As my final New York City post I leave you with some of my favorite pics; the decorative dragons outside the Dakota, the great beauty of sunlight behind the Brooklyn Bridge and the iconic New York skyline.
At the moment we are still wandering around DUMBO, I turned back as dusk was approaching and caught this awesome view of the Manhattan Bridge lite up against a purplish sky. It has a total length of 6,855 feet, with a main span of 1,470 feet and the length of the suspension cables is 3,224 feet. This bridge was featured in Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake of King Kong.
After checking out several art exhibits in one of the warehouses in DUMBO and stopping for an exceptional piece of pizza at the world famous Grimaldi’s I decided to walk back across the Brooklyn Bridge. By the way Grimaldi’s does not disappoint, should you ever find yourself in Brooklyn it is definitely the best pizza you will ever have but expect a line as there almost always is one but trust me the wait is well worth it. In this picture of the Brooklyn Bridge you really get a sense of how the cable work looks like spider webs, it is funny because it does not feel like that as you are walking across it but it is very easy to see in the picture.
This is what it looks like when you enter the bridge and it is quite easy to imagine what New Yorkers felt like in the late 1800’s being able to cross for the first time between boroughs.
I found that rather than walking the bridge it was actually a trip of stopping in many places and standing in awe of it’s beauty, the caissons seem to tower far into the sky and the stone work that creates them is absolutely magnificent.
Mid way across the bridge I stopped to take a picture of the skyline and the Manhattan Bridge, you can even see a subway car beginning it’s journey across the bridge on the lower right side.
Closer to the end of the bridge I took another picture of the skyline to show how all the lights illuminate the clouds, there is probably no skyline as easily recognized as the Manhattan skyline.
This is the caisson on the Manhattan side, I figured it would only be proper to have a picture of both of them even though they are identical.
Of course with my strange fetish for standing next to things and taking pictures straight up I had to take one here as well. I am actually standing with my stomach against the caisson and shooting straight up the stone work with makes the arch work look absolutely exquisite.
Once I left Brooklyn I felt the urge to go someplace I’d never been before, I have been to New York four times so now when I visit I try to see or do things I haven’t done before; while I have previously had dinner in the Rainbow Room I had never been to The Top of the Rock. The ride up in the sky shuttle is quite fun, as the glass elevators zoom to the top they project images on the ceiling from the 1930’s to present and as if that is not enough fun once you reach the light and sound sensitive room you will defiantly regress to a five year old. I found myself running around like a five year old just to see what happened, so here is a reflection of myself; however, I am not running around making a fool of myself in it.
Top of the Rock is at 30 Rockefeller Center which is itself a city within a city and while the observation deck is not as high as the Empire State building the views are equally as impressive.
When you come back down to ground level you find yourself under this intricate Swarovsky design that made me wonder if Kal-El new some of his crystals were missing.
Finally we come to the world famous Radio City Music Hall, home of the Rockets; if you happen to be in New York around Christmas time their Christmas Spectacular is a must see. Opened in 1932, it is one of the largest indoor theaters with 6,200 seats.
Tomorrow I will for Sort Sweet Sunday leave you with the last shots of New York and we shall have to wait and see what the month of Rocktober brings.
I know, I know, I said we were going to a bridge but I thought we’d make a quick stop first. The following picture is a corner of the area that was once known as Five Points, if you have seen the movie Gangs of New York you know what I am talking about. It was so named because of a five-pointed intersection that was bound by Orange Street (now Baxter), Cross Street (now Mosco), Anthony Street (now Worth) and to the west was Little Walter which no longer exists; these created a triangular plot which was called Paradise Park.
For over 70 years Five Points was known as a disease-ridden, crime-infested slum; however, now it is Columbus Park.
Now to my favorite bridge … The Brooklyn Bridge Baby!!! The largest suspension bridge in the world when it was built, the first to span the East River designed and constructed by John A. Roebling and his son Washington A. Roebling, the bridge spans 3,461 feet and rises 133 feet from the river below.
The steel cable-work, strung across two monumental stone towers, is fixed at both ends in stone anchorages, The Brooklyn Bridge a structure of great beauty was a milestone in American engineering.
The last of three suspension bridges built across the lower East River is the Manhattan Bridge.
Begun in 1867 and completed in 1883, THe Brooklyn Bridge’s gothic-inspired stone towers and intricate steel cable webs moved poets such as Walt Whitman and Hart Crane to praise its beauty.
Designed by Leon Moiseiff, the Manhattan Bridge was opened on December 31, 1909.
This picture was taken at The Brooklyn Bridge Park, it is the waterfront between the two bridges; this is not the sort of beach I am used to.
In the distance in the center of this picture you can see Pier 17, it is in a historic area called South Seaport Street.
