Day 1339


Day 1339








and peppers and tomatoes and okra and eggplants and cucuzza squash...

Amazingly, all of these plants are growing in this tiny front yard.

Day 1339

Crab apples

August 30th, 2015


Day 1339

Sidewalk grapes

August 30th, 2015



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Barberz #117

August 30th, 2015


Day 1339

Baghdad Deli & Grocery

August 30th, 2015


Day 1339

Panther on the prowl

August 30th, 2015



Ron Austin's Jaribu System of martial arts

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When this former community center opened in 1925, it featured a 1,200-seat theater, a 700-seat auditorium, and a six-lane bowling alley. Here's a picture from the building's early days showing the theater marquee (1924's The Price She Paid, starring Alma Rubens, was playing at the time) and the entrance to the bowling alley.

Judging from this 1993 photo, the theater was still showing movies at least as recently as 1992 (the year White Men Can't Jump was released). The building was purchased by its current occupant, New Greater Bethel Ministries, in 1993.

Day 1339

Sprawling curbside deliriant

August 30th, 2015





Datura

Day 1339

QUEENS VILLAGE OFFICE

August 30th, 2015



Now a Crapital One, this was for many years a branch of the Jamaica Savings Bank.

Day 1339

Barberz #118

August 30th, 2015


Day 1339

Overhead squash alert

August 30th, 2015



This guy's squash vines have escaped his yard by climbing into the branches of the adjacent street trees. In other words, while walking down the sidewalk, I could have reached up into a cherry tree and plucked out a squash.

You can take a closer look at this photo here. The guy told me he calls these plants Caribbean squash; I think they may be some variety of long melon.

Day 1339

Radial eggplant

August 30th, 2015


Day 1339

An abundance of celosia

August 30th, 2015



Celosia can be found blooming in gardens across the city in a range of bright colors. The flower heads often look like feathery flames (as we've seen) or spiky bottle brushes, but there is also a popular variety, pictured above, whose heads are curled up like brains, the result of fasciation.

Celosia is grown as an ornamental here in the US, but, as its nickname "Lagos spinach" suggests, it's an important food crop in parts of Africa:

It is one of the leading leaf vegetables in south-western Nigeria . . . It is extremely important as well in southern Benin, also popular in Togo, Ghana and Cameroon, and recorded as a vegetable from several other West and Central African countries. . . .

Celosia is primarily used as a leafy vegetable. The leaves and tender stems are cooked into soups, sauces or stews with various ingredients including other vegetables such as onions, hot pepper and tomato, and with meat or fish and palm oil. Celosia leaves are tender and break down easily when cooked only briefly. The soup is consumed with the staple food of maize, rice, cassava or yam. The young inflorescences are also eaten as a potherb.
I've come across translations of the plant's name in a few different African languages:

Soko yòkòtò in Yoruba means "make husbands fat and happy" or “the vegetable that makes your husband’s face rosy".

Eri ami onu in Igbo means "you eat you suck your fingers" or "licking your lips while eating".

And one more, with a little extra info:
They propagate easily, require little care, and often reseed themselves year after year. Kaphikautesi, a name used for this plant in Malawi, means "eaten by lazy ones," a recognition that not only are the plants easy to produce but that they cook quickly and with little fuss or fuel.

Day 1339

Black cherry tree

August 30th, 2015



Prunus serotina

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WELCOME

August 30th, 2015


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1963 Cadillac Fleetwood

August 30th, 2015


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Proud to be an American

August 30th, 2015


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I've come across banana plants in people's gardens here in New York before, but this is the first time I've ever seen one bearing fruit.

Day 1339

Protesting canine rentals?

August 30th, 2015


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Bernadette and Mary

August 30th, 2015



Our Lady of Lourdes

This is the Bethsaida Spirituality Center at Our Lady of Lourdes Church.

Day 1339

Lucky sewer inlet

August 30th, 2015


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According to some people gathered at the house, this sign is celebrating the birth of a couple's first child — after 20 years of marriage.

Day 1339

Barberz: Honorable mention

August 30th, 2015



This one doesn't qualify for full barberz status because the z-in-lieu-of-an-s (Queens Hottest Cutz) is not part of the barbershop's name.

Day 1339

Helical brickwork

August 30th, 2015



Day 1339

Queens Village solar

August 30th, 2015


Day 1339

Find the gourds

August 30th, 2015



If you look closely, you can spot four big pumpkin-like gourds and another that resembles a giant zucchini.

