Outside Grand Central Station – 4 current event questions

 

Who was General John J Pershing?

 

Many of you have probably passed by Pershing Square which is a public square where Park Avenue and 42nd Street intersect. The square is named after General John J. Pershing and was originally intended to be an open plaza.

Read about him here General John J. Pershing

A tourist information center under the viaduct, was built in 1939; it was later reconfigured to be a store and then a restaurant. 

TriviaThe classic friends-who-fall-in-love couple, played by Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis in “Friends with Benefits” features a scene at the famous Pershing Square located right across Grand Central. Immediately after the characters’ huge reconciliation at the train station, they head over to the bustling restaurant known for its breakfast, for an official first date as something more than friends. The restaurant was renamed Central Cafe for the movie.

Where was the Daily Planet?

 

The Daily Planet is a fictional broadsheet newspaper appearing in comic books and commonly  association with Superman.

Just east of Pershing Square is the old New York news building. (Daily Planet? ) The outside art-deco is worth a look. Inside is very unique but unfortunately they will not allow you to take inside photos – but you should go inside and ask and slowly exit while looking at the lobby. To see the interior click here from a previous blog

Who is Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada?

Who was Nathan Hale ?

On the west side of the Grand central is Vanderbilt Avenue and a bit down the street is the Yale Building. It is said that this is the spot where Nathan Hale was hanged.

Nathan Hale (June 6, 1755 – September 22, 1776) was an American soldier and spy for the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. He volunteered for an intelligence-gathering mission in New York City but was captured by the British and executed.

His fame rests on a single quote, though it was a beauty, a veritable sound bite for the ages: “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country. Nathan Hale played an important role in the battle for New York. 

However, there are two competing locations. A plaque posted on a Banana Republic store at Third Avenue and 66th Street

Also, in City Hall Park there is a statue of Nathan Hale.

I guess, no one seems to know, for sure, where he was actually executed.

NOW YOU KNOW!

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.