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 brief look at NYC Christmas Windows – 2019

It has been a cold winter but the weather warmed up a little so I went for a brief walk on 5th Avenue. In a previous post, I opined how there are only a few stores left that really do Christmas well.

Fortunately, those that remain are living up to reputations of creating outstanding windows. I managed to get to a few of them along 5th Avenue and plan on getting to a few on Madison Avenue.

Louis Vuitton

 

Bergdorf Goodman, the department store on Fifth Avenue between 57th and 58th streets always has some of the most artistic and luxurious holiday windows. This year’s theme is “Bergdorf Good Times,” which “evokes a time-honored spirit of a holiday fête but with a twist” according to the department store. ( I enjoyed the color and fashion but overall each window seemed very busy.

Note: Across the street is their men’s store -many people miss it!

 

The entire building of Cartier’s Fifth  Avenue store is wrapped in a giant bow in the company’s signature red. I don’t think it has changed in several years.

 

 

Saks Fifth Avenue has its windows in honor of the new animated films Frozen 2

 

The following is a quick rundown of other notable stores.

Dior is a luxury label’s designer fashion store, also selling cosmetics, jewelry & other accessories.

 

There are few stores as intrinsically associated with New York City as the Tiffany & Co. flagship store on Fifth Avenue. It was through those windows that Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly stared as she ate her morning croissant in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

 

 ere are some photos of windows along the way

 

Along with the stores above, there are plenty of holiday lights and displays located throughout the city. So, enjoy!

Note:Sadly, Lord & Taylor, Henri Bendel, Harry Winston and Ralph Lauren have closed. 

NYC – Bonhams – an auction house close to 5th Avenue

Over the years of writing this blog, I have uncovered many interesting items and pieces of art at Sotheby’s Auction House. I realize that I often visit Southeby’s as it is closer to my apartment. I have done this to the neglect of other excellent auction house but starting with today’s blog will attempt to broaden my horizons.

Several people have asked me if there were any places nearer the tourist areas (5th Avenue). They opined that when coming into the city for only a day, the location of Sotheby’s was too far to get to

Note: Visiting these auctions is a good way to look at expensive articles that not usually available to us outside of a museum. And the viewing if free!  Don’t be intimidated by security in dark suits, just walk in the door and ask if any galleries are open… simple as that!

Here are two that are right in the thick of the tourist area. If you have others, let me know and I will plan a visit to them.

Christie’s   20 Rockefeller Plaza, West Entrance is located at 49th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. 

Hours: Monday – Friday, 9:30am – 5:00pm
we are often open for weekend views, although the hours vary by sale. For specific viewing hours and other business matters, please contact Client Services at +1 212 636 2000

Bonhams – 580 Madison Ave (corner of 57th Street)

Hours: Monday – Friday: 9.00am – 5.00pm 
Preview days: 12.00pm – 5.00pm (please check as they are subject to change)

Modern Art

NYC Easter Bonnet – Easter Parade – Easter Bunny – Easter Eggs

In New York City, the Easter Parade tradition dates back to the mid-1800s, when the upper crust of society would attend Easter services at various Fifth Avenue churches then stroll outside afterward, showing off their new spring outfits and hats. Average citizens started showing up along Fifth Avenue to check out the action.

In 1948, the popular film Easter Parade was released, starring Fred Astaire and Judy Garland and featuring the music of Irving Berlin. The title song includes the lyrics: “In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it/You’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade.”

Easter Parade starting at about 10am and continuing until 4pm, the parade marches north on Fifth Avenue, from 49th Street to 57th Street in Manhattan from 10am-4pm on Easter Sunday.  Unlike most New York City Parades, the Easter Parade isn’t an organized event.

It is a time to enjoy decorative chapeaus and the delight of the Easter holiday.

 

When I was growing up my folks always got my brother and me a new suit for Easter.

DO you have any old photos of Easter?

