We woke to rain this morning – not a big surprise. The TV weatherman had warned us.
Madelane wanted to go to the Main Branch of the New York Public Library. We headed uptown on the 1 & 9 and got off at Times Square and 42nd Street.
We took pictures of Times Square in the rain. Not raining too badly at this point. Lot's of really big screen TVs and billboards hawking their wares.
While looking a map kiosk in Times Square, I discovered that the International House of Photography was nearby so we sloshed our way over there. We found it but it was closed on Mondays. This was not a good omen.
The Main Branch of the New York Public Library was about three blocks away. It was raining nicely by now. The library was closed, too.
Our dampness factor was increasing by the minute as we made our way back to the subway.
Madelane wanted to get some coffee at Caffe Reggio on MacDougal Street in the Village. We took the 1 & 9 back downtown and got off at Houston Street. (It's pronounced like those buildings we live in and not like that city in Texas.)
After a little wandering around we found Caffe Reggio and had some cappuccino.
According to the back of the menu (if you cant trust the backs of menus, what can you trust?) the original owner of Caffe Reggio introduced cappuccino to the US.
I took the opportunity to get off two more pinholes. The first was looking from the table to the street. After I made the exposure I turned the camera around and exposed the table and interior. [Problems, and a solution, with the pinhole mentioned here and here. That V flare isn't supposed to be there. Bummer.] Then I discovered, thanks the the wisdom on the back of the menu, that the building across the street from Caffe Reggio used to be inhabited by Louisa May Alcott of Little Women.
We had their poached eggs over three kinds of cheese and toast. A very nice thick piece of moist toast. (Moist toast. Sounds like an oxymoron but it was good!) Highly recommended. It's called the Negrino in the menu.
We just sat and had another cup of drip while the waiter regaled us with important facts from the latest issue of Murdoch's finest – the New York Post. There was the story of the city worker who “in the line of doody” had a toilet explode on him. Big News.
The waiter also had a very tasteful Michael Jackson joke. It was inspired by the New York Post headline "Jacko Saco." "Why does Michael Jackson like Twenty-eight year olds? Because there are twenty off them!" (Insert rim shot here.)
Wonderful coffee shop. We headed back to the Larchmont Hotel. The rain stopped when we were in the Caffe Reggio but now it started again as we made our way through Washington Square.
Andre Kertesz, one of my favorite photographers, lived on Washington Square and took some of his most famous photos from his 12th floor apartment at 2 Fifth Avenue.
We headed north on Fifth Avenue and passed 1 Fifth Avenue where our mom used to get here hair done in the 1940s when she was in New York visiting my grandfather.
Back at the hotel to dry out. I took a couple of pinholes of the room.
We seem to be slowing down. The body and mind can only take so much. When we got back to the hotel this afternoon, I took a nap. Naps are good!
We did some errands and by then the rain had stopped. There was a photographic pilgrimage that I wanted to make — the Flatiron Building. It's New York's first skyscraper, built in 1902. The Flatiron has been photographed by some of the most famous photographers in America.
The Flatiron Building is on 23rd Street, which is in walking distance of our hotel. We walked the two blocks over to University Place and headed uptown. Union Square was about halfway to the Flatiron Building.
It turns out that on Mondays and Fridays there is a Green Grocer Fair at Union Square. There were a number of booths set up selling fruit, veggies, and prepared food. We bought a couple of focaccias (cheese, mushroom, artichokes, and fresh tomatoes.)
That makes three street fairs in three days. I wasn't expecting anything like this in New York City -- the gathering of vendors and the closing of off streets and public spaces for these kind of people activities. Wonderful!
We continued up Broadway and shortly came upon the Flatiron Building.
I took some pinholes and several 35mm pictures, some from the nearby Madison Square Park. [The flare in the pinholes was very bad. Not usable.]
On the other side of Madison Square Park was the old Mutual Life Building which originally housed one of Griff's murals. We went over and looked inside but saw no sign of it. The building has been remodeled inside and out and is now Creditte Suisse. Madelane bought some batteries and then we headed south.
We didn't get too far when we saw the M. Gordon Novelty Co. Of course I had to take a picture. How could I resist?
Madelane needed a Starbucks fix as we got back to Union Square. Starbucks are everywhere! I think I saw two on Union Square.
As we headed south from Union square, I was hearing some decidedly non-city sounds – exotic bird calls and rhythmic sounds. We came upon tow rows of posts which were about 10 feet apart. The sounds, as well as blue and flashing lights, were coming from these posts. It was an interactive sculpture/sound installation. People were coming by and covering up a hole that had a hand around it and sometimes things happened when it was covered and sometimes not. Great fun.
We continued back to Washington Square.I wanted to get some pinholes there.
The rain was holding off and there were people in the square this time. I did a pinhole/pano series. [These didn't come out either. It was at this point that the pinhole mount was starting to come apart.]
We left the park and Madelane noticed a sign that told the story of how Washington Square had been saved. The powers that were wanted to put a road through the square and it was the locals that put a stop to it. One of the locals, that lived in an apartment on the square, was Eleanor Roosevelt.
From Washington Square we dragged ourselves back to the hotel. We ate the focaccia and I took a nap.
I'm getting pretty tired from the physical and sensory overload. Walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk, walk. I was confused, when talking to Zoe tonight, as to where the Brooklyn Bridge went to, from Manhattan. Duh!
Tomorrow it's the Brooklyn Bridge and back to the library.