NYC – Gone, to auction, are rare Muhammed Ali sports memorabilia.

 

On October 5th, one of my favorite auction houses – Bonham’s on Park Avenue will auction rare and important artifacts relating to the history of boxing, baseball and other sports…

The main focus of the collection are sketches and paintings by boxer Muhammad Ali. Who knew he loved to draw between fights?

The drawings, on display, many of them in cartoon style reflect Ali’s interest in religion and social justice, but there were also some that picture him in the ring. Ali’s passion for drawing was little known, but he liked to sketch as a way of unwinding after a fight or training.

In addition to the above there were other rare sporting memorabilia related to some of the greatest boxers and baseball players of all time!

 

 

 

 

A reminder that Auction Houses like Bonham’s, Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Philips’ place collections on public display. They are free to visit and three of them are convenient to midtown.

The staff welcomes you with a smile and all you have to do is ask if there are any open exhibits.

 

Autumn in Central Park

ThomBradley

This blog is from the Central Park Conservatory

“It has been said that Central Park is most beautiful in autumn, when the leaves turn into a light show of golds, browns and shades of red that can only be found in Mother Nature. Just as in spring, when the trees come alive with color, fall is a feast for the eyes and a photographer’s delight. Leaves change color early fall due to shortened daylight and colder temperatures, typically beginning in October and continuing into early November.”

.Read the rest of this article about some of the popular places in the park

here

Austrian Cultural Forum – a few steps from 5th avenue and Rockefeller Center

Have you ever been to the Austrian Cultural Forum at 11 east 52nd Street? 

First cartoon published in the New Yorker

Many times during the year, they have excellent exhibits. Also, it is convenient 5th Avenue. It’s In a small building, with lots of glass, that houses exhibition spaces, a theater, a library for books and audio recordings, offices, seminar and reception rooms. Often, you will find something new and interesting.

1948

I have never found it overcrowded and the gallery spaces makes for a relaxed visit. The staff is almost invisible but easy to find.

Here are samples from a recent exhibition.

Three with a Pen: Lily Renée, Bil Spira, and Paul Peter Porges feature work by three Jewish artists driven from their homes in Vienna after the German annexation of Austria, the so-called “Anschluss” in 1938. The exhibition showcases examples of their signature work in comic books, New Yorker cartoons, Mad magazine spoofs, caricatures, portraiture, fashion design, advertising, and children’s books, among other formats.

Upper Broadway 1941

Immigration office 1950
Upper Broadway 1941

If near the Rockefeller Center area, I would put it on my list to, at least, peek inside. All events are free.

A reminder that many gallery’s and museums require timed-entry and a VAC card. So bring your cellphone. Note: many also allow walk-ins. So if you find a place that looks interesting go in and ask if they accept walk-ins.

Phone: (212) 319-5300

Is there a Panther and Indian Hunter in Central Park?

After so much heat and humidity, it was a good day to re-visit Central Park. I am always up for a challenge and a good reason to take a walk, I set out to find two American West sculptures.

I decided to start with The Indian Hunter, which is at mid-park at east 66th Street. It is on a pathway west of the Mall and to the east of Sheep Meadow.

The Indian Hunter

The artist (John Quincy Ward) successfully captured a wide range of textural variety—from the roughness of the dog’s fur and the animal pelt wrapped around the hunter’s waist to the smooth polish of the figure’s skin and the softness of his hair. Certainly, depicts a western subject.

Statues of  Baldo and the newest Women’s Rights Pioneers Monument are very close. While they are not American West, they should not be missed.

Women’s Rights Pioneers Monument. celebrates the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote. It is  the very first statue in Central Park dedicated to real women — suffragists and women’s rights activists Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony.
Balto was dedicated to the sled dogs that led several dogsled teams through a snow-storm in the winter of 1925 in order to deliver medicine that would stop a diphtheria epidemic in Nome, Alaska

Heading  north to the Bethesda Terrace and the Loeb Boathouse, Good place for a bathroom break and maybe a snack, we find an unrelated but often overlooked little sculpture – The Rowers

It commemorates philanthropists Carl and Adeline Loeb, who donated the Loeb Boathouse.

This block-like piece, which features a cross-section of deep water looming underneath two seemingly unsuspecting boaters.

A short walk along East Drive (the eastern leg of the “loop”) to find, perched atop a rocky outcrop on the west side of East Drive at 76th Street is Edward Kemeys’ Still Hunt. This may be the only sculpture that is not on a pedestal.

Still Hunt – Panther

This life size statue depicts a crouching panther, ready to pounce on an unsuspecting passerby

Park Rangers have said, “there are probably generations of New York City children who have grown up thinking that there are wildcats in the park.”