By the early twentieth century, Americans became more and more invested in the Easter outfit—the hat, in particular. Because Easter coincides with seasonal fecundity, women garnered fresh flowers to wear in their hair and in their bonnets. Lilies, daffodils, azaleas with their red, pink or even crème colored blooms, Hyacinths, purple and white, as well as pussy willows and red tulips are considered traditional Easter flowers

 

 

 

Easter Bonnets can be whimsical, fantastical, with a hint of fabulist narrative, whether religious, seasonal or cultural, all adding to the magic of the hat.

 

These days, the Easter Bonnet can be wild, They can also be simple and playful, subtly nodding to the Bonnet’s modern tradition with a bunny ear or two. What will your Easter Bonnet hold?

 

 

 

 

The Easter Bunny – Easter Eggs

 

Have you ever wondered how a rabbit and chocolate eggs became associated with Easter?

The exact origins of the famous bunny are unclear however many sites have stated that it may have come from pre-Christian Germany. The hare was said to be the symbol of the pagan Goddess of Spring and Fertility, Eostre or Ostara. As anyone who is familiar with hares or rabbits will know, they are a great symbol for fertility as they have great ‘stamina’. The festival of Eostre and the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus soon became intertwined and the Christian holiday Easter was born.

The Germans changed the image of the rabbit into Oschter Haws, a rabbit who would lay a nest of coloured eggs for good children on the night before Easter. As the legend and popularity of Oshter Haws spread throughout the States, he soon became the Easter Bunny.

Easter is a religious holiday, but some of its customs, such as Easter eggs, are likely linked to pagan traditions. The egg, an ancient symbol of new life, has been associated with pagan festivals celebrating spring.

Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back to at least the 13th century, according to some sources. One explanation for this custom is that eggs were formerly a forbidden food during the Lenten season, so people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of the period of penance and fasting, then eat them on Easter as a celebration.

Did you color eggs for Easter?

 

 

 

 

 

Walking 5th Ave Mid-Summer Fashion Windows

A walk along 5th Avenue can be enjoyable if you take time to look at the many store windows. Also, don’t be afraid to go inside and browse around. Today, I walked from 59th street to 42nd street with side trip to Rockefeller  Plaza and Times Square.

Few things are as fun as an indulgent and leisurely shopping trip to  New York’  However, it can also be incredibly daunting and overwhelming, particularly for first-time shoppers. So here is a short list of some of the top shops to visit during your time in Manhattan.

Tiffany & Co.

Shiny, sparkly baubles abound at the incredibly famous fine jewelry brand

 

Bergdorf Goodman.  The premier shopping destination for all luxury items.

Louis Vuitton

The crème de la crème of leather handbags, this outpost of the

French maison, Louis Vuitton will set you back a pretty penny for a purse.

Zara Bargain

shoppers have known about the fast fashion shop Zara for years. For the uninitiated, the shop offers the best of what’s hot now at low prices.

 

Gucci Offering everything in men’s and women’s fashions, Gucci has gained more fame from their adorned sneaker collections.

Versace

This Italian fashion house was made famous by the deceased designer’s sister

Fifth Avenue is the most famous shopping street in the world. Although most people assume that only luxury labels such as Hermes, Gucci, Tiffany, Prada, and others are represented here, there are a variety of other recommendable shops to visit.

Here is a list of stores with location and price.

addition info:

NYC – POP ART (Madison Ave) Chairs – Bonham’s Auction House (57th/5th ave)

The School of Visual Arts (SVA), unveils a public art installation

Storefront window displays are not the only glass-enclosed structures turning heads on Madison Avenue this spring.

The School of Visual Arts (SVA), unveiled a public art installation consisting of 16 original chairs that represent each artist’s inspiration to create. These “Chairs that Inspire” can be found in eight-foot tall, Lucite-enclosed displays scattered along the sidewalks on Madison Avenue between East 57 and East 86 Streets until May 18.

Click photo to enlarge

For many of the student artists, being featured on Madison Avenue is a dream come true. For close to a month, the students’ work will be on display on one of the busiest avenues in New York.

