A Grotto in a New York City Church – worth a visit

The Notre Dame Church- worth the visit.
St John the Divine Cathedral

New York City is perhaps one of the few American cities that has such a diverse culture.  In this city ,you can find dozens of unique  churches, buildings and neighborhoods like Saint John the divine Cathedral.

Today, I am not writing about the Cathedral but a church, I would guess, most  visitors to the Cathederal would never visit and it is only  a few blocks away.

405 West 114th Street 
New York, NY 10025


The Notre Dame Church, where you can experience a replica of the grotto in Lourdes France, where in 1858 Saint Bernadette was said to have witnessed the appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary.It rises several stories behind the main altar.

The Church of Notre Dame.   
405 West 114th Street


This chapel has an impressive French neoclassical exterior and is equally matched with the interior that boasts a Grotto that rises SEVERAL stories behind the main altar.


Although this grotto was built inside after the church was completed.It feels as if the church has been built directly into the side of a mountain.


Fourteen inset bas-relief images of the Crucifixion of Christ adorn the perimeter of the church interior.


The altar, pulpit and balustrade (altar rail) in white Carrara marble, which took over two years to complete.


NYC – Soldiers & Sailors Monument -Memorial Day

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In1893, a Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument Association was formed. It proposed a triumphal arch at Grand Army Plaza, at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue, however, after opposition it was erected on Riverside Drive. President Theodore Roosevelt laid the cornerstone for the monument in December of 1900. For years the monument was the terminus of New York City’s Memorial Day Parade. This massive circular temple-like monument located along Riverside Drive at 89th Street commemorates Union Army soldiers and sailors who served in the Civil War.

Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Day Observance: Monday, May 27, 2019 (Riverside Drive & 89th St)

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Below.Addition information about a few of the battles listed on the monument.

Click on pictures below for more information

Malverne Hill
Malverne Hill


Port Hudson
Port Hudson


NYC – Walking -W70th Street to W58th Street -Riverside Drive – updated 2018

July 2018

I recently revisited this area and found it a very poplar place for walkers, joggers and bicyclists. The Hudson River Park is clean and there are many several piers along the way for your enjoyment of the Hudson river. I note that there are clean bathrooms along the way and  two places for eating -79th Street and 69th Street.


79th Street Boat Basin Restaurant.

Great view, from the restaurant, of The George Washington Bridge.


I looked south at the horizon and immediately was taken by the tall glass-enclosed buildings, a destination at last.





I continued on up the path to Riverside Drive



This area is mostly high rise apartments/condos and is all building.At the westernmost end, beyond Central Park .


I did find a park amongst them and there were plenty of pre-schools along the way so I imagine quite a few people live in this area.


Ended the walk with a drink

NYC – Barbershop Museum

This past weekend the Barbershop Museum was officially opened. but when I went over to visit  the museum was closed. Unusual for me, I have taken the liberty to copy a few photos  and cite some information from the internet



Joining the ever-growing list of quirky city museums is the NYC Barber Museum, a newly opened Upper West Side establishment dedicated to the art and history of barbering. The brainchild of Arthur Rubinoff — a fourth-generation “Master Barber” and the CEO of the Reamir  barbershop chain whose star-studded clientele includes Bruce Willis, Tony Danza and Regis Philbin — the museum opened this past Friday with much fanfare. Now it’s paying tribute to generations of old school barbers, while also offering a variety of grooming services to visitors. Best yet, it’s free to visit. They have no telephone listed.

(Source:untapped cities)
This would be a neat place to visit if you are 9 blocks away from Lincoln; 7 blocks away from Zabar’s; a few blocks away from the Beacon Theater; and one block away from Central Park) I would put it on your list of things to see only if in the area


The NYC Barber Museum is located at 290 Columbus Ave. It’s open “casual hours” Sat-Mon; Tues 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Wed 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Thurs 11 a.m.-11 p.m. and Fri 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

NYC – Endangered Bird Murals

Every year, during May, Jane’s Walks organization puts together free walks throughout the boroughs of New York City. One that caught my eye was a walk in the northern Manhattan neighborhood of Hamilton Heights and Washington heights. It is a project that is attempting to create 314 murals of endangered birds. It is called the Audubon Mural Project.

