Tag Archives: Queens

Catching Up

Hey y’all, I writing to catch you up as to what I’ve been up to so far. As I mentioned in my previous post, a little over a month ago I moved back to New York. I feel like I’ve been doing a lot of things and hanging out with a lot of people and taking a lot of pictures, and yet, I’ve posted none of it.

I think because I’m now on a computer all day at work, the last thing I want to do when I get home is drain my eyes with more computer time. Not to say I haven’t been spending my fair share of free time on the computer, but, now that weather is consistently nice, I’ve been trying to take advantage of it.

What I have been doing, in lieu of writing digitally is to keep a physical, tangible journal. Ever since coming back from Japan, where I was writing what I did every day, it was a tough habit to break. I’m glad though because it lets me know what I did each day and, I feel keeps me productive.

Not everything I do every day or every weekend is interesting, but as I means of trying to trim the fat, I’m going to pull a few highlights from the last few weeks and make a digital copy of them here on HWS. I’m sure you’re waiting with baited breath. As usual, this is more for me than it is for you.

4/30/17 (Sun) test rode a bike at Van Moof

5/2/17 (Tue) dinner at Momofuku Noodles – pork buns and chocolate malted truffles

5/4/17 (Thurs) dinner at Black Flamingo

IMG_6973Discension art installation 5/6

5/5/17 (Fri) Alligator Lounge for karaoke

5/6/17 (Sat) New York Bike Expo + Discension art installation + housewarming party at co-workers apartment

5/10/17 (Wed) dinner with Jon Papp

IMG_6987Home Sweet Home 5/12

5/12/17 (Fri) New York Night Train at Home Sweet Home with co-worker

5/15/17 (Mon) dinner with Katie at Korean Place

5/17/17 (Wed) chilled with Guto, got drinks at Nostrand Pub, dollar pizza, went back to his apt, chilled on his roof

IMG_6997My studio as I moved in/organized my stuff 5/24

5/19/17 (Fri) Alien Covenant with Papp, chased the movie with drinks at Videology, went to Rebecca’s (bar) where we met up with Katie and Brandon, macked on some biddies

5/20/17 (Sat) IKEA adventure during the day, stoop life at night

5/21/17 (Sun) moved into apartment, went to Smorgasburg with co-workers

IMG_7019Hovercraft and other rich people toys at Hammacher Schlemmer 6/3

5/24/17 (Wed) movers came and I spent all day getting the apartment organized

5/27/17 (Sat) hair cut, biked through Prospect Park, chilled at Sam Cooper’s

5/28/17 (Sun) biked to Coney Island

IMG_7046Looking back on Manhattan from the Williamsburg Bridge 6/8

5/30/17 (Tue) got Brooklyn Library card

5/31/17 (Wed) chilled with Steve at my apt

6/2/17 (Fri) Mom came to visit, went to Eataly, found $5 on the sidewalk

IMG_8022Berry Park with co-workers on 6/9

6/3/17 (Sat) Brooklyn Bread Cafe, went to Ed Sullivan Theatre, Hammacher Schlemmer, CB2, Bellstaff, cut through Central Park, Zabars, walked to The MET (opera), dinner at Liz and Tim’s apartment

6/6/17 (Tue) got Manhattan Library card

6/8/17 (Thurs) biked to work, raced co-worker to Union Sq (her on foot + train, me on bike) from Queens and I won, watched movie for World Ocean day, got lost biking home and ended up at Katie/Dilila’s apt and chilled for a bit before heading home

IMG_7066Westfield World Trade Center mall on 6/10

6/9/17 (Fri) went to Berry Park (rooftop bar) with co-workers after work, went to the Alamo Drafthouse to see It Comes at Night

6/10/17 (Sat) biked across the Brooklyn Bridge to Fulton Center, went to the Westfield World Trade Center (mall), biked to the Fulton Market and saw Seaport Summer setup, checked out the 1 Hotel, 5-hour outing

From now on, anything that’s remotely interesting that I took pictures during but didn’t post to Instagram is going on here.

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Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow

WARNING: this blog post contains spoilers of the movie Tomorrowland and has I high level of Disney nerd-ing and fandom. Readers should be well acquainted with the Disney Parks to fully appreciate this post.

When I saw the first teaser trailer for Tomorrowland I was very excited. I always wanted to write a movie about a future based off of Walt Disney’s original vision for EPCOT. However, Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow OR Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow (I’ve heard it both ways) was probably too clunky of a title for a feature length film and thus I can understand why they went with Tomorrowland.

