Sunday, January 31, 2010

Upper West Side, 84th Street Between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue


Mary Sargent © 2010 ………………….…………… ………………….. click to enlarge

Yes, there are brownstones and townhouses on this block, too.  Can you spot the two identical buildings?  Well, almost identical; I think there've been a couple of changes over time.  Hint:  they're not next to each other.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Upper West Side, 84th Street Between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue


Mary Sargent © 2009 ……… ………………….. click to enlarge

This, my friends, is a church, the Church of St Matthew and St Timothy.  Now, why would anyone make a church look like this?  Because it was built in the 60s is why.  For some reason, architechture was just butt ugly in the 60s, without meaning to be.  Lincoln Center is maybe the saddest example of the architecture of this misguided decade.  We spent a lot of money to make this big impressive art center and ended up with a bunch of godawfullooking buildings that make you cringe to enter them.  Hard to explain. 

Friday, January 29, 2010

Upper West Side, 84th Street Between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue


Mary Sargent © 2009 ………………….                    … ………………….. click to enlarge

Now, walking back to Broadway on 84th Street, we see Rodeph Sholom Day School; it's around the corner from the synagogue and might even back up to it.  This is one of three locations for the day school; this one is for pre-kindergarten through first grade.  Imagine being in first grade and being top dog!  Looking down at all those babies.  When I was in first grade, that was the absolute bottom.  We looked up to the mighty sixth graders.

See map.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Upper West Side, 83rd Street at Central Park West


Mary Sargent © 2009 ………………….…………… ……..…………….. click to enlarge

Looking to the east there, at Central Park West, we see a slab of Manhattan schist, pronounced just as it's spelled, to rhyme with list.  To schist we owe our skyscrapers, because that's the foundation they stand on, and to schist we owe (when we take the time to acknowlege it) our connection with the real world.  That is, the world that would be here without us.  And was here before us. 

Well, I admit I watched the State of the Union address with a bottle of really good pinot noir, and so I'm perhaps a little more out there than usual.  Good speech, right?  I do like a good speech.

Here's a link to Rock Trails in Central Park which has an introductory paragraph on how New Yorkers don't know compass directions, and advises us to think uptown and downtown instead.  Keep going, though, and you'll find a good geological guide to rocks in Central Park.

See map.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Upper West Side, 83rd Street Between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West


Mary Sargent © 2009 ………………….…………… ………………….. click to enlarge


So I was walking along this typical Upper West Side side street with its brownstones and small apartment buildings when up ahead loomed this majestic, smooth, white, very large edifice.  It is the synagogue of the Congregation Rodeph Sholom, a Reform congregation.  You probably know that Reform Jews are the most liberal religious Jews, but maybe you'd like to know more exactly the differences between Reform, Orthodox and Conservative. Fortunately, there's Judaism 101 to help us out.  Or for a more succinct statement on Reform Judaism click here.

This congregation formed in 1842 on the Lower East Side, then moved to Lexington and 63rd Street in 1891, and finally to this location in 1930.  The building was designed by "renowned architect" Charles B. Meyers, although if he's not to be found in Wikipedia, how renowned could he be?

See map.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Upper West Side, 83rd Street Between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West

I could've taken more photographs of this glossy crimson van parked in front of the dusty rose building, but I figured I could only justify posting about three.  Aren't they delicious?



Mary Sargent © 2009 ………………….…………… ………..………….. click to enlarge







Mary Sargent © 2009 ……………………….. click to enlarge








Mary Sargent © 2009 ………………………….. click to enlarge


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Upper West Side, 83rd and Columbus Ave.


Mary Sargent © 2009 ………………….…………… ………………….. click to enlarge

Here on the north-east corner of 83rd and Columbus, is West Side Wine, which I thought was just your regular old neighborhood wine store.  Un uh.  If I'd paid more attention, I would have seen books in the window with The Wine Guy on the front.  This is The Wine Guy's home!  Well, I'd never heard of The Wine Guy either, but I've now put his book on my wish list and the next time I'm in the neighborhood, I'm definitely stopping in.

Sorry I missed my post last night.  I had a fresh cold and, I don't know about you, but one of the first symptoms I get is an overpowering urge to go to bed.  So that's what I did.  Today it's just a regular cold.


See map.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Upper West Side, 83rd Street at Columbus Avenue


Mary Sargent © 2009 ………………….. click to enlarge

There are a few benefits to shooting in winter.  Well, at least, one.  It's that trees are more interesting with bare branches.  And in this shot we also have contrast:  white branches against the dark building and dark branches against the sky.

