Saturday, March 27, 2010

Faded Painted Sign

Back in December I had wanted to photograph this wall but it was covered by a movie poster (Sherlock Holmes I think).

I was walking by one morning and there it was.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Equinox Light

The vernal equinox was on Saturday. I read about the Fallas Festival in Valencia where they burn pyres in honor of St. Joseph on March 19 (they claim it's for Saint Joseph but this sounds like another pagan celebration to me).  I thought it would be fun to build a spirit of winter and burn it in the courtyard.  But the weekend was so heartbreakingly beautiful that I spent most of it outside and my lofty plans fell by the wayside. Maybe next spring.

I did manage to take some pictures of the cuttings I am planning to use in a green guerilla project.
They are just beginning to sprout roots.  I had wanted to do something for Earth Day, but I think these plants need a little longer.
 Here is some of the pretty equinox light.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring Forward

We changed the clocks for daylight savings time last weekend, but it was hard to notice with all the rain. This trendy Nolita storefront reflecting a rainswept building pretty much sums up how I feel about changing the time so early. I don't mind summer time, I just wish it would happen later in the season so the mornings wouldn't be so dark and the weather would be nicer.
These cars reflected against the ominous decals of the window amuse me a great deal.  They are like some kind of parade of satanic shoppers.
I was taken with this cone which seemed so old and run-down compared with its sleeek modern surroundings. It gleamed nicely in the rain.
This morning the sun finally broke through the clouds after four days of gloom.
As if in support of my feeling that it is too early to spring forward, a neighbor still has Christmas lights.
Maybe I will feel more cheerful when the forsythia blooms.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Seagram Building

When I was hunting down red subway stations the other day, I passed one of my favorite buildings in midtown; the Seagram Building.

Long ago when New York was wilder, I was a foot messenger.  I always admired this building. Although it was so similar to its neighbors, it was more elegant and pleasing to look at.  I did not realize until later that it was THE Seagram Building of Mies Van Der Rohe.  This was because my image of the building came from my art history book and looked like this:
At the ground level, the plaza is the most important element and the building's monolithic presence fades
I was particularly fond of the fountains with a calming presence that would soothe out the activity from Park Avenue.
I would sit on the low marble wall and (probably) roll a cigarette, watching the water touch the edges.
 It is sad that this building inspired so many mediocre copies.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Red Subway Stations

I guess I am still in a little seventies nostalgia after contemplating the globe lights of Washington Square Park.  I love the Bowling Green subway station.  It is the first Manhattan station on the 4 or 5 from Brooklyn and it greets passengers with flame red tiles.
There is a lot of contrast with black and brushed steel, it all still looks modern.  The station after it, Wall Street, used to have intense deep blue tiles, but it has been renovated into more faux victoriana.
The surprising thing here was that a policeman waited for me to finish taking this picture before walking past.  Usually, the police in the subway want to look in my bag.  It was a nice change to have one tolerate my photography.  I was worried that they would get all paranoid (there were many, many police at the Bowling Green station).
A friend suggested that I check out the Lexington Ave/53rd St station of the F train.  At first blush it did not seem that impressive. 

The combination of the black mold and the red accent is pretty cool though.  I think this station was last worked on when the city ran out of money.  It has a kind of desperate simplicity; black paint on the bottom, white paint on top, long red stripe for color.
I do not think the mold was part of the design but I think it is kind of wonderful.
The 49th street station of the R train is another red brick affair.

 This station always reminds me of Sesame Street.
 I rather expect to find muppets hanging out on the very seventies benches.
However this picture reminds me of coming home late at night when things were a little scary.