Wednesday, January 31, 2007

You couldn't find your [beep] with both hands and a flashlight.

A group of NYC subway track inspectors -- who somehow got lost -- check a subway system map. Despite the fact that the overhead fluorescents were very bright, one of them still shone his flashlight, because obviously two hands weren't enough to find his [beep]!

Fort Hamilton Parkway subway station, Brooklyn, New York.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

POS Cat #1

Here's one of our two cats: Pito, le chat de merde complet.

When he's not wrestling with POS cat #2 during their frequent WWE bouts, he's scurrying from the sound of the doorbell and hiding under our bed for hours on end. He's Pito, a warrior and a scaredy-cat, a true paradox (pair of ducks?).

Monday, January 29, 2007

Brrr! Prospect Park lake starts to freeze over

Every year, when the temperature stays below 32°F long enough, the lake in Prospect Park forms a sheet of ice over its surface. What is atypical for this particular frozen lake is while the ice is thick enough for ducks and geese to stand on, it's nowhere near sturdy enough for people to walk on, much less skate on.

After years of foolhardy explorers (and those who are just plain dumb) venturing onto the seemingly frozen lake, only to plunge through the thin ice and drowning, the Prospect Park administrators finally posted emergency ladders -- and clear warnings -- all around the perimeter of the lake. We'll see if the contingency will help save the annual crop of numbskulls who think they can defy the laws of physics. My money is on a few more Darwin Award recipients being fished out the bottom of the lake this season by the FDNY.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Domo-Kun's comin' to get you!

I got this Domo-Kun plushie for Marcus back in August 2006. As Crystal had described it on Marcus' journal back then:

I really didn't know what it was — and even when [Luis] showed me pictures of this little brown square monster, the mascot of a Japanese TV station, I was still left scratching my head. To me, it looked like an evil potato with scary fangs. But Luis was adamant: Marcus should have a Domo-Kun. It would be the most unique toy in his collection! He'd be the envy of all the babies in the 'hood!

The idea for this particular oddity came from the Fark-inspired legend of the Domo-Kun, which you can read more about here, and here.

And yes: Marcus is still the only baby in the neighborhood, and perhaps in all of Brooklyn, who has his very own Domo-Kun. Rawr!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Yo! Squeeze this!

Shopping produce at the Greenmarket, Union Square Park, Manhattan, NY.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Contemplating Life, the Universe, and Plastic Shapes

Marcus ponders the mysteries of his Playskool Form Fitter. After all, why can't the half-moon piece fit into the crescent hole? They're similar in shape, right?

Once Marcus figures out how to use a mallet, I'm sure that all the square pegs will get pounded into round holes, figuratively speaking.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

FDNY emergency call box

The Fire Department of New York has about 10,000 emergency call boxes (known officially as the ERS - Emergency Response System) throughout all five boroughs of New York City. While it's true that most incidents are phoned in (especially these days with the dominance of cellphones), these call boxes, which can be found on many street corners, still get a lot of use.

Sadly, many false alarms originate from these call boxes, for by the time the fire engines show up in response, a prankster will have already moved a safe distance away to have a good laugh at the FDNY's expense.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Well, those cars never seem to stop coming...

...working at the Car Wash, yeah!

Fort Hamilton Parkway, near McDonald Avenue, Kensington, Brooklyn, NY.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Local Bodega (aka Corner Store)

This is where I get some essentials (i.e., milk, cat litter) after the main grocery stores have shut down for the night.

Prospect & Greenwood Avenue, Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, NY.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Descending into the Yawning Abyss

Fort Hamilton Parkway subway entrance, Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, New York.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Oh, Noah! He gets a mail-order bride.

For Christmas, Marcus' Mommy gave him a Little People Noah's Ark, which has proven to be one of Marcus' favorite toys.

However, Papi (that's me), noticed that although all the included animals came in pairs, Noah was all by his lonesome on his Ark. Considering that he'd need his wife in order to help repopulate the Earth after the flood of 40 days and 40 nights, we had to get Noah a lifemate, quick!

