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.
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.
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.
Oh, Mr. Met, you really are the hardest working mascot in baseball! I just wish you didn’t have to suffer through the bad days since October 19, 2006. You know, the night when Carlos Beltran never took the bat off his shoulders to end Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS. It’s been downhill since that night but you, sir, never let it bring you down; heck, you still have a smile on your baseball-shaped head all the time!
Every year, Macy’s has two window displays – the thematic one that changes with every year and, this, a depiction of “Miracle on 34th Street,” a display that’s the same year in, year out. If you’ve seen the movie before, then you’ll know what to expect from these windows. It may not have changed over the years but it’s that timeless quality that keeps bringing the crowds.
Back in October 2008, I went with Justin and Gordon to Denver for the Great American Beer Festival. It’s easily the largest beer festival in the country where just about every decent-sized brewery makes the trek out to. During our last day out there and at the fest, we bumped into beer media personality, Zane Lamprey, the host of Three Sheets, a TV show then on MOJO HD about, well, drinking. He was kind enough to oblige a few fans with some photos of him while he was busy promoting a party he was throwing that New Year’s Eve.
Without my trusty DSLR by my side, I hadn’t planned on taking any photos of this unique lunar eclipse. It’s unique in that it also occurred on the winter solstice. So why did I end up taking photos at 2:30 am? Well, that would be Con Ed’s fault. They sent a work crew to fix a mistake another crew made which necessitated the use of heavy equipment – heavy equipment that made a lot of noise. So, unable to sleep, I ended up arguing with Con Ed for a few minutes, taking a few photos of the lunar eclipse, and then back to bed for a terrible night of sleep. Bastards. Ah well, at least I got to see the eclipse. Yay.
Last holiday season, I took a long ride all the way down to Dyker Heights, Brooklyn. Why? Because I wanted to see what these folks who clearly have way too much disposable income had done with their holiday decorations that year. Sure, these are all really extravagant, lovely displays but isn’t it just a tad bit excessive? Especially last year when we were still in the throes of a massive recession. Ah, who am I kidding, you don’t own these sorts of home without the bankroll to be able to pay the electricity bills that come with these light shows.