Monthly Archives: October 2012

Brooklyn for Brooklyn

Brooklyn for Brooklyn Mural

Brooklyn for Brooklyn, a beautiful mural painted on a garage door in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, New York. Artist unknown.


The World’s Ugliest Color Palette

It finally dawned upon me that I have the world’s ugliest color palette in my hallway. The colors are a classic combination, yes, however they are hardly acceptable for a brownstone hallway. For a car? No. An outfit? Not even. For food? Yes, the color palette is perfect for food. My hallway is the classic color combination known throughout New York City and fast food chains everywhere across this big, green planet: mustard and ketchup.

Who, with any portion of their vision and any sense of, well, anything, would sit down with color swatches and determine mustard and ketchup to be aesthetically pleasing? Furthermore, why did I endure this? I’m a minimalist who prefers muted color palettes and fine lines. These colors aggravate my senses.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign

Hurricane Sandy is teasing New York City, threatening to pummel us with winds and rain and bring us to our knees. Much of the city is on common-sense-alert, opting to stay indoors and prepare for the worst. I took this opportunity to venture out in the rain and explore Brooklyn, hoping to find a foreign object.

The ubiquitous broken umbrella was nowhere to be found, neither the little girl’s doll. Instead, I found a curious object, foreign in the true sense of the word. My photo is of an empty New York City garbage can, turned upside down¹. Keep New York City Clean, a veritable oxymoron if not desperate plea, is printed in white letters on the green can. Strewn about is litter and leaves, no doubt because of Hurricane Sandy.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign

¹The garbage cans were turned upside down by the Sanitation workers. This was done to prevent the garbage cans from blowing away.

White is…White…Right?

It’s time for painting again—the tenant on the top floor moved out and my plan is to get the apartment back on the market quickly. New York real estate is a hot commodity and it’s best to strike while the iron is hot. I did a complete reno on this apartment two years ago so it’s still in excellent condition. There’s no major renovation necessary; only patching nail holes (the tenant didn’t use drywall anchors), cleaning fingerprints and grease marks off the paint, and scrubbing the appliances to their original stainless steel glory (doesn’t anyone clean up after themselves anymore?).

Laying it On Thick
I’m repainting the apartment with the same paint I used before: white. Antique white, to be exact. There were a few gallons of this paint stored in the basement for future use so I brought it upstairs and prepared my tools. I decided to “patch” the primed areas last night with the Antique White instead of painting the entire wall—quick and easy work. Joy turned to despair once the paint skinned over: it didn’t match the paint on the wall. What happened? Did the paint “season” over those two years in the basement and mature into a different value? Or did the painted walls discolor in the sunlight and under the fluorescent lights? Or both? Or something else?

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I Can Start My Day After They Pick Up the Garbage

Our house is known among the sanitation workers for having a tremendous amount of trash on pickup days. Sometimes I count the bags of trash that I place outside and it outnumbers the other houses on our side of the block (we must be the topic of much spirited discussion at the depot…). Our wealth of trash must have aroused the curiosity of the sanitation inspectors who have found a way to give me tickets for seemingly minuscule infractions.

I received a ticket once because a pizza box had oil stains on it—the orange oil stains that come from the pizza. The inspector said that the pizza box was “soiled,” so it should have been placed in the “regular” garbage. My defense was that it was paper and I put it in the paper recycling. Her retort remained the same. I asked her what would happen the next time an inspector came and noticed a pizza box in my black garbage bag (they have an uncanny way of “noticing” things) and she said, “if you don’t like it, fight the ticket.

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I Won’t Expose the Brick in the Vestibule After All

I really wanted to add value (and street cred) to our brownstone by tearing out the plaster and exposing the brick in the vestibule. Admittedly, there was some degree of ego encouraging me to do the renovation. The upscale brownstones in Brooklyn Heights all have exposed brick. Why can’t I have something that looks great, too? Why keep it “Plain Jane”? Go for the gusto!

Alas, it won’t work as I want it to. There are two obstacles that I discovered that prevent exposed brick from being a reality: the first obstacle is the front door configuration and the second obstacle is the junction box with electric cabling below the plaster. Neither of these have an easy fix in this stage of reno.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

Weekly Photo Challenge Silhouette

My contribution for this Weekly Photo Challenge was taken in Prospect Park, the beautiful 585-acre historic public park in Brooklyn that spans many neighborhoods and is responsible for many memories.

I captured two small children playing vigorously on a mound while the sun sets, silhouetting their active figures. Their parents came shortly after and took them home for a shower and dinner.