After the first full trailer was released for the movie I was instantly turned off by the idea. I suddenly thought it look very bad and very different from the original movie that had been pitched to me. Thus, I decided to skip it when it was released in theaters. That said, after hearing my parents reaction upon seeing it in theaters, I decided too give it a second chance. That chance came last night when it was finally released on Starz.

Tomorrowland is a movie that is filled with wonder. What I mean is, it does something that all great movies should do; it transforms you into wanting to exist in the world that has been created on screen. I have always been a fan of anything with secret passages and hidden worlds. The idea that behind a doorway could be a portal leading to different world. Call it the kid in me or the fact that I still have a very active imagination, but the movie helps to bring out the dreamer that still lives inside me.

When I was living in New York, one of the first things I did was to visit Corona Park in Queens. That is the site of the 1964 Worlds Faire. When you enter the Queens Museum there is a whole section dedicated to photos and memorabilia from the Worlds Faire. It really does a great job of transporting your mental state to a different period in time.

The whole opening of the movie which takes place there and then transports to Tomorrowland is one of the most exciting parts of the movie to me. I would love to see Disney World update “It’s A Small World” to more closely represent what takes place in the version of the ride in the film.

Next, I was blown away by the actual visuals of Tomorrowland. I genuinely don’t know how they did it. The first time Casey goes there, I genuinely don’t know what is a set and what is CG. Some of it is fairly obvious but some seems like it was actually built, in which case, how big was their budget!? I loved the homage to “Space Mountain” as it is one of the buildings featured in the background of several shots that take place in Tomorrowland.

To me, I felt that Brad Bird did a great job of capturing the spirit of Walt’s vision, not only for Tomorrowland or EPCOT, but his passion for innovation, invention, imagination and adventure. The part in Paris when they’re in the Eiffel Tower and there are the wax figures of Tesla, Jules Vern, and the others; that felt like part of something from “Spaceship Earth” or “The American Adventure”. It feels very steampunk and reminiscent of a Disney ride. Specifically, not that I’ve been on it, “Space Mountain: From the Earth to the Moon,” at Disneyland Paris.

I will admit that it is not perfect. Tonally, the movie tends to shift from feeling serious, almost a PG-13 type movie, to feeling much more light-hearted and dare I say silly at moments. This does not ruin the movie but it does make it seem a bit unbalanced. I was not as blown away or amazed by this movie as I may have made it seem by all of my praise at the beginning of this post, but I did very much enjoy it. It was actually better than I thought it would be. I think partially because I was expecting to hate it.

In short, Tomorrowland is a very enjoyable film. It was very inspiring and, as corny as this may sound, is exactly the type of movie the world needs right now. An optimistic vision of the future. Something to wake the dreamers up and have them realize that with the right energy and action, anything is possible.

Extra thoughts I couldn’t organically fit in:

– I loved the bit at the end where he has to drop Athena in order to destroy that ball thing. It was very reminiscent of Metropolis (anime) when Tima lets go and falls to her death. That movie makes me cry, without fail, every time I see it.

– I loved that they included the 1939 Worlds Faire “logo” or whatever you’d call it, hidden as one of the buildings in the animated version of Tomorrowland that is shown during the end credits.

– It felt very much like Wall-E in the best way possible, a movie with a message about the human race and planet earth.

– Some of the Chevy product placement felt a little heavy handed. We get it, GM sponsors “Test Track.”

– It also reminded me of “The People Mover.”

– I loved the costume design for Athen at the 1964 Worlds Faire. Her dress with the color and the pattern were a perfect compliment to Nix’s shirt and tie.

– Working for Tesla makes me feel, in a small way, like I am contributing to the future of this planet and thus I feel like my thoughts and work very much align with the message this story tries to portray.

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Catching Up

So I feel like I have sort of been doing a bunch of stuff and I haven’t written about any of it. The other side of it is that I don’t really even have the interest to write about all of it, or at least not in detail. So, I guess I’m just gonna post pics and maybe give brief descriptions.

DJ-ing at The Delancey – April 14

DJing

Here is a pic my friend Elle took the other night that I DJ-ed. It ended up being pretty lame. Of the 30 people I invited, only three showed up. It really shows you who your friends are. Now some people were like, “Yeah, but did you have fun?” and I sort of did, but what’s the point of DJ-ing if no one is there to dance. It sort of defeats the purpose; I might as well be listening to a playlist I made and dance by myself.