One eBay auction and a week later, Noah's wife arrived in the mail. Here, you can see Noah inspecting the contents of the parcel and giving his dove-with-olive-branch approval.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Late afternoon ride in the bitter cold

Even with 29°F weather, bitterly frigid winds whipping people about (which made for a 14°F wind chill factor), and the temperature dropping rapidly with the setting sun, it's never too cold for some horse-riding enthusiasts. Maybe horses share their heat with their riders; certainly my camera didn't warm me as I clicked off this picture while an icy blast of wind tried to bounce me off a lamp post.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Marcus looks out the window, wondering...

...where did all the snow go?

It snowed again this very early morning -- but then it turned to rain, and then the sun came out later in the day. By the time Marcus had a peek out the window to see what this alleged snow was all about, the streets of Windsor Terrace were completely bare, without a single snowflake in evidence. He has yet to ever see snow, so it continues to remain a mystery to him.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Finally, it snowed!

For about 20 minutes in the Prospect Park area, anyway.

Oh, well.

Maybe the next NYC "snowstorm" will last at least an hour -- and the snow might actually stay put, too.

The quality on this image is not too great, as the sun was already setting in the heavily snow-laden sky, forcing me to boost the ISO on my rinky-dinky point-and-shoot camera. Maybe next time I'll have the dSLR at the ready. Oh, wait, the body's weathersealed, but none of the lenses are. A future purchase, to be sure.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Another satisfied Smiling Pizza customer

I needed to return a faulty camera flash to Amazon, and their return process is simplified by the fact that one only needs to print a pre-formatted UPS label, adhere it to the shipping box, and drop it off at any UPS pickup location. It just so happens that there's a UPS Store right across the street from the locally famous (for Park Slope, at any rate) Smiling Pizza. With two of my favorite elements right in front of me (pizza restaurant, subway entrance), how could I resist? :)

As if it isn't obvious enough, that not-so-mysterious shadow in the lower-left corner is me, being inconspicuous in plain sight.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

On a cold day, the Masters of Chess battle for supremacy on Ocean Parkway

Just like the postmen, neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep these senior citizens from their appointed games of chess.

Ocean Parkway, near Church Avenue, Kensington, Brooklyn.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Early rush hour Subway crowd, homeward bound

Departing from the Fourth Avenue station, in the vicinity of Park Slope, Brooklyn.

This is the time of day when you can catch up on your reading, or have a good snooze (provided you can find an empty seat).

Sunday, January 14, 2007

A dreary day, feeding the even more dreary birds

After a jog this Sunday morning, I stopped by the lake in Prospect Park and found that the usual crowd of bird-feeding enthusiasts had dwindled down to this one small family. Without question, the leaden sky and the occasional cloudbursts of cold rain had something to do with the sparseness of families and other onlookers. It was quite depressing.

I snapped off this picture and staggered home before the depression could set in completely and compel me to hurl myself into yon lake.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

"9/11 was an inside job" preaching at Ground Zero

At the World Trade Center reconstruction zone (aka "Ground Zero"), a small crowd gathered around a man who was pointing out what he considered to be glaring inconsistencies in the official 9/11 timeline of events. He was part of a larger group called "NY 9/11 Truth" that was dispersed among the tourists at Ground Zero, handing out pamphlets and trying to engage the curious and the disbelieving alike.

I felt like a shark in an aquarium with regard to photo opportunities, since the point-and-shoot camera I was carrying allowed me to blend in very naturally with all the other gawking tourists, except that I was shooting them while they were shooting elsewhere.
Carrying a backpack and assuming a blank facial expression completed my camouflage.

Friday, January 12, 2007

A ruddy-cheeked Marcus contemplates jumping the cat

This photo might look like Marcus held still long enough for me to get a shot, but the reality is far different.

Having spotted our cat, Blanca, who is fat, furry, and an excellent magnet for grubby baby hands, he quickly made his way over while in "cruising" mode -- hanging on to the furniture while he side-stepped around, crab-like. The look on his face exhibits the focus he had while repeatedly saying the word "cat," which sounded more like "dah!"

