Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Giant see-thru reclining woman in community garden #potus

This wicker woman (not to be confused with the New England pronunciation of wicca woman) is nestled in a little alcove garden on 113th street in Harlem. The benches below seem to indicate that at some point foliage will cover the woman making her green and provide shade.

I'll try to revisit her in September. Hope she's in full bloom by then.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hungry lion waits 'til I get just a little closer.

Edward Clark Potter sculpted these two iconic lions for the New York Public Library's 42nd street branch. Their names are Leo Astor and Leo Lenox, Lady Astor and Lord Leonox, or Patience and Fortitude depending on the era in which you read about them. (Even though both lions are male, I'm sure Lady Astor would have taken it as a compliment.)

Supposedly, Potter is best known for equestrian sculptures, but our library is such a central part of our city that we only know him for his felidae sculputures.

Monday, June 28, 2010

We've got the Key To The City!

Creative Time is sponsoring a public art project called Key To The City. Carrie (above) helped us fill out our ceremonial statements so that we could bestow keys upon each other.

Our first stop was Bryant Park, a great little oasis of green in midtown NYC. We found several key holders intermittently illuminating a park lamp.
The lock box was jam packed with notes and trinkets from fellow key holders.
Then it was on to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the last day of their participation in the Key To The City project. A stately gentleman presented us with the last remaining two passes to the museum inside a music box that played New York, New York. We offered our passes to the next key holder since we come to the museum regularly. Having done this, we became the second-to-last Key To The City visitors to the Met! Yay.
More Key To The City pictures to come.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Girl Survives Moose Attack Thanks to Cracker

Moose attacks are big news this week as a boy from Norway uses valuable lessons learned from gaming to save his sister and himself from an angry moose. (Boy Survives Moose Attack Thanks To World Of Warcraft)
    The boy has won the gratitude of children around the world who are still trying to counteract the negative parental effects of the Video Games Probably Make Kids Dumber Study. I can hear the pleading now: I may be dumber, but I will be able to save little Isabella from a moose (Isabella is the most popular name for girls in New York State in 2009, and the probable name of most little sisters).
    Fear not POTUS fans, this collector tamed her moose with a pewter cracker.
    If you don't have a pewter cracker on you (or aren't as cracked in the head as this collector), you can try these much more successful survival tactics helpfully provided by Glacier National Park - which will also tell you what wolves eat (does the list start with kids who play lots of World of Warcraft?)

    Friday, June 25, 2010

    Manolo Valdez cracker skirt

    At the 72nd street subway on Broadway, two Manolo Valdez sculptures stand guard at the entrance.

    Thursday, June 24, 2010

    Strap on a cracker belt buckle and don't go 'round naked.

    I've just completed a saltine that you can have with you every day. It's the new cracker belt buckle designed for a 1 1/2 inch strap (it fits standard belt loops).

    My Mother used to say that you might as well be naked if you go out in public without a belt. This was the thinking about hats before President "Hatless Jack" Kennedy's 1961 inauguration, or undershirts before Clark Gable killed the men's undershirt industry. Obviously, these appear to be false claims, but I'd rather be sure that you don't unknowingly go around naked.

    Available in brass at POTUS31. Also available in silver and gold on request.

    Wednesday, June 23, 2010

    Walking Man: Don't Tread on Me.

    I love the Central Park walking/running/blading lane. Of course, it's shoulder to shoulder with the high-speed biking lane. The bikers are often faster than the cars (when cars are allowed in the park). I've actually seen police giving tickets to bikers. Look for the walking lane if you're new to New York and you'll be less likely to get run over by a Type A New Yorker.

    Tuesday, June 22, 2010

    Chupacabra Tacos grilled to perfection!

    These tacos were delicious! O.K., so they weren't chupacabra tacos, but they were from a place called Cascabel Taqueria where the decor is all about Mexican wrestling. Our favorite was the mother/daughter tag team, but there are so many to choose your own favorite from.

