Friday, April 30, 2010
Amazing day in New York! To find yourself in Central Park on a morning like this – priceless!
“Alice” was for a change not surrounded by a crowd due to an early hour. So here I am, introducing her to you. Please meet “Alice” - a whimsical sculpture of beloved character of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. She is of course not alone. Sitting on a huge mushroom, Alice is surrounded by The Mad Hatter, The March Hare, The Cheshire Cat, The White Rabbit, Alice’s Cat Dinah and Dormouse. This sculpture was commissioned in 1959 by a dear friend of Central Park, the philanthropist George Delacorte. The sculptor José de Creeft based his work on John Tenneil illustration for the first edition of the famous book.
This sculpture is located just steps from the Boat Pond, where you can rent a toy sailboat, making this whole area a children’s favorite.
I know a kid who, when he was very little, was in love with one of the animals from the “Alice” sculpture: a small crocodile. While everybody climbed the statue to the very top, this boy would run straight under the mushroom to say hello to his friend. Not surprising that he gave the statue a different name: Dile . That is how all who know him refer to Alice now. Dile.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
“Sister moon will be my guide
In your blue blue shadows I would hide...
...I would gaze at your face the whole night through
I'd go out of my mind, but for you”
/Sting - one of my favorite songs/
I gasped when I saw this, way up above my head.
Stood there mesmerized until suddenly remembered “Blog!!!” Et voilà!
These are the tops of very tall buildings. The one with two windows is on Park Avenue.
Picture is taken from Madison Avenue around 73 street.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
“The Garment Worker”, also known as a “Jewish Tailor” is the most famous work of Judith Weller. Installed in 1984, this statue, along with gigantic button and needle, is a landmark of the Garment District.
No need to remind about the importance and popularity of fashion in New York. The clothing industry not only puts the city among top places when it comes to style and fashion design; it is also one of the city’s largest employers, giving jobs to more than 200,000 people.
The Garment District with its very active life is an interesting place to observe, even if you have no connection to the industry. But if you belong to those who get excited when they see beautiful fabrics, ah, you are either in heaven or … in huge trouble!! Numerous fabric stores line the streets, and the selection is painfully tempting. Good luck leaving empty-handed. The good thing though is that there is a choice for every budget.
So here we go – visit, browse, imagine, buy and create! And then, before you know, you’ll be showing at the Fashion Week!
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
It was fun to watch kids and their parents! Many of us have memories of a carrousel from our own childhood . Mine was le manège in Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris. I am sure the little riders of Le Carrousel will keep these moments in their memory for a long time.
Monday, April 19, 2010
The utterly magnificent and super popular Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) is not my favorite museum in New York, but I would say that it is the one that surprises me most often.
The set of exhibitions that are being held now in MOMA keeps bringing me there over and over again. It is impossible to mention one, or two… without leaving out the others.
I went there today again: this picture is from an exposition “Marina Abramovic: the artist is present”. Here is the link for those who are interested in detailed description. The post would be enormously long if I attempted to describe her works. Her art is in action, and in the way it affects the viewer. She is present, just as the title of the show suggests . She is the one dressed in red on the picture. She sits still the whole day, almost every day, while her MOMA exposition lasts. The person across from her is yet another visitor, taking invitation to sit across the table and lock the eyes with the artist. And you can see it LIVE during the museum hours.
If you are in New York, really make an effort to stop by MOMA. For the whole day!
There is Tim Burton exhibition – is it even possible that all these creatures are products of the imagination of just one mind?!?!
Then there is an amazing retrospective of Henri Cartier-Bresson. He could be called the first city blogger ever!!!
And then there is an incredible William Kentridge!..
I am not going any further, because there is so much to list! And it is even without mentioning the permanent collection.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
This little kid was so proud of marching among adults in his Foustanella*! I had to choose him for this post!
*Foustanella is a pleated white skirt made by triangular shaped pieces of cloth. The Foustanella skirt consists of 400 pleats symbolizing the years during which Greece was under Ottoman rule. (And no, I didn’t know this. But now I do. A very pleasant side-effect of having this blog: it makes you research the most unexpected things!)
Happy late Independence Day to Manolis, a Greek friend of mine now living in London!
Saturday, April 17, 2010
It just happens that many people in the circle of my close friends and family are constantly traveling. Today one of my closest friends from Genève is flying to Nigeria. With my wishes of the safe flight to him I am hoping things are going to get better for everybody who is stranded in one of the affected airports.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Another way to move around Manhattan – PEDICAB!!!!
