Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Strange Sleepers - Best of 2013

As 2013 comes to an end, we look back on the strangest of sleepers, those who didn't allow the lack of a bed to prevent them from catching some Zs.

We'll start out with a common sleeping commuter. I hope she's coming off the shift, I wouldn't want to see any patients under the care of this drowsy nurse:

Here's an example of a space-wasting sleeper, one who chooses to take up an extra seat in a crowded train in the pursuit of pillow simulation:

It's always nice when strange sleeping is passed down through generations:

Rounding out the subway series, here we have the gold standard in strange sleeping:

Now we venture above ground to see what lies at the top of the stairs. He didn't even nestle himself into a corner (credit to Patrick Lees for the pic):

Another gem courtesy of PL, this was BEFORE this particular Yankees game even started:

And finally, this LIC cafe sleeper. He was definitely sleeping, I got close enough to confirm, although he did trick many a passer by. Maybe he should have chosen coffee over wine...

And finally, thanks to Jordan Crouse for the link, a short video not of a strange sleeper, but of a guy sleeping on strangers!

Can't wait to see what strange sleepers 2014 has to offer!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Some Holidays were Meant for the Weekend

Some holidays are always on a specific day of the week while others are tied to a specific date. As for the latter, there is one in particular, called "Halloween" that, when on a weekday, happens to not result in a paid day off of work, forcing celebration to occur in the work place. Well, for some, that is.

I happen to be one of those people. I just can't curtail the compulsion, the important responsibility I have to hold true to a celebration that shouldn't be bound to just a couple hours in the evening. Most real holidays (sorry, Columbus Day) get celebrated all day, and for me, I celebrate Halloween all day. Many others do not. Here was my journey to work this year.

The thing about New York City is that most people aren't impressed or even phased by seeing a giant cockroach right next to them, nonchalant, living in peaceful cohabitation.

But despite my physical appearance, there was still work to be done, and meetings to attend.

Finally after the work day was over, the rest of the world joined the celebration as well, and I joined the largest annual organized parade in the US. Finally I was able to join others as semi-sane as myself.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Honeymoon Journal Chapter 1: Singapore

Our Honeymoon to Malaysia depended on a round trip flight from NYC's JFK to Changi Singapore.  Leaving work on Friday at noon for a 2pm flight got us into Changi at 1:30am Sunday morning, with a quick stop in Tokyo Narita for some sake.

Arriving in Singapore in the wee hours of the morning, we were amazed that the airport was buzzing like a shopping mall in the afternoon. This turned out to be Singapore in general. Regardless, we quickly passed through customs and grabbed a quick cab ride to a hostel for a good 6 hours of sleep. We then woke up early the next morning and grabbed a bus downtown to see if we could get an early check in at our real hotel, the Conrad. Thanks to Dave for hooking us up through excess travel points. They were very nice to us there, letting us check in early and giving us this happy surprise.

My general anticipation of Singapore was based on my fantasy of a place where nobody chews gum, and therefor doesn't spit it on the sidewalk. That was indeed the case, but also was the reality that Singapore is just one large shopping mall. Maneuvering the city was a little more difficult than expected, encountering many long blocks and streets with no crosswalks, forcing you to find an underground tunnel or mall-accessed gerbil tube.

Staying on Temasek circle, just north of the downtown core and Marina Bay, nearby there were some precarious pedestrian routes or even total lack thereof.

The Botanical Gardens was our first real exploration. The bus ride there showed us that the retail malls went on forever. But once we arrived at the expansive gardens, we wandered down meandering paths and took in the beautiful nature.

After the gardens we plunged back into commercial overload and trekked downtown to the Marina Bay Sands casino hotel complex. After taking 23 minutes to cross Bayfront Avenue, we finally got to the tower for our trip to the top, which ended up being a pretty speculator view to reward our journey.

