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Horse Hotel On Lower West Side

I've always wondered where the horses that pull the carriages in Central Park lived. Well, here it is, at 538 West 38th, a short distance from the Javits Center.

NYC, Brooklyn Photos

The High Line, The East River Ferry, and Old Time Music at French Bistro in Williamsburg

It's been over 90 degrees the past few days. Last night, after leaving the convention center, I had dinner at The Chop Shop, right near the High Line (on 10th Ave/25th St.), excellent sort of Asian fusion food, caught a cab cross-town to the 34th street East River Ferry, a surprisingly fast (and funky) ferry; the skipper was a cowboy, he'd roar into each dock, then reverse the props, and gently bump up to the landing gangplank.
   It was cool out on the river, a novel way to get to Brooklyn. I walked through Williamsburg to FADA, a French bistro and listened to 2 sets by the Baby Soda Jazz Band as they went through '20s-'30s songs like Darktown Strutters Ball, Marie, I'll See You in My Dreams, and the like. This is a great little band. The entire street wall of the place was open to the street and people walking by would either start dancing, or otherwise move to the music.
   In spite of the fact that Williamsburg has been "discovered," I like it a lot. Great place to wander and explore. I'm told that Bushwick is now what Williamsburg was 10 years ago.

Photos Williamsburg & NYC Tonight

Abe & Morgan

Lincoln before his beard (photo exhibit on civil war at Metropolitan museum), Morgan Freeman in wax at Madam Tussaud's

Photos NYC #3

From top: Barefoot & Flying, excellent cajun band in subway; great doo wop group outside Metropolitan museum; an ain't-it-the-truth book title from Chronicle Books, more turn-of-century subway station tile work

Sky High Tree Top Treehouse

I do find it frustrating not to be able to find the source or photographer of so many photos floating around on Pinterest and other photo conglomeration websites. http://designspiration.net/image/839756883/

Old Beach House

PHOTO BY Numi Thorvarsson at http://www.flickr.com/photos/numi/2484365708/ 


Photos NYC #2

I'm just going to throw photos out there. Monday was a pleasant 70 degrees. Yesterday it poured rain at times. When rains come, vendors pop up on the corners with $5 folding umbrellas and $5 clear plastic ponchos. At bottom: tile work in subway station, probably from early 1900's. See here.

Photos NYC #1

The city has just enacted a huge bike system. You pay $95 a year (or $25 for a week) and pick up and drop off these bikes all over the city.
"NYC Launches Largest Bike Share Program in the Nation -- The privately funded Citi Bike bike-share program is launching with 6,000 bikes at 330 docking stations in Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn" Click here.

Manhattan Monday

Got to my hotel around 8AM Sunday, no room available, so I walked over to the Le Pain Quotidien bakery/ cafe (wonderful chain with farm tables, country kitchen ambience), had a Belgian waffle and latte, then took off on foot for the Museum of Natural History.
   25 years of trail running has given me certain mobility skills negotiating busy streets and crowded sidewalks. I think of it as ballet. I jaywalk at every opportunity (which most pedestrians do not, surprisingly, do here in Manhattan). If I have to rush to get across an intersection and have my backpack on, I do a sort of shuffling run.
   The city is in a good mood. This organism that is Manhattan definitely has its moods, depending on weather, world affairs, planetary influence, and other intangibles. Check out this lovely little park on the Lower East Side; birds were singing loudly in the trees:
Houston Hall, 200 block on West Houston

"Homeless" tiny home city reality:
All his gear in cart at right. The guy was inside the darker blue tarp.
Could hear him talking. Privacy.
What ingenuity!

Laird Hamilton on Huge Teahupoo Wave

This video is way old now, but it still takes my breath away. Check out the clip starting at 4 min. 17 sec.

Whale Exhibit at Museum of Natural History

I love this museum. I get dizzy after a little while in most museums, but I could spend days here. The whale exhibit had special meaning for me because in the last year I watch the disintegration of a 47' fin whale on a California beach. The size of the skeletons is stunning.  Below is the fin of the larger skeleton on exhibit. Note similarity to human hand.

Longboard Skateboarders in Park

Were these guys hot! I thought California boys had the fancy stuff all locked up, but these guys were busting one move after the other. One of them skidded his board into a 360 and kept going. I didn't know there was a downhill in Manhattan, but this was maybe a 500' run, in a paved section in the park adjacent to Central Park West between 72nd and 74th. No cars.
They meet up through Meetup.com, Longboarding NYC here.

