Sunday, April 3, 2011

New York Ham on Wry

You never know who (above) or what (below) you're going to run into in New York. We're taking time out from playing with our imaginary friends to share with you a random selection of photos we've been collecting in our wanderings over the past year.

Samuel Mark painted this on a pink cotton terry cloth towel at the height of the bedbug infestation and taped it unceremoniously to a store gate as a warning. The temptation to steal the towel was nearly overwhelming.

Jean says: Valerie shot this East Village storefront figure onto which someone had superimposed a Joker's face. The paper he's holding says "I can't afford to live in NYC".

Fabulous chalk board sign in Lucien Freud style on Rivington Street. And is the guy Leigh Bowery?

Vegetable mosaic rotunda at the late, great Tabla restaurant, known for its unbeatable frozen mango margaritas (and its stunning rosemary naan).

Jean says: I loved sitting at the outdoor tables and gazing up at the fabulous vaulted ceiling outside Tabla Restaurant (while sipping my mango marguerita)!

One of the funnest storefronts in town. What you see is what you get.

Jean says: This homage to joe Strummer of the Clash faces Tompkins Square Park and never fails to put a smile on my face.

Even hidden by a huge column, way below eye level and faced by a non-descript door with security stickers, if you catch a glimpse of this original mosaic with the syncopated skyline, it will make your day in a city with so many look-alike banks and drug stores. This is one of several adorning New York Eyeworks.

Jean says: Mac Daddy, flaunting his emerald green Mohawk, sits outside Laurie's Atelier on East 4th Street.

Walking through a long tunnel in the 42nd Street subway station, we came across a series of wild ceramic depictions of New York. This one is an allusion to Times Square on New Year's Eve. If you know the artist's name, let us know.

Jean says: Shortly after Valentine's Day, after Valerie had seen the East Village shop Obscura on a Discovery Channel TV show, we went to check it out in person. The window says it all: "Antiques and Oddities" - ranging from taxidermy to church candelabra. Some of the ephemera verged on Ripley's Believe It or Not types of items. My absolute favorite was the stuffed rat, prominently displayed in the window in a Valentine heart, complete with top hat fashioned from the store's business cards!

Dior reopened its flagship store after months of refurbishment with this fabulous neon light depicting a Dior New Look from 1947. Society columns said John Galliano got the honor of flipping the light switch at the opening night party. Three months later, Galliano is gone. (So, alas, is the fabulous light. But visit their atrium anyway to see the wonderful metal 360 degree seat decorated in huge gingko leaves.)

Jean says: This gorilla, propped on two mailboxes on Houston Street, was a real show stopper.

There was a van in the front of this building on the lower east side, so the photo had to be shot from an angle, but all the artist's (owner's?) whimsy comes through.

Jean says: Before it closed, Colonial Restaurant on Houston Street used to have fabulous murals on its side wall. Although the George Seurat take-off was my all-time favorite, this faux Gaugin came in a close second. You'll note the added grafitti to the left above the boat.

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(and remember, we almost never take our hats off!)

Wandering around Williamsburgh today, first at the flea market and then down Bedford Avenue, we were stunned and ever so flattered to be recognized multiple times (by people "young enough to be our children", as folks our age often say) who have seen us in Lina Plioplyte's and Ari Seth Cohen’s video. We stopped into the naughtily named Fille de Joie (among many other places), where we learned that we have The Man Repeller to thank for that. Click above to see her website; click here to see her posting on the video.

THANK YOU, MAN REPELLER. We love everything you love. (We just loved it before you were born!) LOL!

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