I picked up for a few bucks this Univac security guard’s shield. Like many security badges it’s based on a New York State Great Seal. The proportions are changed and the figures of Liberty – woman holding a Phrygian cap on a stick (well, actually Liberty pole if you want to get technical) and Justice – woman with a sword and scale. There’s sunrise over Hudson inside the shield, but without the two boats. New York State’s motto Excelsior (which is Latin for “Up Your’s”).
The plastic laminated id is kind of cool, because it’s a miniature punchcard.
I guess the manufacturers of rent-a-cop badges are trying to make them subtly similar to NYPD logo, yet different enough not to get in trouble. NYPD badge is based on a similar, yet very distinct New York City Seal. Instead of Liberty and Justice it features American Indian with a bow. The other figure is enigmatic – for the longest time I thought that it was another American Indian holding a dead animal or a tomahawk. In fact, it turns out to be a Dutch sailor holding a “sounding line” – a nautical depth measuring rope. Another useless bit of trivia: Mark Twain chose his pen name from the expression “mark twain”, meaning only two fathoms reading on the sounding line.
The five stars on the chevron are for the five boroughs, the windmill is for the Dutch origins of New York City. The most unsettling part, is of course the Justice scales that rest on top of fasces, a bundle of sticks with an axe inside – the ancient symbol of authority. Along with the swastika, fasces has been marred as a symbol of Fascism, to which it gave its name.
Same old album. Here I am, at the shore of the Black Sea wearing my favorite cowboy hat. Man, did I love that hat. It had this feeling about it… The feeling of something a bit forbidden (cowboys after all were an American icon), and a feeling of freedom. My parents only let me wear that hat as a reward for finishing my summer homework assignments on time (which I rarely did), so there was also a feeling of accomplishment.
It’s kind of sad that wearing hats is out of fashion these days. Hats make you feel special. A fedora, a cowboy hat, a top hat, a derby hat. Gone, nobody wears them anymore, nobody remembers how special they are.
I keep meaning to buy a cowboy hat like that again, but never get around to it.
Some people like saying “the Internets”. I like saying “the Subways” (as in Ms. Subways). The subway system in New York City is really a patchwork of different systems, all built by different companies during different times with different philosophies. Because of that subway kiosks and stationhouses are so different in style.
Usually the kiosk is built to blend in with the surroundings. For instance one in front of the Citicorp building echoes its slanted shape.
The one in front of the over the top Art Deco RCA building is also thoroughly Deco.
On the other hand right in front of the dignified Victorian station kiosk with its cast iron ornamentation you will find a supermodernistic “Sculpture for Living“.
Avenue H stationhouse (aka Fiske Terrace Station) of the Brighton line is an altogether different animal, not found anywhere else in the system. It’s an old shingled railroad stationhouse, hailing back from the day when Midwood was really just that – woods in the middle of Brooklyn.
[update] By the way, just in case I ever find a way to travel back in time, I have a ticket for that railroad ready:
Maybe when I finish One Hundred Views of the Empire State Building I’ll pay homage to Hiroshige. We’ll see.
When you run a classy joint, like Tiffany & Co, you can’t just board up your windows and start renovating. No, you board up your windows and hire an illustrator to draw a mural on it. Tiffany & Co execs seem to have a pretty good sense of humor though. The mural looks like an illustration from Cosmo or some other
chick young woman oriented rag publication. On the side a legend says: “Welcome to Tiffany. Please use our 57th Street entrance while our crown jewel gets a polish.”
Here’s a detail from the front: bow tie boldie has this annoying expression on his face: “he heh, I am surely getting my crown jewels polished tonight.”
This, by the way would have been an interesting photography project – camping out with a long lens across from Tiffany’s and discretely (otherwise Trump and Tiffany security personnel will probably drag you away for this) taking pictures of men walking out with those robin’s egg blue shopping bags. I would not want to do something like that though, as on occasion I walked out of that store carrying the shopping bag and the expression. I am a fan of the 1837TM line.
“TIFFANY BLUE BOX and the color TIFFANY BLUE are trademarks of Tiffany (NJ) Inc. and/or its affiliates and are used under license.”
Well, of course if you walk one more block and go to the store, they have the real Robin’s Egg Blue boxes. But do they have these low, low prices and the classy matching van? Street shopping in Manhattan is amazing.
Stupid NYU hippies. There sure is. Actually several. And I even spent 16 years experiencing one.
I created some postcards to send out via email, but my contact list is messy, some of the emails are old. I am hungry and thirsty (there’s a bottle of Veuve Clicquot and some Vietnamese food waiting for me), so if you did not get a postcard, here they are:
I have to admit that the I copied the idea from a postcard that was sent to me by Reneka – the maker of my coffee machine. I’ve made this latte art pattern with their machine – no Photoshop, so I am hoping they are not going to hold this plagiarism against me. The postcard they sent features a cup with “05” in it – I added a pine tree looking rosette.
One of the weirder items purchased recently in a drugstore: bandages with real silver pads: