10 Random Things I Saw While Walking in NYC this Past Weekend

I was in New York this past weekend. And whenever I'm in a large city--especially NYC--I love to walk. I had a camera with my (surprise, right?) and snapped a few photos. Actually I snapped nearly two hundred photos, and here are ten of them in no particular order (but I will give brief explanations to some of them).

Starting with the top photo you may be wondering if it weren't snowing (nope), and what are the people clutching. Well, unbeknownst to me this past Saturday was National Pillow Fight Day and this is a photo a really large pillow fight just as it was ending in Washington Square Park (to see more pics and videos--at Huffington Post--click here). 

The first photo below is a shot on MacDougal Street. It's the front of the basement comedy club, The Comedy Cellar, which is in the opening credits to the show Louis, starring Louis CK (to see the seen in the opening credits, click here).

This next photo is, of course, the Empire State Building, as seen from a block away on Broadway.

This next shot is of one of my favorite buildings in NYC, the Flatiron building. I walk past it each morning and evening on my way to classes I've been attending. Interestingly, I recently came across this video of the scene at the foot of the building in 1903. I was standing in the very spot (as a took a few other photos) that the videographer was likely standing when they shot the video...gave me goosebumps.

This next shot is of the Gem Spa in the East Village. Most likely know that this was a hangout for hepcats for generations...from the beats, to the hippies, and rockers. In 1973 the New York Dolls posed in front of this store for the photo on the back of their album. For interesting info on this store and it's roll in urban hipster culture, follow this link.

Below is a photo of a group of Hare Krishnas blissed out singing and chanting in Union Square Park. The first time I came upon the Hare Krishas chanting in this park was 1985 while stumbling drunk around NY with some college friends. We talked with them (and even drunkenly chanted with them a bit). They were very nice and didn't try to convert us; they even fed us free vegan food. I thought of this as I tapped my foot and watched them for a few minutes. Their chant is mesmerizing and in fact difficult to shake...it's quite beautiful actually; simply singing to and calling out to God (Krishna). To hear a beautiful rendition of this mantra sung by George Harrison, click here.

Below is an image of a Joe Strummer memorial in the East Village. I've visited this numerous times and have watched this video at least twenty times. The video shows the mural being painted while Joe Strummer sings Bob Marley's Redemption Song. I really hope you watch the video...very moving.

Below is a photo of a chicken-headed man playing chess in the park at dusk. Umm...how could I not take a picture of this guy? After I took the shot he looked up at me and stared without saying anything...I wasn't sure whether to laugh or be freaked out. I did laugh, but then after the awkward silence, I left.

 Below is a photo of a building in the East Village. Do you recognize it? It's the building that  is featured on the cover of Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti album. This building (or at least the front steps of it) was also featured in the Rolling Stone's video for their song Waiting on a Friend.

And the picture below...well that's just a lovely and warm sunset over Lower Manhattan.

Urban Simplicity.