Photos From Around The Block: Times Square Today

I went to Times Square last weekend. Mostly to see Mockingjay part 2 but also to get some pics of the square. I used to live in the neighborhood when I was in college. It was cool to be able to roll out of bed on New Year’s Eve and step right out into the world’s biggest party. This was back before the Disney take over or the high security after 9/11. This was back when you could still go to sex shows in the neighborhood and to seedy movie theaters that showed martial arts films and bootlegged versions of blockbusters days before release.

When I was in High School I used to work on Times Square in one of the bigger movie theaters, The Embassy. But that was even further back. Way back in the days of drug dealers, hustlers and prostitutes on every side street. I put up an old picture I took from those days a while back. Here it is again.

Embassy Times Square

Yes. I’m old. And Times Square had completely changed by the time I was in college and it’s changed even more today. I hadn’t been back to my old neighborhood in well over a decade. There are fewer cars and more people. More lights. More ads and more vendors. A ton more cops and a lot more theaters. Just a lot more of everything I think.

And oh boy has it changed.

To the pics…

Chrysler

The Chrysler Building in the distance.

The Chrysler is a big ass building. So that’s pretty far away. You can also see the time. It’s 4:25. The sun will be setting soon. I was hoping to get the full Times Square light show.

Reflection and Jets on a screen

Reflection and Jets on a screen

You can see the window cleaners. Another clock in the distance. It’s 5:05. And fighter jets flying by on a big screen. I remember when Times Square had just one screen.

NYPD of Ads

NYPD of Ads

Today there are at least a hundred screens all over the place. All moving ads and TV and News. It’s overwhelmingly active.

Buildings

Old Buildings

The old buildings are still there but surrounded and suffocated by new ones.

Reflected Ads

Reflected Ads

The new ones are slick and sleek and ugly and piled one on top of the other. Hotel after hotel after hotel. And having lived there I get it. But still, you can’t go home again.

Heads Up

Heads Up

In my day, the streets were filled with characters. And they still are. Hustling and bustling. (What the hell is bustling anyway? I know a hustler when I see one. But a bustler?)

Lyric

Lyric Theater

But the old theaters are still there and they’re still as beautiful as ever. Timeless.

Shubert Majestic

Shubert Majestic

I used to go see lots of plays and musicals and concerts. It’s all about how early you get in line and since I lived there I was often first in line.

Planet Hollywood

Planet Hollywood

Booth Schoenfeld

Booth Schoenfeld

They used to have half-priced tickets to fill the houses. They’d go on sale right before curtain but the line would be miles long well before. I doubt they even need to do that anymore. I think every show sells out every night. (I could be wrong)

The Big Screen Helicopter and Plane

Helicopter and Plane passing overhead

Deep Grey Sky

Deep Grey Sky

Times Square Construction

Times Square Construction

Crosswalk

At the Crosswalk

Crazy Ex-girlfriend

Crazy Ex-girlfriend Billboards

Times Square Today

Times Square Today

Friedman Barrymore

Friedman Barrymore at dusk

I haven’t seen a Broadway show in over 20 years. I barely get out to the movies these days. So the theater is just wishful thinking. Maybe one day.

Radio City Music Hall

Radio City Music Hall

My first movie was at Radio City Music Hall. Lawrence of Arabia on a giant screen. I was too young to know what was going on but it was still magical. Absolutely breathtaking.

Subway Station

Subway Radio City Fridays

The Lights of Times Square

The Lights of Times Square

It took me over an hour to walk the eight blocks through the massive crowd. But of course I kept stopping to take pictures. But since I’m a New Yorker, I knew to step out-of-the-way before I stopped. If only tourist knew to do the same.

I may feel nostalgic for the way it was but Times Square is still gorgeous. And it is truly a feast for each and every one of the senses.

And speaking of feasts…

Happy Thanksgiving,

– Mel

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Photos From Around The Block: The Rest From The Met (Part Three)

In this, the last installment from my first trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I give you… art. This one is mostly pictures of art. Also some pictures of people on the street in New York while I was waiting for the bus. But most importantly, in this post, I give you a peek of the wonder that is Visible Storage.

I can hardly contain my excitement.