Hopefully, along the way you took time to explore and enjoy the park. You are now at east 76th Street. It is a short walk south east to the Alice Wonderland sculpture and the Conservatory Pond ( sometimes you can rent a miniature sailboat – lots of fun!.

Going North you have the Metropolitan Museum and the Reservoir (great view of west side for photos)

Note: the start of this route is near the Zoo. And the end is near Bethesda Terrace. Close is the Metropolitan Museum.  I figure that the walk is about ½ mile one-way mostly on flat surface. Exception: some stairs at the Bethesda terrace . (There are bathrooms here as you go down the mail stairs)

2021 NYC Summer – Ice Cream

This is a summary of an article in “Time Out” By Time Out contributors and Amber Sutherland-Namako

A link to their full article is at the end of this summary.

Every summer thousands of people visit Manhattan and the boroughs. Most come to see the sites and enjoy the liveliness that is NYC. When it is hot and tired what’s better than cooling off with delicious Ice Cream.

Here are few from the article that were of interest to me. The several selected are not from mid-town rather they were selected for their uniqueness. In the major article you will find a wider selection to choose from.

Musket Room in NoLIta is serving house made ice cream sandwiches from its takeout window on weekends from noon to 4pm.

You can choose from a vegan coconut caramel cookie with coconut ice cream, a chocolate chip cookie with miso ice cream and a hazelnut macaron with blackberry.

Ready to taste these incredible ice cream sandwiches? They’re just $8 apiece and will be available through the summer. 265 Elizabeth St. (near E Houston S

 Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

A family-run Chinatown institution for more than 40 years, this popular scoop shop sells durian, pandani, red bean and other lesser-seen ice cream varieties. The place is compact, so plan on taking this perfect treat for a walk through the neighborhood. 65 Bayard St. A block away from Columbus Park

Sundaes and Cones

The shop doesn’t try to wow you with an Instagram able interior design or toppings like edible glitter; instead, it sells wasabi, black sesame, ginger and other flavors you won’t find just anywhere. East village. 95 E 10th St A little north of Astor Square and St Mark’s

 Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream

Full range of scoop flavors (chocolate, honeycomb, Sicilian pistachio)—churned with hormone-free milk sourced from upstate cows—the environmentally conscious ice cream café serves an array of vegan options. 48 E 7th St. A little east of 2nd Ave. Close to McSorley’s Ale House

 Soft Swerve

When only soft serve will do, Soft Swerve wildly improves on some old familiars. Lower East Side 85 Allen St. Near Tenement Museum

Big Gay Ice Cream Shop

Quirky soft-serve creations in a cute West Village shop, emblazoned with a giant rainbow-swirled cone. 61 Grove Street. Just off Christopher St Park

 Il Laboratorio del Gelato

Industrial tasting room offers 40 flavors at a time,56 University Place. Three blocks from Washington Sq. Park.

 Davey’s Ice Cream

This colorful East Village shop is the brainchild of graphic-designer-turned-dessert-maven David Yoo, who’s churning out all-natural sweet cream-based parlor classics like salted caramel and roasted pistachio. East village 137 1st Ave. St Mark’s Place

Time Out Full Article

Remember when going to a destination in NYC, first check their website. Some stores have closed (suddenly).

little guardians of nature – Apple Heads

Many of you who follow this blog have read my experiences on finding new and different objects within NYC. Yesterday, I discovered some very unusual objects on fence posts at a park I visit every day.

Joanne Howard, artist

I was surprised to find them but more surprised to find out that they were probably there for the past five months.

So, with a little research, here is the story:

Last March, more than 40 scrunched-up apples carved into distinctive human faces and cast in bronze were placed in a small NYC park- Carl Schurz Park.

The exhibition consisted of carving human faces into apples and letting them dry out, causing them to resemble wizened elders, with seemingly unique, human-like personalities.

They were then cast in bronze and screwed into fenceposts along East End Avenue near the park’s main entrance, as well as along “Cherry Alley,” which leads to the park’s central garden.

Difficult to spot

The artist, Joanne Howard wrote that the three-inch-tall heads are “subtle,” and will likely go unnoticed by many park visitors. I think of them as little guardians of nature, protectors of the trees,” Howard said. “I think there’s something whimsical about them.”

No matter how boring a walk can be, along the same path, there is always hope in finding something new.

Outside Grand Central Station – 4 current event questions

 

Who was General John J Pershing?

 

Many of you have probably passed by Pershing Square which is a public square where Park Avenue and 42nd Street intersect. The square is named after General John J. Pershing and was originally intended to be an open plaza.

Read about him here General John J. Pershing

A tourist information center under the viaduct, was built in 1939; it was later reconfigured to be a store and then a restaurant. 

