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.

ravine_blog_3_2013

Outside Grand Central Station – 4 current event questions

 

Who was General John J Pershing?

 

Many of you have probably passed by Pershing Square which is a public square where Park Avenue and 42nd Street intersect. The square is named after General John J. Pershing and was originally intended to be an open plaza.

Read about him here General John J. Pershing

A tourist information center under the viaduct, was built in 1939; it was later reconfigured to be a store and then a restaurant. 

TriviaThe classic friends-who-fall-in-love couple, played by Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis in “Friends with Benefits” features a scene at the famous Pershing Square located right across Grand Central. Immediately after the characters’ huge reconciliation at the train station, they head over to the bustling restaurant known for its breakfast, for an official first date as something more than friends. The restaurant was renamed Central Cafe for the movie.

Where was the Daily Planet?

 

The Daily Planet is a fictional broadsheet newspaper appearing in comic books and commonly  association with Superman.

Just east of Pershing Square is the old New York news building. (Daily Planet? ) The outside art-deco is worth a look. Inside is very unique but unfortunately they will not allow you to take inside photos – but you should go inside and ask and slowly exit while looking at the lobby. To see the interior click here from a previous blog

Who is Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada?

Who was Nathan Hale ?

On the west side of the Grand central is Vanderbilt Avenue and a bit down the street is the Yale Building. It is said that this is the spot where Nathan Hale was hanged.

Nathan Hale (June 6, 1755 – September 22, 1776) was an American soldier and spy for the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. He volunteered for an intelligence-gathering mission in New York City but was captured by the British and executed.

His fame rests on a single quote, though it was a beauty, a veritable sound bite for the ages: “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country. Nathan Hale played an important role in the battle for New York. 

However, there are two competing locations. A plaque posted on a Banana Republic store at Third Avenue and 66th Street

Also, in City Hall Park there is a statue of Nathan Hale.

I guess, no one seems to know, for sure, where he was actually executed.

NOW YOU KNOW!

What’s holding Central Park together?

Answer: The four Corners!

Grand Army Plaza, Columbus Circle, Frederick Douglass Circle, and the Duke Ellington Circle are at the four corner’s of this famous park.

The two most popular corner landmarks are the Grand Army Plaza and the Columbus Circle. The Frederick Douglas and Duke Ellinton circles are further north and usually less frequented. There are 20 gates (entrances) that open up into the park.

I encourage you to go well within the edges of the park, as the it is a favorite place of both tourists and locals alike and has ponds, sculptures, archways, meadows, and gardens, all within these four corners. There are 58 miles (93.3 km) of paths in Central Park each invites you to wander.

The Grand Army Plaza (Manhattan)

Southeast corner of Central Park at Central Park South (West 59th) and 5th Avenue.

Not many people realize that the plaza is bounded on the north by 60th Street, which contains the Scholar’s Gate entrance to Central Park; on the west by Central Park and the Plaza Hotel; on the south by 58th Street. These older photos show the boundaries more clearly.

I must tell you that until I found this photo I never knew where the plaza boundaries were. When walking through the Plaza you don’t get the feeling of how large it truly is. I think the reason for this is that it is broken up by busy roads.

The centerpiece of the plaza’s northern half (carved out of the southeastern corner of Central Park), is the equestrian statue of William Tecumseh Sherman 
while the principal feature of the plaza’s southern half is the Pulitzer Fountain, topped with a bronze statue of the Roman goddess Pomona

Story:  It seems, there was some controversy concerning the Pulitzer Fountain. The widow of the great Cornelius Vanderbilt ( Bergdorf-Building site was once her mansion) objected to the statues depiction of her naked derriere. The view from her bedroom looked north towards the Park.  The problem was that now it also had an unobstructed view of the statue’s naked posterior.  As the story goes, in heated defiance Alice Vanderbilt ordered that her bedroom be moved a full city block to the south to protect her gaze from the offending statue.

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Take time to enter the park from the Plaza and you will find a Pond there to welcome you with its serene atmosphere. You can walk along the water’s edge and watch ducks swimming, pass by the secluded Hallett Nature Sanctuary where small animals and birds thrive, then cross over the stone arch of Gapstow Bridge. The bridge offers wonderful views of New York City’s skyscrapers and the Plaza Hotel, making it a popular photo location in Central Park.

Gapstow bridge is the most iconic bridge of Central Park with phenomenal views of the midtown skyline
Southern part of the Park.

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Columbus Circle

I imagine that Columbus Circle is familiar to most people visiting NYC. Often seen on TV as a place for people to protest and highlighted during the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. It is a very busy traffic circle that governs two-way Central Park South, west, and 8th Avenue traffic, and southbound Broadway traffic (Broadway becomes two-way north of it

Debate continues to rage over the fate of the Christopher Columbus Statue  is intended to celebrate the country’s Italian-American population, critics say Columbus’s history of colonialism and genocide are reasons for its removal.

