After starting my summer of funemployment with an early July trip to Austin, I finished it off with a late August journey to Chicago. Food, booze, and sights were there in excess but no trip there would be complete without taking in a game at Wrigley Field. The day I went was a miserable one – chilly (for late August), windy, and wet. In short, just miserable. Somehow, they managed to get a game in, thanks to the quick work of the grounds crew. While they were setting up to get the game going at a decent time, I took the opportunity to walk all throughout the historic stadium. Maybe aged or old would be a better way to describe it – the bathrooms have troughs for men to urinate in – very bar/nightclub-like and equally messy. It’s decidedly no-frills here with just two decks of stands and the bleachers in the outfield. It’s a nice stadium but, like Fenway Park and the old Yankee Stadium, if it weren’t historic, it’d be a dump. I’m not ripping on the place but sometimes the truth sucks. I hear they got rid of the troughs this year so they’re slowly making some progress, I guess.
If you watch any of ESPN’s college basketball coverage, you’ll recognize these old guys as, from left to right, anchor John Saunders, analyst Digger Phelps, and analyst Bob Knight. Saunders is one of my favorite ESPN anchors/commentators – he’s smart, witty but he never makes the broadcast about him, unlike some of his fellow colleagues. Digger is a rare breed – he’s both the on-air goofball as well as a solid analyst. He’s best known for the tielighter, where he “accessorizes his flamboyant attire by matching his neckties with a like colored highlighter.” Bob Knight or “The General”, as he was known when he was a stern head basketball coach who’s a bit of an asshole but really was a great coach and leader of men, graduating more basketball players than just about every other coach there is. Sadly, he’s a snoozer on air – all that fire and energy on the court just never made it to the broadcast chair.
When I took this photo, these guys were watching the final moments of the first game of the Jimmy V Classic doubleheader. After the game ended, it would be back to work and on air for these guys.
On the last night of Hannukah, which also coincides with the last night of the Yo La Tengo 8-night long residency at Maxwell’s in Hoboken – funny how that just works out, no? – The National was the special guest opener. The National. Opening and playing in a 200-person venue. That’s something I thought I’d never see since Boxer was released in 2007 and their star rose rapidly. As much fun as it was to see them here, it only made me long to see them again in a much larger venue so they can have their full orchestral backing and nifty light show as well as much better sound. But, you know what, I can’t complain because just a few weeks ago, I was thinking I wish I’d gotten to see them a second time this year and, just like that, problem solved.
I’ll admit I bought the ticket because I heard The National would be there that night. And while I don’t love Yo La Tengo, I do like them and they’re a good band to see live. A good set which ended with Ira wading into the crowd during their last song.
These photos were taken on December 8 and 9, 2010.
Imagine walking through the turnstile and then see this stream of viscous red liquid running from just to the right of your foot all the way to the edge of the platform. Even in a Disneyfied New York City, the first thought that pops into your head has to be “this is blood,” right? It certainly looked burnt red and seemed thickish enough (thicker than water, thinner than syrup) that blood wasn’t entirely a bad guess. Thankfully (or sadly, depending on what you think is cool), after tracing it back to the source, it was just a spilled cup of some rather thick fruit juice. Oh, what could have been…
Last night was the annual Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden, an event I attend with my friend Rachael just about every year since we’ve been friends. This time, for the first time in a long time, we actually stayed the entire time for both games. A good thing since the game I really wanted to see was Syracuse-Michigan State in the nightcap. It was back and forth for about, oh, the first four minutes, 35 seconds but after taking an 11-10 lead at 15:25 mark in the first half, Syracuse would never trail again. Sure, the Spartans would close to within two, 48-46 at the 13:16 mark in the second half but they would never get closer as the Orange then went on a 24-12 run to end the game. I took this photo at the 13:04 mark, one second after Rick Jackson made a dunk on a play he started by making a steal at the other end.
These were posted on a previous blog of mine – don’t remember which one because I’ve gone through quite a few in the past two to three years – but I figured it’s worth reposting, especially as it really is ’tis the season. The Macy’s 2008 holiday windows theme was “Believe” which I think is still the theme, even in 2010. I could be wrong. I haven’t seen this year’s windows yet but I’m hoping to check those out soon.
For a better description of 2008’s theme, I’ll let designer Paul Olszewski explain:
I wanted to take all the simple things that surround us during the holidays and make you believe that so much more goes into them, so much magic goes into them, than meets the eye.
A bonus photo for today – The Tree at Rockefeller Center. The 2010 model is a nice one, as was the 2009 model, as was… ah, hell, they’re all the same to me – nice looking, sure, but the same, regardless. Still, if you’d like to know more about this year’s tree, it’s a 70-foot tall, 40-foot wide Norway spruce from Mahopac, NY.
I’m gonna make a preemptive apology here – it’s about to get all Christmasy on this here blog. There’s a lot of fun stuff to take photos in this city during the holiday season and I’m gonna try to capture as much of it as possible. So first up is Saks Fifth Avenue’s annual projected light show on their building facade. This year, there’s translucent white snowflakes and bubbles while “the visual effects include snow gathering on ledges, bubbles emerging from windows, and the building exterior appearing to freeze over.” I got a few photos but I think it’s better explained with a video, no?
These photos and video were taken on December 2, 2010.
After a very filling Thanksgiving meal and the subsequent cleanup, it was nice to take some time to just sit down and relax. After all, we’d been running around my brother’s apartment, prepping, cooking, and, yes, eating for the past five hours. All I wanted to do was watch the end of the Saints-Cowboys game and to stare vacantly out the window as the Cowboys blew a late lead on a stupid fumble, making it that much harder for the Giants to get a wild-card bid. Ah, well, at least there’s this view of the 59th Street Bridge in one direction and the Citi building in another.
‘Tis the season to be jolly, no? I found myself spending way more time inside the Time Warner Center this past weekend than I ever have or thought I ever would. I was in there for at least three hours on Saturday and it’s not like I was even eating at Per Se!!! Being there after the sun set did afford me at least one treat – I got to watch their Holiday Under the Stars light and music show. Above are some photos of the snowflakes in different colors and below is a quick 30-second clip of the snowflakes changing colors, while “Deck the Halls” plays in the background.
These photos and video were taken on November 27, 2010.