Sunday, December 23, 2012

New York Scene



I snapped this picture last night driving down Jamaica Avenue in Queens, New York.  I was attracted to the bright holiday lights, contrasting with the dark urban environment.  The scene is, I believe, visually arresting.  Do you like it?

I was returning home from an evening with friends at a historic bar, Neir's Tavern.  A small, overlooked establishment, Neir's Tavern is 180 years old.  Really.  It opened in 1829 and has been serving liquor ever since, even through Prohibition.

Mae West performed for the first time at Neir's.  W.C. Fields used to drink there.  The movie "Goodfellas" shot scenes there.

Historic places appeal to me, especially when you sense their age.  Touching the walls at Neir's gave me goosebumps.  It was like when I visited Sun Studio in Memphis and stood on the same worn floor-tiles that Elvis, Johnny Cash and other legends inhabited during their early recording days.

Have you ever been to a place that felt historic?

20 comments:

  1. I totally know what you mean by that. I love old, historic places that hold so many memories and so much rich history. It's as if you can feel it when you walk in. The bar you described sounds perfect-I would LOVE to visit!

    Merry Christmas, btw :)

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  2. That's so cool. I love old places. Most of my town was built during the Gold Rush era (late 1800s to 1920s) so a lot of the buildings still exist. When we traveled to Scotland and England, the age there is really apparent. Standing in a building that's over 500 years old is humbling.

    Thanks for your great pictures all year, Ally. I've really enjoyed seeing things as you see them.

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    1. Thank you for watching, Sheila! Having friends inspires me to go out and shoot more.

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  3. I love driving around and seeing the Christmas lights too (while blasting holiday music and singing real loud). I haven't been to many historic places, but I love hanging out in museums all day.

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  4. Hey, I also like this pic for the holiday lights and love historic sights! I like to visit the Distillery District in Toronto and live in the St. Lawrence/Old Toronto area so history is all around me. Happy Holiday!!

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  5. Aren't the holidays simply gorgeous! I love places that just transport you and trigger wonderful memories. I've also been driving around seeing Christmas lights, there's a particular area in MA that has these beautiful houses that are so nicely light! I forget the name but it's in the outskirts of town. I saw your beautiful car, it's wonderful and the seats are to die for!

    -Jazmin
    http://summerlilacs.blogspot.com

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  6. I certainly like that snap. The lighting is charmingly traditional, but the fact that you took it with with a camera phone (I'm guessing) really drives home a sense of modernity, too.

    I know exactly what you mean about the pull, allure, and spirit of spending time in (or around) old locations and buildings. It gives me goosebumps sometimes, too!


    Happiest holiday wishes, my friend!
    ♥ Jessica

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  7. Merry Christmas Ally!
    Hope you enjoy the holidays with your loved ones xoxo
    http://www.intotheblonde.com/

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  8. I love historic type places! The tavern sounds neat! Very cool photo too! Merry Christmas to you my friend!

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  9. I love pictures like that one.
    I love places with history. One of my favorite BBQ places is in a building from the late 1880's or so in the Historic Delano district of Wichita. It has such a wonderful "feel" that seems like home. Delano was one the other side of the river from Wichita and was where all the bars and ladies of the night resided. Cowboys had all their fun there and even Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson graced the area.
    Thank you for sharing all your beautiful, interesting pictures with us.
    Merry Christmas Ally!

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  10. yes, new orleans...the second i entered the streets i just knew i belonged there. i've only been that one time, but i left a bit of my heart there. i hope your holidays are wonderful and full of love!

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  11. I love places like that, especially fun and historic pubs. Great night shot! Happy, happy holidays to you! xo

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  12. I like it! I hope you had a lovely Christmas.

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  13. Hi Ally,

    Thank you so much for the Christmas card ... its so gorgeous. I did not send snail mail card and then with my pc issues did not get to send electronic ones either (I know my sista was a good girl and sent cards). I do hope you had a wonderful Christmas though and got everything and more you were wishing for under the tree.

    Hugs

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  14. When my daughter was going to Cooper-Union these last four years we'd go to an historic bar a block or so from school. It was amazing. I can't remember the name of it, but perhaps you know. Enjoy your day, whatever you're up to!!

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  15. I am also mesmerized by old, historic places...but particularly houses. I can't get enough of old houses. I live in an old house. I love to look at pictures of old houses. I love to stroll through old houses. I always imagine who might have lived there before and what their daily lives might have been like. I definitely believe in ghosts, and sometimes I just get "feelings" in certain houses and nothing in others. Nothing in mine, I'm happy to report, except for experiences with my mom and pets who have passed on. But aside from my attraction to all things supernatural, I just love the beauty and attention to detail in old houses. As they say, they just don't make 'em like that anymore. I love the creaky floors, the beautiful wood detailing, and the sense of history they come with. I also wonder if old buildings contain some type of energy from the past...not necessarily the spirits of people who were there but almost like memories. Maybe that's what you were picking up on?

    Your experience at the bar, though, reminded me of a ghost tour we went on while in New Orleans a couple years ago. Most of it was outside, so I wasn't able to get a sense about much, though the stories the guide told were fascinating. But we stopped in this one bar, Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar, for the group to have a chance to use the bathroom. They had told us nothing at all about the place when we went in. The women's bathroom was occupied, so I decided to use the men's, as there were no men in line (this makes me recall your recent post asking whether we use men's restrooms or not). The restrooms are at the end of a VERY dark hallway. So it was already kind of creepy standing in the hallway waiting. But when I stepped into the men's room, I was immediately overcome by the sense of foreboding in there and the fact that "someone" was in there. It didn't have a stall because it's a one-person restroom. I was so nervous that I almost walked out, but I had to go pretty bad, so I gritted my teeth. I distinctly felt someone was watching me and did not like "going" with no privacy, so I covered myself up best I could while I went and rushed out as fast as I could. I didn't actually see anything, but I wish I'd actually thought to take some pictures because that's probably the strongest I've ever felt a presence like that. When we had all gathered back outside, that's when the guide told us a young pirate had been stabbed back there and was thought to haunt the area.

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    1. Ooohh... spooky! I feel the same way about old buildings. You can sense the past in them.

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