Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Elephant Walk NYC 2007

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus came to town last night heralded by the marching of the elephants. The elephants are unloaded off train cars in Queens and walked through the midtown tunnel and across 34th Street to Madison Square Garden. Scores of people lined the streets to watch the post-midnight spectacle.

Bello the tall-haired clown leads the pack, standing atop the giant pachyderm.
The elephants were followed by a bunch of real pretty horses and then some miniature horses. Here's some video I shot...feel the magic right in your living room:

The elephants walk past pretty quickly, and a good portion of the crowd stampedes along with them on the sidewalks, trying to keep up. It was pretty exciting, like the running of the bulls only less dangerous, without bulls, in midtown Manhattan instead of Spain and walking instead of running. So similar!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Shadows on the Stoop

The last post was ugly, today I'll present something pretty. Nice railings are really underrated. With the sun at the right angle, it's all gravy.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Ugliest Brickwork in Brooklyn

Usually I'm all for brick houses as compared to their usual ugly alternative here in Brooklyn- the vinyl sided monster. Usually! But not today. The brickwork on this house is just nauseating. It sticks out like a sore thumb. The design around the windows is nice but the repeating diamond pattern throughout is just bad. Worse than it looks in the picture.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Boots in the Air

Last week I pointed out some boots on the street, today we're taking the eye to the sky to peep some boots in the air, hanging like they just don't care. Like I've said over and over, boots are everywhere! You can't avoid boots. Work boots, rain boots, jackboots, thigh high lace-up dominatrix boots, Ugg boots, ski boots, boots made for walking, cowboy boots, combat boots like your mom wears- the boot is arguably more versatile than anything known to man, except baking soda, which as we all know has 1001 uses. If boots and baking soda ever got together, world domination could ensue.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Crazy Jobs

There are some jobs you simply could not pay me enough money to do. Take this seemingly innocent beautiful building in the Flatiron District- notice the crazy worker?
No? Take a closer look in the photo below. That's right, there's a window washer on the ledge about 40 feet up, barely being held in only by a strap around his waist. Talk about your crazy jobs, this guy might take the cake. Give this guy a raise or at least some cheap life insurance.
I've noted insane window washers before, but this guy on the ledge definitely has the edge over the spiderman rope guys as far as dangerous jobs go.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Obey Giant Sexy Pump

Andre the Giant says obey the wishes of the people and keep 6th and 7th Ave in Park Slope running two ways to make it safe for all skateboarders. The Giant does not care for pedestrians or vehicles- only boarders. I love the color tiles on those mansard roofs and the little colored circle thing between the windows. And of course the sexy sexy pump (you know here at VS we've got a pump fetish or something). Classic lines. Vertical. Slimming. Always in style. Sensible New York attitude. In tune with the streets. Classy. Pumpalicious.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Lost Boot

Here's another mystery. How does someone lose a boot in the middle of the street? Was this person on a pre-St. Patrick's Day binge and was so hammered they didn't even realized they had lost a boot until they got home and saw that one foot was sopping wet and frostbitten? I'm at a loss here. Happy St. Patty's Day little boot and to all the Velvet Sea universe. May you get plowed but not plowed over. And may you come home with both your shoes.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Parking in Park Slope

What's the deal with the doubleparked cars in Park Slope? If you notice in this shot there are actually two rows of cars stretching the entire block- those parked legally by the curb and a second row doubleparked waiting for the alternate side of the street parking regulation times to expire so they can move to the open spots on the right hand side of the street. This is all pretty clear.
What doesn't make sense to me is that all these cars are empty. I'm not sure if this is a Brooklyn thing or what, but from what I've seen in Manhattan, car owners will sit in their car while waiting for the spots to become legal- and they will not doublepark but on a block like this they would all be on the right hand side of the street already claiming their spots. If the street sweeper comes, they move to the other side. If a cop comes, they turn the engine on and the cop moves on. But there would never be an entire block's worth of cars waiting; only a few.