Traffic Circle
Inside Time Warner building

Just opposite of the circle is the Merchant’s Gate with the enormous Maine Monument, which commemorates the sinking of the battleship Maine in 1898. The monument honors the 258 American sailors who perished when the battleship Maine exploded in the harbor of Havana, Cuba, then under Spanish rule. The bronze  for the sculpture group on the top  of the pylon    came from metal recovered from the guns of the Maine. There is memorial plaque on the park side of the monument. This  plaque was cast in metal salvaged from the ship.

Story: My guess is that unless some one told you that it was a Maine Memorial Monument, You would never know it from the design. Part of the Maine is also displayed within Arlington cemetery in Washington, DC

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This part of the park has open fields and leisurely paths. However, it might be time to Look inside the Time Warner Building. The view from inside is quite dramatic.

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Now we have two remaining corners to reach.

The other two corners are a bit further away. The distance from here to Frederick Douglass Circle is 2.5 miles

My suggestion

Schedule a visit to the North part of the park at another time.

There is much to see “up north” and you can enjoy its difference from the southern part of the park.

Here is a map that will show you the area around the remaining two corners of the parks.

Frederick Douglass Circle

(west 110th Street and Central Park West)

Author, statesman, and orator Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) was born into slavery in Maryland. On September 3, 1838 he escaped by boarding a train disguised as a seaman, and traveled to Delaware and Philadelphia before arriving at a safe house in New York City via the Underground Railroad.

He later purchased his freedom while in the north and became renowned for his oratory in the abolitionist cause.

Frederick Douglass Circle is relatively new. Though the circle was named for Douglass in 1950, construction of the central plaza did not begin until 2004 and was unfinished until 2010.

Frederick Douglass Circle is relatively new. Though the circle was named for Douglass in 1950, construction of the central plaza did not begin until 2004 and was unfinished until 2010.

Duke Ellington Circle

(West 110th Street and 5th Avenue)

The striking 30-foot tall bronze Ellington Memorial shows the Duke standing beside his piano facing east, on a pedestal supported by three columns among a group of trees.

The intersection of 5th Avenue and East 110th Street, Central Park North, actually has accumulated three names over the years:

Duke Ellington the pop/jazz immortal, who popularized of “Take the A Train”

Earnesto Antonio “Tito” Puente the man who was synonymous with salsa.

James J Frawley a Tammy Hall District Leader (no photo available)

Story: Duke Ellington lived in the Upper West Side in several locations, so it’s slightly unusual that his memorial is here at an intersection on what’s technically the East Side. Whereas, five-time Grammy Award winner  Ernesto Antonio “Tito” Puente lived on East 110th as a child and youth from 1923 to 1938, and lived in Spanish Harlem for much of his life.

Of course to really enjoy Central Park you need to go inside. Happy Trails to you…

NYC – Three Kings Parade – Celebration – 2021 (Virtual)

Updated from 2017

El Museo del Barrio is delighted to present the 44th Annual Three Kings Day (Virtual) Celebration on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, titled Fuerza Colectiva: Celebrating our Roots and Diversity. The upcoming celebration honors and embraces our community’s collective strength in response to the pandemic and injustice, and the cultural contributions of the African diaspora. The Museum’s first-ever virtual celebration, hosted and directed by TV personality and Producer, Rhina Valentin, will include musical performances, festive skits, cameos by our famous giant puppets, and saludos from this year’s honorees.

It is a small event as NYC events go. In the past it had  mostly parents  participating with three children. It is but one of many activities that make NYC neighborhoods great.

https://www.elmuseo.org/event/3kings-schools/

Photo are from past years.

and  the cleanup crew…

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NYC – Winter Walk-Give it a try!

During this unique time and being careful of keeping distances and not going stir crazy, I suggest the following:

Find a few places to walk where there are not a lot of people in groups. Getting outside into the Crisp winter air emphasizes the beauty of luminous clouds, maybe eerie fog and mist, and (if an early bird) capture that special light only a sunrise can provide.  If not sure this is your thing then, you should start out taking short jaunts from your vehicle or apartment; no big hikes.

The city affords you to notice the changing colors and shadows along tree lined streets. City parks can provide you the beauty of a rural nature.

The main concern is to wear comfortable layered clothing. Do not bundle up too much! Believe me, the main concern is staying dry – little sweating – and being able to add or remove layers as needed to adjust to the temperature.

When I walk in the city, I wear a light knapsack. [When in a park or the woods, where there is snow, I do the same but sometimes drag a plastic sled behind me – good to store extra layers or maybe camera stuff or a snack. (don’t overdo the weight).]

My camera equipment, for the most part, will function as normal as I keep the battery warm as possible. I have a spare battery in my inside pocket. My Iphone stays in my pocket until needed.[Cold weather takes its toll on batteries]

With the right clothing, planning, and dependable equipment, nature provides us with some magnificent material! Give it a try if you haven’t yet.

I convinced myself to go for a walk in the neighborhood. Some of these photos will show you the vibrant colors that can be captured during of a winter walk. {You don’t need a camera to enjoy the walk!]

