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Day 1124

FREE OSCAR & AVELINO!!!

January 27th, 2015



Avelino has been freed since this mural was painted in 2010, but Oscar has not.

Day 1124

Snowman/mound

January 27th, 2015



Featuring a baby carrot nose and grape tomato eyes and buttons

Day 1124

Magnolia Mansion

January 27th, 2015



This former public school was converted into loft condominiums (photos) around 1986 and is also home to the Poet's Den Gallery and the Poet's Den Theater.

Day 1124

Dog person, cat person

January 27th, 2015


Day 1124

1270 Fifth Avenue

January 27th, 2015



This building was the longtime home of Odetta, "the singer whose resonant voice wove together the strongest songs of American folk music and the civil rights movement", according to the NY Times.

Bob Dylan: "The first thing that turned me on to folk singing was Odetta. I heard a record of hers in a record store, back when you could listen to records right there in the store. That was in '58 or something like that. Right then and there, I went out and traded my electric guitar and amplifier for an acoustical guitar, a flat-top Gibson."

Maya Angelou: "If only one could be sure that every 50 years a voice and a soul like Odetta's would come along, the centuries would pass so quickly and painlessly we would hardly recognize time."

Day 1124

Stickball Hall of Fame Place

January 27th, 2015



The wide block of 109th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues serves as the playing field for the East Harlem Stickball League. In 2005, the block was named in honor of the Stickball Hall of Fame, which has since found a permanent home on 123rd Street. This is now the second street we've seen named after stickball; the first was Stickball Boulevard in the Bronx.

Day 1124

Portal of the day

January 27th, 2015



This is the Manhattan Grit Chamber (whose Hurricane Sandy high-water mark we saw on a previous visit), sibling of the Bronx Grit Chamber. From the NY Times:

The best places to see the celebrated products of New York — its Broadway talent, its skyscraper architecture — are well known.

But the best place to see Manhattan's byproducts — what is stuffed down its sinks, flushed down its toilets and washed from its gutters — cannot be found in tour guides. There is perhaps no better vantage point than the Manhattan Grit Chamber, which strains solids from much of the borough's sewage as it flows underground to the Wards Island Wastewater Treatment Plant. . . .

"We get a lot of turtles and fish. . . . We've had a canoe come in here; it got caught on the screen. We've had pieces of telephone poles, Christmas trees. Oh, you name it — mattresses, dead dogs. We got a live dog once."
A guy who works here was standing outside when I walked by. He told me nothing too crazy has washed in lately, other than the 50 bucks he found not long ago.

Day 1124

A censored memorial

January 27th, 2015



This is a tribute to Derek M. Armstead, a.k.a. Bloodshed, a local Harlem rapper who died in a car accident (driving the BMW pictured above) in 1997. Bloodshed performed in a group called Children of the Corn alongside his cousin Cam'ron (whom we've previously seen in the Clipse video featuring the former Obama Fried Chicken restaurant in East Flatbush/Brownsville), Ma$e, Big L, and McGruff. The lyrics on the left side of the mural, Bloodshed's contribution to a Children of the Corn song entitled American Dream (audio, lyrics), seem to have been excised of some objectionable content (close-up).

Note also the (presumably) stolen shopping cart locked to a bike rack.

Day 1124

Cattails in the snow

January 27th, 2015



by the Harlem Meer

Day 1124

Hittin’ the slopes

January 27th, 2015


Day 1124

The Olmsted IX

January 27th, 2015



Named after Central Park's co-designer Frederick Law Olmsted (closer look), this minimalist sled is the ninth annual snow buggy created by this guy and his friends.

Day 1124

Snow blade

January 27th, 2015



is what this guy called the thing he's riding.

Day 1124

A perfect day for sledding

January 27th, 2015



Thanks to the predicted apocalyptic wrath of Winter Storm Juno, schools were closed today and many people stayed home from work. When the storm turned out to be far less severe than expected, there were suddenly a lot of people with some rare weekday free time looking to take advantage of the season's first substantial snowfall. A sizable contingent of them flocked, sled in hand, to this spot in Central Park, just northwest of the Conservatory Garden. In addition to the crowd you see in the background of this shot, there were also groups gathered out of frame to the left and right, and kids were chaotically bombing downhill from all three directions, often inadvertently colliding in the center at surprisingly high speeds. No one seemed to mind getting clobbered though; I guess everyone was bundled up in enough layers to absorb most of the impact.

Day 1124

A snow-covered Harlem Meer

January 27th, 2015



At center is the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, Central Park's newest building, completed in 1993 here on the shore of the Harlem Meer. To its left is the Lincoln Correctional Facility and to its right are the twin towers of Schomburg Plaza.

Day 1124

Churchagogue of the day

January 27th, 2015



Mount Neboh Baptist Church, formerly the Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal and originally the synagogue of Congregation Ansche Chesed, is perhaps the only house of worship in the city to have served as a full-time home to Jews, Catholics, and Protestants.

(I would argue that the other church mentioned here as having served all three faiths, St. Ann's Armenian Catholic Cathedral, doesn't really count. For one thing, it no longer exists: its sanctuary was demolished in 2005, leaving only the facade standing. But even before that, the original sanctuary used by the Protestants and the Jews was itself demolished and replaced with a new one by the Catholics, so the three faiths never actually worshiped under the same roof.)