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

Archive for August, 2013



Photo of the day: WONDER WHEEL GOT TO GO ‘ROUND ~

What goes up must come down

Wonder wheel got to go ’round

Talkin’ ’bout your troubles it’s a cryin’ sin

Ride a painted pony let the Wonder wheel spin

You got no money and you got no home

Wonder wheel all alone

Talkin’ ’bout your troubles and you never learn

Ride a painted pony let the Wonder wheel turn

Did you find the directing sign on the

Straight and narrow highway

Would you mind a reflecting sign

Just let it shine within your mind

And show you the colors that are real

Someone is waiting just for you

Wonder wheel, spinnin’ true

lyrics by Blood, Sweat and Tears 1968

* * * * * * * * * * *

The Coney Island Wonder Wheel is a 45.7-metre (150 ft) tall eccentric Ferris wheel located at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, in the Coney Island neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York City, US.

Eccentric wheels differ from conventional Ferris wheels in that some of the passenger cars are not fixed directly to the rim of the wheel, but instead slide on rails between the hub and the rim as the wheel rotates.

Built in 1918 and opened in 1920 by the Eccentric Ferris Wheel Company, Wonder Wheel has 24 fully enclosed passenger cars, each able to carry 6 people, giving a total capacity of 144 passengers. 16 of the cars slide inward and outward as the wheel rotates, the remainder are fixed to the rim. The whole wheel weighs 200 tons.

The only time the wheel stopped while not under the control of the operator was during the New York City blackout of 1977 on July 13, 1977. Wonder Wheel operates on electricity, however, the passengers were not stuck on the wheel, as the owners cranked the wheel around to get them off.

Photo of the day: CROWN HEIGHTS


Photo of the day: CROWN HEIGHTS – From 265 feet (80.77 meters) above ground, there are 25 windows in the crown of the Statue of Liberty, some of which are open slightly giving you the opportunity to try to take the most amazing photographs of the iconic symbol of freedom. The seven spikes in her crown, just above the windows, represent the seven seas. To look out of these windows, one can truly use the expression “breathtaking.”
Crown tickets are usually sold out months in advance (till October 2013), but if can plan your trip in advance, reserve a ticket and take a lifetime climb and experience this magnificent ‘breathtaking’ view!

Photo of the day: COME INSIDE


Photo of the day: COME INSIDE – Take it to mean whatever you want, but this mural ad certainly draws your attention for the Station Restaurant & Bar at 166 North 7th Street and Bedford Avenue in hotter than hot Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Just take the “L” train to the Bedford Avenue stop.
Located at the heart of the bustling Williamsburg scene at Bedford Avenue, Station brings the feel of an old-world European train station café and restaurant in a contemporary setting. Amazing dining and drinking in a casual atmosphere, serving a premier selection of curated foods in a comfortable and friendly environment where guests are old friends. The food is Bistro Cuisine on vacation in Brooklyn, an eclectic mix of cultures and flavors emerging from the traditions of Europe.
Come to Brooklyn where old world New York still thrives!
STATION: 166 N. 7th Street Brooklyn, NY 11211. Tel: 718-599-1596

STATION: 166 N. 7th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211. Tel: 718-599-1596

Vintage photo of the day: WHERE WERE YOU WHEN THE LIGHTS WENT OUT?

