WEST SIDE STORY: The cast iron district of Manhattan also known as NoHo and Soho, features some of the most wonderful cast iron buildings in the world. The idea of building with cast iron revolutionized the building process from 1840 – 1880, you didn’t have to stack all those thousands of little bricks. All the parts were shipped to the building site. The door frames, windowsills, columns, staircases, beams, windows and doors, skylights, turrets, ornamentations, etc. Like a giant Tinkertoy or Lego set. Now all you had to do was install the interior walls and the floors and the building was finished in one third the time of a conventional mortar and brick building. The two neighborhoods have the largest collection of all or part cast iron buildings in the world, 250, and . . . if you have a magnet on you it will stick to about every third building in the area.
The best time to walk the streets is just before sunset and you see these wonderful dramatic shadows cast by one of the quintessential items of New York – the cast iron fire escapes. Film noir drama.
Here I tinted the photo red to accent the angles and recreate the feel and look of the original graphics of “West Side Story.”
MOSTLY MOZART: I am walking through the common walkways of Sunnyside Gardens and I come across this cat sitting in the middle of the walkway. He is incessantly meowing. Non-stop. Coming out of the windows of the house to the right is a lovely afternoon classical music concert, broadcast by WQXR. I am concerned that the cat is meowing so much. Out comes my neighbor from his house:
Me: I think your cat is hungry.
Neighbor: Oh no, he is just singing along to the music
Me: Oh really?
Neighbor: Yes, he loves these afternoon concerts.
Me: What kind of music does he like best?
Neighbor: Mostly Mozart.