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Showing posts with label New York City. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New York City. Show all posts

Saturday, 30 March 2019

Big City Nights (Da Funk)

Big City Nights Bus Stop

Location: New York, New York, USA
Address: 139 2nd Ave #1
Date: January 2019
Website:  daftpunk.com

  Daft Punk caught the world's attention with their single Da Funk back in 1996.  It was a purely instrumental song with a driving beat and funky synthesizers.  The music video directed by Spike Jonze brought even more attention.  The video was a short film called Big City Nights. In the video, Da Funk played in the background behind the dialogue.

Orpheum Theatre where Stomp has played since 1994.

  We were watching the music video for Da Funk and after the dog missed his bus (more on the video's plot later) we noticed something.   Down the street we could see a sign for the musical percussion peformance group STOMP.  In New York, STOMP has been performing at the Orpheum Theatre since 1994.  They are still going strong after more than 10,000 performances.

Deutsches Dispensary

  We did some research and found that a large part of the music video was filmed in New York's East Village on 2nd Avenue near the Ottendorfer Library.  The building was built in 1883 and one part is the library and another part is the Deutsches Dispensary (pictured above).  The building does not make an appearance in the video but its bus stop does as do some of the surrounding buildings.

  The video follows Charles the dog as he hobbles through the street on crutches.  All the while his boom box with a broken volume knob is blasting Da Funk.  Charles is not a real dog but an actor in a costume.  Daft Punk also like to hide behind costumes and usually appear in public dressed as robots.  Charles tries to take a survey, buys a two dollar book called Big City Nights and eventually runs into an old neighbour.

East Village Meat Market

  Charles the dog runs into Beatrice inside a variety store and they walk out into the street.  Beatrice invites Charles to "come with" for dinner downtown.  Charles agrees.  They wait for a bus outside of the East Village Meat Market.  The gold door on the left looks about the same but the white door (pictured above) used to also be gold back in the 90s. 

East Village Ukranian Restaurant

  We know this is the right place as across the road is a restaurant.  You can see the words Ukranian Restaurant reflected in the window behind Charles.

A Bus Travels Along 2nd Ave. Just Like In Daft Punk's Da Funk Video.

  A bus pulls up and Beatrice gets on.  Charles wants to follow her but sees a sign stating "No Radios. No Smoking. No Spitting".  Now he must choose between his music and a girl.   The bus closes its doors and drives away.  Charles hobbles down the street alone.

Map of Our World
Post # 246

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Year of The Pig

Chinese Zodiac Pig Sign
  1. Hawaiian Pigs
  2. Babirusa
  3. CNE Pigs
  4. Miss Piggy
  5. Miss Piggy
  6. Red River Hog
  7. Tamworth Pigs
  8. Pig Pot at the ROM
  9. Pigman at the Campbell House
  10. Warthogs
  People born in the Year of the Pig are said to be thoughtful, polite, reliable, courageous and ready to help others.  They can also be naive, and self-indulgent.  2019 is the Year of the Pig according to the Chinese zodiac.  To celebrate here are 10 of our favourite swine encounters. Oink Oink.

1 ) Hawaiian Pigs
Mini Pigs At Dan's Green House in Maui

Dan's Green House is located in the town of Lahaina, on the island of Maui, in Hawaii.  They have exotic plants and rare birds as well as mini pigs.  We got a chance to spend some time with these two little guys.  Aren't they just the cutest?

2)  Babirusa
Babirusa with a keeper at the Toronto Zoo.

Speaking of cute, we are sorry but babirusa are just the opposite.  They have long legs, weird curvy tusks and look like all of their hair just fell out.  They are only found on a few islands in Indonesia and are unforgettable.  We saw this pair at the Toronto Zoo.

3)  CNE Pigs
Pig feeding her litter at Canadian National Exhibition.

When the Canadian National Exhibition comes to Toronto at the end of each summer so does "The Farm".  You can experience the sights and smells of livestock.  There are always lots of pigs and usually one big sow who spends her day constantly feeding her litter of piglets.

4)  Miss Piggy
Miss Piggy in Wedding Gown at Museum of The Moving Image.

