Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Midtown, 50th Street at Madison Avenue

Mary Sargent © 2006 …………………………click to enlarge

And here's the second shot from last Monday's trip to the dentist. Not a Halloween shot.

See map.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Midtown, 51st Street Between Park and Madison Avenues

Mary Sargent © 2006 …………………………….. click to enlarge

Alas, darkness falls upon the land. Goodby, Daylight Savings Time. The only consolation for going dark is the extra hour on Sunday. Which is big, but doesn't last.

But this shot was taken a week ago during the day, when I left work to go to the dentist on Madison Avenue. Lucky me, the subway is right outside the door on 32nd Street so I rode up to 51st and walked over.

Ideally, I would show you shots not more than 2 or 3 days old, well, ideally, I would show you a shot from today, but I can't. I could skip this shot and the next one from last Monday and get more current, but then you wouldn't see 51st and 50th Streets at Madison! Which you must. It's good for you.

See map, and a duller map I can't imagine.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Inwood, Henshaw Street Between Dyckman Street and Riverside Drive

Mary Sargent © 2006 …………………………….. click to enlarge

This is right across the street from the shot in last night's photo. I remember the first time I lived where zoning was relaxed, and commercial and residential uses existed on the same block. This was in Springfield, Illinois, the state's capital, where I had moved with my husband and children. I was a child of the suburbs, and it seemed exotic to me and charming. I still find it interesting and desirable. I want to be able to go downstairs and get a newspaper or a cup of coffee! Well, dammit, the block I live on now, in Inwood, is strictly residential. I just can't afford to live in a mixed environment, I guess.

Of course, I'm getting a bit far afield here as this block doesn't exactly offer newspapers and coffee. It doesn't have that quality of being in the thick of things, which is part of the appeal to me. But I'm still charmed.

See map.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Inwood, Henshaw Street Between Dyckman Street and Riverside Drive

Mary Sargent © 2006 ……………….…………click to enlarge

Here's the other little street out here on the edge, Ft. Tryon Park up ahead. See map.

I'm guessing this is mother, son and grandson. Up the street, they turn into an alley just beyond the brick building and enter a side door of the next building. I like this group and I want to know more about them. Which of you lives there? How did you happen to move there and for how long have you been there? What's it like living there?

Friday, October 27, 2006

Inwood, Staff Street Between Riverside Drive and Dyckman Street

Mary Sargent © 2006 ………………………… click to enlarge

Staff Street, one block long, park on one side, out on the edge of nowhere (here's the map), and someone has apparently found the leftover paint can from The Horace Mann Teachers College on Broadway and 120th Street and thought what a good idea to paint the metal work green, you know, I have a metal gate and I'll just use this paint to brighten it up and while I'm at it, I'll paint the boarded up windows the same darn color! I can't think it was the other way around.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Inwood, Riverside Drive at Staff Street

Mary Sargent © 2006 ……………………………click to enlarge

This is what is known as the Dyckman Exit, although it is not Dyckman Street, but Riverside Drive. If you check your map link from yesterday (zoom in one level), you'll see that Riverside does finally meet up with Dyckman at Broadway, but it's like an air kiss and it's over. But they had to name it something.

Also, take a look at the aerial view; you'll see there are many, many trees up here.

In other news: yesterday morning about 10:00, I was walking though the subway station at Union Square, looking for the exit, when I saw walking toward me a naked lady and a policeman. She was young, chunky and healthy looking, not a bum by any means, and, unlike Eve, had her arms folded over her breasts. Both she and the cop looked matter-of-fact, just walking to get where they were going. I blinked to make sure I was seeing what I was seeing but I did NOT change my expression and neither did anyone else.

Let me just add, it was cold yesterday.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Inwood, Dyckman Street Subway Stop; A Train

Mary Sargent © 2006 ………………………… click to enlarge

Last Saturday, I didn't have much time, so I decided to just do a short trip and pick up a couple of little streets one subway stop down. Staff Street and Henshaw Street. Ever hear of them?

Let me digress a moment and tell you about my dinner last night with Barbara Lubbies (at the Hi-Life, no less, but too cold to eat outside), who suggested adding links to maps of the streets being walked. So I got all excited, being encouraged in my map obsession, and herewith is the first. Find Staff and Henshaw Streets. Try the aerial view, too. I tell you, though I find much to deplore on a daily, if not hourly, basis, I have to marvel at the abundance of good stuff to be had these days.

But first a subway shot. I adore the subways, don't get me wrong, but I've long had this image of coming up out of the subways into daylight, as if coming out of hell into the blesssed light of redemption. And I've thought of doing a photographic series of those images. Just another of the many random thoughts I have. Here's one of them, anyway. That's real sunlight coming down those stairs.

