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01/30/18 - Newark Airport to Seattle

We had an early flight out of Newark. The airport is in an industrial and shipping area and looked surreal in the early morning light.

Terminal B at Newark

Airplane and arch bridge

Cargo cranes

The Manhattan skyline

More cargo cranes

Take off

Early light

Just fifteen minutes later, the light had changed.

Then we were flying home over the snow covered Rocky Mountains.

Keywords: new york city


01/29/18 - New York City - 8

We went to two museums on our last day in the city. At the Museum of Art and Design, we saw a rather touching exhibit Unpacking the Green Book. The Green Book was a guide for African-American motorists first published in 1936. It listed hotels, restaurants and other facilities for motorists and travelers who were not allowed to use the hotels, restaurants or other facilities available. There was a whole parallel world of places where one could explore and still be safe and welcome. The last issue of the guide was published in 1967 after the Civil Rights Act was passed.

There was also a more light hearted exhibit mixing electronic art and sound, Sonic Arcade. Then, we went on to the American Museum of Natural History for some comforting time with the dinosaurs and marine mammals.


A sight and sound jukebox

Another jukebox that looks like a pastry tray

The Sonic Arcade, like living in an old fashioned video game

Marine mammals

One of the dinosaurs

The Green Book

One of the collages in Unpacking the Green Book, a safe place

Keywords: new york city


01/28/18 - New York City - 7

We took a long ride through Times Square and then out to Brooklyn for dinner at Peter Luger in Williamsburg. There were policemen in full SWAT gear armed with automatic rifles across the street from Peter Luger, but they reassured us that there was nothing to worry about. Peter Luger has a reputation as an old fashioned steak house, and that reputation is completely deserved. The menu was simple, steak, fries and a few other things. We didn't notice a vegetarian special. We ordered a gigantic serving of aged porterhouse steak. It was wonderful. We ate every bit, and we gnawed the bones.

Approaching Times Square

The great white way, except with colors now

Closer to 42nd Street

More intense

Approaching the heart

Is that Pandora the music service? Why do they even have a store?

More lights and signs

Past Times Square for a glimpse of the Empire State Building in a patriotic mood

Over the Williamsburg Bridge

Across from Peter Luger

What we ordered

Keywords: new york city


01/27/18 - New York City - 6

During the day, we took a walk through Central Park, and, in the evening, we walked through Times Square.

Central Park

Alice in Wonderland

Hans Christian Anderson and the Ugly Duckling

Balto, the dog who saved Nome

A catamount

Times Square at night

More Times Square

Keywords: new york city


01/26/18 - New York City - 5

We visited the Thinking Machines exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art which highlighted art and computing from the 1950s through the 1980s. There were a lot of old favorites there including works by Ken Knowlton, the first computer animation of a hummingbird in flight and an old Thinking Machine, a highly parallel computer from the 1980s and a physical work of art in itself. Just as the industrial revolution produced its own art of the assembly line, the dynamo and internal combustion engine, the computer revolution produced art of variation and precision, the hallmarks of the computer age.

We also wandered around in the evening and took pictures of the sunset light and the city streets.


A thinking machine

Evening light

The Empire State Building at sunset

More evening light

Drama

Evening sky

Twilight

Keywords: new york city


01/25/18 - New York City - 4

Probably two thousand years ago, my grandparents moved their family from the crowded, noisy Lower East Side up to a steam heated apartment in the South Bronx. The South Bronx went through some hard times, but it has been recovering. Realtors call it SoBro, but it is not the new SoHo. The Lower East Side too went through some hard times, but it has been reviving nicely as a new trendy neighborhood.

Some stalwarts, like Katz's and Russ and Daughters are still there, along with some clothing shops from back in the day when everyone worked in a sweatshop or sold clothing from a small shop or pushcart. Amazingly, Katz's seems unchanged from the 1960s, and back then one was sure that those salamis were getting sent through a time warp to our boys at Anzio or on Corregidor. The sandwiches are as good as ever. Go for the pastrami. It's a work of art.


Katz's unreconstructed

A touch of the old neighborhood

The streets were once lined with clothing like this

One of those big city conveniences one doesn't realize one needs until 2AM one morning

Pop up stores are an industry in the area

Keywords: new york city


01/24/18 - New York City - 3

Another one of our favorite walks in New York City is the Brooklyn Bridge. Usually we turn around before we actually set foot in Brooklyn, but this time we went on and explored Dumbo, Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. The Manhattan Bridge is the next bridge over from the Brooklyn Bridge.

Dumbo used to be a ratty industrial area, not far from the old Brooklyn Navy Yard. Now the waterfront has been redeveloped a bit. There's a park, new housing and lots of new businesses have taken over from the old factories and warehouses. There are still a few cobblestone paved streets, some with the old train tracks from the area's industrial days.


Heading towards the Brooklyn Bridge

A fashion shoot - we think - on the bridge

More fashion - It's an industry in this town.

The view back to Manhattan

Dumbo streets are paved with cobblestones.

A glimpse of the Manhattan Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge from the street

Another view of the Brooklyn Bridge and lower Manhattan from the park

Dynamic city - power switching station with construction across the river

Two bridges

An amateur photo shoot on the Brooklyn Bridge

Keywords: new york city


01/23/18 - New York City - 2

After the High Line, we continued our walk south along the Hudson River. This was once a working waterfront with the river blocked off by piers and warehouses and the sky blocked off by the elevated highway above. Now it's a park running along the river, and one of our favorite places in the city.

