NYC – How many, of you, have missed seeing this  38 foot tall dog?

Unveiled in July 2018, her name is Spot and is a three-story-high statue of a Dalmatian puppy, balancing a real New York City yellow cab precariously on its nose.

Right now, you cannot see that she has a playful grin as she is wearing a purple mask.

Internet photo

The taxi cab is wired so that its headlights illuminate Spot when it gets dark. When it rains, the cab’s wipers turn on

The permanent piece is located outside the Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital within NYU Langone’s Kimmel Pavilion at 34th Street and First Avenue.

Creator Donald Lipski was inspired by his belief that art has healing powers.

“I wanted to make something so astounding it would distract even those arriving for the most serious procedures, and so lovable that young patients coming back again and again with chronic conditions would see it as an old friend,”

Donald Lipski, has done multiple pieces of public artworks across the country and in NYC, including a suite of sculptures that hang over the entrance of the La Guardia High School for Music and Art (made from musical instruments, costumes and ballet slippers).

Internet photo

Note: My oldest grandson graduated from LaGuardia Performing Arts High School. I always admired these pieces of art, now I know who created them.

NYC – Museum of the Dog

The Smithsonian had a day where it was free admission to several museums throughout the country and free is always good for me! I have passed the museum, several times, and decided this was the day to visit. So here I am at the Museum of the Dog in NYC.

The museum has beautiful dog-themed fine art, statues, a full library of all things dog, and other exhibits! There is even a fun interactive program to see what dog you are! I found the exhibition spaces to be outstanding. I had plenty of room to look around and the exhibits seemed like they were surrounding you. If you are a dog lover then, you will be in heaven.


There are a few interactive stations. What breed of dog you would be, then try the digital board with information about all the different breeds.

There is also a small library and coloring station. The majority of the museum is paintings, statues, and glass dogs. I wish there were more interactive parts to the museum.



The staff is extremely friendly and so happy to assist you and answer any questions you may have. There is also a cute gift shop for the dog-lover in your life.

Buy your tickets in advance online as reservations are required. Be sure to choose the Furry Friday option and add the dog ticket too! When you arrive in-person, you must sign a waiver for your dog.

The first Friday of every month is Furry Friday and leashed-dogs are allowed to join you at the museum between 6-8pm. Fee: $15

I would recommend a visit to any dog lover

Web page: here

NYC City at NIght

Urban Mountains: New York City is a very visual place to visit… plenty to see and do.  Here are a few photos from places higher than ground-level – imagine yourself here in NYC during the evening.

Updated August 2021

page one grey_edited-1

page two gray_edited-1

page thee grey_edited-1

page 4grey_edited-1

NEW YORK CITY   It has been called the “City that never sleeps!”

2021 NYC Summer – Ice Cream

This is a summary of an article in “Time Out” By Time Out contributors and Amber Sutherland-Namako

A link to their full article is at the end of this summary.

Every summer thousands of people visit Manhattan and the boroughs. Most come to see the sites and enjoy the liveliness that is NYC. When it is hot and tired what’s better than cooling off with delicious Ice Cream.

Here are few from the article that were of interest to me. The several selected are not from mid-town rather they were selected for their uniqueness. In the major article you will find a wider selection to choose from.

Musket Room in NoLIta is serving house made ice cream sandwiches from its takeout window on weekends from noon to 4pm.

You can choose from a vegan coconut caramel cookie with coconut ice cream, a chocolate chip cookie with miso ice cream and a hazelnut macaron with blackberry.

Ready to taste these incredible ice cream sandwiches? They’re just $8 apiece and will be available through the summer. 265 Elizabeth St. (near E Houston S

 Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

A family-run Chinatown institution for more than 40 years, this popular scoop shop sells durian, pandani, red bean and other lesser-seen ice cream varieties. The place is compact, so plan on taking this perfect treat for a walk through the neighborhood. 65 Bayard St. A block away from Columbus Park

Sundaes and Cones

The shop doesn’t try to wow you with an Instagram able interior design or toppings like edible glitter; instead, it sells wasabi, black sesame, ginger and other flavors you won’t find just anywhere. East village. 95 E 10th St A little north of Astor Square and St Mark’s

 Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream

Full range of scoop flavors (chocolate, honeycomb, Sicilian pistachio)—churned with hormone-free milk sourced from upstate cows—the environmentally conscious ice cream café serves an array of vegan options. 48 E 7th St. A little east of 2nd Ave. Close to McSorley’s Ale House

 Soft Swerve

When only soft serve will do, Soft Swerve wildly improves on some old familiars. Lower East Side 85 Allen St. Near Tenement Museum

Big Gay Ice Cream Shop

Quirky soft-serve creations in a cute West Village shop, emblazoned with a giant rainbow-swirled cone. 61 Grove Street. Just off Christopher St Park

 Il Laboratorio del Gelato

Industrial tasting room offers 40 flavors at a time,56 University Place. Three blocks from Washington Sq. Park.

 Davey’s Ice Cream

This colorful East Village shop is the brainchild of graphic-designer-turned-dessert-maven David Yoo, who’s churning out all-natural sweet cream-based parlor classics like salted caramel and roasted pistachio. East village 137 1st Ave. St Mark’s Place

Time Out Full Article

Remember when going to a destination in NYC, first check their website. Some stores have closed (suddenly).

