NYC – Mid Town East – Turtle Bay

Turtle Bay is a neighborhood in New York City, on the east side of Midtown Manhattan. It extends between 41st and 53rd Streets, and eastward from Lexington. Its most famous site is the United Nations and Tutor City.

My reason to visit, was the newly painted murals (5) in this neighborhood. They are sponsored by a labor group and the over-all title is Social Change

Turtle Bay almost feels like a different world: peaceful, uncrowded, and filled with brownstones and smaller brick buildings rather than skyscrapers. Much of the residential architecture is from the 1920s, often featuring basic Italian antecedents, stucco walls again bricks or tile.

Mid Town, Turtle Bay, is  an interesting place to visit and walk. 

Two buildings in Turtle Bay are the Seamen’s Churches of Sweden and Norway, which have hidden cafes inside that are open to the public though the organizations themselves primarily serve the expatriate community.

Seamen’s Church

It might look like a gated building front on East 49th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, but this between-buildings passageway, now known as Amster Yard, goes all the way back to 1830 or earlier. On this site, the stagecoach to Boston began its route on a now-vanished road called the Eastern Post Road. It has been rebuilt with an art gallery and a charming back garden. The complex remains open to the public on weekdays, except when there is a private event. (Spanish Cultural Center)

Then there is Beekman Place, also just a few blocks long. Its prewar co-ops nuzzle town houses with dormered windows jutting from their top floors.

Fun facts

As a non historical curiosity, the Hammarskjöld Plaza (Second Avenue and Forty-Sixth Street ) is the very center of the imaginary multiverse formed by all of the stories written by Stephen King, as described in his “The Dark Tower” series of books. It is actually the place that “keeps all those universes working”. So it is an interesting touristic point for the fans.

 

Number 227 – 247 East 48th Street and 236-246 East 49th Streets are famous remodeled brownstones which surround a private common garden and are the former homes of Dorothy Thompson, Katharine Hepburn, Stephen Sondheim, Maggie Smith and Tyrone Power

This area is right on top of the United Nations Building. 

 

NYC – East Village Update

 This blog contains some newer information about the East Village. Also, It contains some material from previous blogs.

 

The East Village changed plenty over the last few decades but one thing remains consistent: its creative scene and artsy vibe.

Today, despite continuing development, remnants of its grungy, literary, counter-culture past remain and can be seen in graffiti and street-art-covered facades, quirky and charming, independently owned shops like Trash and Vaudeville, cultural hotspots like Nuyorican Poets Café and tenement buildings. They all lend themselves to the area’s walkability and allure.

While the East Village is saturated with popular bars and restaurants, other stand-out qualities are its quaint community gardens that provide mini pockets of escape from the buzzing thoroughfares like East Houston Street, Second Avenue and Avenue A.

The neighborhood is divided into smaller subsections.

St Marks Pl, New York, NY

St. Mark’s Place

 

St. Mark’s Place, which runs from Third Avenue to Avenue A down E. Eighth Street, is a buzzing corridor of restaurants, tattoo parlors and small bazaars often frequented by eclectic shoppers and tourists.

Alphabet City, composed of Avenues A, B, C and D, is now a long way from its once-notorious image as a sketchy, unsafe place. Avenue C is co-named Loisaida Avenue, a term coined by Alphabet City’s Puerto Rican or Nuyorican population.

Historically the East Village was considered an extension of the Lower East Side and served as a hub for working class migrants. During the 1950s and ’60s and into the ’80s musicians, artists and writers flocked to the area because of its affordability.

TO EAT

Ukrainian East Village Restaurant

This well-loved eatery serves up authentic Ukrainian comfort food like pierogi and halusky or for vegetarians, the Vegetable Schnitzel, in an old-fashioned setting.

Veniero’s Italian Bakery

Established in 1894, this famed, historic dessert spot is a must-visit in East Village. The café exudes an old-world style and ambiance, and treats like cannoli, biscotti and chocolate mousse cake await those with an insatiable sweet tooth.

Casa Adela

Authentic Puerto Rican cuisine like mofongo, chuletas fritas and sancocho are served in this casual and laid back family-run spot that is popular among locals.

To Drink

 

McSorley’s Old Ale House

One of New York City’s oldest haunts, McSorley’s was established in 1854 and calls itself NYC’s oldest Irish tavern. Grab a bite and sip on their light or dark beer while getting a history lesson from its walls of old newspaper clippings and pictures. Sawdust on the floor and communal tables add to its historic feel.

