Category: New York


Getting off at 86th Street a young Japanese girl playing the violin. She stands by the stairs with her tiny violin and the case is open on the ground. Today it was filled with dollar bills. The last time I saw her it was empty. She plays fast, always the same music, or type of music and over by the wall an adult is watching over her. She never smiles, in fact her facial expression is rather unpleasant, like she doesn’t want to be there.

Too many people. The Q was supposed to make my life easier and reduce crowding on the subway. It doesn’t seem to have worked. I had to wait for a second train because the first was too crowded.

Man with a red bike. Not a folding one a regular one. Which leaves me with the question why take the subway when you have a bike? I know it was cold but I saw other people riding their bikes. If I had a bike I would ride it every chance I got.

Twin girls about 7 years old wearing matching fur leopard prints hats with ears and matching pink coats. One of the girls had matching mittens (to the hat), grey tights and bright blue and pink sneakers. The other girl had pink gloves, pink tights, and pale pink Mary-Janes.

Second Ave Subway partie deux

After all my complaining about the new subway, i decided I should give it a try. It does make my commute easier and faster, except for having to take the elevator at the Lexington Station (claustrophobic me?). And of course I took pictures. The first set is from the 96th Street Station by Rite Aid. The roof over the entrances is clear. They look white because it had snowed.



This next set of pictures is from the Lexington & 63rd St. Station, elevator exit to 3rd Ave.

Snowpacalypse is a ‘new’ word, a made up word combining ‘snow’ with apocalypse, which shows you how much they (the ones that made it up) know since they spelled it wrong. It’s also a word i hate and never wanted to use. I find it distasteful to use a word that refers to God’s judgment for a weather event. It’s a blizzard, let’s stick with that.

While i’m on my soapbox, why are we naming storms? Hurricanes are named because there are several in a season, there are five lists of names to rotate between the years and the names are in alphabetical order. That’s how you know if it was a particularly bad year, if you can a hurricane Tanya, that was a bad year. This naming of blizzards is rather haphazard. Winter Storm Jonas? Why not just ‘the January blizzard of 2016’ if you are worried there might be more. ‘The blizzard of 2015-16 winter’ if this is the only one.

I knew it had snowed before i opened my eyes, the snow plows on 2nd Avenue woke me. When i look at my windows i can see snow on my windowsills. The snow plows came by again so it must still be snowing, i haven’t looked out my windows yet. Not even when i heard some guy screaming for help, once. I hope someone helped him, or it was a joke.

Normally when it snows like this i go to the park and take pictures. Maybe tomorrow, today i’m staying in.

On the subway

There is no place like New York and nothing like the NYC subway system. I have determined there are three types of people that talk to me on the subway.

There are the people who ask for money. From what they say, none of them do drugs, none of them drink, all have suffered some unimaginable tragedy and can’t get government assistance.

There are the people asking me for directions. “Do I look like Google maps?”

There are the people offering to help find your train, this is usually followed by a request for money, so they could fall into the first category. What is really annoying is some of them feel they need to lead you to the correct train and “STOP TOUCHING ME”. I should get a medal for not stabbing people.

Then there is your random crazy person, like the tall skinny black man that told me I was “a white whore and you’re going to die of AIDS and cancer.” And the woman who offered me oral sex. She was convinced I would love it and I was just, “Ew no, germs.” Like I said, I should get a medal.

New information about lakes with blue-green algae bloom notices has been posted today, July 3, on the DEC Blue-Green Algal Bloom Notices webpage.

This week, 6 waterbodies were added to the notification list, and blooms were reported in several locations in the state. This information is provided from about 130 waterbodies sampled in the last two to three weeks by DEC monitoring programs, volunteers and public reports.

Because waterbodies may have blue-green algae blooms that have not been reported to DEC, we recommend avoiding contact with floating rafts, scums and discolored water – If you see it, avoid it and report it!



Know the symptoms of blue-green algae exposure

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • skin or throat irritation
  • allergic reactions or breathing difficulties

These symptoms may be mistaken for common gastrointestinal distress, for example, food poisoning, heat exposure, or other illness. Regardless of the cause of the illness, these symptoms may require medical attention. If you have been exposed to blue green algae blooms and experience any of the symptoms, seek medical assistance. More information about these symptoms can be found on the Department of Health Blue-green Algae web page.

Report your symptoms



The New York State Department of Health is collecting information to evaluate the frequency and intensity of illness and other problems from blue green algae exposure. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should send an email summarizing these symptoms and the location of the bloom to harmfulalgae@health.ny.gov and your local health department.

Report a suspected bloom

If you suspect you have seen a blue-green algae bloom, or you, your family, or pet has been in contact with a blue-green algae bloom, please follow the instructions for reporting a bloom to DEC.

NYC Lens, April 29th, 2015

FULL TEXT:

Coyotes are popping up across the city–on a roof, behind a bush and sitting doe-eyed in a crate after being captured by the New York City Police Department. Their presence might seem unusual to city residents, but the coyotes are just a local chapter of a country-wide trend of urban coyotes.

In the past decade, as human development encroaches on the natural habitat of coyotes, many of the animals have moved into urban areas. Another factor: Their natural predator, the gray wolf, has become an endangered species in the last three years, allowing the coyote population to expand its borders. Scientists call this natural range expansion.

“We have to accept the fact that natural range expansion is part of the ecology of wildlife globally,” Camilla Fox, founder and executive director of Project Coyote, said. “Natural range expansion is exactly what’s happening, and some of this is in response to alteration of habitat.”

