USA | NYC
 


Day 1308



Memorial #127 can be found outside the 13th Precinct police station. I photographed the main part of the memorial when I first passed by back in 2013. Here are a couple of additional components that I must not have noticed at the time.





The truck reflected in this plaque is dedicated in memory of Officer McDonnell.

Day 1308



For today's walk, I joined Dan Fleischer for a brief stretch of his "Manhattan thru-hike". Dan is an experienced long-distance hiker from Portland, Oregon, and he decided to spend his three-week summer vacation walking every street on the island of Manhattan. During his trek, he refrained from using any form of transportation other than walking, heading out each morning on foot to get to his starting point and returning home at night the same way. (He rented three places in different parts of Manhattan for a week each, which helped reduce the amount of back-and-forth walking he had to do each morning and evening.) Hoofing it more than 30 miles per day — and probably closer to 35 — he covered every street on the island in a single continuous trail of footsteps, hence the "thru-hike" part of the name.

Day 1307

DO NOT JUMP

July 29th, 2015



An old painted plea for noggin safety here at the 169th Street F train station

Day 1307




at the Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race

Day 1307

Yuri arrives

July 29th, 2015



at the finish line of the Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race. He's the fourth person to finish the race this year, and is treated to the same victory songs and ambrosial cake as everyone else who completes the 5,649 laps of the block within the allotted 52 days. (The horn-like sounds you hear when people start cheering are made by guys blowing conch shells.)

Ashprihanal was the first to cross the finish line this year, and did so in record time: 40 days, 9 hours, 6 minutes, and 21 seconds, more than 23 hours faster than the previous record-holder.

Day 1307

Waiting for Yuri

July 29th, 2015



at the finish line of the Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race

Day 1307

Cutty’s Hair Studio

July 29th, 2015



Cutty's is where the late Knicks forward Anthony Mason went to get his cranial canvas carved by Freddy Avila, "the Rembrandt of Barbers".

Day 1307

Making the most of it

July 29th, 2015





This is an amazingly bountiful little yard: tall rows of corn, a couple of fruit trees, and all kinds of vines stretching around back. It was too dark to see the vines well, but here's what they looked like a year ago.

Day 1307


Day 1306

Godzilla Fan Parking Only

July 28th, 2015



I spotted this sign at LaGuardia Airport's Marine Air Terminal. Is the manager of airport operations a fan of Godzilla, or did a prankster co-worker put up the sign to prevent a Godzilla-hating manager from being able to park in his or her own spot?

Day 1272

The telltale streetlight

June 24th, 2015



You might assume that entering or leaving the largest city in the nation would always be an occasion worth noting, but local governments seem to think otherwise. Excluding highways, there are well over 100 streets that cross the land boundaries dividing NYC from Nassau and Westchester Counties, and it's only on a small number of those streets that you'll find any kind of sign acknowledging the border.

If you're on a major street, you might come across a "Welcome to" sign on the Nassau/Westchester side of the line, but the best you can hope for from NYC are signs telling you that it's illegal to turn right on red in the city and that the city speed limit is 25 MPH unless otherwise posted. It's only on the highways* that you'll encounter any explicit recognition of the fact that you're entering NYC, be it a typically formulaic "Welcome to" sign or an even more bare-bones affair simply stating the name of the borough you're crossing into. Brooklyn's "Welcome to" and "Leaving" signs actually have some character, but none of them are stationed at the city line, as you have to pass through Manhattan, Queens, or Staten Island to get to Brooklyn.

Even though the city boundary goes unmentioned on most streets that cross it, you can generally detect some subtle indications that you've entered a new municipality. There may be a change in the way the houses are numbered. Or you might notice a difference in the appearance of fire hydrants, manhole covers, or other elements of the streetscape. Most reliably, you can usually spot different styles of street signs (and often parking and traffic signs as well) on either side of the border.

In the case above, however, the street signs fail the test. I took this photo on Beach 2nd Street in Lawrence, Nassau County. The nearest intersection, Beach 2nd and Seagirt Avenue, is also in Lawrence, but it has NYC-style street signs rather than Lawrence-style signs. (Because of the area's odd geography, Beach 2nd and Seagirt Ave is an unusually isolated intersection. While the nearest intersection in NYC is one short block away at Beach 3rd and Seagirt Ave, you have to head south over the Atlantic Beach Bridge to reach the next street intersection in Nassau County, and you need to travel more than three-quarters of a mile north to find the closest street intersection in Lawrence.)

While the nearby street signs may be misleading, the photo above offers a convincing piece of evidence that we have in fact entered Nassau County: the street lamp, one of six such lamps installed here on Beach 2nd Street. You can find this style of lamp scattered around Nassau, from Port Washington to Westbury to elsewhere in Lawrence and beyond, but you'll never see it in NYC.

