Elizabeth Street (Little Italy) – delightful garden

Updated from 2015

There is a small park – Elizabeth Street Gardens – on Elizabeth Street , between Prince & Spring streets (Little Italy) that is very unusual. While not open all the time it is a great place to have lunch (bring your own) or picnic or sit in the shade. You will be surrounded by statuary of all kinds. Oh by the way, it is free. Check here for when open.

The Elizabeth Street Gallery, open to the public in a park like setting, contains a variety of ornamental stonework, some of it depicting mythological figures



I walked the length of Elizabeth Street and found most of the people enjoying the day. The restaurants were busy and  those stores that were open had customers.

Most of the buildings in the area are multifamily, or apartment buildings dating from the first decade or two of the 20th Century

Some people think that the boundary between Chinatown and SOHOis mid-block between Kenmare and Spring,  The area to the south is mostly Chinese.

Before  the virus arrived the northern area was home to upscale galleries and shops north of Kenmare.

As of this date,  many shops have closed due to the pandemic. The street is filled mostly with outside dining. and there is a lot of construction going on. However, visiting the garden is still very enjoyable and all along the street people were animated and enjoying their visit. Most wearing masks and other than restaurants and bars, keeping some separation between each other

I am confident that after we solve the health situation  These  two blocks just South of Houston will, again, become quite alive and quite trendy.

Carved, painted and lettered shingle signs that hang over the sidewalk are becoming popular in the neighborhoods where the hip people go,
 Photos taken on November 8, 2020



Elizabeth and Hester may be the only intersection in Manhattan where both streets are women’s first names, though Hester isn’t used much anymore. Elizabeth Street is one of the few major streets in Manhattan that begins and ends at a T-shaped intersection.

Road Trip – a stop at a “pickers” paradise

Usually, my blogs are mostly NYC but I ventured south and found this roadside attraction.

I watch the TV show American Pickers, where they find all these neat items throughout the states. I am fascinated by the objects as well as the price paid for them.  It makes me think about all the stuff I should have saved, How about you?

This week I was traveling through Virginia along route 301 and flew by the following (see photo)


There are so many unique items to look at and to investigate. 

What would America be without gas stations?

Dont forget, “Miss Piggy, Santa Clause, and a “pig”

Coca-cola is always popular


And all these assorted items:

Does anyone remeber this ?

This is just part of what was inside, If you are a collector then you would just love this place. Plenty of signs, automobile stuff, clocks, and much more fill this place to the walls. This is located in Port Royal VA and I was told that they have another on Rte 301 in Maryland.

SoHo – Cast Iron Buildings – Vault Lights – More


Many of you come to New York City and spend some time in China Town and  Little Italy. Just a hop skip and a jump from there is SoHo –  the home for high-fashion, cast iron buildings and cobblestones.   Just roaming the streets and popping into the many boutiques can be a fun experience. I will note that the prices may also be a subject of dinner-time talk as well.

Since it impossible for me to accurately describe what a shopping experience would be like, I will try to give you a picture of this neighborhood and its uniqueness to NYC.


SoHo is filled with intricate, yet simple, cast-iron architecture.. Walking along streets like Mercer, Greene, Crosby or Wooster you will notice cobblestone streets
lined with cast iron buildings. (A few of you may recognize this area as the backgrounds in many commercials,most notably auto ads.)

SoHo began as an area for manufacturing or department stores, it was built before electricity was invented so they built buildings IMG_2230with giant-scale windows, allowing daylight to enter the basement and the far reaches of the storefronts.

Also, cast iron is a stronger product than other irons (such as wrought iron), so it allowed  buildings to span greater distances. The material could be prefabricated offsite and quickly put up on site. It also allowed the delicate designs of the time to be mass-produced. In order to go higher the buildings store fronts were supportedby columns rather than brick.


Along with the many stores there are living spaces above with giant windows, tall ceilings, and expansive living spaces. A great place to live.

Cast iron columns are hollow, enabling architects2012_march_11_Marshall_Vill_008_Ato build higher without the thick walls previously required to construct brick buildings.

IMG_2277Foundry stamps were often placed at the base of cast-iron buildings.

Many stores have loading docks close to the buildings. They were designed at that height to lift people up and out of the walkway, as well as to come closer to the structures so they could window shop.

A magnet will stick to cast-iron, but not other building materials. Bring one with you as you wander the SoHo streets. 

Small circular glass bulbs dot the sidewalks of Soho–are they chic street stylings or art?

Many of the sidewalks in New York are hollow but especially in this area. In many of the older buildings the basements extend beyond the building’s footprint- opening up to a “vault” space under the sidewalk. The glass bulbs are actually tiny windows–called “vault lights” or deadlights–to allow sunlight into the basement factories before the introduction of electricity.They permitted daylight to reach otherwise dark basements (or “vaults”) that extended out beneath the sidewalks this created more useable or rentable space for building owners.


