Elizabeth Street (Little Italy) – delightful garden

Updated from 2015

There is a small park – Elizabeth Street Gardens – on Elizabeth Street , between Prince & Spring streets (Little Italy) that is very unusual. While not open all the time it is a great place to have lunch (bring your own) or picnic or sit in the shade. You will be surrounded by statuary of all kinds. Oh by the way, it is free. Check here for when open.

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The Elizabeth Street Gallery, open to the public in a park like setting, contains a variety of ornamental stonework, some of it depicting mythological figures

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I walked the length of Elizabeth Street and found most of the people enjoying the day. The restaurants were busy and  those stores that were open had customers.

Most of the buildings in the area are multifamily, or apartment buildings dating from the first decade or two of the 20th Century

Some people think that the boundary between Chinatown and SOHOis mid-block between Kenmare and Spring,  The area to the south is mostly Chinese.

Before  the virus arrived the northern area was home to upscale galleries and shops north of Kenmare.

As of this date,  many shops have closed due to the pandemic. The street is filled mostly with outside dining. and there is a lot of construction going on. However, visiting the garden is still very enjoyable and all along the street people were animated and enjoying their visit. Most wearing masks and other than restaurants and bars, keeping some separation between each other

I am confident that after we solve the health situation  These  two blocks just South of Houston will, again, become quite alive and quite trendy.

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Carved, painted and lettered shingle signs that hang over the sidewalk are becoming popular in the neighborhoods where the hip people go,
 Photos taken on November 8, 2020

Trivia

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Elizabeth and Hester may be the only intersection in Manhattan where both streets are women’s first names, though Hester isn’t used much anymore. Elizabeth Street is one of the few major streets in Manhattan that begins and ends at a T-shaped intersection.

NYC – More than Tourist Sites – Street Fairs and Festivals

 

I happened to be going through the upper east side and stopped at a street fair on East 116th Street. It had children rides, not often seen in the city, as well as food and some novelty items for sale.I was reminded that over the past few years I have written about street fairs. Here are links to my past articles. I hope they encourage you, while visiting NYC, to get out an enjoy at least one street experience.

 

NYC- Summer – Food, Faces and Fairs – Faces and Food

NYC – Street Fairs – Information -Memo –  Where to find street fairs

NYC – What do you like about Street Fairs? – Mostly pics of food

NYC – Enjoy a NYC Street Festival – Ukraine Festival. Links festival  to info sites

NYC – UnFair Art Show – Example of Pop=Up fairs

OMG – another NYC Street Fair? – Challenge

New York City – Street Fair – Saturday and Sunday best days

NYC – East Village_ St Mark’s Place – Theatre 80 – Original Hollywood Theater?

 

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As I was looking at the Mosaic Lampposts on 8th Street and St Marks Place, I tried to remember what the street looked like back in the late 60’s. I was not part of the culture but simply a tourist looking at the strange goings-on in the East Village. The street was crowded and wild with activity. All kinds of shops were filled with drug stuff, clothing and skull head jewelry along with a “nice” smell floating through the air.

Beginning during Prohibition, 80 Saint Marks Place was a vital destination for performers of all kinds. It was a speakeasy where Jazz greats such as Thelonious Monk, Harry “Sweets” Edison, John Coltrane and Frank Sinatra performed here before Theatre 80 was established.

outside 80

At Theatre 80 the careers of many famous performers were launched. Some of the famous names are Gary Burghoff, and Billy Crystal. During the 1970s and 80s as a film revival house, people were able to see vintage films on a movie theatre screen in an audience setting in Theatre 80.

inside 80

It was also visited by a host of great names in theater, many of whom left their names, foot and hand prints in the cement of the sidewalk. A partial list includes Gloria Swanson, Joan Crawford, Myrna Loy, Ruby Keeler, Joan Blondell, Kitty Carlisle and Joan Rivers.

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If you want to guess

NAMES OF ACTORS ARE AT VERY END OF BLOG

 

NEW GANGSTERIn 2007, Theatre 80 was restored. As part of this restoration, the Museum of the American Gangster and William Barnacle Tavern was opened.( William Barnacle Tavern is named after William “Barnacle Bill” Scott, a merchant sailor who was often called the “mayor” of Tompkins Square Park.)

tavern

 

The theater still presents a range of productions from traditional forms such as Shakespearean theater and flamenco dance, to the cutting edge avant-garde and works from new authors.

My impression

St Marks Place still attracts hordes of young people throughout the day and night to its bars, restaurants, karaoke spots, clothing stores, tattoo parlours, and e-cigarette shops. The street on Friday and Saturday nights thrums with laughter, conversation and music until the early hours. “Walking on St Marks Place on a weekend night, you become aware of a rhythm,It is still a countercultural magnet, and as a resident myself, I can attest to the fact that “crusty punks” with pit bulls and the odd group of cannabis-smoking teenagers can at times still provide a bracingly antisocial air. The street has not been completely sanitised yet,”

“The street today is safer and more pleasant than at any point in the last fifty years,”

Keep going

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NYC – Gotham – Superman – The Daily News Building

Once the home of  Superman and a Vintage Globe – The Daily News

I suppose not many people go east of the Chrysler Building on east 42nd Street but those who do, will enjoy one of the city’s most historic Art Deco structures. The Daily News Building.