The best however was when the carry over’s from the previous band got to dancing to my music. It was vindicating to see that they liked the choices I was making. That is the gratifying part of DJ-ing or performing in any sort of venue, seeing people react to what you are doing, otherwise, why else do it? (Apart from, because you love it).

Adidas Superstar x Pharrell Williams – April 20

AdidasSuperstar

I went out to see if either of the Adidas Stores had the Pharrell Williams colors pack. To my pleasant surprise, they did, however, they didn’t have the color I wanted -red- in the size I wear. It was probably for the best as I shouldn’t be making frivolous charges and regardless it was still cool to see them in person.

Velodrome – April 21

QueensVelodrome

After finally going home to get my bike I was able to do what I’d wanted to do for a long time. I took the train to Queens and biked to the velodrome. I had always wanted to ride on one and now I was finally getting my chance. To be honest it was sort of a let down. Because it was outdoors it was not a wooden track and because it was paved, there were a bunch of cracks. Additionally, because it was outdoors, you still had to fight the wind. However, I was impressed at the banking. It doesn’t look it but it was steeper than I thought, which was great.

Redbird – April 23

RedbirdTrain

While I was home getting my bike, I fulfilled a craving I had been having to watch the first Toby McGuire Spider-Man. While watching it, I noticed an elevated subway train running in the background and the train was red. (I had noticed red subway trains in Die Hard With a Vengeance too). After a bit of research I found that Redbird trains used to run on some the subway line until 2003 when they were discontinued.

I also found that there was one on display out front of Queens Boro Hall. So, I took an excursion to check it out. It was cool to see one in person and there is even like this little gift shop thing inside. However, it is only open 10am – 2pm and I had gotten there at like 2:30pm or 3pm.

Bike Expo – May 1

KryptoniteLock

The free Bike Expo New York took place this past Friday and Saturday at Basketball City. It was a pretty basic expo, nothing too special to write about in terms of the exhibitors that were there. However, there was one thing cool that happened. During the Kryptonite presentation they asked for volunteers to see who could lock a bike faster. The winner would take home a new Fahgettaboudit lock. I had been wanting one but didn’t want to spend the $90 some odd dollars to get one. I was determined to win, and to my pleasant surprise, I did! Thank you Kryptonite for the free lock.

Also, that night I met up with friends and we went out to Shakin’ All Over, the dance night at Home Sweet Home. I’d been there once before by myself but it was cool to go with friends. Before they showed up I danced with this one girl who kept taking the lead and swinging me around. I couldn’t tell if she was purposely trying to be off-putting so that I would leave her alone, or if she just does that. However, I eventually backed off because I was very confused by the whole situation.

After dancing with my friends for a bit we made our way to a 99 cent pizza joint. After a couple of slices we went to another bar where we just chilled until they closed before walking to our trains and going our separate ways. I didn’t get back until 5:30am and the sun was just about to come up. Pretty solid day.

Guggenheim Museum – May 2

GuggenheimMuseum

I went to the Guggenheim Museum for the first time the other day. I had been wanting to go for a while but was always too cheap to pay to get in. Then however, I found out that on Saturday nights (and I think Friday too) they host “pay what you want” after 5:45pm.

I got to the Gugg at 4:30pm and I was at the end of the block. Apparently however, the line went all the way down the block and around the back. When we were let in I ended up only paying $1 which was great. The featured exhibit was On Kawara – Silence. He was either a genius or a crazy person.

One section had hundreds, maybe thousands of postcards that were sent 1, day after day, to different people that said “Today I woke up at (insert time here) .” and that was it, no other message. He also did something similar with telegrams except the message was “I am still alive.” He kept albums fill with pages, each page was a day, and on each page he typed the names of the people he met that day. It was really bizarre but really eerie and cool.

Staten Island/5 Boro Bike Tour – May 3

StatenIslandFerry

Sunday was the 5 Boro Bike tour, a 40 mile tour of New York free of cars. I wanted to join but a) I didn’t want to pay and b) the registration had closed by the time I knew about it. Regardless, I wanted to go on a ride that day so I took the free ferry to Staten Island and went on a little ride. I had ridden to SI once before (a few weeks ago) just to say I’d been there but I wanted to explore more  and the best way to do that is by bike.

I didn’t go very far south because I didn’t really know where I was going. I thought there would be a ring road that would go around the perimeter, but there wasn’t. I ended up just going in this weird loop which took a few hours before hoping the ferry back to Manhattan. It was packed with cyclist who were finishing up the 5 Boro. Once on the other side I booked it back to the apartment before passing out.

