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.

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.

—————

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.

—————

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

—————


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.

—————

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-Central Park-Bethesda Terrace-carvings -slightly updated

New York City’s Central Park is a must place to visit and the Bethesda Terrace (fountain) should not be missed. It is a magnificent terrace that has much to see – a towering fountain, a beautiful lake, a distant boat house and, often missed, intricate carvings on the railings and columns of the Terrace.

Over the past years I have returned to the Terrace area many times and my latest visit brought my attention to the intricate carvings that adorn the railings and columns. I found that they are placed in groups to represent each of the four season’s .

I came across a FB video describing the carvings in great detail. The video is from the Central Park Conservatory and is well done however the background noise can be a little distracting (not sure to put volume up or put your ear to the speaker/.

video here

I had intended to create a longer blog but I think the video will do a better job of showing these marvelous carvings. I encourage you to take a look the next time you visit NYC

NYC Central Park – few women among many men -change is here!

This is  an  August 2020 update to an older post. 

For the first time in history, a bronze statue depicting and celebrating the achievements of women joined the myriad monuments honoring men, animals and fictional characters in the storied park.

A statue of three women’s rights pioneers was unveiled in Central Park on Wednesday — becoming the 167-year-old green expanse’s first monument to real-life female figures.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 082620statue14rm-e1598520092843.jpg

The bronze sculpture, located in the park’s Literary Walk, honors Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, key figures in the women’s equality movement, each with roots in the Big Apple.

The city  plans to place the “Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Woman Suffrage Movement Monument” in 2020. It will be located at the south end of Literary Walk.

I wrote, last year, that the only monuments depicting females in the park are Alice in Wonderland, Mother Goose, Juliet (from Romeo and Juliet) and a variety of nymphs and other mystical creatures. Also, there are woman statues in other parks (see below).

Post from January 2016

Nestled amid the greenery of Central Park are some rather inexplicable statues of men of history — such as King Jagiello, a 14th-century Polish king, and Albert Bertel Thorvaldsen, a Danish sculptor who lived in the 18th century. Not included in the park’s 29 monuments dedicated to historical notables are any real women.

alice in CP
Alice in Wonderland

Currently, the only female figures to be honored with statues in the park are fictional (and not necessarily human), like Mother Goose and Alice in Wonderland.

MotherGoose-750
MotherGoose

However, the city’s Parks Department has granted conceptual approval to an effort to erect a statue of Elizabeth Cady Stanton* and Susan B. Anthony by the park’s West 77th Street entrance.

*Born on November 12, 1815, in Johnstown, New York, Elizabeth Cady Stanton was an abolitionist and leading figure of the early woman’s movement. An eloquent writer, her Declaration of Sentiments was a revolutionary call for women’s rights across a variety of spectrums. Stanton was the president of the National Woman Suffrage Association for 20 years and worked closely with Susan B. Anthony.

As of now, only a few of the 800 or so sculptures in New York City’s parks feature historical women:

Eleanor Roosevelt and Joan of Arc, which are both located in Riverside Park. In case you are wondering, the others are Gertrude Stein, Golda Meir, and Harriet Tubman.

Throughout the city a few women are honored. On the I. Miller Building at Broadway and 46th Street there are  sculptures of Mary Pickford, Ethel Barrymore, Marilyn Miller, and Rosa Ponselle.

In the Bronx at the Bronx Community College’s Hall of Fame for Great Americans, busts of Harriet Beecher Stowe, Susan B. Anthony, Mary Lyon, Maria Mitchell, Emma Willard, Alice Freeman Palmer, and Lillian Wald are included.

Then there are a few statues on churches of saints and of real women on private property that have a public presence, like the statue of Mother Clara Hale at the Hale House.

There is the face of a female model – Audrey Munson who posed for several statues including the Isador and Ida Straus Memorial.

