NYC – East Harlem – Graffitti


Sunday afternoon in NYC – time to capture the  color of our graffiti artists.

Click on photos to enlarge and utilize slideshow

The Graffiti  was photographed between east 102 Street and east 108th Street. Along 3rd Avenue and Park Avenue Updated October 2020.

nyc – Wooden Framed Homes with Porches – a vanishing Group

A while back I wrote about NYC wooden framed houses.  I am always fascinated that some of them still exist. Over the years, many building are now marble and limestone townhouses, but there still exist charming houses, made of plain old wood. I am singling out a few that have front porches. I would imagine that there are not many of these left. Yesterday, I found a wooden framed house at 17 east 128th Street. I should mention that there are several other wooden framed house but very few that have been restored and contain a front porch.

 My original Blog – Houses made of wood – in Manhattan? – might be of interest .

Look at the similarity of  the following three homes’


East 92nd Street

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412 East 85th Street


east 128th st
17 East 128th Street

These are the only ones found that have been restored and contain a front porch. These homes are really unique to the city. I discovered that around 1866 the fire code banned  these types of houses from being built below 86th Street.

Unfortunately before many houses can be land marked, developers change them into something else. Quite a handful of old wood frame houses still exist in various parts of Harlem but none are official landmarks and so might not last much longer in the coming years.There is a lot of bland-new construction arriving in all NYC  neighborhoods these days but the actual charm that still remains in some neighborhoods comes from the past so hopefully more investors will see that in the future.

Note: The landmark commission usually takes several years to approve a property. Also, the dwelling must be able to be renovated so many of the wooden home have fallen to decay and vandalism.

NYC – Central Park – Conservatory Garden Summer 2014

NYC – Central Park – Conservatory Garden 2014   Recently, I re-visited the Conservatory Gardens. It was a warm day and I  went to see the flowers. To my surprise, there are not many in bloom but the gardens were still beautiful as well as peaceful. Many families were  sitting on the benches and enjoying the shade. I spent some time just taking photos of people, flowers etc. Here are a few that may be of interest.

The entrance


The Astor Gates
The Astor Gates

IMG_5145   Conservatory Gardens –  East 105th and 5th Avenue

A General Overview

It was a hot day for all


The cool mist and shade from the sun


Always something interesting



Links to my past posts on this area

NYC – Upper East Side near Central Park #3 Conservatory Gardens Central Park North – Where once there was a glass pavilion -Conservatory Garden NYC – ABOVE 86TH ST #6 (last one) Museums NYC–Sunday in the Park

NYC – Graffiti or School Art ?

One of many things that make a city unique is its ability to allow young artists an opportunity to demonstrate their talents. I often stop during my walks to notice the schools and playground walls… always a colorful message to be seen and read.


Peace Wall - NYC
Peace Wall – NYC

Harlem Peace Wall

The Harlem Peace Wall mosaic mural at the Jacob H. Schiff Playground in Harlem, New York,was created in 2005 based on artwork submitted by youth from around the world. Designed to build bridges of cultural understanding and to encourage youth to become active participants in shaping their future, the 213 foot long project involved over 1,000 community volunteers, led by artist Peter Sis and artist fabricator Dakota Warren.

These murals are located a bit of a distance on the upper west side –  Amsterdam Avenue at  west 138th Street.  An added treat is that they are opposite the city college, which in itself is a work of art.


Here is a slide show of some of the Peace Wall  panels;


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CITYarts currently has four Peace Walls around the world in Harlem, New York,  United States, Berlin,  Germany, Karachi,  Pakistan, Jaffa,  Israel, and London, U.K.


The following is but a sample of other playgrounds and schools that prominently display  student art.


Photos : east 118th street, west 138th street and Riverside Park


NYC – Upper East Side near Central Park #5 The North Woods


The North part of Central Park —   The North Woods  is a great walk

If you would like to visit a little bit of the Adirondacks while in NYC, then plan on spending at least a morning or afternoon walking through the North Woods. I have walked in this section many times but I haven’t climbed the great hill. I am told it has a large lawn for sun bathing.

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You can start this walk from two directions.

  • First is to go to The Meer and walk around the pool (skating rink). Going down some steps, thinking you are at the employee parking lot, keep going, you will soon see a stone arch where when entering you will be transformed into an Adirondack hiker. You are now in The Ravine.


  • The second approach is from the west side of the park (110th Street)  starting at the Pond.  The Pond is a small lake that is surrounded by green lawns with a waterfall at one end and a loch at the other end. This part of the park doesn’t see many tourists and the north woods is like being miles away from Manhattan. It is loaded with dirt trails ideal for exploring.  A nice trip is to go to the end of the pond and  follow the stream into the Ravine.
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You will really not believe you are in a major city! Look up and down the stream as it flows through the arches and bridges, It truly is an Adirondack marvel. This a great place to eat that snack or drink some of your bottled water – specially sitting near a waterfall on a craggy rock.


