Madison Square; the Flatiron District

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I love this old photo. I’ve seen it many times over the years. This is my favorite area of NYC these days. I fell in love with it a couple of summers ago where I spent a few weeks. I’ve always had favorite parts of the city over the years and now it’s the Madison Square/Flatiron district. I like that it’s a few blocks from another favorite area of mine – Union Square, which you can get to by walking down Broadway a few blocks.

When I look at this photo I see almost everything that is still there today. The Victory Arch was temporary, it’s made of wood and it’s something they did at that time to commemorate things – this was a tribute to New York soldiers who fought in World War I. It was erected in 1918, over 100 years ago. It’s at 24th Street and 5th Avenue in the photo.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked on that exact spot. Broadway is to the right of the photo and 5th Avenue is to the left. That’s where they meet and form Madison Square, at the Flatiron Building, which is straight ahead. That’s Madison Square Park to the left (I recently stood there to watch a parade this summer). On the other side of the park is where the original Madison Square Garden was built in the 1800s. It’s now the site of the Met Life Building, which was built in 1909. So many times I sat across from that building on Madison Avenue, where it’s a quiet area of the park/city.

In this photo you can see the building to the right which has Eataly in part of the first floor now and to the right almost out of the photo is a place where there is a chicken restaurant that I like. I think that’s it.

What’s great about this part of Broadway is that it’s a very small street – the original Broadway and it doesn’t get much use. Traffic takes 5th Avenue instead. There’s a Starbucks on Broadway at 26th that I use a lot. And that gold dome behind the Flatiron Building at 170 5th Avenue is known as the Sohmer Piano Building because they were an original tenant there. It was built in 1897. It’s condos now.

The photo is taken from the Porcelanosa Building, which I love, too. It wasn’t there at that time, but it’s a great building now that faces the Flatiron Building. And that obelisk in the photo is still there today. It was installed in 1856. There’s a body under it! It’s General William Jenkins Worth’s mausoleum. he fought in the War of 1812.

Anyway, that one photo says so much to me. It tells so many stories.

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Pepsi sign in LIC and jetBlue

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Did you see this? There’s a large Pepsi sign in Long Island City, NY, which is in Queens, across from Manhattan on the East River. It’s a landmark sign, it’s where a Pepsi plant was years ago.

Well, jetBlue, the airline, changed to Pepsi products over Coke and to promote it, jetBlue’s logo has been added to the Pepsi landmark sign in LIC, which sort of turns the landmark sign into an advertisement.

It’s as if on the other side of Manhattan, across the Hudson River, the Maxwell House coffee site in Hoboken added Coffeemate, because they started using that in their coffee. Or the Colgate clock in Jersey City added a toothbrush company’s logo to their clock.

The jetBlue logo is supposed to stay up until October 1 this year.

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The Big Valley tv show and the MET Museum of ART

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The house on The Big Valley tv show.

I was watching a rerun of The Big Valley the other day, the 1960s tv western.

Whenever I am at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY I think of The Big Valley. Why? Because that big house at the American Wing reminds me of the house for some reason. Every single time I’m at the museum, I sit on the stone benches that face the house and imagine it to be the Barkely house. The house is inside the museum, so I imagine being inside a large sound studio and I picture a scene being filmed. I imagine horses or carriages driving up to the house and someone like Barbara Stanwyck coming outside the door and a scene is being filmed.

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Inside the house in the museum are historic rooms/settings from the 1600s up to the early 20th century. You can enter through that main front door or from around the back from another area of the museum.

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The Big Valley House

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The MET Museum

Some of my favorite comics strips

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Some of my favorite comics these days are Ipso Facto by Mike Wallster. It’s about one of the last remaining video stores in the country called Eddie’s Video Paradise. I love the drawing style and it’s funny.

Mike has started posting again after a long absence and in color now. I hope he keeps up the schedule, I enjoy seeing it.

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I also like War and Peas by Elizabeth Pich and Jonathan Kunz. I also love the drawing style, it draws you in. It seems simple at first, but it’s actually quite intricate.

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Also, a bit new is Macanudo by Liniers. It’s a bit weird and sometimes hard to understand, but that’s what makes it great. Even greater is the drawing. I’ve never seen it printed in newspapers, I’ve just seen it online. I’m not sure seeing it printed in newspapers would do it justice. Is the quality diminished, you know, I mean does the line work show up well? Does the color pop out like it does online?

The one comic shown here is word for word taken from the first Peanuts strip ever. Word for word. And it works!

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The first Peanuts strip, October 2, 1950.

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How Woodstock got his name

I came upon this CBS Sunday Morning story on Woodstock, the bird from Peanuts.

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I haven’t been getting CBS for the past month. CBS is having a quarrel with my cable company ATT Uverse and they took themselves off the cable system, so we get a blank blue screen now where CBS should be. I had a routine of watching  CBS Sunday Morning each week, which is broken now, so I didn’t get to see this, but I’ve been goofing around YouTube lately and it popped up.

I’m told that one of my characters, Jacomo, the mole, shown here, looks like Woodstock. Does he? Maybe. My influences are Charles Schulz and Hanna Barbera, so maybe Jacomo is a bit like Woodstock; not intentionally, but I guess I can see the resemblance.

Daily News Sunday comics; a blast from the past

I started following a page on Facebook that is all about The New York Daily News Sunday papers. Mostly the comics and thrown in are some old images and comic from the New York Mirror.

What I like about it is that as you scroll down, you feel as if you are reading the actual comics pages at the time. Three comics stood out that I had forgotten about but when I saw them here it brought back so many childhood memories for different reasons.

louie-comicThe reason I remember Louie so well is Silly Putty! I distinctly remember picking up this comic by pushing Silly Putty onto it and then taking up the image. Like this image shows below.

I don’t know why Louie stands out, because I’m sure I did this with all the comics, but I distinctly remember picking up Louie with Silly Putty.

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I liked Pottsy because it was funny, but also it was New York. He was a NY cop and the scenes clearly depicted New York. This top comic is obviously Coney Island and the one below clearly shows City Hall in lower Manhattan. I was just there a couple of weeks ago.

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As for Super Duper, I remember drawing it as a kid. When I learned to cartoon by redrawing the Sunday comics and putting my own characters in. I can clearly remember drawing and re-drawing Super Duper.

I want my ‘Big Brother’

So CBS tv is throwing a tantrum and they are upset with ATT Uverse, my cable company. And to that end, CBS took itself off of ATT Uverse, so we can’t get CBS shows now.

This normally wouldn’t be a big deal because I realized I don’t watch much CBS. Currently only two shows – Big Brother and CBS Sunday Morning.  I mostly watch reality tv on cable channels now and a lot of PBS.

tvI watched the Big Brother episodes the next day on the CBS app on my phone but realized that a few years back I bought a little tv that I can watch with the old fashioned antenna, like this one here. I had forgotten about it. What’s funny is that I didn’t have tv for a few weeks after Hurricane Irma two years ago and I never thought of the antenna tv, I just did without tv for a few weeks, at night I watched YouTube videos on my cell phone.

The little tv was in the closet the whole time and it never dawned on me. But when it comes to Big Brother, it was all hands on deck, I needed a solution, and I remembered the little antenna tv. Hurricanes, no. Big Brother, yes!

I hope it works. I haven’t tried it out for years.