* One sort-of exception to the highways-only rule for NYC "Welcome to" signs: As you cross into Queens from North Valley Stream (Nassau County) on Elmont Road, you'll see a "Welcome to Rosedale" sign. But you would have to know Rosedale is an NYC neighborhood to know you were entering NYC. And the sign was not put up by the city government, but by the Rosedale Civic Association.

Day 1272

The creek and the castle

June 24th, 2015



Rising over the waters of Bridge Creek like a strong cell phone signal are the four interlocking towers of the former Roy Reuther Houses, now known as the Sand Castle, a 916-unit development built in the early 1970s by the United Auto Workers to house seniors. The complex still has a large number of elderly residents, many of whom were notoriously stranded in their upper-floor apartments without working elevators, heat, electricity, or water for nearly two weeks in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Day 1272

At the edge of NYC

June 24th, 2015



"Welcome to Nassau County, America's First Suburban County"

UPDATE (Oct. 20, 2016): In classic New York fashion, Edward P. Mangano, the Nassau County executive (the head of county government), has been indicted on multiple charges stemming from an alleged bribery and kickback scheme that stretches back to the beginning of his first term in 2010.



While we're on the subject of counties, let's look at some fun statistics. Nassau's estimated population (as of July 2015) is about 1.36 million, making it the 28th most populous county in the US. Listed below are the ten most populous counties in the nation, along with some other NYC-area counties. For your reference, NYC consists of Bronx, Kings (Brookyn), New York (Manhattan), Queens, and Richmond (Staten Island) Counties. Suffolk County borders Nassau on the east and is the easternmost county on Long Island, occupying two thirds of the island, meaning it's twice the size of Nassau, Kings, and Queens Counties (which make up the rest of Long Island) combined. There are two counties other than Nassau that border NYC on land: Westchester County, north of the Bronx, and Hudson County, New Jersey, which shares an unusual border (map) with New York County on Ellis Island.



US Counties and County Equivalents Ranked by Population
(July 2015 Census Bureau estimates)

1) Los Angeles County, CA — 10,170,292
2) Cook County, IL — 5,238,216
3) Harris County, TX — 4,538,028
4) Maricopa County, AZ — 4,167,947
5) San Diego County, CA — 3,299,521
6) Orange County, CA — 3,169,776
7) Miami-Dade County, FL — 2,693,117
8) Kings County, NY — 2,636,735
9) Dallas County, TX — 2,553,385
10) Riverside County, CA — 2,361,026
11) Queens County, NY — 2,339,150
20) New York County, NY — 1,644,518
24) Suffolk County, NY — 1,501,587
26) Bronx County, NY — 1,455,444
28) Nassau County, NY — 1,361,350
47) Westchester County, NY — 976,396
97) Hudson County, NJ — 674,836
144) Richmond County, NY — 474,558

You can see a full list here.



Now let's look at the nation's most densely populated counties and county equivalents.



US Counties and County Equivalents Ranked by Population Density
(Data from 2010 census; density given in people per square mile of land area)

1) New York County, NY — 69,468.4
2) Kings County, NY — 35,369.2
3) Bronx County, NY — 32,903.3
4) Queens County, NY — 20,553.6
5) San Francisco County, CA — 17,179.2
6) Hudson County, NJ — 13,731.4
7) Suffolk County, MA — 12,415.6
8) Philadelphia County, PA — 11,379.5
9) District of Columbia — 9,856.5
10) City of Alexandria, VA — 9,314.3
11) Richmond County, NY — 8,030.3
20) Nassau County, NY — 4,704.8
54) Westchester County, NY — 2,204.7
83) Suffolk County, NY — 1,637.4

The full list is here.

Day 1272




It's not entirely clear what information this old dinosaur is supposed to convey. Located on Seagirt Boulevard in Queens, it can't be a You're-Entering-Atlantic-Beach sign. You still have to drive another quarter-mile before you leave NYC, and then it's another quarter mile beyond that to reach the bridge that leads to Atlantic Beach.

There is a split in the road up ahead. By going right, you can take the Nassau Expressway south over the bridge to Atlantic Beach. Staying left puts you on the Nassau Expressway heading north, the way you'd go if you were trying to get to Manhattan. So perhaps the sign is simply informing drivers of two primary destinations that can be reached depending on which option they choose at the split. If that is the case, however, the sign would seem to be pretty worthless without any directional indications. (Drivers are not dependent on this sign for navigation; there are more modern signs located up ahead.)

Until relatively recently, there was another old sign of a similar size and structure located about 300 yards up the road. I don't know what it originally said; by 2010, there was a very faded wooden sign pointing the way to New York (meaning, presumably, Manhattan) that appeared to be nailed on top of the original sign. If you drive (or walk) by today, however, all you'll see remaining is a bent post that looks like it may have been hit by a car and decapitated.

Day 1272

No and No

June 24th, 2015



Prohibited activities at the Atlantic Beach Bridge