    The corn (on the right) is slathered in butter and/or mayo to make the queso cheese stick then powdered with cumin and paprika. The guacamole is scrumptious and the portions and prices are just right even for folks on a budget. They're no more expensive than Chipotle (which is no longer owned by McDonald's), and they're fresh, new, different, and tasty. As for the decor, I've got to say that Mexican wrestlers are so much more soothing than plywood and aluminum decorations, so that's another reason to spend your pesos at Cascabel.

    Don't expect to get a table on a hot summer night though. This tiny place is mad busy. Get your tacos to go.

    Monday, June 21, 2010

    Crazy Hat by Manolo Valdez at 96th Street

    I've been shooting these as I stumble across them on Broadway. They are a series of bronzes by Manolo Valdez. I posted the one at 104 and Broadway a few weeks ago. Each figure seems to have a bizarre hat. This is on the north side of the intersection of 96th Street and Broadway in NYC.

    Friday, June 18, 2010

    Alaskan bear eats a cracker

    Folks always love to play with the displays in museums and nature centers. I couldn't help myself with the shark at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, so I completely understand. This collector is no different. She's been sending great pix from her Alaskan trip. Thanks!

    Falcon want a cracker?

    Thursday, June 17, 2010

    Stupid Sock Creature has a human and a cracker

    These striped gloves come in a Stupid Sock Creature kit. There are several designs in the book for interesting and fun monsters that you sew yourself (or with your kids if they insist). This monster-to-be is being fed its first saltine. I always said the pewter crackers were like mother's milk.

    Wednesday, June 16, 2010

    Big Apple BBQ was smokin!

    Pig out at the Big Apple BBQ! What an amazing event. Can't wait 'til next year.
    These ribs were really tasty. They made them just right. No sweet or spicy to hide the meat. The smoked pork flavor was front and center done right.

    These guys do a whole hog that's delicious. They have 8 rental smokers with trailer hitches. Never thought of renting one before, but seems like something smart for a big gathering or event.
    There was a palette of charcoal briquettes next to this. There were about 4 bags left on Sunday at 2PM. The guys next to them ran out of ribs with 4 hours left to go in the Big Apple BBQ. They sold everything they had expected to sell, I guess.

    The surprise ribs came from Joe Duncan at Baker's Ribs in Dallas. I think the group was new to the event because they were off to the side, like a side show at the Big Top. I had a moment with their ribs sort of like when you're eating an ice cream cone and the world just fades into the background for a few minutes.
    Pit Master and guest pose for a snap on the smoking rig.

    Tuesday, June 15, 2010

    Portlandia reaches for a saltine

    She must have a tin deficiency in her diet. As they say, you are what you eat. Since bronze is copper and tin . . . you get the point. She gets the cracker.

    Thanks to our collector in Portland for this fun shot!

    Monday, June 14, 2010

    Denali shrunk to cracker size

    I'm told that behind the cracker is Denali, but since it's invisible, the cracker is a place-holder. The park hotel has, in addition to the wake-up call service, a you-can-see-the-mountain call service. Since Alaska is light most of the day and night as we approach the solstice, this service might wake you at 3:00 AM if the weather is clear.
    Denali view: Day 1
    Denali view: Day 2

    Saturday, June 12, 2010

    Alaskan cracker on a glass-top train

    This glass-top train is in Alaska. Can't wait 'til they have these in New York subways so we can see the underbelly of the city. O.K. maybe they'd only be good on the elevated trains and not so good underground.

    Friday, June 11, 2010

    Needle Threading a Button and a cracker

    Next to the Garment Worker, there is a sculpture of a needle threading a button that could be mistaken by a panic stricken alien believer to be a crashed spacecraft that has been skewered by an equally giant stainless steel needle. This weapon would certainly be cheaper than a Tomahawk Cruise Missile at a price tag of $575,000 each but, of course, the button is not a spacecraft, and we don't need a Strategic Needle Intercontinental Protection Shield (SNIPS) to protect us from these if the Russians or Chinese develop them.

