Jeffrey M. Levine MD | Geriatric Specialist | Wound Care | Pressure Ulcers - News on Dr. Levine's medical and consulting practice, and reflections on our healthcare system.

Category: City Diary

Sketching the Subway and the Disappearance of Time

When one rides the subway, particularly the local, time is marked by the staccato passage of stations punctuated by announcements and the in-and-out rush of commuters as the doors open and close. I recently began carrying my sketchbook on my commute to work and noticed that sketching can make time disappear. My observation brought understanding of the right side of the brain, and connected me to …Read More

Sketching Gowanus Canal

I was always intrigued by the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn. I read so much about it, with its pollution and notorious odors, situated in one of the most rapidly gentrifying areas of the City. Then by a gesture of fate I learned that the New York City Urban Sketchers were spending a Sunday there. I had no choice but to go and check it out. …Read More

Art & Medicine: Seeing the Light in Watercolor

These are my most recent watercolors painted in Washington Heights. They feature the markets, bus stops, street people, and Orthodox Jews around Broadway, Fort Washington and St. Nicholas Avenues. Thanks to my teacher, the master Timothy Clark, I am finally beginning to see the light and gain the ability to paint it. But with a little thought these same lessons can be applied to improve …Read More

Washington Heights Diary

I hope my watercolor teacher, the great master Tim Clark, is reading this. After two years of struggle I am finally beginning to wrap my brain around color theory, and catch on to basic principles of watercolor. For this post I am publishing my sketchbook for the months I spent living in Washington Heights with my wife while our apartment was being renovated. Somewhere along …Read More

End of an Era: Pearl Paint Closes

Last week was a sad one for those who follow disappearing Manhattan landmarks. The closure of three stores was announced – places which to many people make the fabric of New York City memories.  They include J&R Music down by City Hall, Rizzoli Bookstore on 57th Street, and Pearl Paint on Canal Street. The one that affected me most was Pearl Paint. Years ago after finishing …Read More

More Snow in Manhattan!

As the sixth storm of the season dumps more snow on the northeast, most of us are getting a little tired of looking at it. Two of the storms came as arctic blasts and introduced new verbiage in the form of the ‘polar vortex’ to our daily lives.  But life goes on in Manhattan as plunging temperatures, biting winds, and falling snow add an element of quiet …Read More

Footnote to the 2004 Republican National Convention

Last week a news item inspired me to go into my old proof sheets and scan black & white negatives shot with my Nikon camera a decade ago. Nearly 10 years after New York City hosted the 2004 Republican National Convention, the city agreed to pay $18 million to settle lawsuits by people claiming they were wrongly arrested during the event. Protestors sued for false arrest, punitive detention, …Read More

Tragedy at 5 POINTZ

This past weekend I bicycled across the Queensboro Bridge to photograph 5 POINTZ, the dilapidated factory building covered with graffiti. I had just learned that a federal judge denied a request for an injunction to block demolition of this building to make way for a glass walled tower of condos, and the developers planned to raze the structure. I turned on the news tonight to see …Read More

Signs of Old New York: Part One

This is the first installment of my visual journal of changing New York City. The 12 year administration of Mayor Bloomberg ushered in many benefits including the High Line and the end of smoke-filled restaurants, but a development boom erased many signs of the City’s storied and gritty past. I’ve been photographing the old signs of Manhattan and surrounding boroughs since I moved here in 1984, …Read More

The Masks of Manhattan

I’ve always had a fascination with the masks we wear, in daily living and cultural extravaganzas. I recently posted photos of festival masks from a remote location in the Peruvian Andes, and decided to contrast that with a post featuring masks from Manhattan. It was far easier to take the subway downtown after work than ride hours on dirt roads in South America, but the …Read More