Barber Poles – a Little Tale

While getting in my daily exercise, I often start re-looking at places I have been before. For example, on this walk, I noticed that along 2nd Avenue there seemed to be an unusual amount of barber shops. You could hardly miss the white, red and blue poles outside. It hit me that the barber pole tells you what goes on inside – in fact a few shops had no sign at all.

When I got home, I wondered how many other shapes and images convey meaning so fast – they are more meaningful than words. Some are easy to understand and their universal meaning makes them as useful today as they were over the years of existence.

I plan on adding some on another blog post.

Warning stop here if you would rather not know.

Red, white, and blue barber poles look patriotic, but there’s a blood-soaked meaning behind their design.

Those rotating red, white, and blue poles outside barbershops have become an icon. At first glance, you’d probably assume barber pole designs have a patriotic background. But the reality is pretty gruesome.

Not too late to stop.

Barbers have been cutting hair for centuries, but they used to have a longer job description. In medieval times, the professionals were known as barber-surgeons, which is just what it sounds like. They weren’t just there to give customers a trim—they’d also perform minor surgery, pull teeth, and amputate limbs and one procedure—bloodletting—led to the barbershop poles you see today.

At the time, people thought having too much blood in a certain area could cause diseases like fevers or the plague so barbers started offering the service instead.

Last chance to leave.

During the treatment, barber-surgeons would give patients poles to hold, the original barber poles. Even back then, people knew there was a limit to bloodletting, so barbers would stop the bleeding with a white cloth. They’d then tie those towels to the poles and hang them outside their shops. Some towels stayed blood-stained even after they were washed, so it was common to see a pole with white and red swirling around in the breeze.

These days, barbers leave the medical treatment to doctors, but their poles are a nod to their bloody past.

Now, that you have joined me this far it is up to you to decide.

Just SCARY STORY OR THE TRUTH ?

Do you recognize any of these?

Read Now: November 2020 Dated info for NYC skating and more

11/21/2020 – 1/17/2021:the rink at Rockefeller center opens: the world-famous outdoor ice skating rink opens for a limited season this year, with timed-entry tickets required. $25-35 admission, plus $15 skate rental (or byo).

Completed Ruth Bader Ginsburg mural in the east village: you can view street artist elle’s tribute to rbg at 1st avenue + 11th street.

Macy’s holiday windows: this year’s windows at the herald square flagship honor nyc’s frontline workers.

Bryant parks’ Winter Village Rink is open.
Contactless ticketing: all skate time must be reserved online.

https://rink.wintervillage.org/

The Rink
Oct 31 – Nov 25: 8am-10pm
Nov 26 – Jan 3: 8am-11pm
Dec 31: 8am-4pm*
Jan 4 – Mar 7: 8am-10pm

This weekend – 11am-6pm:Hester street fair closing weekend: last chance this season to shop from a curated selection of vendors at the lower east side weekend market. free admission.

Egg Cream and a visit to NYC.

egg cream_blog_image

“When I was a young man – no bigger than this
A chocolate egg cream was not to be missed
Some U Bet’s Chocolate Syrup, seltzer water mixed with milk
Stir it up into a heady fro – tasted just like silk.

“You scream, I steam, We all want Egg Cream.”

From the song, EGG CREAM, words and music by Lou Reed.

Most visitors to New York arrive keen to sample the city’s culinary delights, but while pretzels, bagels and jumbo deli sandwiches figure highly on many tourists’ food shopping lists, the egg cream is as foreign as it gets.

Everybody has egg cream memories. You may have them and not even be aware. One in six Americans trace their family roots back to Brooklyn, New York.

For those of you interested in the historical details, it is rumored that the first product that could be described as an egg cream was developed during the early 1890’s.

How its made

It’s essentially the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit,

Sometime around 1920, the Lower East Side of Manhattan also claimed origination of an egg cream formula. [To this day, a source of debate.]

Many  of the traditional fountain services began to disappear during the 70’s. Some Diners, and delis are trying to keep The egg cream tradition alive. However, I don’t think that there are many people today keeping the drink popular. I have listed a few places that claim to still serve them.

The East Village is a great place to find egg creams with an Eastern European old world charm associated with them.

LITTLE POLAND 200 Second Avenue
VESELKA 144 Second Avenue 

RAY’S CANDY 113 Avenue A
ODESSA RESTAURANT 119 Avenue A

A few others

  • SQUARE DINER 33 Leonard Street
  • WASHINGTON SQUARE DINER 150 West 4th
  • EISENBERG’S SANDWICH SHOP 174 Fifth Avenue
  • LEXINGTON CANDY SHOP 1226 Lexington Avenue
  • NEIL’S COFFEE SHOP 961 Lexington Avenue
  • 3 STAR COFFEE SHOP 541 Columbus Avenue
  • LANSKY’S OLD WORLD DELI 235 Columbus Avenue
  • TOM’S RESTAURANT 2880 Broadway

Warning:

Before planning a visit to NYC you should check to see what stores and/or restaurants are open. Also, realize that most will only have outside seating.

If driving into the city be aware that there are fewer on street parking due to the use of some spaces for restaurant use.

Note that major tourist areas may have limitations but places like Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park and Central Park are all open-air spaces.