Please Don’t Tell

The only way to get into this secret bar is through a vintage phone booth in Crif Dog. There’s actually much to dish about on this cozy and classy speakeasy, which offers hot dogs alongside cocktails. 212

Interesting  – dare you!

Russian & Turkish Baths

Since 1892 New Yorkers have been relaxing in this well-known spot’s redwood and Russian saunas and aromatherapy room. Treatments include the Dead Sea salt scrub, black mud treatment and the platza oak leaf in which the specialist beats you with oak leaves drenched in olive oil soap.

Obscura Antiques & Oddities

The well-known quirky and sometimes eerie antique shop, featured on the Discovery Channel show “Oddities,” offers plenty by way of the creepy and unusual. Go for the reputation, leave with a skull, marbles of insects or another mysterious object of sorts

Thanks to AMNY.com for the material.

NYC -The Bronx Zoo Revisited – Fall Season Trip

 

This is an edited version of a previous Blog. Soon, the leaves will be changing colors and this is a great place to enjoy a fall day. Full Blog Here

The massive institution is home to more than 5,000 adorable and/or ferocious creatures in myriad exhibits, including an outdoor baboon reserve, a sea lion pool and a space dedicated entirely to Madagascar. Ride the Wild Asia Monorail, which tours 38 acres of exhibits that house elephants, Indo-Chinese tigers, deer, antelope and Mongolian wild horses, or wander over to see two gargantuan Nile crocodiles. On inclement days, step into indoor attractions such as the World of Birds, the World of Reptiles or the Congo Gorilla Forest. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

 

The Bronx Zoo is truly an impressive place to visit. You will be pleased to see that Zoo is clean and well maintained and that the animals are well cared for.

I, and one-hundred twenty students, visited the park on a school field trip. Warning – even the most energetic of visitors will find a day at the Bronx Zoo exhausting — there are just so many exhibits to see and so much ground to cover. Spend some time on  The Bronx Zoo Website before going.

Our trip was focused on the sea lions and the southern part of the park.

This blog has a guest photographer my grandson Daniel  who, to my delight, photographed all of the following:

 

Some Facts

The Zoo is surprisingly easy to get to by express bus from Manhattan.

  • Bronx Zoo Buses/Subways: BxM11 express bus stops along Madison Avenue, between 26th and 99th Streets, then travels directly to the Zoo’s Bronx River entrance (Gate B); 2 or 5 subway to East Tremont Ave/West Farms Square
  • Bronx Zoo Directions: Bus, Subway, MetroNorth and Driving Directions

Bronx Zoo Admission:

  • $16 for Adults
  • $12 for Children 3-12
  • $14 for Seniors (65+)
  • Free for Children under 3
  • Free for Members
  • Pay-What-You-Wish Admission on Wednesdays
  • There are additional $3-5 charges for “Special Rides and Attractions,” though you can purchase a Total Experience ticket for $29.95 Adult/$19.95 Child/$24.95 Senior which includes unlimited access to these add-ons.
  • Special Rides & Attractions include: 4-D Theater, Bug Carousel, Butterfly Garden, Children’s Zoo, Congo Gorilla Forest, JungleWorld, Wild Asia Monorail, and the Zoo Shuttle.

Bronx Zoo Hours:

  • Summer Hours: (April 3 – November 1) 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m. on weekends and holidays
  • Winter Hours: (November 2 – April 2) 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • The zoo is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and Martin Luther King Day.
  • Last admission sold 30 minutes before closing
  • Because of its size, the Bronx Zoo has several “main” entrances — if you’re meeting friends or family at the zoo, confirm ahead of time which entrance you’ll be using.

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

entrance w66th_1

entrance w66_3

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?

 

NYC – Columbus Avenue around west 79th street

Come visit me

Come visit me

Spent a day at the American Museum of Natural History on CPW and west 79th Street. I used the entrance on Columbus Avenue to exit. The museum is a treasure of items. I leave you to look up the details. http://www.amnh.org/  So many times, I was reminded of  creating a diorama for school or helping my own children and grandchildren make projects that were dioramas. Later we traveled south on Columbus Ave to the  Magnolia Bakery for cupcakes and to Pappardella’s for diner. I jumped across the street and had gelato from Bomboloni.

American Museum of Natural History

Let’s take a walk

Magnolia Bakery (No pictures of eating but food and wine were great)

A few stores along the way(between w83 and w 72)

Remember it is fun to just wander around and enjoy wherever you happen to land.

NYC- Museum of Natural History

An old time museum but kept up-to-date and imteresting?

The American Museum of Natural History is part of the “Museum Mile”  and is on west 79th Street at Central Park West(not 5th Avenue). It has 4 floors (plus the lower level floor) full of interesting things to learn about us humans, the space, the sea, animals, minerals, etc. When visiting, put on some comfortable shoes and stay for at least one full afternoon.

