Catching a Precious Part of the Day, Pictures March 9 2016

With March advancing toward mid-month, Iit keeps getting dark later everyday, and on a fine day such as this one was, it was light until past 6:30. I’ve been under the weather, and so not riding my bike this week, but I got down to the Hudson River for the first time in several days late this afternoon, leaving my home office after 5:00. I left work on my desk, lest I lose the chance to see how today’s sunset would turn out, and I wondered if I’d catch much of the light. As many who know me and this blog may attest, I have an appetite for late afternoon light. The amazing thing about living on the west side of Manhattan? We happen to have great sunsets, especially right at the river edge, or standing on the bluff above in Riverside Park, peering across to the river, with New Jersey on the far shore, and the rest of the continent beyond. I live near the park, and appreciate this practically every day. My appreciation of the neighborhood—the enchanted landscape and majestic bridge amid all the urban-ness, with people running, biking, walking dogs, plus the noise, aircraft overhead, traffic rushing by on the West Side Highway, and the light—began in 1990. I moved to the upper west side that year and had a Senior Editor job with Prentice Hall Press, then a division of Simon & Schuster. PHP staff were located—not in Rockefeller Center as S&S was, and is still—but in the office tower just north of Columbus Circle known then as the Gulf & Western Building. I had a small office with a window that invited me to peer westward across the Hudson, out toward America. We were on a pretty high floor, above the thirtieth, and it used to really sway in heavy weather. They do that, one hears, but it felt a bit like being on a ship. The building overlooked Central Park on the side away from my office, a great nabe to work in from July 1990-July 1991.

Quick as I could, I scrambled down there on foot and found the light this evening was extraordinary, and still evolving as a long drawn out event. These picture were taken near the Oscar Hijuelos Tennis Courts, the handsome clay ones, located along Manhattan’s west side river at around 96th St. It was one of the finest sunsets in all the years I’ve been photographing the Great Gray Bridge, the shore, upper Manhattan, the New Jersey side, always reveling in the light and atmosphere, and it lasted longer than most. You may click here to see more from tonight. And, if you want to see more photos like these, you can visit my flickr album labeled “GGB/sunsets/Hudson.”

Toronto, Don’t Grant the Ford Brothers Unearned Political Sympathy!

The Ford bros are all about manipulation and playing the media to their advantage.

Jill Barber’s US Tour 9/22-9/30—Stopping at NY Joe’s Pub Sept 25

Winsome Jill BarberA heads-up to music fans in Ann Arbor, Cambridge/Boston, NYC, Philadelphia, DC/Virginia, and Pittsburgh: Beginning Sept 22, Canadian chanteuse Jill Barber will embark on a mini-tour of the US with her superb band, debuting her her new album, "Fool's Gold" for US audiences. In NYC, she'll be playing at Joe's Pub, the same venue where I heard her play in 2012, a fantastic show. This is a write-up of that performance, in which I wrote, "Barber exuded a winsome charm, unselfconscious glamour, and improvised with light banter between songs. She sings in a distinctive tone that is the aural equivalent of B Grade maple syrup—my favorite kind—sweet and smoky." Her repertoire, most of which she writes herself or co-writes, sung in English and French, evokes classic torch music.  If you're looking for a great evening of romantic music, come out and hear her one of the cities below or buy a copy of "Fool's Gold." See tour details below. 09/22 Ann Arbor, MI - The Ark 09/24 Cambridge, MA - Regattabar 09/25 New York, NY - Joe's Pub 09/27 Philadelphia, PA - Tin Angel 09/28 Vienna, VA - Jammin' Java 09/30 Pittsburgh, PA - Club Cafe Jill Barber, playing left-handed guitar 09/22 Ann Arbor, MI - The Ark 09/24 Cambridge, MA - Regattabar 09/25 New York, NY - Joe's Pub 09/27 Philadelphia, PA - Tin Angel 09/28 Vienna, VA - Jammin' Java 09/30 Pittsburgh, PA - Club Cafe Jill Barber, playing left-handed guitar

An Amtrak Storify—STL to CHI/CHI to CLE/CLE to NYC, August 2014

Amtrak StorifyTo chronicle my recent Midwest August vacation, I’ve used Storify, the Web platform that lets bloggers incorporate social media posts in with their own writing. Once a piece is published on Storify, you can grab a handy embed code and paste it in at your websites, where it populates precisely as you’ve composed it. The piece is titled “By Train—STL to CHI/CHI to CLE/CLE to NYC, August 2014.” You may click here to read it at my page on Storify, or over at The Great Gray Bridge. I do hope you enjoy reading it, and if you also happen to enjoy writing sequential, diary-like narratives, I recommend you try Storify. It’s my second one, after “Great Music & Great Times in Toronto for NXNE, June 2014,” which includes travel and tourism info about Toronto, notes on restaurants, bookstores, shopping, and architecture, along with my music coverage of the NXNE festival, and which has now had more than 765 readers.

How This Blog Got its Name

In a previous blog post, “An 80th Birthday Makeover for The Great Gray Bridge,” dear reader, you will note I’ve borrowed the name for that entry, and the name for this very blog, from a nickname for the George Washington Bridge first used decades ago. My source is the 1942 children’s book The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge written by Hildegarde H. Swift and illustrated by Lynd Ward, creator of the remarkable wordless novel, God’s Man, which was published in 1929, the very week of the stock market crash. It is a source of joy and pride for me that I am able to borrow from that classic the name for this blog “spanning urban life, books, music, culture, current events.” Below are some pertinent photos I’ve taken of the bridge, the lighthouse, the river, and the grounds surrounding them on the Manhattan side of the Hudson. I take pictures during bike rides I take from my NY apartment to upper Manhattan. I’d understand if some of these scenes surprise you with just how sweet, bucolic, and pretty the city’s Hudson shoreline really is. That’s New York City, for you, full of surprises for the eager observer. / / more with photos . . .

Of Libraries & Ladders

I loved when the City section used to be part of the New York Times each Sunday. The Sunday paper hasn’t been as enjoyable since the section was killed in 2009. I have browser bookmarks and actual clippings of some of my fave articles from the old section. One was this 2008 article on the […]