Central Park is Verdant/John Lennon: Imagine

After the dryness of California, the greenness of New York is vivid. Flying in, everything looked so green. Weather perfect here. The park was -- voluptuous, if you will. What an incredible park. The bridges, stonework, lakes slabs of granite, green meadows. Half the city must have been there. Here's the memorial to John.

'This Is My Home': Anthony Pisano's Enchanting East Village Apartment

From Jerry Young

Solar-Powered Bamboo House

"‘Sunshine Inn’, a solar-powered bamboo house, was made by the Chinese team from Tongli University as their official entry into the first European Solar Decathlon in Madrid. Bamboo was chosen as the main material because, as a highly renewable resource that fixes carbon into the soil, it minimizes CO2 emissions throughout the whole production phase. This beautiful structure features two curved solar panel-clad roofs and a solar-facing wall covered which is also covered in photovoltaic panels."
For this structure and 12 other bamboo buildings, click here.

More Art at United's SFO Domestic Terminal

Hey, I've got good wi-fi, and can't sleep on airplanes (plus an electrical outlet to plug MacAir into). What's a poor boy to do?

Golden Gate Bridge/Styrofoam Hummer

On way to SFO on Airporter. The GG never ceases to be beautiful.

United's terminal always has a great art exhibit.  Styrofoam Hummer by Andre Junge.

Urban Homestead in Southern California

Note added after I posted this: read the comments(below) on this bogus operation.
"Surrounded by urban sprawl and just a short distance from a freeway, the Urban Homestead project is a family operated and highly productive city farm. It is also a successful, real-life working model for sustainable agriculture and eco living in urban areas and has been featured in multiple news medias both nationally and internationally. 
   Our work in creating Urban Homesteading as a flourishing and self-sufficient lifestyle using minimum resources and land has been referenced as a progressive and forward-thinking example and sourced as the representation of future city planning and reclamation worldwide. For over a decade, we have proved that growing ones' own food can be sustainable, practical, successful and beautiful in urban areas.
   We harvest 3 tons of organic food annually from our 1/10 acre garden while incorporating many back-to-basics practices, solar energy and biodiesel in order to reduce our footprint on the earth’s resources. This website documents the many steps we have taken and hopes to inspire fellow travelers on their own life-changing journey…
Click here.
Thanks to one of our many anonomai.

Get Those Pigs Stoned!

"(Reuters) - With Washington state about to embark on a first-of-its-kind legal market for recreational marijuana, the budding ranks of new cannabis growers face a quandary over what to do with the excess stems, roots and leaves from their plants.
   Susannah Gross, who owns a five-acre farm north of Seattle, is part of a group experimenting with a solution that seems to make the most of marijuana's appetite-enhancing properties - turning weed waste into pig food.
   Four pigs whose feed was supplemented with potent plant leavings during the last four months of their lives ended up 20 to 30 pounds heavier than the half-dozen other pigs from the same litter when they were all sent to slaughter in March. 'They were eating more, as you can imagine,' Gross said."
Click here.
Photo (c) 2012 By Laura Berman
Thanks to Anonymous.

Sk8ing again…

 For months I've been wistfully looking at the downhills, especially the newly-paved. Just couldn't risk a fall with shoulder not healed up. But things feel together enough for me to venture back on the pavement. So much fun!
   Since I've never learned to slide (whereby you can control yr. speed), I need to get off the board before getting to the speed where I can't get off and remain vertical.
   For now I'm just skating gentle slopes and carving. No (well not much) bombing. I wear Loaded gloves with hockey pucks velcroed to the palms. Cliff Coleman, downhill speed legend, told me that when you fall, remember 4 words: Get On Your Hands. Meaning get those hockey pucks sliding on the pavement so you're not sanding off skin.
   The other part of the equation is to also slide on your knees, i.e knee pads with hard surfaces, so you're on all fours, sliding on knee pads and hockey pucks.
   The one time I had the presence of mind to do this was in San Francisco late at night when my board hit an unsurmountable crack in the pavement, and I skidded along on 4 noncorporeal surfaces.
   Boards shown from my, ahem, sponsors: at right my smooth turning, stylish carving bamboo Bhangra from Loaded Boards; at left my carvy cruzer with drop-down deck from Santa Cruz Skateboards----for bombing and sharper turns,
   On the road again...
Posted from 30,000 feet, pretty good United Airlines wi-fi hookup, 1/3 of the way to JFK. Stylin' it in business class, free ticket from frequent flyer program.