NYC – The Library Lions of the NYC Public Library – 109 years old,

 

Today, the New York Public Library lions, Patience and Fortitude, turn 109 years old! Newly restored last fall, the lions have long sat on pedestals in front of the New York Public Library’s “main branch” on 5th Avenue and 42nd Street. The New York Public Library calls the lions “symbols of New York City’s resilience and strength,” and the popularity of the lions amongst New Yorkers is a testament to their role in the city. The lions were named by the always-entertaining Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia in the 1930s when he believed New Yorkers needed something to uplift them during the Great Depression — and in particularly, that New Yorkers needed both patience and fortitude to get their the economic crisis. “That certainly resonates today,” writes the NYPL.

 

“For over 100 years, Patience and Fortitude have stood calmly at the center of a bustling city, proudly poised regardless of circumstance,” said Anthony W. Marx, president of The New York Public Library. “It doesn’t matter how scary and uncertain the world feels, the lions stand strong, somehow both protective and welcoming. That certainly resonates today. On their birthday, we hope the lions and all they stand for provide some calm, inspiration, and hope for the people of New York
City.”

The New York Public Library announces its favorite 125 books of its lifetime

However, these are not the only pair of lions guarding a NYC public library?

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.

 

 

A Grotto in a New York City Church – worth a visit

The Notre Dame Church- worth the visit.
St John the Divine Cathedral

New York City is perhaps one of the few American cities that has such a diverse culture.  In this city ,you can find dozens of unique  churches, buildings and neighborhoods like Saint John the divine Cathedral.

Today, I am not writing about the Cathedral but a church, I would guess, most  visitors to the Cathederal would never visit and it is only  a few blocks away.

405 West 114th Street 
New York, NY 10025

 

The Notre Dame Church, where you can experience a replica of the grotto in Lourdes France, where in 1858 Saint Bernadette was said to have witnessed the appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary.It rises several stories behind the main altar.

The Church of Notre Dame.   
405 West 114th Street

 

This chapel has an impressive French neoclassical exterior and is equally matched with the interior that boasts a Grotto that rises SEVERAL stories behind the main altar.

 

Although this grotto was built inside after the church was completed.It feels as if the church has been built directly into the side of a mountain.

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Fourteen inset bas-relief images of the Crucifixion of Christ adorn the perimeter of the church interior.

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The altar, pulpit and balustrade (altar rail) in white Carrara marble, which took over two years to complete.

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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.

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.