Photo of the day: ALL CONEY ISLANDERS HAVE SAND IN THEIR SHOES – Yesterday was my last 5 hour German tour of Brooklyn for the season. From the Fulton Ferry Landing at the Brooklyn Bridge, to bagels in Park Slope to Nathan’s hot dogs on the Coney Island boardwalk. The amusement rides had been shut down and it was now a quieter tranquil place where the sound of the wind took over rather then the music blaring from the boardwalk concession stands. Nathan’s of course was still open and drawing a crowd – they always do.
The beach in the summer is joy, the smell of sun tan lotion, the sounds of little kids laughing, teens splashing in the water and girls who just want to tan. But, in the winter months the beaches of New York offer another treasure = contemplative tranquility as the sound of the wind whisks about the thoughts in your head. On Sundays you may contemplate in church, I prefer to contemplate in one of god’s most wonderful churches – the beach.
November 3, 2013 | Categories: DAILY PHOTOS WITH STORIES OF NEW YORK CITY | Tags: All, All Coney Islanders have sand in their shoes, Brooklyn, Brooklyn Bridge, Coney Island amusement park, Coney Island beach, Coney Island boardwalk, Coney Island mural, desserted Coney Island, Fulton Ferry Landing, Hans Von Rittern, Nathan's hot dog stand, Nathan's hot dogs, New York City, New York photo, Photo of the day, sunbathers at Coney, traquil beach at Coney Island, winter at Coney Island | 2 Comments
Photo of the day: REASSURING THE SHORE – I am taking my German tourist guests on my 5 hour long tour of Brooklyn today, via Harlem Spirituals Tours. From the Fulton Ferry landing at the Brooklyn Bridge allllllll the way to Coney Island for a Nathan’s hot dog lunch – wunderbar! Our last and final stop will be the 5 Pointz Graffiti museum as a surprise ending 🙂
At Coney Island for the past few weeks we have been met by this long pipe snaking along the beach. Early in September the $7.2 million Army Corps of Engineer’s project to pump 600,000 cubic yards of sand along Coney Island’s shore began. Although the beach closed for the summer after Labor Day and red flags indicated no lifeguards were on duty, there were a few sunbathers and swimmers adjacent to the area where the work is getting underway.
While restoration work is going on, there were rolling closures of roughly 1,000 foot wide sections of the beach where construction work is active, according to the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE). The beach nourishment project extends from West 37th Street to Brighton Beach, and is expected to be completed in the fall.
Coney Island was hit hard by Super-storm Sandy and soon, its beaches will be well on their way to being protected against future flooding. There’s a ship out on the horizon pumping the sand from the ocean’s floor (and surprising a few startled crabs I bet) and pumping it methodically onto the beach where it is sifted and raked. You can hear the rumbling of the stones and shells as they go whizzing by inside the large rusty pipes lining the beach. Soon we will be enjoying pristine sand to stick our toes into! Join us?!
October 26, 2013 | Categories: DAILY PHOTOS WITH STORIES OF NEW YORK CITY | Tags: $7.2 million project to pump 600, 000 cubic yards of sand, Army Corps of Engineers, Brooklyn, Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn tours, Coney boardwalk, Coney Island, Fulton Ferry Landing, Hans tours, Hans Von Rittern, Harlem Spirituals, Hurricane Sandy, Nathan's original hot dog restaurant, New York, New York City, New York photo, Photo of the day, photography, pumping sand, Queens, replenishing beach sand | Leave a comment
Photo of the day: MY SPEECH TO SAVE 5 POINTZ DIRECTED AT COUNCILMEMBER JIMMY VAN BRAMMER AND DEVELOPERS – On Wednesday October 2, 2013 both sides in favor and against tearing down Graffiti & Mural museum 5 Pointz, gathered inside City Hall for a hearing by the NYCHA – The New York City Housing Authority. It’s basically a side show/dog and pony show with the real estate developers always claiming tearing something down is “for the good of the community.” The owner, Jerry Wolcoff wants to build twin mirror glass apartment towers for which he will receive $7 million. Now you know me – I do not go quietly! Here is my passionate speech directed in part at my Queens councilmember, who is Christine Quinn’s lap dog and Mayor Bloomberg’s pet – Jimmy Van Brammer – who has stated he does not believe the magnificent powerful graffiti and mural works at 5 Pointz is “art” – and therefore in favor of tearing the building down. (When embarrassingly trapped by the truth of his statement at the hearing he said: “Well….I said I don’t quite understand it.” After also admitting he has rarely ever visited the site in his district.
rendering-5 POINTZ WOLCOFF TOWERS
My name is Hans Von Rittern, born raised in Queens, licensed tour guide of 8 years. I have been hired by Harlem Spirituals Tour company to take European tourists on a 5 hour tour of Brooklyn. They marvel at the view from Fulton Ferry and thank me, they love Park Slope bagels and Coney island puts a smile on their faces. The endpoint of the tour is supposed to be hipster Williamsburg. I chose not to do that and end my tour at 5 Pointz as a surprise. When I get back onto the bus, each and EVERY single time they burst out into spontaneous cheers and applause saying “THIS is highlight of the New York tour”! “THIS is New York!”