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This was the home of America’s first tabloid newspaper, the illustrious Daily News, until 1995. The outside of the building is exceptional enough on its own; a giant mural carved above the entrance in the Art Deco style depicts working Manhattanites under an illuminated sky.

 

But on walking into the building, you will  find a  spectacular architectural sight: a vintage globe that nearly dwarfs onlookers. IMG_1697 The globe is 12 feet in diameter and weighs approximately 4,000 pounds. It makes a full rotation every ten minutes, moving
144 times faster than the actual planet.12276380584_3f43e2dbfb_o

 

But it gets even better. Above the globe, an enormous rotunda made of faceted black glass extends upward, intended to depict outer space:

 

 

The giant globe was featured as part of the fictional Daily Planet in Richard Donner’s Superman films. The lobby still shows photographs of Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent and Margot Kidder as Lois Lane at work in the hectic newspaper offices.

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I added the Superman image

 

Accompanying the massive model are brass meteorological instruments giving the day’s rainfall, wind velocity, and atmospheric pressure, ornate clocks give the time in far-flung destinations such as Panama, Casablanca, Belgrade, and Berlin.IMG_1716

Inscribed on the floor surrounding the globe are the distances to such exotic locales as Cairo, Gibraltar, and the North Pole, suggesting to visitors not already bowled over by the remarkable lobby that New York was indeed the center of the world.

 

Also on display in the lobby is this gorgeous time zone clock, which features New York City time in the center…. surrounded by 16 miniature clock faces depicting time throughout the world.

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Finally, as you exit the building, be sure to look up……where you’ll see a gorgeous period clock overhead.

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And best of all, walking through the doors is like traveling back in time to the 1930s.

NYC — small Art Galleries worth visiting

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This is a follow-up from a previous post Fall in Central Park –Metropolitan Museum Area

Today, I visited three very small art galleries just a half-block from 5th Avenue on east 79th Street. While they might not be your primary destination, I am confident it will add to your NYC experience.

 

Let’s get our bearings. Just north of east 79th Street is the Metropolitan Museum. To the south is the Frick Museum and at the corner of  East 79 and 5th Avenue is the Ukrainian Institute. If you are in Central Park, then you might be at the Obelisk or the area around the Belvedere Castle/Turtle Pond.

 Each gallery is in a brownstone and their spaces are small but very tranquil.  I’ve found the staff at each  gallery to be pleasant. You are left to enjoy the art works at your own pace. If you are interested in a studying different themes of art and seeing the modernism,  abstract and deciphering themes of art.  Each gallery is free and they do change their themes during the year.

NYC note: Most New York City galleries enjoy having people come in and look at their art. Often though, you may feel a little intimidated but I walk up those few steps and later you will come down with a smile and the satisfaction that you went inside. 

I have placed a sampling from each gallery below. I, purposely,did not identify the gallery each came from, I would like you to consider them as a combined example for your visit.

Skarstedt Gallery

20 East 79th St.

Acquavella Galleries

18 E 79th St.

Rosenfeld Gallery

16 E 79th St.

Note: There is a coffee shop at the corner of East 79th Street and Madison Avenue. Also, around the corner are more places to eat. Best to use the Park bathrooms before venturing out as bathrooms are scarce in this area. However, if really needed, you can use the bathroom in the New York  Society Library – 53 East 79th St just on the next block.

Also, along with several galleries on the upper east side, there are many small galleries throughout the city – don’t be bashful!

 

NYC – New York City Questions – New-York Historical Society

ny historicAL QUESTION

Here is some trivia from the New – York Historical Society. They might come in handy at your next family gathering or for use during a long trip.

 

Questions about New York City

  1. How Much Horse Manure Was Deposited on the Streets of New York City Before the Advent of the Automobile, and What Happened to It?
  2. Are There More Statues of Liberty Than the One That Stands in New York Harbor?
  3. How Did the New York Yankees Get Their Name?
  4. How Did the Boroughs Get Their Names?
  5. What is the Oldest Building in New York City?
  6. How Did New York Get Its Famous Nickname: The Empire State?

 

 

ANSWERS

1. How Much Horse Manure Was Deposited on the Streets of New York City Before the Advent of the Automobile, and What Happened to It?

According to the 89th Annual Report of the Board of Health, nearly 500 tones of horse manure were collected from the streets of New York every day, produced by 62,208 horses living in 1,307 stables. The manure, along with human waste, was deposited on Barren Island, where it was converted into fertilizer in a process said to be “not inoffensive” to residents on the Long Island shore.

