1am, Macy’s and 34th Street
Photo of the day: THE COLD IS SO HARD ON THE KNEES – It was 11°F (-11.67°C) last night in New York City, with wind chills 10-15° degrees colder. To most of us that didn’t matter in our warm beds. Last year the number of homeless people sleeping each night in the New York City shelter system surpassed 50,000+ people for the first time since modern homelessness emerged three decades ago. That grim milestone includes more than 21,000 homeless children. More children and adults are homeless now in New York City than at any time since the Great Depression.
Thanks to despicable billionaire mayor Bloomberg New York City’s record homeless shelter population continues to grow at an alarming rate – up 19% percent in the past year alone. And this does not even include the thousands of New Yorkers still displaced by Hurricane Sandy, many of whom comprise extremely low-income households.
In total the homeless shelter population under billionaire mayor Bloomberg rose by a staggering 61% percent and the number of homeless families has increased 73% percent. During Mayor Bloomberg’s tenure, New York City homelessness has increased both in absolute numbers and at a higher rate than under previous mayors Koch, Dinkins, or Giuliani. One can only hope our new Mayor DeBlassio and our new administration can rectify these horrific numbers.
Please donate to your local charities.
February 28, 2014 | Categories: DAILY PHOTOS WITH STORIES OF NEW YORK CITY | Tags: 2014 worst winter, Councilwoman Christine Quinn, cruel winter, despicable Bloomberg record, Dinkins, donate to your charity, Giuliani, Hans Von Rittern, highest record homelessness in modern day New York, homeless, homeless children, homeless shelter, Hurricane Sandy, Koch, Macy's, Macy's department store, Macy's flagship store Herald Square, Manhattan, Mayor Bill DeBlassio, Mayor Bloomberg, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York City, New York city homeless shelters, New York photo, old woman freezing in street, Photo of the day, photography, polar vortex, politics, rise in homeless population | Leave a comment
Photo of the day: MEET THE MAYOR! – The mayor’s office finally released the official photos the lucky few of us had taken with him inside Gracie Mansion on January 5th this year. This Federal Style mansion was built in 1799 as a private home and since 1942 was used as the official residence of all of New York’s mayors. The symbolism being allowed back inside was huge since the mayor’s residence had been closed off to the public for the past 20 years. Mayor Giuliani wasn’t allowed to live there since he wasn’t married (yes you read that right.) Elitist Bloomberg refused to lower himself to live in the ‘people’s house’ choosing his luxe double town home instead. Finally on this day, Gracie Mansion belonged to the people of New York again. I was one of the few 5,000 lucky ticket holders who gladly waited in line for the rare opportunity – see my post of January 6, 2014. Whether you like Bill DeBlasio or not (he’s already in some hot messes), it was still pretty damn cool to be inside this restored historic house and to be able to put my arms around New York’s mayor and say “thank you”.
February 22, 2014 | Categories: DAILY PHOTOS WITH STORIES OF NEW YORK CITY | Tags: architecture, Bill DeBlasio, Brooklyn, Federal style 1799 mansion, Federal Style mansion, Gracie Mansion, Gracie mansion open house, Hans Von Rittern, January 5 2014 open house Gracie mansion, Manhattan, Mayor Bill DeBlassio, Mayor Giuliani, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York, New York City, New York photo, official Gracie Mansion photos, official residence, Photo of the day, photography, Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx | Leave a comment
Photo of the day: WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE? – This is a solar powered parking meter in New York City. The mayor has been harassed to clean all the streets at once in our last three blizzards this year. Everyone is screaming “clean my street, clean your sidewalk, clean the outdoor subway platforms, salt the bridges!” But – one thing no one has thought of is…the solar powered parking meters. Their solar panels on top are completely ice and snow covered, which means no sun exposure – hence…they don’t work and therefore you can’t park 😦 .
