Sign of the times: Bodega’s had enough of that COVID-19 stuff

October 5, 2020

Everybody is weary of the COVID-19 shutdown. Some show their weariness by refusing to mask up, daring other people to call them out and daring the virus to put them down. Others show weariness in their no-nonsense ways of working to keep the virus at bay.

From an anonymous bodega in New York City (I think). Here with some risk of losing our “family-friendly” rating.

You have been warned!

Tip of the old scrub brush to jeffb on Twitter.

New York in time-lapse — a teaser

March 14, 2013

Another time-lapse film by Samuel Orr, this one on a city, “New York Day.”

I said it is a teaser.  Orr wants to do a longer film, but needs some financial backing to get it done.

Details here:

Please go to the Kickstarter project page and help support a longer version of this short film

I shot this film over 4 trips to NYC 2011-2012. The time-lapse sequences you see here were made (mostly) from hundreds of thousands of still images. A Canon 7D and T3i were the main cameras, with backup from a couple of older Nikon Coolpix 5000 point and shooters. A few clips are sped-up video.

Many thanks to the generosity of the musician/composer who allowed his great celtic track “Sawjig” to be used;
Ben Rusch aka Jasmine Brunch

For more info on this and other projects;


Tyson figures out how to make astronomy popular: Name it “Manhattanhenge,” watch the millions flock to see it

July 12, 2012

Sunrise over Stonehenge on the summer solstice...

Sunrise over Stonehenge on the summer solstice, June 21, 2005 — the analogy of Manhattan’s skyscrapers to the rocks of Stonehenge is obvious (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr. at the November 29, 2005 meeting of the NA...

Dr. Tyson at the November 29, 2005 meeting of the NASA Advisory Council, in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some time ago astronomy phenom Neil de Grasse Tyson mentioned the twice-a-year happenstance of the sun’s setting perfectly in line with New York City’s east-west gridded streets.  On many streets, on most streets, you can watch the sun all the way down to the horizon, between the massive “rocks” of Manhattan skyscrapers, almost like watching the solstices at Stonehenge.

Tyson called it “Manhattan henge.”

July 11, 2012, the crowds turn out to see the phenomenon.  How many years ago was it no one bothered to give it a second glance?

Have you seen it?

In your hometown or city, what dates would the sun set right down the east-west axis of some street, if there are any?

Manhattanhenge 2011 | The Commuter

Manhattanhenge 2011 | The Commuter (Photo credit: MichaelTapp)

Michael Tapp photographs a lot of stuff around Manhattan, and he also provided a link to an NPR Science Friday video in which Tyson explains the phenomenon.  So, go see Tapp’s work (hey, maybe buy some of it); and go see Tyson’s explanation.

Manhattanhenge on 42d Street - Bloomberg Businessweek photo - Xinhua News

The sun shines down 42nd Street in New York City at sunset during “Manhattanhenge,” May 30, 2011. Photographer: Xinhua News Agency/eyevine/Redux

According to Bloomberg/Businessweek:

On May 30 at 8:16 p.m. and again on July 11 at 8:24 p.m., Manhattanhenge reaches its point of perfection as the full setting sun aligns with the city’s grid of East-West streets, according to the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium. The best places to view the fiery canyon of skyscrapers are at 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd, 57th Streets. The Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building offer especially good views.

Manhattanhenge on 34th Street, by Chaitanya Kapadia / UGC

Manhattanhenge on 34th Street, by Chaitanya Kapadia / UGC – Here’s what Chaitanya Kapadia says about this picture: “I had set up on a nice spot right in the middle of 34th Street, between the double yellow lines with a few photographers wanting to get the Empire State Building in my shot. However, I should have anticipated photographers to just swarm the streets when the sun lined up with the grid. Minutes later, the police drove down the middle of the road, getting everyone out, which only meant stepping to the side until they passed you, and then right back. Took this using three exposures hand-held.”

Manhattanhenge, July 11, 2012, by Andy Dallos

Manhattanhenge, July 11, 2012, by Andy Dallos


Time lapse photos: NYC, before 1975

May 22, 2012

Why does time-lapse photography fascinate me so?  It reveals changes over time we too often miss, or don’t stop to appreciate.

Here’s an excerpt from a 1975 film, set to music recently released.  Watch closely, you’ll see the shadows of the World Trade Center passing over New York City.

Described at Youtube:

A music video for the gorgeous track “Exercise #3 (Building) by CFCF (Mike Silver). Song is from his upcoming EP titled “Exercises,” which arrives on April 24th via Paper Bag Records.

Footage is from the 1975 short film “Organism,” by Hilary Harris.

For more on CFCF:

edited by


Tip of the old scrub brush to Slacktivist.

Does this photograph show Teddy Roosevelt at Lincoln’s funeral procession?

