Lethologica

12 Mar

I have very nearly run out of words this week.

The old IRT power station.  It supplied power for New Yorks first subway.

The old IRT power station. It supplied power for New York's first subway.

The beautiful, enormous building was designed by McKim, Mead & White.

The beautiful, enormous building was designed by McKim, Mead & White.

I’m also all out of big thoughts, the ability to punctuate and good questions.  You see, for more than a week now, I’ve been filling in for one of the editors at work who has been out of the office.  I have slain many hackneyed phrases, deleted dozens of superfluous adverbs and thought very, very hard about the future of sports, the crisis on Wall Street and the new regulatory landscape in D.C., all on top of my regular job.

12th Avenue street art. This whole building was covered with it.

12th Avenue street art. This whole building was covered with it.

To tell the truth, I have really enjoyed it.  I enjoy editing, though I did take it badly when I introduced an error into one story while trying to make some complex financial mumb0jumbo a bit clearer.

I just loved the interplay of reflection and geometry on this building.

I just loved the interplay of reflection and geometry on this building.

The High Line. This was once an elevated railway that ran from the Hudson River docks into and out of various storage buildings. Very soon, it will an elevated park.

The High Line. This was once an elevated railway that ran from the Hudson River docks into and out of various storage buildings. Very soon, it will an elevated park.

I know noting about this building and could find nothing about it on the internet. Does anyone know its history?

I know nothing about this building and could find nothing about it on the internet. Does anyone know its history?

But I am looking forward to the mental vacation provided by going upstate this weekend, because last weekend we stayed in the city and took two long walks, which always force me to come home and sit with a book to learn the histories of all the cool things we saw.

The Starrett-Leigh Building. This is where Martha Stewart has her offices.

The Starrett-Leigh Building. This is where Martha Stewart has her offices.

Three-headed snake, two-headed pig... What, you need more explanation than that?

Three-headed snake, two-headed pig... What, you need more explanation than that?

IAC Interactive Building. I lovelovelove this building.

IAC Interactive Building. I lovelovelove this building.

Old School vs. New School.

Old School vs. New School.

We started Saturday morning from our apartment and walked straight down 11th Avenue to 14th Street and then back up again on 10th Avenue.  I love this side of New York.  There’s still a veneer of “old” New York; gritty, dirty, and with tiny hints of the city’s old maritime past peeking through.

The Peace Fountain at St. John the Divine.

The Peace Fountain at St. John the Divine.

These tiny flowers were the first sign that Ive seen that spring is on its way. If you look very closely, there are some very happy bees enjoying the flowers as well.

These tiny flowers were the first sign that I've seen that spring is on its way. If you look very closely, there are some very happy bees enjoying the flowers as well.

Several peacocks live at St. John the Divine. On Sunday they were trying very hard to not be found.

Several peacocks live at St. John the Divine. On Sunday they were trying very hard to not be found.

St. John the Divine; still not finished.

St. John the Divine; still not finished.

On Sunday we headed up the island on Broadway, making an ill-fated pit stop at the uptown Fairway, followed by me ripping the sleeve of my brand-new coat, which required immediate soothing with a big plate of Southern food on the outskirts of Harlem.

I think this elevated roadway is Riverside Drive, but I cant be sure. This is up in the 120s and 130s on the westside.

I think this elevated roadway is Riverside Drive, but I can't be sure. This is up in the 120s and 130s on the westside.

This is the building that Fairway Uptown is in. Does anyone know what the symbol is?

This is the building that Fairway Uptown is in. Does anyone know what the symbol is?

We saw a Studebaker showroom on our Bedford walk, and up here in Harlem is a plant where those cars were assembled. Studebaker used to own this town.

We saw a Studebaker showroom on our Bedford walk¹, and up here in Harlem is a plant where those cars were assembled. Studebaker used to own this town.