Where were you

Vintage Photo of the day: WHERE WERE YOU WHEN THE LIGHTS WENT OUT? – Today is the 10 year anniversary of the 2003 massive, long lasting blackout.
The Northeast blackout of 2003 was a widespread power outage that occurred throughout parts of the Northeastern and Midwestern United States and the Canadian province of Ontario  on Thursday, August 14, 2003, just before 4:10 p.m. EDT. While some power was restored by 11 p.m., many did not get power back until two days later.At the time, it was the second most widespread blackout in history,  after the 1999 southern Brazil blackout. The blackout affected an estimated 10 million people in Ontario and 45 million people in eight U.S. states.
But, in 2006 Queens was hit by the worst blackout in NYC history, it lasted five days during a scorching heat wave. Sunnyside, Queens where I live, was effected the longest out of any neighborhood in the city and our power remained out for an entire week. Two dogs died on my block from heat exhaustion. My mother slept sitting upright by the window. No food was to be bought or had. Water was being handed out by the red cross. Mayor Bloomberg deemed to go to Queens not until the 5th day.
Where were ~you~ when the lights went out?
The film: Where Were You When the Lights Went Out? is a 1968  comedy film with Doris Day, directed by Hy Averback. It is set in New York City during the infamous Northeast Blackout of 1965, in which 25 million people scattered throughout seven states lost electricity for several hours
2006 Queens black out 5 days long: http://gothamist.com/2006/07/21/queens_fights_t.php

Photo of the day: “THEY’RE HAVING A 2 FOR 1 SALE!”


Photo of the day: “THEY’RE HAVING A 2 FOR 1 SALE!” – Sometimes people just go overboard at these BOGO (Buy one, get one) sales! Seems whatever it was they were selling – he was more interest in the “2” and the “1” !



Photo of the day: “THEY GAVE ME A FUCKING CHIHUAHUA?!”The classic Bette Midler joke…

Two women go for a walk with their dogs one day.

One had a Doberman; The other a Chihuahua.

“Look, there’s a bar open. Let’s go in. Have a drink,”
Doberwoman said.

“We can’t. We’ve got dogs,” Chihuahuawoman said.

“Just watch me. Do as I do,” Doberwoman said.

She put on her D&G shades, Walked boldly to the door
Where a bouncer said, “Sorry lady. No dogs. It’s the law.”

“You don’t understand!” Doberwoman said, “This is my seeing-eye dog.”

“A Doberman?” The bouncer asked.

“Yes, they’re using them now. They’re very good!”
Doberwoman said.

The bouncer shrugged And opened the door. Across the street,

Chihuahuawoman thought Convincing bouncer Chihuahua was seeing-eye dog may be a stretch But whatheheck—

Wearing her DKNY shades Strolled warily to the door— “Oops!” The bouncer said,

“No pets. Sorry.” “You don’t understand,” Chihuahuawoman said, “This is my seeing-eye dog.”

“A Chihuahua?” the bouncer asked Shaking his head.

“A Chihuahua??” Wailed Chihuahuawoman. “THEY GAVE ME A FUCKING CHIHUAHUA?!?!?”


Mondays on Memory Lane: I REMEMBER SUBWAYS WHEN . . .


Mondays on Memory Lane: I REMEMBER SUBWAYS WHEN . . .  – They had rattan seats – when the rattan came loose, it would pinch you in the ass – all you needed was a nickel and a dime to ride the subway, 15¢ – they gave out paper transfers – porcelain handles that squeaked – the subways were so noisy you had to wait till the next stop so that you could talk – they had vending machines on the platforms: assorted gums like Chicklets for 1¢, Dole orange juice machines with separate spigots for water and juice concentrate – there was still a Miss Subways – there were large paper ads shellacked onto the walls instead of the peel and stick kind today – the stations were dimly lit with simple household light bulbs – we still had token booth attendants – those thick wooden turnstiles – there was a dusty/musty smell in all the stations – garbage was piled high on the tracks – ladies wore white gloves on the subways (this helped keep your fingers from not getting black from reading The New York Times) – all businessmen read their cleverly triple vertically folded NY Times, it was an art – there were wonderful square cardboard ads on the car walls advertising the movies with a show at Radio City Music Hall – when (I Love) Lucy got the loving cub stuck on her head and takes the subway disguised as a beekeeper – there were no musical performers on the trains – that vertical emergency brake pole that was on one end in every car, that would clank as the train rattled – trains shook, rattled and rolled – going from car to car while the trains sped through the tunnels was really dangerous and scary – men gave ladies their seats – porcelain ceiling fans – those teeny tiny tokens! – you could open the windows at your desire – the conductor changing the route signs at the end of every station – you got dressed nicely simply because you were taking the New York City subway, wondering if you might sit next to an actual ‘miss Subways!’ . . .
Radio City movie & show - 1974 subway ad

Radio City movie & show – 1974 subway ad

Photo of the day: THE MAGIC SUBWAY RIDE . . .


