Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Squirrels on Banks

So this past weekend we went to the Brooklyn Flea Market. I enjoy flea markets because I just love looking at all the old random stuff. I never buy anything. But where else could you find the guide to the USSR's pavilion at the 1934 World's Fair or postcards from 1942? That's the kind of stuff I enjoy.

We also went to this flea market because during the winter months it's held indoors, in the Williamsburgh Savings Bank, a landmark now turned to condos. The market is in the main hall and the food vendors are downstairs in the vault. It's a very cool setting for a flea market.

So of course I was there to try to find squirrel items, because that's pretty much what I'm always doing. The flea market disappointed me; not one squirrel was to be found there. The bank, however, had many!

Some of you loyal readers will think that this squirrel looks awfully familiar, and the rest of you will scroll down the rest of the way on the page (unless you're on Google Reader, in which case you are lame) and note that I found a squirrel almost exactly like this on an old bank in Manhattan just last week.

And that wasn't the only squirrel! There was also a squirrel in the interior, right in the staircase!

So has anyone else ever noticed that squirrels frequently make an appearance in the sculptural program on banks? It makes sense, since they are the savers of the animal world, but I still think it's a little weird. I did some googling about this and couldn't find anything on the Internet about it. I'm going to have to look for more examples of this phenomenon. Maybe I'll start up a catalogue or something and become the renowned expert on squirrels in sculpture.

Monday, March 22, 2010

New Calvary Cemetery

So our new apartment (not so new anymore, I guess) is located pretty close to a cemetery. Now, I come from the West, where cemteries aren't quite as old. I actually grew up pretty closet to a cemetery, but it's one of those that have only flat headstones, no cool sculpture, and not much character.

I am strangely attracted to cemeteries. It may be because there are squirrels.

But I also am intrigued by the sculptural programs and general types of art that surround death. This cemetery, New Calvary Cemetery in Queens, is Catholic (I think) and has particularly excellent sculpture. The addition of the votive items brought by living relatives makes it even more interesting.

Some of the sculpture is in really good shape, and some of it isn't. But even the stuff that isn't makes it all the more interesting. This is one of my favorite views from the cemetery.

The building on the left is the Empire State Building and the one on the right is the Chrysler Building. There are some truly fantastic city views from this cemetery, but this is not a place to rest for eternity if you actually want peace and quiet. They've built a huge freeway over the cemetery and it creates a constant stream of noise.

I'm hoping to explore this cemetery, and the others in the neighborhood, a little more in the coming year. Did you know that there are more dead people in Queens than living people? It's true. The real question, though, is how many undead are there?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Squirrel Stuff I Own: Squirrel Earrings

So I obtained this new squirrel item an embarrassingly long time ago, and it took me forever to post about it, in large part because of the new job, but also because getting a decent picture was a bit difficult.

Yes, these are my new squirrel earrings! My friend A sent them to me, and I just about shat my pants when I opened the package!


I'm clearly still a little overexcited about them. This is my first piece of squirrel jewelry and I'm wearing them right now. It's the perfect squirrel accessory because, unlike a squirrel shirt or squirrel tattoo, these earrings don't scream, "Hey! I'm a crazy person!" No, these are tasteful and small and every once in a while someone might notice and think, "Wait, is that girl wearing squirrel earrings? And are they carring TINY ACORNS? Wow, how awesome is she! I should make friends with her and buy her lots of beer!"

So thank you A, for giving me the gift of tiny acorns and beer.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Found Squirrels: Bowery Savings Bank

Sorry to have let this blog fall into hibernation for so long! I ended up becoming employed again, and it appears that full-time employment takes up a lot of time! I also somehow found a job that does NOT involve me thinking about squirrels all day, which is a pity, really. If anyone hears of such a job please let me know.

Anyway, I am still alive and scampering around New York City, as is my habit. I now work in an area that has a huge squirrel population, and yet my first post back from my break is going to be about an inanimate squirrel.

Here he is! I found him on the Bowery Savings Bank, which is right by Grand Central. This is on the back of the building, on 41st Street, and I'm surprised I noticed it since he's placed so high above eye level. It's a terrible picture, and I apologize for that. This is actually above the back door, and 41st Street right there is a little weird and I think people were really confused about what I was taking a picture of. Anyway, despite the fact that this squirrel is a little creepy, it warms my heart that somewhere out there someone cared enough to carve him into a bank.