Photo essay: A questionable statue in Queens


I find it funny when people get really really mad at statues, particularly the 90-year-old “Triumph of Civic Virtue,” which has long endured nicknames like “Fat Boy” and “Cave Man” since it was set outside City Hall in Manhattan in 1922. Many call it sexist, as “virtue” is represented with a man triumphantly trampling a couple female figures (actually mermaids). Terry O’Neill, the … Continue reading

NYC Fact: David Lee Roth Walking Tour!

It’s a great walk. Beginning where David Lee Roth, way after leaving Van Halen, was busted trying to buy a $5 bag of pot in 1993, and ending at historic Cafe Wha?, two blocks south, where a reunited Van Halen played in January 2012. Cafe Wha? is owned by Manny Roth, David’s uncle. Whole thing takes about four minutes. You’ll love it. See … Continue reading

NYC Fact: Melville was a Terrible Travel Writer

Herman Melville is New York City’s greatest writer. He was born here, at 6 Pearl St (now indicated by a plain gray wall and a plaque tucked behind a towering skyscraper in Lower Manhattan) and died here after three decades of obscurity. Before he wrote “Moby-Dick,” he was desperate for “tobacco money,” so he turned to travel writing, capped in his 1849 book … Continue reading

NYC Fact: Woody Allen’s Bench

I likely moved to New York City because of Woody Allen films. The whole “Annie Hall” thing. But arguably his most famous New York scene is from 1979′s “Manhattan,” where Woody and Diane Keaton greet the dawn from a bench overlooking Queensboro Bridge. For the first time in over a dozen years in New York, I went over to look at it today. … Continue reading

NYC Fact: Midtown Oil Wells

NY-based German artist Josephine Meckseper created a couple 25-foot, Texas-inspired pumpjack oil well art sculptures, and plopped them in an empty lot on 46th St and Eighth Avenue, a block from Times Square. (See NY Times article.) I went by today to see them, and if I could record it all in 15 seconds, to fit in the Tout format. (YouTube calls it … Continue reading

NYC’s East River Ferry: Free to June 24

This week the East River Ferry has brought back regular ferry service to the 18-mile East River, which is a nice reminder that New York — down deep, away from skyscraper canyons — is a river city. New York was founded not because of the chunky rocks that glaciers pushed to present-day Central Park, but the Hudson and the East Rivers. The first … Continue reading