Category Archives: Nothing But New York

Union Squared

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Though Union Square can be overrun with tourists and skate kids, when the sun comes out, they really are the centerpiece of the park. The park is one of the best places to people watch. I wouldn’t say it is full of fashionistas like other haunts in New York, but there is a definite trendy edge to the many denizens of Union Square.

I am always on the lookout for cool statues, and the famous faces of Lincoln and Washington give stability to the chaotic nature of the park on a sunny day. Their stoic bronze faces peer through the endless buildings to the south. Their dark figures are the perfect contrast to the endless blue sky.

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I spotted some kids boxing on the east end of the park and snapped a few pictures of the faux scuffle. I am more partial towards martial arts, but they made such a fuss with their crowd of friends, I couldn’t help but capture the moment. What I would give to come back as Puerto Rican child in New York!

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The skater kids on the west side of the park were ever so cool. Wisps of cigarette smoke permeated the area. Feet covered in Vans and Chucks shuffled about. I always liked red Chucks.

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I was about to be ran over by a guy who was skateboarding nearby as I wandered about with my camera, but I narrowly avoided a cement-laden demise and caught a cool blurry photo of him zipping past.

The sun is here my friends, finally. Go out into your parks and enjoy the warmth we have been waiting for!

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NYE = Emeri + Me

Emeri and I spent New Year’s Eve together, and brought in the class and sass for the new year. Neither of us really felt like being jam packed into the parties we had been invited to, although the rooftop party in Herald Square sounded tempting. The intimate bar at Mother Burger called our names instead ( and later Empanada Mama ).

We took naps throughout the day and took our time going into The City. We collided with some obnoxious revelers on the way to Midtown, but paid them little mind once we got past the brouhaha. The police were out in full force, but you already know we spotted the cute ones and kept it moving.

In true New York style, Emeri and I went out in a color palette that was mostly black and form fitting ( because we can). She rocked some stylish stockings and I kept it cute with my favorite woven tie. Juan had hooked me up with an unnaturally fresh line a couple days before, and Em and I got our nails did the night before to look our best.

Upon arrival at MB, there was a combination of squeals of delight from our favorite bartender, Jess, Emeri, and I. We were so hyped to ring in the new year together at our favorite spot. Denise made sure that the appropriate jams were played, and the spot was abuzz with laughter.

Jess introduced us to the new bartender there, Tim, and he got acquainted with us and our favorite drink: The Blue Happy Trail.

Once we had our fill, we said goodbye to our friends and welcomed the new year, and several empanadas at Empanada Mama. Somehow we made it back home with all our belongings and shambled into bed safely, to wake up much, much later and greet the first light of 2012.

Bless us friends and this new year!

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Impatiently Waiting for One WTC

Years ago a promise was made that 104 stories of glass and steel would rise from  the deepest wound in modern American history, and One World Trade Center is slowly making good on that promise.

On Christmas I saw the new tower gleaming in the night and wondered just how tall it was getting. I wandered down to see just how much progress had been made. On one hand, I find it outrageous that it is still not finished after ten years. On the other, I don’t want it to dwarf my favorite ziggurat, the Empire State Building.

I hear the tower is supposed to reach a height of 1776 feet, and that a new floor is being added every week. Quite the feat indeed. I also hear Conde Nast will be its anchor tenant, complete with its fleet of limousines. 4 Times Square is another one of my favorite buildings, so I wonder what will replace the floors Conde Nast, Vogue, and GQ occupy when they move downtown.

So many hopes, wishes, and fears rest with this tower. It will change the skyline of New York and the face of Lower Manhattan for decades to come. One tower replacing two doesn’t seem like enough closure at first, but when you think about it, New York just needs one symbol to stand taller than all the rest.

One World Trade Center.

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Windows into Winter Wonder

It has been a good long while since I shared with you, but there is never a better time to share than the holidays. This year my family asked me to send them photos of New York at Christmas time, particularly of the window displays that the department stores are known for here.

Bergdorf’s lavish windows put all other displays on 5th Avenue to shame, year after year. Animals are a common theme in their windows all year round, and their holiday displays really let the entire menagerie out.

Lovely ladies adorned in shimmering outfits posed up and down the windows on the block, bedecked in jewels and surrounded by animal companions of many a species.

The air was crisp and cool on Christmas eve, and though there were more people around me than I enjoyed, the mood was so light, I hardly noticed the crowd with my holiday playlist on—thanks to Spotify.

I walked over to Rockefeller Center to take photos of The Tree just in time before a crowd of people exited the ice rink. The Tree seemed a bit taller this year, than the one from last year, and as usual it smiled proudly above the statue of Prometheus. Lee Lawrie’s art deco sculptures are to Rockefeller what the sphinxes are to Egypt.

Especially Atlas, who holds up the heavenly spheres, and who faces St. Patrick’s Cathedral directly across 5th Avenue. Something makes this particular statue seem as if Atlas could walk off with the world on his shoulders at any moment.

I ventured across to St. Patrick’s just in time for a late service, and found myself in quite the crowd underneath the vaulted ceilings. As expected, the music sounded more funerary than celebratory, and clashed with the bright mood people came in with.

From there, I headed down to Herald Square to see how Macy’s windows compared to Bergdorf’s. I had passed them once about a week ago, and caught a glimpse of them, but the tourists made me think twice about stopping. On this occasion though, I stayed a while and was really taken by the intricate puppets that twirled, danced, and glowed in the lights.

There wasn’t anything especially commercial about most of the displays, which was reassuring, and there seemed to be a high level of craftsmanship that went into everything from cogs, baubles, and puppets galore.