The collections contain over 32 million specimens, of which only a small fraction can be displayed at any given time. The Hayden Planetarium, connected to the Museum, is now part of the Rose Center for Earth and Space, housed in a glass cube containing the spherical Space Theater

It is Pay What You Want, so instead of paying full price pay what you can afford. One little note, it is not quite like the “movie”. It is an “old school” museum with dioramas and large exhibits of elephants, whales  etc. However, they have added some inter-active items throughout the museum. Be aware that their special exhibits are excellent and very interesting but require a fee and  sometimes can be purchased in a group of items. Note they are not cheap but I think worth it.

 
Nearby I always stop at Zabar’s for a coffee and bagel (they also have sandwiches, knish etc). They are located on Broadway at 80th Street. Zabar’s has to be experienced, in person, to truly be understood. You have to see the crowds, hear  the banter of our sales help, smell the croissants baking, admire the rich brown   hues of our coffee, sample cheese from every corner of the world, enjoy the beauty of hand sliced nova, walk upstairs and see the largest selection of imported copper cookware anywhere… it really is a one of a kind adventure.
 
A short walk away is the park area called  Strawberry Fields.
 
 

NYC – Lower Manhattan -quick guide

Lower Manhattan

I have done previous Blogs about Lower Manhattan but today’s Blog is an update with current things of interest. Most people think of Lower Manhattan as a place to visit the Stock Exchange and the site of the 911 Memorial. This area saw the inauguration of our first president, the fire of 1835 and the attacks of September 11. Today, it is alive and well with great restaurants as well as many shopping experiences. Here is my partial list:

Food – While there are many restaurants in this area that are excellent I share with you Stone Street – cobble stones and sitting outside is an experience!

Stone Street

               Henry’s Café & Steak – underground busy bar and lively crowd. Mad Dog & Beans – Mexican Happy Hour in an old barn. Beckett’s Bar & Grill –burgers, beans and connected to the outside seating. Urban Lobster Shack – to-go food here plus more. Just a few of the many places to eat.

Should See Sites

Most of the following charge an entrance fee . I think they still have the downtown Culture Pass gets discount. www.downtownculturepass.org

New York Stock Exchange-11 wall St – good photos outside –inside not open. Museum of American Finance – inside nation’s first bank. History of money. Federal Hall National Memorial – 54 Pearl St – – George Washington inaugurated on balcony. Weekday tours Fraunces Tavern – Washington’s place to have a drink. Can visit period room and see artifacts.

Wall Street

Police Museum

 New York City Police Museum – 100 Old Slip – a neat little museum with old-time uniforms etc. Kid friendly. Also near South Street Seaport. Museum of Jewish Heritage – 36 Battery Place – memorial to those lost in the Holocaust. National Museum of the American Indian – 1 Bowling Green – Smithsonian owned. Great building and exhibits and free. The Skyscraper Museum – 39 Battery Place – nice but not my favorite.

 Hotels – many great ones around here. Stay in this area only if you are doing business or staying in the area for a bit. Very few people around during evening hours. LM is quite a distance from mid-town.

Other Thoughts

911 Memorial Preview Site – 20 Vesey ST – have not visit yet. Check for details at

www.national911memorial.org

Bridge Café – 279 Water Street – Real old tavern with history. Not sure of food but worth a look inside.

Food Carts – you will see a lot of them down here. Workers don’t have a lot time for lunch.

Century 21 – 22 Courtlandt St. – discounts on designer clothing

Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Governors Island are all accessible from this area as well

Battery Park – great views of the Hudson River and Statue of Liberty

South Street Seaport is in this area and a fun place for kids (ok, adults too.)

NOTE – NOTE – NOTE – On weekends this area can be very quiet – exception of tourists – some things may not be open. However, it is a great place to walk around the side streets during the day and the more tourist like places at night.

NYC – Did you ever hear of the Navy Terrace in Central Park?

A SHORT WALK

Well, I didn’t either? That was until I walked down the steps at the Bethesda Fountain and noticed the brass sign in the pavement. This terrace was dedicated to our service men and women  and was dated 1947. I guess we will need to now say the Bethesda Fountain at the Navy Terrace. Note located along the 72nd Street tranverse.

Here are a few pictures from a short walk I took from east 70th Street up through east 72nd Street along the paths in Central Park.This time of year where everything is springing to life makes you appreciate what you have and where you are.

The Mall, The Fountain and the Arbor are all on every tourists list of things to see.