Thursday, August 27, 2009
The AMC series, Mad Men, brilliantly depicts Madison Avenue ad agencies, American ideals, mores, and attitudes in the early 60s. In last Sunday's episode a rebellious Mad Man became enraged when the firm, Sterling Cooper, decided to represent the forces set to raze Penn Station. Lead character (and pro razing point man) Don Draper summed up the 60s attitude perfectly: "I was in California last week and everything was new and people have hope. New York is a decaying city. Let's bring New York something new." Today's Penn Station is undoubtedly the ugliest train station in the US. Its horrific demolition created the landmark commission we have today. But I love Mad Men! Here's a classic MM video moment, when Don Draper sells the Kodak Carousel as soul wrenching time machine.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Part of my job description includes interviewing musicians for magazine articles. Today I went to Universal in midtown to speak with The Root's Ahmir Thompson. The Roots are the house band for Late Nite with Jimmy Fallon, and Ahmir has produced acts like John Legend, Joss Stone and Al Green. When I spoke with Ahmir he was on a cross country train. But he forgot his shoes.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
The city Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to landmark the I.M. Pei-designed Silver Towers and its central Pablo Picasso sculpture, "Portrait of Sylvette," in Greenwich Village at 100 and 110 Bleecker Street and 505 LaGuardia Place. The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation first proposed landmarking the Greenwich Village modernist buildings in 2003. New York University owns the buildings, and is planning on building a 40-story building within the complex, which the buildings' new landmark status will make more difficult.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
As Vanishing New York (and others) has reported with sadness and reflection, the Coney Island that was -- Astroland, the wooden rollercoaster, architectural glimpses of the 20s to the 50s that seem frozen in time -- will soon be gone as NYC's city council has approved a plan that will raze most of this country's original amusement park for "America's largest urban amusement park, about 4,500 new apartments and a bunch of major retail establishments (New York Post)." Ka-ching! So let's look back at the beautiful Coney that was ...probably for the last time. None of these structures are landmarked (save the parachute jump, I think), though they figure prominently in the dreams and memories of millions of New Yorkers.
From Tricia who works at Coney Island: "Coney's four NYC landmarks are the Cyclone Roller Coaster and wonder Wheel (both operating rides), the Parachute Jump, and the Childs Building on the Boardwalk (home of Lola Staar's Dreamland Roller Rink. Deno's Wonder Wheel Park has a long lease and will be back for the foreseeable future as will the CIUSA sideshow). More interim amusements will be brought in next year. Despite the passage of the flawed rezoning plan in the City Council, efforts to landmark historic structures and expand the area of outdoor amusements will continue. Groups like Save Coney Island,Coney Island USA and the Coney Island History Project need your support."
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
The High Line is a renovated elevated train line running along Manhattan's west side, from the Meatpacking District to 20th Street in Chelsea, where it abruptly ends. They have yet to get permission to extend the line up to 33rd Street, where it originated when built in the 1930s. To see what the tourists can't, check my blog Walking The High Line, where I photographed the still wild and abandoned High Line in July of 2008. Or just enjoy shots of the current walk...it's pretty cool!
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Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
During my recent battle and triumph over illness, I vacillated between two opposing poles: the face of uncertainty as expressed in Keir Dullea's character in Stanley Kubrick's 2001 A Space Odyssey, and the happy hot air balloon panda head below. Mr Panda Head won out. Who do you favor?
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Thank you dear friends and fellow bloggers for your prayers, positive thoughts and support. I was truly stunned and humbled by the many kind words you all bestowed on me during my recent (and now departed) illness.
All went great at the hospital. The doctor said the procedure went "perfect," and that the tumor was "superficial" meaning it was not invasive. Thanks much for your prayer and positive thoughts! I am believing there will be no recurrence, and changing my diet, prayer life, and perhaps my residence to keep my life stress free.
Thanks again for your support. I will visit you all soon. God bless.