So what's the deal here? Where are the car owners? Do they all just live on this block and are keeping on eye on their vehicles from their windows? Did about 20 car owners hire one guy to move all their cars from one side to the other twice a week? Isn't this an open invitation for a traffic cop to come along and write out about 35 tickets in a row? What happens if one of the legally parked cars on the left needs to get out? Are they just waiting for the street sweeper to come by before moving over to the right? Why is it so different than Manhattan? Can anyone explain?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Darkcloud and the Life Lesson

Following up to last week's "Graffiti on a Pole" post, here's some street art by Darkcloud, who specializes in painting uhhh ...well..dark clouds. Really cool dark clouds though! Darkcloud teaches us that sometimes it's best to find one thing and do it well, rather than spread yourself too thin. That's the life affirming lesson to be learned from graffiti today. I'll be at the Learning Annex all week if anyone wants to pay to hear more of my lessons from everyday life, including "I stepped in dog poop and stopped worrying about the next step in life", "The bookstore was closed but I found that life is an open book", "I lost my dry cleaning ticket but not my mind", "I tipped the pizza counter guy and it tipped the scales of my life", and of course the classic "It's ok to park in a handicap spot because we're all handicapped in our own way".

Monday, March 12, 2007

Kingsford Gets Grilling in Madison Square Park

Kingsford Charcoal sponsored a free event in Madison Square Park today called "Spring Forward, Get Grilling". The event celebrated yesterday's daylight savings time and the awesomeness of Kingsford brand charcoal.
At various points in the day grilling celebrities and pitmasters took the microphone and grills to give the audience recipes, pointers, demonstrations and product pitches for Kingsford Charcoal.
The irony of the huge crowds gathering around for tips on charcoal bbq'ing is that very few New Yorkers actually barbecue due to space limitations! Outdoor space is at a severe premium here. Occasionally you will see a bbq set up on a balcony, fire escape, or rooftop but per FDNY regulations, the majority of these are illegal:
Only use a charcoal barbecue grill on a balcony or terrace if there is a ten foot clearance from the building and there is an immediate source of water (garden hose or four (4) gallon pail of water). Otherwise, such barbequeings is dangerous and illegal.
Back to the legal grilling- below you see multiple time world champion pitmaster Chris Lilly (left) of Alabama's well known grill joint Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q talking about charcoal flavor profiles and the superiority of Kingsford Charcoal while his team of minions slices the meat. Yes, the baseball cap is an absolute requirement in the world of pro-BBQ:
So why would a bunch of people who don't barbecue, stand around a guy lecturing on the subject? Free meat! A variety of meats were served up and the ravenous crowd devoured the free samples as quick as the pigs-in-a-blanket hors d'oeuvres go at a wedding. Except they were much tastier and there was no open bar. Behold, some sort of beef on a stick I got after a 15 minute wait:
The beef was really good-tender and juicy, with a perfect amount of some sort of slightly citrus marinade (if I was paying attention to the demonstration instead of drooling over the scent of the bbq ribs, I would know exactly what I was actually eating instead of just marinated "meat"). Thanks Chris Lilly and thanks Kingsford Charcoal! Great event.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

American Flag Freedom

An American flag and some beautiful window bays in brownstone Brooklyn. More people should display the American flag outside their homes (but not upside down!).
Velvet Sea proudly supports America and all the freedoms that make America great. Particularly the freedom to hate that Lee Greenwood song "Proud to be an American". Velvet Sea fully supports Ray Charles' "Fifty Nifty United States". Velvet Sea prefers "America the Beautiful" to "God Bless America" and Coke over Pepsi.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Carved Lines

Lines near Prospect Park. They don't make them like this anymore. When I win the lottery, I will purchase this particular stoop from these people and transport it to my own personal multi-million dollar mansion. They will have but no choice to sell, as my offering price will be seriously big money. Then I will smash it into a million small pieces and have my servants rebuild it using only one hand each. I will sit on my other front steps (because my mansion will have many many entrances) and watch them while I sip on vodka martinis and give shrewd financial advice to other millionaires even though I just blew half my fortune on a broken stoop. Until I am financially able to do this, I will print out this photo and leave it by my bedside and make a daily pilgrimage to the steps with an offering of white roses and a jelly donut in a straw basket.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Supersized Garbage Cans

The super-sizing of America continues! DSNY is rolling out new giant garbage cans for 5th Avenue in Park Slope. Here's a shot of a Department of Sanitation worker unloading the newer more enclosed style cans. Note the older open-style trash bin still on the curb ready to be carted off to some garbage can old folks home.
These cans are great because they are enclosed so things can't get out (or in) as easily as the old ones but they are just massive. Look how tall it is compared to the man unloading it- it's almost chest-high!! These new supersized trashcans just dominate the curbside. Well-intentioned but too large.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Graffiti on a Pole