2. Are There More Statues of Liberty Than the One That Stands in New York Harbor?

There are two Statues of Liberty in New York City. One stands i new York Harbor. A replica of “Lady Liberty” has graced the Brooklyn Museum’s Sculpture Garden since 2002. She is thirty feet tall and was commissioned by William H. Flattau in 1900 to stand atop his building, the Liberty Warehouse in Manhattan. Other Statues of Liberty are found throughout the world, including two in Paris, France.

 

3. How Did the New York Yankees Get Their Name?

No definitive answers exists, but there is speculation that it borrows from the Civil War connotaion of the term “Yankee,” in that the team played north of their counterparts, the New York Giants. The Yankees’ other early nicknames, Hilltoppers and Highlanders, similarly drew upon geographic inspiration, but from the location of the team’s first field, Hilltop Park, in Washington Heights.

 

4. How Did the Boroughs Get Their Names?

In 1609 Robert Guet called the island “Mannahata,” after Native American names for the area. Henry Hudson referred to Staten Eylandt after the States General—Netherlands’ governing body. The Bronx is named after Jonas Bronck, who settled in the area in 1639. Brooklyn refers to Breukelen, the Dutch village in the Netherlands. Queens was named after Queen Catherine of Braganza, wife of King Charles II of England (1630-1685).

 

5. What is the Oldest Building in New York City?

The Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum, at 5816 Clarendon Road, Brooklyn, is the city’s oldest surviving stucture. Built in stages beginning around 1652, it housed descendants of Pieter Claesen Wyckoff until 1901, when they sold the property. Repurchased by the Wyckoff Family Association in 1961, it was the first building granted protection by the newly-formed Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1965.

 

6. How Did New York Get Its Famous Nickname: The Empire State?

Signs commonly point to George Washington. Although other, unsubstantiated stories crediting Washington exist, the best documented source is a 1785 thank-you letter to the New York Common Council for bestowing upon him the Freedom of the City. In addition to praising New York’s resilience in the war he describes the State of New York as “the Seat of the Empire.”

 

 

These and many more questions are on A New-York Historical Society Museum web page . More questions are here.

Their current exhibitions are here.

 

 

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

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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- Summer – Food, Faces and Fairs

The “outdoor” season has begun. Weekends in NYC  come alive with street fairs and festivals. A visit to one of them could be fun to add to your visit.

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Food is always a good reason for strolling down a street fair.

People looking can be fun but look carefully at the many other faces too.

What is a street fair?

Ans: A shopping mall with a food court and plenty of color. Also, it’s outside!

 

 

 

NYC – Free Tourist Information

When visiting NYC most people have an idea or two as to what they want to see or visit. However, many events and celebrations are not announced in a timely fashion. I have listed four sources that may be of help. Each has a daily or weekly edition that is free. You will find them on many street corners.

Here are two articles from “Our Town”.

The Other Shakespeare in the Park

Hudson Warehouse  –  2014 summer season of free plays in Riverside Park

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Location for Play-Next week’s Blog -Sailors and Soldiers Monument

Since its inception in 2004, the theater company has operated almost entirely outdoors, at the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument in Riverside Park, where audience members sit on the monument’s stone steps, and its upcoming season is no different. The first production of the summer, Shakespeare’s “King John,” kicks off on June 5, which, like every Hudson Warehouse show, is free to the public. Hudson Warehouse is not the city’s only theater company offering free, outdoor performances of classics; the Public Theater’s Free Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, with its infamous long lines for tickets and its A-list actors on the bill is among them. But Martin-Smith sees Hudson Warehouse as an answer to the inaccessibility of both the Public’s popular shows and pricey Broadway productions. IF YOU GO      HUDSON WAREHOUSE What: Hudson Warehouse’s 11th summer season includes productions of “King John,”” The Importance of Being Earnest” and “The Winter’s Tale.” When: King John: June 5 through June 29; The Importance of Being Earnest: July 3 through July 27; The Winter’s Tale: July 31-August 24 Where: North patio of Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument W. 89th Street and Riverside Drive Hours: Thursday through Sunday nights at 6:30 p.m. Recommended arrival time: 6:00 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. Free admission WRITTEN BY GABRIELLE ALFIERO

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Back to the Tavern

Central Park’s famous eatery reopens with a new and welcome twist

The service is friendly, open and impeccable, as is the décor. The cocktail menu features drinks named for each of the five boroughs, and aside from being rather tasty, they indicate the new direction of Tavern on the Green. tavern on greenLike the city, it may be a little too pricy for some, but if you can make it work, even for a glass of wine at the bar or ice cream sandwich from the soon-to-be-opened takeaway window, the place will welcome you, and you’ll be glad to be there. NOTE The three dining rooms’ 345 indoor seats are booked solid for the next several months, you can stroll through the park and score a spot at the circular bar, with access to the kitchen’s full menu, any time. WRITTEN BY MEGAN FINNEGAN BUNGEROTH

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