seasons

by sam on 11/29/2016

View of my parents’ apple orchard in early August, and then this past thanksgiving weekend.


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comfort

by sam on 11/12/2016

even if unintended, I saw this on my corner today, and it comforted me. Please keep being kind to each other.

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safety

by sam on 11/11/2016

The results of the election have thrown a lot of people, including me, for a loop. In addition to the normal grief and loss I feel when any candidate I support loses, there is the added devastation that a brilliant, hard-working, well-qualified woman who has been unfairly vilified for decades (note: this does not mean I think she was perfect. This means I think she got a lot of crap for things that were either figments of the right-wing noise machine or that would have been, and were, ignored in male politicians) lost to an openly misogynistic, racist, know-nothing sociopath who, three days into the transition is already appointing a bevy of insider lobbyists and the heads of SPLC-designated hate groups to run things and letting Paul Ryan run around brag about how they’re going to END MEDICARE.

Wtf.

In addition to that, we’ve seen, both during the campaign and ramping up in the wake of the election, significant anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-LGBT, anti-[pretty much anyone who isn’t a trump supporter] attacks. I don’t know how to respond to this on a large scale, but following Brexit, Vox notes the following:

…a #safetypin hashtag began trending, and Brits began posting selfies of themselves wearing safety pins on social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram as a way to raise awareness.

The “safety pin” symbol was inspired by the 2014 #illridewithyou movement in Sydney, Australia. where people offered to sit next to Muslims who felt threatened on their commutes — at the time, there was fear of an Islamophobic backlash after a terrorist attack in Sydney left two hostages and the gunman dead (one of the hostages was killed by a bullet ricochet). And its spirit is in line with a guide to stopping Islamophobia that recently went viral and offers solutions to bystanders and witnesses.

There’s now a burgeoning effort in the United States for people to start wearing the safety pin stateside in the face of post-election attacks and harassment. Having to adopt a symbol of anti-violence and anti-bigotry is not exactly what any of us thought we’d be doing in the wake of a presidential election taking place in 2016, but it could be one small way to signal that you’re an ally (regardless of who you voted for) to someone who probably didn’t think they’d be in this vitriolic and volatile situation either.

Well, I’ve got safety pins.

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marquee

by sam on 10/23/2016

marquee for the Joyce Theater in Chelsea.

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miniature

by sam on 10/10/2016

I was just amused by the juxtaposition of these two police cars. And wondering who gets stuck driving the tiny car.

Also, yes, they’re totally parked in the new bike lane on Amsterdam.

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30th street station

by sam on 10/8/2016

I don’t think my distaste for New York’s Penn Station is any secret, but it only gets emphasized when I get to spend time in other train stations that are more beautiful. Obviously, here in NYC, Grand Central and the new Oculus are great spaces (and vastly different to each other), but other cities still have beautiful Amtrak stations.

I took a short trip to Philly this summer to visit friends, the weekend before the DNC, and so 30th street was at its shiniest, spiffiest best. This is one of my favorite stations – sure Amtrak does its best to muck things up with its standardized modern signage that makes zero effort to blend with the classic art deco building, but it’s still OK.

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pete’s

by sam on 09/29/2016

Pete’s tavern. They’re very subtle about the fact that O’Henry used to write here.

(I actually love this bar and on the rare occasion that I have gotten my act together to celebrate my birthday, this has been one of my more favored locations)

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corruption

by sam on 09/28/2016

The most common definition for corruption has to do with grift and dishonesty. But corruption can also mean decay and rot.

Both variations of the word are appropriate here.

When people learn about late 19th and early 20th-century New York City political corruption, one person (Boss Tweed) and his machine, Tammany Hall are at the heart of the story. But what people generally don’t realize is that Tammany Hall was an actual, physical…hall. It had a few locations, and this was the last.

The building has spent the last few decades operating as the union square theater, and is now vacant and being gut renovated.

If you get up close, you can see the inscriptions to the old order of Tammany along the side. My favorite though, is the discovery of grift never ends – they’re attempting to preserve some of the friezes on the building, and they’re basically disintegrating to the touch because it turns out that they’re just something like plaster of Paris instead of proper building-grade materials. Heh.

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screaming spot

by sam on 09/24/2016

Union square. These days, I think maybe we all need one of these.

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school

by sam on 09/23/2016

School doors. Upper west side. Very red.

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