Having shot the stuffed animals at the American Museum of Natural History before made taking pictures of the window displays simple. No flashes. Longer exposures. Steady hands. Patience.

No Christmas in New York is complete without a photo of the Empire State Building.

Happy Holidays everyone!

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One Season Fades into the Next

This summer was quite odd. It went by faster than normal, was hotter than normal, but was also much more beautiful than I remember any other summer being.

The greens seemed that much greener. Could have been all the rain we had. Then again, after reading “Gaia’s Revenge,” it could have just been a warning signal from Mother Nature. That book taught me that we are on borrowed time because our planet will parse down our population down to less than a billion to maintain equilibrium. More on that another time though. But yes, so much greener this year.

On a similar note, the weather here this summer was prone to fits of fury, Irene anyone? Though she turned out to be nothing more than a glorified tropical storm, and excuse for me to stay in bed, she made for the most brilliant skyscapes and sunsets.

When the weather was sunny, I saw couples dancing at Union Square, and I thought that was one of the most beautiful moments I had seen in a long time. Something about old people being together forever seems so foreign and endearing to my rabbit-like self. Speaking of that, I found out that I have the ability to make the sun shine by getting it in. No, seriously, ask mt friend Hjordys who also helped contribute to the good weather. She is my fellow source of the sunshine.

I met lots of new people this summer, and took obligatory photos of boys ( and girls ) all summer long.

Yes, lord.

In the end though, I am looking forward to busting out with my cardigans, coats, and boots this fall. I don’t mind the sun setting a little sooner either. That just makes me sit my ass inside and get the sleep that I need to function. I have a great feeling about this fall, and I know it will be particularly festive very soon.

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A Happy Thing Indeed: Mets 5 – Cubs 4

Carrie did something really nice for Carlos and I last week. She gave Carlos two tickets she had for the Mets game on Friday. I was just finishing up a document I had been working on all day when Carlos called and asked if I wanted to go to the game. I am not really a fan of the Mets, but I do love to go to baseball games, so of course I sped up my workflow and finished up early in time to catch the game. Luckily, I had randomly taken my camera with me to work, thinking I’d snap a few things at lunch (which didn’t happen, as I went to Chipotle and ATE).

We met up at Court Square and then took the 7 train to Citi Field and realized just how beautiful the day was. The sun was fading into the night, there was a cool breeze, and we were at a baseball game with great seats.

Our first order of business was food, because we were both starved. Conveniently, the Pepsi Porch that we had seats in, has its own section for food. We hardly had to stray a few yards from our seats to grab a hot dogs, onion rings, and drinks. When we found our way to our seats, we were blown away by how lucky we were. We had a perfect view of the game from the Excelsior level at right field!

I can’t pretend to know anyone’s batting average, or even half the starting lineup for any team in particular, but after having my dad take me to baseball games throughout growing up, I at least understand how the game works and some of who is who. Growing up a Mariner’s fan and remembering Randy Johnson in all the Eagle Hardware ads, and remembering when Ken Griffey Jr. was a Mariner (the first time) always makes going to any game fun to watch.

Carlos is a huge Mets fan, like his father, and was decked out in full real-boy Mets fan regalia: Mets snapback, Mets Jersey, and of course, matching sneakers. Its fun to see him get excited over the team. I got excited after seeing some of them up and close on the big screen that was to our left. Clap your hands if you see Angel Pagan or David Wright!

Whenever someone Dominican was at bat, of course they had Spanish music playing to signal their entrance, so hearing “Na de Na” come on was fun. Maybe I am the only one who knows who that song is? At any rate, being at a baseball game is as much about the total experience of actively watching the game, getting hyped or angry, and paying WAY too much for food. It is pure Americana, and Citi Field presents the game in a beautiful setting that is fun any time during baseball season. Every seat is a good seat, even the nosebleeds, as I would know from having a nosebleed there earlier in the season.

Oh, before I forget, the Mets got it together and pulled a victory at the last minute with a score of 5-4. Go Mets! Never thought I would type that, but you can’t help get excited for them when they play a good game!

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Sip n’ See Festivities

 

My amazingly beautiful and talented friends, Dimia and Bobby, combined their powers and had a birthday brunch/Sip ‘n’ See at Essex last Saturday. It was as entertaining as it was epic.

A Sip ‘n’ See, you see, is a festivity meant to show off a newborn and celebrate life itself. At least I think thats what NeNe Leakes from Housewives of Atlanta was really trying to get at? Anyways, Bobby and Dimia christened their imaginary child Apollo at brunch and we celebrated all their births in high style.

The usual suspects were there, such as Michael, Amber, and Alexis, but there was probably three dozen more to round out the crowd that we had going on. The seating arrangement that we had at Essex was spread out about the upper level, and we had a great view of the whole place, including the rather boring party at the other end of the building.

The food there was great and everything, but the constant flow of screwdrivers, mimosas, strawberry bellinis, and bloody marys really got the party started. I had more than my fill of sips, and saw quite a bit from my central vantage point, but how I managed to capture such great photos while slightly jollier than usual is beyond me.

Dimia and Bobby have an absolutely amazing constellation of friends, and everyone got along and was interesting to talk to and laugh with. There were big hats, nice shoes, and all kinds of great style to go along with the great smiles.

We kept the party going until the staff at Essex was more than done with us, and I think I had the last of the screwdrivers that were served. Oops. Baby Apollo even got to taste what was going on at the party, as any true child of the world should. Is there even a drinking age in Europe?

I am infinitely blessed to be surrounded by friends that are so much and do so much. I wish Dimia and Bobby all the best this year! Yayyyy!

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