Walking New York

A fat lazy idiot tries to walk every street in Manhattan.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Day 38 Photos - Fallen Retail

Sometimes you cheer when a restaurant fails, especially when it's a Blimpies:

And sometimes it's a little sad, even though the place was overpriced and not that good, to know that in a couple months it'll just be another 42nd St. sneaker store:

The great Manhattan Bennigans experiment fails after less than a year:

Not exactly a Bennigans, but probably the saddest of all for fans of old New York (and Home Alone 2): The Plaza Hotel, which will reopen early in 2007 as a half-condo run by a hotel chain. It'll still be somewhat of a hotel, at least, but I remember hearing that they were auctioning off all the furniture and art, so what's going to be in it?

The final dead storefront is this prime retail space from 42nd St between 6th and 7th Avenues. Kind of a weird block, but I predict that just like Times Square is forever creeping up into the low 50s, touristy neon 42nd Street will keep edging east until it meets Grand Central sometime mid-century.

Day 38: There's Nothing Interesting About Midtown (5 miles)

I've tricked some people into paying me to do work sometimes, so I've gotten pretty busy lately. This walk, weaving through the midtown avenues, is from last Thursday. I have today off, so I'm going to walk soon, but it might not get posted until a few days from now. The process of uploading the photos, shrinking them in Photoshop, and posting them just takes a while sometimes.

Guy with Einstein wig on 34th St

Mattress store Sleepys, which usually occupies the space above hot dog stores, has this amazing showroom on 5th Avenue, with flat screen TVs looping women jumping happily on mattresses, and fancy designs. I'm impressed, but 1-800-MATTRESS still seems easier.

If you're an insomniac drunken college kid or a cab driver, chances are you recognize this spot, on the southwest corner of 53rd and 6th, just outside the blue Hilton monolith. It's the home of Chicken and Rice, amazing and popular street food open from around 8pm to 4am. The guy there in this picture is not the real Chicken and Rice, just some other cart that fills the space during the day, so don't fall for it. You can read more about Chicken and Rice on Wikipedia, and make sure to vote for them in the Vendys, where they got ripped off by the Hallo Berlin guy last year. And if you're ever hungry in the middle of the night and don't mind waiting in line, head to 53rd and 6th.

Food-driven diatribes aside, I passed this on 5th Ave in midtown, a posterboard of the NY papers' coverage of the JonBenet Ramsey case for some kind of Asian news show.

On Sixth Ave in the 50s, an office building has two pretty cool fountains with these globe water-spritzing things.

Did anyone else know there was a subway stop at 53rd and Broadway? I took one of the blue trains up, expecting that after 50th I'd get off at Columbus Circle. But whatever train I was on turned towards Queens and the next stop was this one. Weird.

The only Hooters in Manhattan, on 56th and Broadway, awkwardly crammed in above a parking garage. I've never been there, but obviously want to.