spring is back! | upper east side, nyc


walking east across 84th street—having just dropped my dear friend and breakfast companion—off at the met—i was not the only leisurely pedestrian happy to enjoy the finally spring-like weather and the accompanying plumage and bloom on the trees and in from the newly planted soil in the meridians dotting the separation of much of park avenue. this woman turned to snap a picture of these tulips at the exact same time that i did. i was briefly annoyed that she blocked my shot, until i decided to make her the center of it.

misty may morning | upper east side, nyc


early morning, the first day of may. low fog obscures then hides the tops of even the shortest of buildings, random street-level fog mixes with steam escaping from a grate in the street where subway construction occurs. and at the early hour, the the lack of pedestrian traffic and the buffeted silence makes the surrounding visual that much more eerie yet comforting. it reminds me of The quiet of Gotham of which I once wrote

corner chick chat | washington heights, nyc


i spent the morning revisiting the washington heights of my early youth in between visitations to my sister and her new son—my new nephew—at columbia-presbyterian hospital. on the block i used to walk down every day (when i lived with my dad in that neighborhood), i alit upon these two young ladies, dressed nicely for an early sunday morning, bantering back and forth feverishly about a late third party. they barely took a breath as i walked by, nodding a kindly unspoken salutation as they continued their otherwise excited conversation.

watching people watching | upper east side, nyc


while walking into the new cafe right down the block from me, i witnessed a female customer in the front window with a couple of textbooks, a notepad, and a pen. i assumed she was into some very studious work. after i ordered my coffee and doughnut and sat at a nearby table, i had a quick curiosity as to what she might be working on. after a few attempts, in the same number of minutes, i realized that she wasn’t reading or writing anything. throughout the leisurely time i took to slowly drink my coffee and eat my doughnut, she never turned a page or scribbled anything down. she didn’t touch her books, pad, or pen at all. she just watched the early morning pedestrians walk by outside. her only activity was to pivot and turn and tilt her head while observing the neighborhood denizens on their walkabouts. i was soon captivated by her every head motion, wondering what internal, mental reaction she was having with each passerby. she was still at the window after if finished my morning consumption and headed out the door. my last thought of her was with what head turn and thought might she have reacted when i walked past the window outside on my way home

a grand entrance | upper west side, nyc


even though i grew up in morningside heights—more the upper upper west side—i spent the a lot my time during the 20 years of my life on the west 70s. most of that time was at my alma mater, the collegiate school, and a lot of it in this famous building, the apthorp, where one of my best friends ever lived with her mom and brother, also still a good friend. they haven’t lived here for a while, but every time i walk by it seems i have fonder and fonder memories. and i also seem to greater appreciate the ornate architecture of this now 100-year old building

station wary | upper west side, nyc


the city is changing so quickly these days that ground level views I spent half a lifetime enjoying disappear almost as quickly as batting an eye. and i’m on the upper west side so infrequently that when i find myself coming out of the subway on 72nd and broadway, i am gladly overwhelmed with nostalgia that the view turning the corner is actually made more and more rewarding each time for remaining mostly the same as when i walked these streets everyday half a lifetime ago

spring is coming | upper east side, nyc


so, we all know we’ve had one long-ass crazy winter. but us new yorkers always new that spring just had to return eventually, right? well the one almost always surefire sign of an impending warming trend is when foliage first starts to appear on the long-barren branches of plants and trees. this bud tells us that nyc will soon enough be “going green”. time for shorts, sandals, linen, short sleeves, no sleeves, long walks, outdoor dining, handheld ice cream, and kisses worth remembering for where exactly they happened. many have jumped the gun already, living as if the temperatures were already in the 70s. but soon, none of us will have to pretend anymore. for spring is coming!

side gawk cafe | upper east side, nyc


spring weather gets very otherwise patient people out of their small apartments and out onto the streets. outdoors, we look forward to us new yorker’s favorite pasttime: people watching, no matter if it’s on the stoop of a brownstone, in any park, on the steps of st. pat’s, or at any number of outdoor cafes, nibbling and sipping away while gothamites rush or meander to their own people-watching spot, if they have the time

jazz (is) history | harlem, nyc


many have already lamented the closing of harlem classic jazz space lenox lounge. it’s also going through a bit of a cultural renaissance. and as i watched this little girl stroll by a place that epitomized what a cultural mecca harlem used to be, i wondered is she was even remotely aware of the historical reverence this now boarded up storefront represented, or if she will be part of a new cultural that will as great define what harlem was and can be

whose lemans? | upper east side

whose lemans? | upper east side

a quick trip back from the local bank down a street i walk almost every day, and i was nicely caught off guard by this beautiful old school pontiac lemans (i had to ask my car aficionado friend exactly what make this was), in a gorgeously retro sunburnt orange, and sitting parked and unattended with its hood slightly popped. made me happily nostalgic