Austrian Cultural Forum – a few steps from 5th avenue and Rockefeller Center

Have you ever been to the Austrian Cultural Forum at 11 east 52nd Street? 

First cartoon published in the New Yorker

Many times during the year, they have excellent exhibits. Also, it is convenient 5th Avenue. It’s In a small building, with lots of glass, that houses exhibition spaces, a theater, a library for books and audio recordings, offices, seminar and reception rooms. Often, you will find something new and interesting.

1948

I have never found it overcrowded and the gallery spaces makes for a relaxed visit. The staff is almost invisible but easy to find.

Here are samples from a recent exhibition.

Three with a Pen: Lily Renée, Bil Spira, and Paul Peter Porges feature work by three Jewish artists driven from their homes in Vienna after the German annexation of Austria, the so-called “Anschluss” in 1938. The exhibition showcases examples of their signature work in comic books, New Yorker cartoons, Mad magazine spoofs, caricatures, portraiture, fashion design, advertising, and children’s books, among other formats.

Upper Broadway 1941

Immigration office 1950
Upper Broadway 1941

If near the Rockefeller Center area, I would put it on my list to, at least, peek inside. All events are free.

A reminder that many gallery’s and museums require timed-entry and a VAC card. So bring your cellphone. Note: many also allow walk-ins. So if you find a place that looks interesting go in and ask if they accept walk-ins.

Phone: (212) 319-5300

Is there a Panther and Indian Hunter in Central Park?

After so much heat and humidity, it was a good day to re-visit Central Park. I am always up for a challenge and a good reason to take a walk, I set out to find two American West sculptures.

I decided to start with The Indian Hunter, which is at mid-park at east 66th Street. It is on a pathway west of the Mall and to the east of Sheep Meadow.

The Indian Hunter

The artist (John Quincy Ward) successfully captured a wide range of textural variety—from the roughness of the dog’s fur and the animal pelt wrapped around the hunter’s waist to the smooth polish of the figure’s skin and the softness of his hair. Certainly, depicts a western subject.

Statues of  Baldo and the newest Women’s Rights Pioneers Monument are very close. While they are not American West, they should not be missed.

Women’s Rights Pioneers Monument. celebrates the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote. It is  the very first statue in Central Park dedicated to real women — suffragists and women’s rights activists Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony.
Balto was dedicated to the sled dogs that led several dogsled teams through a snow-storm in the winter of 1925 in order to deliver medicine that would stop a diphtheria epidemic in Nome, Alaska

Heading  north to the Bethesda Terrace and the Loeb Boathouse, Good place for a bathroom break and maybe a snack, we find an unrelated but often overlooked little sculpture – The Rowers

It commemorates philanthropists Carl and Adeline Loeb, who donated the Loeb Boathouse.

This block-like piece, which features a cross-section of deep water looming underneath two seemingly unsuspecting boaters.

A short walk along East Drive (the eastern leg of the “loop”) to find, perched atop a rocky outcrop on the west side of East Drive at 76th Street is Edward Kemeys’ Still Hunt. This may be the only sculpture that is not on a pedestal.

Still Hunt – Panther

This life size statue depicts a crouching panther, ready to pounce on an unsuspecting passerby

Park Rangers have said, “there are probably generations of New York City children who have grown up thinking that there are wildcats in the park.”

Hopefully, along the way you took time to explore and enjoy the park. You are now at east 76th Street. It is a short walk south east to the Alice Wonderland sculpture and the Conservatory Pond ( sometimes you can rent a miniature sailboat – lots of fun!.

Going North you have the Metropolitan Museum and the Reservoir (great view of west side for photos)

Note: the start of this route is near the Zoo. And the end is near Bethesda Terrace. Close is the Metropolitan Museum.  I figure that the walk is about ½ mile one-way mostly on flat surface. Exception: some stairs at the Bethesda terrace . (There are bathrooms here as you go down the mail stairs)

NYC City at NIght

Urban Mountains: New York City is a very visual place to visit… plenty to see and do.  Here are a few photos from places higher than ground-level – imagine yourself here in NYC during the evening.

Updated August 2021

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NEW YORK CITY   It has been called the “City that never sleeps!”