The neighborhood near the bridge once known as Fulton’s Landing is now known as DUMBO for District Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass; it is now a thriving artist’s colony with many warehouses that have been converted into lofts.
The Brooklyn Bridge is the city’s best known symbol of the age of growth that occurred during the 19th century. I liked that I caught the setting sun in the distance in this shot.
I took this picture to give you the size perspective of this structure if you think the trees looks like saplings, please note the person standing beneath them.
This area of Brooklyn has amazing views of the Manhattan skyline, next time we will make our way back across the bridge and into some other spots in the city.
This is the final week of my homage to the Big Apple. I chose this month to do this as it was the ten-year anniversary of 9/11, while I was lucky enough to have seen and been in the Twin Towers and I do have pictures of them, those pictures are not on digital media. Rather than focus on the sadness of the past, I chose to use pictures from a recent trip that exemplify the beauty of a resilient city. The pictures in the next post were taken from various places while I was out and about on the town. In a previous post I mentioned the Dakota, at 72nd Street and Central Park West, it was built in 1884 by Edward S. Clark; at the time he was teased that he was building so far north of the city that he might as well be building in the Dakotas.
What trip to New York would be complete with out visiting Times Square? It is one of the most widely recognized places in the world probably because of the amount of neon used.
Of course one book end would not be complete with out the other.
At 1 Times Square is the ball that most of the country watches drop on New Year’s Eve, it is maintained that the biggest New Years Eve party takes place in front of it.
I am a huge Hard Rock Cafe fan, not for the food but for the memorabilia and the souvenirs; this has been moved from its previous location but I can think of no better place than here.
Next I made my way down to Little Italy, where I saw what was by far the most interesting name for a church ever. I give you The Most Precious Blood Church. I thought all the Vampires lived in New Orleans but I guess I was wrong.
The architecture and decorations give you a taste of what old world New York looked like.
Little Italy is being encroached on by Chinatown, which is New York’s most famous ethnic enclave.
I made a stop at the world-famous Chinatown Ice Cream Factory and picked up some Litchi ice cream, from there I walked to this quaint park where I sat, enjoyed my ice cream and a peek into a normal Sunday afternoon for the residents of the area.
A walk through Chinatown in not complete with out passing a fish market, fresh fish anyone?
I love the Chinese Dragon that was atop the information center but I just have a thing for dragons.
So I was drinking in this neighborhood bar called the 3 of Cups, marveling over the beauty of the bartender when I realized it was Fuse TV’s Mistress Juliya; talk about cool! I told her I was a long time fan of Uranium and the my favorite episode was the one where she interviewed Dimebag Darrell.
I hope you enjoyed a glimpse in to various parts of the city, next time we visit my favorite bridge in the whole world; I wonder which one it is because in New York there is more than one, two or even three.
Since we are finishing out The Metropolitan Museum of Art I should tell you that unless you are going to spend your whole vacation here; there are two recommended ways to see the museum, either take advantage of the museum’s highlights tour which is several times throughout the day or pick up a map in the entry hall and concentrate on the areas of interest to you. Today we begin with an era in which opulence reigned supreme. This bed in particular reminds me of the movie Dangerous Liaisons, I personally would be thrilled to wake up in something like this every morning.
While this day room is absolutely gorgeous; what struck me as most amusing is the dog house, if you look in the corner between the two pairs of chairs you will see a small pet palace for the spoiled dogs of the time.
“I love gooooold!”, yes, the memorable words of Austin Power’s Gold Member were what popped into my head when I peered into this room. I couldn’t help but giggle at the thought and wonder if anyone else had ever had the same thought while looking into this exhibit.
You have to adore the eloquence of this table setting, from the gold silverware and maid and cherub salt and pepper shakers to the small purple dragon staring back at you from the center. Although it is said to be a rumor and that she never really uttered the words, I could not help but think, “Let them eat cake.”.
As I crossed through the Greek and Roman halls I passed this statue of Perseus with the head of Medusa. This has always been one of my favorite pieces of mythological literature, seeing it through the eyes of the people whom the story belonged to made the imagery that much more vivid.
Salvador Dali is one of my favorite artists, I came across this painting crossing from one area to the next and had never seen one of his most renowned works but rather had only seen prints; to suddenly be standing in front of it and realize that the piece is actually huge and even the woman in the corner was bigger than me, was simply breath-taking.
Now we have arrived at the Rooftop Gardens, it is a peaceful place above the hustle and bustle of the city where there are several views of the skyline above the grandeur of Central Park.
The sight of all the tree tops between you and the skyline truly gives you a sense of how big the park is.
It was a wonderful place to stand and enjoy the peace of a city that is known for its constant movement.
I hope that you have enjoyed our foray into the museum and that someday you get to experience all of its wonders and treasures for yourself.