February 15, 2014 | Categories: DAILY PHOTOS WITH STORIES OF NEW YORK CITY | Tags: 2014 snow storms, 34th Street, Hans Von Rittern, Manhattan, Mayor Bill DeBlassio, muni meter, New York City, New York photo, parking meter, Photo of the day, photography, snow covered solar powered parking meter, solar panels, solar powered parking meter | 2 Comments
February 11, 2011 homeless man left to freeze to death under mayor Bloomberg’s watch
Photo of the day: THE ‘BITTER’ COLD – This is a re-post of a story I wrote on February 11, 2011 and again on November 30, 2012. Today when it was 3°F (-16°C) this morning with windchills at -15°F (-26°C!), let’s hope this story does not repeat itself yet again. Previous mayor Bloomberg said we have no homeless problem in NYC, meanwhile emperor Bloomberg failed to acknowledge homelessness increased by 65% under his heartless watch! Let’s hope with our new mayor Bill DeBlasio, there will be a more humane approach to the fragile lives of this city, he is already proving to be more humane during this frigid ‘artic vortex’ and creating easier access/entry to all who seek shelter, god bless.
Nov. 30, 2012: “On today’s front page of many papers is a picture of police officer, Larry DePrimo in the bitter cold, buying a homeless man a pair of shoes. The photo was taken on cell phone by a passing Arizona tourist and has gone viral world wide. While it is a beautiful and touching story – I have a contrasting one I posted over a year ago here on Facebook.
On Tuesday February 11, 2011 that night it was 22 degrees freezing with wind chills below zero, this man seemed frozen over his cart. He did not have gloves and his hands had turned brown from frostbite. He did not move. No one helped him. Notice his left hand, his fingers are straight together, it is an unnatural way for your hand to be if you are ‘sleeping’. His hand was frozen. I stepped near the grate, the so called ‘warm air’ was at best minimal. I have been told to freeze to death is somewhat merciful, you numb and fall asleep. Whether he survived the night I don’t know. I am conflicted to hope he survived or if the merciful wish was for him to ‘fall asleep.’ It took me a long time to flag a police car, they said he is on top of a grate and therefor “warm and fine”. I called 911 & 311 repeatedly, because supposedly the NYC law is that if it goes below freezing it is manadatory for the homeless to be brought to a shelter – but no one came. The traffic cop on the corner said there is nothing he could do. I went home with tears in my eyes and could not sleep that night.
It truly is a ‘bitter’ cold.”
January 7, 2014 | Categories: DAILY PHOTOS WITH STORIES OF NEW YORK CITY | Tags: Artic vortex, Bill DeBlasio, Bloomberg's homeless problem denial, dangerous temperatures, emperor Bloomberg, February 11 2011, frostbite, frostbitten homeless man, Hans Von Rittern, heartless mayor Bloomberg, homeless, homeless man freezing to death, homeless shelters, homelessness in New York, Larry DePrimo, Manhattan, Mayor Bill DeBlassio, Mayor Bloomberg, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York City, New York photo, New York Police, November 30 2012, Photo of the day, photography, police do nothing to help frozen man, severe cold in New York City | 2 Comments
INSIDE NEW YORK’S WHITE HOUSE
Photo of the day: VISITING OUR NEW YORK WHITE HOUSE – “You’re invited: Open house with Mayor de Blasio at Gracie Mansion Date: 12/18/2013 12:12:41 P.M. Eastern Standard Time”
When on December 18, at 12 minutes past noon I received an email inviting me to meet the new mayor at the formerly closed Gracie Mansion – I clicked the “reserve” button without a second’s hesitation. This was the final symbolic dig at the elitist mayor Bloomberg who distanced himself from ordinary working people as much as possible, after all, we can’t afford to fund big condo projects.
THE END OF THE LINE
JOHN FINLEY WALK n WAIT
TWO LONE PIGEONS WAIT
Sunday January 5th came and it was a bleak, cold, wet, foggy, icy and rainy day. A few of my friends debated whether to head out in this weather. Not me, a full blown blizzard could not have kept me away! Every person on line would be another twist of the knife in Bloomberg’s back.
WAITING IN THE RAIN at GRACIE MANSION
I arrived at 11:15 and the lines we already half way through Carl Schurz park surrounding the mansion. I was greeting by friendly park rangers who led me to friendly police who led me to friendly volunteers to show me my spot on line. The volunteers made every effort to assure me that the misery of standing out in this weather would be lessened by hot cocoa and cider, wandering musicians and heating tents. Portable bathrooms where everywhere, every detail had been thought of. No one complained, no one groused about the weather. There was a feeling of excitement and accomplishment in the air, we the people had done it and this was our lucky reward. We were doted on by the volunteers with warm smiles and cheery attitudes, “more cider?”, “more cocoa?”, “let me throw that away for you.”
