lot easier to walk in the street as opposed to the sidewalk since the necessary passage of cars helped clear it a lot faster than the pedestrians’ passageway. Crazy, right? While walking home from the subway station, I noticed my shadow was very pronounced in the snow since it’s, you know, pure white which, compared to the darker sidewalk, certainly makes it easier to see one’s shadow. Never one to pass up an opportunity to take what I think might be a neat photo, I snapped this one just before an approaching car’s headlights would have ruined the shot.
This past Sunday into Monday saw the biggest snowstorm ever to hit New York City. At least the biggest once since the last “biggest one”, like, you know, the one we had in February… of this year. Jokes aside, this was pretty crazy stuff – there were even reports of THUNDERSNOW! Lightning during a blizzard – if that isn’t some sort of sign of the impending apocalypse, I don’t know what is.
The New York Knicks are in the midst of a resurgent season with a record of 18-12, their best result through 30 games since the 2000-01 season. Not only is the product on the court better – the addition of Amar’e Stoudemire might have something to do with that – but the ad campaigns for their MSG broadcasts, both in print and on-air, are markedly better. In particular, they’re doing a great job in their print campaign, linking this current crop of Knicks to their glory days which gives this long-suffering Knicks fan goosebumps seeing the likes of Walt “Clyde” Frazier, the leader of the last Knicks team to win an NBA championship, alongside Amar’e, the leader (hopefully) of the next Knicks team win an NBA championship.
As has been the the theme of the past few years, Macy’s is once again going with “Believe” as the overarching theme for the holidays with the story of “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” being the story depicted in the holiday windows. I found a pane by pane description from a newspaper which I would normally just link to but they’ve since taken it from their website and is only available in Google Cache. Those cached pages don’t usually last long so I’m just gonna copy and paste it here:
Window 1: The story starts outside the O’Hanlon’s house. A stained-glass window opens to reveal Virginia’s bedroom, in which Virginia and her friend, Ollie, talk about Santa. It then shifts to the O’Hanlon’s kitchen table, where Virginia’s father says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.”
Window 2: An apartment-building courtyard and Charlotte, a sort of 9-year-old know-it-all, tells the kids that Santa’s impossible.
Window 3: Virginia and Ollie go to the New York Public Library to research Santa. A librarian combs the stacks for Santa books. LED books come into view, showing the different Santa names: Father Christmas, Cinter Klas, Bellsnickle, Kriss Kringle or Chimney John.
Window 4: Virginia talks to her father about Santa and she gets the idea to write the letter. The scene shifts to her room, where she writes the letter. Then it shifts to a scene with Virginia’s mother, who explains that Santa isn’t something you prove, it’s something you do. When you do nice things for other people, that’s the proof of Santa.
Window 5: Starts with an elevated train overhead and then focuses on the street outside The Sun offices, where Virginia meets a scraggly street Santa who has just given his coat to a homeless woman. We then hear Virginia’s mom talking about doing kind things for others. The scene shifts to inside The Sun, where the editor reads the letter. Virginia gives a coat to the shivering Santa, who tells her, “Today, you’re Santa Claus.”
Window 6: The town turns into Christmas, it decorates itself as the editorial is being heard.
Merry Christmas, everyone! I’m off to enjoy Chinese hot pot!
On my first day in San Francisco this past June, I had plenty of time to just wander the streets. I happened to pass by the Apple Store on Stockton St on my way to Chinatown on this day, the day before the latest iPhone was to be released. Predictably, a line had already formed and, from the looks of things, some people at the front had probably been there since the day before. I guess people really want their phone ASAP even though there really wasn’t much of a shortage this time around and Apple does a pretty good job with updating their stock online so people don’t have to resort to this. I’m an Apple fanboy and even I don’t think I’d ever wait in line the day before. Well, maybe to sell my spot like the guy in one of these photos. After all, money talks.
The same night I took photos of the Macy’s holiday window displays in 2008, I also walked up to Lord & Taylor on Fifth Avenue so I could check out their own holiday windows. Contrasted with the more fantastical theme of the Macy’s display, the one here is decidedly more classic. Classic but definitely ornate and intricate. There were a lot of moving parts in this display, maybe not more than Macy’s but definitely more than something I expected to be more staid and, frankly, more stuffy. I still personally prefer Macy’s for their creativity but going classic ain’t bad either.
Last night, I went with my friend Rebecca to see a live edition of The Rachel Maddow Show at the 92nd Street Y. I’ve been a big fan of her for some time though I’m sad to say I don’t watch nearly as often as I once did during the leadup to the 2008 presidential election. I never doubted that Rachel Maddow would do a great job in front of a live audience but it certainly seemed like she fed on the energy and applause of a very partisan audience. And on yesterday of all days when President Obama scored some major legislative wins from the 111th Congress – a lame duck one at that – only served to put a little extra pep in Maddow’s step.