There are several other things that I should have mentioned but I’m past them at this point. I guess none of these were really “big” events and thus I didn’t feel the need to make dedicated posts. Typically when I do adventures, I have a post in mind. Lately I’ve just been doing stuff sans posting. I hope I am not phasing out HWS but I think I just havn’t been going on excursions worthy of note. Maybe I’m just lazy.

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Birdman Excursion

My excursions had been a little stagnant as of late and so yesterday I decided to go on a solid one to make up for lost time. My plan was to start in SoHo and work my way up towards midtown before heading into Queens. This plan however was foiled by the fact that I zoned out on the train and got off at Union Square instead of getting off at Canal Street. As it turned out (and is typically the case), the unplanned adventures are often the most fun.

ChryslerBuildingThe Chrysler Building upon exiting Grand Central Station (we’ll get to this part of the story later).

I crossed over to Broadway and made my way south towards my original plan. Along the way however I was sidetracked by a comic book shop called Forbidden Planet. Being that it was on a main street it was one of the nicest comic book shops I’d ever been in. Though I rarely buy anything, I typically enjoy stopping in to see what sort of stuff they have for sale. The window display had a life size Terminator and ET that I assume were for sale.

The door pulls were each half of Captain America’s Shield and were connected to large wooden doors. Everything was neat and organized, nothing seemed to be dusty or hiding in a corner. It was a place you wouldn’t feel ashamed to bring your girlfriend, but let’s face it if you had one, you wouldn’t need the comic book shop.

After that I made my way to a few other places; Lids (I was in search of a hat I don’t need), John Varvatos (similar but not the same as the one on Bowery), The Hundreds, and a couple of art galleries on W Broadway. I was going to take the train to Grand Central (where the rest of my adventure was to take place) but decided to walk back up Broadway. I had passed a store that I had, for whatever reason, decided not to take the time to go in. Knowing that a) I need to “smell the roses” more rather than just rush through experiences and b) that I would want to come back at a later date to check it out anyway, I decided to go back to check it out.

The store in question, Flight Club, is a sneakerhead mecca. The walls were filled with -mostly Nike- limited editions. The prices varied, but most of the ones I picked up were between $150 and $275. Each sneaker was shrink wrapped to ensure no potential buyers scuffed them up. There were two that stood out to me but Nike’s aren’t really my type of sneaker, I’m more of a skate shoe type of guy. Plus, I really don’t have the money to justify a purchase like that.

Moving on, I made my way back to Union Square and hopped a 4 train to Grand Central station. It seems like whenever I go there I never exit from the same place. This time I got out at Lexington Ave and was immediately staggered by a huge building in front of me. Not knowing what it was, I took its picture. It wasn’t until later when I got further away that I realized  it was The Chrysler Building (see 1st pic in the post).

TheHelmsleyBuilding(Left) The Helmsley Building seen from one block away, notice the “tunnel” entrance/exit at the bottom; (Right) looking right up at the building from the base; (Bottom) a better view of the Park Ave Viaduct entrance/exit.

I went up to 46th and Park Ave -along the way stopping in at Midtown Comics- because I had a special mission. After seeing Birdman, which [I didn’t take the time to review but] was excellent by the way, I was reminded of an area of the city  that I’d never been to before. It is also featured in Lord of War (another great film) when Nick Cage is trying to evade a helicopter that is following his limo. The area in question is the Park Ave Viaduct that elevates and splits around Grand Central station before dropping back down to street level while exiting through the base of the The Helmsley Building.

As you know I am easily amused by visual stimuli and this was no different. It was really cool to see and to finally know where it was in the city. It reminded me of the Admiralty Arch or the gateway that leads traffic in to Trafalgar Square in London. After taking a few pics I then went stumbling around midtown. Initially I was just going to walk down to The UN but then I saw the Chrysler Building. I hadn’t realized until this point that that was the building I had seen upon exiting Grand Central Station.

ChryslerBuilding2In search of a good view of The Chrysler Building

I tried to make my way towards it but as I got closer, I lost sight of it due to other closer buildings getting in the way of my vantage point. Eventually, when I did get to the base of the building I realized that the view really wasn’t that good and it is better appreciated from a distance. Thus, I made my way East down 42nd Street until I got to the stairs that led to Tudor City Place. Being that I am guided by the spirit of adventure, I made my way up the stairs and turned around to see this…

ChryslerBuilding3The Chrysler Building as seen from Tudor City Place

…a cool view of the Chrysler Building. After admiring it for a short while, I made my way around the block and down to the United Nations. I don’t know if I was just in the wrong area or if you simply can’t just go in anymore (maybe you have to be part of a tour) but the area I was at required a pass for entry. I know I went into the UN when my family went to New York in 1998 but I was too young to really appreciate it and I certainly don’t remember if we signed up for a tour or were able to walk right in.

