Thursday, July 19, 2007

Explosion = A Long Weekend

Got up this morning, caught the downtown D train and headed to work, same as I always do.

I got off and began walking east along 40th, but ended up having to cut south along Park Ave and then back up 3rd Ave. There was a huge area cordoned off by the police and people were walking in the street, taking pictures and standing around.I finally made it near my building, only to find out that work had been canceled.

Just check out this cop telling us we have to enter down the street. All the cops had face masks, I didn't - should I be concerned?

Once I figured out work was a no-go I did my best to get some pictures on and then headed to the Park.
Everywhere you looked the street was torn up.

There were semi-truck generators powering all the equipment and probably part of the block.

And, of course the media was there. This is the best shot I could get of the actual crater in the street. (Click on the pic to try and see it in the distance).

Instead of work, I ended up sitting in the Park and watching some performers from Broadway sing numbers from Rent, The Drowsy Chaperon, Phantom of the Opera and Avenue Q.

Much better than working. Plus, word on the street is that work is canceled for tomorrow too. Guess I will have to find something interesting to do.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Close Call in Midtown Manhattan

Just got home from work. What a day. It started off with rain this morning. I heard there was a bunch of crazy rain and tornadoes in Long Island (isn't that a Midwest thing?)

Anyway, I was getting ready to wrap up the day when the room started to shake. No one knew what was happening - Someone ran by me and yelled: "Get out of the building! so I grabbed my shit and headed down the stairs. It was a long way down - I am on the 27th floor. I was calm, I never was really worried, but a lot of other people were hyper ventilating and sorta crying. I think that is the only part that really freaked me - that, and the fact that everyone was trying to make calls and send text messages, instead of getting down the f*ckin steps.

By the time I hit the street I could feel the rumble again and heard someone say that it was a steam or transformer explosion. The rumble was LOUD, consistent and shaking the buildings all around me. You could see the glass moving. It sounded like thunder or an earthquake, but steady. I did my best to find co-workers and let them know I was OK, but with little success. I assume a lot of people just went straight to Happy Hour. Seemed like heading home was the best idea. Besides - I needed a beer.

I tried to head to my train, noticed chunks of cement that had been blown up from the middle of the street and a huge crater with steam billowing out of it. The firemen were hiding around a corner, trying to decide the best plan of action. It was pretty intense, I needed to get the hell out of there. Before I left, I grabbed what pics I could and then cops shooed everyone down the block. Thank God, my train was still running - I wasn't gonna have to walk home!

Check out this video!

I heard there is a chance that work me be canceled tomorrow. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Random Pictures of New York

OK, so that last post was kind of a drag. I can almost feel someone out there fearing for my safety and wondering if I made the right decision to move to this place, this New York. Why would I want to live in a place where my building is getting broken into?

It's complicated. Again, it is New York. Perhaps it IS Zoo York.
The craziest of the crazed.
It is hard to explain the draw, the intensity - until you have felt it. Lived it. Smelt it and maybe even stepped in it.

That may be all well and good, but what the hell am I even talking about? Well, I wish I could show you - I know that a picture helps to tell a story so here are a few random photos of the city.

The lights on Times Square at night

The Manhattan skyline from Edgewater, New Jersey

Chelsea Pier - or at least where a pier used to be

Pay Attention to the Signs

It is never a good sign when you see these hanging all over your building. There have been 3 break ins since I've lived here. Seems pretty doubtful the cops will find anybody. They don't seem to try to hard. Trust me, I am looking into some renter's insurance shortly. (Sorry to make you nervous Mom)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Things to know when in New York

OK, I know I have only lived in the city for about 3 and half weeks now, but let me just vent a little bit. Earlier this week my commute took me through Times Square and Grand Central Station, both insanely busy places. One day while fighting my way through the Port Authority Bus Station I realized something:

Sometimes the simplest trips can be stressful and difficult because about 80% of people generally understand and abide by the unofficial, unwritten rules of the city and the other 20% are just obstacles - human missiles and land mines meant to throw you off course and challenge any sane person.

SO how is one supposed to know what to do and what not to do? Well, these unofficial rules I speak of can be discovered by either asking a New Yorker or simply paying attention to what the hell is going on.

Here are a few the rules I am aware of, in no particular order -

* Sidewalks - made for walking, everyone is in a hurry for one reason or another. If you gotta stop because you are looking up, taking a picture, lost, tired or just plain slow - kindly move to the side.

* Escalators - 2 lanes, stand to the right, keep moving on the left. Not that hard if you concentrate.

* Trains - during rush hour we all know there isn't room. You still gotta squeeze closer to the middle and make room if more people are coming on, trying to preserve some sense of personal bubble is futile. Deal with it!

Following these rules will ease the flow of traffic and help you avoid nasty stares from people on the streets and in the train (*or at least some of them.)

* If someone does give you a nasty look it's probably best to not look back too long or too many times.

More rules to follow in future posts. Peace.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A Walk in Hoboken

I spent the last few days staying with some friends in Hoboken, New Jersey. For those that don't know the city of Hoboken is the birthplace of baseball and Frank Sinatra - two of my favorite things.

After I came home from work I decided to go for a walk and take some photos of the area around my friends' apartment. Keep in mind that this particular section of Hoboken used to be very industrial and is now being converted into apartments and condos.

They don't call it "Dirty Jersey" for nothing.

An old factory on top of the bluff. I bet Manhattan looks amazing from up there.

The viaduct that runs parallel to the 6th floor apartment

A view of the Empire State Building from my friends' place. *(Click to open the photo and it is in the middle, way in the distance)

Saturday, July 7, 2007

My new home, Harlem USA

Haven't taken that many photos yet - I am disgusted with my camera. Anyway here are a few from around Harlem, mostly on 125th Street.