There are more than 800 of them registered in New York. It all started with several bikes in the East Village in 1995. Surprisingly, only 5 months ago, at the end of November 2009, the city came up with citywide Pedicab regulations!
I never tried riding in one. They seem to be popular with New York visitors: it must be a fun way to experience the city if you are not too much into walking.
If you are curious about how practical it is, here is video of the race between a taxi and a Pedicab around Manhattan – ha! Who knew?;)
This picture is taken on Fifth Avenue between 53rd and 54th streets. The traffic is intense there in the middle of the day. I wonder if the bikers still have fun when it is so busy.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
It is just a moment – a day, or two - and then the flowers are gone!
I took this picture of blooming Magnolia trees next to Cleopatra’s Needle, right behind the Met Museum in Central Park.
I am always amazed at how short the spring is here, in New York. It feels like there is winter, and the next thing you know – summer is in full bloom, accompanied by the first heat wave and mass swimming in the ocean. Change of seasons creates routines, expectations and memories. Mine are completely mixed-up since I moved here. So I try to catch the spring while I can, appreciating it even more due to its short life. And it is breathtaking! The trees blossom in all shades of pink and limitless intensity of white – a sudden, incredibly tender and feminine touch for the tough New York.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
According to The Huffington Post, New York is the most photographed city in the world. Paris, please don’t hold it against me! I love you with all my heart and I am just a messenger!
But the surprising fact is that the Apple store on Fifth Avenue is more photographed than Statue of Liberty!!! That is bizarre. Of course, there is a very simple explanation to it – you have to make an effort to get to the Statue of Liberty, even for a distant shot. The Apple store is right in the middle of … everything! That explains I suppose. Still, it is also the 28th most photographed landmark in the world! Not that I have anything against it… Yet I am surprised about its popularity stand on a world scale. Of course, it is also just one study.
Tonight, while most of the tourists were taking pictures of my dog trying to jump into the fountain (in which case I would have to pay a fee of $150!!!) I took the picture of the Apple Cube. It is just across Fifth Avenue from the Plaza Hotel and from the entrance to the Central Park. This area is always busy, especially during the day, when tourists mix up with the local professionals from the surrounding businesses. To have a picture of the Cube in daylight and without the crowds I have to wake up at 4 or 5 in the morning. I will brave it one day. And for now, just a shot from an evening walk with the dog.
Monday, April 12, 2010
I took this picture passing by the Union Square (14 street). The sign, that the girl is holding, says “DRESS ME”, and the idea is very simple: choosing from the pile of clothing, you are invited to dress anybody from this group. So, if you always thought that your true calling was to be a stylist, here is your chance to show what the world is missing!
And no, I didn’t dress anybody. They were having too much fun just standing there and wearing … well, almost nothing! Ah, so New York!;)
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
This is Chelsea. The place is “The Cell” (338 West 23rd Street), a venue for literary readings, theatre and music performances, drawing sessions, and many other art related activities. The neon figure is the “Falling Man” by Craig Kraft, one of the leading American neon sculptors.
The "Falling Man" found its permanent place a year ago on the façade of the Cell Theatre after travelling the world since its creation in 1995. Some think that the man is actually dancing on the ledge, some see him climbing…
In the neighborhood full of restaurants, where the attention is drawn to the ground floor of the buildings, this neon colorful figure stands out on the background of the dark windows high above the ground. Chelsea is known for a relaxed atmosphere, coming to life late at night. The “Falling Man” lights up in tune with the surrounding – with the night’s arrival.
Friday, April 9, 2010
Not that I am proposing, OR it is a proposal to me. But this is definitely something that you will see here often – the dedications of the Central Park benches. I will be honest – some of them make me cry. Not this one though.
This one – well, I hope that all worked out for Keturah and her incredibly romantic fiancé, and she said “yes” (should I look for the bench?), and they got married.
FYI, the dedication of a bench doesn’t come cheap. But it lasts a lifetime. I have been following the “benches” for a while now, and have my favorites. Not all of them are happy.
If you are curious about how much it would cost, it starts around $7,500 going up to around $25,000 for a hand-made ”rustic” bench.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
It looks like there was concern that just a “Wet Paint” warning wasn’t enough to prevent tired tourists from sitting down on these benches. “Wanna bet” did the trick though, plus made people smile. You might need to click on the picture to read the sign.
