bushwick

Bushwick, Brooklyn, NYC

I’ve had the Bushwick area of Brooklyn on my list to explore for a while now, mainly because I’ve read it’s changing from a serious high crime hood to hipster paradise.  So…field trip!  Seems cheap rent is drawing in the hipsters and with that comes lots of cafes, thrift shops and health food stores.  Now having said that it’s also filled with trash, crumbling buildings and abandoned factories making it the perfect setting for filming a street scene…think Kabul in Afghanistan.  There’s no way you’d find me walking around this neighborhood at night…but, your street art?  Fabulous!

bushwick, brooklyn, nyc

mural by ben angotti

Bushwick, Brooklyn, NYC

Bushwick, Brooklyn, NYC

Bushwick, Brooklyn, NYC

Bushwick…there is potential and I’ll certainly return one day…

…but perhaps a year or so from now to see how things are coming along.

the bench

the bench at the pool in Central Park

the bench at the pool in central park

the bench at the pool in central park

the bench at the pool in central park

One of my favorite and most picturesque spots in Central Park…by the pool

What a surprise to find the newly inscribed personalized plaque on this special bench…as if just for me.

“But if the while I think on thee, dear friend, all losses are restored and sorrows end.”

I think about my father a lot here…I know he’d love this spot…

I so miss him…

<sigh>

Looking forward to the leaves turning…my favorite season just around the corner…

What’s new in your neck of the woods?

If autumn (love that word!) is around the corner for you…do you have any color yet?

arthur avenue in the bronx

After a nice, relaxing week on the farm visiting my mom and sister it’s so good to be back in my city!  And I’ll be here in NYC for almost two whole months!  Yippee!

So this weekend it was time to do some exploring…in the NYC borough of the Bronx, the Belmont section to be exact.  To be even more exact, in the real little Italy.  Oh my…sorry little Italy in Manhattan, but the real little Italy on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx has kicked your butt!

Authentic…filled with a rich ethnic mix of Italians, Mexicans, Albanians, Montanegrans…so many beautiful accents fill the air on the sidewalks and in the stores transporting you directly to countries far away…not to mention the aroma of warm baked bread, coffee beans, and pastries.  Fresh mozzarella, raviolis, egg noodles, cheese, olive oils to name just a few…and oh yes…cigars.  Freshly rolled cigars…one of over a dozen merchants (many generation family-owned) in the Arthur Avenue Retail Market providing the ambiance of “old-world.”

fresh rolled cigars in Arthur Avenue Market in the Bronx NYC

The Market on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, NYC

the lost art of cigar rolling - Arthur Ave. in the Bronx, NYC

On the streets of Arthur Avenue…oysters on the half-shell…

served right on the sidewalks to be eaten right then and there!

arthur avenue in the bronx, nyc

something for everyone…

on the streets of Arthur Ave. in the Bronx, NYC

There will be more to share on this little gem of a neighborhood…because I must return for more…but in the interim this must be shared…the most delectable, melt in your mouth lasagna was had at Antonio’s Trattoria…you know the kind…with multiple layers of thin, buttery pasta with hot, stringy mozzarella cheese…accompanied with a fabulous super Tuscan wine…

Chi mangia bene, vive bene!

(He who eats well, lives well!)

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

goruck challenge…on the streets

for all you tough mudders out there…here’s a challenge for ya!

 goruck…

location:  riverside park…upper west side…nyc

~~~

“GORUCK  strives to teach people what a team feels like, how it operates together, and why camaraderie in Special Forces is so high. In our estimation, people are good, and capable of much more when they work together, for each other.”

goruck

 

goruck

Hmm…thinking our world could use a goruck challenge…

remembering…

 

remembering 9/11

twisted metal

 

remembering 9/11

 from my visit to the 9/11 memorial museum here in nyc…

As we close in on the 11th…I know each and every one of us will remember exactly what we were doing that day…and the feelings for the days and weeks and months that followed.

There are all kinds of opinions about this museum, as can be expected.  Many are outraged at the thoughts of even having a museum, much less the ticket price ($24) to enter, as well has having an on-site cafe and gift shop.   Personally, I walked away so impressed.  It’s so much larger than expected, so tastefully done and oh so emotional.  About two hours was my limit though, but I do plan to return.  There’s so much there, so much to experience…

It’s a huge part of our history…

it should be told…

and we should never forget.

she went looking…

a trip to Romita, Mexico

There once was a girl who went to Romita

she searched…

Romita Mexico

she asked…

she found?

It was a chance.

A bus ride, then a taxi ride to a small town in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico called Romita.

A town where her grandmother and mother lived many, many years ago.

And only after an hour or so…a connection.

Could there be relatives?

Is there a family reunion in her future?

  Possibly…but we’ll have to stay tuned.

