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

Posts tagged “American flag

Photo of the day: MM = MACY*S + MARILYN

MARILYN MACY'S 2014

Photo of the day: MM = MACY*S + MARILYN – As part of department store Macy*s current Americana theme, the flagship  store in Herald Square has been decorated with giant banners of what they feel is ‘Americana’. Mount Rushmore, hot dogs, apple pie, the American flag and…Marilyn, the eternal all American girl!
America = the Grand Canyon, light houses and Marilyn!

America = the Grand Canyon, light houses and Marilyn!


Photo of the day: LOVE HAS NO COLOR (a poem)

LOVE HAS NO COLOR frame

WHAT’S THE COLOR OF LOVE?
by KoolC
What’s the color of love, if you should ask?
Is it blue? Oh I thought you knew, is it black?
Red, brown, round or is it white, or quite right,
What’s the color of love?
Love has no color
Just ask the true lovers,
Love is timeless, love is kindness, endless, courteous,
a little bit of teasing and a lot of pleasing,
Love is like the rainbow,
Love is like a rose – with nourishment it will grow.
Love has no color no matter where you go,
Love is respect and affection, love is honor and protection,
Love is a symphony, a song with the most beautiful melody,
Love is freedom, like the river to the sea.
Love would always say come to me, like a harp in harmony,
Love is peace and unity, its that sparkle in your eyes,
its the glory of paradise,
Love is a tender moment of pleasure, it can’t be measured.
Love is an unquenchable thirst, a desire of passion, of fire
Love can break the spell of any curse, always put love first,
I couldn’t live in a world without love.
Love has no color, love is clear as crystal, naked as a new born,
Love is beyond the galaxy, its infinity,
Love can make a blind man see, love is a phenomena,
Love has no color
Love is the greatest gift of all,
Love is what we are and who we are
and what we can be,
but love has no color
because I am a fool for love.
Love has no color.

Photo of the day: MMMM = MACY’S, MT. RUSHMORE AND MARILYN MONROE !

MARILYN MONROE MACY'S

Photo of the day: MMMM = MACY*S, MT. RUSHMORE AND MARILYN MONROE ! –  To celebrate the summer of 2013, Macy*s launched the ‘American Icons’ campaign celebrating everything American and our American fashion designers. The one human being chosen to represent the USA is not Elvis or any of our current celebrities, but none other than the eternal blonde Marilyn Monroe! Marilyn is now a clothing brand, a merlot wine brand and a part of so many other things. She is wealthier in death than she ever was in life. Fifty one years after her death in 1962, her image, innocent sex appeal and allure continue to captivate our imaginations. Come to Herald Square, turn the corner and walk down 34th Street, and there you will see Macy*s ‘American Icon’ huge banner. What images did they choose?: the American flag, the Coney Island Ferris Wonder Wheel,  the Empire State Building, Levis, Mt. Rushmore and Marilyn Monroe!
P.S. Out of all these ‘American’ fashion designers – whose clothes are really made in America??