To the pics…

A Boy and His Dog

A Boy and His Dog

A Day in New York is an Art

A Day on the Streets of New York is an Art

Brass

Brass

Ceiling Reflections

Ceiling Reflections

Chinese Costumes

Chinese Costumes

Creepy Face in the Trees

Creepy Face in the Trees

Crossing Against The Light Is An Art

Crossing Against The Light Is An Art

Hailing a Cab is an Art

Hailing a Cab is an Art

Hidden Self Portrait

Hidden Self Portrait

Is He Daydreaming or is He Thinking About Her

Is He Daydreaming or is He Thinking About Her

Madison Avenue

Madison Avenue

Obvious Self Portrait

Obvious Self Portrait

Reflection of the Clouds Through a Glass Ceiling

Reflection of the Clouds Through a Glass Ceiling

She Thinks She's Better Than Us... Hold My Baby

She Thinks She’s Better Than Us… Hold My Baby

The Joy that is Visible Storage... Behold

The Joy that is Visible Storage… Behold

The Musical Instruments Wing

The Musical Instruments Wing

These Two Make Quite The Pair

These Two Make Quite The Pair

Visible Storage Forever

Visible Storage Forever

Window Shopping is Also an Art

Window Shopping is Also an Art

You Should Have Quit While You Were A Head

You Should Have Quit While You Were A Head

That’s it.

I hope you enjoyed my trip to the Met as much as I did.

Until next time,

– Mel

Photos From Around The Block: My Trip to the Met (Part Two)

When last we spoke, there were pictures and people and artwork and stuff and things…

and Visible Storage.

I have more pics.

And my feet still hurt.

To the pics…

At The Met

At The Met

Beautiful Lamps

Beautiful Lamps

Clouds Outside

Clouds Outside

Construction

Construction

Cracking Paint

Cracking Paint

Degas

Degas

Don't Look At My Penis

Don’t Look At My Penis

Don't. You'll Ruin My Alabaster Skin

Don’t… You’ll Ruin My Alabaster Skin

Egyptian Pond

Egyptian Pond

Girls Like Art

Girls Like Art

Green Light

Green Light

Ladder in the Window

Ladder in the Window

Nice Fountain... wait what name is that... Bad Fountain

Nice Fountain… wait what name is that? Bad Fountain. Bad, Bad Fountain.

Paintings and People and Paintings of People

Paintings and People and Paintings of People

Reflections Off The Glass Ceiling

Reflections Off The Glass Ceiling

Someone's Being Naughty and I Think It's Me

Someone’s Being Naughty and I Think It’s Me

Flowers

Sunflowers

The View Through The Windows

The View Through The Windows

The Way Out

The Way Out

This Chick Here

This Chick Here

That’s all for part two.

Until next time,

– Mel

Photos From Around the Block: Metropolitan Museum of Art

I spent most of yesterday at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I’m exhausted and I still barely scratched the surface of that place. I was mostly in the European Paintings wing (post 1800). But I got around to all the exhibits. Including the Chinese costumes in the basement and the new Van Gogh paintings (that they did not let me photograph) and Visible Storage. I loved Visible Storage. I could have spent the entire day down there.

I have pictures from inside the museum and pictures from outside. Pictures with people and pictures without. A few artsy. A few abstract. And a bunch from Visible Storage. Have I mentioned how much I loved Visible Storage? It’s just shelf after shelf and case after case of stuff they didn’t have room for upstairs. I walked for miles and miles and my feet, they hurt like hell. But I had a great time and I’m going back… just after I let my feet heal a bit.

I ended the day with 329 photos. I cut that down to sixty; Forty good ones and twenty extras that I just wanted to post. So my trip to the Met will be a trilogy. Part one will be my favorite pics from the day. Part two will be the much-anticipated sequel. And part three will be like all part threes; not nearly as good as the first two, seemingly directed by a different person, and featuring a high-priced star who’s just phoning it in by that point.

And as is always the case… I didn’t learn a damn thing.

My poor feet.

To the pics.

A Couple

A Couple and a Coffin

Brush Strokes

Brush Strokes

Cloud Through The Window

Cloud Through The Window

Drawings

Drawings

Egyptian Cats

Egyptian Cats

Egyptian Pond Reflected Window

Egyptian Pond Reflected Window

Holding Up the Wall

Holding Up the Wall

Horses

Horses

I Want This In My Home

I Want This In My Home

Knights

Knights

Let Me Play You A Little Ditty

Let Me Play You A Little Ditty

Metropolitan Musem of Art

Metropolitan Musem of Art

Sax Man

Sax Man

Sculpture Hall

Sculpture Hall

Self Portrait with Creepy Guy

Self Portrait with Creepy Guy

Taking Pics

Taking Pics

The Precious

The Precious

This Girl

This Girl

This Kid

This Kid

View From The Balcony

View From The Balcony

That’s it for now.

