Sunday, October 28, 2007


Yesterday, October 27th, the Parks and Recreation Department of the City of New York in association with Camp Sunshine held the First Annual Pumpkin Festival in Central Park. Rain during the early part of the day did not dampen the spirit of New Yorkers who came to the park for the festival. Featured were a pumpkin patch, farmer's market, puppets, and entertainment like the Big Apple Circus and Chris Barron. All proceeds will go towards Camp Sunshine, a retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. Jack-o'-lantern pumpkin displays were installed at Bethesda Fountain, Dead Road, the Bandshell Area, and Literary Walk. These lanterns were lit at around 5:30 PM. My favorite display was the Glow Heart pumpkins at Literary Walk.The centerpiece of the festival was an attempt to break Boston’s world record for the most simultaneously lit jack-o’-lanterns in one setting.

One of my photos appears in the NEW YORK TIMES' CITY ROOM blog at:

Saturday, October 27, 2007


These are some of the Halloween apartment window decorations in my neighborhood on the Upper East Side.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I made these images of men working atop a scaffolding on a street near Times Square last Saturday, October 20th.

Monday, October 22, 2007


New York City's more than 26,000 taxicabs get a new logo. The new logo started on a taxi prototype developed by Smart Design and other companies for the Taxi 2007 exhibit at the New York International Auto Show last spring.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


From October 20 through November 18, the NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDEN in the Bronx is exhibiting KIKU: THE ART OF THE JAPANESE CHRYSANTHEMUM. It is the most extensive display of chrysanthemums grown in the Imperial style outside of Japan. For the past 5 years, horticulturists at the NY Botanical Garden have engaged in a cultural exchange with Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden in Tokyo, Japan to perfect the skills necessary for cultivating and exhibiting chrysanthemums.

The exhibition is very impressive. For me, the most fascinating is the OZUKURI or "thousand blooms," in which a single plant has been trained to produce 300 or more perfect flowers on a complex frame or scaffold. There are also single large blossoms balanced atop as tall stem. Also on exhibit are cascades of small flowers grown on and supported by a bamboo and wire framework.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Earlier today, I encountered a group of people dressed as zombies walking on Fifth Avenue. They are part of Zombiecon, a New York City tradition that occurs a week before Halloween, when people dress up as zombies and "terrorize" Manhattan. This is their third annual ghoulish spree of shopping, bar-hopping and horrifying Manhattan street theatrics.



Having posted photos of shirtless male models/greeters at the Abercrombie and Fitch Flagship Store on Fifth Avenue (see October 12 posting), I thought it's amusing to feature IMPROVEVERYWHERE's latest mission. Last October 13th, 111 shirtless men (they're not models of course) caused a scene at the store when they shopped shirtless. Very funny.

From the ImprovEverywhere website:
Improv Everywhere causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places. Created in August of 2001 by Charlie Todd, Improv Everywhere has executed over 60 missions involving hundreds of undercover agents. The group is based in New York City.

Friday, October 19, 2007


This is a view from the Top of the Rock last night showing the EMPIRE STATE BUILDING lit up in yellow to symbolize the importance of the afterschool program.

Scheduled activities from the AFTERSCHOOL ALLIANCE website:

New York, New York: Afterschool Ambassador Megan Demarkis, Harlem RBI’s Real Kids Program, 212-722-1608, On October 17th from 4:30-6:30 PM, Harlem RBI’s Real Kids Program and Nike will host a Lights On Afterschool event at Roberto Clemente Elementary School. A celebrity athlete, a community leader, and a parent will receive a Roberto Clemente Afterschool Hero Award, and students will discuss why afterschool is important. Hispanic Heritage Month will be incorporated into the theme. The event will conclude with a family meal and Nike giveaways. Students, parents, staff and the media are invited. More than 250 people will attend.

New York, New York: Katha Cato, Henry Street Settlement, 212-766-9200, The Henry Street Settlement will hold a letter-writing campaign at all five of its afterschool sites on October 18th from 4:30-5:30 PM. Children, parents, school staff and community members will draw or write messages to about the importance of afterschool. Parents will also sign individual letters and postcards about the great need for these programs. Organizers will send messages and letters to elected officials in an effort to bring greater awareness about the importance of afterschool. More than 700 people are expected.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Temperatures still inch toward the mild fall range these past few days, and leaves haven't changed colors. I am just enjoying the unseasonably mild weather in the middle of October. Above is an image that I made of foliage on a wall outside a wine store on Columbus Avenue on the Upper Westside.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I took this photo of a sculpture, mounted on a truck and displayed in SOHO last September 8. Created by sculptor SERGIO FURNARI, this piece is called "Lunchtime on a Skyscraper - A Tribute to American Heroes." The sculpture was inspired by a famous vintage black and white photograph of iron workers taking a lunchtime break while building Rockefeller Center in 1932.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


The Battery Bosque Park in Lower Manhattan features a circular stone fountain with 35 in-ground illuminated jets patterned in a spiral, designed by Weisz + Yoes Architecture. I made the pictures of the fountain (above) with the Statue of Liberty in the background when I visited the CultureFest last weekend in Battery Park.

