The Neon Lights Are Bright

I don’t run.  Actually, I can’t run. Keith is a big runner and when we started dating he told me “If you can walk, you can run”.  Since we were dating, I did what any logical woman would do, I pretended to love running.  I signed up for 5Ks and I ran on the treadmill at the gym.  All was well with my diabolical plan until one fateful Sunday afternoon at Lakeshore Athletic Club.  I was bent over at 90 degrees trying to “run through” a stitch in my right side, Keith came over and pushed the big red emergency STOP button on the treadmill.  “You’re done.  You were right.  You can’t run.”.  He married me anyway and I blissfully walked down the aisle.  After all, he knew there was no chance I’d be a runaway bride.

So you can imagine my absolute delight this week about all the running in NYC.  It began on Sunday with the New York City marathon.  50,000 people running through all five boroughs of New York.  I comfortably watched it on my couch while eating lox and bagels and sipping on my Kenyan hazelnut coffee.

Then, on Tuesday, the run for NYC mayor was coming to an end.  The mayoral election was finally here: De Blasio or Lhota?  I always love election day.  Not only can we exercise our freedom to vote, but, because dozens of political TV commercials have finally run their course.

So, by Wednesday I felt that I had some pretty good momentum behind me.  Where should I run off to today?  The MoMA?  Bergdorf Goodman’s?  No, too mundane and predictable.  I needed to lace up my arch supporting peggy sue’s and strap on my “I love NY” fanny pack.  I needed something bigger.  So naturally, I decided to go where no “real” New Yorker would ever tread.  I ventured to a spot where only the true tourist would dare go.  I went to Times Square.

I don’t know what made me do it.  I am the anti-tourist.  I don’t do tours.  I don’t take photos.  I don’t buy souvenirs.  But, Times Square is something of a must-see.  It’s the high-wattage beating heart of Manhattan.  It’s the genesis from which all of Manhattan’s energy pulses.

I packed Chelsea into her gold puppy purse and hopped on the 1 train to 42nd and Broadway.  We emerged from the quiet and dark subway, instantly mugged by sensory overload.  The immense crowds were to be expected, but, Times Square is really all about the visual over-stimuli.  I’ve seen it hundreds of times on TV.  I knew what to expect.  But, when I was surrounded on all sides by it I have to admit it was something I have never experienced before.  It actually was kind of cool and even spectacular.

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Besides the blinking lights, changing billboards and scrolling ticker tapes, the other spectacle is the people watching.  Of course, I saw throngs of map clutching tourists with their white sneakers and back packs over-stuffed with who knows what.  But, the really good stuff is everyone “working” Times Square.  There are dozens of Statues of Liberty, several spindly spidermen, and some very mangy, dodgy looking Elmo’s.

I wanted to take a picture of these alleged cherished and trademarked Elmo’s, but, they traveled in pairs, like thugs.  I honestly felt if they saw me snap a picture of them they would shake me down for some loot. If I refused to fork over the moolah I thought I was going to get roughed up on some alley off Sesame Street where the air isn’t so sweet.

However, the crème de la crème was the naked cowboy.  Yep, he’s still here wearing just his whitey tighties and singing away in the crisp November air.  Obamacare be damned if the cowboy catches a sniffle, there is a true American sweetness and honesty to this very odd character.


But honestly, my favorite part of Times Square is Duffy Square.  Here, there is a large red stair case leading to nowhere at all.  Chelsea and I sat on these steps for about a half an hour.  Perched on these stairs, I felt removed from all the chaos, yet, had an intimate view of everything.  This, my friends, is the best seat in all of Times Square.

Finally, C-dog and I took one last look at Times Square and gave it a little nod and wink.  She’s a tough old broad who’s seen a lot.  But, she seems to be winning the race against the times.  Do I need to run back to Times Square any time soon?  No, but remember, I don’t run.IMG_0285IMG_0291


Pictures of the Week…Vote for your favorite!


Chelsea hanging out on the steps of Duffy Square. I think it’s a little ironic that there is the billboard for Chicago behind her.