Resources used for this article here 1 , here 2

 

September 2020 Addition

Women of STEM

Central Park was recently the site of another effort to honor women of accomplishment – an initiative recognizing women who work in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) with 6 statues (part of an exhibit of 122 female statues) 4on display at Central Park Zoo through Oct. 31.The exhibits goal l is for girls everywhere to see STEM as exciting, relevant, and cool.The six women depicted all work in wildlife conservation: Kristine Inman, wildlife biologist, Wildlife Conservation Society; Rae Wynn-Grant, large carnivore ecologist, National Geographic Society; Dorothy Tovar, Stanford University microbiologist; Jess Cramp, shark researcher and marine conservationist, Sharks Pacific; Earyn McGee, herpetologist focused on lizards, University of Arizona; and Kristen Lear, bat conservationist, Bat Conservation International.

NYC – Fall (or any season) Walks in Central Park

As we say farewell to summer and get ready to enjoy the spectacular beauty of fall, we can find the changing leaves along the many paths of Central Park. The Park can also be a place to get refreshed from the sun’s warming rays and is something that is very pleasant and easy to do.

To begin with, I found an article written by Rachel Brown, who described two walks which are very accessible from midtown. Also, I have added my own personal recommendations. Ms. Brown wrote for the CP Conservatory as well as her own blog.
Often, I am asked about the location of specific sites. Sometimes the answer is more confusing than it should be. Below, each walk has highlighted some of the sites that you could visit. It is not a detailed map but, at least, it lets you know what is in the area of your walk.
CENTRAL PARK SOUTHERN SECTION

 

Wein-walk
Wallach Walk

I think it’s best to start your walk from the southwest corner of 59th St. and 5th Ave by the Pulitzer Fountain. It’s easy to find the spot because the statue is located directly in front of the Plaza Hotel’s main entrance. By wandering the winding the pedestrian paths, towards 72nd Street, you will be passing a pond, rocky outcrops, bridges, open fields, and skyline views If you follow the pathways you will end up at 72nd St. and Central Park West

LOWER SECTION Sites include Grand Army Plaza~ The Plaza Hotel~ Central Park Zoo ~The Pond~ The Dairy~ The Mall and Literary Walk~ Bethesda Terrace and Fountain Sheep Meadow~ Strawberry Fields ~The Dakota Apartments

Addition Features 
  • Hallett Nature Sanctuary – Surrounded by the Pond at the southeast corner of Central Park is the four-acre Hallett Nature Sanctuary, a peaceful haven just feet away from some of Central Park’s busiest paths.- East Side from 60th-62nd Streets

  • Sheep Meadow is a  peaceful expanse of green that inspires calm and refreshing thoughts just by looking at the meadow.- West Side from 66th to 69th Streets
  • Umpire Rock is one of the best examples of Central Park’s rich endowment of exposed bedrock, Umpire Rock is likely named for its commanding view of nearby baseball diamonds. Central Park has an unusually rich endowment of exposed, ancient bedrock People love to climb them too) -West Side at 63rd Street

 

CENTRAL PARK MIDDLE SECTION

A second walk focuses on the middle of Central Park, starting in front of the beautiful American Museum of Natural History. You even get to see the pond where Stuart Little raced his sailboat in the children’s movie! Don’t forget to bring along your camera, there are so many awesome photo opportunities in this park. You can start walking from the park entrance directly across the street from the American Museum of Natural History at the intersection of Central Park West and 79th Street and if didn’t do the lower section you could go south and end up at Bethesda Terrace, on the 72nd Street Traverse through Central Park.

MIDDLE  SECTION Sites include: American Museum of Natural History~The Swedish Cottage~Shakespeare Garden~Belvedere Castle~ Turtle Pond~The Delacorte Theatre (Shakespeare in the Park)~The Great Lawn~Cleopatra’s Needle~ The Ramble~The Lake~The Conservatory Waters~Bethesda Terrace