The Bosque (literally, a “small wooded area”) has shady benches and ornamental gardens. The 3.75-acre rebuilt bosque, located to the east of Castle Clinton in Battery Park, also features new lighting, Luis Sanguino's bronze sculpture, The Immigrants, a refreshment kiosk, crushed-stone pathways that tie together the park's monuments and promenade.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Last Sunday was the 43rd Annual HISPANIC DAY PARADE on 5th Avenue from 44th Street to 72nd Street. The Hispanic Day Parade is in celebration of Hispanic unity and the cultural and social diversity of the groups that fit under that one label.The Sunday Parade along Fifth Avenue is the highlight of the New York Hispanic Parade events. There was extensive media coverage by way of live and delayed telecast, English and Spanish television, and live radio coverage. Like other parades, there is an impressive number of colorful community contingencies, floats, marching bands and musical groups which provides a festive and lively mood to the parade.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


It's the seventh annual CULTUREFEST (, a free outdoor celebration of New York City's magnificent and diverse cultural offerings, held on Saturday and Sunday, October 13 and 14 at Lower Manhattan's BATTERY PARK. More than 125 cultural organizations participated with individual booths to share the magic of the upcoming season with New Yorkers and tourists. This spectacular festival of music, art, dance, hands-on activities, entertainment and food is a once-a-year opportunity to discover all of New York City culture for the whole family.

Above are some snapshots from the event, from the tents of the HISTORIC RICHMOND TOWN (Staten Island), the METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART, and buttons with names of the different New York City neighborhoods.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Abercrombie and Fitch Flagship Store Fifth Avenue Store Greeters/Models: Most viewed Flickr images

Of all the images that I have posted on FLICKR, these photos that I took of some of the ABERCROMBIE & FITCH greeters/models at the A & F FIFTH AVENUE FLAGSHIP STORE are among the most viewed.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


A dog walker on the steps of the Bethesda Terrace in Central Park one early Sunday morning.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


This is an image that I made recently of the mosaic at STRAWBERRY FIELDS, the section in Central Park dedicated to the memory of JOHN LENNON. Today is LENNON's birthday.


Strawberry Fields is a 2.5 acre landscaped section in New York's Central Park that is dedicated to the memory of musician John Lennon, and named after his song, "Strawberry Fields Forever". It was designed by Bruce Kelly (1948-1993), the chief landscape architect for the Central Park Conservancy. Strawberry Fields was inaugurated on Lennon's birthday, 9 October 1985, by his widow Yoko Ono, who had underwritten the project.

The entrance to the memorial is located on Central Park West at West 72nd Street, directly across from the Dakota Apartments, where Lennon lived for the latter part of his life and where he was murdered. The memorial is a triangular piece of land falling away on the two Park sides, and its focal point is a circular pathway mosaic of inlaid stones, a reproduction of a mosaic from Pompeii, made by Italian craftsmen as a gift from the city of Naples. In the center of the mosaic is a single word, the title of Lennon's famous song: "Imagine". Along the borders of the triangular area surrounding the mosaic are benches which are endowed in memory of other individuals and maintained by the Central Park Conservancy. Along a path toward the southeast, a plaque lists the nations which contributed to building the memorial. Yoko Ono, who keeps apartments in The Dakota, contributed over a million dollars for the landscaping and for the upkeep endowment.
It is not uncommon for the memorial to be covered with flowers, candles in glasses, and other belongings left behind by Lennon fans. On Lennon's birthday (October 9th) and on the anniversary of his death (December 8th), people gather to sing songs and pay tribute, staying late into what is often a cold night.

Sunday, October 7, 2007


It's street fair season from May through October in Manhattan. Every warm-weather weekend brings multiple street fairs that offer opportunities to explore new neighborhoods, sample different kinds of food and drinks, and browse for bargains for clothing, accessories, plants and household gadgets. Some fairs feature live entertainment. Above is a scene at the street fair on 7th Ave, between 47th and 57th Streets last September 22nd.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


Summer is gone and gourds are everywhere. Above is an image of small gourds (Cucurbitaceae family, Genus Lagenaria) from our local supermarket.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


The TRANZFORMERZ, a popular group of street performers from the BRONX in the middle of their performance in front of the NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY last September 23rd.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


I made these pictures of SKELETON LEAVES from rubber tree (Ficus elastica) purchased from The Container Store. Skeleton leaves are prepared by soaking fresh leaves in bleached water for a few weeks, then rubbing the green substance off gently without damaging the delicate network of veins.

Monday, October 1, 2007


Earlier this evening, I joined the big crowd on Fifth Avenue to watch the short but spectacular fireworks and light show at THE PLAZA. The legendary New York landmark celebrates its 100th anniversary today. The outdoor celebration was hosted by actor MATTHEW BRODERICK and included PAUL ANKA's performance of "My Way." A 12-foot cake replica of THE PLAZA was on display outside. Above are some of my capture of the fireworks from the windows of the Fifth Avenue side of the legendary hotel during the festivities, but my poor technique did not do justice to the mesmerizing pyrotechnics.

The PLAZA reamains closed for renovations and will reopen as part condo/part hotel early next year. It's been written that the Plaza has now opened online reservations, with rooms starting at $755 a night from January 1, 2008. Yitzhak Tshuva's Elad Properties bought The Plaza for $675 million three years ago to convert it partially into multimillion-dollar condos. A compromise brokered by City Hall saved hundreds of hotel jobs, and the city Landmarks Preservation Commission designated several of The Plaza's interior spaces as landmarks that could not be destroyed.

Many of the world's rich and famous stayed at The Plaza through the decades, and dozens of movies have been filmed there, including "North by Northwest," "Funny Girl" and "Barefoot in the Park." "It's synonymous with celebrity," said Ward Morehouse III, author of "Inside The Plaza." "Duke Ellington liked to stay there. Stevie Wonder. Marlene Dietrich lived there," Morehouse added. "Frank Lloyd Wright lived there during the construction of the Guggenheim." The Beatles took a whole wing at The Plaza in 1964, and Capote hosted his Black and White Ball, hyped as the party of the century, there in 1966. Author Kay Thompson enchanted readers with her tales about Eloise, a little girl who lived at The Plaza with her nanny.

Designed by Henry Hardenbergh, The Plaza is styled on a French Renaissance structure that evokes a chateau and sits on the southeastern corner of Central Park.