Saturday, April 30, 2016
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
On the way to Washington Square, these houses could be in Chelsea. Chelsea, London, I mean. Confusingly, New York has a Chelsea. And a Soho. Or rather SoHo, which these days is posher than ours and I'm told stands for South of Houston. That's a bit confusing, as I thought Houston was in Texas. Oh, OK, it's a street called Houston, pronounced HOWston. Incidentally there's also a place called DUMBO - Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.
And here's Marble Arch.
Though Washington Square isn't a patch on Hyde Park. Having said that, there's always Central Park, on which more later. But if you're not near it, you're out of luck where parks are concerned. These trees must be paid to bloom on time.
Through the Arch to skyscrapers beyond and behind it some of the Big Apple's more modestly priced housing.
Now here are more of those flippin' fire escapes, They're everywhere!
rather ruining the facades.
Could this be Portobello Road?
How much you got?
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Or one of them, can be found in the Fraunces Tavern, a real old pub squeezed uncomfortably among the skyscrapers near Wall Street. It was here that George Washington bid a tearful farewell to his generals. Finding out that he wore badly-fitting dentures made this British visitor feel a little less like a loser. Plus there was a lock of his hair. Under that wig it was actually black.
The Fraunces Tavern has a dark and cosy whisky bar and serves decent food - including Americanised Scotch eggs - not enough of the pink sausage meat to my mind but I suppose so-called healthy eating has taken over.
Incidentally, if you remember, a few years ago I discovered a place called Berkeley Springs (BURKley to Americans, of course) where George Washington had had a bath.
Monday, April 18, 2016
Here is a very small selection of some new York City quirkery. How nice, for example, to spy a bootblack's stall. I doubt they do much business what with everyone wearing trainers these days but maybe some of those city slickers can afford proper shoes.
Speaking of city slickers, I'm not sure if this gentleman, spotted on the way to Washington Square, is representing the men's spa or the firm selling boxes. He's not really dressed for a spa.
Washington Square has a dog park, with the usual rules and regulations.
The sand, or whatever it was on the ground, smelt a bit pungent, though, this being New York City, it's probably frequently changed. The dogs were Designer of course and having as much fun as they could have, considering they probably spend a lot of their lives in high rise flats. I wonder if you'd be allowed in with a mongrel, which Americans call a "mutt",
In Washington Square, someone had chalked out the words of the First Amendment to the Constitution - all about free speech, press, religion etc. But I suspect that some views popular in rural western New York would be best left unsaid in Washington Square.
I have a feeling they may be running out of clever restaurant names.
And while we're on the subject of spas, the Russian Bathhouse and Restaurant looks intriguing. Do you have the facial scrubs and massages while you slurp your borscht or are they a way to clean up afterwards?
On the day we were there, you didn't need a Russian bathhouse to get wet. These tourists were forlornly snapping a statue of a bull at the end of Wall Street. The Trafalgar Square lions it wasn't but it was all they had. There's not much point trying to take a selfie with a skyscraper.
This bit of the pavement had a few history lessons - sorely needed in both America and Britain.
To be continued.
Friday, April 15, 2016
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Or perhaps the other, other New York, which is Brooklyn. It of course used to be a separate city. Apparently it's now the tourist thing to walk across Brooklyn Bridge in the course of building which, in the nineteenth century, so many poor workmen died from diving because they didn't know about the bends. Plus did you know they ran a herd of elephants across to prove that it was strong enough? These days you have to run the gauntlet of herds of tourists and their selfie sticks.
Here's the view across to a tiny Statue of Liberty.
And a Brooklyn Bridge police car. The regular police cars say "Courtesy Professionalism Respect". Actually, I'd like them to catch criminals.
That's the Bridge with its stone arches to the right.
This is a brownstone - or a beigestone, more like.
This may have been an old fire station.
I've noticed that New York houses, no matter how attractive, have fire escapes down their fronts. Hubby tells me there's a reason for this deformity. There are no back gardens or alleyways to escape through from the back.
Here's an arty pussy willow.
A quaintly named street.
A nice old doorway.
And a greystone.
It was freezing cold but this chap was trying his best.
Monday, April 11, 2016
The blog has returned from a cold, rainy weekend visit to New York City - about as far removed from western New York (300 miles and many more years) as it could possibly be and still live in the same state.
It does make me nostalgic for London, though. The Subway has many similarities to the dear old Tube, though the carriages are higher with hard seats, the platforms more open and haphazard, the stations grim and utilitarian but smell a little the same. It's a great help not having to "touch out" though - you don't have to burrow for your Oyster at the end of the journey as well as the beginning. There are fewer ads but Americans are more creative with their signs, in this case, "Don't Be a Pole Hog" and "Crimping and Primping? This is the Subway not a Washroom." People seem very quick to give up their seats.
One of my favourite landmarks - Grand Central Station
is chocca with tempting restaurants like the Oyster Bar
and there's the eye-watering food market,
a sign, if there ever was one of how pampered and privileged New Yorkers are.
to be continued.