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.

—————

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 – 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?

Egg Cream and a visit to NYC.

egg cream_blog_image

“When I was a young man – no bigger than this
A chocolate egg cream was not to be missed
Some U Bet’s Chocolate Syrup, seltzer water mixed with milk
Stir it up into a heady fro – tasted just like silk.

“You scream, I steam, We all want Egg Cream.”

From the song, EGG CREAM, words and music by Lou Reed.

Most visitors to New York arrive keen to sample the city’s culinary delights, but while pretzels, bagels and jumbo deli sandwiches figure highly on many tourists’ food shopping lists, the egg cream is as foreign as it gets.

Everybody has egg cream memories. You may have them and not even be aware. One in six Americans trace their family roots back to Brooklyn, New York.

For those of you interested in the historical details, it is rumored that the first product that could be described as an egg cream was developed during the early 1890’s.

How its made

It’s essentially the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit,

Sometime around 1920, the Lower East Side of Manhattan also claimed origination of an egg cream formula. [To this day, a source of debate.]

Many  of the traditional fountain services began to disappear during the 70’s. Some Diners, and delis are trying to keep The egg cream tradition alive. However, I don’t think that there are many people today keeping the drink popular. I have listed a few places that claim to still serve them.

The East Village is a great place to find egg creams with an Eastern European old world charm associated with them.

LITTLE POLAND 200 Second Avenue
VESELKA 144 Second Avenue 

RAY’S CANDY 113 Avenue A
ODESSA RESTAURANT 119 Avenue A

A few others

  • SQUARE DINER 33 Leonard Street
  • WASHINGTON SQUARE DINER 150 West 4th
  • EISENBERG’S SANDWICH SHOP 174 Fifth Avenue
  • LEXINGTON CANDY SHOP 1226 Lexington Avenue
  • NEIL’S COFFEE SHOP 961 Lexington Avenue
  • 3 STAR COFFEE SHOP 541 Columbus Avenue
  • LANSKY’S OLD WORLD DELI 235 Columbus Avenue
  • TOM’S RESTAURANT 2880 Broadway

Warning:

Before planning a visit to NYC you should check to see what stores and/or restaurants are open. Also, realize that most will only have outside seating.

If driving into the city be aware that there are fewer on street parking due to the use of some spaces for restaurant use.

Note that major tourist areas may have limitations but places like Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park and Central Park are all open-air spaces.

Flower – The Venus Flytrap

I am republishing this article at a request from a neighbor who  thought these plant’s were only in a movie.

The mysterious Venus Flytrap – a death trap for insects

The leaves of Venus’ Flytrap open wide and on them are short, stiff hairs called trigger or sensitive hairs. When anything touches these hairs enough to bend them, the two lobes of the leaves snap shut trapping whatever is inside. People still do not understand fully how the trap closes. The Venus’ Flytrap does not have a nervous system or any muscles or tendons. 

Like other plants, Venus’ Flytraps gather nutrients from gases in the air and nutrients in the soil. However, they live in poor soil and are healthier if they get nutrients from insects. Carnivorous plants live all over the world but Venus’ Flytraps live only in select boggy areas in North and South Carolina. Because of people’s fascination with these plants, they collected many of them and they became endangered. Venus’ Flytraps today are grown in greenhouses.

Will a Venus flytrap bite a person? … Fortunately for people, Venus flytrap plants can‘t eat anything much bigger than a housefly and mostly they eat mosquitoes and gnats. If you put the tip of your finger in the flytrap’s bug eating mouth, it will quickly snap shut, but it won’t hurt at all.

How to enjoy a Sunny Day in NYC

Yesterday, I noticed an article about Digital Art Month. What interested me was a their plan to have an art display along 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue. The day was sunny and mild and just waiting for a leisurely walk.

So, off I go!

I decided to begin at 57th Street and 5th Avenue and then head up 5th Ave to east 61st Street and then up along Madison Avenue.

Using their map. I set off on my journey. For whatever reasons, I found only a few of the displays(However, It could have been my inability to recognize them).

Having walked several locks I decided to walk back to where I began. I wondered if I could add something to this walk ? Just to be outside on a pleasant day is good enough.

Mid Town Fashion

I thought this was a little different. In hind sight I would have set the camera to manual focus
East 59th Street
Van Cleef & Arpels Jewelry
Michael Kors

Madison Avenue Art Displays

Central Park

Contemporary Art

Please stay safe. Avoid large crowds, wear your mask, stay outside and keep moving?

NYC – An unlikely place for two civil war era houses

In previous blogs I have mentioned, when on a walk, how enjoyable it is to find something unexpected along the way. Here is the latest.

Today’s event happened while walking up East 58th Street between 1st and 2nd avenues, a street full of traffic speeding towards the Queensboro Bridge.

There they were, two freestanding houses, and very unusual to see one-or-two-story homes in Manhattan that have survived since the Civil War.

but this pair of surviving ones =two stories high with a basement and constructed of brick with stone trim. The pair were built in an Italianate style in the late 1850s and must have been among the first buildings on East 58th. Both are brick with stone trim and have basements; only #313 has retained a porch.

But each reflects design styles popular in the 1840s and 1850s: huge windows, French doors, pilasters, shutters, small front lawns, and a (charmingly crooked) front porch.

Most of known information is about #313. The history of the property goes back to 1676. It may have been a Tavern called the “The Union Flag”.

tis amazing that these two buildings were saved during the construction of he bridge just a block away. In the 18th century the area near the East River around what would become 58th Street was lonely. 

Travelers using the Eastern Post Road could stop at the inn called The Union Flag (the name of which referred, of course, to the British colors, not the later American union).  The tavern sat approximately at the Queensboro Bridge approach.

Today #311 is home to antiques store Phillip Colleck, Ltd., while #313 at last check was home to painter John Ransom Phillips after a stint as the Czech Pavilion Restaurant., number 311 is occupied by an English antique furniture business (the business bought the house for $1.1 million in 1999).

For several decades the building was used as the offices of the NYC Humane Society

I guess we should think of them as examples of the “modest, semi-suburban houses which dotted the uptown side streets of mid–19th century New York,”

The following is not to depress you but to show how bad these two older buildings fell into disrepair Thankfully, someone along the way cared!

An interesting side note is that in 1899 the original owner patented an invention far afield from the building business.  His “reversible tie” was described as having “sides of different color or material.”  For the price of one tie, the customer would get two.

One more look at how nice they look now