Daily photographs by HANS VON RITTERN, with humorous, artistic and social commentary on life in the big city.

Archive for December, 2012

Photo of the day: MACY’S STAIRWAY TO PARADISE

MACY'S ESCALATOR

STAIRWAY TO PARADISE: In a year where we have suffered a great amount of closings of iconic landmark stores, restaurants and shops in New York City due to the voracious greed of the landlords, there is one thing we can still count on…the clickety clack of the wonderful wooden escalator at Macy*s.
Macy*s is paying tribute to those glorious wooden moving stairs in their main Christmas window this year, featuring fashions of the past fifty decades. The escalators will take women to the largest ladies shoe department in the world – shoegasm!
The Otis (as in elevator) escalator has been lifting shoppers to all heights since 1927. My favorite memory: in the 1960’s when women wore those thin stiletto heels they would always get caught between the wide slats of the escalator. One day mom and I were ascending to the second floor – mom got off the escalator – her shoes didn’t…that almost became routine. Women had to stand on their tippy toes as to not get caught.  Since the stilettos were made of a primitive plastic, they would either break off or get sliced off by the notorious escalators. Limping women was a common sight in 1960’s.Clickety clack, clickety clack  buy another pair off the rack!”
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Photo of the day: HANS VON RITTERN – December 21, 1955

Hans school

HANS VON RITTERN – Born December 21, 1955.
This is my first day of third grade school at PS 139 on 63rd Drive in Rego Park Queens. Mom got me a new briefcase and a new umbrella! I am nine years old here, I remember I couldn’t keep those shoes tied 🙂
(Oh, and the tie is a clip on, lol).

“IS THAT ALL THERE IS?” by Peggy Lee

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2l8erdPprSc

I remember when I was a very little girl, our house caught on fire.

I’ll never forget the look on my father’s face as he gathered me up in his arms and raced through the burning building out to the pavement.

I stood there shivering in my pajamas and watched the whole world go up in flames. And when it was all over I said to myself, “Is that all there is to a fire?”
Is that all there is,

is that all there is

If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing

Let’s break out the booze and have a ball

If that’s all there is
And when I was 12 years old, my father took me to the circus, the greatest show on earth.

There were clowns and elephants and dancing bears

And a beautiful lady in pink tights flew high above our heads.

And as I sat there watching the marvelous spectacle I had the feeling that something was missing.

I don’t know what, but when it was over,

I said to myself, “Is that all there is to a circus?”
Is that all there is, is that all there is

If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing

Let’s break out the booze and have a ball

If that’s all there is
Then I fell in love, with the most wonderful boy in the world.

We would take long walks by the river or just sit for hours gazing into each other’s eyes.

We were so very much in love. Then one day, he went away.

And I thought I’d die — but I didn’t. And when I didn’t I said to myself, “Is that all there is to love?”
Is that all there is, is that all there is

If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing
I know what you must be saying to yourselves.

If that’s the way she feels about it why doesn’t she just end it all?

Oh, no. Not me. I’m in no hurry for that final disappointment.

For I know just as well as I’m standing here talking to you, when that final moment comes and I’m breathing my lst breath, I’ll be saying to myself,
Is that all there is, is that all there is

If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing

Let’s break out the booze and have a ball

If that’s all there is . . .


WHAT WILL YOU DO IN YOUR FINAL HOURS ON EARTH?

END OF THE WORLD collage

WHAT WILL YOU DO IN YOUR FINAL HOURS ON EARTH?: According to the Mayans and many other ancient soothsayers from the past centuries, December 21st, 2012 has been predicted as the end of the earth. Now logistically – when does the universe &/or God determine the final bang should begin?? Each new day starts on Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean at 5am local New York time, so by Thursday the 20th at 5am we’re already screwed, but – if you’re reading this then the great chain reaction didn’t start and it proves the Mayans simply didn’t have a big enough rock for their calendar and they only had enough room till 12/21/12.