– Mel

Photos From Around The Block: Central Park (Jurassic) Edition

I went to see Jurassic World (more on that later). The weather man said there was a good chance of thundershowers, so I brought my camera and a bunch of plastic bags. I really wanted to get some storm shots. A good storm is the best time to take candid pictures of people. During a storm. But alas there was no storm. It was sunny and nice. So I walked over to Central Park and took some pics along the way. And here they are…

I call this series: Orbs, Reflections and the Fading Lights

To the pics…

Essex House

Statues

Statues

Orbs

Orbs

Orbs

Orbs

Orbs

Reflections

Reflections

Trees

Reflections

ReflectionsTreesFading Light

Fading Light

Depth

Orbs

DrugsIce CreamThat’s all I got. Gonna get some Ice Cream and head home.

Until next time,

– Mel

Photos from Around the Block: The Cloisters

My trip to the museum continues with Inside The Cloisters. Warning: if you’re very religious you might want to take a chill pill before continuing with this post. We’ll wait…

I’m not making fun of your religion. I’m just having fun.

DSC_0773

This chick nearly got me in trouble. Because my camera flash went off and there’s no flash photography inside. And she’s like “Oh you’ve given me a headache. I’m calling the guards. Guards?” I had to pay her off. I gave her a nickel. She was ecstatic.

DSC_0794

The stained-glass didn’t need flash.

DSC_0775I took a few pics of the covered windows.

DSC_0797 Love the stained-glass windows. All the windows really…

DSC_0828But especially the ones without glass.

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Screw the art. The building itself was gorgeous.

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The doors and fixtures…

DSC_0767And shadowy places.

DSC_0826The ghosts that roamed the halls.

DSC_0825Look at these tiny doorways. These monks must have been tiny guys.

DSC_0843There are several chapels all throughout the place.

DSC_0824And of course, Jesus is prominently featured.

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Here he is on a donkey… on a cart.

DSC_0778And there’s lots of Jesus and Mary combinations.

DSC_0811This was my favorite because Mary is all like “Don’t talk to that bitch, Jesus. We hate her.” But baby Jesus be all like “Hey girl. How you doin?”

DSC_0821Here’s Mary asking for a refund. “This Jesus has only one arm. I demand to speak to your manager. What sort of place are you running?”

DSC_0835Pay me no mind. I’m just being silly.

DSC_0816This guy knows what’s up. He’s just out playing Frisbee w/ his dog in this bad-ass cloak.

DSC_0800Here’s some art. And some people. There were people there too.

DSC_0777Here’s some treasure.

DSC_0790

Here’s some dead people.

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This dude was my favorite.

DSC_0827And this was my favorite picture.

I guess you can tell I didn’t read any of the descriptions. I was having too much fun to make it into a lesson. I live nearby, so I’ll probably go back. The gardens are beautiful. I didn’t want to take pictures in the gardens because all the people were chilling.

For my next trip I want to make it down to the actual Met. And see the permanent collection. Maybe get some pictures. Piss off some guards. You know, the usual.

Until next time,

– Mel

Photos from Around the Block: A Trip to the Museum

I’ve been trying to get myself to go outside more. So I decided to take a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I checked Google Maps and came to find that the Met had a collection uptown near me at The Cloisters. I packed a lunch, my camera, my kindle, a little Taylor Swift on the headphones and I set off for The Cloisters… wish me luck.

DSC_0692Unfortunately there was this giant hill in the way and no easy way around it.

DSC_0693

However, there was a tunnel… and an elevator…

DSC_0868

And a park with a gorgeous view of the Hudson…

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With extremely photogenic wildlife…

DSC_0712

And gnarly trees…

DSC_0740And cool stairs and stuff. And it’s so close to my home I’m embarrassed I’ve never been.

DSC_0876

They tell me it used to be a fort during the war. They called it Fort Tryon because the soldiers stationed would take turns modelling the clothing of any new visitors. (Don’t bother to look that up. Just believe me)

DSC_0870But the view from the top of the hill…

DSC_0719

Through the trees…

DSC_0747

Of the river on one side…

DSC_0886And my neighborhood on the other…

DSC_0872Made getting to the museum almost as much fun…

DSC_0845

As the museum itself.

DSC_0880But don’t tell anybody that I liked the trip almost as much…

DSC_0715As the destination.

DSC_0736This guy knows what I’m talking about.

DSC_0755Still I arrived at The Cloisters without incident.

DSC_0851The walls were beautiful.

DSC_0847The windows and security cameras were beautiful.

DSC_0785I would have to make my way inside its hallowed halls to see the treasures within.

“What do you mean it’s closed for remodeling?”

Just kidding

– Mel

(pictures from inside The Cloisters coming up next)