A typical New York City street scene will usually contain the following elements:
Hot Dog Cart – The city that doesn’t sleep does a lot of eating on the street. We have the newfangled gourmet food trucks or the less new and less gourmet, but still fangled (?), chicken over rice vendors. They have their place, but for authenticity you must have the old school NYC al fresco dining experience of a hot dog cart. Tip – when you hit the mean streets make sure you have your dirty water dog like a native – mustard, sauerkraut, and sweet onions in tomato sauce.
People Walking – Certainly, people walk in other places, but in NYC people are actually trying to get somewhere. This differs from, say, South Beach, Florida; where the point of walking (actually, more like strutting and posing) is to stay in place and be seen from all angles.
Bike Delivery Daredevils – The world comes to New York, and New Yorkers demand that the world’s cuisine comes to their door – quickly. Be careful crossing the street at lunchtime in midtown and after 6:00 pm everywhere else. You are likely to be run over by a delivery person riding a bicycle overloaded with bags of, anything from, African-Tib Wat to Vietnamese-Banh Mi.
Duane Reade Drug Stores. I have a soft spot in my heart for the independent pharmacist owed drugstore. My, beloved, Uncle Frank was one of them. After serving in WW II and thanks to the GI Bill, he went to school and became a Pharmacist. He set up shop in our community of St. Albans in Queens, New York. The customers were our friends and neighbors. I am a little nostalgic for those days, yet I confess I also love the big glossy Duane Reade Drug Stores that are on every block of this city. Sadly, the armies of pharmacists that work in these emporiums know by insurance carrier’s ID number better than they know my face, but I still like shopping there. I’m a kid in a candy store walking the aisles upon aisles of health and beauty products. They are always busy; proof positive that I’m not alone in my DR infatuation.
When I survey the urban landscape around me, the above items are there. They make up the familiar, the ever-present, and the usual for me and my fellow New Yorkers.
Last night my eyes landed on objects; at once, familiar to me yet unusual. In the middle of a large plot of land; in the bustling theater district; on lively restaurant row, on the island of “moneymaking” Manhattan, stood 2 oil pumps; chugging away. The unusual sight stopped me in my tracks and it halted the conversation I was having with my friend. People were rushing to the theater and dinner; not taking notice of this curiosity (in typical New York fashion). My friend and I negotiated traffic in order get across the street and take a closer look through the fence. It turned out to be an oil pump in appearance only and a piece of public art in actuality. Thanks to a QR code on the sign, I was able get information on the work. Click HERE to read about it.
For this weeks photo challenge I’m sharing pictures of this unusual piece of public art; sitting in an unusual location.
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