~~~

What an outpouring of love and support from so many of you on my last post. <wowie zowie>

There were so many excellent comments, but what really stood out was the fact that by having this blog I’ve made so many wonderful new friends.  Some I had no clue was even out there…some I haven’t physically met…(yet)…some I’ve only had a brief encounter…and some I’ve known for years.  The bottom line?  That’s the important part.  I so needed that reminder.  Thank you, thank you.

I do plan to make a few changes.  Like no longer dealing with Facebook for my blog postings.  But, I do have thoughts of Instagram…and with the potential release of the new iPhone (my first) I look forward to playing with all the fun apps that are available.  But anyway, that’s still a little ways away.  I also figured out how to make the “audience overview” go away, so I no longer see the stats every day.  I’ll still get those dagger emails that someone doesn’t care about my blog anymore, but I’ll just have to pull my big girl panties up and deal with it!

I really think I just needed to get those thoughts out of my head and I so appreciate all of your responses whether thru the blog comments or separate emails.  I really, really do appreciate you taking the time.

So, look for more fun things coming soon!  I so love sharing what I’m so fortunate to see and do!

Plus, I promise to reduce the “I” this and “I” that…as often as possible.

Unless I go off on a tangent which I’ve promised myself to do as often as possible.

That way you’ll know I’m human.

I’ll use this blog to share my travels, to share this incredible city, to share the beautiful Sonoran desert, and to share my personal thoughts, struggles and accomplishments.

Thank you!  Gracias!  Merci!  Danke!  Tack!  شكرا

 xo

to blog…to follow…to comment…

polaroid central park cherry blossoms

polaroid central park cherry blossoms

random thoughts…today it’s about the blog…

to blog or not to blog…

to comment or not…

to subscribe or not…

Disclaimer:  Before you even start reading this, I know this post is filled with “I” this and “I” that.  I really really try hard not to do that in my blog postings.  “I” try not to come across as it’s “all about me” or at least that’s what “I” have hoped for…and I know in the written word that it’s better to avoid using personal references such as “I.”  But for this post…that’s all out the window.

So I’ve been giving a lot of thought about my blog lately.  You know this blog was a brainstorm of mine about five years ago simply to show family and close friends why one would ever want to live “a year” in New York City…thus the reason for Gotham Girl.  Well we know what happened there…that has now turned into five years and three months and after a number of visits to my city…people now have a much better understanding as to why I love this city and want to share it.  With my good fortune to live in two incredible areas of the United States and travel throughout the world, this blog has grown into more of a events and travel log of sorts with the sole purpose of chronicling experiences for myself and sharing the world with others. (I don’t know about you…but I find it hard to remember what happened last week much less two years ago.)

Anyway, during these five years I was dealing with my dad’s decline because of his Alzheimer’s and wanted a space to chronicle my thoughts and experiences, as well as to document my progress as I dipped my toes into the mixed media world.  Thus my more personal blog was born.  Well my last posting on that blog was a week before my dad passed away and I haven’t touched it since.  But really…there was also another reason as to why I started the second one.  Several people mentioned to me they wanted to hear more about my personal thoughts and experiences and when I started to do that on this blog…I began to receive those horrible “unsubscribe” emails. Many of you have blogs…for me when that “unsubscription notification” arrives in my inbox… it’s like a dagger going through my heart.  WTF?   Hmm…now why in the world does that become important I ask myself?  So that’s what I’ve been contemplating.   Hey you bloggers out there…am I the only one that gets that dagger feeling?

Then on top of that, I added my blog as a separate page to Facebook.  Now why did I do that?  Because that’s how you build your followers.  So that’s what I’ve been contemplating too.  I see blogs that have tons of comments and tons of subscribers. I think as a blogger that’s our goal, right?  To build our reader base?  But why?  Yes, I get that many people hope to earn income, but most of the bloggers I know don’t need those pennies earned by those annoying advertisements, nor do they plan to offer future on-line workshops and classes.  So why does it matter?

Then there’s the…how often should I post?  I have enough content that I could sit here at this computer for the next six months and blog daily…but when does it become too much?  I often wonder if I post too much and no one wants to hear about it.  I think I’ve lost subscribers for that reason too.  But I love to blog.  I love to photograph.  I love to share.  So why do I care about the number of visitors/subscribers???

