Riding Uptown. Man on Venus. Man on Mars.

“How long to Grand Central?”

“20 minutes, maybe 30, it’s Rush Hour.”

Uber driver. Black Toyota Camry. Leather seats worn. Dashboard tanned with thousands of hours of direct sunlight.

“Your English is good. Where are you from?”

He glances at me in the rear view mirror. Reticent.

“Ethiopia, Sir.”

“How long have you been here?”

“9 years.”

“And your family? Are they here or back in Ethiopia?”

“Oh, they’re all back in Ethiopia. I’m here with my wife.”

“Do you miss home?”

Long pause.

“People think it’s easy. Here in America.” He pulls up. Polite, respectful.

I shift the conversation. We’re a few minutes out.

“You have a 4.94 (out of 5) driver rating. Wow. That’s something. How do you do it?”

“I don’t know Sir.” He smiles.

“I’m curious. Out of 10 rides, how many riders tip?” [Read more…]

Thousands pass every day, not one of them seeing the same thing

You swallow hard when you discover that the old coffee shop is now a chain pharmacy, that the place where you first kissed so-and-so is now a discount electronics retailer, that where you bought this very jacket is now rubble behind a blue plywood fence and a future office building. Damage has been done to your city. You say, ‘It happened overnight.’ But of course it didn’t. Your pizza parlor, his shoeshine stand, her hat store: when they were here, we neglected them. For all you know, the place closed down moments after the last time you walked out the door. (Ten months ago? Six years? Fifteen? You can’t remember, can you?) And there have been five stores in that spot before the travel agency. Five different neighborhoods coming and going between then and now, other people’s other cities. Or 15, 25, 100 neighborhoods. Thousands of people pass that storefront every day, each one haunting the streets of his or her own New York, not one of them seeing the same thing.”

– Colson WhiteheadThe Colossus of New York


Notes: Quote via Schonwieder. Photo by PWH3 of New York City side street

Sunday Morning

Let’s ease in softly on a pretty day. Spring came to New York this week after a month of gloomy cold and drizzle. The sun was out. Monday afternoon just before dusk there was a bird outside my window, all by itself and singing so loudly—byeet-byeet-chur-chur-chur. Over and over as if it had just discovered its voice. I was emailing with a friend, your basic hard-bitten journalist, and told him what I was hearing—it sounded like the beginning of the world. He wrote back not with irony but with the information that a band of baby rabbits had just taken over his garden and were out there hopping and bopping: “They are so excited to be on earth.” This struck me as the most important news of the day.

~ Peggy Noonan, What Does This Moment Demand of Us? (wsj.com, April 26, 2018)


Photo: Vivienne Gucwa with New York City in Spring

The Not New Yorker (Christmas 2017)


Source: “The Not Yorker” is a collection of declined or late cover submissions to The New Yorker, curated by illustrators who love and admire traditional cover illustration. This site is for celebrating cover art, and great ideas that didn’t make it.  Illustrators are encouraged to submit their rejected covers , so that they might have the opportunity to be rejected by this group as well. The site is not officially affiliated with The New Yorker

This declined cover is was created by John Tomac and titled “Christmas 2017”.

 

Sunday Morning

After a century, humpbacks migrate
again to Queens. They left
due to sewage and white froth

banking the shores from polychlorinated-
biphenyl-dumping into the Hudson
and winnowing menhaden schools.

But now grace, dark bodies of song
return. Go to the seaside—

Hold your breath. Submerge.
A black fluke silhouetted
against the Manhattan skyline …

Our songs will pierce the dark
fathoms. Behold the miracle:

what was once lost
now leaps before you.

~ Rajiv Mohabir, from “Why Whales Are Back in New York City


Notes:

T.G.I.F.

A balloon showing Charlie Brown failing to fly a kite during the 91st Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.


As is the modern way, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was buttressed by blockades of sand-filled sanitation trucks, patrolled by sniffer dogs and guarded by police.  Heavily armed police patrolled the parade route during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Security was greater and more intensive this year following a deadly truck attack in the city by an alleged terrorist on Halloween.


Source: wsj.com Photos of Macy’s 91st Thanksgiving Day Parade. #1 by Carlo Allegri, Reuters. #3 by Andres Kudacki, AP

 

Grand Central Terminal. You choose: 1954 or Today?

Sunlight streams through the windows in the concourse at Grand Central Terminal in New York City in 1954. [Read more…]

and if you have mittens, you will be in fine

“Snowmageddon, heading for the Northeast.  You guys who live in the Upper Midwest or the Rocky Mountain Region laugh, laugh at a foot of snow. You laugh at it. You mock it. Because that can happen in May! But tomorrow here in New York City and up and down the East Coast, there could be more than a foot of snow. The Panic is on. People are buying entire cows to make sure they have enough meat. 18 flashlights. Canned soup that will last for 80 years. You get the idea. Weather forecasters hysterical, many of them breaking down. Already many schools are closed. People have been seen weeping. Here’s the tip of the day. Overreaction is never a good thing. If it snows tomorrow, build a snowman, have some fun. It has nothing to do with Global Warming. And if you have mittens, you will be fine.”

~ Bill O’Reilly, Tip of the Day (March 13, 2017)

5:00 PM Bell! (Lucky Chops)

Check out the foot work of Mr. Green Hair @ 1:06. How good are these guys?

The brass band Lucky Chops was started by some kids at New York LaGuardia High (the “Fame” school) who cut their teeth playing in the subway. When a South American tourist shot a video of them that went viral, they started getting real gigs…”We still go into the subway to perform when we have the time. It’s a great training ground, if we workshop a new song in the subway and are able to get strangers to stop what they’re doing and listen to us then we know that song is a keeper.” (Source: Bedford + Bowery)

Liked this? Check out Lucky Chops with their Adele Cover: Hello

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?

new york city


Notes:

  • Photo: wsj.com – A camel used in a live nativity scene in the annual production of the ‘Radio City Christmas Spectacular’ walks up Sixth Avenue near Radio City Music Hall in New York City after being blessed by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York. (By Justin Lane, European Press)
  • Background on Caleb/Wednesday/Hump Day Posts and Geico’s original commercial: Let’s Hit it Again
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