A year in photos

I read about this project a while back and told myself I would start on January 1st, 2010. New year, new decade. Every day you take a picture of something, anything. New events, new friends, new food, the change in seasons, the change in me. I don't know yet if I'll post the pictures here, maybe a couple here and there, if I should keep a seperate blog for all of them, or just keep them filed away for myself. Maybe I'll post once a month with all 30 photos for that month. Something to think about.

For those who aren't familiar with the project, you can read about it here

Everyone have a safe and happy New Year!


New Year's Eve

One of the many great things about New York City is that we get the biggest and most watched New Year's Eve celebration. In preparation (2010 is only mere days away!) I figured I'd take you through the history of our famous event.

History of the Times Square New Year's Eve and the Infamous Ball

New York in 1904 was a city on the verge of tremendous changes - and, not surprisingly, many of those changes had their genesis in the bustling energy and thronged streets of Times Square. Two innovations that would completely transform the Crossroads of the World debuted in 1904: the opening of the city's first subway line, and the first-ever celebration of New Year's Eve in Times Square. This inaugural bash commemorated the official opening of the new headquarters of The New York Times. The impressive Times Tower, marooned on a tiny triangle of land at the intersection of 7th Avenue, Broadway and 42nd Street, was at the time Manhattan's second-tallest building -- the tallest if measured from the bottom of its three massive sub-basements, built to handle the heavy weight demands of The Times' up-to-date printing equipment.

The building was the focus of an unprecedented New Year's Eve celebration. Ochs spared no expense to ensure a party for the ages. An all-day street festival culminated in a fireworks display set off from the base of the tower, and at midnight the joyful sound of cheering, rattles and noisemakers from the over 200,000 attendees could be heard, it was said, from as far away as Croton-on-Hudson, thirty miles north along the Hudson River.

Two years later, the city banned the fireworks display - but Ochs was undaunted. He arranged to have a large, illuminated seven-hundred-pound iron and wood ball lowered from the tower flagpole precisely at midnight to signal the end of 1907 and the beginning of 1908.

In 1914, The New York Times outgrew Times Tower and relocated to 229 West 43rd Street. By then, New Year's Eve in Times Square was already a permanent part of our cultural fabric.

New Year's Eve Ball, 1978. Photo credit - The New York Times

The first balls:

The first New Year's Eve Ball, made of iron and wood and adorned with one hundred 25-watt light bulbs, was 5 feet in diameter and weighed 700 pounds. It was built by a young immigrant metalworker named Jacob Starr, and for most of the twentieth century the company he founded, sign maker Artkraft Strauss, was responsible for lowering the ball.

As part of the 1907-1908 festivities, waiters in the fabled "lobster palaces" and other deluxe eateries in hotels surrounding Times Square were supplied with battery-powered top hats emblazoned with the numbers "1908" fashioned of tiny light bulbs. At the stroke of midnight, they all "flipped their lids" and the year on their foreheads lit up in conjunction with the numbers "1908" on the parapet of the Times Tower lighting up to signal the arrival of the new year.

The Ball has been lowered every year since 1907, with the exceptions of 1942 and 1943, when the ceremony was suspended due to the wartime "dimout" of lights in New York City. Nevertheless, the crowds still gathered in Times Square in those years and greeted the New Year with a minute of silence followed by the ringing of chimes from sound trucks parked at the base of the tower - a harkening-back to the earlier celebrations at Trinity Church, where crowds would gather to "ring out the old, ring in the new."

In 1920, a 400 pound ball made entirely of wrought iron replaced the original. In 1955, the iron ball was replaced with an aluminum ball weighing a mere 200 pounds. This aluminum Ball remained unchanged until the 1980s, when red light bulbs and the addition of a green stem converted the Ball into an apple for the "I Love New York" marketing campaign from 1981 until 1988. After seven years, the traditional glowing white Ball with white light bulbs and without the green stem returned to brightly light the sky above Times Square. In 1995, the Ball was upgraded with aluminum skin, rhinestones, strobes, and computer controls, but the aluminum ball was lowered for the last time in 1998.