Addition Features
  • Strawberry Fields is a living memorial to the world-famous singer, songwriter and peace activist, West Side between 71st and 74th Streets.
  • The Ramble is a 36-acre “wild garden.”  Central Park’s designers imagined a tranquil spot where visitors could stroll, discover forest gardens rich with plantings, and meander Mid-Park from 73rd to 79th Streets. along the paths. This truly is a place for the urban explorer to escape the city and get utterly lost in nature.
  •  
  • Turtle Pond – Like all of the other water bodies in Central Park, Turtle Pond is man-made, filled with New York City drinking water. It is the home to five species of turtles who live in the Pond year-round. Mid-Park between 79th and 80th Streets.
  • Bow Bridge -The first cast-iron bridge in the Park (and the second oldest in America), the bridge was built between 1859 and 1862. Bow Bridge is named for its graceful shape, reminiscent of the bow of an archer or violinist. Mid-Park at 74th Street west of Bethesda Terrace, connecting Cherry Hill and The Ramble.
  • I have explored many walks in Central Park and I recently published a short article – A pre Fall Walk. It is a brief highlight of specific parts of the park.
I am working on material that will cover the upper part of the park. Most people know that Central Park is big.  Unfortunately, most people don’t know how big it really is because they only explore the southern and middle portions. 

 

NYC- A pre-fall Walk in Central Park

This is an update to an earlier Blog.

This time of year walking through Central Park is very relaxing. The crowds are less, the flowers are slowly starting their retreat and the sunny days are comfortable. Just about any place in the park is ideal. My walk today is a  popular location around 72nd Street .

If you enter the park from 5th Avenue, a short detour to  the Conservatory Pond is worth the time.  Sometimes they have miniture sailboats [for rent] that zip around the pond. Also, there is a coffee shop and restroom facilty here.

From here you can walk to  Bethesda Terrace and then take the the path  to the Bow Bridge. The views are  excellent and there may be boaters enjoying the nice weather. (And alternate short detour may be to visit the “Boat House”‘ A popular place to eat, rent a boat, or use the restrooms.)

If so inclined, you may wish to leave the park on the west side. A popular area to walk through is “strawberry Fields” a beatles landmark.

Also, at this location you can look  the building on the corner of CPW and 72nd st. It is the Dakota  building which is closely tied to John Lennon’s history.

This walk has a few inclines and steps. However, there are alternate paths, plenty of benches that will help during your walk.

The Park Conservatory has a free tour covering this area. Details here.

NYC Central Park – few women among many men -change is here!

This is  a August 2020 update to an older post. 

For the first time in history, a bronze statue depicting and celebrating the achievements of women joined the myriad monuments honoring men, animals and fictional characters in the storied park.

A statue of three women’s rights pioneers was unveiled in Central Park on Wednesday — becoming the 167-year-old green expanse’s first monument to real-life female figures.

 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 082620statue14rm-e1598520092843.jpg

The bronze sculpture, located in the park’s Literary Walk, honors Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, key figures in the women’s equality movement, each with roots in the Big Apple.

The city  plans to place the “Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Woman Suffrage Movement Monument” in 2020. It will be located at the south end of Literary Walk.

I wrote, last year, that the only monuments depicting females in the park are Alice in Wonderland, Mother Goose, Juliet (from Romeo and Juliet) and a variety of nymphs and other mystical creatures. Also, there are woman statues in other parks (see below).

Post from January 2016

Nestled amid the greenery of Central Park are some rather inexplicable statues of men of history — such as King Jagiello, a 14th-century Polish king, and Albert Bertel Thorvaldsen, a Danish sculptor who lived in the 18th century. Not included in the park’s 29 monuments dedicated to historical notables are any real women.

alice in CP
Alice in Wonderland

Currently, the only female figures to be honored with statues in the park are fictional (and not necessarily human), like Mother Goose and Alice in Wonderland.

MotherGoose-750
MotherGoose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, the city’s Parks Department has granted conceptual approval to an effort to erect a statue of Elizabeth Cady Stanton* and Susan B. Anthony by the park’s West 77th Street entrance.

*Born on November 12, 1815, in Johnstown, New York, Elizabeth Cady Stanton was an abolitionist and leading figure of the early woman’s movement. An eloquent writer, her Declaration of Sentiments was a revolutionary call for women’s rights across a variety of spectrums. Stanton was the president of the National Woman Suffrage Association for 20 years and worked closely with Susan B. Anthony.

