[click on picture to enlarge - taken via iPhone] I found this amusing and intriguing installation at the farmers' market the other day, on the stand of Berkshire Berries. Their booth is really charming with all kind of gourmet jams, honeys, maple syrups, ... They even sell New York City Honey (from hives on NYC rooftops). I did a little research, of course, and found out that honeybees are raised in farms primarily in the southern United States or the West Coastal area. They are delivered in screened boxes, usually by general US Postal mail. The empty shipping box shown here usually contains 2 to 5 pounds of worker bees (females), a handful of drones (males), and a small box called a queen's cage with one young mated queen. Also in the shipping cage is a perforated tin can filled with sugar water. This package can usually sustain the bees for about 10 days. By the time the confused bees arrive at their new home, they accept the queen as theirs by being drawn to her by her scent.
Now, about this urban beekeeping... There is apparently some unorthodox farmer activity going on our rooftops. I had no idea that beekeeping is fairly popular in New York City but few beekeepers reveal their presence because under the NYC Health Code the activity is illegal. Section 161.01 bans keeping animals that are ''wild, ferocious, fierce, dangerous or naturally inclined to do harm.'' To learn more about it, I recommend this article from the New York Times: For Hives and Honey In New York City; Rooftop Beekeepers Defy Law to Get That Sweet Central Park Bouquet. And to learn if beekeeping is for you, visit www.beemaster.com, where you can find an online crash course.
[click on picture to enlarge - taken via iPhone] This one is my little homage to the New York Film Festival which opened last night. Truth is, pictures I took today were just not right at all.
This was taken earlier this week in my street. It is not unfrequent to see those kind of anouncements posted in the neighborhood. A lot of films are shot in New York City and the neighborhood features many brownstones. You know, those beautiful row houses which are so emblematic of the city. There is also a good amount of old fashioned appartment buildings. About a year ago, somebody very agitated, screaming and sitting on the edge of a 10ish floor appartment window, was about to jump. There was police cars, ambulances and ... cameras. I think it was for a police/detective drama, something like CSI. They usually do not advertise what is being filmed and where. What was not usual this time is that together with the usual shooting announcement, a letter was posted just underneath. It explained that they were going to shoot in the interior of a house and apologized for the inconvenience. How civil! So I did a little research and found out that the film company in question, Biscuit Filmworks, is specialized in shooting commercials. Altoids, Nike, Old Spices, ... they have a long client list. They were ranked as #296 in the Hot 500 fastest-growing businesses in America list by Entrepreneur Magazine. You can find an example of what they do on YouTube: check it out here.
[click on picture to enlarge - taken via iPhone] This was taken about a week ago in Bryant Park during lunch time. One of those blue sky day. Perfectly blue and cloudless sky. Hardly no wind. All conditions required for skywriting.
Skywriting is this advertising medium using a small airplane, able to expel special smoke during flight. By flying in certain patterns, it creates writing readable by someone on the ground. Since the puffs of smoke dissipate very quickly into the atmosphere, the message is usually limited to one or two words. Winds cause the writing to blur, usually rapidly. To avoid that, special techniques have been developed to write in the sky in a dot-matrix fashion, which is what you see in this picture. It seems so cutting-edge, right? I was surprised to learn that skywriting was actually developed in 1922 by a pioneer English aviator, J. C. Savage.
Can you figure out what was written up there? I could not. This spring though I saw something similar in the Upper West Side on a beautiful Sunday afternoon with perfect blue sky. It read "wow". A few minutes a second word was written: "wow". Then a third: "wow". Wow, wow, wow - that's a good message, no?
NB: The white building on the right is the Grace Building, with its beautiful sloped facade. More about it here.
[click on picture to enlarge - taken via iPhone] Take that, Starbucks! Be affraid, be very affraid, little mermaid (*)!! Tremble, as coffee-obsessed New Yorkers have many ways to get their cup of joe.
“Our culture runs on coffee and gasoline, the first often tasting like the second." said Edward Abbey (American writer 1927-1989). I tend to agree with that, probably because I am not a coffee lover. I do however enjoy a cup of latte or of "lait russe". As long as there is enough milk to offset the coffee taste, he he...
A Turkish proverb says that “Coffee should be black as Hell, strong as death, and sweet as love”. So I have to ask: a cloud of milk or black? How many sugar cubes? Or maybe just tea?
