New York City – May 2018 – Sights Around the City

A couple of days in the city with some highlights.

 

The Staten Island Ferry

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The Statue of Liberty

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Statue in front of Bowling Green (Customs House)

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Madison Square Park in bloom and Met Life Building

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St Patricks

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Relief on 50 Rockefeller Plaza

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By the end of the day I was back in Jersey City and Hoboken, both of which offer great views of Manhattan. This view shows some of the posts from an old pier in Jersey City back across to lower Manhattan. The buildings are lit up from the clouds just beginning to break when the sun was setting.

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This view of Midtown from Hoboken across a pier.

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A view of the Newport neighborhood with the Hoboken Terminal in the foreground.

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Brooklyn – May 2018 – Vintage Subway Car Interiors

The New York Transit Museum, located in downtown Brooklyn, has a great collection of vintage subway cars. This posting documents the change in interiors over the years

Traditionally subway riders have been known as ‘Straphangers’. To todays subway customers this makes no sense since there are a plethora of metal bars to hang onto, but in 1908 they had true straps.

Below are a series of photos of the interiors (hopefully I got the details on the car types correct)

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Early 1900s car with rattan seats and wood grab bars. While stylish it would’ve been very hot in the summer, even with the hat chopping paddle fan

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The ‘Million Dollar Car’. Built in the 1940s in anticipation of the Second Avenue Subway (which finally opened in 2017).

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1930s IND ‘City Car’ with striped rattan seats.

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R40 Subway Car from the 1960s – 1970s. While more practical they still had some style.

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R38 subway car from the late 1960s

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R44 subway car. To be realistic they should’ve left graffiti. By this point they are not nearly as stylish as the earlier ones.

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Brooklyn – May 2018 – Subway Mosaics

The New York Transit Museum hosted a talk and book signing with Phil Coppolla who for the last 40 years has gone around the subway system sketching the mosaic signs and artwork that is omnipresent throughout the system.

 

After a film maker showed a 22 minute film on Phil they had a panel discussion.

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As we left we passed a great example in a nearby station.

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The next day at Grand Central Terminal where the Museum has a store and small gallery. They were featuring Phil’s work, including a number of his original sketch books.

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Also included are some of the artwork. Astor Place is named for John Jacob Astor, who was one of America’s first millionaires in the early 1800s. He made his first fortune on furs, hence the beaver sculpture.

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One of the original 33rd Street pieces.

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Phil had very detailed sketches for each one.

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After viewing the exhibit you will find yourself looking at the stations in a different light, actively seeking out the artwork.

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New York City – April 2018 – Sunday Morning on the High Line

The High Line runs for about 1.5 miles across the lower west side of Manhattan. Originally an elevated freight line to get commerce in and out of the industrial and warehouses that once populated the area, it has been transformed into an urban park.

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Along much of the path the original rails have been retained and planted with native plants.

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A few spots traverse through the original buildings, all of which have been restored.

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One of the spur lines that went directly into a building is a ‘garden’. While it may look like weeds to most, they want it to look that way.  A tree many grow in Brooklyn but Manhattan has trendy weeds (and not those kind)

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There is some art work along the path as well.

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Recently it has been extended to the booming area of Hudson Yards.

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New York City – November 2017 – Tourist Day in Manhattan

With a day to spend in Manhattan with nothing special planned we wandered the city and checked out some of the non tacky tourist spots (i.e. Time Square)

Bryant Park Ice Rink and the Main Library

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Entrance to Rockefeller Center

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Statue and Flags at Rockefeller Center

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The Oculus

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Central Park West View

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A stop at the Met.

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Ornate apartment building on Fifth Avenue.

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Where do they put the prisoners?

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A great day in the city.

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New York City – November 2017 – Canstruction

Brookfield Place in lower Manhattan (near the World Trade Center) is the home of ‘Canstruction’, an art display made out of canned foods. The goal is to collect canned foods for the City Harvest, a New York City food bank.