What may be missing at the 2020 (Olympic Games

Click on photos to enlarge

At every Olympics, away from the hordes of cheering spectators and the athletes competing for medals, pin enthusiasts lay out dozens of badges on corkboards or soft cloth in hopes of making a trade. But with overseas spectators banned and delegations asked to stay in a safe coronavirus “bubble”, Tokyo 2020 will be different.

The tradition of trading in the metal keepsakes that represent various sports, cities or competing countries has been around since the early 20th century when athletes and sports officials first swapped their lapel pins as a sign of friendship.

Here are samples of 2020 Pins being traded around the world.

Short History

  • Olympic pin trading is as much a part of the Olympics as the sports themselves.
  • Olympic pins date back to the first Summer Games in Athens in 1896.
  • Everyone from athletes to spectators to journalists all take part in the pin trading tradition.
  • Knowledgeable pin traders said the most coveted pin from the London 2012 Olympics was one that featured a tiny Pikachu.

The pins, about the size of a coin, are these days mostly produced by media and sponsors and given to their staff. The rarest can fetch hundreds of dollars on auction websites.

Here are some sets that are part of our family’s collection. I snuck in a World Series set just happen to have Boston pin.

Poster House – East 23rd Street

The Poster House located on 119 W 23rd Street is a small museum that 0ften has some unique poster exhibitions. It is just a few blocks west of the Flatiron building and Madison Square Park. Nearby is the Leggo store and Eataly( eating place) and many stores.

This months exhibition highlights austrian graphics artist julius klinger. He was a leader in commercial visual designs. I really had no interest in his work but, for free, I enjoyed the visit.

This is one of the places in NYC that you should know exists. However, you should check their web site first to see if the current exhibition is something you would like. . The normal entrance fee is 12 dollars but during the year they have “free days”.

So, put this one in your Flatiron or Madison Square Park folder.

I just remembered that the Harry Potter store is now open near the flatiron building Read this article here to get needed information.

2021 NYC Summer – Ice Cream

This is a summary of an article in “Time Out” By Time Out contributors and Amber Sutherland-Namako

A link to their full article is at the end of this summary.

Every summer thousands of people visit Manhattan and the boroughs. Most come to see the sites and enjoy the liveliness that is NYC. When it is hot and tired what’s better than cooling off with delicious Ice Cream.

Here are few from the article that were of interest to me. The several selected are not from mid-town rather they were selected for their uniqueness. In the major article you will find a wider selection to choose from.

Musket Room in NoLIta is serving house made ice cream sandwiches from its takeout window on weekends from noon to 4pm.

You can choose from a vegan coconut caramel cookie with coconut ice cream, a chocolate chip cookie with miso ice cream and a hazelnut macaron with blackberry.

Ready to taste these incredible ice cream sandwiches? They’re just $8 apiece and will be available through the summer. 265 Elizabeth St. (near E Houston S

 Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

A family-run Chinatown institution for more than 40 years, this popular scoop shop sells durian, pandani, red bean and other lesser-seen ice cream varieties. The place is compact, so plan on taking this perfect treat for a walk through the neighborhood. 65 Bayard St. A block away from Columbus Park

Sundaes and Cones

The shop doesn’t try to wow you with an Instagram able interior design or toppings like edible glitter; instead, it sells wasabi, black sesame, ginger and other flavors you won’t find just anywhere. East village. 95 E 10th St A little north of Astor Square and St Mark’s

 Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream

Full range of scoop flavors (chocolate, honeycomb, Sicilian pistachio)—churned with hormone-free milk sourced from upstate cows—the environmentally conscious ice cream café serves an array of vegan options. 48 E 7th St. A little east of 2nd Ave. Close to McSorley’s Ale House

 Soft Swerve

When only soft serve will do, Soft Swerve wildly improves on some old familiars. Lower East Side 85 Allen St. Near Tenement Museum

Big Gay Ice Cream Shop

Quirky soft-serve creations in a cute West Village shop, emblazoned with a giant rainbow-swirled cone. 61 Grove Street. Just off Christopher St Park

 Il Laboratorio del Gelato

Industrial tasting room offers 40 flavors at a time,56 University Place. Three blocks from Washington Sq. Park.