We are still roaming around The Metropolitan Museum of Art this week, it is a museum that attracts more than five million visitors a year which is actually more than any other place in New York City. With as fond of Ancient Egyptian culture as I am I spent quite a bit of time in that area. While I knew beforehand that mummies were in sarcophagus upon sarcophagus it intrigued me to see them displayed like this, it reminded me of Russian Matryoshka Dolls.
In ancient Egypt blue was symbolic of the sky, water and also the Nile, Amon was often shown with a blue face to symbolize his creation of the world; by extension the Pharaohs were often shown with blue faces as well.
On a different level were these two magnificent statues with the arched entries behind them, it is completely awe-inspiring to stand next to something that has been around for thousands of years.
This is a closer view of the ancient archways and in the second one you can see the tops are carved like lotus blossoms; both blue and white blossoms were sacred and were associated with beliefs concerning death and the afterlife.
As you entered the archways you can see the many hieroglyphs carved onto them and you are very appreciative both the time and effort that went into these beautiful designs.
Who doesn’t love a Sphinx? In ancient Egypt Sphinx’s were benevolent mythical creatures that were thought of as a guardians and often flanked the entrances to temples and tombs.
As we move out of Egypt I had to get a picture of this mosaic fountain, the vibrancy of its colors and the depth they created were simply astounding.
When I was a teenager my mother bought me a poster that was of this Tiffany Stained-glass, as I was walking by it I was so taken by how amazing it looked when lit up from behind and while I love all things Tiffany; this will forever hold a special place in my heart.
This gate was magnificent in both size and structure but what came to mind immediately for me was, “Boy, I bet my parents wish they’d had something like this to keep me from sneaking out when I was in high school!” … heeheehee!
Next time we will continue with a different era in time, when powdered faces and fake beauty marks were all the rage.
Since I have dedicated the posts this month to New York City, this week we are going to the museum and not just any museum but the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the largest museum in the Western Hemisphere. With nearly all the world’s cultures on display it is impossible to see all of the museum in one day.
Upon entering we start with the Tomb of Perneb because Egypt holds a special place in my heart. He lived during the 5th dynasty under the reigns of Isesi and Unis. Perneb means “My Lord has come forth to me”, he was a court official whose function was to robe and crown the king.
From Saqqara, north of Pharaoh Djoser’s step pyramid; this exhibition a gift from Edward S. Harkness, serves to convey to visitor’s the intimacy of Perneb’s court, which was both a private and sacred space.
Sekhmet, do you know why you always have to have two statues of Sekhmet? She is so temperamental you never know whether she is in a good or bad mood; so you keep two in hopes that if one is in a bad mood the other is in a good mood.
On papyrus this depiction of a subject bearing gifts for the queen was incredibly well-preserved, the colors have probably not changed much since it was first created.
Ah Bast, one of my very favorite goddesses, I joke that she favors me because for the longest time kitties kept showing up on my door and I would have to foster them and find them homes.
This display made me laugh because it reminded me because it made me think of Sesame Street’s song “One of these kids is doing their own thing, one of these kids is not the same…”.
Canopic Jars were used to store the lungs, liver, stomach and intestines of Egyptian mummies; the heart was considered to be the seat of the soul so it was left inside the body.
Ra, the Egyptian sun-god, identified primarily with the mid-day sun. It was believed that Ra created all life forms, calling them into existence by whispering their secret names; however, humans were created from his sweat and tears. This is only one representation of his variety of forms.
Since the sun set here long ago, I am going to sleep but we will soon continue our journey.
My absolute favorite Beatles song…
(Please forgive me for cutting off the very beginning.)
I wasn’t sure if I made mention of it in my previous Central Park posts but there were many weddings that day! This was the fourth and final wedding I saw that day but a beautiful sight none the less.
I loved the light in the clouds in this shot, there is nothing quite like a cold front pushing the clouds around; giving the sky a very distinctive look.
I told you we would visit a very familiar site, the Bethesda Fountain is one of the most famous fountains in the world and among the largest in New York City; the statue at the center was the only sculpture to be commissioned as part of Central Park’s original design.
If you venture under the terrace by the fountain you find a little surprise, an unbelievably beautiful tile work design that is rich in vibrant color.
Also known as Angel of the Waters, she stands above four cherubim representing health, purity, temperance and peace. The Angel is a commemorative piece that celebrated the opening of the Croton Aqueduct which provided New York with fresh water during a time that the city was plagued by Cholera.
One of the great things about Central Park is that no matter what time of the year you visit you can always see people skating, whether it is rollerskating or ice skating. Today was jam skate day and it was awesome to watch the skill of these skaters.
