Thursday, January 31, 2013

New London and Fading American Dreams

American Dreams Don't Come True Easily in New London, CT Anymore

I went to New London, Connecticut to see what I could see. It's a former whaling town, and it was a bustling port in the 19th century. Today, just from the atmosphere in town, I would guess that it's struggling.

But it has a public library, with interesting architecture.

The library also has a new wing, and this sculpture is just outside its door, commemorating the city's whaling history.

St. Mary, Star of the Sea church.

The picturesque doorway to a house built in 1842. More on New London in the next post.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Little Italy and the American Dream

What American Dreams Have Been Dreamt in Little Italy?

For me, the name "Little Italy" in New York City evokes the image of mobsters sitting in the back rooms of restaurants plotting each other's murders. But I'm sure more wholesome American Dreams have been dreamt there, worked toward, and some realized.

Even the fire hydrants in Little Italy boast of the Italian heritage.

My son's girlfriend stands on the steps of a church in Little Italy.

Little Italy was lit up for the holidays. Restaurants bedecked themselves in tiny white lights.

An apartment building sported a three-story Christmas tree of lights.

The food inside just had to be good, don't you think?

An angel ready to keep outdoor diners company. 
What do you think of when you think of Little Italy?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

NYC: Downtown & Chinatown

American Dreams in Chinatown

I explored downtown NYC with my son's friends from Costa Rica, trying to see the city through their new eyes. We wanted to visit the World Trade Center memorial, but the line was so long. People stood in the cold, waiting for hours.  I settled for a moment's meditation in Trinity Church and a shot of the Freedom Tower, arising on the trade center site. Our day in New York concluded in Chinatown and Little Italy (which will appear in the next blog).

One World Trade Center as of one week ago.

A government building and curious sculpture downtown, near City Hall.

New York County Supreme Court building at 60 Centre Street, another imposing government building.

A trip to Chinatown isn't complete without seeing the ducks and chickens hanging in restaurant windows.

A souvenir store that captures the essence of the East in the West.

A vendor sold origami mobiles on the dark, cold street.

A customer points to what she wants at the Taipan Bakery on Canal Street. The bakery specializes in Western classics with a Chinese twist. The bakery was packed; it's a very successful business making somebody's American Dream come true.

Friday, January 11, 2013

NYC Dreams and Lights

Lights that Evoke the American Dream

Rockefeller Center in New York City celebrates the dreams and lights of Christmas in over-the-top fashion, which is perfectly normal in New York, where people dream big.

The angels with their trumpets line the plaza to the tree.

The tree in bedazzling splendor.

The skaters, and the golden angel fountain.

White LED lights and gold flags.

My son's girlfriend outside a hotel near Rockefeller Center.

All signs of Christmas were already removed from Saks Fifth Avenue's windows.

But the entire facade of the Saks Fifth Avenue has been turned into a giant animated Christmas display.

In the windows of Saks, fabulous shoes.

I think I'll just slip into something uncomfortable.  But fabulous.

Near Rockefeller Center, an art gallery featuring a glass sculpture of tango dancers.

A smaller tango sculpture.