This was a walk I wasn’t sure I was going to do. However, I am always looking to go for a walk, so I went!  However, there were so many people who had the same idea that I created my own walk.

Most of my walk was from west 144th Street to west 158th Street along Broadway. I may have missed some along the way but I have included a web site, at the bottom,  that does a great job of showing off the murals.

First the area in question is in section of Manhattan that is old and which has a rich cultural diverse population.  Broadway is a typical city street with shops of all kinds along the way

Many of the buildings on the side streets are filled with very nice brownstone buildings while Broadway has a mix of apartment buildings.


The most well-known section is around west 155th Street. Here is the famous Trinity graveyard where many well know dignitaries are buried.

John Audubon   Ed Koch   Clement Moore   Jerry Orbach

Also, a fabulous museum at the Audubon Terrace – Hispanic Society of America should not be missed. It is now closed for renovation but something to be put on your future visit to NYC.

If you are coming to NYC for the first time, this is a walk that I recommend you take virtually. This is far from the normal tourist areas and the placements of the birds are somewhat hard to find. The web site below is excellent and will show much more than this brief look at the murals.

This web site has a better view of the birds. Click here

The Magic Flute – Opera _ NYC Public Library – Performing Arts -Lincoln Center

Magical Designs for Mozart’s Magic Flute is at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts (Lincoln Center) until August 27, 2016




Let me begin by confessing that I have never attended an opera.



 I happened to be on my way home from the Time Warner Building (earlier blog) and stopped in to The New York Public Library at Lincoln Center. They always have interesting exhibitions – the last one was Frank Sinatra this one about a famous opera.



The Mozart Opera – The Magic Flute.


Helped by brochure and Internet, it is a story about a quest for love, light and wisdom, in a world where nothing is what it seems. There is a malicious serpent and an evil sorcerer who is holding the beautiful princess captive, a dark queen with manipulative motives and three testing trials of his courage and virtue.




The exhibit has some very colorful costumes as well as wonderful pictures of 18 different productions over several years. I enjoyed looking at the costumes and can only guess it to be a show that can only be called “eclectic”.





I have no background to describe the photographs. However, I got a feeling that this might be an enjoyable first opera for me. Who knows?

Spoiler Alert: The Opera begins with a Prince being pursued by a menacing snake but is saved by three ladies who kill it.

The opera ends with the Prince being welcomes into the Temple of Light – victory over darkness is celebrated.

NYC – Sinatra at Lincoln Center – now through September – Free

New  York City Public Library for the Performing Arts

at Lincoln Center


frank cover_final

The free multimedia exhibition features never-before-seen photos, family mementos, rare correspondence, personal items, clothing, artwork, and, of course, music. Most of the pieces come directly from the Sinatra family and have never been on public display before.


Entering this exhibit you are treated to the music of Frank Sinatra.The exhibition space has a nice feel about it – videos, inter-actives, posters, dioramas and recordings.  I enjoyed being there!

Slide Show – old photograhs

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The exhibit begins with his childhood and covers his life through videos , recordings, and family photographs. Quite a lot to see and read.

Click photo to enlarge


The show traces Sinatra’s career in music, from early performances through big band performances, radio shows, gold and platinum records and Grammy awards.

Click photo to enlarge


A replica of living rooms anywhere in the country. Personal camera (he carried one with him at all times).

Click photo to enlarge

If you would like to make a day of visiting the upper west side… some suggestions

Columbus Circle (59th and Broadway Time Warner Building – neat to go inside and see the park through large windows.

Lincoln Square (65th Street), Commonly known as Lincoln Center – location  of Sinatra exhibit. Also, you will like the surroundings as well.

American Folk Art Museum

American Folk Art Museum, 2 Lincoln Sq

Zabar’s (80th). This is one of the city’s top gourmet stores, with a dizzying selection of cheeses, breads, prepared foods, salads and much more.

American Museum of Natural History. (77th and CPW) This is one of New York’s top attractions, with a world-class collection of dinosaurs.

Below 77th Street, you’ll pass the New-York Historical Society, a manageable sized museum with fascinating exhibits of the world’s most unmanageable city.

