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  • Michael Krakovskiy 3:13 pm on October 27, 2007 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Geography of New York, , , , , , , , Woolworth Building   

    Stigma and the City 

    New York is like a hot girl in high school. One that’s easy to love, easy to hate, and easy to pretend that you don’t care about at all (since she does not notice you anyway). New York is beautiful, ugly, cruel and kind — all at the same time. They are both high  maintenance and high rent.

    My high school experience was surprisingly non-traumatic. I never tried to pretend to be someone I’m not, to hide my geekiness and foreignness.  Strangely enough  that made me feel like I actually fit in, even though  I probably did not.  And while I “missed my chance” in high school, my love affair with New York City is going strong.

    Side Note: my high school’s only famous alumni is Larry David, creator of Seinfeld and the inspiration for the character of George Costanza.

    Tourists to New Yorkers are what geeks and nerds are to jocks.  This highly insensitive sign in front of the currently inaccessible to the public lobby of the Woolworth Building.

    Tourists are not permitted

    I spent the last 14 years in New York, but to this day I have not lost the feeling of being a tourist. I constantly carry a brick of a camera with me (mostly in my bag, but often on a strap around my neck) and  gawk at the skyscrapers. Most of my co-workers avoid Times Square like the plague because of all the slow moving tourists. I, on the other hand, feel at home there.

    If the tourist is the lowest of New York’s inhabitants, there’s even more gradation. New York is not just Manhattan. There are 4 other boroughs plus Long Island and New Jersey, denizens of which can only reach Manhattan via a bridge or a tunnel and are collectively known as “the bridge and tunnel crowd” .  The moniker is not precise —  there are four other ways to reach the city the I know of:  ferry, water taxi, helicopter taxi, and Roosevelt Island Tram.  I am a proud bridge and tunneler as well.

    One of my first jobs in Brooklyn was circular delivery — those annoying little advertisement newspapers that you find wedged into your door or mailbox.  I spent a lot of time methodically crisscrossing  Brooklyn’s street grid, visiting many different neighborhoods.  I used to mark the street map that I visited to make sure that I covered the area that I was supposed to cover. I wonder if they use GPS to insure that the delivery men cover their area now. There are few things that I like more than walking Manhattan’s streets, watching people and arhitecture and taking pictures.

    I am thinking of two projects. First – visiting every single street in Manhattan with the help of GPS. I believe that this was done already, as well as my ongoing (but mostly unpublished NYC Tarot photography project). But secondly, I want to take a series of photographs from the middle of Manhattan’s street intersections – there’s something about the view of NYC’s streets from the intersections that fascinates me, and it’s a view that few people explore.

  • Michael Krakovskiy 7:35 am on November 15, 2006 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Geography of New York, Jericho, , Rose of Jericho, That store, ThinkGeek,   

    Rose of Jericho 

    Once again I spent a good chunk of Saturday in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden with my wife and daughter. As usual, I left some money in the gift shop. That store often makes me regret buying an apartment and not a house. Instead of a microscopic Brooklyn backyard I only have a couple of not very sunny windowsills. Still, I can’t resist buying an plant or two. Some die quickly, some — after a long battle with unfavorable conditions, and some thrive despite all odds. The palm did not survive, for instance, but the pineapple sent up a second shoot and is feelin’ fine.

    This time though, I bough a plant that isn’t afraid of the browniest thumb in existence. For the princely sum of $2.95 I bought a baggie containing the Rose of Jericho of which I’ve heard so much ThinkGeek charges 7.99 for one.

    As advertised, the dried out plant unfurls and turns green in about 24 hours.

    Now, there’s a plant that is chock-full-o-symbolism. Religious, blog-related, etc.

    While it might be the perfect plant for a chronic cubicle dweller, it’s probably a good idea not to keep it in a bowl of water, as it might start growing smelly algae and other nasty stuff. I transplanted it into a pot of soil, and it looks like now I have a plant that is next to impossible to kill. The Superman of plants. Or something like that.

    To commemorate the occasion I made this blurry, yet somewhat interesting movie with my webcam. I always wanted to make one of these stop motion dealies and to check out google video interface. Here it is, in its full blur-o-vision glory.

  • Michael Krakovskiy 11:02 am on July 7, 2005 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Geography of New York, , , , , , , ,   

    Yet Another Logo Post 

    I don’t want the Freedom Tower. I want the Twins back. This is a somewhat controversial opinion – some feel that the Twins are gone forever, together with the lives of the people on the planes, in the towers and those who came to help them.

    To use M. Diddy’s expression, in Corporate America controversy is not considered “a good thing”. Chock Full O’ Nuts, for instance, removed the towers from its logo.

    On the other hand, many other companies still use their old skyline logos that feature the Twin Towers. I have a much bigger collection of these logos, but it’s a little hard to find all of them.

    The person who designed Evergreen Diner’s cup either chose an unusual viewpoint or just drew random boxes to represent skyscrapers around WTC.

    Manhattan Mini Storage even got the positions right – Citicorp then Empire State then the Twin Towers (if you look from the park towards Brooklyn).

    Midtown Electric‘s view is from Brooklyn.

    The painter who worked on this kiddy ride did not strive for accuracy, but I guess for the 10 or so years that I’ve seen that particular kiddy ride around I bet nobody was confused about which particular skyline was depicted there. Can any of the Freedom Tower designs do that? Because every time I am looking at the rendering with the Freedom Tower proposals I am thinking – holy crap, that’s Philadelphia (and it looks like I am not alone in that particular opinion).

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