TriviaThe classic friends-who-fall-in-love couple, played by Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis in “Friends with Benefits” features a scene at the famous Pershing Square located right across Grand Central. Immediately after the characters’ huge reconciliation at the train station, they head over to the bustling restaurant known for its breakfast, for an official first date as something more than friends. The restaurant was renamed Central Cafe for the movie.

Where was the Daily Planet?

 

The Daily Planet is a fictional broadsheet newspaper appearing in comic books and commonly  association with Superman.

Just east of Pershing Square is the old New York news building. (Daily Planet? ) The outside art-deco is worth a look. Inside is very unique but unfortunately they will not allow you to take inside photos – but you should go inside and ask and slowly exit while looking at the lobby. To see the interior click here from a previous blog

Who is Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada?

Who was Nathan Hale ?

On the west side of the Grand central is Vanderbilt Avenue and a bit down the street is the Yale Building. It is said that this is the spot where Nathan Hale was hanged.

Nathan Hale (June 6, 1755 – September 22, 1776) was an American soldier and spy for the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. He volunteered for an intelligence-gathering mission in New York City but was captured by the British and executed.

His fame rests on a single quote, though it was a beauty, a veritable sound bite for the ages: “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country. Nathan Hale played an important role in the battle for New York. 

However, there are two competing locations. A plaque posted on a Banana Republic store at Third Avenue and 66th Street

Also, in City Hall Park there is a statue of Nathan Hale.

I guess, no one seems to know, for sure, where he was actually executed.

NOW YOU KNOW!

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.

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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.

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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

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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 – Winter Walk-Give it a try!

During this unique time and being careful of keeping distances and not going stir crazy, I suggest the following:

Find a few places to walk where there are not a lot of people in groups. Getting outside into the Crisp winter air emphasizes the beauty of luminous clouds, maybe eerie fog and mist, and (if an early bird) capture that special light only a sunrise can provide.  If not sure this is your thing then, you should start out taking short jaunts from your vehicle or apartment; no big hikes.

The city affords you to notice the changing colors and shadows along tree lined streets. City parks can provide you the beauty of a rural nature.

The main concern is to wear comfortable layered clothing. Do not bundle up too much! Believe me, the main concern is staying dry – little sweating – and being able to add or remove layers as needed to adjust to the temperature.

When I walk in the city, I wear a light knapsack. [When in a park or the woods, where there is snow, I do the same but sometimes drag a plastic sled behind me – good to store extra layers or maybe camera stuff or a snack. (don’t overdo the weight).]

My camera equipment, for the most part, will function as normal as I keep the battery warm as possible. I have a spare battery in my inside pocket. My Iphone stays in my pocket until needed.[Cold weather takes its toll on batteries]

With the right clothing, planning, and dependable equipment, nature provides us with some magnificent material! Give it a try if you haven’t yet.

I convinced myself to go for a walk in the neighborhood. Some of these photos will show you the vibrant colors that can be captured during of a winter walk. {You don’t need a camera to enjoy the walk!]

Barber Poles – a Little Tale

While getting in my daily exercise, I often start re-looking at places I have been before. For example, on this walk, I noticed that along 2nd Avenue there seemed to be an unusual amount of barber shops. You could hardly miss the white, red and blue poles outside. It hit me that the barber pole tells you what goes on inside – in fact a few shops had no sign at all.

When I got home, I wondered how many other shapes and images convey meaning so fast – they are more meaningful than words. Some are easy to understand and their universal meaning makes them as useful today as they were over the years of existence.

I plan on adding some on another blog post.

Warning stop here if you would rather not know.

Red, white, and blue barber poles look patriotic, but there’s a blood-soaked meaning behind their design.

Those rotating red, white, and blue poles outside barbershops have become an icon. At first glance, you’d probably assume barber pole designs have a patriotic background. But the reality is pretty gruesome.

Not too late to stop.

Barbers have been cutting hair for centuries, but they used to have a longer job description. In medieval times, the professionals were known as barber-surgeons, which is just what it sounds like. They weren’t just there to give customers a trim—they’d also perform minor surgery, pull teeth, and amputate limbs and one procedure—bloodletting—led to the barbershop poles you see today.

At the time, people thought having too much blood in a certain area could cause diseases like fevers or the plague so barbers started offering the service instead.

Last chance to leave.

During the treatment, barber-surgeons would give patients poles to hold, the original barber poles. Even back then, people knew there was a limit to bloodletting, so barbers would stop the bleeding with a white cloth. They’d then tie those towels to the poles and hang them outside their shops. Some towels stayed blood-stained even after they were washed, so it was common to see a pole with white and red swirling around in the breeze.

These days, barbers leave the medical treatment to doctors, but their poles are a nod to their bloody past.

Now, that you have joined me this far it is up to you to decide.

Just SCARY STORY OR THE TRUTH ?

Do you recognize any of these?