Bonham’s Auction House (57th/5th ave)

I have added this short piece to the above store because many people do not know that Bonham’s can be a free museum. They have very high quality work and the location (57th and 5th Avenue (SW corner) is where most people travel down 5th Avenue – may be worth a visit!

Note: Often not open on weekends.

NYC – Greek Independance Day Parade – one of many this year

NYC – Greek Independence Day Parade

Now that the weather is getting warmer the city will begin having more parades. Today, many families came out to celebrate Greek Independence  I highlight some parades to remind you that these free events can make your NYC experience just a little bit better. Like today’s event, families dress in authentic costumes and are proud to demonstrate their heritage.

 

As usual. it is a great time for politicians to get out in front of the crowd

And for added fun …

The following sites will give advance info as to events happening in NYC

NYCevents12

NYCgov

Newyorkled

NYC – NYC Public Library – Remembering the 60s

 

NYC has so much to offer and many times you can enjoy them cost-free. The 42nd Street Public Library has rotating exhibitions as well as opportunity to visit inside a really big library with lots of character. An added bonus is just a few blocks away from Times Square, Rockefeller Center and maybe the Empire Building.

 

PART ONE – Exhibition

NYC Public Library – Remembering the 60s

By accident, I came across this exhibition on one of my walks. The 42nd Street Public Library is  celebrating the 1960s, This exhibition explores the breadth and significance of this era—from communal living and forays into expanded consciousness to tensions around race, politics, sexuality, and the environment.

There are many items on display, including Timothy Leary’s notes on acid trips, footage of the Woodstock music festival, and posters used in protest against the Vietnam War.

Ends September 1st, 2018

 

 

PART TWO – Its character

The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (formal name) is renowned for the extraordinary comprehensiveness of its historical collections as well as its commitment to providing free and equal access to its resources and facilities. It houses some 15 million items, among them priceless medieval manuscripts, ancient Japanese scrolls, contemporary novels and poetry, as well as baseball cards, dime novels, and comic books his time, I was more interested in the feel and look of the inside reading rooms.   (Click to enlarge)

 

You can read more about the history of the library here.

Extra photographs

 

hint: Opposite the front steps of the libraRy is east 43rd Street which is callled library row, it may be worth the short walk.

NYC – Sunday in Washington Square Park – drizzle and all

Some days are just gloomy and sometimes there is a drizzle that make it just a little bit different. what better time to visit Washington Square Park and environs.

Here is my walk in pictures…

The Park

 

 

 

Art Show

 

 

 

Streets (Mac Dougall – West 3rd – Thompson ) – South of the Park

Off of 5th Avenue – North of the Park

Time for Coffee

NYC – Puerto Rican Parade

update …The parade is still great… June 12, 2016… STILL TIME TO GO!

I am always amazed at the number of families that turn out to watch this parade. It is the loudest, most-colorful and lively parade in the city. The people  take a lot of pride in their heritage. The parade is full of celebrities, marching (dancing) people and trucks – loaded with people. It is a “fun” parade.

I captured some of the spectators as they enjoyed the day. The parade pictures you can find in newspapers or on the internet (they are often better than the ones I can get).

pr parade 2014 (7)
Really into the Theme

 

pr parade 2014 (2)
Homemade hat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pr parade 2014 (53)
Thirsty after the parade

pr parade 2014 (10)
Happy Family

pr parade 2014 (1)
Plenty of policemen around

 

 

pr parade 2014 (21)
Show your flag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pr parade 2014 (22)
Lovely models

 

 

 

pr parade 2014 (26)
Supporting Puerto Rico

 

 

pr parade 2014 (29)
Colorful

pr parade 2014 (31)
Trying to see the parade

pr parade 2014 (38)
The little one joins the family

pr parade 2014 (52)
The “young” look

pr parade 2014 (42)
Sure get thirsty watching a parade

pr parade 2014 (25)
Tiny ones need a boost

pr parade 2014 (14)
Brooklyn represented

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