Archive for the ‘Neighborhoods’ Category

Thievery on the rise

Whether you’re living in an apartment building on the Lower East Side or in Williamsburg, thievery is on the rise. On 3rd street in the LES, a friend’s residence is being terrorized by a live-in tenant who steals packages. The super has seen this person eyeing packages that belong to other people and then they disappear.

A vegan ice cream shop owner just had his bike stolen last week. Then he found the same bike a few blocks away chained to a post. The cops told him that if it was his, he could clip it and then he did. Just a few more days later, he parked the bike outside (where it was initially stolen from) and found the perp trying to re-steal the bike claiming that it was his own. But thieves are often liars too and the bike is, for now, safe.

Why is thievery on the rise? Is it due to the weakened economy? What the hell is going on here people? Is Bloomberg’s third term going to help? Damn you thieves and your lying.

Aliens in Union Square?

This video is the craziest, most exciting thing that’s happening in Union Square today. I’m not sure what exactly these Aliened up people want but they want something alright…and that’s either freedom of expression or maybe it’s a campaign for The Day the Earth Stood Still?

It’s too early too tell. But it’s nice being freaked out right around Halloween time.

On ginkgo stinko and destiny

When your car gets blocked by another car, especially when that car is an SUV in the city, you are in a jam. So what do you do? Just go with the flow. Don’t worry about it. Find the nearest coffee/tea/chocolate bar joint and relax. Enjoy yourself. Do some work remotely. That’s what it’s all about.

There’s a lot of gingko droppings (offical name Ginkgo Bilboa – not to be confused with Balboa or Bilbo Baggins) around during fall and people are complaining about the smell, but to me, it just smells like vegan cheese. Apparently it’s not pleasant to most nasal cavities.

The point of all this?  A kid walked into Abraco Espresso today and said “when I’m older, I’ll stop and smell the roses, but for now, I need to be on the run.”

What is this need? Where is it coming from? Why must we always let our surroundings control us. Why not, instead, decide when to relax and enjoy every single moment. That’s what it’s all about. Let go, let the city happen around you, and do not worry about anything at all.

Live in the moment and let the ginkgo seep into your nostrils.

Connecticut, the other upstate NY

Dive into Sherman

Dive into Sherman

I drove up to Sherman CT yesterday for an interview. Though the trip was an hour and a half by car – it takes the same amount of time for me to get to midtown from where I live on the outskirts of Queens right now.

But the benefit of driving an hour and a half is that you get to see the beautiful country that spreads across the upstate NY and CT area. Green lush trees fill the sides of the highways – all of them on the verge of shedding all their leaves – but not before putting on a brilliant fall display.

As if this was not enough, the closer I got to my destination, the road turned into 2-way lanes. Curving side by side, following a splendid lake being hit by the brilliant sunlight. I was in awe. It was truly incredible.

Just a few hours away from the middle of the busiest city in the world lies uninhibited, raw, natural beauty. Check it out if you can! The 3rd weekend in September would probably be the right time to see all the fall foliage.

Bowery Flophouse hearing this week

I can’t find exactly when the hearing is, I believe it is this week though at City Hall. A hearing on whether or not the White House Hotel – one of the last remaining flop houses of the Lower East Side, can be renovated or not.

Usually these things are simple. A hotelier comes along tears down a building – places its residents in other places. But this time around, it is not that simple. What’s happening at the White House hotel is that the landmark folks – people that decide whether or not a building holds historic value – have stepped in.

They’re saying that the White House hotel may be a historic landmark and therefore cannot be torn down. Or at least, the facade would have to be maintained before anything happens. So they’re going to decide what happens next week.

From what I understand of flop houses and hoteliers, this is one of those battles that will continue being fought until people lose interest in NYC and forever invest in countries like Dubai.

