Friday, April 13, 2012

a day in the city

I caught the bus this morning and when I got out of the Port Authority terminal, here is what I saw across the street. I had seen this building a million times but somehow, this morning, the light caught it in a way that made it look spectacular.
I walked up 8th Avenue from 40th St. to  57th St.  It had been a long time since I had walked up 8th Ave. (as in, never?) and I was glad to see that some sleaziness remained.  I passed a couple of "Gentlemen's Clubs" and was gratified that not everything has been made "family friendly" and Disneyfied. Grit is essential to this city's character; there are plenty of clean, homogenized, boring cities around the country and we don't need one more.  My story and I'm sticking to it!

With a few extra minutes to spare before my appointment with the VP of PR for Hearst Magazines, I dashed into the gift shop at the Museum of Arts & Design (formerly - and more appropriately named the American Craft Museum). Didn't have time to see the exhibits but will get back there at some point.

This may not be art, but it is iconic and I had to take a picture because it is on every corner.  Man walking (or hand, as the case may be).
I have a friend who thinks this is the most ridiculous pose; that nobody walks that way. True. Have you ever seen anybody walk with his arms that way and his body leaning forward? of course not!  Try it next time you cross the street.  But oops,  evidently only men cross the street; have you ever seen a female represented on any of these crossing lights?

'Nuff said.  Tomorrow, I pack.


Cathy Bargar said...

Yup, I totally agree about a "real" city needing some grit - some smut, some sense of danger, some acknowledgement that not everything is suitable for packs of traveling Mormons (or other fill-in-the-blank with your choice of hyper-sanitized group). I am currently in Holland; you don't get places much cleaner than the Netherlands in general, but we did stroll through the famous Red Light District of Amsterdam, where the most bored-looking pasty-faced girls were on display in what should have been enticing underwear. What a let-down! Not the least bit sinful looking - to my grandmotherly eye, they just looked like they needed to haul their sweats on and read a good book, or get out on their bikes for a little fresh air, or maybe go clean their room. I had expected lush, cushy bodies, lusty make-up, maybe some feathers, perhaps Belle Watling from 'Gone With the Wind'; instead, I saw just a bunch of scrawny kids in their underpants. And yes, a city needs grit!

Susanne (flicKwerk) said...

Great "design" at the building.
Maybe there are always men shown at those lights, because they need to be guided....? In germany we have the "east-" and the "west-type", but both are men.

Eva said...

Remarkable comments, a piece of literature by Cathy -- lovely reading! And Susanne's observations. Yes, the "east"-man wears a hat! In communist Germany, he did. This hat looks exactly like the one Honecker used to wear, the long-time president of east G. state council. - The one in New York might be a tall female in trousers, but trying to walk with heavy menstruation pain.

Rayna said...

You all brightened my day with your comments! Thanks for explaining "east" and "west" man, Eva. Susanne, your observation about men needing to be guided - LOL - all the men that read this blog might have something to say about that, but it's an interesting point.
Cathy - as always - you crack me up!

Gail P said...

Isn't it always great when suddenly the familiar offers a different scene? marvelous photo of the buildings. Not enough grit here in the desert, too tidy and new . . .