nostalgia

by sam on 07/16/2016

I worked in this building for six years, until, well, all of that stuff happened, and any time I would have to explain where I worked to someone, I would distinguish it from all of the other monolithic grey towers on sixth avenue by describing it as “the one with all the giant headless green statues in front”. Everyone always immediately knew what I was talking about after that.

In actuality, the statues are a piece of art titled “Looking Towards the Avenue” by artist Jim Dine.

NY Times article from after their installation
waymarking post with additional information

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Absence

by sam on 07/13/2016

I used to work across from this building, and prior to its renovation/takeover by a different corporate owner, the lobby was home/host to a great masterwork of American art, America Today by Thomas Hart Benton. That mural has been donated to the Met, where you now have* to pay extortionate entrance fees to see it.

As a replacement, the public gets to see this bland, anodyne piece of corporate nothingness.

*the Met is a public institution and as such has “suggested” entrance fees, so some people get bold and only pay a penny. Most people do not realize that you can actually do this and take the prices at face value. There was actually a lawsuit over how they worded their signs and “enforced” payment – which the Met lost.

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deco

by sam on 07/9/2016

taken last month. I can almost never pass by radio city music hall and not take a picture of its signage – to me, this is some of the best in the city. The pinnacle of what beautiful, character-filled, decorative signage can be. The robber barons did a lot of terrible things, but at least they left a few scraps for the masses to enjoy.

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sunset

by sam on 07/4/2016

Last night, a friend had a party on her roof in Brooklyn, and the sunset was one for the ages – it was one of those nights that started getting documented on social media all over the place. I decided to take a little time with the real camera. And by time, I mean a whole 12 hours. This is going to be one of those “all the pictures are basically of the same thing” posts, but you’ll have to forgive/indulge me on this one. The sunset, combined with my slight water tower obsession, makes it somewhat impossible to limit myself any further. Just be glad that I whittled it down to this from the 80 or so that I started with. The second five, which are panoramas, are basically the progression of the sunset from earliest to latest in the evening.

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reflection

by sam on 07/3/2016

Glass curtain buildings are boring and have no particularly redeeming architectural value from the outside*, save for one thing – their ability to reflect other things that are more beautiful.

* the relatively bright, column-less spaces can be nice to work in, given modern construction techniques, unless someone gets the bright idea for an open office plan.

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beauty

by sam on 07/2/2016

public art in union square. From The NYC Parks Department description:

Lionel Smit,MORPHOUS
June 13, 2016 to April 30, 2017
Union Square Park, Manhattan

Description:
MORPHOUS is an exploration of hybrid identity and its ever-changing nature within South Africa’s social landscape. This bronze sculpture, featuring the conjoined heads of two outward-gazing young women, evokes the question of time, of past and future, and a societal commentary without judgment. The “double-vision” portrayed in this work is simultaneously a foretelling of things to come and an acknowledgement of what has already passed. The figures are charged with an emotive and gestural energy, a hallmark of Smit’s evocative work. The spontaneous gestures in his three dimensional figural forms animate the beauty and grace of the faces he sees in the neighborhoods around his studio. The scale of his work invokes both a sense of celebration and power.

This is the South African artist’s first public art installation in the United States, and will be complemented by an exhibition of his work at CYNTHIA-REEVES’ gallery in North Adams, MA in July and August 2016. This exhibition is presented by CYNTHIA-REEVES , Union Square Partnership , and Art New York/Art Miami .

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Flower

by sam on 07/1/2016

Closeup detail of railing to stairs on a brownstone.

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Not Tekserve!

by sam on 06/30/2016

Tekserve is closing. For those who don’t know, tekserve was the oldest, originalist, apple store in NYC. They were where you went back when apple stores didn’t exist, back when apple was actually the struggling upstart. And even after apple became the behemoth it is today, Tekserve was still the place to go if you wanted anything other that basic service – if you wanted to upgrade your hard drive or RAM and walked into an apple store, they would just try to sell you a new computer. Tekserve would actually help you – my second most recent iMac has additional RAM installed by the tech guys as Tekserve – it was underpowered for whatever OS had come out at the time, and instead of scrapping it, I realized I could extend its life by at least a little bit if I just added some more RAM. I figured I’d get another year or two. That machine is over 8 years old and in active use at my parents’ house. They were the guys who helped me soup up my powerbook before I moved to Italy a decade ago, so that it could go from being a ‘peripheral’ device for my main computer to my primary device for that trip.

But, in honor of their closing, I present to you the ultimate in Tekserve adventures, the saga of attempting to repair my G4 iMac. in NINE parts.

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine

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Engine co. 3

by sam on 06/23/2016

New York City fire houses, even the relatively nondescript ones, still have the best signage. One of my favorite podcasts is 99 percent invisible, which discusses the hidden design of everyday things. I don’t think they’ve addressed this specific item (yet!), but it really does make a difference when people put thought and care to even the municipal backdrop of our everyday lives.

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Slow

by sam on 06/22/2016

Subway traffic signal. We are not exactly using cutting edge technology in our 100+ year-old system for moving millions of people around on a daily basis. I marvel daily at our ability to function.

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