MELODICA MARCHING BAND
A HOT TIME IN THE OLD TOWN TONIGHT
The mood was infectious, no pushing, no shoving, no griping, just busy texting “I’m here!” as the rain poured down our umbrellas and onto our backs. As the rain let up, people were so excited they were doing ‘the wave’ on line! (No one ever did ‘the wave’ on line waiting to meet Grinch Bloomberg!) At 12 noon came the most wonderful odd assortment of unique wandering musicians ranging from opera singers to a melodica (hand blown air accordions) band complete with giant tuba and the best of all – a marching electric guitar band complete with their own amplifiers and power source strapped to their waists, you would never had seen that at a Bloomberg event, they stole the show!
12:30 noon I got near the mansion, we were given a card to fill out with our names and email address so that they could mail us our ‘photo with Bill’. Are you kidding?! We thought, ‘ok, we’ll see him, say hello,’ but to have DeBlasio’s people perfectly organize to have each and everyone of our pictures taken with him and then send them to us, left many absolutely giddy with surprise. This was like waiting in line for Santa Claus.
WARM STAFF GREETINGS
DANTE’S ENTRANCE AS HE COMES HOME FROM SCHOOL
At the door the security tent hardly felt like “security”, the police were so polite, so helpful, no tension in the air, no airs of suspicion, just ‘hey folks, just this one more step and you get to see him.’ Was this for real? Up the steps to the mansion I went. At every entrance, corner and room we were met by obliging volunteers and docents warmly welcoming us. I am a born and raised New Yorker of 58 years and I have never been inside Gracie Mansion – 99% of us had never been inside either. Cameras were clicking like mad, selfies galore. The Christmas tree was still up, since Doomberg hadn’t lived here it was poorly and sparsely decorated (the DeBlasios will change that), but…if you looked up to the top, the tree topper is a miniature Gracie Mansion!
CHRISTMAS TREE GRACIE MANSION
TREE TOPPER – GRACIE MANSION
We were steeped in history. The Federal style mansion was built in 1799 by Scottish born shipping magnate Archibald Gracie. In 1942, builder Robert Moses convinced Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia to appropriate the house as a mayoral residence. It’s main two floors are open to the public on a limited basis for guided tours, and serve as a small museum. It has not been occupied for the past 20 years. This is our New York White House. The buzz in the house was like that of an opening night in the theater and we were about to meet the star of the show. The line snaked through the historic old house as the press eagerly interviewed and filmed the people on line. “This is a historic event. It is even more so, because it’s a symbolic a stab at Bloomberg. I feel as if a black 12 year old cloud has been lifted and this is the colorful dream I have awakened to, I am bursting with pride and joy” I said to a reporter.
FEDERAL STYLE MIRROR
I’M IN GRACIE MANSION!
Our final room to see was the dining room where Bill, his wife Chirlane, and children Dante and Chiara will have breakfast and their family meals. The dining table was complete with official New York City seal placemats, I just have plain cloth at home J . It has a wonderful view of the east river through the trees of the park. Final stop – meet Bill.
SMALL DINING ROOM at GRACIE MANSION
THE GRACIE FANCY DINING ROOM
Yet again the Gracie Mansion staff surprised us, they made sure our email name cards weren’t wet, we were asked whether we wanted our photo taken with or without our coats on. They provided a table were we could place, our coats in order. It was managed like a well oiled machine. Then . . . there he was, all 6’7” of him. As warm as a figure he his, his height is a bit imposing.
THE VIEW OUT GRACIE MANSION’S WINDOW ONTO THE PORCH
THE VIEW INSIDE OUT
He had taken a break to talk to one of his staff members, so I had to wait. When finished, he turned to me outstretched his arms and joyfully and proudly said “welcome to Gracie Mansion, the people’s house!” I almost forgot what I wanted to say to him! I said: “After fighting so hard against Quinn, this is such a joyful experience, thank you!” We posed, he turned to me grabbed and squeezed my hand and said “you guys did hero’s work.” I felt like a billion dollars ! (I am waiting for the official photo to be sent to me.)