I was going to walk around the outside but I was freezing and my feet were hurting and I was hungry. Luckily in my wanderings I had passed two 99 cent per slice pizza places. I found one of them and got a couple slices before heading back to Grand Central. I was about to get on the subway and head in to Queens to finish the last couple of things on my “to do” list, when I remembered I wanted to get up close to the MetLife Building (formerly the Pan Am building).

Cut to another montage of me walking around for a good view/to try and get to the bottom; a sidewalk entrance from which I could stare straight up at it. All this was foiled when I realized it is basically on top of or appears to be growing out of Grand Central Station. Thus, one cannot simply walk to its base and look up. Instead I was able to get this pretty cool shot of this uh, art thing in the lobby.

MetLifeBuildingLobbyArt/sculpture(?) in the lobby of the MetLife Building; thin wires that converge to look like beams of light.

I then made my way back to Grand Central to board the 7 train into Queens. Cut to a montage of me freezing my ass off looking for 5 Pointz (legendary graffiti area) that I knew was closed but I still just wanted to see it; eventually finding it, being disappointed and walking back to the train for the long ride back to Crown Heights.

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Men In Black Excursion

Continuing my “media based” adventures I started my day by venturing into Queens. My destination was Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The reason was simple, I wanted to see the “space ships” from Men In Black. Additionally, I’d never been to Queens before, so, two birds.

MetalWorldStructureGiant structure of the world in Flushing Meadows Corona Park

After walking from the 7 train and finally finding the entrance to the park I could see in the distance a metal structure of the globe and the MIB “space ships.” I walked all the way to the other side of the park and ended up at the metal structure. It was set in the middle of a fountain, but because it is winter time, the fountain was empty. So, I was able to walk right up to and underneath it.

I could see the “space ships” off to the left but right behind the globe was a building. I didn’t know what it was and it was closer to the globe than the “space ships” so I decided to check it out.

NewYorkPanoramaPanoramic of New York at the Queens Museum

I walked passed the globe and made my way to what I would find out to be the Queens Museum. I have several other museums on my To Do list but this was not one of them. I decided to go in anyway and ask what it was about. I found out that it is apparently an arts and cultural museum. On top of that, rather than have a set price, there was a suggested donation. The suggested price was $8 but I decided to pay $5 because I’m on a tight budget.

The first thing I did was to check out the Panoramic of New York. In short it is basically a giant miniature (oxymoron) of the five boroughs. This was really cool to me. Not only can you pick out every detail in Manhattan, but you can also see the layout of the parks and the neighborhoods and the bridges and the airports. There were even miniature airplanes suspended from wires that would take off and land at LaGuardia.

NewYorkPavillionThe back side of the New York Pavilion from the 1964-65 World’s Fair

After making my way through the Queens Museum I finally walked over to the New York Pavilion aka the “space ships” from MIB. The cool thing about this park is that it is the former sight of the 1939 and the 1964-65 World’s Fair. There is an entire section of the museum dedicated to that fact and the brochure’s and memorabilia related to it.

Walking up to the pavilion I felt a strange sense of ceremony. This has been standing for so long; it never got taken down. There is no real reason for it to still be there, and yet it is. (Side note: there is a skatepark on the other side of the pavilion.)

TheMagicShopCheck out the label under the doorbell

The next “media based” destination I went to was inspired by the HBO mini-series Sonic Highways. In the last episode, which takes place in New York, the band records at a studio called The Magic Shop. It’s a hidden little gem in Soho that you wouldn’t know was there unless you were looking for it.

By the time I got there I was certain they were closed, so I didn’t bother ringing the bell. However, now that I know where it is and how easy it is to get to, I might go another day and try to do the same thing I did at the Tested studio, ring the bell and see what happens.

The last thing I did before heading back to Crown Heights for the evening was to grab a bite at Taka Taka. I had seen the restaurant a couple years ago during a different New York adventure and had always wanted to try it. However, I was always too busy and never got around to it. The appeal was that the sign said “Japanese Tacos, Mexican Sushi.” The only negative thing I found out was that it is pretty expensive. Being on a tight budget, I deprived myself of the tacos (what I really wanted) and instead order the soup. It was good but not filling. I’ll have to go back when I have some money and get the tacos, but at least for now I can say I’ve been there.

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