You might also notice that the street signs in SoHo are brown, not green like standard street signs. This is because a large section of SoHo is a historic district.

SoHo’s cobbled streets and atmosphere make the district unlike any other area in Manhattan. The uniqueness boils down to the most simple details such as the street names. In SoHo the streets have names rather than numbers. Spring Street, Prince Street, and Broadway are all well-known streets.

Broadway is probably one of the most well-known streets in NYC, and also runs right through the center of SoHo. Many big name shops have their flagship stores here, right in the heart of SoHo. Broadway is not only the longest street, it is also the heart of shopping in NYC – Definitely worth a visit!

Here is a collection of some unique items you can see in SoHo

NYC – Contemporary Art – free to look at.

Contemporary art at auction

Several times a year I try to share some of the art work you find in NYC auction houses. Today, I visited Sotheby’s to look at auction items for sale on March 1. The subject of this auction is contemporary Art.

Many of these will most likely put into private hands and rarely seen again public.















































Barbara Kruger “UNTITLED”


Yoshitomo Nara WHITE PUPPY

















































Christian Rosa












Vik Muniz











Note: I noticed that the minimum bid at this auction was between 40k and 60k





NYC a short Christmas walk in midtown: Part Two

Continued from Part One

Today, I took a walk on 7th Avenue from west 57th st to west 52nd. Turned east and walked to the Paley Building (25 w 52nd) and then walked up to west 57th. This an easy walk and I added a stop at the Paley building and the 21 club.

If visiting the. city and if you will be walking down 5th Avenue then this is a great stop for you and your family. Literally, it is just around the corner (w 52) from 5th Avenue

The Paley Center for Media celebrates the joy of the season with a special family friendly experience. It’s Holiday Time in PaleyLand features continuous daily screenings of beloved classic holiday TV programs from the Paley Archive. Families can also enjoy special holiday activities like arts and crafts, dreidel games, and FREE hot cocoa!

December 8, 2018, to January 6, 2019, in New York
Wednesdays to Sundays 12:00 to 6:00 pm; Thursdays until 8:00 pm

Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.  website here


Right next door is the 21 Club

Perhaps the best known feature of 21 is the line of painted cast iron lawn jockey statues which adorns the balcony above the entrance. In the 1930s, some of the affluent customers of the bar began to show their appreciation by presenting 21 with jockeys painted to represent the racing colors of the stables they owned. There are 33 jockeys on the exterior of the building, and 2 more inside the doors.

Interesting: a couple going into the club with matching shoes

Interesting: couple with matching shoes


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 – fashion on Madison Avenue – East 70’s

Today I walked up Madison Avenue from east 70th Street to East 86th Street.( We city folk do a lot of walking!) I was impressed with some of the store windows and the quality of what they were selling.C ertainly, fashion is alive and well in this area of Manhattan. Here are my photos of the current styles being offered this early spring. This post is a little longer than usual.


These photos show 3-dimensional  replicas of people. They use a 360 degree photo scanner of you. Amazing new technology.

This is a “pop-up” store called Doob.

Several stores displayed “Young Adult” clothing.

Of course, several stores displayed your needed accessories.

Note: click on photos for enlargement


Added these for fun.

The fashions  through a slight glare of the store windows.



Ralf Lauren

Paul Morelli


Spring Flowers

Frederic Malle




Carolina Herrera

Tomas Meier

F.M. Allen


Morgane Le Pax



Lilly Pu;itzer

Eileen Fisher

Davide Cenci



Rebecca Taylor


Eli Saab


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)


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 – Animals- Commerial Art

Short walk today around the east 60’s. I was off to an appointment and thought I would grab some shots of items displayed in some store windows.

The practice of depicting characters of animals in miniaturized porcelain and  cloth seems to be very popular.


And, speaking of animals…




NYC – More than Tourist Sites – Street Fairs and Festivals


I happened to be going through the upper east side and stopped at a street fair on East 116th Street. It had children rides, not often seen in the city, as well as food and some novelty items for sale.I was reminded that over the past few years I have written about street fairs. Here are links to my past articles. I hope they encourage you, while visiting NYC, to get out an enjoy at least one street experience.


NYC- Summer – Food, Faces and Fairs – Faces and Food

NYC – Street Fairs – Information -Memo –  Where to find street fairs

NYC – What do you like about Street Fairs? – Mostly pics of food

NYC – Enjoy a NYC Street Festival – Ukraine Festival. Links festival  to info sites

NYC – UnFair Art Show – Example of Pop=Up fairs

OMG – another NYC Street Fair? – Challenge

New York City – Street Fair – Saturday and Sunday best days