The 2000-2007 Waterford Crystal ball

The Times Square New Year's Eve Ball 2000-2007

For Times Square 2000, the millennium celebration at the Crossroads of the World, the New Year's Eve Ball was completely redesigned by Waterford Crystal. The new crystal Ball combined the latest in technology with the most traditional of materials, reminding us of our past as we gazed into the future and the beginning of a new millennium.
The Ball was a geodesic sphere, six feet in diameter, and weighed approximately 1,070 pounds. It was covered with a total of 504 Waterford crystal triangles that varied in size and ranged in length from 4.75 inches to 5.75 inches per side.

The new LED crystal ball

The New New Year's Eve Ball

The new Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball is a 12 foot geodesic sphere, double the size of previous Balls, and weighs 11,875 pounds. Covered in 2,668 Waterford Crystals and powered by 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDS, the new Ball is capable of creating a palette of more than 16 million vibrant colors and billions of patterns producing a spectacular kaleidoscope effect atop One Times Square.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of people still gather around the Tower, now known as One Times Square, and wait for hours in the cold of a New York winter for the famous Ball-lowering ceremony. Thanks to satellite technology, a worldwide audience estimated at over one billion people watches the ceremony each year. The lowering of the Ball has become the world's symbolic welcome to the New Year.

All info from Times Square Alliance


The holidays are over

Phew, so I made it through Christmas intact! I hope everyone had an amazing time and you're all getting warmed up for the new decade. I figured I'd just leave you with two quick pictures from my holiday

It's a terrible picture, but we have an artificial black Christmas tree. We try and always decorate monochromatically, so this year was all about the red, black and white.

Me and my hubby. Unfortunately I was getting ready to go out and you can't see my great 40s dress, but there is my favorite cashmere sweater with black fur collar and rhinestone buttons. You also can't go wrong with a holiday headband and ornament earrings!


One more sleep until Christmas!!!

I can't believe Christmas is almost here. After fighting past the tourists daily on the streets, braving the cold for some holiday market excitement, and our giant snowstorm last weekend it's finally almost here.

I hope everyone has a merry holiday and spends it surrounded by love, I know I will.


Doctors and Nurses

I don't like going to the doctor's at all. I don't like needles, having my blood drawn, the smell in the offices, all their questions, and I especially don't like the idea that there could be something wrong with me.
Unfortunately I've had some problems lately and I don't have a choice anymore and have an appointment tomorrow. Last time it equaled hospital visit + neurologist and not really any relief, so I'm trying to keep my mind off of it. I figured what better way than with some quality eye candy - this time with a little medical spin.

Shall we?

Two lovely Red Cross nurses. Could you imagine someone helping you in that outfit? They look much lovelier than what I'm used to, and I'll take 'em!  Picture from here

Somehow I doubt I'd be comfortable getting doled out a prescription from here. I don't even like the jar that holds the tongue depressors! Bottles from here

Is it just me or does the girl look alot like Marilyn? The label says "General First Aid Kit, Johnson & Johnson", and the way she's on a stage makes me think maybe it was from a tv show where they did live ads? Lovely lady in spring-o-lators with robot from here

Let's hope my doctors don't look nearly as intrigued looking at my charts. Image from here

And because I can't do anything without a dose of art - one of my favorites, Richard Prince, did a whole series on Nurses. They're based on all the vintage books with nurses on the cover. I love them terribly.



I love ballet. In fact, I love most dancing in general and have often been sucked into those shows like "So You Think You Can Dance". It's really just amazing how graceful and powerful the human body can be. When I was younger I took all sorts of dance - ballet, tap, jazz, street dance - but ballet was always my love. I used to walk around my house in my pointe shoes and I dreamed of dancing in The Nutcracker. Alas, as many young dreams do, it fell by the wayside for far too long and I lost any chance of every really truly dancing.
A few months back I started taking ballet again, thankfully with other adults and in a low level class that doesn't cause much pressure for me. Surprisingly with my lack of grace I've actually fallen back into it pretty well and am loving every second of it.

