America? What? Are you insane?

Carly is voted off and whiney Brooke, and Jason, who isn’t even trying, stay? Really?? Oh America, America, America. What are we going to do with you? First you vote Bush into office. TWICE. (Still haven’t recovered from the shock of that.) And now this.

This is Hector’s Diner. Me and my friend Tim have started a monthly diner-crawl, and this is where we began. It’s at 12th Street and Washington. It’s right under the highline, (the old elevated train tracks) in what was once a completely dank and unpleasant (but interesting) neighborhood that is now quite fashionable. But Hectors has that old New York feel. I should have taken a picture of the outside, because it has just about the most unassuming storefront ever.

I Need a Shopping Spree

Blouse.jpg I bought this blouse from Anthropologie as a present to myself. I was dying for a few other things, but I stopped at the blouse. It was a hard. I’m in a frenzy of want, want, want, apparently. Wanted this pair of linen pants, a new pair of jeans, a Spring cardigan. (The males have stopped reading by now. Oh! Now we can talk about them!)

– I want people to be more courteous on the street.
– I want cars to stop going through red lights.
– I want people to stop treating elections like baseball games and hating the fans of the other team.
– I want a flatter stomach.
– A chihuahua.
– I want my book to be a best seller, of course. Had to throw that in there.
– A great new take-out restaurant to open within blocks of my apartment.
– I want the perfect haircut (this doesn’t exist, does it?).
– I want Joss Whedon back making TV shows.
– As long as I’m on the subject, I want Buffy the Vampire Slayer back. (Sob.)

That reminds me, I was trying to think of how to phrase something like “world peace” and I remembered Howard trying to cheer me up when I was bemoaning all the hate in the world. He was saying how slowly, over the centuries, as much hate and war as there is, there is actually less, and we’re slowly slowly slowly improving. He brought up a lot of convincing examples to prove it (slavery, women’s rights, etc.) and I was once again wondering if perhaps it’s true.

Today I Go Now and Then Crazy

I’m doing a bunch of these today and then I’m done with “then and now” for a while. First up is my block in 1937. So much is unchanged in my neighborhood. The biggest different between then and now seems to be trees.

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The trees are blocking the view of the buildings that are virtually unchanged.
I am pointing out the ones that stood out for me.

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This is St. Luke’s on Hudson Street. I didn’t write down the dates, it’s either the late 20’s or early 30’s.

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The interesting thing here is, the church was mostly destroyed in a fire in 1981. This is the rebuilt church. But look how unchanged this section of the block is.

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Another shot of St. Luke’s.

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St. Luke’s today.

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Another Bleecker Then and Now

Update Added two more of this building! Please scroll down.

This is 385 and 387 Bleecker Street in 1928.

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Here it is today. #385 has a Marc Jacobs store. I wish I could remember what it was when I first moved in, but I can’t.

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Here is #385 Bleecker shot in 1937, from the side.

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Here it is now.

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Bleecker and Christopher Then and Now

Bleecker.jpg I got this picture from the Museum of the City of New York website. It was taken by Bernice Abbott on June 18, 1936. From the description:

“One of Greenwich Village’s oldest buildings, this corner store was built as a grocery in 1802. Its top floor was reputedly the office of the commission that laid out the 1811 grid plan for the development of Manhattan Island. The structure was itself a victim of urban planning; in 1828, when a bend in Bleecker Street was eliminated to facilitate the smooth flow of traffic across Christopher Street, the store lost 20 feet of its width. Abbott’s photograph clearly shows the brick wall, extending beyond and above the old clapboard structure, which marks the building’s 1828 truncation.

Although clapboard has given way to stucco, the Bleecker Street Grocery remains remarkably unchanged. The current owner, who has a copy of Abbott’s photograph behind the counter, acquired the store 25 years ago.”

I don’t know when that was written because here it is now. It stayed a grocery until recently, and I’m not sure when it closed to tell you the truth, even though I must pass it close to every day. And it’s completely changed. It’s a three story brick building. I love that it remained a grocery for so long though. 200 years at least. Sigh. I wish there were more “clapboard” buildings. I found a pretty yellow one a block away that I took a picture of that I will post another time.

BleekNow3.jpg My neighbor Beth found pictures of Perry Street and Hudson that I’m going through now. I love doing these “then and nows”. I’ve got a shot of St. Luke’s on Hudson that I want to do a then and now on.

I’ve got a pub date for my book now! It’s March ’09. That may seem like far away, but for me it feels like tomorrow practically. I have to start planning what I can do to publicize it and that actually takes a long time to do and then act on. Lots of things have like a three to six months lead time, so I have to think of things and start putting them into place in September.

But other than that my “to-do” list is remarkably short. I have a terrible memory so I have to write everything down. I have a small spiral notebook always, where I have a running list of things I must do. I put a “1” next to the things that are most important and I always do those first whether I want to or not. Here is my current list and which are marked with “1’s”.

– Password email. (I have to email people on Echo who have easily crackable passwords.)
– Call to get windows cleaned.
– Call Tommy Wray (he’s a retired cold case detective).
– Call Kaplan (another cold case detective, not retired).
1 Sources section (this comes at the end of the book, where I list where I got the information in each chapter).
1 Doug passes (for choir seats.).
1 Author questionnaire (for publisher).

Here’s another shot of the Bleecker Grocery so you can see the full extent of the change in the building. I tried to match the perspective in the other shot but here I step back and point my camera up:

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