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.

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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 – Backup Plan for Rainy Day

NYC – Rain makes for sudden changes

Recently, I went to see a parade –IMMIGRANT’S PARADE  – but unfortunately when I got there it started to rain. I mean really rain!

Click photos to enlarge

So you are soaking wet and the parade gets cancelled, what to do?

Think inside. Before I went to the parade I looked up where the parade was to be held and also what other sites are nearby. I guess it is called having a backup plan.

The following is a record of my afternoon:

I arrived at the parade and found many participants seeking cover. I walked over by the Radio City Hall and realized that the parade was not going to hap

First, I headed into Rockefeller Center (nice and dry) walked underneath from 6th Avenue to Seventh Avenue. Sat for awhile had a coffee and used their bathroom.

I had read that an old Art Store had been converted into a cooperative for artists and headed in that direction.The cooperative had just opened and had only a few artisans manning their displays.

 

The rain kept coming so I ducked into the Sheraton Hotel . Hotel lobbies are great places to sit and rex and, if needed, use their public bathroom.

Rain continues so I am off to the Time Warner Building at Columbus Circle. Passing the Columbus Circle Subway entrance, I was intrigued by the colorful sign advertising 39 stores below in the subway lobby.

So, below I went Great use of this space and very unique shops and dry.

I decided to head for home.

Moral: No matter what the weather, go and explore!

NYC – enjoy a private art gallery

NYC – enjoy a private art gallery

 

NYC offers you an opportunity to visit many famous museums. Often though, you may find some of best art there the “other” place might be appreciating works of art in a private gallery.

Sometimes it is great to imagine yourself   a person of means. Walking  around  the city, you can’t help but encounter shops that sell high-end goods.  It is  fun to go inside to enjoy seeing items that, I am sure,  cannot be seen anywhere else..

Today I entered the world of high-end art – The  Bartoux gallery – Central Park South and 7th Avenue. The gallery is quite impressive with large street windows and a deep interior with walls covered with brightly colored art. The staff was very friendly ad welcomed me and allowed me to take photos. You will find that most galleries welcome visitors and are most cordial in answering questions.

 

The gallery host art from leading artists (partial list)

MARC CHAGALL    ANDY WARHOL   BRUNO CATALANO   JULIEN MARINETTI   NOE TWO   DAMIEN hIRST

Welcome to a sample of what is inside

 

 

Damien Hirst

 

 

Noe Two – The Last Hope Spray paint and acrylic on cnvas

 

 

 

Julien Marinetti is a sculptor and engraver. All of these animals are bronze and painted with lively colors.

NYC – A Brief stop at the Time Warner Building – Columbus Circle

 

I had an errand to do near West 57th Street Eighth Avenue and on the way back home I passed a building that was definitely crammed in between two larger buildings what might be the smallest mid-town building .

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Opposite it were these “stoned” people.

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I then decided to stop at the  Time Warner Building (Columbus Circle). The Time Warner Building at Columbus Circle is the epitome of high class NY. This shopping center boasts three floors of high end shops including Cole Haan, Coach, and Hugo Boss. The entire mall really gives the sense of luxury and beautiful sights to just take in. The entire outside wall is made of see-through glass. Always a photo opportunity. It’s just a nice airy space. I recommend a visit. It doesn’t matter  whether you are a tourist or a resident.

 

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There are plenty of shops that have very upscale clothing and accessories. So here is glimpse as I walked through the building..

NYC – Posters – Is all art in a museum? Not on the upper west side!

 Indoor Poster Collages

ticket officeNew York City has an amazing amount of art housed in many prestigious museums. However, there is a parking garage on west 65th Street and CPW that has a very unique collection of posters. A rather odd place for art but it works quite well. I wonder how many other buildings in NYC have similar displays that go unnoticed?

 

entrance w65th

 

I am not sure these are all classic posters nor did I recognize the origins of each. When entering the garage you are surprised to find several large collages.(posters).(click to enlarge)

entrance w65th_wallentrance_w65_side

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Here are a few of the posters from within the collages. They seem to represent a wide range of interests. As I write this I am wondering if the nearby Lincoln Center had some influence on displaying the posters.

uncle sam

james bam leglincoln center   phanthom IMG_4498_CYRK                 man in bed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, it is not the Met or he Guggenheim but it is another free place to visit in NYC   You may notice a few well-known names and enjoy their poster art work.

 

 

Here is a collage of some old posters

 

Note: This garage is opposite the Tavern on the Green – newly reopened ????   At this writing it does not have a public bathroom but is working on it. Ask for directions to the nearest bathroom) It is only a short walk into the park (from the Tavern) to a public rest room.

Also, the garage is close to Columbus Square, New York Historical Society and a short walk from Lincoln Center. It may worth a peek into?