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Two weeks ago, I spent over 2 hours on top of Rockefeller Center, noticing every detail I could.  I found I did not get bored at all.  The amount of information that can be seen from up there is just incredible.  For example, well into my stay up there, I noticed the patterns made by the window blinds on a nearby office building -- some leaseholders had employees that liked to shut out the outside world much more than others.  I watched the city transform completely from late afternoon to night. 

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Rockefeller Center and the Empire State Building are the two major places you can get a super-high-up view of New York.  While the Empire State Building is higher, Rockefeller Center has one advantage -- you can see the Empire State Building from it!

Back in the 1880s, when they put up the Eiffel Tower is Paris, it was actually a very controversial structure.  Many considered it an eyesore, a giant modern-industrial steel monstrosity.  It was once said that the only place in town that you could escape seeing it was when you were standing on it. 
more )

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I know you all have been looking for Mr. Flawless. Well, here he is!
DSC04326.jpg by you.

Perhaps he is a disciple of Mr. Awesome
www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3gW_91bjkg

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The MTA turned an old subway station into a transit museum.  While no subways currently use the station, it's still fully wired in to the subway system, so there is an active third rail as well as active train monitoring equipment.  It was exciting to see a century worth of subway cars, still active and running.

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A car from the 1910s.  All the old cars had period-appropriate ads.

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Hey, this ad's sexist *and* racist!  From the 1920s, I think.

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more )


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UI design circa 1930.  Apparently the standards for tracking subway car movements haven't changed in, oh, 70 years.  They were able to hook up this panel up to the system and have it show live train movements.

Some old signs:
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more signs )





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I visited an out-of-the-way museum in New York called PS1.  It's in an old public school building.  The classrooms have been converted to galleries, but the school hallways are pretty much intact, giving the whole place an edgy feel.  In addition, the museum security people there wear clothes that make them look like bouncers at a club. 

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What it looks like inside:
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Here's the view out the bathroom window of PS1's big outdoor art installation:
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The arrangement of plants in the foreground is an urban farm that is used to make food for the museum's cafe.  It is edible art.  I had some.

Across the street from the art museum is 5 Pointz, a *curated* graffiti museum on an old warehouse that's being used for artists.
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This guy found parking in Midtown.  On 58th and ~7th, just south of Central Park.

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You're going to call it what the FNDY wants you to call it if you want them to put out your burning building.

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Hoboken / Jersey City.  They just can't get any respect.  The building on the left is at least as tall as Rockefeller Center, and the whole skyline dwarfs San Francisco's.  But they're in New Jersey, so no one knows anything about it.   

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Mural in SoHo.  Curvy girl tries on a corset.  Realistic down to the little bulges of skin at the top of the corset.

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I learned about the Nacirema in school... they have strange customs. Apparently they now trade with the US.
Learn more here: en.wikisource.org/wiki/Body_Ritual_among_the_Nacirema

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The Great Wall of Chelsea.  Keeps out marauding pirates.  On 23rd st near 9th ave.

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Apparently people just want a single donut.


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The house I stayed at employed an organic mousetrap.

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Trashcan at Cathedral of St John



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I visited New York last week with [livejournal.com profile] savorie  and [livejournal.com profile] djdigit .  [livejournal.com profile] mary_wroth  hosted us and took us around.  As I've been to New York many times, I wanted to avoid all the super-touristy places and focus on more interesting and unusual things.  The whole trip is documented on Flickr  here, but I'll be doing some posts that talk about the places we explored.

Week in NY

Sep. 21st, 2008 10:19 pm
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I'm just wrapping up a weeklong vacation in New York.  I've been so thoroughly distracted that I have managed to almost completely avoid LJ for the last several days. 

Now I have 400+ photos to upload, and 400+ unread entries in LJ from the last week.  I'm picturing the Its A Wonderful Life kid saying "Every time your shutter dings, another friend posts some things."

Photos are excellent triggers for memories... one photo can bring back a whole cluster of memories, and I intend to enhance that effect by stringing them together into experiences to share, hopefully reinforced by the positive feedback system that lj enables via comments.

As I've been to New York several times before, I almost entirely avoided touristy areas and focused on more unusual places and local haunts.  The sole exception was our 2 1/2 hours on top of Rockefeller center, which I turned in to a rather interesting mindfulness exercise.  I could spend all day up there and not run out of things to discover. 

I'm looking forward to seeing all you lovely bay area folks again.

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