Thursday, May 19, 2016

Boeing KC-97

It's been on my to-do list to check out Floyd Bennett Field for awhile now, and yesterday I happened to be dropping my mother off at JFK airport and so stopped by on the way home. This aircraft was parked outside a hangar. It's a Boeing KC-97 Stratofreighter, an aerial re-fueling tanker that operated from the 1950s-70s. This one has been refurbished by the Historic Aircraft Restoration Project (HARP) . The hangar wasn't open to the public when I was there, but apparently there are a bunch more vintage aircraft inside. A return visit is in order someday.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Millan House

Millan House, 116 East 68th Street. Built in 1931 by John D. Rockefeller, and designed by self-trained architect Andrew J. Thomas, this building is covered in ornamental carvings of various animals. Eagles, owls, rabbits, bats, fish, squirrels, dachshunds, bobcats, monkeys, storks, and more. Some of the building staff came out to watch me draw and had a debate over what the two animals at the top are. The doorman thought they were goats, the maintenance man said impalas. I sort of thought they were water buffalo. Some sort of ungulate.

Here are close up views of those bas relief animal-heads over the windows.

Rockefeller was a social progressive who built a lot of housing for poor and working class people, but this building sure wasn't one of them. In 1930, the area was already high income, and this was built for employees of the Rockefeller Institute, and it became a co-op in 1947. A real estate site says that a studio apartment (with two baths ... how big is this studio?) in this building sold last year for $2,185,000. This same site has the following list of pros and cons for the property, which I find hilarious ... especially that "Close to Hunter College" is a Con.

I couldn't find any reason why Thomas covered this building in animals, or where the name "Millan" comes from.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

May The Fourth Be With You

It's Star Wars Day! I'm sure someone out there has done a version of the famous Hildebrant poster for the original Star Wars using the new Episode VII characters, but I haven't seen it. So here's my version . . .

Friday, April 29, 2016

Honda C70

This was parked in the same spot by the archway under the Manhattan Bridge in DUMBO for over a week. Yesterday it was gone. Hopefully its rightful owner took it! I liked the way the warm yellow of the bike popped against the cold stone of the bridge.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Mobile Boiler

Mobile Boiler, East 11st Street between 1st and 2nd Ave. It's been there at least a year or more.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

FDR Drive

At the end of East 29th Street is a beautifully designed park, with an urban farm where an adjacent restaurant grows its own produce. The only bad thing about the park is that this is the view it affords; the FDR drive.And the urban farm vibe is pretty compromised by the sound of city traffic. Fortunately for me, I really dig drawing mechanical, industrial, and infrastructural things, like the backs of traffic signs.

In retrospect, I maybe should have put some cars in there. Without traffic, it sort of looks like that show "Life After People."

Monday, April 4, 2016

Intrepid Propeller

This is one of the propellers from the U.S.S. Intrepid. It's on display near the entrance to the ship/museum, though it's sort of haphazardly installed at the rear of a parking lot, far from the actual entrance, and without any sort of signage or anything. I spent about an hour on it and had just finished it up when a security guard came over to kick me out of an empty parking lot.

Since there's nothing in the sketch to indicate scale, the Intrepid website says that this propeller is fifteen feet in diameter.