Lots of rules at the MET Museum


I got yelled at at The Metropolitan Museum of Art the other today for taking video. I was taking a few 10 second videos of statues for my Instagram account. When I asked the security guy out of curiosity, what the difference is between still pics and video, thinking it hurt the art in some way like flash photography, he said it was because people visiting the museum don’t like being in other people’s videos. It starts fights. I guess the still images like these below are ok with shy patrons, which makes no sense at all.


This isn’t the guard who yelled at me. I just took the picture because I loved his look.

Another guard yelled at a lady who had an empty water bottle in her hand. He warned her about filling it at a water fountain. She explained that she could not find a trash can to dump it so she was carrying it around. Oh, and backpacks. The guy who yelled at me told me that backpacks are not appreciated either, although almost every tourist in there had one. He said when people are bumped into with a backpack it causes fights. He should try riding the subway some day. Half the space taken up in the trains is by backpacks on people’s backs.

I think the museums are fed up with tourists and crowds. I am too, but that’s what pays the bills.

By the way, I loved the Play it Loud exhibit, there until October 1. It’s musical instruments from famous rock history.


I think the ancient Egyptian items are the best.


Prince’s guitar, part of the Play it Loud exhibit. 


The Beatles instruments part of the Play it Loud exhibit.

Don’t miss my next post. Receive Tomversation via email
each time I publish Click here.


A comic on the subway wall


I took this photo on the NY subway on Saturday. Do you see what I see? No. Not the girl, not the filthy walls outside the window, either. I’m talking about the comic strip on the wall. It’s an ad, but still, it’s a comic.

For years I’ve had this idea of a comic panel, or possibly strip, on this square box ad space on the subways. I always imagined my own comic, Tomversation, in that space. It would be changed out a couple of times a week, maybe weekly, I don’t know how convenient or inconvenient it would be to change the image regularly.

I also had an idea about Amazon. What if there was a daily comic strip panel on their homepage? It would give people a reason to visit the site daily.  I love Amazon and I shop there all the time, but I haven’t been on the site in weeks (yes, even with their Amazon Prime Days). I can picture it now, a daily Tomversation comic panel, right at the top of the Amazon home page. I wonder how I could pitch this to Jeff Bezos. Hmmm.

Revisiting the NY Times


See this Starbucks coffee and NY Times? What’s interesting is that this Starbucks is in the lobby of a building on Park Row, right next to the original NY Times which was in the building starting in 1889.

Park Row, across from City Hall, is where many NY newspapers were in the 1800s – The Times, The Sun, The Tribune, The Herald. Most buildings are gone now.

The newspapers eventually moved uptown. The Times to Times Square, The Herald to Herald Square and The Sun just a block away, into the old A.T. Stewart Dry Goods Store which moved there in 1846. The Sun took the building over in 1917.

The clocks are still on the corners of the building. It’s hard to read it all but they say, “The Sun. It shines for all.”



The Times building is the light color building on the left.



The entrance to The Sun building, still there at 280 Broadway (the building, not the newspaper).


The Sun building today.


Newsboys. 100 years ago.


“The Sun. It shines for all.” These clocks are still on each corner of the building today.


Joseph Pulitzer’s World building, The Sun (the small building), The Tribune and the Times.


So tonight was Manhattenhenge in NYC. Over the years I would just notice it as I walked down the street or stepped outside a bar or something, there wasn’t really a fuss over it. But now, it’s all over the news, they tell you what streets to go to and the best places to see it so tonight, I found myself among hundreds, if not 1000 people on the corner of 34th Street and Park Avenue.

The best part was the people. We would get into the street when the light turned red and look for it, counting the minutes down and when the light changed green, we ran back to the sidewalks, so that traffic could pass. And then repeat that same thing every time the light changed.

As the sun began to take it’s place in the center of the street, between the buildings, everyone just ran into the middle of the street and no car could get by, it was a standstill. Cars beeped their horns, but what were they going to do, run over 1000 people?

Soon a cop showed up in a little car, I thought that was the end of that. But you know what he did? He stopped the traffic. He just stopped all vehicled where they were, it just stopped in all directions and people took over the intersetion and we took our fill of pictures!

So here’s what I got on my iphone – Manhattanhenge July 2019.

Enjoyed the play, ‘Ink’

inkWe went to see “Ink” over the weekend at the Samuel J. Friedman theater in NYC.

It was closing, night, but hopefully it will come back. Ink is about The Sun, the British newspaper and the play stars Bertie Carvel and Johnny Lee Miller. Bertie plays Rupert Murdoch, who purchased The Sun in 1969 and changed the whole format of news and newspapers with Johnny playing Larry Lamb, the editor.

