I've been trying to collect more hand-painted numbers because I like the personalities they project. Hunting for high numbers often brings me to the Upper Sides, both West and East, where I sometimes get lulled into near-boredom by the ho-hum doorman buildings and untouchable architecture. Small gems like these keep me going, especially on those cold, overcast winter afternoons when everything seems washed in shades of gray. OK, this is washed in shades of gray. But it's shades of gray I can live with.