But if the end does come….how will you spend your last hours on earth?
Working?
Having that last great meal?
Spending all your money shopping?
Drinking till the end?
Making a list of questions you have for God?
Having great sex?
Listening to your favorite piece of music?
Watching ‘War of the Worlds’ or ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’?
Quietly with loved ones?
Sleeping?
Opening the bottle of fine wine you have been saving?
Calling someone and tell then you forgive them?
Packing?
Playing every last Cher (or insert favorite artist here _____ ) CD you have till…?
Reviewing and burning your bucket list?
Calling your boss and telling him what you think of him?
Going to the most expensive restaurant in town knowing the bill won’t matter in a few hours?
Finally buying that pair of Louboutin shoes and going in style?
Be happy you don’t have to make your bed and do the dishes?
Getting your camera ready, because this should be one helluva final shot!?
Listening to Sinatra over and over again singing ‘I Did It My Way’?
Or just sitting back with a beer and say “Fasten your seatbelts it’s going to be a bumpy night!”?
I myself, will be listening to Peggy Lee’s recording of “Is That All There Is?”, over and over again.
However you spend the time – it’s been swell guys!
Here is a chart and list of where the each new day begins first: http://www.timeanddate.com/counters/firstnewyear.html

Photo of the day: OSCAR THE SQUIRREL MEETS SANTA CLAUS

SQUIRREL MEETS SANTA CLAUS

OSCAR THE SQUIRREL MEETS SANTA CLAUS: The conversation went something like this – – – Hi Santa! What are you doing in Hans’ living room? Well, never mind, here is my list, now pay attention, I want:
~ The super powered ultimate mega N9000 nutcracker, with batteries.
~ A giant bag of mixed nuts, no pistachios please.
~ The newest Scrat squirrel plush toy from “Ice Age”.
~ The acme SSTF – Splendiferous Squirrel Tail Fluffer.
~ A giant jar of peanut butter, the crunchy kind.
~ A limited edition Steinbach Elvis Presley nutcracker.
~ The ND2013,  patented Nut Detector 2013.
~ A Sciuridae nest warmer.
~ A fancy bottle of Eau de Planteurs.
~ And . . . a new flat screen TV with DVR for my benefactor and friend Hans.
Go to my December 3rd, 2013 Facebook post and blog post to read the story of my ‘pet’ squirrel Oscar!

Photo of the day: MADONNA AND CHILD REST IN NEW YORK’S BOWERY

MADONNA AND CHILD

MADONNA AND CHILD REST IN NEW YORK’S BOWERY: I came across a more unusual wall art or ‘graffiti’ in the gardens of St. Mark’s Church In The Bowery in the East Village of Manhattan. Madonna and Child seemingly resting along the wall of the church’s tranquil garden.
St. Mark’s Church is located at 131 East 10th Street, at the intersection of Stuyvesant Streets and 2nd Avenue. The Poetry Project hosts an annual New Year’s Day 11-hour reading that often features such downtown icons as musician Philip Glass and rock icon Patti Smith among its 100-plus participants.  The property has been the site of continuous Christian worship for more than three and a half centuries; it is New York’s oldest site of continuous religious practice, and the church is the second-oldest church building in Manhattan after the Morris Jumel Mansion of 1766 in Harlem.

Photo of the day: THE SALVATION ARMY ROCKS ‘JINGLE BELL ROCK’

JINGLE BELL ROCK

JINGLE BELL ROCK: These two Salvation Army workers decided rather than play the staid traditional taped Christmas music they were going to rock out and were playing ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ followed by Mariah Carey’s ‘All I want for Christmas is You’ on their music player and were really getting into it. The sheer joy of it stopped me dead in my tracks, their exuberance was infectious! This little boy came along and loved it and started bopping along. So the Salvation man gave the boy his hat and bell and the boy joined in on the act! I think this one of my all time favorite Christmas photos 🙂

Photo of the day: SANTACON CABY

SANTA CAB

SANTACON CABY: Yesterday approximately 22,000 Santas of all types and styles descended on New York for the annual Santacon celebration.
There was fat Santa, tall Santa, dirty old man Santa, naughty Santa, Grinch Santa, baby Santa, zombie Santa, flasher Santa, disco Santa, leather Santa, biker Santa, gay Santa, Star Wars Santa, pimp Santa, punk Santa, hippie Santa and endless more elves and Mrs. Claus’s to match !
It is sort of a flash mob idea. The secret meeting place is only revealed on Facebook and Twitter shortly before the day of Santacon and they all meet in mass and create a huge sea of red. Imagine Christmas shopping in New York and all of a sudden the streets are  filled with Santas as far as they eye can see. Unfortunately I couldn’t participate because I had to give a tour, but here is your average scene yesterday: Buses full of Santas, subways full of Santas, bars full of Santas, cabs full of Santas – ho – ho – ho ! ! !

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Photo of the day: REST IN PEACE LITTLE ANGELS

REST IN PEACE LITTLE ANGELS


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HANDGUNS IN THE USA

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