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.

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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).

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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

Austrian Cultural Forum – a few steps from 5th avenue and Rockefeller Center

Have you ever been to the Austrian Cultural Forum at 11 east 52nd Street? 

First cartoon published in the New Yorker

Many times during the year, they have excellent exhibits. Also, it is convenient 5th Avenue. It’s In a small building, with lots of glass, that houses exhibition spaces, a theater, a library for books and audio recordings, offices, seminar and reception rooms. Often, you will find something new and interesting.

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I have never found it overcrowded and the gallery spaces makes for a relaxed visit. The staff is almost invisible but easy to find.

Here are samples from a recent exhibition.

Three with a Pen: Lily Renée, Bil Spira, and Paul Peter Porges feature work by three Jewish artists driven from their homes in Vienna after the German annexation of Austria, the so-called “Anschluss” in 1938. The exhibition showcases examples of their signature work in comic books, New Yorker cartoons, Mad magazine spoofs, caricatures, portraiture, fashion design, advertising, and children’s books, among other formats.

Upper Broadway 1941

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Upper Broadway 1941

If near the Rockefeller Center area, I would put it on my list to, at least, peek inside. All events are free.

A reminder that many gallery’s and museums require timed-entry and a VAC card. So bring your cellphone. Note: many also allow walk-ins. So if you find a place that looks interesting go in and ask if they accept walk-ins.

Phone: (212) 319-5300

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

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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).

little guardians of nature – Apple Heads

Many of you who follow this blog have read my experiences on finding new and different objects within NYC. Yesterday, I discovered some very unusual objects on fence posts at a park I visit every day.

Joanne Howard, artist

I was surprised to find them but more surprised to find out that they were probably there for the past five months.

So, with a little research, here is the story:

Last March, more than 40 scrunched-up apples carved into distinctive human faces and cast in bronze were placed in a small NYC park- Carl Schurz Park.

The exhibition consisted of carving human faces into apples and letting them dry out, causing them to resemble wizened elders, with seemingly unique, human-like personalities.

They were then cast in bronze and screwed into fenceposts along East End Avenue near the park’s main entrance, as well as along “Cherry Alley,” which leads to the park’s central garden.

Difficult to spot

The artist, Joanne Howard wrote that the three-inch-tall heads are “subtle,” and will likely go unnoticed by many park visitors. I think of them as little guardians of nature, protectors of the trees,” Howard said. “I think there’s something whimsical about them.”

No matter how boring a walk can be, along the same path, there is always hope in finding something new.

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.

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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 – 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…

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.