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I just reedited the two photos I posted half-assed when Blogger was malfunctioning.  Now you can enlarge them and I recommend you do that now.  They're better that way.

Upper West Side, 83rd Street Between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues


Mary Sargent © 2009 ………………….…………...… ………………….. click to enlarge

Isn't this a pretty door with its embellished crossbars?  Who makes them, anyway?  And why can't I find history for New York firehouses?  Oh, there's a kind of random history, but I want-- wait a minute, here's the NYgov website with history: 

ORGANIZED 207 W. 77th St. (Jun. 1, 1901)
PRESENT QUARTERS 120 W. 83rd St. (Oct. 5, 1992)

And that's it.  Well, at least we know it wasn't at this location until 1992.  Within our lifetimes.  Most of us.  So what did they do?  Take an existing building and insert this door into it?  I guess.  I wish I'd seen it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Upper West Side, 83rd Street Between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues


Mary Sargent © 2009 ………………….…………… ………………….. click to enlarge

Well, look at this.  Blogger is broke for the moment, well, for the last two days, actually, and everyone is reporting they can't post their photos from Picasa in the usual way.  This one got here in a workaround and I can't format it as I usually do, with the text starting out underneath.  That's why last night's photo had no text.  Last night I was newly frustrated and finally just gave up.  But tonight I gave in.

New walk, at last! Blue skies! Mild weather! Well, it felt that way at first. After therapy on West 86th Street, I stopped by the post office on 83rd Street and mailed my last Christmas present. Done! Then I walked 83rd to Central Park West, up to 84th and back to Broadway, although I stopped photographing at Amsterdam and 84th. I was cold. Yes, I know it was in the 30's and people were walking around with their coats unbuttoned, but it was windy, and after you're out in it for a while, your bare fingers start feeling icy.

This shot was taken after I left the post office. That's the post office garage next to the school playground.

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1/22/10 - Yay, Blogger is fixed.  So I reformatted this post so it doesn't look all funny any more.

See map.

Washington Heights, St. Nicholas Avenue Between 182nd and 181st Streets


Mary Sargent © 2009 ………………….…………… ………………….. click to enlarge

Monday, January 18, 2010

Washington Heights, St. Nicholas Avenue at 185th Street


Mary Sargent © 2009 …………...……….. click to enlarge

I was all cranky today, dealing with an insurance snarl, so I let a beautiful photowalk day slip by. Now I'm even crankier.  Time to take a deep breath and move on.

So here's another photo from the block of St. Nicholas Avenue between 186th and 185th Streets. I do have a thing for Subway Sandwich shops. Not that I ever eat their sandwiches, but they do perk up a street.

Camera talk:  one of these days I'm going to remember that as it gets darker, it's okay to increase the ISO.  I still have a horror of high ISOs from my days of shooting film, but digital is different.  Once I'm straight with this, you won't see so many blurry people in low light like this gal.  It'll come.

Washington Heights, St. Nicholas Avenue Between 186th and 185th Streets


Mary Sargent © 2009 ………………………….. click to enlarge

This was to be the start of a new walk, and NY1 was promising a rainless day as of two days ago, but I guess they looked at their tea leaves again and this morning informed me that it was gonna rain today.  And it did.  So I went back a few streets and found this photo I had wanted to post but omitted because the walk was taking too long.  I was interested in the top of this building, only one story, but the detail suggests that it was originally built for another purpose.  If only I had the time to devote myself to one block and learn everything there is to know about it.  Can't you picture me at dinner parties fascinating everyone with minutia from St. Nicholas Avenue between 186th and 185th?  No?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Washington Heights, St. Nicholas Avenue Between 182nd and 181st Streets


Mary Sargent © 2009 ………………….………....…… ………………….. click to enlarge

Pretty, huh?  Dark clouds and bright lights will do it.

See map.

Washington Heights, St. Nicholas Avenue Between 183rd and 182nd Streets


Mary Sargent © 2009 ………………….…………… ………….......……….. click to enlarge

It's time to complain about Verizon again.  Did you know that it will refuse to send your email if it has a hyperlink in it?  It won't tell you why it's not sending it; for that you have to spend the usual 2 hours on the phone with tech support.  It is protecting us all from spam.  So how does one send an email address to someone?  Put it in an attachment.  Dear so-and-so, please find attached the email address you requested.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Washington Heights, 184th Street at St. Nicholas Avenuea


Mary Sargent © 2009 …………………….. click to enlarge

This is my kind of photograph.  I admit I get into the documentary aspect of this blog, showing what's there, whatever it is, because you do need to know, but when I get to a photograph like this, my whole body responds, my skin starts glowing and if you listen carefully, you can hear a little buzzing hum coming from inside me.  Why?