Chelsea taking a break from her walk in Central Park.









Rock Center Tree

This is a shot from Keith’s office of the Christmas tree being raised in Rock Center.


The rumors are true. There are alligators in the NYC subways. At least there are at 14th and 8th in Chelsea.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Sometimes life is stranger than fiction.  I’m realizing this more and more in New York.  As the weeks begin to pile up and I’m becoming more familiar with my new surroundings, I have realized that Manhattan sometimes does exist as an island.  Think about it, It’s not really attached to any other land masses…except by a few bridges…and because of that I believe certain events occur here that may be exclusive to this little piece of real estate.

It was the day our furniture was being delivered that we “met” our first neighbor.  Crate & Barrel was the first to arrive on our doorstep.  That was fortuitous because they had our couch…and our bed.  Now, we could at least sit and sleep.  So, there we sat on our new indigo couch watching paint dry.  No kidding, we had the slowest painter in the world and nothing else to do but watch him. Then, Keith peered out our 9th floor window and casually observed the scene in the building across the street.   “Hey, there’s a fat naked guy sitting in the window and smoking a cigarette”.  My mind immediately leapt to the classic Friends episodes, where they too, were grossly transfixed by their own naked, fat guy.  I assumed he was kidding, but, nope there he was in all his naked big belly glory just puffing away and enjoying the fresh morning air.


Above: The scene of the fat, naked guy sighting. You can’t see him, but, he’s there. A little like a perverted Where’s Waldo?

But wait, there’s more.  Fat, naked guy is just the first in the cast of characters that make up our neighborhood.
-   There’s the transvestite that works at Sephora.
-   There’s the crazy woman who sits and sings on the bench of Broadway’s landscaped median.
-   There’s the guy who walks around in lime green pants, a fur coat and either cowboy boots or pink shoes.  (One day I saw him puffing away on a cigarette.  His rotund belly forcing the sides of his fur coat open.  Hmmm, it looked oddly familiar.)


The green panted dude enjoying Saturday afternoon on the median strip of Broadway.

But it’s not all looney tunes here.  And that’s what makes New York so very special.  They might look crazy, eccentric or both, and then, bam, you find out they’re a brilliant artist.

One mild, fall Sunday morning Keith and I were walking to Starbuck’s.  We saw an older slender man with his long gray hair combed back.  His fitted sports jacket and bright green shoes was a look that he comfortably and completely owned.  He reminded me of Leopold from the Bugs Bunny cartoons.  And I thought, who knows, maybe he’s a conductor.  It’s New York, it’s very possible.leopold-300x225

Keith ducked into Starbuck’s while I waited outside with Chelsea.  I chatted with a few other neighbors and their dogs and waited.  Keith came back with two steaming hot ventis and one very juicy story.  He had eavesdropped on a spontaneous conversation between two strangers behind him.

Guy 1: “Hey you’ve taken some great pictures.”
Guy 2: “Yeah? Thanks.”
Guy 1: “Hey, that guy looks just like Paul McCartney”
Guy 2: “Yeah, it is Paul McCartney.”
Guy 1: “You know Paul McCartney?”
Guy 2: “Yeah, I’ve shot him a few times.  I’ve also worked with Boz Scaggs, Tom Petty and a bunch of other bands.  I’m here now to shoot the Dalai Lama.”
Guy 1: “Wow, you sure do name drop a lot.”
Guy 2: “Yeah, that’s what the Queen told me.”

Guy 2 was Clive Arrowsmith a famous rock photographer.  And, he was just waiting in line for coffee and some shameless self-promotion.

Later that afternoon, we took Chelsea for a walk in Central Park.  It was a beautiful October day.  The sun was shining and the air was crisp.  We stopped for a hot dog.  As we sat on the park bench there was a father and his son sitting on the grass.  The dad was beautifully playing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star on the flute.  I looked at Keith and said “This guy plays in the New York Philharmonic”.

And the truly crazy thing is that he probably does.