Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Kudos to the designer of this beauty

How to see a pink elephant without taking a drink

Antique store promotional truck spotted on Broadway
Aforementioned elephant

Serenading Eleanor Roosevelt

Ben Arthur was out this morning serenading passersby with a song about the history of the UN. It was  commissioned by the on-line University of Phoenix as part of some kind of promotion. Ben did a fine job - even finding a rhyme for Boutros Boutros-Ghali (Somali), not an easy task. I'm sure Eleanor loved it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Only in New York

There's a fellow who has been panhandling on and off at a nearby corner for at least fifteen years. He has a sweet face, which has been distorted by a stroke he had a few years ago, and a gentle, soft-spoken manner. Over the years I have learned a lot about his life, his wife, and his world view.

Yesterday, after I made my traditional donation of a buck, he surprised me by saying: "Would you like to be part of a survey?" I agreed to become part of his focus group and he said: "What's your greatest fear?"

I won't get into my response, which is only between me and my panhandler, but I asked him what other people had been saying. "One fellow was afraid of being hit by a car at 92nd Street and Broadway," he replied. "Do you want to know what my fear is?" Sure, I replied.

"I'm afraid of two things- lightning, because when I was a kid in the South I stood right near a tree that was blasted in half, and losing my wife, because I need some one to comfort me when the lightning comes."

I swear there's a blues song in there somewhere.

How would you have answered? Think about it.

Sukkoh City

An organization of young Jewish professionals called Reboot, which includes our daughter, Kay, put together a contest to design a modern Sukkoh - the outdoor structure that is part of the holiday of Sukkohs, and a reminder of a time when Jews were wandering around the desert for 40 years and sleeping in temporary structures. 600 entries were received from around the globe, and a group of architects and critics picked twelve to be built and exhibited for two days in New York's wonderfully busy and vibrant Union Square Park. Readers of New York Magazine voted for their favorite and we were present as Mayor Bloomberg announced the winner - a bubbly contraption that was our least favorite. A number of the sukkohs were sold and the money passed along to Housing Works for their homeless projects.
The event was New York at its best - creative people presenting their cutting-edge work to a crowd of skeptics, fans, skate boarders, street artists, chess players, local politicians and a great variety of others. Everyone was taking pictures, talking with the architects, who had come from places as far away as Berlin and Idaho, and, generally putting in their two cents. People were meeting old friends, the Mayor's hulking security team was keeping their eyes on the crowd, and we even bumped into our Rabbi - on his way to a guitar lesson.
Here are some pix:

This log weighed a ton and was supported by glass panels
A sukkoh built from simple wooden shims
Based on a pineapple?
Our fave - every grommet hand carved with a Jewish star

The crowd was a typical NYC smorgasbord, especially when it came to head coverings