 Davey’s Ice Cream

This colorful East Village shop is the brainchild of graphic-designer-turned-dessert-maven David Yoo, who’s churning out all-natural sweet cream-based parlor classics like salted caramel and roasted pistachio. East village 137 1st Ave. St Mark’s Place

Time Out Full Article

Remember when going to a destination in NYC, first check their website. Some stores have closed (suddenly).

little guardians of nature – Apple Heads

Many of you who follow this blog have read my experiences on finding new and different objects within NYC. Yesterday, I discovered some very unusual objects on fence posts at a park I visit every day.

Joanne Howard, artist

I was surprised to find them but more surprised to find out that they were probably there for the past five months.

So, with a little research, here is the story:

Last March, more than 40 scrunched-up apples carved into distinctive human faces and cast in bronze were placed in a small NYC park- Carl Schurz Park.

The exhibition consisted of carving human faces into apples and letting them dry out, causing them to resemble wizened elders, with seemingly unique, human-like personalities.

They were then cast in bronze and screwed into fenceposts along East End Avenue near the park’s main entrance, as well as along “Cherry Alley,” which leads to the park’s central garden.

Difficult to spot

The artist, Joanne Howard wrote that the three-inch-tall heads are “subtle,” and will likely go unnoticed by many park visitors. I think of them as little guardians of nature, protectors of the trees,” Howard said. “I think there’s something whimsical about them.”

No matter how boring a walk can be, along the same path, there is always hope in finding something new.

Forgotten or Lost? WW1 Memorial

Today a group of people who visited a world War I Memorial in Central Park published a post in a local blog. It was a visit to the WWI 307th Infantry Regiment Memorial Grove.

I must confess having explored Central Park, for several years, this was new to me. The memorial is in a grove dedicated to the  WWI 307th Infantry Regiment.

The Grove is an area of Central Park located just south of the Band Shell, surrounded on all four sides by paved walkways.

The area of the Grove originally was covered with grass, consistent with the adjacent areas of the park. However, a number of years ago, the grass was replaced with wood chips, apparently as a result of soil erosion and insufficient sunlight below the tall tree canopy.

The Regiment participated in the following campaigns: Oise-Aisne, Meuse-Argonne, Champagne, and Lorraine. Company K was a member of the “Lost Battalion“.

The lost battalion — outnumbered, outmaneuvered and outguessed — was cut off from other American forces along the Western Front. It was also hit by friendly fire and stunned by German flamethrowers. A captain was so badly wounded he leaned on rifles as crutches as he continued to give orders to the single surviving machine-gunner. The casualties were almost unfathomable: By the time reinforcements finally arrived, 107 soldiers had been killed, 190 were wounded and 63 were missing. Little more than a third of the unit, 194 of the original 554 soldiers, escaped unhurt.

After the war, young trees were planted in the grove—each representing one of the regiment’s companies—which features a memorial plaque naming the men of that company who died in battle. One of those plaques specifically honors the fallen members of Company H, 307th Infantry Regiment, including baseball great CPT Edward (“Eddie”) L. Grant.

The Grove also contains the 307th Infantry Regiment Stone, with its plaque honoring all companies, and the Knights of Pythias Stone.



Thanks to the group for sharing…

I later noticed that there had been a movie made about the Lost Battalion.

NYC – Flowers an Inspiration

A limited series that first appeared on Facebook and Instagram

Taking a little break from the streets of NYC to highlight the flowers that help make our visual world so interesting.

click for larger image

NYC – The North Woods-Ravine and more

Read – Construction in the area March 20, 2021

updated for future planning

This year where traveling is limited and keeping a safe distance is hard to achieve, why not a nice walk in the woods. [ the photos are from a fall walk but it is a nice walk in any season.

The North Woods is located at the very northern part of Central Park. It has the feeling of being in the woods. It is a little off the typical tourist area but on a nice day is worth a visit.

You can start this walk from two directions.

The first is from the Meer and walk west and then around the pool where, in a parking lot, (maybe construction detours during 2021) you will see a stone arch You are now in The Ravine. The second approach is from the west side (1ooth Street) starting at the Pond.  The Pond is a small lake with green lawns, a waterfall and a loch at the other end. Walk to the end of the pond and  follow the stream into the Ravine.

There is much more to see in this part of the park. Here is an excellent link with a good map here.

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