Friday, March 24, 2017

Project 365: Days 76-82

76/365: We took a work field trip to MOMA, and Claes Oldenburg's big soft sculptures always make me happy.

77/365: We went cross-country skiing again and conditions weren't ideal, but we persevered and had fun anyway.

78/365: I haven't figured out how to display this mannequin head I impulsively bought recently at a thrift store, but I love it so much. And I just realized that this photo shows that I binder clip my curtains because they're too long for my weird window size  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

79/365: Breakfast for dinner almost every night when I'm left to my own devices—these hideous plates came with the apartment so don't think I willingly bought them.

80/365: Current jacket pin spread (DOGGGSS | Shining twins | glow-in-the-dark, jointed skeleton | cat hair courtesy Mozart)

81/365: When my uncle is in town, we see shows.

82/365: I took the day off to go to the NYBG Orchid Show (for the fourth year in a row!) with my uncle, and we saw Glenn Close's tour de force performance in Sunset Boulevard.

Thursday, March 23, 2017


After a recent Sunday adventure to Jersey City to (awkwardly) eat at the White Mana Diner, I took the PATH train to Hoboken. I was feeling bummed that I had let my anxieties rule at the diner and I was kicking myself for not getting many photos. I felt like giving myself a second chance at exploring, and I'd been wanting to check out Hoboken for years.

Despite being so close, I don't find myself in New Jersey very often but I've never had anything but enjoyable days west of the Hudson. Hoboken is famous as the birthplace of Frank Sinatra, and there are parks and streets named for him. It also has incredible views of the Manhattan skyline, and it always amuses me that the best way to really see New York is to leave it.

In September of last year a commuter train crashed in the Hoboken Terminal, killing one woman and injuring 100 people. The terminal was opened in 1907 and is the only remaining active terminal out of five operated by competing railroad companies that once lined the Hudson Waterfront. Before there were tunnels under the Hudson River, passengers had to transfer to a ferry if they wanted to continue onto Manhattan. When I went inside of the terminal on a Sunday afternoon it felt more like a homeless shelter than a grand travel space, but it's a really beautiful building.

The quiet streets, brownstones and shops made me feel as if I was in New Jersey's version of Brooklyn Heights, and Hoboken has a more historic vibe than Jersey City (which I'm assuming translates to more expensive). I'd like to go back and spend more time poking around—and I'd love to see Sybil's Cave— but even in the few short hours that I spent there, Hoboken managed to charm me.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Muffler Man: Chief Running Fair

While I was planning our recent trip to see The Big Duck, I checked Roadside America's invaluable Muffler Man map and found that there was a Muffler Man nearby.  I hadn't seen a Muffler Man since last October (the Happy Halfwit at Mr. Bill's in New Jersey), and I had never seen a proper example of the Native American variation—it was the cherry on top of a delightful mini-road trip through Long Island.

Chief Running Fair stands outside the Riverhead Raceway in Riverhead, NY in western Long Island. The race track bought him in 1982 when the Danbury Fair in Connecticut sold all of their statues. Apparently in October of 2012 Superstorm Sandy snapped him in two, but he was restored and back up by Christmas of that year. He's in sort of an odd place—behind a chain link, barbed-wire-topped fence and slightly hidden from the road, but he looks like he's well-cared for and has a vibrant paint job.

His lower half resembles most of the other Muffler Men I've seen—he counts as my eleventh!—but his head, torso and arm position appear to be unique. I love his colorful markings and the detail in his hair and headdress is really incredible. The way that musculature and fabric folds are so expertly reproduced in fiberglass will never cease to amaze me, and I'm so glad that I finally got to add another variation to my Muffler Man (photo) collection.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Kings Park Psychiatric Center: Doctor's Cottage

After we explored Building 93 at Kings Park Psychiatric Center—and after we defrosted ourselves in the car for a bit—we took a peek inside of two other abandoned buildings on the sprawling campus. There were several nearly-identical houses right across from Building 93 that were used as housing for doctors and the doors were wide open so we invited ourselves in.

This was my first time exploring an abandoned residence. It feels strangely intimate to be inside of what was once someone's home—there were hangers still in the closets, patterned wallpaper peeling off of the walls and even a toilet brush still in the toilet. While its human residents are long gone, these cottages must be very popular with animals—there was literally piles of poop everywhere.

The houses were built in the 1920s and although KPPC wasn't fully abandoned until 1996, judging by the decor the houses look as if they haven't been occupied since the 70s. I realized my tripod was broken when I tried to set it up in the cottage—it had fallen out of my bag in Building 93—so my photos are a little grainy, but seeing the inside of an abandoned home was a fascinating counterpoint to the enormity and impersonality of Building 93.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Project 365: Days 69-75

69/365: It was a snowy morning which made for a pretty lunchtime walk through Central Park.

70/365: My mom and I went on a "tour" of the Museum of Interesting Things, which is located in Denny Daniel's East Village apartment.

71/365: We toured Sagamore Hill, Teddy Roosevelt's "Summer White House," and finally made it to the Big Duck, the holy grail of novelty architecture.

72/365: I hung up my new Pee-Wee print (of the best movie scene ever) and I just love it so much.

73/365: We had a snow day off work, but the "blizzard" wasn't as apocalyptic as predicted.

74/365: Crazy eyes.

75/365: Good morning, moon.