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NYC – 2017 – Chinese New Year – Firecrackers – More

Chinese New Year’s Day Firecracker Festival

I got a chance to visit Chinatown during the first day of the Lunar New Year, January 28. this Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival, started a week-long celebration of performances, vendors, and giveaways and on this day, plenty of  firecrackers.


Thousands of these are sold, almost everyone of them is used on the streets.

This Chinatown  party featured was full of people and had all sorts of  food and festivities for all ages. It was an enjoyable day to welcome in  the Year of the Rooster. During this lively affair, hundreds of thousands of the sparkly explosives are set off to ward off bad spirits for 2017. Here are some highlights.

Click on pictures to enlarge

In Chinatown is that many things are looking at you.

Note: There is still time to celebrate1 at the 18th Annual New York City Lunar New Year Parade & Festival
Sunday, February 5, 2017

You can find fresh fish at a very reasonable price.


Many interesting moments when you are just wandering.

Young women mix of the traditional and the modern.

Back to the eyes.


A few of the “other” photos.

This is a brief video to let you listen to the noise.   VIDEO

Previous Posts about Chinatown

Chinatown’s Charm

Joss Paper – Funerals


Hand Fans


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NYC – Three Kings Parade – Celebration – 2017


For four decades El Museo del Barrio has celebrated and promoted the Three Kings Day tradition with an annual parade. This year’s march begins at 106th Street and Lexington Avenue and travels to Third Avenue to end at 115th Street and Park Avenue. The procession features camels, colorful puppets, floats, and thousands of students and other community members as participants.

It is a small event as NYC events go. It is mostly parents of participating children that line the streets. This but one of many activities that make NYC neighborhoods great.


and  the cleanup crew…


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NYC – Animals- Commerial Art

Short walk today around the east 60’s. I was off to an appointment and thought I would grab some shots of items displayed in some store windows.

The practice of depicting characters of animals in miniaturized porcelain and  cloth seems to be very popular.


And, speaking of animals…




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New York City Christmas… How much do you know about Christmas?

How much do you know about Christmas?


You are probably familiar with these New Yorkers who helped establish the representation of Santa Claus.

  • Washington Irving popularized the character with his “Knickerbocker’s History of New York” in 1809, which was an imaginative tale of a jolly Saint Nicholas in colonial attire who climbed down chimneys, unlike the figure in Dutch tradition.
  • Clement Clark Moore is credited with writing “An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas” —moore-park or, as many now know it, “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” — in 1822. The poem notably described Santa’s eight reindeer, his twinkly eyes and his belly that shook like a bowl full of jelly.
  • Thomas Nast — an influential editorial cartoonist at Harper’s Weekly — drew the image of what many consider the modern-day Santa, an elderly man with red rosy cheeks and a long white beard dressed in a red suit, the museum exhibit claims.
  • How much do you know about Christmas?

    ◊ At the Washington Square Market,Chambers and Greenwich Streets, the first NYC  open-air Christmas tree market was born.

     In 1851 a woodsman named Mark Carr, living in the Catskill Mountains, chopped down a selection of fir and spruce trees, shoved them into two ox sleds, carted them over to Manhattan on a ferry, and set up shop in the market, paying one dollar for the privilege of selling his rather prickly merchandise. Also, According to legend, Clement Moore had been inspired that day during an outing to Washington Market to purchase a Christmas turkey.

    ◊ In New York City there are, or recently have been, three schools solely for the training of Santa Clauses.400px-liverpool_santa_dash_2009

    ◊ In New York City we have St. Nicholas Cathedral

    ◊ We also have St. Nicholas Avenue and St. Nicholas Arena, not to mention the beauty shop, drug store, etc., quite irreverently dedicated to the saint.

    ◊ St. Nicholas over the door to the baptistery at St. John the Divine is our saint.