I have a lot of graffiti photos, or "graf pics" as the kids say, maybe I'll start posting more. This is a recent addition to a one-way sign pole in PSlope. I can't decide which version I liked better, so you get both! You will not be getting the far inferior 3rd version of this shot, although that will be available this fall as an extra on the DVD.
The street artist for this is "Plasmaslug". Interested in a Plasmaslug piece like this but you don't have a pair of bolt cutters? Want to know the street value of this street art? Then head on over to the Plasmaslug graffiti Ebay store! Apparently a piece like this retails for about $15.
I like graffiti pieces like this- they're fun and they don't damage any property.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Across the Tracks- 34

Peeking across to the other side, of the tracks, of the store. A whirlwind of commuters below, shoppers mob Macy above. Waiting for the train home, searching for that perfect outfit, on sale of course. Stillness, calmness, a frenzy, quiet then loud. Screeching brakes, screeching kids. A rush of air, a rush of people. Just missed it, no train, no sales. All that's left is the slow drip of water from Macy's above to the platform below.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Geeks in Distress! Geeks in Distress!

Not to be confused with the more famous Geek Squad of Best Buy or Dial-A-Geek, the Brooklyn Geek stands proudly on 4th Avenue besides an upside down US flag. Interestingly enough, hanging Old Glory upside down is actually a sign of distress. Not sure if it's intentional or not, as it likely belongs to the patriotic next door neighbor, but it would be clever if it is flown in that manner on purpose. Geeks in distress! Save the geeks!
Why doesn't the Brooklyn Geek have a website? Am I more geeky than the Brooklyn Geek? Just how geeky is the BG?

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Purim, Get Your Shtick On

Today marks the first day of the Jewish holiday of Purim. Purim is a pretty boisterous holiday involving getting dressed up in masks and makeup and using noisemakers in temple during the reading of the Book of Esther. It has been compared to both Halloween and Mardi Gras. The holiday celebrates the liberation from Haman's plot to destroy the Jews.

The highlight of the holiday (like most Jewish holidays) is the food. On Purim it is traditional to eat hamantaschen, which are triangular pastries filled with prunes, dates , or apricots. They are available in most bakeries and are delicious. Here's a recipe if you can't find them. Like Halloween, there are stores specifically dedicated (at least this time of year) to Purim:

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Kellie Pickler's Boobs are Super Popular

Since casually using American Idol's Kellie Pickler's boob job as a metaphor yesterday, traffic here has exploded. Over 400 people have coming looking for the scoop on the implants. Apparently there are many many ways to ask the same question:
Interestingly enough, half the searches spelled her name Kelly and still made it here somehow. After doing some research, it is unclear if Pickler did in fact get implants. The addition weight around her hips and ass makes it possible that she just put on some pounds in a few spots. So I'll leave the final determination up to you readers- with a poll:
Kellie Pickler's Boobs- real and spectacular or fully paid for
Fake free polls
Whether the boobs are real or not, it is abundantly clear that her new haircut makes her look like she's 40 and is beyond horrible. Kellie Picker at age 19 has somehow managed to look like a trashier Dolly Parton. Ouch.

Here's a few more search terms for Pickler's boobs- breast implants photos pics tits fake plastic surgery real and spectacular boobage sweater puppies tatas mountains motorboat boobies bosom knockers titties mammaries bazookas coconuts funbags headlights globes melons pair milkwagons twins hooters cannons rack chest pumpkins. That ought to cover it!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Not So Mellow Yellow

Keeping with the yellow theme today, I present to you- not so mellow yellow. While the Garfield building keeps it subtle (at least for now), over on the Gowanus side of Fourth Ave the yellow is bright and in your face, sticking out more than Kellie Pickler's new breast implants (seriously that girl is a fake boob, she didn't need actual fake boobs and did she get ass implants too or did she just chunk up on sushi?).

Speaking of misplaced mountains of manmade materials and chunking up in the rear, you'll note the new boutique hotel under construction in the background.

Mellow Yellow

Today's theme is yellow. The vacant Garfield Glass Company building in lovely Park Slope displays a subtle hint of yellow along with some nice handpainted lettering.
The building is for sale (no price listed) with approved development plans for a 28 unit, 6 car garage residential building. Should you choose to buy this site, I'd recommend bringing in your own architect and coming up with some new plans, because the proposed plans are uglier than Kellie Pickler's new hairstyle:I love how plans never include trees or hydrants- sort of a utopian future world of fireproof concrete.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Alternate Shoveling

This one's a few days old, as I've been having trouble logging in to blogger but here's some alternating snow in the Center Slope. Visions gone, illusions, my decisions, and the walls begin to break down, left me here alone, I'm cold and I'm 'spun 'round, a case of ice and snow.