NYC – East of Midtown – a walk around east 54th and 2nd Avenue – Updated August 2019

I wrote this blog over a year ago. I mentioned an almost hidden church, today, I came across an article inUntapped Cities

about the Norwegian Seamen’s Church, it is very well done. I thought you might enjoy it.

Tucked in Midtown with a facade of stained glass windows is a church founded for Swedish seamen that has a cozy secret: a hidden coffee shop… Read the article here

 

My original article begins here

Here is a look into a neighborhood a bit off the grid of tourist areas.  I selected an area bounded by east 54th street, east 52nd Street, and Sutton Place and 3rd avenue. Some people call this part of Turtle Bay. The area has very little to offer but I found a few interesting places of interest.

I found myself looking through the locked doors of the Norwegian Seamen’s Church and wondering how to get inside, just then a passing mailman that just yelled to me to press the two white buttons, magically, the door clicked open. (I love going into interesting buildings)

Norwegian Seamen’s Church

A smiling young man greeted me and allowed me to come inside for a visit. The church is a part of Norwegian Church Abroad. Along with being a church it also holds an assortment of events and art exhibitions.  There’s a small store and cafe inside the church that offers coffee, waffles, and a few Nordic packaged goods.  The store had a few friendly people having a coffee away from the bustle of midtown. There is a Gallery located downstairs from the “church” and has a nice collection of Scandinavian art.  Upstairs there is a small library/reading room with a fairly impressive collection of books in Norwegian.

 

The New York City Bath House Building – a very impressive building, on east 54th.

The center’s original purpose was to provide sanitary facilities for the city’s working classes and much of its original character and history remain. The basketball court and jogging track are connected by two wrought ironwork spiral staircases, The vaulted ceiling in the gymnasium and the lobby are indicative of the architecture of the time. Marble walls in the locker rooms hearken back to the original marble baths. (Not allowed to photograph swimming pools)

 

 

What you find off the beaten path are often small ethnic restaurants.

 

 

Extra things I found along the walk.

 

 

 

 

NYC Events – Small Parades – don’t miss them.

While walking around the city, I sometimes run into a small event such as a parade or block party. These are the times when the city really shows off its diversity.

 

 

Many people are familiar with parades such as the West Indian, Puerto Rican and St. Patrick’s Day parade. Occasionally though, the smaller parades demonstrate the culture, history and music of unique nationalities. Sometimes, you can enjoy and maybe even move and dance to their music.

This past week, Nigeria celebrated its independence with a parade and participants wearing traditional and lively African costumes really enjoyed themselves – I did too!

I encourage you, when visiting NYC, to look for these small events that can add to your enjoyment of the city. Google to find events or festivals and street fairs – there are many sites to choose from.

ps: Many times there is geat food to be had as well!

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 -East 70’s – a quick look at fashion and food along the Avenues

 

 

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Many people explore the city by walking near a major tourist attraction, but try venturing a little further away . You may find a greater mix of stores and restaurants that may be more interesting and affordable.

Lately, I took a walk from Lexington Avenue along East 73rd Street heading towards the East River. I did enjoy strolling along the quaint tree-lined blocks, checking out historic townhouses and I ventured up and down the adjacent Avenues to see some  stores and restaurants that are less than a block away from 73rd Street.

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Part of my door series

 

This blog has mostly store windows (fashion) and one interesting Persian Restaurant. However, in my enjoyment of the walk, I forgot to note where I took many of them.

 

I peeked into this little Persian Restaurant only to find that I was too early for lunch.

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2nd Avenue and 73rd Street

 

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Long and narrow

 

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Well, the adventure is in getting out and finding the world around us…

so enjoy and  happy walking!

A little background of the East 70’s area

  • This portion of the Upper East Side is home to schools like the Hewitt School, P.S. 158, P.S. 267, Eleanor Roosevelt High School along with Marymount Manhattan College and the Allen-Stevenson School.
  • Much of the old architecture in this part of the Upper East Side is Neo-Renaissance and French neoclassical. Historic, luxurious mansions like the Henry T. Sloane House at 9 E. 72nd St. and the Edward C. Converse Mansion at 3 E. 78th St.
  • The Henry Clay Frick mansion at 1 E. 70th St. now serves as a museum displaying Fricks art collection.
  • Central Park is just to the west.

 

NYC- Summer – Food, Faces and Fairs

The “outdoor” season has begun. Weekends in NYC  come alive with street fairs and festivals. A visit to one of them could be fun to add to your visit.

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Food is always a good reason for strolling down a street fair.

People looking can be fun but look carefully at the many other faces too.

What is a street fair?

Ans: A shopping mall with a food court and plenty of color. Also, it’s outside!

 

 

 

NYC – Enjoy a NYC Street Festival

Part of a NYC experience should include either a Street Fair or Festival (links at end of article). The month of May usually begins  the season and it continues throughout the summer and early fall.  The Festivals are quite colorful as they showcase music as well as performers. Of course, each festival will have  the street lined with booths selling everything from clothing, folk art and food.

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This past weekend I visited the Ukraine… actually the 39th Annual St. George  Ukrainian Festival, on 7th Street between Second and Third Avenues. The festival    celebrates the traditions of a culture that was once the largest demographic in the  East Village.

 

 

 

This is a small event just one block long but it packed with all kinds of activities. Many of the children were in native costumes.IMG_8768

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Most ethnic festivals are full of color and thing to buy, the Urkainian Festival was no exception

Almost every Festival has a stage and they present entertainment specific to their culture.