By the way, for all you restaurant/saloon fans, the Hi-Life, though promising retro authenticity, brought me a whiskey sour in a martini glass. Naturally, I deplored it.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Inwood, Tenth Avenue at 215th Street

Mary Sargent © 2006 ……………………………click to enlarge

This was last Tuesday, coming home about 7:30. This looks like such a lively place, I'm thinking of shooting this spot every time I come home with a camera. Of course as it gets colder, there'll be less sidewalk action. Now I can't wait until next summer.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Kips Bay, 24th Street, off First Avenue

Mary Sargent © 2006 …………… click to enlarge

My lunch time walk of last Tuesday was directed toward picking up one little piece of 24th Street off First Avenue. 24th Street between First and Second Avenues is mainly one big plaza. Something to do with the East Midtown Plaza Apartments on that block? So walking or driving east, you think that 24th Street ends at Second Avenue. Come to find out there's the shortest little piece of it on the other side, a little dead end piece, but identified with an official street sign as 24th Street. I probably care more about this than the average person.

Here's a shot of the plaza, looking west.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Kips Bay, First Avenue Between 23rd and 24th Streets

Mary Sargent © 2006 ………………………….. click to enlarge

I just had to tear myself away from 35th Street. Five photographs for one block is a bit indulgent (that's one block, not one street). Probably violates some rule.

So, anyway, this looks like summer, but it was last Tuesday, October 17, and the weather was in the low 60s.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Midtown, 35th Street Between Sixth and Fifth Avenues

Mary Sargent © 2006 ……………………….. click to enlarge

Another lady smoker. I used to smoke and I'm one hundred percent glad I don't anymore, but I do have sympathy for smokers. And a bit of nostalgia.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Midtown, 35th Street Between Sixth and Fifth Avenues

Mary Sargent © 2006 ………..........……….. click to enlarge

So, I needed a little more distance and backed up onto this stairway landing to get a better shot, looked down and, yes, there was a better shot.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Midtown, 35th Street Between Sixth and Fifth Avenues

Mary Sargent © 2006 ……………..........….. click to enlarge

Now I'm walking back east on 35th on the other side of the street. This is a pretty austere shot, but I do love austerity as well as excess, and it illustrates the point I made 2 nights ago, when I said these shots look like they are from different blocks. It is a long block, I admit.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Midtown, 35th Street at Sixth Avenue

Mary Sargent © 2006 ………………………….. click to enlarge

This is the end of 35th Street at Sixth Avenue, where it gets much more crowded.

When I moved to New York in 1982, I was amazed at the use of pay phones here. In Illinois and Michigan, we used pay phones to tell someone something important that had to be said at that moment. I drove the car into a ditch, come get me, is an example. But here, people would get on the phone and say things like, so how's it going? They stood in lines to get the phone. I remember going into the subway and seeing a girl on the phone arguing with her boyfriend, tears streaming down her face. Later, when the price went up to a quarter (this sure sounds quaint), I predicted usage would drop sharply. No way.

But now you may be looking at one of the last documented uses of a black pay phone.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Midtown, 35th Street Between Fifth and Sixth Avenues

Mary Sargent © 2006 ……………........…….. click to enlarge

Well, I lost two beautiful walking days last weekend, due to a miserable cold. I didn't leave my apartment the whole weekend. So yesterday, Monday, I desperately needed to shoot, but on my lunch break, I had to go to Staples on 34th to get printer cartridges, so could only manage ONE block: 35th Street between Fifth and Sixth, walking west and then back east, same block.

If I had time, I'd do every block that way; it's surprising how different things look on the other side of the street, walking in the other direction. I ended up with 11 photographs from that one block that I'd like to show, looking like they could each be from a different block. I'll pare it down of course. But here's a good one to start off.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Morningside Heights, Amsterdam Avenue Between 118th and 116th Streets

Mary Sargent © 2006 …………….....……….. click to enlarge

This is the last shot of my October 7 walk, now turning on Amsterdam and walking downtown to 110th, then back to Broadway and subway home. Columbia University to the right in this shot.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Morningside Heights, 120th Street Between Broadway and Amsterdam

Mary Sargent © 2006 …….......……………….. click to enlarge

This is the Columbia School of Engineering and Applied Science. Try to get a look through the front windows to see the tubing hanging down from the ceiling, and the big wheel-like things. A bit primitive? Or do I just not know my applied science?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Morningside Heights, 120th Street Between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue

Mary Sargent © 2006 …………..…… ……….. click to enlarge

This block is the northern border of the Columbia University complex of classrooms and other college-type buildings, the southern border being 114th Street.

Apologies for the soft focus, but I couldn't resist it (no wait! I WANTED it that way (no, I didn't)). The absolutely perfect distance of the tree from the window frame (which you will only appreciate enlarged), the flares of sunlight, the gridded windows, and the sort of toy-like look of the guy demanded to be shown.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Morningside Heights, Broadway Between 121st and 120th Streets

Mary Sargent © 2006 ………………....…….. click to enlarge

And this is what's behind those green bars in the photo below.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Morningside Heights, Broadway Between 121st and 120th Streets

Mary Sargent © 2006 ………....…………….. click to enlarge

This is the entrance to the Horace Mann Teachers College. Pretty handsome building, wouldn't you say? But look at that bright green metalwork at the sides. Isn't bright green kind of an odd choice for that building?

My son, who lives in Gaylord, Michigan was saying to me how he thought the use of color in New York was pretty unusual. They wouldn't do that in Gaylord, he said. He was talking specifically about the September 23 post, pink building with orange gate, and at the time, I said, well, it's mainly dilapidated buildings and things on the run-down edge of the city that get painted those bright colors. But now I'm wondering. Look at this shot, and this one, and this one. Isn't this funny?

