Subway Art

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In following up to my More From South Ferry post, I was chatting with a fellow blogger, Andy (of The Wandering Poet–check out his website!), about some of the amazing murals that can be found on the New York City subway platforms.  This reminded me of another series I wanted to bring over from my other blog shezzaspeak: Subway Art.  Plus it occurred to me that perhaps you want something other than Hawaii 24/7…

NYC has some of the most amazing museums in the world, however, art can be found anywhere in the city.  In fact, I’ve found that some of the most intricate pieces can be found only a subway ride away…

If you’ve never been to Pennsylvania Station in New York City, it is busy.  In fact, it is said to be the busiest train station in the Western Hemisphere.  I don’t have all the data to back that up, but I feel anyone who has ever navigated Penn Station during rush hours would agree.

This is because Penn Station plays host to 6 MTA subway lines, Amtrak, New Jersey Transit, and the Long Island Railroad (LIRR).  Amtrak estimates that their annual ridership at Penn Station (ranked #1 in busiest for Amtrak) is just over 10 million commuters a year.  The average weekly commuters on New Jersey Transit is about 95,000 (just shy of 5 million for the year).  The LIRR hit their highest numbers in annual ridership since 1949, with just over 89 million commuters.  And the MTA estimates their annual subway ridership at Penn Station is slight over 50 million commuters.

That is a lot of people.  But you’re not here for the people, you’re here for the pictures.  And not only is Penn Station busy, but it is also big.  Perhaps not as big as the commuter numbers might suggest, however, it is expanding.

What that means in terms of this blog is that you’re going to see several different posts from Penn Station, as each section has its own style and they are all very different from each other, so I felt it a slight to craftsmanship to slap them all in one post.

This first set is from the New Jersey/Amtrak transit side of Penn Station at the 7th Ave & 31st Street exit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is also large and expanding.  This is all just a preface to explain

100 Days of Blogging

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Hello and Happy Monday!

That was totally forced.  Not because I don’t mean it (I do), but because I’ve been sitting here for almost 30 minutes trying to figure out how to start this post.

You may have noticed in my post yesterday a new category: 100 Days of Blogging.  If you didn’t notice, don’t feel bad–I probably wouldn’t have noticed it either.  For those of you not familiar, it is pretty much as it sounds: posting for 100 days.  I thought it a nice way to force coax myself back into posting regularly.

As I was pondering whether I could keep up the pace of posting daily, the thing that had me pondering the most was what I would talk about.  Sure, I can talk your ear off about anything and I did complete the 100 Happy Days Challenge on ShezzaSpeak a few years ago, but would it keep you interested?  I mean, I could find funny things to post for Sunday Comics and the MWWC would provide several posts, but then it hit me (or rather, my coffee finally kicked in): a couple of weeks ago I had a chance to catch up with a friend from high school, whom I had not seen since I graduated but had recently reconnected with on Facebook.

As we recounted the last 20-something years, we realized we both shared a love of history and travel and in fact, we had both just visited Iceland.  As we were recounting our trips, it made me realize that it’s been awhile since I’ve shared any travel stories with you.  I haven’t even shared my Hawaii trip!  In fact, I can’t actually tell you the last trip I shared with you–perhaps The Fabulous Not Forty trips?  Wow…I have been a wanderlust-writing sloth!

So, here we go!  Check back daily–or follow me and have each post magically appear in your email or on your feed (whichever makes you happy!). And don’t worry, there won’t be a 100 posts on Hawaii…I mean, this is Day 2 and I did go to Iceland and Canada and a few other places as well 😉

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Aloha!

Chalkboard Art: Problem Solving

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New York City streets are filled with a lot of things: people, dogs, trash, mysterious things you’re better off not knowing what they are…but my favorite things NYC sidewalks offer are Chalkboard Art.

Appropriate for Fleet Week, I think. Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

beer and wine

Memoirs of a Princess Pupcicle: Teenage Girls

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Being a Big Dog in a Big City, Addy gets a wide variety of reactions when we are out and about.  It’s usually fear.  Mostly people try to disguise it, usually pretending there is a reason to suddenly cross the street. However, sometimes, it’s blatantly obvious.

Addy is definitely a people person–uh, pupcicle.  She loves everyone…except teenage girls.  Why?  Because when they see her, they like to let out ear shattering squeals.  70% of the time it’s out of fear.  30% of the time, it’s out of excitement.  100% of the time, it hurts my ears–so I can only imagine how painful it is for her.

And any time we are ambushed by a gaggle of teenage girls, poor baby girl tries to hide behind my legs for protection…which is about as effective as a giraffe trying to hide behind a zebra.

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Memoirs of a Princess Pupcicle: Pop Tarts

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Being a Big Dog in a Big City, Addy gets a wide variety of reactions when we are out and about.  It’s usually fear.  Mostly people try to disguise it, usually pretending there is a reason to suddenly cross the street. However, sometimes, it’s blatantly obvious.

Along our morning walk, Addy and I pass by a bus stop filled with kids waiting for the school bus.  I noticed that Addy always beelines for a young boy (maybe 6 years old)…after a couple of days I realized it was because he was sharing his pop tarts with her.  Once I realized this, I let him know that while it was sweet, he didn’t need to share his breakfast with her.  He looked at me, with a bit of sass and said:

I share my breakfast because I don’t want her to eat me.

Oh honey, she’s not going to eat you…I promise.

Lady, I ain’t taking noooo chances!

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Memoirs of a Princess Pupcicle: The Enforcer

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I’ve inherited a cat.  He, being Toulouse, spent the first year or so of his life with us–so he is not unknown to Addy.  He is, in fact, her kitty.