Project Coyote is a California-based organization that seeks to destigmatize coyotes. The group promotes peaceful coexistence with coyotes through conversations with wildlife scientists, ranchers, educators and community leaders. The organization provides several resources to help the public better understand and interact with coyotes.

In New York state alone, there are 14,500 breeding pairs of coyotes. According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, coyotes began moving into the state in the 1930s. Instead of living in packs, like some of their West coast relatives, eastern coyotes tend to live in pairs. All coyotes mate for life.

One common misconception Project Coyote hopes to dispel is that coyotes are dangerous.

“Your chances of being bitten or attacked by a coyote are incredibly low,” she said.

Though there is not a centralized way to keep track of coyote attacks, Fox said that anecdotally, there are relatively few coyote attacks on humans compared to dog bites, which average about 1,000 per day.

Urban coyotes have inspired creative initiatives like the Urban Coyote Project, a collaboration between three journalists–Jaymi Heimbuch, Morgan Heim and Karine Aigner–with an affinity for canines. Each based in a different city, the journalists learn the habits of local urban coyotes and photograph them, posting photo galleries along with information from wildlife scientists to help spread correct information about coyotes.

“When we understand more, we can coexist easier and fear less,” Heimbuch, founder of the project, said.

Heimbuch and her colleagues were inspired by how adaptive and cunning species is. She hopes to expand their project to include both a film and a book.

The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation recommends several tips for “coexisting with coyotes” based on Project Coyote’s guidelines. Residents are encouraged not to feed the animals so they do not become accustomed to humans, safely store food and garbage in animal-proof receptacles, keep dogs leashed while outside, keep cats indoors, and scare off coyotes if a coyote approaches you in a park or a neighborhood.

Project Coyote also recommends “hazing” the coyotes by making yourself appear large and loud by shouting, waving your arms and flashing lights until the coyote retreats. If residents come across a coyote who is not responding to this or if someone is bitten or hurt, call 9-1-1.

The final recommendation from the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation is to appreciate the animals from a distance.

“They have shown to be incredibly resilient and able to coexist with us and tolerate human disturbance,” Fox said. “We haven’t shown that kind of tolerance for the species.”

There are more people bitten by dogs than coyotes. Don’t you think this might be because dogs live with people and coyotes don’t?

Breaking ALL the rules

People always comment how New Yorkers don’t wait for the walk signal, we just wait for the traffic to clear and dart across the street. It’s like we are a city of rule breakers. I have to agree, let me explain.

What’s the biggest rule moms tell their kids? No not clean your room! That’s mom’s fantasy. No moms are always telling their kids, Don’t get in a car with a stranger. Right? So you live your life running away from ride offers from people you don’t know.

Then you move to NYC, and you don’t have a car because, A) it is freakishly expensive to keep a car in NYC; B) the subway and bus system is beyond compare, who needs a car? Then one day you’re in a rush, you need to get across town RIGHT NOW, so you stick out your arm, a yellow car stops and you get in. You get in a car WITH A STRANGER. BOOM, mom’s rule has been broken.

But wait, you say, it is this strangers job to transport you safely to your destination (notice I said safely, not necessarily untraumatized, but I’ll consider cabbie driving habits in another post), maybe so I say, BUT, we all watch TV, and we know there are serial killers masquerading as taxi drives just waiting for a snowstorm and an unsuspecting victim! Once you break this rule and survive, this emboldens you break other rules, like crossing against the light. It’s no wonder we all do it.

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Another first

My friend Mary sent me an e-mail about an oyster crawl. It’s like a pub crawl, except you eat oysters instead of drinking. Rose also got the invitation and decided to come. It was at that point I realized I had to admit, after several times saying I liked oysters that, I had never had any. They never asked me why I said I liked oysters when I had never had them, I probably couldn’t have given them an answer.

We got these ‘badges’ in the email, with instructions to print them out or save to our phone/mobile devise. My printer is currently not working, and I was having fits trying to save it. I finally managed it, and then we didn’t need to show them.

My first stop was the bank. The second was the subway, I briefly considered stopping at Starbucks, then discarded the idea, only to regret it when I saw how long the wait for the train was. The first restaurant on the oyster crawl was Grey Lady down in SoHo, took me a while to find it. Rose was waiting for me, Mary was delayed by train problems. Rose has said to expect rain, so I brought my umbrella, but it was snow at this point.

We got two dozen oysters, I wrote down the names of the oysters, since I was planning on writing about it, but I can’t read my notes. It looks like we had ‘fisher plane'(Fisher’s Island) and ‘moom shoal'(Moon Shoal). I’m pretty sure that one of those is wrong, anyone reading this that knows their oyster names is probably laughing at me. I even checked my Instagram, and although I had posted this same exact photo, I didn’t note the names. (Name correction courtesy of Eating the First Oyster)

This is me eating my first ever oyster. Photo courtesy of NYC Photo.

After the oysters I had a shot of Lemon Vodka.


This is the second place we went on our NYC Oyster Crawl. True to form I wrote down the name of the oysters, “Blue Point”, and didn’t write down the name of the bar. I’m pretty sure it was Bait & Hook. There are two reasons I’m sure, one is the pictures look like the place we went, two the website says they have happy hour oysters: $1 Blue Point, and three it is one block over from Professor Thom’s. Which is where we went next. Not for oysters though, for loaded tots. Anyway these are my oysters. I only got 6, Mary got clam chowder, she wasn’t feeling the oyster love right then.

Rose got a full dozen. She apparently was still hungry for oysters. Of the three types of oysters I ate this day, these are my favorite. The oyster love continued to the next time I was at Fairway, standing at the seafood counter looking at the hunks of rock that supposedly hold oysters, thinking to myself, I wonder if I could shuck those.