Morning Chat In The Manhattan Diner

IMG_0322 - Copy

Sadly this particular Manhattan Diner in Upper West Side is no longer there, though  there is another of the same name not far away on Broadway. We were staying across the road in the Beaux Arts style Hotel Belleclaire (much revamped in the last few years) and since they did not have a restaurant, we were advised to come here for breakfast along with their other guests. The place had a pleasing ease-yourself-into-the-day atmosphere, but what I liked most was that Upper West Side residents also came here every day for breakfast. I rather felt that this easy cross-the-aisle conversation had been continuing for years, morning after morning, familiar, but not too familiar.

Cee’s Catching People Unaware Challenge

Manhattan From The Staten Island Ferry

Our trip to New York a few years ago coincided with a heat wave. It was too hot to think or walk far from the iced coffee stalls in Central Park, or the cooling air conditioned corridors of the Met. The other best place to be was riding the Staten Island Ferry.  Nice breeze. Stunning views of Manhattan and dead cheap.


Thursday’s Special: please visit Paula and pick a word that inspires you. I’m going for ‘soaring’.

Night-time on Broadway ~ look out, the music’s escaped…

This week artist, Suzanne Miller, is Paula’s guest at Thursday’s Special, and she has challenged us to think and look at our photographs in a more abstract way. This photo was taken after a trip to the New York Ballet at the Lincoln Centre. I’m rather fond of ballet, and had been very much looking forward to the show, but after the first forty minutes, I was so bored I succumbed to rather more than forty winks. It was far more exciting out on Broadway.

To see Paula’s and others’ response to ‘abstract’ go to her post at Thursday’s Special


Black & White Sunday: Lining up in NYC

Grand central

It was just pure chance that made me look up as we were heading into Grand Central Terminal en route for the subterranean Oyster Bar. I was thus able to snap two landmarks in one – both the Terminal’s pediment and the top of the Chrysler Building. Between the two is the glassy face of the Grand Hyatt Hotel. We were not staying there I hasten to add,  but at the upcycled Beaux Arts Hotel Belleclaire on Broadway in Upper Westwide. I can recommend it. I can recommend the Oyster Bar too. On the day I took the photo it proved a haven in more ways that one. The sea food and Brooklyn beer were not only delicious, but the place was so COOL. Out on the streets there was May heat-wave going on with temperatures of  over 100 degrees. We had already spent most of our few days in the city sticking to the  shade in Central Park, and drinking copious glasses of iced coffee at the Loeb Boathouse cafe. Very good it was too, but there’s only so much of this you can do when you have come thousands of miles to see Manhattan. Finally we forced ourselves out into the baking streets …

By the way, this reflected framing of the shot is a feature of Windows Photo Gallery which I use for writing my blog posts. I thought I would try it out for Paula’s challenge.

copyright 2015 Tish Farrell

Paula’s Black & White Sunday: Lines

No More Dining at these New York Diners

“We simply don’t want to live in a world without old-school staples like rounded coffee counters, shiny stools, leather booths, jukeboxes, prefabricated stone or steel exteriors and black-and-white photos of “famous clientele” hanging on the walls”

Best of Gothamist


New York 248 New York 213

Manhattan Diner Upper West Side 2008


IMG_0359 IMG_0382 IMG_0357 IMG_0385 IMG_0384 IMG_0358 IMG_0360

Big Nick’s Upper West Side 2008


I’m posting these photos as a farewell to two New York diners. Being a bit of a food faddist (organic, unprocessed, no GMO), I never expected to like these places so much. Perhaps it was the sense of community that struck me most.  Big Nick’s closed its doors in July 2013, after fifty years in the business. Sad.  Though I have to say, some of  the decor on these shots looks as if it hasn’t been  ‘refreshed’ in all that time. The rather smarter Manhattan Diner, where we had breakfast while staying in Upper West Side’s Hotel Belleclaire, was  just across  the road from Big Nick’s, on the corner of Broadway and 77th. It was forced to close a few years ago to make way for development.

These diners were much loved and served neighbourhood locals and visitors 24/7. Perhaps they did  not offer the healthiest menus in the world, and dishes were served up with mega-portions. But fresh fruit and yoghourt at the Manhattan Diner made a delicious breakfast, to say nothing of their frittata. And all the coffee you could drink and huge glasses of iced water, and that feeling of being part of NYC even though we were strangers…

© 2014 Tish Farrell



Mao at the Met: a disturbing juxta-position?


“My idea of a good picture is one that’s in focus and of a famous person.”

Andy Warhol


New York 129

Mao Zedong by Andy Warhol (1928‑1987)

Metropolitan Museum of Art, Manhattan


Andy Warhol became interested in China in 1971. “I have been reading so much about China. They’re so nutty. They don’t believe in creativity. The only picture they ever have is of Mao Zedong. It’s great. It looks like a silkscreen”.

The following year he began work on the portrait, which grew into ten variations, all based on the portrait that appears in Little Red Book: the thoughts of Chairman Mao.

In 2012 the portraits were part of the touring art show ‘Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal’.  The exhibition, organised by the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, marked the 25th anniversary of Warhol’s death. The Mao portraits, however, did not make an appearance in either Beijing or Shanghai when the show went to Asia in 2013.  The official Chinese view was that the portraits were disrespectful in suggesting that the former leader wore make-up. All the same, Mao Zedong’s legacy is currently undergoing some re-evaluation in China. There are even admissions that mistakes were made. It is a start…


For more juxtapositions go to Weekly Photo Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge: UP (in NYC)

New York 200 (2)

Of course NYC has been a city on the rise ever since its origins as Dutch New Amsterdam in the seventeenth century. And when you visit Manhattan, what else can you do but look UP. This photo, though, was a true  happenstance shot: I just happened to look up as we were going into Grand Central Station.  Here are some more ‘up’ views. Guess the locations.

New York 049

New York 144

New York 208 - Copy

New York 179

New York 214

As the baseball caps and tee-shirts sold on every street corner would  have it: it’s hard not to love NYC; a city that led the way in up-ness.

© 2013 Tish Farrell