That night we went to Little India for some good sit-on-the-floor dining, and saw the only other Americans we would see all trip.  Even though the food was all Indian, the clientele was pretty white. But that would only be contrasted by the main streets of Little India. It was packed with people and the ethnic Indian to non-Indian ratio was 50-1, and out of the Indians, the male to female ratio was 50-1, and out of the males, the mustache to non-mustache ratio was 50-1. We did find an Australian bar where the white servers were wearing booty shorts but that was all.

But away from the small streets of the cultural niches, the city was not easy to navigate. Being used to the regular small block grid of NYC, I guess we were a little caught off guard. Walking to Little India and back we hit some barriers. Here's an example of what that Shel Silverstein book was about:

We encountered this at night (I came back the next day to see if it was real or if we were just idiots). Thanks to my ability to carry my wife piggyback on command, we made it back to the hotel. It also involved crossing a 4 lane highway with no light.

My solo jog to Arab Street the next morning showed another authentic ethnic neighborhood with nice visuals.

After a day and a half and becoming fully adapted to Southeast Asia time, we departed on Monday afternoon for Penang, Malaysia.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Strange Sleepers - Southeast Asia Addition

There weren't a ton of homeless people in Southeast Asia, or at least I couldn't tell if they were homeless or just really old with nothing else to do. There were some good strange sleepers regardless.

And yes the dog is alive. We saw its belly move...we think...

And this one wins the prize, obviously!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hands Free

Every now and then I get a random genius idea, pause what I was previously doing, then devote two hours to create something. Today, after thinking about how I could make good use of a duplicate cell phone holster...

My love affair with the hot glue gun continued as I glued a shock absorbing spring to the back of the case. I then sculpted with hot glue a receptor for the spring to marry the head post of the bike. Then steel tie wire squeezed it tight.

Now I can explore without dangerously holding and maneuvering the phone in one hand.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Spared by Sandy

Astoria/LIC was spared by Sandy (relatively). However, we still took some punches. Here the top floor of a facade was pulled down by a gust from behind the parapet above. Sucks for the car below, but it's an SUV so I don't feel so bad. 29th St and 41st Ave (just north of Queensboro Plaza):

A couple big trees came down, pulling wires down with them. Some cars were fortunate, others not so much.

One of the things that makes the LIC Bar garden so amazing are the weeping willow trees on 46th Ave. THANK GOD two of the three survived! Sad to see one go though...

I always look for silver linings, and I found this one:

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Strange Sleepers 6

What is Love? Love is falling asleep on the subway with this 1993 hit blasting loudly from the smartphone in your shirt pocket. The song just before was Bryan Adams' Every Thing I Do...wow...

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Strange Sleepers 5

Wake me up, when September ends...

...and also a guest starring capture from our friend Mr. Lees. We call him the "Houdini" (the Sleeper that is, not Mr. Lees):

Click to view full Sleeper log

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Two Way Fullfillment

After over 2 years, my wish came true. It was March of 2010 when I made the observation (and blog post) about the obvious need for a two way bike lane on the 72nd Street thru-street in Central Park (AKA Terrace Dr). Being a one way street, it sort of made sense for a one way bike lane in its inception, but being a heavily utilized crosstown route through the park in both directions, there had developed a constant danger of salmon traffic. Finally, as of July 2012, the lane has finally taken on the appropriate form, allowing safe passage for bikes in either direction, while allowing the one lane of west bound cars.

This is what it looked like before:

Next step, get rid of the cars.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Wonder Window

After a couple months, the window shelf arrangement has turned into an 80's haircut. Basically, the morning glory, growing from the original planter below, has taken over and despite my frequent and regular correcting, has persevered in its pursuit to strangle out everything else. Finally I gave up and just let it do it's thing (I can still pick my basil leaves, mint and rosemary even though they are hidden in a jungle of madness).

The hot exhaust from the air conditioner is preventing anything from growing from the right side of the bottom planter.

Here's what it looked like a couple months ago...