Urban Alchemy

by bronxelf

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These are random moments in the life of an indecent designer and the city she loves.

To read my grudging babblings about design, click the button.

And can we really measure
If we think we're any better
than that skyline that goes on and on
forever, on and on...."

- Less Than Jake: Is This Thing On?

Everybody in this world wants the same damned thing-
just not at the same time.

-Chris Orbach: Jane

I could be condemned to hell for every sin but littering."

- Soul Coughing: Idiot Kings

I am a female, carbon based lifeform.
I am a New York City Native.
I am a Design Professional.
I take photographs.
I also sculpt, paint, create mosaics, and play with weapons.

And sometimes, I even dance about Architecture.

What I see, is what you get.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License

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Millie, the blue whale.

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I wish there were a really good way to get a photograph of this, so that you
all could see the *scale* of this thing.
This was taken only a couple of months after the American Museum of
Natural History here in NYC reopened this room, after extensive renovations. Millie the blue whale, who
has been hanging from the ceiling since 1969, got an overhaul as well, with
minor cosmetic changes, a new paint job, and some flattering new lighting. The
room is fabulous, but it's the *scale* of the whale that's so outrageous.
She's 94 feet long. When I was a little kid I utterly refused to stand under
the whale, because I was afraid it would fall. (She won't, by the way,
unless she takes the whole roof with her-- she's attached to the trusses.)
But the renovation to the Hall of Ocean Life is so beautiful. Really, come
see Millie. She's fabulous. :)
3rd Apr 2005, 09:27   | tags:,,

neel says:

I'm more terrified of blue whales than, like, anything else.

There's a blue whale skeleton hanging from the roof of one of the galleries in the Royal Museum in Edinburgh - it's no way as big as Millie but the combined facts that a) something so big could exist, b) it was a skellington and c) it was over my head means that I don't go near that gallery any more. It freaks me out.

Oh - apparently its 78 feet long. Some rather grisly skellington pictures further down on this page.


3rd Apr 2005, 12:16

bronxelf says:

Interesting that the whales make you uncomfortable but not the dinosaurs.

Millie used to frighten me until I learned how they suspended her. I was always afraid it would come crashing down on my head. Actually in that gallery there's one diorama that's MUCH creepier than Millie. It's a giant squid attacking a whale. It's always too dark to get a good photo of it but that's creeped me out for years. Im surprised that it's still there since the renovation (they spent millions on that room- it really looks great.), but it is.

Also, there's a whole section of the AMNH website devoted to this gallery, Here.

3rd Apr 2005, 21:12

neel says:

Dinosaurs are old, and not around anymore - but whales are, apparently, real, and having them hanging over your head in skeletal form is too much to take.

Squid are also a huge pile of no in my book, and jellyfish are so completely out of the question it's not funny.

Certain parts of Finding Nemo, therefore, really had me cringing.

4th Apr 2005, 01:00

neel says:

Actually, the freakiest part of the whale skeleton thing is where the face should be: just these big tusky things covered in hair from a yard brush. That really disturbed me.

4th Apr 2005, 01:03

bronxelf says:

so coelacanths are right out, then.

And I do not, therefore recommend *at all* the diorama on the lower level of the Hall of Ocean life, back wall, left corner, as you're facing the back. Just skip it.


Just skip that one entirely, because I am pretty positive it's got all three as a trifecta in there.

There's also a giant squid hanging from the ceiling in the anteroom and HUGE HUGE jaws...oh. Wait. I have a photo of *that*, Im even *in* it.

4th Apr 2005, 01:05

neel says:

Gaaaahh! Squid! Beaks! Suckers! Claws! EYE!

4th Apr 2005, 01:07

bronxelf says:

This wasnt squid. This is like... I dunno,enormous shark or something. I dont even know WTF this is. Hangon. I'll show you.

4th Apr 2005, 01:27

bronxelf says:

Our own Lifeofreilly took this one.

4th Apr 2005, 01:32

neel says:


4th Apr 2005, 01:35

bronxelf says:

Do you have this reaction to giant tortoises as well?

Non sea-life? I was going to post a bunch of photos taken at the Bronx Zoo but I have concerns about traumatizing you.

4th Apr 2005, 01:36

neel says:

It's mainly just the large/gooey/sharp parts of sealife, I'm okay with most normal animals.

Except insects (which includes spiders).

4th Apr 2005, 02:03

bronxelf says:

I dont think I have any spider photos, though I do love spiders. Okay. Snakes good?

4th Apr 2005, 02:08

Euphro says:

Missed this. Wow. The AMNH is one place I have to visit. I've only had one night in NYC in my life (Manhattan). I need more.

4th Apr 2005, 15:24

Lyzardly says:

4th Apr 2005, 15:31

bronxelf says:

I have snakes and lizard photos from the Bronx Zoo.

Also, Euphro: The AMNH is both very cool and very sad in equal measure. The museum is just so large and there's only so much funding. So parts of it are really new and have been updated (though they did do the gem room and all the rocks.) and some have been the way they are since their installation, which goes back all through the 20th Century.

4th Apr 2005, 15:34

Euphro says:

From a geologist's point of view it is a famous and influential place. I've never really had a vision of it in my mind, it's just one of those names you conjur with. I visited the Smithsonian in '98 and, similar to how you describe the AMNH, it was a mixture of "insanely impressive" and "needs work" :)

4th Apr 2005, 15:38

bronxelf says:

You'll probably get the same reaction from the AMNH. It's a WONDERFUL building though.

And right down the block? Best bloody marys in NYC. Trust me on this one. Really.


Expensive but SO worth it..

4th Apr 2005, 15:45

Euphro says:

Sounds good :)

4th Apr 2005, 15:46

Lyzardly says:

Can you be a little more specific than "right down the block"? I'm still learning my way around, and I think I should know where the best bloody marys are in NYC!

4th Apr 2005, 15:57

bronxelf says:

You bet your ass. On the northwest corner of 77th and Columbus. Jacques-Imos. Go in, tell JP that you were sent in for the Hottest Bloody Mary on Earth.

He'll know who sent you. Be warned: theyre 11 bucks a pop.

4th Apr 2005, 15:58

Lyzardly says:

Thank you. The Boy and I have time to kill tomorrow between when I leave work and when we are supposed to see the Kirov Orchestra... Symphony night is the perfect time to spend $11 on a drink - especially if it is the Hottest bloody Mary on Earth.

4th Apr 2005, 16:20

bronxelf says:

If you order it JUST LIKE THAT, it will be.

And JP is cute, too.

4th Apr 2005, 16:23