Photo of the day: AND FOR MY NEXT TRICK . . .: New York City has the most free entertainment you can imagine, above ground and below. In addition to the thousands of street performers on our sidewalks and parks, there are hundreds more in the subways. The MTA (Mass Transit Authority) holds auditions for musicians so they can sing at designated regular spots and hopefully gain some recognition like my friend Alice Tan Ridley who went from performing in Times Square’s main station to appearing on America’s Got Talent TV show and she now has a successful concert schedule and CD!
Now you know you are a “real” New Yawka when you come to know the schedules of the subway performers on your subway line. That’s a real New Yawka! “Oh it 4:30, it’s time for the lady mariachi band!”. We have such performers as The Saw Lady who plays musical saw, pianists, opera singers, tap dancers, belly dancers, jazz musicians, contortionists, flutists, accordion players and my personal favorite ‘Lady Charisma’ – a Brazilian melodica player who only seems to know a few chords from one song,  Antônio Carlos Jobim’s “The Girl From Ipanema”. Lady Charisma’s schedule is about 10:30/11:00 pm  on my Flushing bound  #7 train line and I always have $1 ready for her.
The Saw Lady - Natalia Paruz

The Saw Lady – Natalia Paruz

So it was with great pleasure, while boarding the #5 train at 149th Street & The Grand Concourse in the Bronx, that I came encountered this magician with this wonderfully korny ‘magician’s carriage’ adorned with gold tattered fringe.  His pulled a white dove out of his hat. Did the usual handkerchief trick and made this bunny rabbit appear and disappear to the applause of the riders on the train. God I ♥ NY !
Bullwinkle: Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat.
Rocky: Again?
Bullwinkle: Presto!

Photo of the day: DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY!

Coney Island, summer 2013

Coney Island, summer 2013

Photo of the day: DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY!  – the lifeguard is on duty, HAPPY WEEKEND EVERYBODY !
(Did you ever stop to think: A lifeguard’s vocation is his vacation.)


The four letter stand off

The four letter stand off


FUCK BXDA NYPD +PBA stands for: Fuck the Bronx District Attorney, the New York Police Department and the Policemen’s Benevolent Association.

A NYPD officer won’t be charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of an unarmed Bronx teen Ramarley Graham, a grand jury voted Wednesday met by the cheers of police officers in the courtroom while the family sat there in shock. This adds to the growing list of unarmed youths of color like Trayvon Martin, killed by the police or ‘police wannabe’s’.

ABC reports the jury decided there wasn’t enough evidence to re-indict officer Richard Haste in the death of 18-year-old Ramarley Graham. Haste had been indicted by a different grand jury last year, but a judge threw out that indictment, citing a ‘mistake’ by the assistant district attorney.

Cops chased Graham into his grandmother’s Bronx apartment in February of 2012. They did not have a warrant to enter the apartment.

We're tired of hearing: "We thought he had a gun."

We’re tired of hearing: “We thought he had a gun.”

Acting on incorrect information that Graham was carrying a gun, Haste shot and killed the teen while he was attempting to flush marijuana down the toilet.

The family of the slain teen was quick to condemn the jury’s decision and headed down the Grand Concourse in The Bronx yesterday.

All races, all colors, all ages.

All races, all colors, all ages.

One lone protestor decided to take matters into her own hands and stood defiantly at in the intersection of 149th Street and Grand Concourse, not letting the busy rush hour traffic or police cars move. When she felt her stance, defiance and message had been heard loud and clear – she moved on.