    ◊ The  Clements History contains no less than twenty-five allusions to Santa. There is the description of Santa Claus bringing gifts, parking his horse and wagon on the roof while he slides down the chimney.440px-christmaseveohio1928

    ◊ In Buffalo and like places where there was a heavy concentration of Germans who immigrated around 1840, St. Nicholas would call at each home on Nicholas Eve, December 5th, to take orders for presents to be delivered on Christmas. The custom has now disappeared.

    ◊ In the Dutch communities of Michigan and Iowa, St. Nicholas used to call with oranges and switches on December 6th.

    ◊ The post office at Santa Claus, Indiana (established 1852, population still less than 100), handles nearly four million pieces of mail yearly, and even in midsummer is a tourists’ paradise.

    ◊ North Pole, in the Adirondacks,exists as the incidence signs on car bumpers testifies.

    ◊ Sixty new books specifically about Christmas were published in 1952. Six had Santa Claus as their theme.


  • Also, the Library of Congress lists, for the single year 1947 alone, twenty-two new songs with Santa Claus as the first word in the song

Related past stories



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NYC – Beer – Baseball – J Ruppert – Yankees

NYC – Beer _ Baseball _ Colonel J. Ruppert _ Yankees



Walking  down east 92nd street from 3rd Avenue to York Avenue,  I came upon a sign for a beer that I had not heard of in years – Knickerbocker. It reminded me that this area of Yorkville once had several breweries, one of which was familiar to me – Ruppert’s  Knickerbocker Brewery. Later, when I researched the 58195_georgeehretshellgatebrewery_0area I found another  brewery, one  I had had never heard of called the Hell Gate Brewery. It was once the largest brewery in the United States and named for a section of the nearby East River.

When the breweries were operating, this area was known for its “streets that smelled like beer”. Today, the area+ is now comprised of a few apartment buildings, parking garages, a small park, a pet store, a Chase bank, and a grocery store.

I probably could do a complete story on the History of Yorkville but I will only focus upon the owner of the Ruppert Brewery – Colonel Jacob Ruppert.


Jacob Ruppert

Colonel “Jake” Ruppert while having a popular beer company also was known as the owner of a major league baseball team The New York Yankees.


1936 Logo

So, let’s go back to walking down East 92nd Street.  To my surprise, I found, in a parking garage, a series of large color photos of the Ruppert brewery and the Yankees.


Also, Colonel Ruppert himself in the twilight of his glory days, pictured with Babe Ruth.



Here are some of the pictures hanging with the garage/

It’s enough to give me hope that the story of the old New York beer and baseball is not totally dead but kept in small out of way places throughout our country.

Some added notes

  • Often overlooked was that Lou Gehrig and Joe Dimaggio played during Ruppert’s ownership.
  • Made by the Ruppert Brewery, Knickerbocker was the official beer of the New York Giants knick-giants-coaster(Baseball not football), a bit ironic given that Jacob Ruppert, was the owner of the New York Yankees during the heyday of Ruth and Gehrig. He attempted to purchase theNew York Giants on numerous occasions.
  • While he was the owner of the Yankees, he built Yankee Stadium. It would be the first ballpark to be referred to as a stadium.
  • p593264292-3stadium

    Yankee Stadium (old)

  • Ruppert was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in July 2013.
  • In 1912 he was offered an opportunity to purchase the Chicago Cubs, but decided that Chicago was too far away from New York.
  • In 1929, Ruppert added numbers to the Yankees’ uniforms, which became a feature of every team. He said, “Many fans do not attend games on a regular basis and cannot easily pick out the players they have come to see.”
  • A dubious story says that he is responsible for the Yankees’ famous pinstriped uniforms; according to this account, Ruppert chose pinstripes in order to make the often-portly Ruth appear less obese. In actuality the Boston Red Sox first sported pinstripes for their road uniforms in 1907, five years before the Yankees.

Extra Trivia

The 92nd street area was also a significant but scattered Irish population that included James Cagney who grew up on East 96th Street.

