As someone who lives and walks this city daily…my blog is all about delving a little deeper, seeing what it has to offer, and capturing the true essence of New York City. Whether you live in Gotham, or just visiting…feel free to look around my blog. Bet you might find something new to do!
Keep in mind this isn't a blog about what is coming up...but what is experienced on a day to day basis.
P.S. As of the end of April 2013 my more personal postings will now be at The Next Few Years.
CopyrightAll images and content on this site are copyright ©GothamGirl 2009 - 2013, unless stated otherwise. If you'd like to use one of my photos, please give proper credit and link back to this blog.
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Monthly Archives: September 2009
I woke up to the sound of rain and a cool breeze blowing through the windows this morning. An hour or so went by and an aroma of festival food began to fill the den. Oh, I had forgotten! There was a street fair today on Columbus Avenue (just steps away from the den) and all I could think of was “poor vendors!” If they can get out in this pouring rain, then so should I! Remember those rain boots I bought? Yep, put my rain gear on and hit the streets. Here’s a few cute shots from my morning walk to the farmer’s market.
What a fun ride! Beautiful day. I can’t wait to do this ride again when the leaves begin to change. The “Escape” ride took us into New Jersey and New York state. A rest stop in the small village of Piermont (NY) was just adorable. Unfortunately I failed to charge my camera battery before the ride, so guess what? No photos, but as mentioned before, I’ll do this again and it will be even more beautiful with the fall colors. Total of about 60 miles. The ride itself was 50 and then it was a good distance between the den and Sakura Park in the upper upper west side. Besides a dead camera battery, only one other mishap. I took a little spill coming off the George Washington Bridge as we made our way back into Manhattan. Just a few minor scrapes and bruises. I happen to run into a guy who was going way too fast and barreling around the corner on his big mountain bike. Nothing that a hot shower, neosporin and a few glasses of prosecco wouldn’t cure! Here’s a photo of the George Washington Bridge from underneath from a previous ride.
Walking by a book store and this title caught my attention. You know…this is something I never thought of before…
Most of you know that I shipped my road bike out from Scottsdale which has been great to have on long rides. But, I also wanted something to just move around the city and not worry so much about someone stealing it or if I had a big crash, I wouldn’t spend a bunch a money on a repair or (yikes!) a replacement. So…I found her! Spent an afternoon hangin in an awesome vintage bike shop down in the West Village. The folks running the place were so helpful and fun. I eventually found THE ONE and even though it’s worn (it is vintage!), already I can tell it’s a great bike. I realize the “S” on the seat is for “Schwinn” but I’ve decided it really stands for SPARTAN, just the way life should be.
And of course I couldn’t resist this cute little bell! Which by the way is very much a need here in the city when you are dodging delivery bikes, children, dogs and people. Oh, and of course the zillion cars, trucks and cabs! Especially those crazy cab drivers!
One item I decided to do without when I moved was a printer. I’m thinking it’ll be my little way of being green, plus I really need to cut down on so much copying only to spend time trashing it all when I get into one of my simplification moods (which happens quite frequently!)
I’ve only needed a printer one or two times since I’ve been here and my neighbor always comes to the rescue. Well guess what? She’s out of town and I’m in need of making a couple of copies. (One to print my free guest pass to hear Mariah Carey perform in the morning and two, to print my registration for a 60 mile bike ride on Saturday.)
So I take off to the library thinking that’s where I can make a copy. I brought all of my documents needed to get a library card, filled out the paperwork and within minutes I had a card and permission to use the computers. I go over and sit down at one of 20 PC’s (half aren’t being used) and try to log on using my new card. Nothing happened. Beside of me was a very nice little old man with no teeth and a Mick Jagger Tshirt on who saw me struggling and explained the process. Oh, so I learned I have to go to the one designated PC to request computer time. So I went through the process and signed up for a 10 minute session that won’t be available until 45 minutes later. (Remember I told you over half the computers where empty? Go figure.) So I strolled the library to pass time. Oh, and by the way…as I was strolling around the library I came across a machine that you need to feed money to for a credit card for when you do get your computer time. No instructions on how to use it, but I figured I would deal with that when I get my time. (I’m just glad I found this machine before I sat down at the computer.) It’s now my turn, I log on, insert my flash drive and of course nothing happens. I tried everything, including the nice man with no teeth, but no one can help me. Either no one knew what a flash drive was OR they had never made copies before. Hmm… 10 minutes go poof and I have no copies. Guess what? A little message comes up telling me since I’ve used the computer once today I can NOT use it again until tomorrow. ARGH!!