Naps in Central Park are rejuvenating

There were some chores to be taken care of today. Some mundane tasks, but they happened to be on Central Park East. And any task that’s on CPE is OK by me. The neighborhood is filled with the sort of NYC essence you’d find in a Woody Allen film or a Neil Simon production. Something about the place just exudes classic New York.

I feel it has a lot to do with the preserved buildings. Especially the ones that are open to the public like the Frick Collection. Or just the tree-lined sidewalks that overlook the Central Park Zoo.

So I meandered into the park from 6th avenue and after going over a gazebo, some picnicking folk and taking in the skyline from different angles, I just found a nice boulder to rest my butt on and looked at the Victorian Gardens. It was filled with kids – sounds of laughter, screams, and laser-like noises in the distance from below and sounds of honking, sirens, and horses to the side.

A live unadulterated stereo of New York City. Perfect place to take a nap. It was awesome.

How far will YOU travel for a date.

Before I get to the story, we’ve all run into this situation before. How far is too far? Eastside, Westside, Uptown, Downtown, Brooklyn, Queens? For me, as long as I can get there by subway, it’s not too far. The PATH is usually a stretch for me, but I’ve been known to attempt a date out in New Jersey.

During my last family visit to Long Island, I stopped by my brother’s job to meet him for lunch. After my quick stop into the ladies room to primp, this guy walked out of the men’s room at the same time and smiled at me. Turns out, it was Little Dougie from the 5th Grade. Well, not so little anymore. I’m not sure what came over me but I ran over to him, gave him this huge hug and after some small talk, I told him to give me a call the next time he was coming into the city so that we could catch up. Thinking back, I find it amusing that I didn’t even consider telling him that this city girl would meet up on the Island for a drink. God FORBID!
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Call from Con Ed Leads Me to Beer

On my way home, I get this call from an 877 number, but I didn’t pick up since I figured it was probably the Blood Bank – they call me daily.

Anyway, it was Con Ed calling to tell me about their concerns about a shortage specifically in the Yorkville ‘hood and that I should turn off any unnecessary appliances. OK. I can do one better than that, I’ll grab a friend in the ‘hood and hit the Heidelberg for a beer.

Even though it wasn’t the coldest place – they must have gotten the call too – the beer was ice cold, it wasn’t crowded and the scenery was just perfect. I joke about the Upper East Side a lot but if you look around, we’ve got some good looking men walking around these parts!

Did anyone else get the call – or are you home with the AC blasting? That’s ok, my friend and I took one (two) for the team.

"Tour de Queens" Rides Through Borough This Sunday

Inspired by the previous “Tour de Brooklyn” and “Tour de Bronx”, about 500 cyclists will ride their bikes through parts of Queens this Sunday, June 8. Run by the group Transportation Alternatives, the Tour de Queens is expected to become an annual event. The 20-mile ride will start and end at the Queens Museum of Art in Flushing Meadows Park, and will pass through East Elmhurst, Astoria, Queensbridge, Long Island City, Maspeth, Middle Village, Rego Park, and Forest Hills.

Online Registration has ended, but there is there is some space for on-site registration [starting at 8am] on the day of the Tour. They also need volunteers. The Tour de Queens is not a race, but a leisurely ride, so families with children are encouraged to attend.

photo from wikimedia commons/Uri Baruchin

‘Real World’ comes back to NYC, keeps it real

Apparently, the folks at MTV who helped launch the scourge against good programming that is reality TV with “The Real World” back in 1992 are bringing it back to NYC for its 21st season. (Has it been that long? Man, that makes me feel old.) Specifically, the show will be filmed in Brooklyn. There’s no mention of which Brooklyn neighborhood they’ll film in, but like the MTV News blogger, I assume it’ll be Williamsburg, because all the kids think it’s hip or something. (Damn. I feel old again.) Unlike Choire Sicha of the Observer, who would like it to be The Real World: East New York, I’d like to see it in Bed-Stuy, or maybe Bensonhurst. The Real World: Whaddya, a Tough Guy? might be kind of interesting.

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