Powder room where we keep the archive + other classified documents to remap the Maphattan Project


6/13/23: Put together some industrial shelves to put in the cocaine room + then unboxed all the Ↄalamari. The total inventory amounted to around 26 boxes.

the arↄhive booxed up before

... + here's the arↄhive unboxed but not yet organized:

Reminiscent of Drumpf's bathroom @ Mar-a-Lago? The bathtub of our other bathroom is also temporarily being used to store booxes destined for our bedder-½'s office:

Here's the Ↄalamari Arↄhive unboxed + organized all in one place (minus 8–10 boxes of surplus we put in the storage cage the building provides us):

... + zooming in on the arↄhive snapshot (click to blow it up):

Suppose we shd update our Ↄalamari site header accordingly.

6/17: Still unpacking, both physically + mentally. Another trip down to 28th street for more plants a few days ago (jade tree + bromeliad) + yesterday got a granny cart + checked out plant stores in our hood + up in Harlem, got another knobby cactus + a Banyan tree, lugging them back in the rain like Beverly Hillbillies (doormen always shocked when they see us approach, insisting they help or we use a cart). Another day walked down to The Container store + lugged a bunch of stuff back.

6/19: Happy Juneteenth. We've been debating how to reboot our Maphattan Project, whether to expand on it + include the boroughs, whether to do avenues instead of streets, or what order to do them in. A lot has changed in the 9 years since we systematically walked every street of Manhattan, will be interesting to see the difference. We decided to start w/ our new hood, Manhattan Valley, aka Bloomingdale, which makes sense considering the Manhattan Project for which our Maphattan project was named was led by Oppenheimer, who lived nearby (on 155 Riverside Drive). We'll use the fountain in front of our building as ground zero, (0, 0) in the X, Y grid. Our building @ 455 CPW is in fact a "notable landmark" of Manhattan Valley (the 1st pic displayed on the Wikipedia page).

(0, 0)


455 CPW


We'd actually been in the building before moving here, to have dinner w/ a colleague of our bedder-½ (a lot of the bldg is Columbia housing) who was telling us how Phil Collins lived directly above him. Dare we admit we live in the same bldg as Phil Collins? 14 floors directly above us... hope he didn't literally mean "Can you feel it coming in the air tonight?" Also occupying the castle are a bunch of ghosts from its cancer hospital days, where according to this article, "the basement crematorium constantly bellowed through the building smoke stack, giving this place the reputation of a death trap." At one point it was also the country's single largest repository of radium + Madame Curie did some work here. At the end of the B-film Q: The Winged Serpent, after the serpent has been slain, the camera pans to the burnt-out turret of the castle @ 455 CPW, then zooms in on a giant egg lurking in the ruins, in the courtyard we look down upon, as if to say the horror ain't over + then the credits roll...

Anyways, there's all sorts of lore to be discovered about this building. From the castle, which is across the street from Central Park (Strangers Gate), we went up to 109 to start our walk, zig-zagging back + forth south... 9.5 miles (easing our way back into it... also gonna take our time more, more properly flâneur instead of marathon 20 milers where u don't smell flowers as much).


entry to Central Park across the street

This walk mirrors this walk we did in 2014 (for those wanting to gauge the difference). We'll probably fly more casual this time + won't go into as much detail as we did then.

book box a few blocks from us on 107 + Columbus, where likely we'll start putting our books, including Ↄalamari


the short-lived Manhattan Ave. (only runs between 100 + 125)



Our 1st night in this hood we ate at the above Calaveras, nearby on Columbus. Other nearby places we've tried include Ortomare, Osteria 106 + Sushi W. At the end of our walk we stopped at El Malecon to get a rotisserie chicken (so much for not eating chicken... they smelled so good).



where Humphrey Bogart was born + lived until age 24, at 245 W. 103rd


where John Coltrane called home on 203 W. 103rd (+ Normal Rockwell lived across the street at 206 W. 103rd)


Duke Ellington's digs on 333 Riverside

Other notable people that lived in Manhattan Valley include Wilt Chamberlain, Ray Charles, Barack Obama, George Gershwin, Tito Puente + Billie Holiday.

monument to Ida + Isidor Straus who died on the Titanic


1 of many cats in windows



this looks like where the gangs gather in The Warriors, where Cyrus is shot, but that's actually nearby at 96th + Riverside

Much of Manhattan Valley is occupied by housing projects that block through-streets. The big one, Frederic Douglas Houses, takes up 8–12 blocks, but there's walkways through it (where the above photo was taken), but Park West Village + the box store crap that more recently cropped up near Whole Foods blocked part of 97th + 98th (hence the kinks in the above grid).

the phone booth on West End that 9 yrs ago we speculated was the last one in existence is still there (+ we discovered there's actually a few more on West End)


typical scene

Some movies we've watched this past week:

  • Margot at the Wedding (★★★)
  • Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (★★★★)
  • Tár (★★★)—wanted to like it better, just left us feeling dirty from the toxicity
  • started to rewatch Ex-Machina before remembering how boring it was
  • rewatched The Post (★★★★) in honor of Daniel Elsberg who died that day
  • Black Mirror season 6 is finally here! Watched 2 episodes so far.
  • Nope (★★★★★)—best movie we've seen since Steve McQueen's Small Axe anthology of 5 films that helped us get through the pandemic.
  • Sunshine Hotel (★★★★)—interesting to watch while we settle into our big swanky apartment, far cry from a flophouse on the Bowery
  • THX 1138 (★★)—finally watched George Lucas' debut + realized why it's not more famous + also that the B-film (Mr Stitch) we worked on in France 30 yrs ago borrowed the bit about filming in infinite whiteness from THX


1091 <(current)> 1093 > The C 2 the Q 2 CarouseL Little Bee's Kinderkrankenhaus 2 the outer boroughs 4 mailchimps
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