Dakota Building, 1 W 72nd St. Probably best known was the former Beatle John Lennon, who was gunned down outside the building on 8 December 1980. Make a pilgrimage into Central Park across the way, Just inside the 72nd Street entrance, to Strawberry Fields, a beautifully landscaped area dedicated to Lennon’s memory.

Tavern on the Green – inside Central Park (66th and CPW). Not good reviews but usually the outside looks great at Easter.

Eating – lots of restaurants along Broadway  and side streets.

Google  “NYC upper west side” for additional ideas


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 – Graffiti or School Art ?

One of many things that make a city unique is its ability to allow young artists an opportunity to demonstrate their talents. I often stop during my walks to notice the schools and playground walls… always a colorful message to be seen and read.


Peace Wall - NYC
Peace Wall – NYC

Harlem Peace Wall

The Harlem Peace Wall mosaic mural at the Jacob H. Schiff Playground in Harlem, New York,was created in 2005 based on artwork submitted by youth from around the world. Designed to build bridges of cultural understanding and to encourage youth to become active participants in shaping their future, the 213 foot long project involved over 1,000 community volunteers, led by artist Peter Sis and artist fabricator Dakota Warren.

These murals are located a bit of a distance on the upper west side –  Amsterdam Avenue at  west 138th Street.  An added treat is that they are opposite the city college, which in itself is a work of art.


Here is a slide show of some of the Peace Wall  panels;


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CITYarts currently has four Peace Walls around the world in Harlem, New York,  United States, Berlin,  Germany, Karachi,  Pakistan, Jaffa,  Israel, and London, U.K.


The following is but a sample of other playgrounds and schools that prominently display  student art.


Photos : east 118th street, west 138th street and Riverside Park


NYC- Joan of Arc Statue – Riverside park

New York City is full of amazing discoveries. Today, I took a walk from west 86th and Broadway heading north to 94th Street and then (west) to Riverside Drive. Continuing, I headed south on Riverside Drive back to west 86th Street.

I have walked in this area many times but usually not in the colder months. As I came down Riverside Drive to 93rd Street, I noticed a statue of a horse and rider. (When there are leaves on the trees this little park is hard to see from the street.) As I walked up the steps, I realized that it was a statue of Joan of Arc.

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Here she is a national hero in France, sitting astride a strutting stallion overlooking the Hudson River. The story of how it came to be placed in Riverside Park is an interesting one. The idea for it all came from a group of New Yorkers who were keen, for whatever reason, to mark the 500th anniversary of Joan’s birth. They traveled to the Paris Salon of 1910 on a fishing expedition for possible ideas or leads on sculptors, and there they saw a plaster statue of Joan of Arc by Anna Hyatt, the future Mrs. Huntington. Hyatt, who was an unknown carver of animals at the time, had gone to France to study and had become smitten with Joan’s story.

uws_nov_2013 (68)_endHyatt’s statue of Joan of Arc was widely praised, but Hyatt received only an honorable mention from the judges because no one at the Salon believed a woman could make such a statue without a man’s help. …No kidding. The Americans offered her the commission for the statue in Riverside Park. By that time, the monument was commemorating more than the young martyr. World War I had started, and the statue became a sort of salute to the perceived indomitable nature of the French.

It was, near as I can figure, the first statue made by a woman to be installed in New Yorkuws_nov_2013 (59)_end City. (And, for that matter, the first statue of a woman.) Hyatt did most of her work at her family’s home in Gloucester, Mass., using her niece and a fire department’s horse as models and researching medieval armor and whatnot at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The statue was dedicated on Dec. 6, 1915. Joan of Arc, who was born in 1412, was burned at the stake for heresy on May 30, 1431, was beatified by the Roman Catholic Church in 1909 and canonized as a saint in 1920. She was supposedly divinely inspired to help liberate the French from English rule.

. In 1920, the year Joan was canonized as a saint, 15,000 people gathered for the speech making, and the battleship U.S.S. Pennsylvania roused every pigeon on the Upper West Side with a 21-gun salute.

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Much of the written material came from http://newyorkcitystatues.com/joan-of-arc/

Bonus: Group of buildings located within this walking area.

Note: around Riverside Drive (Park  bathrooms are pretty spaced out  – http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/riversidepark/facilities/bathrooms
Use bathrooms on Broadway before going west. Starbucks, McDonald and Petco (upstairs) at west 92nd.