 

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Mystic, CT & Newport, RI – Late Summer 2016 Road Trip – Day 4

MysticIf you really want to test a marriage tell her we are leaving the hotel at 5:45 AM to beat the traffic into and through the city. True to course we were in the Holland Tunnel at 6 AM, eventually making our way to Park Avenue, before cutting across 79th Street to the Henry Hudson Parkway to get out of the city. It was interesting sailing up Park Avenue with little traffic, and few people on the street.

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Once on the Henry Hudson Parkway it was fortuitous that we were leaving the city as you did start to see traffic backed up coming off of the GWB and onto the Parkway. But the view of the bridge, albeit brief, was excellent with the towers gleaming in the morning sun.

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We made a brief stop in New Canaan, Connecticut for coffee and hot chocolate at Zumbach’s Coffee. An interesting little shop who specializes in grinding their own beans, they had bags of them everywhere.

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After crossing much of southern Connecticut we arrived at our next stop, at Mystic, to see the Mystic Seaport.  Subtitled The Museum of America and the Sea offered a glimpse into the whaling industry and the importance of shipping to the area.  We were free to roam the shipyard to stroll through the recreated 19th-century seafaring village, comprised of dozens of real 19th-century buildings brought there from parts of New England and staffed with historians and craftspeople.

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Also onsite is a cooper’s shop that made barrels, the rigger’s shop that made and installed the ropes on ships.  The rigger shop was a long building with ropes stretched and looped; it had spools of hemp or manila to make rope for the rigging on the ship as in early times there, but today, rigging is made of wire or chain.  The final buildings in the village were a home and general store open for tours, as well as a small ship.

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There was a large shipyard where repairs are made indoors to ships. This enormous building offered a bird’s eye view of the carpenter’s shop and massive yard to hold the ship. Currently there is restoration work being done on the Charles W. Morgan.  The ship, owned by Mystic Seaport and docked at the Seaport’s Chubb’s Wharf, is the last wooden whaling ship in existence and the oldest commercial vessel still afloat. This ship had not sailed for nearly 100 years.

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Prior to the 16-week voyage that set off on May 17, 2014 along New England, the Seaport had spent $7.5 million on the vessel’s restoration.  Built in 1841, the Morgan is a legendary relic of the whaling age that sailing historians consider priceless.  Now as of our visit, the Charles Morgan is again in repair for more work not allowing us to board the ship. We did visit the museum of artifacts and the history of whaling in America.  Whale teeth and baleen were part of more than 100 whaling-related artifacts, images, and documents, including logbooks, photographs, scrimshaw, ship models, souvenirs, and sound recordings.

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From there it was another hour drive to Newport, Rhode Island, a tourist town that capitalizes on the millionaire mansions from long ago such as the Breakers. Initially we parked in town and had lunch at the Red Parrot. Lunch was excellent, as we sat at an open window looking upon the street, which was filled with traffic and scooters the entire time, with the harbor just down the street.

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We made our way to the Cliff Walk area, finding parking on a street and starting the hike along the path. The first mansion we came upon is the Breakers, an east coast summer palace owned by Cornelius Vanderbilt located on Ochre Point Avenue in Newport with a view of the Atlantic Ocean.  As we continued along the paved cliff walk that snaked along the edge above a rocky ocean beach hoping to see the millionaire mansions, but, only saw surfers catching waves riding into dangerous water near boulders.

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Finally giving up on the cliff walk, our route took us back to the street for a front view of the mansions until we reached the car. A drive along the ocean drive in Newport while seeing cliffs, beaches and marinas filled with small boats.  Eventually we had enough of Newport and headed for our home for the night in New Bedford, Massachusetts, a Residence Inn.  The hotel fed us a complimentary dinner of meatballs and Italian sausage.  We laughed thinking that our best meal thus far was a free meal from the hotel.