(Please enlarge.)  The laundromat sign, white and at an angle to the yellow canopy.  The red, yellow and blue forms (primary colors) against the sandy wall.  The little shapes below and the big shapes above.  The small glowing orange, green and purple colors below (secondary colors).  The scrawled bio text at the top of the wall, so necessary, and if you don't believe me, try blocking it out.  See?  There. 

I knew you'd understand. 




Thursday, January 14, 2010

Washington Heights, St. Nicholas Avenue Between 185th and 184th Streets


Mary Sargent © 2009 ………………….…………… ………………….. click to enlarge

See?  No more cutouts.  This building has a simple roof atop a, um, well, let's just say, atop a massively decorated facade.  The light touch was not a favored concept of these architects.

In a comment last night, Barbara wondered if crenellation was the term for what I've been calling cutouts.  It's close, but not the same thing, I think.  See this image.  It seems a crenel is an open space between two merlons which you can stick your gun through.  They don't seem to be closed at the top.  Although maybe you could broaden the term to include decorative openings.  But all of the definitions I could find had to do with battlements and weapons.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Washington Heights, St. Nicholas Avenue Between 186th and 185th Streets


Mary Sargent © 2009 ………........……………….. click to enlarge

Here's the last rooftop of this walk with cutouts in the brick.  I cannot find out what that's called.  Wait!  How about asking an architect?  I know of one who lives in my building.  Try to hold on until I happen to see him, which doesn't happen often.  In the meantime, if you know an architect, you could ask him or her.  Don't forget to let me know.  It goes without saying, that if you, yourself, are an actual architect, you should consider it your civic duty to drop me a comment or an email and let me know. 


See map.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Washington Heights, St. Nicholas Avenue at 186th Street


Mary Sargent © 2009 ………………….…………… ………………….. click to enlarge

Another block, another church.  This one is the Fort George Presbyterian Church, and it, too, does not have a presence on the web.  Except on myspace.  Yes!  Where it exists as a 92 year old female.

As you can see, it's getting dark.  That stop in the bakery cost me some daylight.  Oh, but thank god, the days are getting longer.

See map.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Washington Heights, St. Nicholas Avenue at 187th Street


Mary Sargent © 2009 ………………….…………… ………………….. click to enlarge

This is across the street from the Grullon Bakery.  I just had to do a close up of the pretty little church.




Mary Sargent © 2009 …………………….. click to enlarge

It is Saints Anargyroi Greek Orthodox Church.  I couldn't find anything about the church itself, so I investigated the saints.  There were two of them, twins, it seems.  They lived long, long ago, but somehow got themselves on Facebook.  This is one of your minor miracles, I guess.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Washington Heights, St. Nicholas Avenue at 187th Street


Mary Sargent © 2009 ………………….…………… ………………….. click to enlarge

Here's this great looking bakery at the end of the block, where I stopped for a cup of coffee.  Not that I particularly wanted coffee; I just wanted to participate in the neighborhood.  You know Spanish coffee?  It's as good as anything you'll find in New York and it costs one dollar.  Espresso and steamed milk.  And very, very hot.  I used to get a cup before I got on the train to go to work and I couldn't even begin to sip it before I got to Times Square, about 40 minutes later. 

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Washington Heights, St. Nicholas Avenue Between 188th and 187th Streets


Mary Sargent © 2009 ………………….…………… ………………….. click to enlarge

As promised, here are more buildings with cut-outs at the roof top.  Please enlarge this so you can see how they're made.  Also, take a look at the intricate brickwork.  This building is on the northeast corner of St. Nicholas and 188th St.





Mary Sargent © 2009 ………………….…………… ………………….. click to enlarge

This is the building next to it, and together, they make up the entire block on the east side.  Just walking along the street, seeing those storefronts, you wouldn't guess there's all that fancy stuff at the top, would you?  Let's all make a resolution to look up more.  I know it feels uncool, but if you assume an imaginary profession, you can make it work.  Me, I'm a street photographer.  You could be a landmarks surveyor.  Or a building inspector.

See map.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Washington Heights, St. Nicholas Avenue between 189th and 188th Streets


Mary Sargent © 2009 ………………….…… .......………………….. click to enlarge

Even more color! This is the front of Nelson Morale Fashiion. Don't you love the red dress? And don't you know whatever skinny girl wears this to a party is going to have a good time? Actually, probably any size girl would have a good time wearing this dress.

