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NYC – San Gennaro Festival

 

The Feast of San Gennaro

 

Every year people flock  to Little Italy to celebrate Italian heritage and to feast on some of the best Italian cuisine the city has to offer.

For some, this is the opportunity to enjoy some amazing food, special music performances. This year, the festival started on September 13th and will end on September  23rd .

 

I joined the celebration on Saturday September 15 during the day just as they were getting the parade organized

 

(Sorry for the extra stuff at end of video but only way I could get it in WP was Youtube)

And of course — always an Italian singer.

I added an accordion player

 

 

 

Marching up Mulberry Street with a little “upbeat” music

And the grand Marshal… hint to my family look closely in background

Grand Marshall Vic DiBitetto, the comic, mingled with the crowd as his float maneuvered through narrow Mulberry Street and its crowds

Sorry for misspelling Gennaro a few times
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NYC – NYC Water Towers -ART – update 2018

Updated 2018

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This Land Is Your Land by Ivan Navarro

New York City’s water towers are iconic, and a hundred of them are covered in artwork created by Jeff Koons, Maya Lin, and other artists. They are meant to raise awareness of global water problems and encourage New Yorkers to drink their tap water.

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What are those wooden water tanks?

When I first started visiting the city I noticed that the City’s skyline is dotted with wooden water towers. My first thought was to mistake them for vanishing relics of a bygone era. Maybe like seltzer bottles and street gas lamps.

But what I didn’t realize is the towers are hardly antiques — in fact, most drink and bathe from the water stored in them every day. We think they are old because they look as though they are. While many are more than 30 years old, even new ones look old because they are made of wood that isn’t painted or chemically treated (so as not to taint drinking water).

Though the technology has become more efficient, the concept of gravity delivering water from a wood tank hasn’t changed in decades. The average wood tank holds 10,000 gallons of water and costs around $30,000.

Only three companies build the ones you see on the NYC rooftops, and to get an idea of how much in use they are, Rosenwach Tank Company (which has been in business for over 100 years) builds approximately 300 new tanks a year.

This system may be “old” but it sure is reliable. About 15,000 buildings still use this system today.

How it works:

– A water tower is a simple device that uses gravity to provide water pressure.

– They provide water for domestic uses and fire supply.

– Most structures taller than six stories need some sort of water tower and pump system of their own.

– Water is fed to buildings through pipes in the basement.

– Electric pumps push the water from the basement to roof.

– From the roof, gravity sends water to pipes throughout the building.

– As tenants use the water, the level in the tank goes down and, just like in a toilet, a ballcock lets more in.

Water-Tower-Diagram-NYC-Kate-Ascher-The-Works

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NYC – The Library Lions of the NYC Public Library – Are there others less famous?

 

Most of us are familiar with Patience and Fortitude, the world-renowned pair of marble lions that stand proudly before the majestic Beaux-Arts library building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street in Manhattan. They have captured the imagination and affection of New Yorkers and visitors from all over the world.

NYC Public Library – 42nd Street

History: Their names of the lions have changed over the years. After the dedication, the pair were named Leo Aster and Leo Lenox, after the library’s founders, Jacob Aster and James Lenox. Later, folks decided to dress them up in costume and name them Lady Astor and Lord Lenox. N

Who knew that we have two sets of lions guarding public libraries in NYC?

Did you?

Actually, there are two more lions, a pair, of sleeping, cousins, in the Bronx,at the  NYC Riverdale Library. The lions, each weighing about 900 pounds are sprawled lazily on stone pedestals with  their eyelids closed  at the libraries entrance.

New York Public Library – Riverdale

Though smaller than the NYCPL lions, they began their public life at the Loews Regency Hotel on Park Avenue. At their present location in Riverdale, they have been named “River” and “Dale.”

 

Are these the only pair(s) of lions in the city?

Are you are familiar with two lions named Stephen and Stitt,?

These two lions  keep watch over the HSBC bank at Canal Street and Bowery.

HSBC Bank – Canal Street and Bowery

History: Lions have appeared on the English coat-of-arms ever since the arrival of William the Conqueror in 1066, and the Peking Lion holds a great significance in Chinese tradition. It isn’t surprising therefore, that two lion sculptures can be found guarding many of the HSBC offices around the world today. Note: The HSBC name is derived from the initials of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.

You are invited to add to this story.

 

 

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Walking 5th Ave Mid-Summer Fashion Windows

A walk along 5th Avenue can be enjoyable if you take time to look at the many store windows. Also, don’t be afraid to go inside and browse around. Today, I walked from 59th street to 42nd street with side trip to Rockefeller  Plaza and Times Square.

Few things are as fun as an indulgent and leisurely shopping trip to  New York’  However, it can also be incredibly daunting and overwhelming, particularly for first-time shoppers. So here is a short list of some of the top shops to visit during your time in Manhattan.

Tiffany & Co.

Shiny, sparkly baubles abound at the incredibly famous fine jewelry brand

 

Bergdorf Goodman.  The premier shopping destination for all luxury items.

Louis Vuitton

The crème de la crème of leather handbags, this outpost of the

French maison, Louis Vuitton will set you back a pretty penny for a purse.

Zara Bargain

shoppers have known about the fast fashion shop Zara for years. For the uninitiated, the shop offers the best of what’s hot now at low prices.

 

Gucci Offering everything in men’s and women’s fashions, Gucci has gained more fame from their adorned sneaker collections.

Versace

This Italian fashion house was made famous by the deceased designer’s sister

Fifth Avenue is the most famous shopping street in the world. Although most people assume that only luxury labels such as Hermes, Gucci, Tiffany, Prada, and others are represented here, there are a variety of other recommendable shops to visit.