I was fortunate enough grab this particular image by keeping the shutter button pressed for rapid sequence firing. Moreover, if you download this image and zoom in to either of his eyes, you can see my reflection: holding the camera with the bounce flash illuminating the corner of the room. Now that's a good dose of trivial info for the trivial-minded. :)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Fort Hamilton Parkway subway entrance next to the Crossroads Cafe

Hmmm... here's another subway entrance photo, now two days in a row! One might get the impression that I've latched on to a specific urban theme, but in fact, I haven't (yet).

In actuality, I shot quite a few interesting things today, but once I distilled all the images down to a core few for final selection, this one stood out in terms of color, composition, and contrast; the overall impact of the photo resonates with me for some reason.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Subway entrance for the F train in front of Smiling Pizza

This subway entrance for the F train is one block away from my old Park Slope apartment, which was on Eighth Avenue and Ninth Street. There's a direct exit from this station onto 8th Ave., which was great if I only wanted to dash a few steps to my apartment door (very useful when it's raining, as you can imagine).

However, my old, one-bedroom Park Slope apartment was also part of my previous bachelor life, so many were the evenings where I would exit from this very subway staircase to grab a slice or two of pizza for dinner. Yum!


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The family that jogs together...

...stays together -- or so we'd hope!

East Drive, Prospect Park, Brooklyn.

Monday, January 08, 2007

The closest church to us... also where Marcus was Christened last October, 2006.

This Roman Catholic church, called Immaculate Heart Of Mary, is literally two minutes walking distance from our home, and as you can discern from the photo, they've yet to take down their Christmas decorations. In fact, what's partially obscured by the traffic walk light in the lower left corner is a nativity scene; baby Jesus is still being greeted by the manger animals.

We've already chucked out our own pine tree, so we sinners are actually ahead for a change!


Sunday, January 07, 2007

An equestrian sighting in Brooklyn

Unknown to most New Yorkers (even to most Brooklynites, apparently), one can actually go horseback riding at one's leisure without having to be a NYC mounted police officer. Kensington Stables, which is in very close proximity to Prospect Park, rents out horses to anyone who wants to tour the park along its bridle path.

I've never ridden a horse myself, and, unless my impending mid-life crisis involves wanting to try things I've never done before, I probably never will. However, my hope is that Marcus, my firstborn, as well as my currently-in-development nextborn, will eventually want to try their hand at being urban cowboys.


Saturday, January 06, 2007

Waiting for the F train at 7th Avenue

The Seventh Avenue station on the F subway line is directly underneath my old apartment in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Though it looks every bit as bleak and grimy as the photo portrays, it still represents fond memories of my life on the Slope, only one block from Prospect Park and also one block from what is arguably the best pizza in the neighborhood, Smiling Pizza.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Boy in the Plastic Bubble

It was unseasonably warm today -- 60 degrees this afternoon -- and rainy, too. How's that for winter weather in Brooklyn? So during a lull in the rainfall, Marcus and I ventured out into a drenched Prospect Park to get some fresh air.

Lamentably for Marcus, I was compelled to attach the rain cover to his stroller in the event that we'd get drizzled on in mid-stroll. One can understand how confining this must feel, and Marcus ocassionally tried to burst his bubble, so to speak. His mouth was pressed right against the plastic shield in silent protest; the "get me out of this thing!" photo above says it all.


Thursday, January 04, 2007

Prospect Park L.E.D. holiday decorations at Ft. Hamilton Parkway entrance

Since early December of 2006, this is the sight that greets me at the start of my morning run at 5:50 AM. Now with Christmas behind us, maybe the park administration will soon take this display down -- or perhaps it will be a permanent enhancement at each park entrance. On verra!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Orange Sentinels Guide the Way

One seems to be missing, though. Maybe it took a break.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

Starting off the year 2007 with a bang!

Fireworks display in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.