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Graffiti Trike

This is the best re-purposing of a NYPD Traffic Enforcement Vehicle that I have seen so far.

The Cushman Interceptor III Utility Trike has been used by traffic cops in the city since the 1960’s.  If you thought that it might be embarrassing to drive one around on the job, clearly the owner of this one does not agree with you.

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And, the owner has eclectic taste.  Fan paraphernalia from Manchester United Football Club

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…and rock band KISS is displayed prominently.

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The graffiti style paint job seems to be in tribute to 5Pointz, one of New York’s the world’s most admired displays of “outdoor art”, now painted over.

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Don’t you want to meet this graffiti artist… eccentric…soccer player…rock fan… mechanic?  All of the above?

Shopping in Chinatown

Shopping for fish in Chinatown?  Not sure what you’d like?  You’ll find plenty of the usual snapper and shrimp… 

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Cooked crabs…

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…or live.  One guy wants to hang out with the hard shells.  

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But how about trying something you’ve never had before?  Like these little guys.

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How about some dried squid or krill?

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Or some dried sea cucumber?

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Or…I was too afraid to ask.

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After a few blocks of strange looking creatures and stranger smells, I turned my attention to the fruit.

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Still afraid to ask.

Spices & Tease

Before establishing an indoor stall at the Chelsea Market, French cousins Francois and Bruno had a terrific open-air set up at Columbus Circle.

Spices and Teas(e) in dazzling array are chosen for their fragrance and color, then scooped up with a long handled shovel to be boxed and sent home.

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With over 30 varieties of homemade spice blends, more than 70 spices and seeds, 25 herbs and 180 exotic imported teas it’s so hard to chose.

Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812

Theater-in-the-round is one thing but Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 is theatre ALL around.  This Off Broadway production is set up in a tent that convincingly recreates a cabaret in 19th century Russia.  Seated at tables with food and drink, audience members experience the music and drama by being right in the middle of it.

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A low stage rings the room and the actors move about continually; back and forth between the stages and up and down the narrow alley between the tables.  One doesn’t stand a chance of snoozing during the slow parts because there aren’t any.

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"Comet" is billed as an electro-pop opera and every word of the story’s narrative is sung.   Set in 1812, just before Napolean’s invasion of Russia and the burning of Moscow, "Comet" is a musical adaptation of Tolstoy’s War and Peace.  Based on the last hundred pages of the novel’s Second Book, the story is one of romance, seduction, betrayal, tragedy, scandal and forgiveness.

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Natasha

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Anatole, the handsome rogue.

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Pierre, finally taking action.

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At the play’s climax, the great comet streaks through the sky and witnessing it results in Pierre’s existential moment of enlightenment. How Tolstoy.

Photos by Sara Krulwich, Chad Batka and Ben Arons.

Life Underground

The 14th Street Subway station at 8th Avenue is huge, and it is filled with amusing little characters.

Tom Otterness’s Life Underground (2001) consists of over 100 bronze sculptures and you can find them everywhere throughout the station.  The figures are linked by a common theme of ‘implied criminality mixed with an undercurrent of social anarchy’.  And they’re cute.

It’s said that Otterness became obsessed with the project and ended up creating four times the amount of artwork that he was commissioned to produce, only stopping when his wife implored him to ‘stop spending their daughter’s inheritance’.

Here’s an interesting infographic that details how the sculptures are made.

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