And what about comments?  I’ve entertained the idea of shutting off comments…I never want people to feel like they have to comment.  I’m horrible about commenting to their comments (sorry) but that’s just the way it is.  I do try though, but not often enough.  I know I follow a number of blogs but never leave comments, yet I’m a faithful follower because I enjoy their content.  So are comments that important?

This isn’t a pity party, it’s just what I’ve been contemplating for awhile now…along with a mass of other stuff.  You’ll be hearing about it.

But, in the interim, I’d love to hear your thoughts about all of this.

the weekend…rockaway!

the weekend…

at the art festival by the sea…

Rockaway! celebrating the ongoing recovery of the Rockaway Peninsula in new york city.

(remember my day of volunteering after Hurricane Sandy a couple of years ago?)

~~~

The exhibition includes an array of works by Patti Smith

but the most notable of which is Smith’s installation…

Resilience of the Dreamer

A Rockaway Beach resident herself, Smith installed an ethereal gold and white bed inside an abandoned locomotive repair facility, still littered with debris and graffiti.  The building is missing windows and part of its roof, and as the season wears on, the bed will wear down physically, while still remaining in place—a powerful testament to the endurance of the Rockaways.

Rockaway!

Rockaway!

“a symbol of courage and resilience…”

Rockaway! Patti Smith installation

Rockaway!

Rockaway!

“It’s with stones that we rebuild….”

And rebuilt they have…

throwback thursday…

 i scream…you scream…we all scream for ice cream!

Ice cream in mexico

Ice cream in mexico

ice cream in mexico

Ice cream in mexico

Ice cream in mexico

Ice cream in mexico

Ice cream in mexico

oh…the memories…

When I was growing up we made ice cream all the time using the wooden hand cranked maker that probably doesn’t even exist today.  As a family we would all take turns cranking…and the flavors were always delicious…berries out of the garden and peaches from the orchard…so yummy.  Seeing the ice cream served out of these wooden barrels immediately brought back those memories…as well as hearing that far-off sound of that familiar ice cream jingle.

My how things can change…fast forward…New Yorkers have lodged a brain-freezing 7,031 complaints about music-blasting ice cream trucks in the past four years.  On the western front…Scottsdale (Arizona) just recently unfroze a decades-old ban on ice cream trucks.  Go figure.

 ~~~

 photos taken in several cities throughout my travels in Mexico…

oh, and if your curious about gansito flavor? click here

kenn’s broome street bar

kenn's broome street bar in soho, nyc

Oh…how I’ve loved you…and oh…how I’m going to miss you…

One thing about living in New York City, you become acutely aware how so many “mom and pop” stores, bars and restaurants that have been around for years…close on a daily basis.  And the pending closure of Kenn’s Broome Street Bar has to be, by far, the most devastating news for me. <sob>

My first visit was back in the early 80′s on a snowy, wintry day…back when Soho was filled with unique, one-of-a-kind boutiques instead of the trendy, cookie cutter shops of today.  It’s your classic dive bar (since 1972) with bad decor, rickety chairs and fabulous tunes.  My first hamburger served in a pita. It truly was love at first sight.

And speaking of great tunes, one of my favorite experiences years ago was listening to the Amazing Rhythm Aces and I totally fell in love with the song Third Rate Romance.  Nowhere to be located for purchase at that time, the bartender told me he’d record it for me that night if I’d return for it the next day.  I did and I still have that cassette tape today. What a sweetie pie he was…

Way back in the day…can you picture photographer Robert Mapplethorpe or artist Willem de Kooning sitting on one of those bar stools?  Thanks to Kenn, the owner, the bar quickly became known as the artists’ hangout back before the art community moved out of Soho to the Chelsea area.
Kenn's Broome Street Bar, Soho, NYC

Kenn's Broome Street Bar, Soho, NYC

Kenn's Broome Street Bar, Soho, NYC

Kenn's Broome Street Bar, Soho, NYC

Back in February of this year, “Kenn died while on vacation in Florida, after having a margarita, a nice lunch and a swim in the hotel pool. He was 92.”  <I so want my obituary to read like that one day…>  And now the building has been purchased by a new owner for a cool $12 million and will soon become just another restaurant in Soho.  It’s such a shame to see greed take over this city…rents so high that New York City will one day become just a huge mall filled with chain stores.

At least I’ll be able to say…back in the day