Once upon a time I lived on the top floor of a three-family home in the Bronx. I was one of five kids in a family of seven. Yes, there were two parents on the scene and we all made do with one bathroom and no air-conditioning in the dog days of past New York City summers. I remember feeling somewhat cheated that I didn't have the option—like many of my friends with air-conditioners did—to cool off when the thermometer and relative humidity performed their suffocating duet. But that was then and this is now. I am today a party of one with an air-conditioner. And so I can observe the sights and sounds of my surroundings in the stifling summer of 2018 and retreat—when the days are done—to the colder, drier climes of the great indoors.
Meanwhile, on the outside, I recently encountered this peculiar subway graffiti. It was the word "TATTOO" spelled out in dings. This sighting prompted me to silently exclaim, "De train, Boss, de train!"
It's the "In New York We Don't Serve Teens and You Shouldn't Either" truck. Wonder what's inside? What delights they hide. By the way, I just quoted lyrics from the song Christmas Children in the movie musical Scrooge, 1970, starring Albert Finney.
If there's a tomato in distress, now you know who to call.
Maybe it's just me but I find this slogan of theirs on the unappetizing side.
This blue jay can confirm that it's been a nasty month of July.
If you don't know, that's Grandpa Stroehmann on the bread truck. I had a driving instructor who would regularly caution me—when the situations warranted it—to "Watch out for Grandpa!" He is still plying his trade as an eighty-year-old man.
You see that open window? That can mean only one thing: It's a hot car. At this time of year, subway conductors make announcements where they advise riders escaping hot cars to make it snappy.
I saw this downed wire this morning and thought about some of the programs I've watched this year on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Breaking Bad, Ozark, and The Wire came to mind. Drug dealers and drug dealing make for better entertainment on-screen than off.
If the shop's interior appearing trashed and pretty much emptied—with a chain lock on the front door—wasn't enough to convince you this eatery is shut down for good, the words "Closed...Closed...Closed" spelled out in black magic marker should have done the trick.
Hot and humid Fourth of July...the camera never blinks.
Not too long after this photo was taken, a protester scaled Lady Liberty, which shut down the island for multiple hours and cost the city a pretty penny. The bill is in the mail, I hope.
There are things around us that we overlook and take for granted for far too long...
Go North, young men...
Richard Kimble looked at the world for the last time and saw only darkness. These kids saw me sitting in Van Cortlandt's tail, also known to a few of us as the Bum Park North.
A subway car I was riding in was chock-full of Klarna ads. I had never heard of Klarna before. It's not an ice cream manufacturer after all.
"Be it ever so crumble, there's no place like home." Referring to the 4077th, Major Winchester once uttered those words on M*A*S*H
(Photos from the personal collection of Nicholas Nigro)