Strawberry Fields is a 2.5 acre area lined with tall elm trees, shrubs, flowers and rocks that is dedicated to the late John Lennon, this plaque lists more than 120 countries that donated money to the maintenance of the area and have endorsed Strawberry Fields as a Garden of Peace.
The Imagine mosaic is adjacent to the park entrance by the Dakota Building where John Lennon and Yoko Ono lived and were coming home to when he was shot on December 8, 1980. It is in the center of Strawberry Fields and was designed by a team of Italian artists from Naples. Every time that I have gone, there has always been flowers left by various visitors and usually they are roses. Once someone had taken the rose petals and created a peace sign over the center of the piece but today it was the roses themselves that they decided to create a peace symbol with.
This intriguing character was sitting on one of the benches that lines the exit from the park and his sign made me laugh so hard that I had to give him his a dollar to hear my share of his bad advice. He looked long and hard at me and then declared I should always listen to my mother-in-law which I found absolutely hysterical.
Close to the street were these four musicians and in keeping with the area, they were taking requests and playing only songs by the Beatles and John Lennon, it was a great way to close my stroll through the park.
Of course I requested a song, one that is well known and they were actually very impressed with my selection as it is not one of the ones you hear all the time; what song did I request I wonder. 😉
Welcome back, on my last post I ended with a picture of Belvedere’s Castle and of course anything that I can climb, I will so into the Castle I went where you can really see some amazing views. It was so cool to be able to see so many New Yorkers out enjoying the Great Lawn with the skyline in the distance, there were a great deal of people out enjoying the weather that day.
Looking down at the pavilion next to the castle I caught sight of wedding number two, I was far enough away that I could not hear her but I always wonder what this new bride is saying to her bridesmaid.
A cold front had come in the night before which and was still blowing in which created the opportunity for some really fun shots, some look bright and sunny and others like this one appeared darker and a bit gloomy.
Being a native Texan I will always appreciate the contrast between the buildings and the park, it is so different from home to look at this wonderful greenery with the skyline in the distance.
In the short amount of time that I have been admiring the castle top views the clouds from the cold front have quickly approached giving an entirely different appearance to the Great Lawn.
This is a side view of the castle and you can see where I was taking the previous shots from. If you look at the corners you can see these awesome built in seats that my cousin and I had fun sitting in and posing in Conan the Barbarian-esque styles.
From there I cruised through a trail called The Bramble, only in Central Park can you get far enough away from the sounds of the city to feel as if you are out hiking in the country.
When I came out from The Bramble I was by this pond and I ask you, what is wrong with this picture? Why is she rowing the boat while he relaxes?
I had to stop to take this picture because I couldn’t resist the trees framing this view but in the center you can see the rooftop of the Dakota, a building which has an immense amount of New York history; some of it’s most famous residents were John Lennon and Yoko Ono, it was also the where the apartment in the film Rosemary’s Baby is located.
There are few things as absolutely beautiful as the smile of a new bride, I loved that I was able to catch this pair of lovebirds as they begin their new journey together.
In the next post we will continue our stroll through the park where you’ll see some sights that you’ve probably seen in films but there is so much of NYC that that can be said about and after that who knows what part of the city we will explore next; well, actually I do but you will have to check back … hahaha. I hope y’all are having a great week.
With it being the 10th anniversary of the loss of the Twin Towers I thought I would dedicate my next several posts to the lives and liberties that were lost that day and also to the incredibly beautiful and resilient city of New York. We begin with a few that I have called Central Park in Fall as I love the song “Danke Schön” and the park really is a site to behold in autumn. I began my walk at the South Gate of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir.
This is seen quite often in movies and has a jogging / walking path that surrounds it, the views from the path are quite amazing.
It was a gorgeous day and the water was so glassy it seemed to be reflecting all the buildings.
I always love to see people getting married, it’s such a beautiful testament to new beginnings and there were many weddings in the park on this day.
As someone in love with Ancient Egypt I absolutely had to seek out and view Cleopatra’s Needle.
It towers through the trees that surround it and is one of the most impressive things I have ever seen. I stood in complete awe of this ancient artifact before me.
A little history on the obelisk: Cleopatra’s Needle ~
This obelisk was erected first at Heliopolis, Egypt in 1500 B.C. It was removed to Alexandria in 12 B.C. by the Romans. Presented by the Khedive to the City of New York. It was erected here on February 22, 1881 through the generosity of William H. Vanderbuilt.
Of course I absolutely had to get a skyward view of it.
One of the things I adore about New York is the small items of beauty that can be found almost anywhere and it is only made better by the awesome street musicians that contribute their talent to the memories of the day.
Today I end our post with Belvidere’s Castle which we will continue to further explore on my next post, you have to love the many surprises that can be found in Central Park.
Danke Schön for reading and I think you will be quite please with the upcoming posts.