Here we are, walking around wearing black all the time, and our buildings are a riot of slapdash color.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Morningside Heights, Broadway Between Tiemann Place and La Salle Street

Mary Sargent © 2006 …………… ……………….. click to enlarge

Morningside Heights is defined (roughly) as the area with a northern border at 125th Street, eastern at Morningside Drive, southern at 110th Street and western at Riverside Drive, and it is the home of many institutions, including Columbia University, the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, Riverside Church, St. Luke's Hospital and Tom's Restaurant. Small but packed. I'm not much taken with it as a neighborhood, but there are many things to see and some nice photographs to be had.

Tiemann Place is one block down from 125th Street, and this little beauty, no institution, is called Sounds. I'm tempted to come back and see how it looks at night. No! Must forge ahead. Many streets to go.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

West Harlem, 125th Street, Broadway to Hudson River

Mary Sargent © 2006 …………………………….. click to enlarge

This shot was taken through a glass window on the elevated subway stop at 125th Street, which accounts for the splotch and light streaks. I'm thinking these horizontal streaks actually make this a better photo, anyone agree? Or not? But you must enlarge it, or it's not even worth discussing.

125th Street is the southern border of Harlem at this point, so I wasn't actually in Harlem on Saturday. I walked south into Morningside Heights.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Inwood, 215th Street at Broadway

Mary Sargent © 2006 …………………………… click to enlarge

Saturday, I had no plans or errands to do in faraway places, so I just stared at my map and made a decision. Go to 125th Street and walk south into Morningside Heights.

But first a shot right here in my own neighborhood on the way to the subway. This building has been the site of many troublesome clubs, and the club before this one was painted bright turquoise, which you can see though the cracks in this more sombre color. I think I have a shot of it on film when it was turquoise.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Upper West Side, 76th Street Between Riverside Drive and West End Avenue

Mary Sargent © 2006.......................................click to enlarge

Continuing my walk of last Monday, I turned on 76th Street to make my way back to Broadway and came upon this scene. Thank you, gods of color! And timing.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Upper West Side, Riverside Drive Between 75th and 76th Streets

Mary Sargent © 2006.............. click to enlarge

The third in my series of reflections in car tops. Three makes a series, I guess. The first two were here and here. Maybe blue tops make it too easy, too referential to landscape, water?

Friday, October 06, 2006

Upper West Side, 75th Street Between Riverside Drive and West End Avenue

Mary Sargent © 2006 . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . click to enlarge

After my walk in the park, I came back to Riverside Drive and walked up to 76th Street. Here's a look up 75th Street.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Upper West Side, Riverside Park at 72nd Street

Mary Sargent © 2006 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . click to enlarge

On Monday, Yom Kippur, our office was closed and it was a gorgeous day and I had to get olive oil at Fairway, so I took the subway down to 72nd street and walked across to Riverside Park.

Today it's 59° and fall is here.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Kips Bay, Asser Levy Place Between 23rd and 25th Streets

Mary Sargent © 2006 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . click to enlarge

As promised. Enlarge this photo and look at what's incised above the arches:

Free Public Baths …………..City of New York.

I know I claimed that this is not documentary photography, but I think I've broken that rule now and again. This is definitely documentary. I just had to show you what the City of New York built for people who lived in tenements without running water. Actually, it's probably more accurate to say that they built it that way because that was their sense of what public buildings should look like. Whereas, now . . .

The door on the left is for men and the door on the right for women. Or was. I entered through the door for men since it was the open one and found myself in a large open room. It's a community space now with a gym and a swimming pool.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Kips Bay, Asser Levy Place Between 23rd and 25th Streets, Looking North

Mary Sargent © 2006 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . click to enlarge

New Area. On Thursday, September 21, I took a lunch time walk, well actually, I took a taxi to 26th and First Avenue, and walked down to Asser Levy Place. I'm trying to use broad categories of neighborhood identification, but Asser Levy Place is east of First Avenue next to the East River and it doesn't belong to any big neighborhood as far as I can tell. I've been consulting Wikipedia when I need help and Wikipedia points to Kips Bay.

So Asser Levy Place is only two blocks long and surrounded by big medical complexes and the Veteran's Administration Medical Center and that lovely reflective building which I couldn't identify. But wait till you see what's on the street to the left of this photograph. That's tomorrow night.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Columbus Circle, 59th Street at Tenth Avenue, Looking East

Mary Sargent © 2006 . .click to enlarge

The last photograph from September 16. We are definitely out of the streets of neglect now. This is the Time Warner building at Columbus Circle. Don't you love this building and how it seems to disappear into the sky?

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Hell's Kitchen, 59th Street Between Eleventh and Tenth Avenues

Mary Sargent © 2006 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . click to enlarge

Back home after a very fine trip to Michigan. Must diet.

This continues my West Side walk of September 16; I'm walking back from 12th Avenue on 59th Street, and it's feeling a bit less neglected as I go.

Map update. It's coming along.