In Queens, New York the Museum of the Moving Image has a Jim Henson Exhibition.  Miss Piggy is one of our favourite Muppets and favourite pigs.  Here she is in her wedding gown ready for her big day.

5)  Miss Piggy
Miss Piggy Plane crash site in Churchill Manitoba.

This Miss Piggy is a crashed freight plane.  It can be found in Churchill, Manitoba still sitting where it crashed in 1979.  Miss Piggy the Muppet made her debut in 1974.  We have read that the plane is named after Miss Piggy because it was overloaded or it once carried a cargo of pigs.

Front of Miss Piggy Plane in Churchill Manitoba.

 We think it should be called Miss Piggy because of its flat snout.

Miss Piggy plane engine in Churchill Manitoba.

  By the way Miss Piggy, your engine is way over here.  Also watch out for polar bears hiding amongst the rocks and wreckage.

6)  Red River Hog
Red River Hog At The Toronto Zoo.

The red river hog is a colourful African pig.  We like its whiskers and red coat.  It turns out that we have a fondness for animals with red coloured fur.

7)  Tamworth Pigs
Tamworth Pigs At Riverdale Farm.

Based on our previously professed love of red furred anuimals you can see why we like Tamworth pigs.  They are one of the oldest breeds of pigs.  You can also see the curly little tail in the photo above that makes pigs even more appealing.  These pigs are from Toronto's Riverdale Farm.


8)  Pig Pot at the ROM
Pig Shaped Pot At The Royal Ontario Museum

This pig shaped vessel was at the Royal Ontario Museum.  We imagine it could be filled with some sort of liquid which could then be poured out of the spout in the snout.  We didn't make note of what was listed as its intended purpose and often the museum uncovers artifacts whose purpose is only assumed.

9 ) Pigman at the Campbell House
Campbell House Museum.

We took this photo of the Campbell House Museum in Toronto.  The Campbell House was built in 1822 and was actually moved to where it sits today.  Looking at our photo later we noticed something odd.

Man Dressed Like A Pig At The Campbell House in Toronto

There was a well dressed pig man on the grounds.  We hope he was there for an event or promotion at the museum. 

10 ) Warthogs
Warthogs At A Waterhole In Greater Kruger Park.

We took a trip to Africa and encountered many wild warthogs.  We watched them come and go at a waterhole in Greater Kruger in South Africa.  We also watched them mow the lawn in Zimbabwe beside the mighty Zambezi River.

A Warthog Kneels On The Grass At A'Zambezi Lodge.

Because warthogs have such short necks they usually have to kneel down on their front legs to eat grass.  In the video below, various African animals eat beside a waterhole until the warthogs come and take over.


New Year Celebrations At Scarborough Town Centre.

  That is our list of favourite pigs.  We took part in some celebrations at the Scarborough Town Centre for the Chinese New Year.  You can celebrate and enjoy pigs all year long.


Map of Our World
Post # 241

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

TAO Downtown

TAO Sign Manhattan

Location: New York, New York, USA
Address:  92 9th Avenue
Date: November 2014
Website:  taodowntown.com

  We arrived at TAO Downtown on a busy weekend evening.  TAO offers Asian cuisine like dim sum, sushi and more all in a mysterious setting.  We encountered a long corridor which was lit by candles.  We slowly moved down the dark corridor towards our dining destination.

TAO New York Elephant Sculpture.
Crouching Statues TAO New York

  Tucked in behind the candles were different sculptures and artwork.  Sitting men and elephants watched us as we made our way deeper into the restaurant.

TAO New York Reclining Buddha.

  We turned a corner and there was a reclining Buddha.  According to TAO's website, the Buddha’s position signifies tranquility and serenity that comes with enlightenment and represents the final passage into Nirvana.

TAO's Impressive Dining Room.

We turned around again and found ourselves at the top of a grand staircase looking out across the restaurant.  It felt like we were entering a large temple.  We were led down the staircase to the main dining area below.

Quan Yin Statue At TAO New York.

  At the far end of the dining room stands Quan Yin.  Quan Yin is the goddess of compassion and has 24 hands.

