Greenpoint, October, 2015

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Some Assembly Required

For about a week, these boxes (drawers, steps?) have been (mostly) neatly stacked on the Jersey barriers on the eastbound BQE just after the Kosciuszko Bridge.

(Courtesy Pace Gallery)

For some reason, it put me in mind of Louise Nevelson's work. Like this untitled piece from 1976-1978. Made me think I should brave the cold and the Chelsea scene to check out her show of collages at Pace.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Habemus Papam

Cold, clear days on the BQE have made for spectacular exhaust plumes.
Hey, it's better than snow.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wandering Apostrophe

Stuck in pothole repair traffic. The DOT giveth and the DOT taketh away. I had time to think about this bumper sticker on this car service car.
The misplaced apostrophe makes it a story. What is he (or she) wanted for? By whom? What am I supposed to do about it?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Oscar Drives

The nominees for the BTB Oscar's "Best Use of Car" category are...

The 1965 East German-made Wartburg 312/1 from the Polish film (and Oscar winner) Ida,  the vehicle for the improbable road trip of Ida (a novice nun) and her aunt (one-time state prosecutor).
The '59 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz driven by Shasta in Inherent Vice.
And the ensemble cast of early 80's police cars, Mercs, LTDs, and oil delivery trucks from A Most Violent Year, the underrated and underseen movie about oil business shakedowns and reprisals in New York City in 1981.
Note: I didn't see many movies last year, so please suggest your favorites.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Friday, February 20, 2015

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Red Fish, Blue Fish

It's Dr. Seuss time on the Arthur Kill.

Seen through the windows of the college's shuttle bus from the ferry.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Northern Boulevard

Landing at JFK at 4:21 a.m. on the coldest day of the year. Wishing I could have stayed a few days--at least--in Bogotá, where summer is just coming to an end.
Here is a display from the tractor store and the fountain from our hotel in Chia, a prosperous town just north of the city. Across the Autopista Norte, the rooftops of Chia and the mountains that surround Bogotá, which is already pretty high, at 2640 m (8661 ft) above sea level.
A Sunday afternoon walk to Usaquén, an old town incorporated into the city of Bogota, reveals a grittier (and artier) section of the Autopista.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Making Tracks

The view from a legitimate parking spot at the 7-Eleven on Victory Boulevard on Staten Island. Somebody took a short cut--between stop sign and telephone pole. My forensic skills are not good enough to say whether it was on the way to or coming from getting their Big Gulp. Another job for the boys in the Research Bureau!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Time Travel

The electronic message boards on the BQE are usually accurate about traffic delays. But they don't always get it right. This message on the westbound side appears after the Queens Boulevard exit.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Gimme Seltzer

Was it Socrates who said, "The uncarbonated life is not worth living"? You could look it up. Indisputably, one of the reasons to live within a 30-50 mile radius of New York City is the ready availability of seltzer. Beyond that lies a wasteland of sugary sodas and energy drinks.
I was sitting in a cafe on the corner of 32nd St. and Fifth Ave. yesterday, a bitterly cold day. I watched as the poor guy with the cart hit the curb, and a half-case of Canada Dry seltzer cans spilled out. He reboxed them and was on his way. Somebody is going to open one of those cans.... That's show business....

For more seltzer, have a look at Seltzer Works, Jessica Edward's short documentary about Gomberg Seltzer Works in Canarsie, the last old school New York City seltzer maker.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Greenish Man Group

The MTA's etiquette campaign is underway. The color coding is clear. Good people are green, like the nice man offering his seat to the pregnant lady. (The gray guy with a tie looks a bit embarrassed, don't you think?)

Bad people are red, like the dude spreading his legs. (Again, the gray guy with the tie serves as witness.) And MTA employs are blue. But how do you depict someone who's not feeling well?

Without making other passengers feel the same way? So just remember:

Be green.
Don't be red.
Trust blue.
Most of us are gray.
Hope you never feel greenish.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Orange Gray Day

The Staten Island Ferry approaches the St. George terminal. The Verrazano Narrows Bridge is barely discernible through the sleet.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Bridges on the Brain

I just finished watching the first season of The Bridge (Broen, Bron), the fine Danish-Swedish police drama. The joint investigation is initiated by the discovery of a body at the exact midpoint of thØresund bridge, which connects Malmo, Sweden, and Copenhagen. The crime is grisly, the bridge beautiful. I didn't realize until the final episode that it carries not only four lanes of traffic but also a double track for InterCity express trains.

Even as we speak, the boys in the Research Bureau are cooking up a scheme for a light rail system that would course above the BQE and connect LaGuardia Airport, the Jackson Heights MTA station--crossing the new bi-level Kosciuszko Bridge--downtown Brooklyn, Sunset Park (easy-on-easy-off for banh mi), and--taking advantage of a retrofit of Verrazano Narrows Bridge--the College of Staten Island (instantly making it the most desirable CUNY campus).

Of course, if I had Saga Norén's, the Swedish detective's, yellow Porsche, I might still prefer to drive.