This is the Channel Gardens Promenade at the Rockefeller Center, a very pretty place right in the middle of many attractions of the midtown. Right before Easter I saw the gardeners bringing in the flowers and installing new decorations to welcome the season. Painting the benches is the last touch and hopefully there will be no “betting”!
This Promenade, adorned now with fragrant white lilies, is an area between Fifth Avenue and the sunken plaza with an ice-rink. The sculpture that you see on the picture is one of several fountainheads, creation of René Chambellan, an American sculptor who studied in Paris and New York, and became famous for his architectural sculpture.
I will post a picture of the Promenade in its full Spring glory in a few days.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Monday, April 5, 2010
You are looking at the stretch from 71st to 75th street of the Central Park West, a very desirable area to call home.
Starting from the left, there are 29 stories high twin towers of the Majestic, an art deco apartment building, constructed in 1930-1931.
Next to the right is the legendary Dacota (1884), which became tragically famous when one of its most celebrated residents John Lennon was killed in 1980. His wife Yoko Ono still lives there, and the Strawberry Fields Memorial ("Imagine") is located right across the street, in Central Park.
Next, just a little taller than Dacota, is Langham, built in 1904. This elegant building has its own fascinating story and, as the other buildings, deserves a separate post.
The last on this picture is San Remo (1929). Its twin towers are the tallest along Central Park West. This residential skyscraper is considered to be one of the most prestigious addresses.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
It faces Rockefeller Center and takes up the whole block between 50th and 51st Streets. I will post about it again and not once, but this time will mention the international part of its history - my family and friends in Europe will be happy to have such a connection! In addition to the talented artists from Boston, the artists from Chartres (France) and Birmingham (England) were involved into making the stunning windows of the Cathedral. Plus, the beautiful Pieta is a work of the Italian master Araldo Perugi. Another Italian, Paolo Medici, is a creator of Saint Elizabeth altar.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Every morning it is a dog’s heaven in Central Park. Although during the day the rules are very strict about keeping your pooch on a leash, the morning hours before 9am belong to ever-growing community of dogs and their people. The same is for the evening hours after 9pm. There are limitations still, but it is fair to say that the park becomes a playground for one of the most spoiled layer of Manhattan population. This picture was taken right behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art, between the entrances on 79th and 85th streets.
It should be noted that the law of picking up after your dog is reinforced in the park as much as in the rest of the city. As the dogs leave, the next wave of daily tenants rolls in to play on the same grounds – the kids have their own heaven here, but that’s for a different post.
I must add that making this post one of the first ones in my new blog is not an accident. Whenever I am starting the day with the morning walk in the park with my dog, it is a happy day. So I try to make it there as often as I can, almost every day. My rambunctious giant poodle absolutely loves “bumping” into her friends there, makes sure the squirrels know their place (high up on a tree) and there are no stray tennis balls lying around (we have a collection of her park trophies). Whenever I return from the travels, the morning walk in Central Park signifies “I am back home”.
PS. If you want to see the “dog-friendly” map of Central Park, click here.
Friday, April 2, 2010
It is a magnificent day in New York today – sunny and warm (+16°C in the morning with a promise to reach +25°C!) and the city is alive and happy in anticipation of a beautiful weekend. It is going to be a busy one too. Easter and Spring Break always attract crowds.
Today’s picture is of a very dear to my heart place - the Rockefeller Center Ice Rink. On my first visit to New York I stayed just steps away from the Rockefeller Center, and it was the first place I went to see. Looking at the Rink, I thought that if I lived in NY I would surely be skating here all the time. Many years later, I still have this feel of excitement whenever I look at the skaters. And yes, I skate too, not as often as I thought I would though. It is always special and a lot of fun. The trick is not to expect it to be any sort of serious sport or artistic expression activity! It is just for the mood – the lights, the music, the surrounding. One of those New York moments.
By the way, it is a popular place for marriage proposals. There is even an Engagement Package that is being offered for such an occasion, to make it more… romantic, I suppose. And speaking of – the best time to skate with romance in mind is the last couple of hours on Friday and Saturday when the Rink is open until midnight. It is not too crowded, kids are in bed (for the most part), and the mood is festive but mellow at the same time. It is especially pleasant when the weather is warm, like today. Hm… Writing about it, I am realizing I haven’t done it for a while. I think I have just made plans for tonight!
The Rink will be open until April 18th this year, so if you want to catch the skating time, or if you are in a proposing mood – you still can make it!