Here is a list of stores with location and price.

addition info:

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Hamilton Grange – uptown from the NYC Broadway Stage -Hamilton Heights

Updated  July 2018 – I added additional informaion at the end in case, you would like to explore the area.

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Nice place to check out if you’re a history buff and you enjoy exploring the lesser explored areas of the city the Hamilton Grange House is an interesting, easy, place to visit. The house and tour are free. They offer a few tours throughout the day and there’s a small self-guided exhibit and video you can see as well. There are only a handful of original pieces in the house. The house is not exactly the way it looked, but you do get a sense of where Hamilton spent some of his last years.

You cannot miss the house as it sits precariously positioned on a hill – It is the third place the building has been moved to

You enter into the basement where the kitchen/servants quarters would have been (obviously the basement is not original to the house) and this takes you into the visitors center/small gift shop where the rangers hang out.

After touring these three rooms you can visit the first floor which has been decorated in period era furnishings.  I say period era because there are only two items in the house which were directly owned by Hamilton.  Everything else is the NPS’s best guess.

Updated on July 30, 2018

While I enjoyed the visit, it may not be for everyone. The area is away from other popular historic sites. the area streets are somewhat steep and can be difficult walking for some. The Grange is a very basic structure and inside there were several replica and period pieces as well as a few original items. To better enjoy your visit,  I suggest adding a walk around City College(immediately above the Grange)  to see the unique buildings and gargoyles. 

I added an article from amNY.com that gives a newer look at this area

Hamilton Heights is full of historic buildings of all types. St. Luke’s’ Episcopal Church, which saved the Grange in 1889, is still here. Hamilton Terrace is an out-of-the way enclave, running one block between West 141st and West 144th and Like Strivers Row and Convent Avenue, it has single-family rowhouses in excellent condition.

Also, it is worth it to walk around the corner to St Luke’s church to see the Alexander Hamilton statue…

For me, I enjoyed my visit to this summer home of Alexander Hamilton. He was a vital part of our nation’s history and it is nice to know that his heritage has been preserved.

 

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 Links of Interest:

City College

 Sylvan Terrace

Hamilton Historic District

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NYC – Walking -W70th Street to W58th Street -Riverside Drive – updated 2018

July 2018

I recently revisited this area and found it a very poplar place for walkers, joggers and bicyclists. The Hudson River Park is clean and there are many several piers along the way for your enjoyment of the Hudson river. I note that there are clean bathrooms along the way and  two places for eating -79th Street and 69th Street.

 

79th Street Boat Basin Restaurant.

Great view, from the restaurant, of The George Washington Bridge.

 

I looked south at the horizon and immediately was taken by the tall glass-enclosed buildings, a destination at last.

 

 

 

 

I continued on up the path to Riverside Drive

 

 

This area is mostly high rise apartments/condos and is all building.At the westernmost end, beyond Central Park .

 

I did find a park amongst them and there were plenty of pre-schools along the way so I imagine quite a few people live in this area.

 

Ended the walk with a drink

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NYC – West 48th Street – Music Row – 2018 Update

July 2018 update – gone forever

“In the middle of 48th Street on the south side of the block, where a clutch of music stores had once been, was rubble. An enormous expanse of rubble. The municipal version of a tooth that has been knocked out. If that wasn’t surprising enough, the space directly across the street, on the north side of the block, which had also been home to several music stores, was also rubble.

These stores on Forty-eighth Street weren’t merely a place to buy musical equipment. They were an immersive world where all this stuff was highly important. There were photos on the wall, the trappings of fame, money, the sense that giants had strode into this place, that the gods bought instruments here, or just strings and picks. Just by walking into these places you became a part of the ecclesiastical grit of rock music in New York”. (Thomas Beller, The New Yorker)

Music Row – Endangered

I recall going to 48th street during the late sixties and going in and out of several music stores. Yesterday, I walked down the street and couldn’t believe the shuttered up store fronts. Manny’s Musical Instruments, a Midtown landmark, since 1935, is gone and the remainder of the Music Row—as the block of W. 48th Street between Sevent and Sixth Avenues is affectionately known—is falling  like a row of dominoes.

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Over the years, Manny’s has serviced such clients as Benny Goodman, Charlie Parker, Buddy Holly, lks from Rockefeller Center have apparently been buying up parts of the block and aim to level the entire street so that the Center can expand across Sixth Avenue. Put simply, Music Row, one of the last real vestiges of Old Times Square, will cease to exist.

sam ashand the Beatles to Jimi Hendrix, U2, Eric Clapton and Nirvana. This almost hurts even more than the recent news that Tin Pan Alley might be torn down, while Music Row still exists. It’s alive and functioning.

From the 60s through the 90s, 48th street between 6th and 7th Avenue was a mecca for music stores. In fact, these were arguably the best music stores maybe in the world, always with the latest gear and the best prices. The famous Manny’s Music would battle it out with cross-street rival Sam Ash while Alex Musical Instruments, Rudy’s Music, We Buy Guitars, 48th Street Music, Colony Music Center, New York Woodwinds and Brass, and a few others that I can’t remember picked up the crumbs.

mannys pictiures'Beatles, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and the Rolling Stones: Almost every major musical act of the last 75 years has a signed photo hanging on the “Wall of Fame” at Manny’s Music, the longest-standing store along fabled Music Row on West 48th Street in Midtown.

While there are several music stores on the western end of this block between Sixth and Seventh avenues in a cluster that feels frozen in time, many fear that the volume will soon be turned off completely.

The famous and beloved Music Row will soon be just a memory. Goodbye, Music Row. Some of us are going to miss you!

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