Quin Yin at TAO New York in Blue
 Quin Yin TAo New York in Colours
 Quin Yin TAO New York in Yellow.

  3D projection makes Quin Yin appear in different colours and outfits.  At some points it looked as if birds were flying past her or if a waterfall was flowing over her.  All of this and we haven't even ordered our food yet.

Little Man Chopstick Holder.
Little Man Chopstick Holder.

  Our group ordered various items from the menu and everyone was pleased.  We also loved the cute little chopstick holder man even if he was a bit cheeky.  After our meal we climbed back out of TAO's temple and into the busy Manhattan streets having had a memorable dinner adventure.

Three Sisters Statue at TAO New York.

Map of Our World
TAO Downtown

Post # 240

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Meet Joe Black At Mike's PAPAYA

Be Careful Crossing The Street At 23rd And Lexington.

Location: New York City, New York, USA
Address:  132 E 23rd Street
Date: Nov 2014

  One of the most memorable scenes in Meet Joe Black is how Joe Black actually became Joe Black.  Susan (Claire Forlani) meets a young man (Brad Pitt) at a coffee shop and they are both smitten.  As they walk away each of them turns several times to say something but they never do.

I Just Saw Brad Pitt.  Which Way Did He Go?  That Way, No Wait The Other Way.
 
  Brad stops once more in the middle of a busy intersection.  This is East 23rd Street in Manhattan.  He would be crossing in the far right crosswalk of the photo above. A car almost hits his bag and he steps back.  He bounces off a van and then again over a yellow New York City cab.   You will have to watch the whole movie to see if he survived.

Mike's PAPAYA and PIZZA.

  At the time of filming this scene, there was a pizza place we think was called the Gramercy Eatery.  For filming purposes it looks like they put up a brown banner to cover over the restaurant name. When we arrived to take our photos it was now Mike's PAPAYA and there was a slightly different green pizza sign mounted on the building.  This is now another lost filming location as the whole building has been torn down and replaced.

Met Life Tower, Not the Met Life Building.
 
  The middle of the road where all the action took place is still there.  This is where Brad Pitt, a dummy and some CGI all worked to bring this scene together.  The building you can see down the street is the Metropolitan Life Tower located beside Madison Park. While you are visiting New York be very careful and never stop in the middle of a busy street.  Even if you thought you saw Brad Pitt, wait until you are safely on the curb before looking back.


Map of Our World
Mike's PAPAYA

Post # 211

Monday, 5 September 2016

White Castle

Because being bad news is what we're all about.

Location: New York, New York, USA
Address: 89-03 57th Ave
Date: Jan 2009
Website:  www.whitecastle.com

  We went to White Castle and we got thrown out!  Oh no, that wasn't us, that was the Beastie Boys.  We went to White Castle because we had a craving.  It wasn't quite like the craving Harold and Kumar experience in the movie Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle, but we were hungry.  Harold & Kumar have a series of misadventures before finally getting their long awaited burgers.  We just hopped in the car with some friends and drove to the nearest location to pick up a Crave Case.

The Crave is Calling.  From a Rotary Dial phone.

  A Crave Case is a cardboard suitcase filled with 30 of White Castle's signature burgers.  Their tiny steamed burgers made with onions and a pickle are the original slider.  White Castle was formed in 1921 and was the first fast food hamburger chain in the world.  After spending a cold, January day in New York, we polished off our whole case of burgers.  They really hit the spot. 

I haven't been to White Castle in ages.  You sure you know how to get there?

  The movie Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle was set in New Jersey, but in reality the building where Harold & Kumar lived is in Toronto, Canada. It is located just a few blocks south of St. Clair West and Avenue Road. There have never been any White Castle restaurants in Canada so for the full experience you would have to cross the border into the United States. The good news is that some grocery and convenience stores in Canada sell frozen White Castle burgers. That means you could pick up some burgers at the Longo's near Avenue and St. Clair and walk down to Edmund Ave. You could then enjoy your burger in front of the fictional apartment from the movie. That is if you can also find a microwave first.


This location is near Summerhill subway. Visit other Toronto TTC stations.

Map of Our World
Mayfair Mansions
White Castle (Elmhurst, NY)

Post # 131