I take tourists on “art tours” of galleries and or museums. When they reach MOMA’s PS1 they are bored and unmoved by the art. I say “come with me” and lead them to 5 Pointz and I always have trouble getting them back into our vehicle. This is an untapped rich resource that needs imagination of design and investment, NOT a quick buck, another mirror glass box and then get the hell out of there as fast a possible.
There are 2 ways to make money: The quick bang fix and run – or, the wise investment – for perpetual monetary return on your investment of restoring the building and let the artists go hog wild on the interior. Hipsters will kill for a graffiti-ed loft, stores would love the unmatched ambience and above all, CHARGE FOR THE ADMISSION INTO THE BUILDING AS A FULLY FLEDGED MUSEUM.
Muralist VERONIQUE BARRILOT makes her (final?) statement
‘Not a museum because it’s not “art”’, as some politicians like my councilmember Jimmy Van Brammer will say?
May I remind you:
Toulouse L’autrec – was considered street art and torn off the walls, today his street posters are considered the finest examples of classic art.
Matisse – was dismissed as “scribble,”
Picasso – was considered a crackpot for putting a woman’s nose where her ear ought to be
Warhol– not taken seriously at all, soup cans as art?! Own one today and it’s worth millions.
Keith Haring – used to graffiti at my subway station, I watched him get arrested. Today he hangs in MOMA and the cathedral of St. John The Divine.
Basquiat – was looked down upon as wanna be street artist. His work is now in the major museums around the world.
Yes, I fully realize this is not what the building was intended to become, but it has, it has become bigger than what you realize.
So who are YOU – to say this is not “art” and therefore not worth saving and investing in?
I should think greed alone would take over and try to save it.
Don’t have your names forever associated with the destruction of this building so all of you can make a “fast buck” rather than a wise “invested buck.”
Look back, which one of you doesn’t wish they owned a Warhol soup can now?
Well – you have dozens of them, right here in front of you.
Just because it is relatively new art does not make it less relevant art.
Remember all the fools that said the same of Lautrec, Warhol, Haring and Basquiat.
Will you be the same short sighted fools?
Fellow tour guide Andy Sydor testifying in favor of 5 Pointz
Reporter Greg Mocker of WPIX11 Covered the hearing, I can be seen testifying saying : “Yes, I fully realize this is not what the building was intended to become, but it has, it has become bigger than what you realize.” Here is the video link http://pix11.com/2013/10/02/nyc-council-hears-plans-for-iconic-queens-grafitti-building/#axzz2gfgASpxA
5 POINTZ WEB SITE: http://5ptz.com/
October 3, 2013 | Categories: DAILY PHOTOS WITH STORIES OF NEW YORK CITY | Tags: 5 Pointz, 7 train, architecture, arts, Basquiat, Brooklyn tour, City Hall 10-2-13 hearing, CLUE-LESS POLITICIANS, Coney Island, CORRUPT POLITICIANS, Councilman Jimmy Van Brammer, Councilwoman Christine Quinn, European tourists explore Brooklyn, fighting city hall, freedom to paint, Fulton Ferry Landing, German tourists explore New York, graffiti, Great artisits once dismissed as garbage, greed vs. art, Greg Mocker, Hans Von Rittern, Hans' Brooklyn tour, Harlem Spirituals Tours Brooklyn Tour, Jackson Avenue, Jerry Wolcoff, Jimmy Van Brammer, Keith Haring, Long Island City Queens, Manhattan, Matisse, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, mural art, New York City, New York City Housing Authority, New York photo, NYCHA, Photo of the day, photography, Picasso, Queens, Sterling City Tours, street art, Sunnyside, The New York City Housing Authority, Toulouse L’autrec, VERONIQUE BARRILLOT, Warhol, WHAT IS ART?, WPIX11 news | Leave a comment
Brooklyn Bridge 1980
Mondays on Memory Lane – MY DAILY WALK OVER THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE IN 1980 – In the spring of 1980 I moved into the newly rennovated Brooklyn Eagle Warehouse at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge. I was 24 years old and shared the 1,200 square foot apartment for a mere $700 a month, $350 each…yes $350! The Brooklyn Waterfront was still undeveloped and actually dangerous at night.
Eagle entrance at night
DUMBO didn’t exist, what did exist was a dumping ground for unwanted animals, dead animals and an occasional dead human being. In 1983, I got a job at Dancker, Sellew & Douglas Design Firm on the 102nd floor of the World Trade Center. Each morning, to save to cost of the .75¢ subway fare, I headed out over then 100 year old Brooklyn Bridge by foot towards Manhattan, across the steps of City Hall (there was no security in those days), through unrenovated downtown Manhattan, to the Trade Center South Tower elevators which carried me up to my desk on the 102nd floor in the clouds. How much more of a quintessential New York daily routine could one have?! It was a wonderful time.
The view from my desk at World Trade, south tower
August 26, 2013 | Categories: DAILY PHOTOS WITH STORIES OF NEW YORK CITY | Tags: 1980, Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge 1980, brooklyn eagle, Brooklyn waterfront, Dancker, downtown manhattan, DUMBO, Eagle Warehouse, Eagle Warehouse and Storage Company, Fulton Ferry Landing, Hans Von Rittern, Manhattan, Manhattan City Hall, New York City, New York photo, Photo of the day, quintessential New York daily routine, Sellew & Douglas, subway fare, World Trade Center | Leave a comment