Where to next? Within the same block I came across a small mom and pop mailing center. I walked in and a really nice man working on the printers told me that the owner would use my flash drive and make my copies from his computer in the back. So I waited in line 20 minutes only to be told they don’t do that and he sends me to Broadway and 70th street to Kinkos. After searching for 10 minutes or so, I finally find it at 72nd and Broadway. Oh well, what’s a couple of streets.
I walked in and tried to chat with a young woman who speaks something that sounded like English, but I really couldn’t make out a word she said. So I ventured over to the computers in hopes to find some document posted explaining the process. OK, the only thing I could find was a sign that clearly stated to insert your credit card to begin the process. OK, did that and waited. Oh, by the way, not only are you charged by the copy, but you are also charged by the MINUTE as well for using their equipment. So of course the clock is ticking…and I’m seeing the meter running just as fast as they do in a yellow cab. Finally after several minutes my documents appear on the screen. Yippee! Now, where is the print function? I asked for help from a Kinko woman going by and I received more of an unknown language. As the meter continued to run I get more frustrated. After asserting my best New York attitude, I finally got some help. Who would have ever known that this tiny icon imbedded in the corner of this foreign looking screen was the print button? ARGH!! So three hours later and almost $10 I have my two copies. Ahh…life in the city.
Meet Maram. I had the pleasure of meeting this pharmacist and business owner from Jordan. What a special treat. Maram you are an inspiration to not only women in your country but to all women! You go girl!!! Come and visit me!
Of course a trip wouldn’t be an adventure without a little excitement. Flooding disrupted highways as we made our way to the airport on Wednesday morning. You knew just based on the force of the water there would be major impacts to certain areas of the city. Once I got home I learned this was the worst rain in 80 years with waters rising up to six feet high cutting off the route to Istanbul’s main airport and killing over 20 people. My guess is we were about 1/2 hour ahead of it. Our taxi cab driver was a gem and did all the reroutes he knew to get us there…and I’m sure he couldn’t wait for the next call to prayer either.
About a block from the hotel I befriended a little man selling used shoes on the street corner. Every day that I passed him I would wave and he would wave back. I really wonder if he ever sold any?
As I wandered through the streets making my way to the Spice Market and Grand Bazaar there was always something to capture your attention: The man delivering bread, a little peak into a building that yielded a captivating nook, the colorful spices or the relentless salesman!
While sitting in Taksim Square, I started watching a young girl entertain herself with water bottle tops that she had placed under her shoes so she could slide around. Hearing her infectious laugh and giggle made me want to capture the moment.
But then things got serious as she realizes I’m taking photos. So I show her the images and then as one would expect we start fixing our hair and providing the best pose one can muster up! Adorable. No ability to say words to each other…just a warm smile and wave of our hands goodbye.
Oh my…a highlight of the trip. The rooftop bars, specifically the Mikla at the Marmara Hotel. (Thanks to one of our Swedish friends for this recommendation!) Should have gotten a punch card at this place if you catch my drift. Take a flight of stairs after you get off the elevator and walk into a nice breeze with soft gauze material flowing, sensual music, comfy couches, a negative edge pool, nice vodka tonic in hand…WOW!
Oh, did I mention the views and the sunsets?
I guess with a population of almost 13 million people a city would need 3,000 or so mosques. Kinda hard to imagine that many, but they were everywhere.
One of my most favorite memories of Istanbul will be hearing the call to prayer that’s announced 5 times a day reminding the Turks of Muslim faith to say their prayers. I loved hearing it during the day. There’s nothing quite as exotic as the sound of this mystical call. It provides a few moments of tranquility regardless of your location. Just when you think the voice behind the loudspeaker is starting to fade, another comes to life.
Before anyone can enter a mosque, shoes must be removed before stepping onto the carpets. Muslims worship by kneeling and touching their heads to the carpet so it’s really a matter of cleanliness. Speaking of…all mosques have rules regarding cleanliness thus requiring them to wash themselves before entering. I was able to capture this photo of a gentleman at the entryway of the mosque as he prepared to enter.
Now that we’ve been allowed to enter – time to cover up. Women must cover their heads as well as their knees and shoulders even though I saw a number of women not doing so. I’m talking tourists, not the locals. So here’s yours truly trying to not break any of the rules!
Oops! No cameras allowed? Sorry…