One of the problems with editing a lot at work is that when I get home, sitting at my computer, writing coherent, grammatically correct sentences is the very last thing I want to do.  Instead I’d rather lie on the couch and fill my head with soothing, mindless television, like Top Gear, The Devil Wears Prada and The Tudors.  And to think I recently tried to convince you that even my guilty pleasures were high brow.  Oh how the overworked are humbled.

Morningside Heights.  When they say heights, they mean heights.  And if you look closely you can see the Empire State Building way off in the distance.

Morningside Heights. When they say heights, they mean heights. And if you look closely you can see the Empire State Building way off in the distance.

The smallest crocuses Ive ever seen. That entire clump could have been covered by a Snapple cap.

The smallest crocuses I've ever seen. That entire clump could have been covered by a Snapple cap.

For perspective...

For perspective...

And so, I’m going to give in and use a very hackneyed phrase, because, as the MythBusters are wont to note, even the most overused adage often contains a nugget of truth.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

Back down on the Upper West Side, my favorite neon sign.

Back down on the Upper West Side, my favorite neon sign².

I hope its true, because I’m definitely running at a deficit of a couple thousand words this week.

————————————————————————————————————————————————-

¹ Ten Miles, Two Soups, January 18, 2008.

² Also a favorite of the New York Times. The Best and The Brightest, February 19, 2009.

10 Responses to “Lethologica”

  1. WillB March 12, 2009 at 8:31 pm #

    And in spite of all that extra work, terrific pictures…hurry on up, the snow is just about gone. Plus, it promises to be a pretty nice weekend shaping up. Time to get the grill out! Have a great weekend!

  2. whitneyinchicago March 13, 2009 at 7:18 pm #

    I love how I feel like I was exploring NYC with you on this post.

  3. Jess March 15, 2009 at 4:35 pm #

    Oh, you make me miss New York in the almost-spring. Thanks for the tiny flowers.

  4. Toni March 15, 2009 at 11:34 pm #

    The next time I’m in New York, I want to go on a walk with you. We’ll both bring our cameras and compare “notes” afterwards. I’m serious, Ann – as you know, I’m a HUGE fan of your photos!!!!

  5. Julie March 16, 2009 at 6:21 am #

    I want to go on one of your New York walks too! I’m fascinated by all these pictures — all the layers upon layers of NYC.

  6. bloglily March 16, 2009 at 10:46 pm #

    Ann, I loved reading this — and seeing New York through your eyes. I’m sorry about the overwork though — and glad you are going to the country soon. xo

  7. ann March 17, 2009 at 5:30 am #

    Will — We didn’t do any grilling, but we did manage to get out into the yard and do some cleaning up and planning for the spring. It was incredibly satisfying!

    Whitney — I’m so glad! I should walk to work more and take more photos.

    Jess — You can always visit through my photos! I’ll be sure to take more picture of tiny flowers for you ;-)

    Toni & Julie — If you both end up in NYC at the same time, I’ll do a special master-walk for you :-)

    Lily — Well! At least the editor is back now. Yesterday was much easier, dull almost. It was very pleasant :-)

  8. Marie March 18, 2009 at 7:19 am #

    That’s one of my favourite parts of the city, too. I’ve been stuck in my LES rut and will now go and ‘splore…

  9. seisei March 21, 2009 at 7:08 am #

    Hi there,

    The building you were curious about on 11th Ave. is the old Tunnel nightclub space. I’ve read it was an old train tunnel before then but couldn’t find much info on it’s history. The space is now used as a rental hall for various events and now has a wichcraft and gym inside, as well as a few art galleries.

  10. ann March 21, 2009 at 5:37 pm #

    Marie — From your wanderings it doesn’t look like you’ve been in an LES rut!

    Seisei — So THAT’S what Tunnel looks like in the daylight? Hehehe. Wow! I went so many times and never knew what a fabulous building it was, or obviously even remembered where it was. Ah, youth! Thanks for the info :-)

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