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Bricks in concrete

August 30th, 2015



A second hexagon, partially visible above, can be found on the other side of the tree.

Day 1339




This sign states that the fine for illegal dumping can range from $600 to $12,500. An older version of the sign, visible on the reverse side, dates from a time when the upper limit was a mere $1,500. I don't know when that was, but I did find an NY Times article that says the maximum fine was raised from $2,500 to $12,500 on January 1, 1985.



Now even the newer sign is out of date. The current range of fines for illegal dumping is $1,500 to $20,000.

Day 1339

EXPWY NO, PKWY OK

August 30th, 2015



This sign on Whitehall Terrace is attempting to communicate to drivers that they can take an immediate right onto the ramps to the Grand Central Parkway, but are not allowed to cross the striped-out median area to turn right onto the Clearview Expressway ramp.

What's especially weird about this situation is that vehicles heading west on Whitehall Terrace, like the car above, encounter no indications, other than this cryptic sign, that they're approaching the Grand Central Parkway and are about to be forced onto it. Whitehall Terrace is just a little local street where drivers unfamiliar with the area might end up while looking for something nearby. Hoping to stay in the neighborhood, they'd turn right at the stop sign — the only direction you're allowed to go — and suddenly find themselves having to decide within about 70 feet whether to take the eastbound or westbound ramp to a parkway they never intended to be on in the first place.

Day 1339

$10,000 per day?

August 30th, 2015



I have a hard time believing that. Let me count the reasons why:

1) It's a big number on a sign stapled to a utility pole.

2) We're in Queens Village, a neighborhood of modest homes, about a 7-mile drive away from where the US Open is played in Flushing Meadows. There are enough fancier areas located closer to the tennis center to satisfy whatever minimal demand there may be among the super-rich for $10,000/day housing options that are not in Manhattan.

3) This sign was put up by, or is at least almost identical to signs previously put up by, a company called Major Event Rentalz. With a name like that, I'm automatically suspicious, unless they're cutting my hair.

4) Major Event Rentalz is one of a number of similar companies (including the purportedly unrelated Major Event Rentals) that promise you big bucks for renting out your home, but make you pay a hefty sum up front for listing your place. If that sounds shady to you, you probably won't be surprised to learn that the State of Indiana sued Major Event Rentalz and another company in 2012 for ripping people off in the lead-up to that year's Super Bowl in Indianapolis by charging them high fees and never finding them renters.

Day 1339

One ripe tomato

August 30th, 2015





can be spotted in this teeming backyard garden alongside figless fig trees (following a rough winter, it looks like it's gonna be another sad year for figs), pole beans, and a zillion peaches.

Day 1339

No Transpasing

August 30th, 2015



It's the cool new version of trespassing.

At right is the Jamaica Lampshade Corporation, which was founded in 1953 and is "one of the oldest manufacturers of lamp shades in the country", according to its sign and website, respectively.

Day 1339

Original Master Hair Cutter

August 30th, 2015



That's the Haitian coat of arms painted on the far right side of the sign (zoom in). Two years ago, this shop had a different sign, similar in its homemade appearance but without the coat of arms.

Day 1339

DELI FOR BIG BELLY

August 30th, 2015



Whether you currently possess a big belly or are looking to develop one in the future, this is the deli for you.

(Post sponsored by Chubcorp Enterprises LLC.)

Day 1339

Portal of the day

August 30th, 2015


Day 1339

HAPPY 2014

August 30th, 2015



HAPPY 2012 also hung around for quite a while.

Day 1339

In memory of what wuz

August 30th, 2015



This awning was erected not by The Hand of God, but by a different barbershop that was previously located here. The white strip with "THE HAND OF GOD" printed on it in red is simply a decal stuck on top of the earlier establishment's name.

Employing a sophisticated technique that involved standing in front of the awning and staring at it for an exceedingly long time, I was eventually able to make out the name of the original barbershop. While the photo above doesn't appear to reveal much, the image can be manipulated to at least partially expose the former name lurking beneath the current one: Headbangaz.



It's always sad to learn of a death among the rankz of the city'z barberz, but the Bible reminds us that just as the hand of God giveth, The Hand of God taketh away.

Day 1339

Diamonds & Rust

August 30th, 2015