    Thursday, June 10, 2010

    The Garment Worker sewing a cracker

    The Garment Worker by Judith Weller installed on 38th Street and 7th Avenue, New York City.

    Weller's work immortalizes the working class in monumental bronze. It began as a maquette of her father, a taylor. This large scale depiction of a laborer based on that maquette was commissioned by the Ladies Garment Workers Union.

    If he were to stand up on his base he'd be about 10 feet tall. It was installed in 1984, and is in good shape considering it is four blocks south of Times Square, and has a substantial amount of foot traffic around it every day.

    Wednesday, June 9, 2010

    Crabman statue looks remarkably like Frederick Douglass

    O.K. so it's not actually Darnell, played by Eddie Steeples, from My Name Is Earl, but it resembles him. This statue of Frederick Douglass has been under wraps for over two years. There's a long story about the disaster of this sculpture because no one fact-checked the folklore that it was based on before commissioning or installing it.

    Excerpt from the New York Times:

    It’s “a myth, bordering on a hoax,” said David Blight, a Yale University historian who has written a book about Douglass and edited his autobiography. “To permanently associate Douglass’s life with this story instead of great, real stories is unfortunate at best.”

    Tuesday, June 8, 2010

    Chrystler Building on a cracker

    I was walking somewhere I'd not been in a long time and saw the Chrystler Building lit and graphic looking. There's a ramp on either side of Grand Central that essentially allows folks to drive through the mezzanine level of the train station via Park Avenue. From the south side you get an impressive view of Hermes as you approach.

    Its official name is the Park Avenue Viaduct. There are entry ways and columns that are regal and stately like the architecture at 60 Center street, but they aren't in use. Definitely a worthwhile walk if you're o.k. with maneuvering directly in traffic.

    Monday, June 7, 2010

    Herbert Hoover, meet Stephen Colbert

    I went to a B'nai Mitzvah Sunday for Emily Conley. I noticed that one Stephen Colbert was in attendance at Table 4 based on the name tents at the front door, but I had a little difficulty finding #4 among all the families of the 5 Mitzvah kids.

    I wanted to introduce myself, also being named after a famous person. Unfortunately, by the time I found Table 4, and there was a chance to mingle, the table had dispersed.

    I told one of the mothers of a Bat Mitzvahnt of my plan to introduce myself only to discover that the joke would have been on me. The kids had come up with folks, such as Stephen Colbert and Harry Potter whom they wished were in attendance at their B'nai Mitzvah.

    Having heard this, I instantly wished I had made a more valliant effort to meet the non-existant guest so the kids could have a laugh about it.

    Friday, June 4, 2010

    F.A.O. Schwarz Sentry with cracker

    Right next to the Apple toy store on 5th Ave is this amazing toy store. It's been featured in several movies like Tom Hanks/Penny Marshall's Big where the characters dance on the giant piano. Really fun toy store with unique offerings.

    I overheard a father telling is 7 year old son not to attack people with sharks because it's not nice.

    The offending sharks:

    Make it a stop on your trip if you visit the Big Apple.

    Thursday, June 3, 2010

    Apple Toy Store Most Popular NYC Landmark

    According to the Cornell Report, the Apple store on 5th Avenue has surpassed The Statue of Liberty in popularity. Hey, that French chick had a pretty good run, but you don't have to take dramamine to visit Apple.

    Wednesday, June 2, 2010

    Alaskan Pipeline (not leaking)

    "Oil staying in pipe."
    Sent by Stinky from Alaska.

    Tuesday, June 1, 2010

    Jaume Plensa letterhead

    Jaume Plensa sculpts huge heads and figures. This one is made of welded steel letters. It's in the lobby of the over-the-top Crosby Street Hotel. Swing by if you're in the neighborhood. Among the thought-provoking oddities in the hotel is a hanging lamp with ostrich eggs. They also have an amazing courtyard garden.