Photo of the day: MEET 35 OF MY NEW FRIENDS FROM INDIA

INDIA GROUP PHOTO 6-8-13

Photo of the day: MEET 35 OF MY NEW FRIENDS FROM INDIA – Through my friendship with Ajay and Ankur Bansal of the India Unexplored travel agency in India, I get the sheer joy of showing stary-eyed students the city of their dreams. Since they come from all parts of India, the reaction to New York ranges widely from bewilderment, confusion, to the thrill of recognizing places from their movies and music videos.
The children in this group ranged from age 8 to 15, so therefore their reactions varied greatly. The group always is divided into the expected subsections. The cool pretty girls, the science geeks, the way too cool coming-of age guys dressed as ‘NYC’ as possible, the introverted, the shy and the terribly obdeient to parents and tradition. It amuses me greatly to watch this predictable age old tradition and dividing up carry on. Can you pick out who is who in this group photo?
On Sunday, July 7th we first visited the Statue of Liberty. The high rate of security overwhelmed them a bit at first. To watch their eyes grow wider and wider as the boat drew closer was endearing. Some children just grow very quiet and look studiously up at her. Here she was! The statue they had seen in every movie, “Did you see ‘I Am Legend’?! That movie was cool!” I always point out to them that the statue is not standing still as it first appears, that she is breaking the chains of oppression at her feet and is moving forward towards freedom, “Oooooh!” I always ask – do you know what the 7 points in her crown represent? “The 7 continents” is the most frequent answer as opposed to the correct answer, the 7 seas. I then ask them to take 2 American pennies out of their wallet to show them just how thin her copper skin is, there is always amazement at that.  Despite the oppressive heat wave we took the time to make sure everyone got that one special photo with Miss Liberty – you know, you get on your knees and photograph upwards so that friends and Miss Liberty are all in one shot.  Then it’s the race for the gift shop. “I wanted more Liberty Statues” one adorable girl exclaimed. I assured her, once we got to Timers Square, there would be dozens including many live ones for her to choose from!
Next it was on to the 9/11 memorial. More stringent security. Since half the group was of such a young age, I had to explain the whole tragedy to them and the importance of the site. Many had thought the waterfalls would be above ground “you know, like Niagara Falls.” I told them to look up and imagine 110 floors of people working at their desks possibly about to loose their lives. Silence and bewilderment came over their faces. ‘But why?’ their faces seemed to say. How do you explain terrorism to an 8 year old? I tried in the gentlest manner possible, trying to explain “hate”. Many also sought to touch the ‘survivor pear tree’ and felt it was a true miracle.
Since they wanted an American lunch, where else but – McDonalds on Broadway with the live piano player, this was very exciting to them. They were like kids in a candy store. Very happy and very placated. We then walked around the City Hall area and waited for our bus to take us to the Empire State Building. What was incredible to them was that it was built in just 13 months. “That can’t be sir? It is not possible to construct such a thing  in so short a time.”
Out of respect, I am called “sir” – it is endearing, an old age culture of respect and a bit surreal. Some dared to call me “Sir Hans” but that was tried by only 1 or 2 of the older boys. Imagine this soft little voice calling you “sir”, it warms you heart to the fullest.DSC_5392FLAG
 DSC_5391
The Empire State Building was the third time they were subjected to the heavy ‘welcome to New York security’, this is how our lives have changed. Security guards took away a golf ball from a little boy. I was furious and in disbelief. I had an umbrella which I could have dropped down as a missile, but this little boy’s NYC golf ball he had bought for his dad was confiscated?!? (I bought him another one at twice the price, but I was NOT going have this be his memory of the Empire State Building!) Once we got to the top, having come from the other side of the globe, I was asked if that land mass to the west was Canada – I had to explain, no…”it’s Jersey”.
Our final stop was the much requested Times Square. The ooohs and ahhhs were abundant. Each older student was required to hold the hand of a younger student. I lead the group holding up an American flag they could follow, we were quite a parade. “Sir! This is where we should have spent the whole day!” Most of them just wanted to shop, try on Nike sneakers and buy as many I ♥ NY t-shirts as possible, and oh yes, and buy many little mini Liberty statues.
Here is where our culture differs greatly from India’s. We made our meeting point by the red glass TKTS stairs. As we waited I looked in their bags and would ask them “so – what did you buy?” Many of them responded that they had not bought nothing for themselves, but something for their sister, father, brother or mother. It was truly humbling. One little girl was so proud that she had bought a red, white and blue teddy bear with big eyes for her little sister, “I know she will like this very, very much.” I couldn’t have loved them more in that moment. Now it was time to head back to their hotel in Long Island City and continue their NYC adventure Monday . . .
FAVORITE QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Is King Kong really real? Where does he live now?” asked 8 year old Kavish Singh with thoughtful wide eyes and wonderment. I had to bite my tongue from laughing and remember I believed in Santa Claus till 5th grade, so it was with a smile I tried to explain that it had been an animated doll – he seemed disappointed.

From the gallery: OCCUPY WALL STREET 2011

OCCUPY WALL STREET 2011: The movement is at it’s peak in Zuccotti Park in the downtown Wall Street area. I see this over decorated flag man who happens to be wearing slightly outdated New Year’s Eve glasses from 2004. In the distance there is a pissed off business executive who does not like the idea of having to walk all the long way around the park to get to his appointment and he starts to determinably dart through the protestors. I knew the two men were on a collision course.  As the two men met, one of them declared “Don’t tread on me!”.

From the gallery: SHADES OF GLORY

SHADES OF GLORY: While taking a stroll on a beautiful wooded path in upstate South Salem, New York, I came across remnants of Labor Days past.