When Toulouse first moved in, he was small enough to fit in your hand–and naturally thought he could easily take on a 90lb dog.  Toulouse would follow Addy around the house and wait patiently for the perfect moment to strike.  His favorite spot was behind a pile of books at the top of the stairs: a well thought-out ambush spot for the Princess as she came up the stairs.   The problem, of course, being that she tended to be slightly oblivious of this ball of fur and could easily knock him down the stairs with her big ol’ labrador tail.  I’m quite sure she did a time or two.

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Baby Toulouse waiting to ambush Addy

A couple of years have passed, but Addy, of course, still thinks of him as her kitty.  Toulouse–for some reason unbeknownst to me–will even allow her to occasionally bathe him (although he always looks mortified while she’s licking him).  Since Toulouse has moved back in, I’ve seen a lot of pouty Addy faces that some of her affection might be given to Toulouse, however, she always has my back when I’m fussing at him to stop clawing the furniture or to get off the countertop.  Addy is more than happy to chase after him, barking reminders at him Get off the counter!  Stop clawing!  Don’t make Momma yell! Come back you need a bath!

Yelling in both human and barking–double whammy!  Poor Toulouse.  Meanwhile, Addy smiles at me I got this, Momma, I got this.

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Best seat in the house: a sunny window and far out of reach of a certain cold, wet nose…

Chalkboard Art: Pancakes

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New York City streets are filled with a lot of things: people, dogs, trash, mysterious things you’re better off not knowing what they are…but my favorite things NYC sidewalks offer are Chalkboard Art.

You can’t argue with sound reasoning…

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Memoirs of a Princess Pupcicle: Sweet Jesus!

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Being a Big Dog in a Big City, Addy gets a wide variety of reactions when we are out and about.  It’s usually fear.  Mostly people try to disguise it, usually pretending there is a reason to suddenly cross the street.  However, sometimes, it’s blatantly obvious.

Several years ago I worked for a shall-not-to-be-named coffee company.  During this time, I was usually up and walking Addy at 2am.  This, of course, was just in time to run into everyone in the neighborhood who caught the 1:30am ferry.  Most were just getting home after a long day’s work.  Others were not-so-quietly coming home from a great night out.

It was while we were walking behind a group of people in the latter category that one of the women in the group–who apparently had a GREAT night out–glanced back at us.  When she saw Addy she let forth a blood-curdling scream and promptly fell over, off the sidewalk and  into the street [don’t worry, there wasn’t any traffic].

My first inclination is to offer assistance, as her friends were too busy laughing to help, but of course, I quickly realized Addy was the problem.  Addy, naturally, wanted to help her new friend, who was screaming loudly:

I’m down, I’m down! Oh sweet Jeeeeesus, I’m ready to come home.  I’m ready sweet Jesus.

Ma’am are okay?  Can I help you up?

I’m ready to go home, Sweet Jesus just take me now and don’t make it too painful!

MA’AM [more laughter from behind me] DO YOU NEED HELP GETTING UP? [I wasn’t yelling, per se, merely speaking very clearly and very loudly because at this point I could smell the alcohol coming off her body.]

She stopped her rant mid-Jesus-take-me-home rant and looked at me, slightly confused.

You mean he ain’t gonna eat me?

No, ma’am, she’s not.

Oh, well, then I’m good.

She then popped up and kept right on trucking, uh, wobblingDSCN0701

Memoirs of a Princess Pupcicle

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Confession time:  remember earlier in the week when I told you that as I started sharing some of my series from ShezzaSpeak, I would start with my one of my favorites, Chalkboard Art?  Well, that was a lie.  And anyone who actually knows me knows that it was a blatant lie. This is because more than food or wine or beer or coffee or humor or travel, my most favoritest thing is my darling beloved pupcicle, Princess Adelaide Grace, about whom I’ve already shared a couple of stories (which you can read here and here!). So I guess technically hers was the first (rightly so!) series from ShezzaSpeak that I brought over.

Today, I thought I might share exactly how this series came to be with my very first Memoirs story.  With the exception of a couple of grammatical changes, I’ve left the story as I originally wrote it, which was over 2 years ago.  So just for current day references, she’s now nearly 11 (she’d say 10.5!) and down to a svelte 83lbs!

Memoirs of a Princess Pupcicle

I’m sitting in bed with my laptop, silently urging writing ideas to come.

Suddenly I am aware of soft snoring from the end of the bed.  I look up and there is a cute 90lb ball of fur.  I can’t resist.  Slowly, ever…so…slowly I reach for my phone.  I quietly scroll the camera icon upward.

Don’t you dare take my picture.

Sigh.  Why not?  You’re so cute and I love you and I want a picture of you looking cute.

You already have 8390 of them and you’re supposed to be writing, not procrastinating.

I don’t have 8390 of them and I’m not procrastinating, I’m searching for inspiration.

You could write about me.  8390 articles would be far better than 8390 out-of-focus photographs.

I could write about you, however, you don’t like to have your picture taken.  In order for a post to be successful, you need at least a picture or two.  At last count, I believe you didn’t like having your picture taken.  In fact, I believe that you hate it.

I think you’re making that up about pictures and posts.  But I’ll make you a deal: if you write my memoirs, I suppose I could make an exception.

Your memoirs?  Really?  That’s a big word.

Yeah, well, I’m a big dog and I’m 8 now–don’t think I don’t know that you give me senior food and senior vitamins.  If you tell my story, I’ll let you take a picture of me.

A picture?  As in just one?

Well first let’s see how good your stories are.

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