Summer Streets Selection

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Memorial Day Dog

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This critter, locked in the camera since Memorial Day, seen riding northbound on the Hudson Greenway, a stretch of car-free passage that takes you all the way from Battery Park past the George Washington Bridge.

The hamster wheel

I’ve been thinking about the loop in Central Park lately…how it’s just a big hamster wheel for us humans, our contraptions and our mostly canine companions.

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She was riding clockwise against the flow and you get the idea pretty quickly that the park loop is designed to go counterclockwise. The entrances all send you – cars when those demons are allowed – and bikes, skaters, surfers, rollers, sliders, runners counterclockwise. It just works that way. A few go the other direction.

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Central Park exists for those of us who live here and for those of us who are tourists. It’s not for the nearby suburban because they have theirs and who would drive to a city just to sit under a tree? When you walk or ride you hear all the accented voices from faraway places: The British Isles, Europe, Russia, the Baltics, the Middle East, the Asia Pacific, the Caribbean. And sometimes Kentucky or Arkansas.

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I stayed and watched too long these two playing a food game and some fetch. I took a longer time to walk around and lingered a lot. You see, we’re moving out – not too far away. Just 25 minutes by train and the time will be here soon enough that I won’t just bumble into the park for a walk. I’ll have to go out of my way and it won’t happen much because there will be trees and park a little bit fresher air where we’re going.

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JFC, people take their dogs on carriage rides!

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And, hey, get this – fencing with foils amid the frisbees.

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This man takes his old Sheltie in a stroller. He left him out for a few shaky steps, then back to the cart. They both seemed OK with the arrangement.

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I will miss the crowds I curse when I want a quick spin around the loop but everyone’s chaos and not interested, not at all even aware. I’ll miss these scenes too:

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The history of dogs in bike baskets

Taken this afternoon in Central Park.

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Inspired perhaps by this famous Audrey Hepburn in 1959 or French cyclists of days long gone, an irresistible thought, “I shall put Fluffy in the basket and take him for a spin around the park today.”

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What is the oldest photo of a basket mounted dog? Who got the idea first? And whoever he or she was, is not humanity all the better for it?

Lounging in Lincoln Center…

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Earlier this morning, a woman totes her dog in front of harsh backlighting.

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Modified Perfect Standard Time proposal

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“I’ve been having trouble getting up in the morning.” Well, who hasn’t since daylight savings time has returned? Is it time to rethink this bizarre annual resetting of the clocks designed to make waking up more difficult? Spring ahead, fall back, sure, but why do it twice a year…?

“But,” she said, “I like the extra hour of light in the evening. I want to keep that part.” And why couldn’t we? Here’s a win-win proposal that keeps that extra hour at night, but doesn’t suck the daylight from the early morning.

Start with Standard Time. Let’s keep that full time, but with a slight modification. 6:00 AM is always 6:00 AM. Then, each afternoon at 2:00, clocks leap forward to 3:00 PM. That gives us the daily extra hour of sunlight we so crave. And it eliminates what is a basic productivity black hole in the work day that we’d all rather do without. Imagine the improvements in worker morale!

But the real benefits kick in during the night, a time when studies show we don’t get enough sleep or sex or both. At 4:00 AM, the clocks will revert back to 3:00 AM, returning the hour lost in the afternoon and giving all the good people of the planet an extra hour of sleep. Imagine the boost in productivity and overall good feeling!

According to research conducted while writing this posting, my plan MoPeSTY (Modfied Perfect Standard Time Year-round), will result in happier, more fulfilled lives, will eliminate morning crankiness and increase productivity 94%.

Write your congress person now and enact Modified Perfect Standard Time Year-round now.

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The musher

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The day after a storm dropped a few inches of snow, the thermometer breached 50 degrees in New York City and I brought my bicycle out from its dusty basement storage rack. I wiped off the grime with a damp cloth, cleaned the chain, and applied White Lightning, a clean wax lubricant. Slipping a camera around my neck I took my first ride since just after Sandy came through and rearranged the urban furniture.

Hey you ‘cyclers out there – take care of the chain and everything it touches will serve you for a long time. I’m talking about derailleurs and cranks mostly. If you ride a lot, spring for a new chain every thousand miles or so. And when you do change the chain, wax lubricants are nice – dry, resist grease and grit and much cleaner than oils or teflons in my opinion.

I am a resident tourist and love taking photos in the city. But what I really enjoy is shooting from the saddle and getting a good image while maneuvering park or street traffic. Or passing the image I’m going to shoot, speeding ahead and waiting for it/them to ride by.

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I passed this fellow with his pit bull pulling him up a hill in Central Park. The man kicked the ground to help him up the hill, but his animal did most of the work and seemed quite happy in doing so, tongue flopping around, breathing hard, tail wagging. This was work and most dogs live for work, or some I’m told. I’m not a dog and I live more for days like yesterday and today with a good deal of leisure and a 32GB SD card at my disposal.

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I saw a lot of dog people running with their dogs but none in a basket. It was a short ride as my conditioning is meager. Do you want to see those photos? I do this blog mostly to entertain my wife, family and a few select friends. However, the “like” button has had an influence. I feel unreasonably ecstatic when I get more than a few likes and am hurled into a somber self-critical mood when there are but one or two.

Well, Here’s one of a running dog.

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