Hippo Shoes

It’s not easy to read thanks to my lousy camera and lack of photography skill, but the store in the middle, found in Midtown Manhattan, is called Hippo Shoes.

Sounds like the perfect place to find accessories to match the new outfit I bought at Manatee Clothiers.

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Like the Bronx, it’s not always obvious who the places in New York are named after. Often, though, a numbered street will get a second name in honor of a local hero, the way 29th Street in Midtown Manhattan has become Norman Vincent Peale Way in the photo above. But even then, we rarely even notice the sign, let alone know who the person is or why that particular street bears his or her name.

So next time you see one of those blue signs giving a street an extra name, give a thought to who the person is and what she did to get a street named after her. Look it up if you have to.

Norman Vincent Peale, by the way, was a 20th-century clergyman who, according to Brittanica, “tried to instill a spiritual renewal in the U.S. with his sermons, broadcasts, newspaper columns, and books.” His book “The Power of Positive Thinking” is an all-time best-seller. He led congregations all over New York state, including the Dutch Reform Marble Collegiate Church, on 5th Avenue and … 29th Street.

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I walk past this place every day but never actually noticed it until this morning. What’s remarkable about it is that, despite its name, it’s nowhere near Little Italy (note the Korean lettering on the sign above). Now, Little Italy’s great, but it’s not Italy. So I’m not sure why any restaurant would declare, in its name, that it aspires to be the neighborhood that aspires to be Italy. This is the culinary version of that one clone of Michael Keaton in Multiplicity that was really stupid because he was a copy of a copy.

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Yesterday’s post about the fun brand of people-watching unique to New York Fashion Week led me to create a real version of NYFW Bingo. Print out your card, head to Bryant Park, and enjoy.


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