                                 (First time trying a video)    click here    Video clip

 

Here are some links to information about Street Fairs and Festivals

 

http://www.newyorkled.com/nyc_events_street_fairs.htm

http://movingsidewalkblog.com/?page_id=144

http://www.events12.com/newyork/may/

http://socialeyesnyc.com/manhattan/

and a tip from Laura C.

http://www.thrillist.com/events/new-york/things-to-do-in-nyc-this-summer-festival-calendar-2015

 

 

Click here for bus and subway info)

 

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NYC – Vegetarian – Vegan Parade

aa   This Blog started out to give you a glimpse of the Vegan/ Vegetarian Parade.

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The parade. this year, due to threatening skies, had fewer participants  and  was smaller than in previous years. Though smaller in number they were never-the-less quite vocal and upbeat.

 

 

The following are some web sites that may be of interest to you. I am not recommending the restaurants as I have not been to many of them.  My interest is to show you that you can eat well in NYC as a vegetarian or vegan. The city has many excellent vegetarian and vegan restaurants, and new ones are opening almost everyday.

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http://www.happycow.net/north_america/usa/new_york/new_york_city/ 

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http://www.businessinsider.com/best-vegan-and-vegetarian-in-nyc-2013-12?op=1 

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Below is not a comprehensive list but does give you some information about restaurants in different parts of the city. (YELP)

http://www.yelp.com/search?cflt=vegan&find_loc=Midtown+West%2C+Manhattan%2C+NY#find_desc&l=p:NY:New_York:Manhattan:[Chelsea,Chinatown,East_Village,Gramercy,Greenwich_Village,Lower_East_Side,Meatpacking_District,Midtown_East,Midtown_West,SoHo,Theater_District,Union_Square,West_Village]

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September – Farmer’s markets

During August I usually try to get some locally grown sweet-corn.  All year I get to visit many of the NYC farmer’s markets but the arrival of corn begins a time to not only enjoy the taste of sweet corn but to marvel at the color of the produce that is displayed.

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In 19th century New York City, it was not uncommon for the poor and working-class to buy baked goods, produce, and even meat, downstairs in the open air from sidewalk peddlers in front of their tenement buildings.

Today there are Farmer’s markets, Farm Stands, Road-side-wagons and assorted other names for buying fresh produce from local farms.

Hopefully, the following photos will give you the incentive to either visit a market in the city or take a ride outside the city to enjoy Nature’s Bounty.

Map of NYC Farmer’s Markets

http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/cdp/farmers-market-map.pdf

Here are a few fun photographs

NYC – What do you like about Street Fairs?

Welcome to a NYC Street Fair

The old saying maybe true: If you have been to one Street Fair then you have seen them all. This week I think I found out why people love going to these events. I will sum it up with one word:

Click on picture to enlarge

Eating

NYC Grocery shopping in a space with the grandeur of a cathedral

Sorry to write but this store is now closed. It was part of the A & P failure

Today’s Blog will be using other sources along with my own commentary and photos

Walking along the East River you can not un-notbridge kochice the mass of steel called the Ed Koch Bridge (Queensboro Bridge) or simply the 59th Street Bridge.

 

 

Heading up from the river to First Avenue you expect to see the underside of the bridge looking like most city bridges – closed up with ugly concrete and metal doors. What a surprise when you begin to see large windows ,terra cotta walls and large columns.

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“Would you like to do your grocery shopping in a space with the grandeur of a cathedral? Welcome to the Food Emporium at Bridgemarket, nicely tucked under the Manhattan approach to the 59th Street Bridge.

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The Bridgemarket was originally an open air market in the   early 1900s until the 1930s, when it became a New York City Department of Transportation facility.  It languished unappreciated and unloved until 1977, when plans for a market. Renovations weIMG_0748re begun in 2000. It is now occupied by the Food Emporium, Guastavino restaurant, a retail shop, and a public plaza.

 

 

The real pièces de résistance here are the vaulted ceilings covered with Guastivino tiles. Rafael Guastavino (1842-1908) an architect from Barcelona, came to New York with his son in 260471_219412534746904_5852115_n_cropped1881 and, in1889, founded the Guastavino Fireproof Construction Company. It was initially run by Rafael and later his son, with its final contract completed in 1962.

 

 

 

The Guastavino tile arch system uses a timbrel, or Catalan vault of self-supporting arches and architectural vaults with interlocking terracotta tiles and mortar. The Guastavino company eventually held 24 patents for the system.

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Hundreds of historically and architecturally important buildings use his system –

  • Grand Central Terminal (particularly the Oyster Bar,
  • Grants Tomb,
  • Carnegie Hall,
  • the Cathedral of St John the Devine,
  • the Elephant House at the Bronx Zoo
  • and the Ellis Island Hall.

Guastavino’s first major project was in 1888, when he was hired by McKim, Mead & White to produce the vaulting for the Boston Public Library.

Using publicly available and architecturally beautiful structures for day-to-day tasks is one of the unique things about New York City –try to visit some of the following:

  • shopping in the old Scribners Bookstore on 5th Avenue,
  • dining in a former bank with high ceilings
  • the Blue Water Grill at Union Square like that occupied by Balducci in Chelsea,
  • staying in historic hotels like the Waldorf Astoria or the Plaza

There are many things to see and do in New York City, but as I explore, I’m keeping an eye out for one name: Guastavino” Edited from nydpress