I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Sunday, October 30, 2011


A new apartment building on Tenth Avenue in Manhattan.

Not as huge and hive-like as apartment buildings in Hong Kong, but some of the same feel. The furniture on the balconies is the only way to distinguish among the cells apartments.

Sunday bird blogging

A hermit thrush, true to its name, hiding way back in the foliage in the Ramble.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Merry October

If there were anything that could make me more grateful to be heading west to see friends next week, it would be this: snow. Snow! Snow. In October. In New York. I am so not ready for this.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday bird blogging

There are streams in the Ramble that feed into Central Park lake, and the robins seem to regard them as their personal day spa. They hang out on the rocks, they have a drink, they take a bath.

While most of them jump into the water and then frolic around and splash their wings into the water in what I'm sure is bird semaphore for "Whee!", the robin below plopped himself in and then just sat there. If I were to give this photo a caption, it would definitely be "Aaaahhhhh..."

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Collection: Streetlights

Some of the miscellaneous pictures I've taken along the way: streetlights on St. Charles in New Orleans, in the New Town, Edinburgh, and near Capitol Hill in Washington.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

In case you want to read a real blog....

I've always said that I don't write much about politics on this blog despite a passionate interest in the subject because there are already many more worthy political blogs than any normal person can find time to read.

That's less of a problem because the great Charles P. Pierce is now writing the politics blog at Esquire.com, and reading his take on things makes most of the rest of them superfluous.

Here he is on whether the other Republican candidates would call Mitt Romney on his Occupy Wall Street donor connections at the debate last night:
Rick Perry's too stumped by conventional English to do it, and I think Herman Cain's going to have enough problems. My money's on Newt, who's the most accomplished backstabber since the O'Jay's.
Here's his description of Rick Perry's debate performances:
He is as lead-footed on his feet as any major candidate I've ever seen. He doesn't have what the football coaches call "lateral quickness." He thinks on his feet with the dexterity of an andiron. He adapts to an unfamiliar question like a duck confronting the space shuttle. He corners like an oil tanker. Watch him when he tries to deliver a zinger. He looks like a guy learning to dance by following the footprints painted on the floor of the studio. Move one of the footprints a quarter-of-an-inch, and he'll dance himself out the window and down three floors to the sidewalk."

Monday, October 17, 2011

Welcome to the working week

In honor of Occupy Wall Street, here's a photo of the narrow streets of lower Manhattan.

There are probably more banksters working in Midtown, or New Jersey, these days than there are in the vicinity of Wall Street. I've always found the skyscrapers on the old narrow streets claustrophobic; spend too much time there and it might easily warp your perspective. In every sense of the word.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday bird blogging

A red-bellied woodpecker.

You might think that whoever named this bird needed a copy of Anatomy for Dummies, but red-bellied woodpeckers do have a faint red tinge on their bellies, which you can see just above the tail in this photo. Still, who would look at this bird in all its crazy black and white and red strangeness -- I always think they look a little like huge furry insects -- and decide that its most remarkable feature is that barely noticeable bit of red?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Saturday reflections

Another shot of the lake in Central Park.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


No Blackberry service, so the world is clearly going to hell. Here's a covered scaffolding on the Upper West Side, with the brilliant October light making a crazy pattern of shadows, clearly symbolizing the meaninglessness of a universe without constant connectivity.

I'm rather enjoying the sensation of having no idea what critical emails may be sitting in my inbox, and the unfamiliar bliss of being unable to check.

I suspect that New York may still be here in the morning even if none of us read our email until then. It might continue to be here in the morning even if we made a habit of it.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday non-bird blogging

Central Park early in the morning is a true oasis. Just sitting on a bench is a form of meditation; you hear only the breeze and the birds and the city seems very far away.

What you are not is alone, even at 7 in the morning in the wilds of the Ramble. There are dogs being walked, babies being pushed, photographers, birdwatchers (you can tell by the binoculars around the neck.)

Lots of runners, of course. And even a young man sleeping off what must have been a very late night (he must have been really drunk to make that rock look like a comfortable place to lie down.)

Sunday bird blogging

All of the interesting birds have been keeping themselves mostly out of sight during this migration season -- or at least, out of my sight.

So here's a starling, another common, much-vilified import, and certainly they weren't brought over from Europe because of their sparkling personalities. In the summer, when they have that purple and green iridescence, they look gaudy and overblown, and if they'd been offered as inspiration to the contestants on Project Runway along with the ravens and cockatoos last week, Nina Garcia would definitely be complaining about their taste level.

But in the fall the plumage is much more low-key, and if the speckles mixed with those brown-tipped wings would never land them a spread in Marie Claire, there's still something jaunty about the tiny white chevrons tipping each feather.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Thank God Almighty, Internet at last!

My cable company (I won't single them out but let's just say their name rhymes with Crime Warner) has finally managed to restore my broadband service after a series of lapses in good customer service standards that would make Dale Carnegie cry.

And I'm so happy to be able to go online again that I'm going to go back and post some of the backlog of photos I never got around to.

Here's two more pictures of palms in the Huerto del Cura in Elche, Spain, six months ago.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Saturday reflections

I only have Internet for ten minutes at a time right now so I'm uploading in a hurry. This is from the terrace at the AMC Theatre on 42nd Street.

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