New York City

The Basement Dwellers

I once lived in a basement apartment. It was in a two-fare zone out of the Flatbush Station on the 2 Line. That is, I needed to pay one fare to take the subway home from work, and then another fare (to bus or black cab) to get to the apartment, which was at 59th and Ralph Ave in Canarsie.

My girlfriend Sonja, who would later become my fiance, and still later my ex-fiance, and I lived there at the beginning of our relationship. It was 1986, and I was in New York City for the first time. I’d joined the US Coast Guard Reserve, was fresh out of boot camp (Cape May, NJ), and based on Governors Island for what was supposed to be six months of Electronics Technician training before returning home to California.

I’d started falling in love with NYC from the moment I got there and meeting Sonja, well, that sealed the deal. Quickly. I didn’t end-up moving back for another six years.

We’d met in Washington Square Park, setup by Missoni, her roommate at the time. Missoni was like no other girl I’d ever dated. She’d only let me kiss her once, a brief peck on the lips, during the time we were together. I guess she sensed that things wouldn’t work-out for us, so she arranged for me to meet Sonja.

Anyway, in time, I moved into the apartment, and Missoni moved out. The apartment had a good-sized living area, a very small kitchenette attached to the living area, and a small bedroom with large pipes running overhead. Two shafts outside the living area brought some very limited light down from the sidewalk. In the hallway, there was a toilet closet and two showers that we shared with the adjoining apartment, which was rented by two guys from Haiti. (The landlord, as was much of the neighborhood, was Haitian.)

Disclaimer… my memory is not the best, and it is 11:33 pm as I post this. Things above might be a bit jumbled. 🙂

Central Park Snow (3A)

The Falconer

The Falconer depicts both a human figure, clad in Elizabethan dress, and a falcon, representing the union and communion between a bird of prey and man.

Reedited according to Sue’s comment on the original posting.

Central Park Snow (6)

Eagles and Prey

Eagles and Prey, by Christophe Fratin (1800-1864), is the oldest known sculpture in any New York City park. Cast in Paris in 1850, the statue was a gift given to the City by Gordon Webster Burnham (1803-1885). It was installed in Central Park in 1863. Burnham, a manufacturing giant, also commissioned the heroic-sized statue of Daniel Webster that stands on the West Drive at 72nd Street.

Central Park Snow (1)

Since it is July, and the Big Apple is in the midst of a blistering heatwave, I thought it’d be cool (bad, xiao su, bad) to post some photographs that I took in Central Park during a snowy winter. I think this was the winter of 1990/1991… the last winter I lived in NYC. Neither here or there, but at the time I shot these photos, I was renting a very small room in an apartment on 90th and Lex.

All of these were taken on black and white film. I had the negatives scanned-in during 2008 (extremely cheap to do in Beijing when compared to doing so in the US of A).

The photos are all recently edited using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.

btw, I don’t know the names of some of the statutes. Pointers would be appreciated.

UPDATE: Erika and El Viejo pointed-out that this was the “Angel of the Waters”, and supplied these great links: