Monthly Archives: July 2009

The Sign-Eating Tree of Richmond Hill


I was scouting in the Richmond Hill neighborhood of Queens today when I saw this tree that appears to be devouring its “SLOW – CHILDREN AT PLAY” sign. I’ve seen signs with bark wrap-over before, but here it seems like the tree is on the verge of gulping the sign down. From the side, you can see how far the ... Read More »

The Tower of Terror on West 11th Street


When I turned the corner onto West 11th Street and saw the Palazzo Chupi for the first time… …I have to admit, the first thing that came to mind was the Tower of Terror in Disney World. I know, I know, a more educated writer would be focusing on the Chupi’s neo-Mediterranean flourishes, not referencing a theme park ride… But… ... Read More »

Telephone Exchanges and the Oldest Number in NYC


In the 1930′s and 1940′s, as telephone numbers began to increase in digits, “telephone exchanges” were introduced to make it all a bit easier to remember. The first two digits of a phone number were referred by a word incorporating their related letters – for example, PEnnsylvania 6-5000 would mean to dial PE6-5000, or 736-5000. You can still find remnants ... Read More »

Leaving NY: Newark’s Little Red Diner


Note: I think this might be gone. Unless you need to be somewhere on time, I find that getting lost is often one of the best things that can happen to you. Today, I was heading back to the city from Bayonne, NJ, and got confused trying to follow my iPhone’s directions to the highway. I ended up on Wilson ... Read More »

Who is the TelePrompTer?


I was walking around Morningside Heights the other day when I passed by this interesting courtyard at 521 West 111th Street. I went in to take some pictures… …and I noticed this odd sign to the the left of the front door. At first, I didn’t think much of it. But the more I considered it, the more I realized ... Read More »

Where Will Bret and Jemaine Live??


In the final episode of HBO’s incredible series Flight of the Conchords, New Zealand folk duo Bret and Jemaine were evicted from their apartment at 28 Henry Street in Chinatown and forced to return to New Zealand. Will they return to New York for a third season? No one seems to know… …but they might have to find new digs ... Read More »

Decapitation at the Ziegfeld


If you go to the brownstone at 52 East 80th Street between Madison & Park… …you’ll see the decapitated limestone head of a Greco-Roman goddess in the front yard next to some trash barrels (gives you some perspective on its size). What does this sculpture have to do with New York’s incredible Ziegfeld Theater? This head is the only remnant ... Read More »

The Last Phone Booth In New York City


There are only four outdoor phone booths left in Manhattan – and they’re all on West End Avenue. That’s it: four. This one is at 101st Street: This is at the corner of 100th Street: This tree-shrouded booth can be found at the corner of 90th Street. Finally, this is at 66th Street. And that’s it. If you happen to ... Read More »

The Hungry Gargoyles of 110th Street


One of my favorite buildings in Morningside Heights is the Britannia at 527 West 110th Street. The building, built in 1909, is divided into two wings and features two rows of fantastic gargoyles below the second floor balconies: What makes this building particularly great is how low the gargoyles are to the ground. At only ten feet up or so, ... Read More »