Archive for the ‘City Life’ Category

Bocce in Bryant Park

Bocce, the sport for the non-athletic

Bocce, the sport for the non-athletic

If you happen by Bryant Park on a nicer day, be sure to visit its NorthEast corner for some Bocce ball action. Amidst the benches, free reading, free wifi and countless sandwich shops there lies a gravel pit of your fate. If you choose to you can partake in some pro Bocce with the folks who seem to always be entangled in a game.

I don’t really know if they’re part of a league or just people who own professional Bocce balls, but this game is of patience and concentration. Not something to do just for kicks, but something to help you jolt out of your deskjob and into the real world. All while not really requiring much physical prowess. In other words, bocce is the perfect sport for those who don’t want to get in shape to play a game.

Maybe you can ask one of those nice people in the park to let you in on the game next time you’re there. For more information on Bocce, clicketh hereth.

Ride in the park with Keith

I went for a ride in Central Park this afternoon. The weather was perfect and the bike worked flawlessly. I was at one. Zen.

Central Park in April

A is for April

Visited the ever monumental American Museum of Natural History this weekend with some out of town guests, like you do. Went into the Butterfly Conservatory. If standing around inside a terrarium with a lot of flying insects is your idea of fun, go see it! It was really quite magical. On our way home we took the A train, which was running on the C track in front of the museum. In the station was a man in a green trench coat, wearing a beard, playing the violin. At one point a small child was very interested in what was happening with that weird looking stick the man was rubbing on that small wooden box, so the man knelt down to let the boy hold the bow. He showed him how to push it across the strings and did the necessary finger work to play a tune. The boy was elated and the whole platform of people immediately gained new found acceptance for the man in the green trench coat with the violin. Little moments like that are another reason to fall in love again with this city of ours. Then on the train a man in a dirty jean jacket sitting next to my friends mother asked if we were going uptown or downtown, classic. The A train is for April.

Saturday Things to Do in NYC

Here are some things you can be doing tonight.

Free Workshop on Yoga, Meditation, and the Science of the Mind

Date: Saturday, March 21st
Time: 5:30pm
Location: Art of Living Center (127 W 25th St., due to renovations look for a large wooden frame in front of the building. The code to get in is 1-3-5)
Cost: Free

Cut & Paste

Webster Hall
125 E. 11th Street
New York, NY 10003

A crazy mad graphic design competition event.

Saturday Storytime: Captain Stewart Walks the Plank! Print
Saturday, March 21 2009, 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Join the Storytime mutiny with McNally’s own Stewart Dawes. Kids will know We’re All in the Same Boat (Shapiro) as we follow Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs (Andrea) to the mysterious world of The Night Pirate (Harris). If you’re conscripted against your will, like The Pirate Girl (Funke), you might find yourself rescued by the brave Captain Stewart. After plundering pirate books for treasure and lore, Captain Stewart will teach every young matey to make their own eyepatch and draw their own pirate ship. Ages 3 to 8.

Where? 52 Prince St.
(b/t Lafayette & Mulberry)
New York, NY 10012
Mon – Sat: 10am – 10pm
Sun: 10am – 9pm


Man arrested for taking a photo of NYC subway

In a world with increasing police involvement in everyday activities a man was arrested in the Bronx for taking a photograph of an MTA train. Ironically he was an off duty MTA employee who knew his rights. Read the full story on Photo District News Online, or the NY Times. As a photographer myself, I am constantly enraged by misinterpretation of laws that result in regular people getting hassled and arrested. It’s one thing to be a law enforcer, and another to know the laws. I truly wish that a man did not have to get arrested after trying to explain to three officers why he was not breaking any law. “Photography, filming or video recording in any facility or conveyance is permitted…” This is from the MTA rules and regulations 1050.9 (c). This was also the rule stated as the reason he was arrested, stating the complete opposite. I don’t mind the police, as long as they act justly. This was an unjust act by the police and he would not have been charged with disorderly conduct if it was. May all his charges be dropped.

Relying on the kindness of strangers

The other day my wife and I were walking on 23rd St. when we saw people staring at something on the ground at the corner of Lexington ave. We look down to see a man lying there on his back as if he is asleep. Other people are slowing down and staring also but just continuing on by. We stop and see that no one seems to be interested in seeing if this is a normal situation or if this person needs help. I quickly walked over to the man and tried to get a response from him. He seemed to have his eyes half open and was making a breathing sound like he was snoring. He didn’t respond to my voice or hand on his shoulder so I decided to call 911. I told the dispatcher what was happening. As I was on the phone a man walked up saying something about how the guy tried to cross the street and seemed to be a bit out of it, swaying and walking funny. He then said several times, trying to convince everyone in ear shot that he thought it was drugs, this guy must be overdosing. So the talking guy helped the stumbly guy back to the curb where he sat down and then lay/fell the rest of the way. The talking guy had apparently tried to flag down a few police officers who drove by a few minutes before but to no avail. Another dude who had been elsewhere then heard that I called an ambulance and said that he had already done so, oh well, more than once call is better than people walking by without even stopping. A few minutes went by and an off duty EMT showed up and took his pulse and tried to get his attention. moments later the ambulance was there. A few policemen showed up and seemed like they could give a flying shit about what was happening. I told one of them what I knew and he dismissed it with a “yeah, ok. Thanks guy” kind of attitude. Your welcome, asscop. In any case the EMTs from the ambulance were able to wake the guy up and walk him over to the ambulance. We walked on seeing there was nothing more we could do. I’m not medically trained in any capacity but at least I was able to get an ambulance there. Living in a city of millions it’s nice to know strangers are willing to help, not so nice to find out the cops could give a rats ass.