The first time a Central Park visitor looks out over the Wildflower Meadow toward the valley called the Ravine that spreads out before them they feel as if they have been transported to the shoulder of a country road into an unimagined fantasy. Descending the grassy slope in what appears to be an unknown expanse of wilderness they are amazed to find a fabulously emerging reality. There is a stream bisecting it called The Loch and a dense forest through which it meanders called the North Woods. Filled with many species of birds, their calls mingle with the distant sound of rushing water. Lost in the wonderment of this new discovery the visitor wanders north along a main path, contained on the meadow side with a low log fence, to discover one source of this music of nature. It is a rocky cascade that sheds a stream of water over a rocky fall. Ahead is the Huddlestone Arch, which leads back into the sobering and soul shattering concrete backyard of the Lasker Pool, a relatively recent addition, which effectively destroyed the continuance of the North Woods.

NYC – Upper East Side near Central Park #1 St Nicolas Russian Church


Many visitors come to NYC never go beyond 72nd street and a few probably go up to around 86th street.  there is plenty to see and For those who venture above 86th street, there is much to see and enjoy.

St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral

I have a habit of trying to look into churches. Many times the doors are locked but today, I noticed , the door  of this east 97th st church was ajar. Immediately, I knew I had entered an orthodox church – what a feeling! The church was empty except for a cleaning woman and a woman praying. There are no pews or seats.  The room is filled with candle holders (I imagine during services full of candle light) and religions items. Here’s some more information.

St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral


This impressive Upper East Side Cathedral, built at the turn of the 19th century, remains the center of Russian Orthodoxy in the United States. Five onion domes distinguish the opulent, red-brick structure that was inspired by the great architectural edifices of Tsarist Russia.

The structure is a slice of old Moscow dropped onto 97th Street. If the congregation had no money when they started the project, the finished structure gives no hint of it. Exotic onion domes clustered above the red brick and limestone façade which is decorated in green, yellow and blue glazed tiles. Gilt bronze ribs stand out against the painted surfaces of the domes.

Inside is a blaze of traditional Russian decoration. Bright multicolored frescoes adorned the walls and ceilings. To cross the threshold is to leave New York and enter Russia.

Hint: Always ask if you can take flash or no-flash photographs before taking pictures. Also, if you get a lot of great shots then a small contribution to a candle offering is always a nice way to say thank you.

More places of interest (above 86th St.) next week -Reservoir

NYC–Sunday in the Park

My Thoughts

The people of New York City have had a vey difficult time trying to find a way through the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Transportation, housing, food electricity, gasoline and the onset of cold weather have created hardships that are difficult to comprehend. At the same time, NYC has been trying to keep other aspects of life as normal as possible. However, running the Marathon was not one of them. It was a late call, but correct!

As I walked around Central Park there were many groups of runners participating in an in-park course. I was struck by the way many of them took advantage of the day and as I spoke with some of  them they were unanimous that cancelling the race was the right thing to do.

In fact, many were donating to the relief effort as well as going to help with the clean up.

I decided that I would not show pictures of the damage to Central Park, rather I would show you the beauty that remains…

The North Woods


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The Conservatory Gardens

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NYC – A look at the city from my camera lens

I remain busy trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear…Didn’t realize how many photographs that I have accumulated.

Here is a sample of what I am finding… please excuse attempt to caption them with meaning.

Note: Clicking on the pictures will enlarge them

NYC – Is this the most northern lake in Manhattan?



It is quite a hike from one end of the Central Park to the other. I assure you that a visit to the northern region is well worth the trip. (maybe take a bus up Madison Avenue). Among the treasures of this “North woods” area is the Harlem Meer – where a beautiful lake will greet you. Also there is a boathouse – Dana Discovery Center  It is on the Harlem Meer(Lake) Note: The building houses bathrooms and has displays as well as free fishing equipment. Also, easy to get to it is at 5th ave and 110th street. (Click on picture for larger view)


Residing in a unique setting to the east of the North Woods and very much in harmony with that woodland landscape is the Harlem Meer (the word meer in Dutch meaning “small sea”).
It is a large water space stretching from the east perimeter of Central Park to the central part of Central Park covering 11-acres in all. Like the Lake it has a meandering and diverse shoreline. The Meer is surrounded by a variety of trees including ginkgo, cypress, beech, oak and fragrant black locusts, which sweetly scent the air during mid spring. In the spring roses can be seen blooming on its shores and during the summer colorful hydrangeas grace the entrance of the Cove.
Summer also brings wildflowers that bloom around the water’s edge of the Meer which includeJoe-pye Weed, New York Ironweed, Boneset and Pickerelweed.

Two places that you should definately vist are the Ravine and the “North Woods”. I guarantee that tou will thinkyou are somewhere in the mountains.

NYC – 116th Street Market

116th Street Harlem African Street Market


The Harlem African Market

If you walk along 116th Street – you will not want to mis this market – the colorful entrance is hard to miss.  Going inside is one of Harlem’s more unique experiences.  Stepping through the whimsical entrance is like making a quick visit to west Africa.  In addition to a wide selection of traditional African garb and the tons of T-shirts,  the merchants offer beautiful handmade jewelry, original craft items like dolls and small sculptures, and an array of natural skincare products.  For the music lover with eclectic tastes, you can also find CDs of contemporary African music.  The prices are pretty reasonable but if you don’t like the price, feel free to bargain – the merchants seem to enjoy i

“Malcom Shabazz ~ Harlem’s Market” is located on the southern side of West 116th  Street between Lenox and Fifth Avenues.  The market is open year round,  9am to 5 pm,  7 days a week.

While enjoying the market, I also noticed a few of the buildings surrounding it…

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