The view south to the new World Trade Center

The Holland Tunnel ventilation system and some of New Jersey

Urban gardens

You can almost forget you are in the city,

at least for a few seconds at a time.

Another skating rink

The Palm Court, a great resting spot along the way

Keywords: new york city


01/22/18 - New York City - 1

We just returned from a trip to New York City to spend time with friends and family and to just wander around and enjoy a serious dose of urban life. We did the usual tourist things, wandering the streets and visiting museums. There was construction all over the place with scaffolds, cranes and construction workers. Despite all this and less visible economic forces, we were pleased to see that the urban fabric still holds.

One of the nice things about wandering the city is that it is full of surprises. Our very first evening, as it turned out, was the last evening for the Christmas tree at Bryant Park. This was once a rather disreputable park behind the main public library branch, but is now adopted seasonally. In the winter, that means an ice skating rink. It was a cold night, as you can see from the icicles on the fountain. The next night was warmer, and the Christmas tree was gone.

We took a walk along the High Line, an unusual park that was once an elevated railroad right of way. It is landscaped with grasses, but the real attraction is the unusual view it offers of the city. Well above the ground floor, one can look down at store fronts and city streets and into people's back alleys. There are glimpses of the skyline and of the Hudson River which it parallels.


The winter skating rink at Bryant Park

Michaelangelo's Brutus at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The High Line, an urban fantasia

Some snow among the ornamental grasses

Neither heaven nor earth, it's the High Line

A view into the urban fabric

An elevated park

Another city street view

Part of the vanishing industrial landscape

The new city being built

Across the Hudson

Keywords: new york city


01/05/10 - The Empire State Building

The Empire State Building was the last of the great skyscrapers of the Roaring 20s, even though it wasn't finished until 1931. As the tallest building in New York City and having opened at the start of Great Depression, it was often known as the Empty State Building. Now, it is still a building of note, though it has long been in need of a new look.

Recently, Kaleberg Construction was offered the opportunity to rebuild this landmark using more modern materials and advanced construction techniques. In fact, we were presented with a solution to the ailing building's troubles in a simple kit form. Here follow the adventures and triumphs of Kaleberg Construction from unboxing to installation, and marvel in the rebirth of a classic, just in time for our great recession.


If you aren't sure of what a prolegomenon is, see a recent posting on the classic form.

The Erector Set Empire State Building as installed on site

The classic unboxing shot - the prolegomenon.

Top down construction technology is surprisingly effective.

Work in progress

Ready for installation

Keywords: new york city, christmas, art, kale



Some of their rye bread

04/25/09 - Bell Street Bakery

Bell Street Bakery opened a while back in Sequim. We haven't made a visit yet, but we did get to try a couple of their loaves, and we've heard a bit from our friends. Their whole wheat sandwich bread was excellent, with a great grainy texture and a lot of whole wheat flavor. We made some simple sardine sandwiches, and the the bread was a perfect match. Their rye bread was also good, but being familiar with New York City style deli rye, we found it a bit sweet and lacking the sour tang of a real deli rye.

Our friends, based in Sequim, report that their root vegetable bread is great, and it uses root vegetables from Nash Huber's farm. We have to get out there and see what else is available, but so far, things look promising. The whole area is undergoing a bakery renaissance. Ever since Bonny's closed we've had to bring in fresh bread from elsewhere, but now Bell Street Bakery is open, Good To Go in Port Angeles has gotten the go ahead to fire up their oven, and there may be one or two other bakeries opening in Sequim in the near future. We live in exciting times.

Keywords: good to go, nash huber, new york city, port angeles, food


11/07/05 - Eggs, Poultry and the Plague

We were out at one of the local farms the other day to buy some eggs, and since this was a chicken farm, we also learned something about about the H5N1 virus. It was odd to consider something as mundane as buying eggs put as at the public health frontier right. It was almost something out of The Microbe Hunters. We've been buying chickens and eggs, actually first eggs, then chickens, from this farm for years, and all the while we've been taking certain things for granted. It turns out that chicken farmers are first responders, and our local chicken farmer was concerned enough to contact the State of Washington to ask them what they are doing about the risk of an epidemic and, more importantly, what he should be doing.

Washington State does have a program to test for H5N1 in eggs and poultry, so now he is awaiting instructions for sending in egg samples as part of a program to catch any H5N1 invasion early. Unlike many government programs these days, this one has money for testing, and there are plans for controlling the virus if and when it appears. Being a first responder, he asked what to do if one of his chickens dies of a respiratory ailment, and was told that they would want some samples from the dear departed. Apparently, it isn't always obvious when a chicken has a cold, or the flu. They don't sneeze the way people or dogs do. It takes a bit of watching, we were told, to realize that chickens with head colds keep their heads pitched back, most likely because this makes it easier for them to breathe.

Most of the chickens we see are in the pot, but it is nice to know that people in the State of Washington are keeping there eyes open and watching for any signs of H5N1. The first signs of West Nile virus in New York City a few years back were dead birds discovered at the Bronx Zoo. We civilians can afford to ignore a few dead birds, but with the H5N1 virus out there, it's nice to know that someone is watching out for us.

 

Keywords: birds, food, farms, new york city, washington state


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