Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011

I can't say I'm going to miss 2011.  It was difficult in many ways, which included losing too many people and places that were important to me.

On a good note, I met several new people this year who have been the bright spots in an otherwise dark year.  You know who you are and you're all stars!

I'll leave you with one of my favorite scenes from a great EV/New Years Eve movie - 200 Cigarettes.  I tried embedding it, but that doesn't work, so here is Christina Ricci and Gabby Hoffman arguing about the horrors of crossing onto Avenue B.

Happy New Year!

Image via

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

It's hard to believe it's been a year...

Since THIS happened.

This week has been beautiful and sunny - perfect for walking and exploring the city.  I wouldn't mind if it stayed this way until Spring.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas in Zuccotti Park

Christmas day was so beautiful and quiet in the city, I took a walk down to Zuccotti Park.

I was happy to see all the barriers finally removed from around the Christmas tree (but not the park itself).

Zuccotti Park

This day also marked the 100th day of OWS protests and it seems someone from LA sent a care package.

Zuccotti Park

I met retired Philadelphia Police Captain Raymond Lewis. 

Zuccotti Park

When asked why he was spending Christmas day in the park, he replied, "Social justice does not take the day off."

For more information about Captain Lewis and his reasons for joining the OWS movement, check out this interview.

And, here's a little Christmas music...

Christmas day in Tompkins Square

I had an unexpected Christmas present this year, courtesy of the Tompkins Square Park hawk and three of her friends.  The four of them put on a spectacular show, battling in the treetops over territory.  The resident queen chased the younger visitors across the park, down Avenue B and back again before taking a rest in a tree on Avenue A.

Here is one of the youngsters:

Tompkins Square

Tompkins Square

I returned the following day and another hawk was putting on a show.  I'm not sure if it's one of the younger ones form the day before, but he (I think) was flying quite low and getting a good look at everyone on the ground.  Seemingly oblivious to danger, a fat rat and an even fatter squirrel frolicked in the leaves below, eating loaves of bread someone had tossed over the fence.  Squirrels continued to taunt the hawk, chasing it from tree to tree until I lost it.

Young red-tail

All the action drew quite a crowd, including Mosaic Man and Bobby Williams, who always catches the best shots. 

Shooting the birds

Thanks to Bobby and friends for keeping track of all the birds and pointing them out when I couldn't see.  What a fun afternoon!

See more hawk photos here.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3...

I'm trying out a new template.  Although I'm a big fan of color photos on black backgrounds, it's winter now and the days are dreary, so I thought I'd lighten things up a bit.

If there are problems with pages loading, let me know.  I know the photos on this site take a few seconds to load because they're pretty big.  Some day, I might get around to fixing that...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

OWS - three month anniversary

Today marked the three month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement and there was a gathering at Duarte Square on 6th Avenue and Canal Street.

Part of the message was to implore Trinity Church (owner of the adjacent vacant lot) to allow an encampment at this location.

Duarte Square

The drum circle is alive and well (needs more cowbell!)

Duarte Square

Everyone got into the spirit...
Duarte Square

...including the Granny Peace Brigade.

Duarte Square

And, it's just not a rally without the Yippie Pie Man!

Duarte Square

See more OWS photos here.


Friday, December 16, 2011


I miss Bob. 

I missed him as I was walking home tonight.  He would understand.  I was at the bar with the regulars and they were all friendly...until they were gone and replaced with strangers who didn't care where they were and why they were there.  Everyone knew my name and then suddenly they didn't and it didn't matter.  I walked home and was jostled by  loudmouths just starting their evening....

Come home to find my cat missing. 


If he wants to live with someone else, he should just say so.

Bob would get it.  Where others just hear complaints, Bob would hear our fear.  Our fear of losing our home. our community, our friend, our family...our lives...Bob would get it.  Even if it was just temporary - some emotional reaction to another asinine Friday night in the EV...

Bob would get it.

And, he'd let it pass, and teach us to let it pass...and tomorrow morning would be a brand new day.

Seasonal delusions

I've not seen as many holiday decorations around the city this year.  I don't know if the economy is too bad, the spirit isn't there, or if it's still just too early.  Some years feel more festive than others and 2011 seems not to be high on the celebratory scale.

I've yet to venture up to midtown and look at all the department store windows along 5th Avenue.  This is an annual tradition and what I find funny is I've never been inside any of the stores.  If there was ever a year for strict window-shopping, I guess this is it.  Bergdorf Goodman never disappoints, with some of the most spectacular window displays.  Here's one of my favorites from 2008:


Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home!  

 --Charles Dickens

See more Bergdorf windows of yore here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I love the inviting holiday window at De Robertis:

De Robertis

And this retro window display on 11th Street:

Retro TV

This is either sad or inspiring - maybe it depends on whether or not the sun is shining...

Christmas on 9th Street

The gingerbread man, he's out of the pan...only to be hit by a van!

Gingerbread van

And, an annual favorite, the life-sized nativity scene at the Church of St Anthony on Houston:


Tree lighting festivities in Tompkins Square Park

It was my first time at the Tompkins Square Christmas tree lighting this last Sunday, and am so glad I went.  Thanks to all the organizers, participants and neighbors who turned out to make it a really fun afternoon.

There was music...

Tompkins Square tree lighting

Melanie took some shots...

Tompkins Square tree lighting

We were entertained with a recitation of The Night Before Christmas...

Tompkins Square tree lighting


Tompkins Square tree lighting

Friday, December 2, 2011

Scenes from Zuccotti Park

Here are a few images from Zuccotti Park from the last few days.

This anti-war protester held down the fort (in the rain, no less) while the rest of the OWS group attended a meeting.

No war

Park activity is still very much alive. This was after a labor union march from Union Square.

Zuccotti Park is still very much alive

The Christmas tree could really use more barricades and cops...what do you think?

Guarding the Christmas tree

People helped each other over the barricades, but there was no molesting of the tree!

Zuccotti Park

The mood this night was very positive. Even the police seemed to be in good spirits.

Zuccotti Park

Meanwhile, on the Bowery...

Pepper Spray Cop

See more photos here.