February 22, 2010

1865 - Lincoln's funeral procession; Passing the (Cornelius) Roosevelt Mansion, sw corner 14th Street, Broadway, view looking North on Broadway

1865 – Lincoln’s funeral procession; Passing the (Cornelius) Roosevelt Mansion, sw corner 14th Street, Broadway, view looking North on Broadway – Flickr image from Stratis

See the house on the corner, at the left?  Look at the second story, at the window on the side of the house facing the camera.  Is that young Theodore Roosevelt watching Lincoln’s funeral procession?

Stratis, who posted this photo at Flickr, added the note at that window:

6 year old, Theodore Roosevelt watches Abraham Lincoln’s funeral procession from an upstairs window of his grandfather, Cornelius Roosevelt’s mansion on Union Square with his younger brother Elliott and a friend.  Teddy lived at 28 East 20th Street.

Is that accurate?  Is that his grandfather’s house?  I assume that it is not 28 East 20th Street, which is where he was born and the house of his father.

A timeline of TR’s life said he watched the passing funeral entourage:

  • 1865  –  Watches Abraham Lincoln’s funeral procession from an upstairs window of his grandfather’s house on Union Square, New York City. With him are his younger brother Elliott and a friend named Edith Kermit Carow.

Interesting intersection of history.  This would probably be the only meeting of Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, though Teddy almost certainly knew Lincoln’s sole surviving son, Robert, pretty well.  Both were in Buffalo when William McKinley was assassinated; Robert Lincoln, having lived through his father’s assassination, and then been present at the assassinations of James Garfield and McKinley, declined an invitation to Roosevelt’s inauguration in 1905, not wishing to extend one of the oddest bad luck streaks ever imaginable.

Can you add details about the photo?


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Sources: Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, and Trial

November 28, 2009

More than just as tribute to the victims, more than just a disaster story, the Triangle Shirtwaist Co. fire, and the following events including the trial of the company owners, lay out issues students can see clearly.  I think the event is extremely well documented and adapted for student projects.  In general classroom use, however, the event lays a foundation for student understanding.

A couple of good websites crossed my browser recently, and I hope you know of them.

Cartoon about 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, New York Evening Journal, March 31

Cartoon about 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, New York Evening Journal, March 31, 1911

Events around the fire illuminate so much of American history, and of government (which Texas students take in their senior year):

  • Labor issues are obvious to us; the incident provides a dramatic backdrop for the explanation of what unions sought, why workers joined unions, and a sterling example of a company’s clumsy and destructive resistance to resolving the workers’ issues.
  • How many Progressive Era principles were advanced as a result of the aftermath of the fire, and the trial?
  • Effective municipal government, responsive to voters and public opinion, can be discerned in the actions of the City of New York in new fire codes, and action of other governments is clear in the changes to labor laws that resulted.
  • The case provides a dramatic introduction to the workings and, sometimes, misfirings of the justice system.
  • With the writings from the Cornell site, students can climb into the events and put themselves on the site, in the courtroom, and in the minds of the people involved.
  • Newspaper clippings from the period demonstrate the lurid nature of stories, used to sell newspapers — a working example of yellow journalism.
  • Newspapers also provide a glimpse into the workings of the Muckrakers, in the editorial calls for reform.
  • Overall, the stories, the photos, the cartoons, demonstrate the workings of the mass culture mechanisms of the time.

Use the sites in good education, and good health.

Box of surprises

January 29, 2009

Check it out — there be good stuff.

For example, abundant sources of information and especially images on the history of New York City can be found here.  It’s in directory form, so you may need to click once more to get what you need — but so far, everything I’ve clicked works, and it always seems to go to a good site.

New York state resources, here.

The U.S. history portion is not working yet.

And you thought your school is a lousy place to work . . .

January 11, 2009

NYC Educator tells the story:  Teachers, denied parking permits, park on the street — legally.

School day starts.  City crews show up, post brand new “no parking signs.”

Cops show up.  Cops ticket teachers’ cars.

$150 to park for the day.

Do you love education?  Do you support teachers?  Write to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  Tell him to investigate, and to establish justice:

You may contact me directly by writing, calling, faxing or e-mailing:

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
City Hall
New York, NY 10007
PHONE 311 (or 212-NEW-YORK outside NYC)

FAX (212) 788-2460


I hope you will visit regularly as we continue to update the site with information about new happenings throughout New York City.


Good teachers leave education every day.  When I talk to them about it, these little insults boil up, and boil over.  The small insults add up.  These are the things that, left uncorrected, hammer away at the foundations of education.  Does New York respect teachers, and want good schools?  Let New York show it.

Geography lesson: New York City

November 19, 2008

Bookmark this site, geography teachers:  Farm School is going to New York City for the “American Thanksgiving” holiday.  Check out the long list of rich resources.

Any student or teacher doing a project on modern New York City should send a note of Thanksgiving to Farm School, eh?

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