I'm sure you're wondering where this rambling is leading - well I saw this trailer the other day for the movie "La danse - Le ballet de l'Opéra de Paris" and it made me really excited (this compounded on the fact that its super ballet season in NYC and all I really want to do is go back and see something again this year).

So in my love of ballet I thought I'd throw out some eye candy, including art related images since most people only know about Degas painting (and sculpting) ballerinas....

Picasso worked a lot with Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, including even creating set backdrops and costumes for a performance called "Parade".

The below image is of Pablo Picasso and his second wife Jacqueline trying to teach him to dance (in fact his first wife was a ballerina with Ballets Russes)...

The artist Oskar Schlemmer also did drawings and created costumes for the Triadisches Ballett (Triadic Ballet) in 1922.

Then, behold, pure vintage ballerina goodies for the eyes!

Is anyone else here a dancer or dance lover?


NYC Nostalgia Train

Every year I look forward to the nostalgia train. For those non-New Yorkers - every year during the month of December, the MTA runs an old train (it's cars from the 40s to the 70s) every Sunday on the V line. The timing is a bit tricky, unless you're like me and you happen to live right at the end of the line. The schedule gives the exact time the train will leave, and it sits there for a good 30 minutes before departing so you can get in all your ooh-ing and aah-ing and picture taking.

An old b&w subway map and hand painted doors just below a Viceroy cigarettes ad!

Lucille Ball in an ad for Woodbury powder

Last year I missed all the trains and this year, of course, I get it on a day when I'm not prepared for it. I was of course wearing vintage except for my black and white spectators which are actually Steve Madden, but I still didn't feel dressed enough for it. Maybe another Sunday before it ends, I think I have 3 left! I need to get a good photo of the ceiling fans!

In case you want to ride the train as well, you can get the times it leaves from both ends of the line here. Give about 2 minutes between each stop on the line should you want to catch it from somewhere else.


Eyewear for the ages

I love any man who spends time to refine his look. I enjoy dandys, fops, cads, any of the types who really care about their appearance. This however, almost seems a bit ridiculous, even for me...

From the Telegraph UK:

Monocles to be sold on High Street

Vision Express, a chain of opticians, is to start selling the lenses after an unexpected spate of requests for monocles.

It believes most of the requests have come from young men wanting to ape the fashion of their grandfathers and great-grandfathers.

The eyepieces cost £50 and come with a metal frame, a pouch, and a string so the wearer ensures it stays around his or her neck if it slips.

Read more of the article here

Burton and a return

The entrance to the Burton exhibition....

It's hard to believe it's been since August that I have written in here. I did truly enjoy my blog (as I hoped others did as well), it's just that I got so darn busy!!

As I've mentioned before, I work for a large, world renowned museum. I LOVE my job, and sometimes it can get a little crazy in my life. For the past few months I have been working on the Tim Burton exhibition that recently opened and had an amazing good time. I think we reached around 700 pieces of drawings, costumes, figures, almost anything that you can think of. It was a lot of work, but it looks so amazing that it's truly worth having had to part with my lovely blog for a few months.

Since I didn't shoot pictures during install (except my one of me and Edward below) I had to find a couple pictures to show you all.

Me with Tim Burton wearing a vintage dress with little bicycle wheel design. (Helena Bonham Carter asked to touch it!!)

With the Edward Scissorhands costume. Those are my marching band pants and unfortunatley you can't see the super cute rhinestone sweater clip holding my sweater together or how great my curls looked piled on top of my head.

Our unofficial mascot - Balloon Boy

The blacklight carousel made specifically for the exhibition

You can see all about the exhibition including info on all the movie screenings on MoMA's website here