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NYC Events – Small Parades – don’t miss them.

While walking around the city, I sometimes run into a small event such as a parade or block party. These are the times when the city really shows off its diversity.

 

 

Many people are familiar with parades such as the West Indian, Puerto Rican and St. Patrick’s Day parade. Occasionally though, the smaller parades demonstrate the culture, history and music of unique nationalities. Sometimes, you can enjoy and maybe even move and dance to their music.

This past week, Nigeria celebrated its independence with a parade and participants wearing traditional and lively African costumes really enjoyed themselves – I did too!

I encourage you, when visiting NYC, to look for these small events that can add to your enjoyment of the city. Google to find events or festivals and street fairs – there are many sites to choose from.

ps: Many times there is geat food to be had as well!

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A forgotten Garden in Fredericksburg VA – was to be part of The National Slave Museum.

UPDATED WITH 2017 PHOTOS – AT END OF ARTICLE.

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Tucked away in a remote area of Fredericksburg VA is a small garden – The spirit of Freedom – A somewhat forgotten part of what was to be The National Slave Museum.

In 2013, mostly overgrown it is tended to, occasionally, by a young student who has taken the voluntary task of trying to maintain the garden. The National Slave Museum has gone bankrupt and the property will probably become a ball field. I was impressed with the young girls attempt to keep this place alive so I searched and found the garden.

The garden is near several Civil War battlefields where soldiers fought to preserve slavery, In the center of the garden stands a solemn stone figure arms outstretched, face turned skyward as if rejoicing over the broken shackles etched into its thick arms….The Hallelujah Sculpture, a 5,000 pound statue,” according to museum officials, “represents the pain, tears, and un-timely deaths of those millions who never gave up on their belief that one day they would be free.”

As interesting as the statue is, I found, at the rear of the garden, an amazing discovery. There were several tree trunks with beautifully carved designs of slaves in various positions. Here is a brief slide show.

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The remainder of the garden:

 

UPDATE: October 2017

After three years, I had a chance to re-visit the site. You can see through the following photos that, while you can still see a few of the remains, the site is almost fully forgotten history

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Take a virtual Vacation from the city – Southern Maine

Take a virtual Vacation from the city – Southern Maine

Cape Porpoise, Maine is a small coastal village in the town of Kennebunkport, Maine.

It is a small fishing village on the southern coast.

While most likely you would want to stay in busy Kennebunkport,

nearby Cape Porpoise is a quaint quiet working fishing harbor.

Take the short drive out to the Cape Porpoise Pier and you will witness working fisherman, hauling lobster traps, fueling their boats and heading in and out of this pretty tidal harbor to the Atlantic Ocean.

Every time I imagine I have found my little seaside haven. Much of Cape Porpoise

has that old-fashioned feel – the way Maine used to be.

As a nice touch to your visit you are close up to one of Maine’s oldest lighthouses.

Goat Island Light is stationed here in Cape Porpoise and is  best viewed from the Pier.

 

There are four restaurants in the area. One has great take out food.
Can be enjoyed  while siting on  the benches at the pier.
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NYC -The National Museum of the American Indian -Lower Manhattan – Free

The National Museum of the American Indian

This is one building you can’t miss! One Bowling Green facing Broadway and Trinity Streets. Just a stones throw from the famous “Wall Street Bull”. And, only a short walk from Castle Clinton and the Statue of Liberty boat entrance.

 

 

 

The U.S. Custom House is a seven-story structure on the south side of Bowling Green.

 

It has a grand set of stairs facing Bowling Green.

 

 

 

Everything seems huge and as you enter the interior feels immense but is very simply laid out with a spectacular rotunda.

The second floor gallery houses the permanent exhibition other floors were not open. Masterworks from Native cultures highlight the collections. If you are at Battery Park it may be worth a visit. This is Part Two – Part One – here

The collection of art and artifacts are from a variety of tribes spanning hundreds of years. The individual items selected for showing are outstanding. However, I did not get a sense of history as everything is organized geographically rather than chronologically. While the exhibits are excellent,  they seem a little lost in such  a large building.

 (click photos to enlarge)

 

As I said earlier, I enjoyed the individual artifacts and was glad that I went inside this majestic building.

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NYC – Madison Avenue – South? Native Fashion Now comes to Lower Manhattan

Part One

Lower Manhattan on a bright sunny day… hot, humid and in need of “coolness”. What better way to escape but to visit the  NYC Museum of the American Indian.

The museum  is located in the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House at One Bowling Green in New York City. ( more on this on next blog.) Free admission too!

During this visit they had on display an exhibition “Native Fashion Now” Nearly 70 works spanning the last 50 years Native fashion designers and artists from style-makers to maverick designers. The show emphasizes fashion and creativity in Native culture. I share a few photos from this exhibit. I will share in the next blog some of the interesting exhibits in  other parts of the building..

Part two will cover the building history as well as the other exhibits.

 

 

 

 

“Native Fashion Now” is on view through September 4, 2017.

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Petersburg, Virginia – coming back

Growing up, busses were very popular. Kate and I stopped in Petersburg, Virginia and I noticed an old bus Terminal.

Maybe you still have an old toy bus somewhere? If so, post a pic of it on FB…

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NYC – The Explorers Club -worth a visit

 

The Explorers Club

Walking to Central Park along  east 70th Street.  I was intrigued by the façade of a building that looked like it was Elizabethan England. I Crossed the street to have a better look and peered through the heavy metal door. Inside, it looked like a private club all wood and leather chairs. Also there were all kinds of interesting items hanging from the walls. Of course it didn’t dawn on me to look at the nameplate on the door before looking – The Explorers Club.

 

 

I hesitated a moment and then opened the door and was met by a very friendly receptionist. I asked if the club was open to the public and she said it was a private club but that I could visit the  first two floors. What a treat, I was about to become a faux explorer for a few hours!

 

 

What is the Explorer’s Club?

Founded in New York City in 1904,  the private Explorers Club promotes the scientific exploration of land, sea, ai, and space by supporting research and education in the physical, natural and biological sciences. The Club’s members have been responsible for an illustrious series of famous firsts: First to the North Pole, first to the South Pole, first to the summit of Mount Everest, first to the deepest point in the ocean, first to the surface of the moon—all accomplished by members. Members must have participated in some form of scientific exploration. The club is filed with souvenirs you won’t find anywhere else, such as an Explorers Club Flag Carried on the moon, a taxidermied Siberian polar bear and a ship’s bell from Admiral Byrd’s expedition.

Upon entering, I had the feeling that I was entering an old estate in England… Tudor. Jacobean and wood everywhere!

 

Members Lounge

First floor foyer

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Second Floor

The Clark room is the largest in the building where the walls are covered with noteworthy flags. One of these flags is taken to the Gobi Desert by paleontologist Roy Andrews. – I mention this because he was the inspiration for the movie “Indians Jones”.

 

 

The Library Room

 

 

There are still four more floors but they are not open to the public.

Als0, one block awayfrom Central Park and the Frick Museum.

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