The Unemployment Picture for NYC

New York City is going to have the highest rate of unemployment in 2009. That is primarily due to the banking industry taking a hit, but a lot of other industries that are suffering include those involved with the jewelry trade.

If I may get personal for a bit, I’m the only working member of my 3-person household right now. The harsh realities that seemed to be at a far distant are now here to stay. It’s time to move, shift and let go of the property we own so we have some cash to live with.

It’s either that or taking on a 2nd or 3rd job for me and continuing to make the efforts on holding on to what we have. I know that in the end whatever happens will have been a long time coming and exactly as the way it should be. But being presented with reality is not always so easy to deal with.

In my case, some of my clients are such that they cannot afford to pay me since they’re entrepreneurs themselves. I’m all about selfless service and continuing to support those with a strong ethical basis for whatever work they’re doing, but at this point in time, it seems as though I will have to let go of that service picture and continue being a capitalistic hound.

On the sunny side, if you live in Ithaca, NY, Fairbanks, Alaska or a number of other places, the employment rate is scheduled to stay flat or increase by a wee bit. Huzzah!

What is your experience of the current economic climate? Any better? Also, I’m open to suggestions on what additional jobs I can take on that would not conflict with my 9-5 and freelance marketing work.

Melissa’s Tough Love: Stop Flirting with Your Neighbors

In a city like ours, there are times that our neighbors are a little too close for comfort.
I have one that I’m going to have one of those “not so comfortable” conversations with.

In the last 2 years, I’ve run into a neighbor of mine on more than one occasion. Yes, I know that’s normal, but I also know that it’s not normal to take someones friendly behavior as an invitation for flirting. Sometimes, nice is just nice. Some would call that being neighborly.

He’s invited me to his place for parties, but I’ve declined. Once, I did accept an invite for a drink, but as soon as I figured out that he was flirting, I made a point of stating that I wasn’t looking for any type of companionship of any kind. Seems that wasn’t enough to let him know that I wasn’t interested. One other time when I ran into him, I remember telling him that we shared a wall and that I wasn’t going there.

Cart Theives at IKEA Brooklyn

I was spending a slow afternoon at IKEA today. Had to pick up a few items and landed up at lunchtime to devour the favorite Swedish meatballs.


IKEA Brooklyn, Image courtesy The Brooklyn Paper

IKEA Brooklyn, Image courtesy The Brooklyn Paper

After lunch I venture into the store. Its fairly empty and I think the weather this weekend is to blame. Get some of the items I want and put them in the yellow IKEA bag along with my saturday copy of the NYT.


Once on the lower level transfer all of the stuff to a cart. I continue walking around the store slowly moving towards the checkout. The last stop I needed to make was at the shelving area, to pick up some shelves. Put my cart out of people’s way and get busy measuring different shelves to get the correct ones.

And then pick up the correct ones and turn back to the cart to put them in and go to checkout. And lo and behold ! There is no cart.

At first I check around to see if someone pushed it out of their way. But its nowhere to be found. Spot the IKEA personnel in charge of that area and she hasn’t moved my cart or seen it. She offers to call security and I take up that offer. Security shows up in 5 min and ask me a few questions etc. Luckily besides my NYT copy, I did not leave anything in the cart of personal value.

However by this time I was pretty pissed to go back thru the store to pick up what had now wandered away. Will go back another day for it.

However its really scary to think about how someone can either intentionally or unknowingly walk off with the cart. When we go shopping Shirrin seldom leaves her purse in the cart, and I always leave my bag. Perhaps this is a good and inexpensive lesson, and henceforth I will be wary of leaving personal stuff in the cart. 

As for Cart Thief, damn you.

Pictures From the Edge

Next time you have time to spend, sit down and log onto Borough Edges and be ready to be totally mesmerized! Bettina Johae took 2418 digital images of the perimeter around the whole city — all 5 boroughs! From Riverside Park to Astoria/Ditmars to the Brooklyn Riviera, it’s a trip around the edges. It’s like that coffee-table book that everyone picks up and can’t put down…truly amazing!

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