 

As of now, only a few of the 800 or so sculptures in New York City’s parks feature historical women:

Eleanor Roosevelt and Joan of Arc, which are both located in Riverside Park. In case you are wondering, the others are Gertrude Stein, Golda Meir, and Harriet Tubman.

 

Throughout the city a few women are honored. On the I. Miller Building at Broadway and 46th Street there are  sculptures of Mary Pickford, Ethel Barrymore, Marilyn Miller, and Rosa Ponselle.

In the Bronx at the Bronx Community College’s Hall of Fame for Great Americans, busts of Harriet Beecher Stowe, Susan B. Anthony, Mary Lyon, Maria Mitchell, Emma Willard, Alice Freeman Palmer, and Lillian Wald are included.

Then there are a few statues on churches of saints and of real women on private property that have a public presence, like the statue of Mother Clara Hale at the Hale House.

There is the face of a female model – Audrey Munson who posed for several statues including the Isador and Ida Straus Memorial.

Resources used for this article here 1 , here 2

 

 

NYC – Expensive Dollhouse is an extra treat for Thanksgiving…

 

I came across this article about a unique opportunity to see an expensive dollhouse. I reprint here for you to enjoy.

The following is By Diane Pham,  written on Tue, November 3, 2015

 

The World’s Most Expensive Dollhouse Will Be On Show at Columbus Circle This Month – During Thanksgiving Season.

By Diane Pham, Tue, November 3, 2015

the world's most expensive dollhouse, The Astolat Dollhouse Castle, Elaine Diehl

If you think Manhattan condos are pricey, feast your eyes on the world’s most expensive dollhouse! Valued at $8.5 million, The Astolat Dollhouse Castle is a 29-room micro-mansion that’s been is filled to the brim with 10,000 painstakingly crafted miniatures that include “elaborate furniture, oil paintings, mirrors, fireplaces, gold miniature jewelry, rare-mini books more than 100 years old, fine rugs, fabrics, and pieces made of and silver and gold.” Sound too absurd to be true? Well, you can check out this pricey and petite pad up close and personal starting this month. The Shops of Columbus Circle at Time Warner Center (TWC) will be showing the dollhouse for the first time ever since it was built in the 1980s.

Full story and photos FIND OUT MORE HERE

 The Time Warner Building is at Columbus Circle – Macy’s parade  goes through the circle.

NYC – Wooden Toys -Did you play with them?

Here is your chance to see wooden toys from early on to now.

Bard Graduate Center Gallery

September 18, 2015 – January 17, 2016

IMG_0188toys

This has to be another one of the often missed treat of visiting New York City.

 

While I was checking out Central Park’s foliage, I decided to walk over to Broadway via west 86th Street.  I noticed IMG_0258toysa poster about wooden toys on this small brownstone -18 West 86th Street (between Columbus and Central Park West).

 

The gallery is small and covers three floors (elevator). The exhibit is well planned and I enjoyed following the progression of farm toys to the most professional. There is a suggested fee of $5 and $10 but you can pay what you want.

 

 

There are more than 300 playthings dating from the 17th to the early 21st century. For anyone interested in antique toys a visit will be full of nostalgia. It would also be fun to show your children or grandchildren toys from a time when there was comparatively simple objects for children’s entertainment.

 

 

I really enjoyed looking at all the toys and reading the the descriptions of them.

Not going? Here are additional photos

NYC _ Trivia – 2015 addition

How many lakes in Central Park?

Actually lakes are called waterbodies, as they are man-made. Answer and more below.

 

How Many” Things Do You Know About Central Park?
1. How many bodies of water are there?
2. How many benches?
3. How many bridges?
4. How many sports fields?
5. How many movies have featured Central Park?
6. How many tennis courts?
7. How many playgrounds?
8. How many trees?
9. How many horses in the Freidman Carousel?
10. How many restaurants?
11. What is the oldest structure in Central Park?
12. For easy access to Central Park where’s the best place to stay?
Trivia Answers:

Note: Tavern on the Green has been renovated but is open.