Greenpoint, October, 2015

Monday, November 30, 2015

Shadow Bagging

Traffic crawls to a stop through Williamsburg on a breezy late November day.
Bags and shadows

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Arches and Towers

The Brooklyn-side towers for the new Kosciuszko Bridge are already in place. Will the day come when the BQE traffic is light enough for a quick drive-through on the way to Queens?

Monday, November 23, 2015

Żywiec Redux

After an absence of over a year, the Żywiec beer bottle reappeared on the BQE-facing side of the Conch Umbrella building. Na zdrowie!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Ear Candy

How did I miss it? So many times driving on Forest Avenue coming into Port Richmond where things get a little run down, a little gritty, a little OTB (closed, of course).
There are only two storefronts on Barrett Street. One of them, Philip's Candy of Coney Island, just made it into the Store Front II: A History Preserved: The Disappearing Face of New York (Karla & James Murray), the second large-format book of photographs of classic NYC storefronts. They have a good story, having transplanted their longtime Coney Island (est. 1930) to Staten Island in 2003 after the MTA evicted businesses under the Sitwell train terminal for a remodeling project.
But Majors Records may have an even more amazing survival story. Majors was established in 1971--what a year that must have been for record stores! They hung on for 43 years until a rent hike in the Pathmark plaza threatened demise. After a story about the store's closing appeared in the Staten Island Advance, the owners got eight offers for new space, including the one they moved into on Barrett Street. (Read Advance story on reopening here.)

Lots of CDs, used and reconditioned DVDs, and newly minted vinyl but the real attraction are the racks of records--original release vinyl, some used, some new and never opened--that make up the back end of the store. Neil Sedaka, Helen Reddy, Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan, a superb collection of Joan Jett records. And those orange price tags that I haven't seen for decades. Dig it.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Monday, November 16, 2015

We Still Have Ignition

Checked out For a New World to Come: Experiment in Japanese Art and Photography, 1988-1979 at Grey Art Gallery in Japan. Lots of good, grainy stuff here. One photograph (emulsion) caught my eye. Deadend Street from 1978 by Kunié Sugiura. It didn't look like Tokyo... It looked like, well, Queens.
Sure enough... Take a closer look and you'll see a sign for Manhattan Ignition Corp. Look it up, 4517 Davis St. in Long Island City. It's still in the book. I knew I had to check it out.
Not much has changed. For some reason, we no longer put the "Street" on the "Dead End Street" sign. Strunk & White would be pleased.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


The Atlantic Avenue exit, a favorite.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Wedding Photo

Cleaning out the BTB photo archives, I came across this shot from exactly a year ago. A far cry from this year's crisp November.

Mazel tov!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Wheel Wash

Weirdly warm November day on 35th St. outside the CUNY Graduate Center (formerly B. Altman's). Not sure it justifies opening a hydrant. But it does provide a free wheel wash.
I'm not 100% but I think the dog vendor may have set up there to pick up the Twitter traffic. Or maybe there were too many carts already around Rockefeller Center for the installing of the Christmas tree. No joke.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Lyft Line

"The most affordable ride in town"? The MTA gives a boost to Lyft.
And I thought $6.50 was pretty good for a ride on the X1 from Central Park South to Eltingville (South Shore, Staten Island).

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Lemon Lite

Damn, but it's been a long time since Joe Ely appeared on the blog--and a lot lot longer since I saw him at the Bottom Line with a very young K.D. Laing opening. Couldn't help but think of him when I saw this scene unfolding on Forest Avenue on Staten Island. It's not exactly a "cherry on top" anymore but, then again, the Bud in the truck isn't really Bud anymore.

The call me the Crazy Lemon.
I'm crazy, wild, free for a while.
I can't help what they think, I was born that way.
I'll be a little crazy till my dyin' day.
Just a man on the run, they call the Crazy Lemon.
It's true that I stole the Budweiser truck.
I changed my mind but the truck got stuck
In a muddy ditch, so I hitched it back again.
The second car that passed had a cherry on top
But just my luck it was the first to stop.
They said with a grin, "Looky here, it's the Crazy Lemon."

From the great Down on the Drag LP (1979), though I heard it first on the equally great bonus EP that came with Live Shots (1980).

Keep on runnin', you Crazy Lemon...