Colonel Jacob Ruppert lived in New York City and had homes in Garrison (Eagles Nest) and Rhinebeck (Linwood) New York. He was a frequent customer at Foster’s Tavern in Rhinebeck NY.


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NYC – French Cartoons

The Cooper Union exhibit, which just closed, featured a selection of French comics, presented through images highlighting the role of architecture in both the design and narrative style of Franco-Belgian comics.

Let me begin by acknowledging my total ignorance of French-Belgium Comics and my inability to read or speak French. So then why did I enjoy this exhibit? I was fascinated by the look of the characters and the graphics of the comic strips. Had I been able to read French I am sure I would have enjoyed them even more.


Two friends that probably would make the following a much better read are

Todd Dezago an American comic book writer. Todd is best known the creator-owned fantasy series Tellos. Note, I believe it is now being published in France.
 Theadora Brack an author and writer living in Paris, Theo takes her readers on a spree where they’ll get to experience “another Paris” Often finding very interesting and not-so-well-known photographs and stories.
Contrary to the USA, comic strips in France are not considered a minor form of entertainment you present to children or you read on the train. They are seen as a form of literature and treated as such. In French comic strips or cartoons are called “Bandes Dessinees” in short BD


A Franco-Belgian story : there is a long tradition of co-production of comic strips between France and Belgium and it’s hard to tell which cartoonist or which publisher is one or the other.




I offer the following images for you to look at and enjoy. I decided not to add any narrative as it would only be copying from Google.



Pierre Culliford, known as Peyo, was a Belgian comics artist, perhaps best known for the creation of The Smurfs comic strip.

img_4290 img_4281 img_4277



img_4289 img_4286 img_4280 img_4288








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NYC – The Day of the Dead

 This weekend walking by St. Mark’s Church in the East Village I ventured into their courtyard to find a celebration called “Dia de Murtos” or The Day of Dead – it  is a time to honor and revere deceased family members and ancestors.
 It was the first time I had heard of this celebration.
In Mexico and other Latin American countries, Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festivities run from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2.
They believe that the gates of heaven are opened at midnight on October 31, and the spirits of all deceased children (angelitos) are allowed to reunite with their families for 24 hours. On November 2, the spirits of the adults come down to enjoy the festivities that are prepared for them.Celebrations are bright and lively, in belief that the souls of the dead are still alive and can return home annually during this time.  Nov. 1 is the Day of the Innocents to pay tribute to deceased infants.
To celebrate, people built altars, called ofrendas, to the dead. The altars incorporate photos of the deceased, their possessions, sugar skull decorations (see below) and their favorite food and beverages, including pan de muertos (“bread of the dead”). Altars also feature orange marigolds, the Aztec’s flower of the dead. It is used to attract souls to their altar.


Skull imagery is central to Día de los Muertos celebrations, with people painting their faces in ornate skulls and buying or making sugar skulls.
The Sugar Skull Tradition
Sugar art was brought to the New World by Italian missionaries in the 17th century. The first Church mention of sugar art was from Palermo at Easter time when little sugar lambs and angels were made to adorn the side altars in the Catholic Church.

Actual Sugar Skull made of sugar

Mexico, abundant in sugar production and too poor to buy fancy imported European church decorations, learned quickly from the friars how to make sugar art for their religious festivals. Clay molded sugar figures of angels, sheep and sugar skulls go back to the Colonial Period 18th century.
Sugar skulls represented a departed soul, had the name written on the forehead and was placed on the home ofrenda or gravestone to honor the return of a particular spirit. Sugar skull art reflects the folk art style of big happy smiles, colorful icing and sparkly tin and glittery adornments.
Sugar skulls are labor intensive and made in very small batches in the homes of sugar skull makers. These wonderful artisans are disappearing as fabricated and imported candy skulls take their place.
 It is more of a cultural holiday than a religious one. It is a wonderful way to celebrate the memories of our loved ones who are now gone… through art, cooking, music, building ofrendas, doing activities with our children, we can recount family stories, fun times and lessons learned… not how the person died, but how they lived.
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