NYC – The North Woods-Ravine and more

Read – Construction in the area March 20, 2021

updated for future planning

This year where traveling is limited and keeping a safe distance is hard to achieve, why not a nice walk in the woods. [ the photos are from a fall walk but it is a nice walk in any season.

The North Woods is located at the very northern part of Central Park. It has the feeling of being in the woods. It is a little off the typical tourist area but on a nice day is worth a visit.

You can start this walk from two directions.

The first is from the Meer and walk west and then around the pool where, in a parking lot, (maybe construction detours during 2021) you will see a stone arch You are now in The Ravine. The second approach is from the west side (1ooth Street) starting at the Pond.  The Pond is a small lake with green lawns, a waterfall and a loch at the other end. Walk to the end of the pond and  follow the stream into the Ravine.

There is much more to see in this part of the park. Here is an excellent link with a good map here.

ravine_blog_3_2013

NYC – Three Kings Parade – Celebration – 2021 (Virtual)

Updated from 2017

El Museo del Barrio is delighted to present the 44th Annual Three Kings Day (Virtual) Celebration on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, titled Fuerza Colectiva: Celebrating our Roots and Diversity. The upcoming celebration honors and embraces our community’s collective strength in response to the pandemic and injustice, and the cultural contributions of the African diaspora. The Museum’s first-ever virtual celebration, hosted and directed by TV personality and Producer, Rhina Valentin, will include musical performances, festive skits, cameos by our famous giant puppets, and saludos from this year’s honorees.

It is a small event as NYC events go. In the past it had  mostly parents  participating with three children. It is but one of many activities that make NYC neighborhoods great.

https://www.elmuseo.org/event/3kings-schools/

Photo are from past years.

and  the cleanup crew…

img_4687

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.

23.gallery.sphinx1-506x380
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

IMG_1126

IMG_1136

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.

47.musket.room_
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

Trivia

IMG_1165

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.

NYC – The Day of the Dead Celebration during a busy weekend of concerns

Publication delayed due to election.

Day of the Dead statuettes

Over the years of writing this blog, I have tried to include the many  traditions of different cultures. On November 2nd was a celebration called “Dia de Murtos” or The Day of Dead – it  is a time to honor and revere deceased family members and ancestors.
 It is important to pass on to each generation the celebrations that embrace their heritage. In Mexico and other Latin American countries, Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festivities is a time honored celebration.
They believe that the gates of heaven are opened at midnight on October 31, and the spirits of all deceased children (angelitos) are allowed to reunite with their families for 24 hours. On November 2, the spirits of the adults come down to enjoy the festivities that are prepared for them. Celebrations are bright and lively, in belief that the souls of the dead are still alive and can return home annually during this time.  Nov. 1 is the Day of the Innocents to pay tribute to deceased infants.

To celebrate, people built altars, called ofrendas, to the dead. The altars incorporate photos of the deceased, their possessions, sugar skull decorations (see below) and their favorite food and beverages, including pan de muertos (“bread of the dead”). Altars also feature orange marigolds, the Aztec’s flower of the dead. It is used to attract souls to their altar.

img_4248

Skull imagery is central to Día de los Muertos celebrations, with people painting their faces in ornate skulls and buying or making sugar skulls.

The Sugar Skull Tradition
Sugar art was brought to the New World by Italian missionaries in the 17th century. The first Church mention of sugar art was from Palermo at Easter time when little sugar lambs and angels were made to adorn the side altars in the Catholic Church.

facts-about-day-of-the-dead-infographic
Actual Sugar Skull made of sugar

Mexico, abundant in sugar production and too poor to buy fancy imported European church decorations, learned quickly from the friars how to make sugar art for their religious festivals. Clay molded sugar figures of angels, sheep and sugar skulls go back to the Colonial Period 18th century.
Sugar skulls represented a departed soul, had the name written on the forehead and was placed on the home ofrenda or gravestone to honor the return of a particular spirit. Sugar skull art reflects the folk art style of big happy smiles, colorful icing and sparkly tin and glittery adornments.

Sugar skulls are labor intensive and made in very small batches in the homes of sugar skull makers. These wonderful artisans are disappearing as fabricated and imported candy skulls take their place.
 It is more of a cultural holiday than a religious one. It is a wonderful way to celebrate the memories of our loved ones who are now gone… through art, cooking, music, building ofrendas, doing activities with our children, we can recount family stories, fun times and lessons learned… not how the person died, but how they lived.

NYC-Central Park-Bethesda Terrace-carvings -slightly updated

New York City’s Central Park is a must place to visit and the Bethesda Terrace (fountain) should not be missed. It is a magnificent terrace that has much to see – a towering fountain, a beautiful lake, a distant boat house and, often missed, intricate carvings on the railings and columns of the Terrace.

Over the past years I have returned to the Terrace area many times and my latest visit brought my attention to the intricate carvings that adorn the railings and columns. I found that they are placed in groups to represent each of the four season’s .

I came across a FB video describing the carvings in great detail. The video is from the Central Park Conservatory and is well done however the background noise can be a little distracting (not sure to put volume up or put your ear to the speaker/.

video here

I had intended to create a longer blog but I think the video will do a better job of showing these marvelous carvings. I encourage you to take a look the next time you visit NYC

NYC – East Harlem – Graffitti

graffitti_Panorama1

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.