ME ON THE BACK PORCH
IT’S MY HOUSE TOO !
He patiently and above all in good humor, shook 7,000 hands, listened to 7,000 greetings/complaints, wishes and concerns and smiled for 7,000 photos – god bless him! Upon leaving, my coat was properly waiting for me and no one was given the expected bums rush out. People were just giddy with excitement and took their time leaving, no one rushed us as we took out beaming final pictures on the back porch of the mansion –
Waiting on line at mayor Bill DeBlasio’s open house at Gracie Mansion 1-5-2014
THE DeBLASIO’S COZY NEW HOME
January 6, 2014 | Categories: DAILY PHOTOS WITH STORIES OF NEW YORK CITY | Tags: Archibald Gracie, architecture, Bill DeBlasio, Carl Schurz Park, Chirlane DeBlasio, Christmas tree at Gracie Mansion, Councilwoman Christine Quinn, crowds line up to see Gracie Mansion, Dante and Chiara DeBlasio, dining room at Gracie mansion, Federal style 1799 mansion, Gracie Mansion, Gracie Mansion tour, Hans Von Rittern, January 5 2014 open house Gracie mansion, John Finley Walk, Manhattan, Mayor Bill DeBlassio, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, New York 2013 mayoral election, New York City, New York mayoral residence, New York photo, New York White House, Open house at Gracie Mansion, park rangersm New York police, Photo of the day, photography, Robert Moses, The Tilted Axes electric guitar band | 2 Comments
A joyous victory!
Photo of the day: “WELCOME TO GRACIE MANSION – THE PEOPLE’S HOUSE” – I was one of the lucky 7,000 people who nabbed tickets to the open house at Gracie Mansion in Manhattan today! This is my shit-eating grin as I, the Bloomberg loathing Democrat, sets his foot into mayor DeBlasio’s new digs!
January 5, 2014 | Categories: DAILY PHOTOS WITH STORIES OF NEW YORK CITY | Tags: 2013 New York mayoral race, Gracie Mansion, Gracie mansion open house, Hans Von Rittern, Manhattan, Mayor Bill DeBlassio, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York City, New York photo, Photo of the day, photography, politics | Leave a comment
Bye Bye Bloomie
Kiss your rich ass goodbye;
Bye Bye Bloomie,
Why don’t you go and die?
All the gloom is gone away;
I won’t cry Bloomie,
DeBlassio is here to save the day.
I’ll miss your mean Grinch grins,
As tho’ it’s kicking me in the shins;
And each and ev’ry night,
I’ll thank God faithfully!
Bye Bye Bloomie,
Why don’t you take Quinn with you too;
Bye Bye Bloomie
Guess you never cared,
Guess you never cared,
Guess you never cared!
Bye Bye Bloomie
Hope the Bermuda triangle’s got you now!
I’ll try Bloomie
To forget some how
No more destroying
Neighborhoods we’ve grown to love
No more lying
When you twist those zoning laws
Your graft and your payola ways
Your super-duper rich class
There’s nothing left to say
You can all kiss my ASS!
Bye Bye Bloomie
Ta ta oh sweetie-pie
Bye Bye Bloomie
Time for you to die
Time for you to die
Time to say goodbye
The true Bloomie at DeBlassio’s inauguration
January 1, 2014 | Categories: DAILY PHOTOS WITH STORIES OF NEW YORK CITY | Tags: "Bye bye Birdie", Ann Marget, anti Bloomberg, Bill DeBlasio, Bloomberg birdie lyrics, Bloomberg greed, Bloomberg's greed, Bronx, Brooklyn, Bye Bye Birdie film, Bye Bye Bloomie, Christine Quinn, Conrad Birdie, Councilwoman Christine Quinn, Grinch Bloomberg, Hans Von Rittern, homeless, Manhattan, Mayor Bill DeBlassio, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York 2013 mayoral election, New York City, New York photo, Photo of the day, photography, Queens, Staten Island | 2 Comments