See map.

Washington Heights, St. Nicholas Avenue Between 190th and 189th Streets


Mary Sargent © 2009 ……….......………….…… ………………….. click to enlarge

Here's a little more color on this gray day. And look at the gate on Ritz Paints.  The City Council has agreed (with me) that the standard gates are a blight and a "graffiti magnet" and decreed that after July 1, 2011, any roll-down gate that is being replaced must be replaced with a gate that allows at least 70 percent of the covered area to be visible.  Ritz Paints is already in compliance and look how much better it looks.  I don't think of the City Council as being much concerned with beauty but I'm happy to admit I'm wrong.






Mary Sargent © 2009 ……….......………….…… ………………….. click to enlarge

I was interested in this blank white space, apparently just craving to be covered with grafitti.  What's taking them so long?

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Washington Heights, St. Nicholas Avenue between 191st and 190th Streets; St. Nicholas Avenue at 189th Street; 188th Street at St. Nicholas Avenue


Mary Sargent © 2009 ………………….……......... ………………….. click to enlarge

The weather on January 1st was not too cold, in the high 30's, but the skies were gray, and the feeling was kind of somber. Can there be anything uglier than these metal gates?  And there were lots of them because most of these small stores were closed for the holiday.  In reaction to that, I started looking upward for inspiration and look what I found! This is the first of many cut-out roof tops I saw. There's probably a name for that, so if anyone knows it, please let me know.


Mary Sargent © 2009 ……..…………….…………….. click to enlarge






Mary Sargent © 2009 ………………….. click to enlarge

See?  Here's another.  This one is at 189th Street.



Mary Sargent © 2009 ……………….. click to enlarge


And this one is on the corner of 188th Street.  All of these shots were taken walking down St. Nicholas Avenue.  There will be more to come.



P.S.  Look at how early I'm posting!  The last 3 days (which, just coincidentally, are the first three days of the New Year), I've posted before midnight.  It's the new me.  Let's see if that old saying is really true, you know, early to bed, early to rise . . .

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Washington Heights, St. Nicholas Avenue at 191st Street


Mary Sargent © 2009 ………………….…… ……….. click to enlarge

Meanwhile, across the street, another fa├žade has changed. People are just never satisfied. Go here to see it two years ago. Would you say this is an improvement?

Friday, January 01, 2010

Washington Heights, 191st Street at St. Nicholas Avenue


Mary Sargent © 2009 ………………………………….. click to enlarge

It's a brand new year, and so I put aside all things 2009 and went for a brand new photowalk. Although this was appropriate in a symbolic sort of way, I was also highly motivated by the knowledge that this was going to be the last warmish day for quite a while. So I took the subway to 191st Street and walked to 181st Street and took the subway back home. I chose this walk based on 2 things: 1) I haven't been uptown in quite awhile, and 2) I wanted to improve the looks of my map.

When I saw this corner, it looked familiar. I thought I'd posted a shot of it, but when I couldn't find it on the blog, I realized I'd worked with it but decided against posting for some forgotten reason.  (I'd just forgotten to label it.  It's there, all right.)

Here it is from February 2008, almost 2 years ago.




Mary Sargent © 2009 ………………….……………….. click to enlarge

I wonder how I recognized it.



P.S.  Don't you like all the white coats people are wearing?  Brightens up the gray days.


See map.

Chelsea, 14th Street Between Eighth and Seventh Avenues


Mary Sargent © 2009 ……………………………….. click to enlarge

This is a nice lurid shot to start the New Year with.  Or, This is a nice lurid shot with which to start the New Year.  Which do you prefer?  I go with the first one.

But I digress.  The violet light springs from Psychic Reading by Donna, Mystical Astrology.  You can see it has an elaborate entrance which raises the familiar question, how do they pay the rent?  This place does not seem to have a website, which is oddly cheering.  Neither does Passion.  Passion was momentarily exciting, but upon enlarging, a Halloween Costume sign is visible.  Okay, I know some people are excited by Halloween costumes, but I'm kind of tepid about costumes.  Clothes are another issue altogether.

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I watched the ball drop tonight (safely warm inside) and just before the drop, they played Imagine by John Lennon, a song that always gets to me.  How great is it that they, the city, that is, the powers that be, played this subversive song?  No religion.  No countries.  No possessions.  Is this a great country or what?

Happy New Year all of y'all.  I'm glad you visit and I hope you'll be here in the new year.