I really enjoyed it. There is a bit of musical in it and I enjoyed the part where the whole newspaper-making process is described and shown on stage.

Stalking the Summer House


I see Carl and Kyle and that looks like Amanda next to Kyle and Paige next to her.

Every year when I’m in The Hamptons I look for the filming of Summer House, a tv show I watch. When I watch the show they seem to always be at bars and restaurants we go to so I’m always checking around for them. I left The Hamptons today & there they are at a restaurant some of my cousins are at tonight.

My cousin Matt took this picture at the restaurant. So I may go back and stalk then next week. But since I’m in the city, guess I’ll go stalk the Real Housewives for the time being. Ramotional.

Naked and afraid

iphoneNaked and afraid, that’s how I felt when I lost my cell phone. I didn’t actually lose it, I left it in my cousin’s car. The problem is I didn’t have her contact info. No one has a home phone anymore and I didn’t have her address or cell phone number.

This past holiday, we all went to another cousin’s house in The Hamptons for a few days for July 4th. A few of us drove back to the city after a couple of days. One cousin dropped me off at the train station to take the number 7 train back to Grand Central Terminal. As soon as I got out of the car, I realized I had left my phone on the seat, but I turned around and they were gone, already heading home. I panicked.

I started to think, how will I reach anyone? I do remember my aunt and uncle’s home phone number, but they were in the Hamptons, not at their house. Luckily I found a pay phone that worked and I called information, but nothing came up, they could not find anyone’s numbers. So there’s a lesson, keep a couple of contact numbers in writing somewhere where you can access them easily. Or memorize them – like the old days!

As I rode the subway back to the city, I thought of calling my father back in Miami and having him contact one of my relatives and then have them call me at the hotel, but then it dawned on me that I could contact my cousins through Facebook messenger. And that’s what I did. So for all the problems with Facebook these days, that was a life saver.

I arranged to meet one of my cousins tomorrow at his office and I’ll get my phone.

I know it seems like a first world problem, but everything is in that phone. I need it for work, my office number rings through to that and also I need it for Uber, for Apple Pay, for Google Maps, for living! Cell phones, Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft – they control our lives these days. I did write this blog post on my computer back at the hotel, but still, I needed my phone.

I wanted to Uber to my cousins’ house to get the phone last night, but how could I get Uber when I was stranded in a street in Queens? They dropped me off in a neighborhood I was not really familiar with because the usual place was too hard to get to due to the fireworks and all the people. Normally, they would drive me into the city, but again, due to the crowds it was not a good idea to drive in last night.

Think for a moment, if you did not have access to your cell phone today and you were dropped off somewhere that you were not familiar with, where it’s impossible to get a working pay phone, where you can’t just ask a stranger to use their cell phone. But even if you had access to a borrowed phone or a  pay phone, how would you call someone when all their contact info was lost? Other than your parents, whose number do you have memorized? I bet you don’t know your own brothers’s phone number by memory.

You could possibly sign into an email account through someone else’s cell phone, and contact people that way, or through Facebook messenger, which is what I did on my computer when I got back to the hotel. But life is quite difficult without our own cell phones these days. It’s something to think about. Where would I get people’s contact info, a working pay phone, a paper map, a GPS if needed or even access to Uber, without my cell phone if I am just lost (and afraid) in a strange area, on a strange street?

Even waving down a cab last night would get me nowhere since I don’t know any of my relatives and friends addresses even though I’ve been to their houses 100 times. I do know my aunt and uncle’s house phone number (not their cell phone numbers) and street address because they have had that house phone number and lived in that house for so many years, but they were in the Hamptons, not at their house in Queens so that info did me no good. I needed the contact info of people who were nearby and in town and that I didn’t have.

One more thing – the NY subway system is transitioning to a system where you would use your cell phone to access the subway. They will do away with Metrocards totally in a few years, so without my cell phone, I could not get through the turnstiles and get onto a train.

But anyway, all’s well that ends well. I’ll be back part of the world by noon today once I go to a cousin’s office to pick up my life, I mean my phone.

Oh, and the ironic part is that if I had just gotten on the train last night, came back to my hotel and went to bed, it would be like it was 20 years ago. The whole thing about not having the phone and trying to locate people to get my phone back was all entwined in the phone. In other words, what if I didn’t have a phone. What if I didn’t leave it in the car, what if I just came back to the city and went to bed and woke up today and went on with my life. Without a phone?  I mean if I just lived my life without the phone, and didn’t let it control me. then I wouldn’t have been in such a panic last night.