(*) For those who haven't had their daily cup yet, that's the lady on their logo, Starbucks is the first mate in Moby Dick.
[click on picture to enlarge - taken via iPhone] We are looking towards the South West of the island.
The street illuminated by the red tail lights of the cars driving South is 7th avenue.
See that big building with a square light on the top? Look where it intersects with the river. Now a little to the right. See a pale rectangular structure? This is the driving range of Chelsea Piers, a sport complex built on the renovated piers in the Chelsea neighborhood. We're at the northern edge of Greenwich Village and the Meatpacking District. When practicing your golf swing in the multi-story driving range, you are looking right at New Jersey, accross the river.
Now, stay in Jersey and follow the shore towards the tip of Manhattan. At the very end, you should see a line of land reaching out to Manhattan. Adjust your glasses and sharpen your imagination and you should see Miss Liberty at the very tip of that line. Do you see her? Bingo!
And this is what you get when you stay late in the office... Not bad, uh? But hey, see all those lights? I am not the only one working late!
[click on picture to enlarge - taken via iPhone] Last night was the opening night of the Met's new season with a gala performance of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. Jane (Fonda), Mary-Louise (Parker), Willem (Dafoe), Barbara (Walters), Walter (Cronkite), Charlie (Rose), Mike (Bloomberg), John (McEnroe), Plácido (Domingo) and many more... they were all there. And so was I ! Alright, alright: the gala crowd was in the opera house and schmucks like me were outside, on the plaza, enjoying the performance with a little breeze and sans chi-chi dresses. Ah, it's good to be frugal.
As part of the Metropolitan Opera’s new initiative to widen the appeal of opera, the Met broadcasted the entire performance in Times Square on a giant screen. The Met also presented a simultaneous outdoor broadcast of the performance in Lincoln Center’s Josie Robertson Plaza. “We want to bring the Met to the heart of New York,” said Peter Gelb, the Met’s new General Manager.“This effort is symbolic of our plans to keep the Met connected to mainstream culture and contemporary life and will help build new audiences. Thousands will have the chance to see and hear our opening night performance who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend.”
To read all about it, check out the MetBlog. Oh yes, those opera people are hip and cool: they have a blog, playlists on iTunes, rush tickets and Figaro who answers all your questions! NB: • First picture: on the screen you can see the Times Square opera crowd. The little white spot in the sky is a plane flying above the opera house. And yes, with so much drama, passion and tears, it is a bit blurry. • Second picture: Lucia learns from her secret lover Edgardo that he must to go to France defend his family honor, while she has to marry against her will to save her family's misfortune. Brrr...
[click on picture to enlarge] Flattery will lead you... to this post. I've seen this add a couple of times but never took the time to read pass the first sentence, which always makes me laugh. The other day I stopped and read. And laugh some more. Seems like a KYC exercise to me.
Here is what it reads: (I have added a few notes at the bottom of this post for those not familiar with this jargon)
UPPER WEST SIDE, YOU RULE. Face it. You're the epicenter of that "New York Liberal" thinking. You're bluer than all the blue states combined. You're so blue, you're purple. It wouldn't be unheard of to see you on the corner, having an impromptu discussion about the next woman President while pushing your baby stroller back from Riverside Park at 10:30 on a Wednesday night. We love it. You live in the moment. Unlike those people trapped in annual cell phone contracts. They don't belong here. Because up here it's not cool to be tied down and uptight. If you want to live like that, move to Greenwich, or at least across the park.
Presenting an idea as awesome as you: plans without annual contracts.
• KYC = know your customer • liberal = not for Bush, democrat • blue = color of the democratic party • Riverside Park = a pretty park on the UWS, along the Hudson River. Ever seen the movie "You've got mail" with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks? The park scenes where shot there. • Greenwich = a beautiful & oppulent town in Connecticut, where people are a little more conservative & a little more uptight • across the park = the Upper East Side
[click on picture to enlarge - taken via iPhone] Petrie Court at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (sculptures court).
Welcome to the Met! It is one of the finest and largest museum of art. The building itself is approximately 2 million square feet. And it contains about 2 million works of art. It has been estimated that if you would spend just one minute looking at each of them, without taking a break, it would take you at least five and a half year to see them all!
[click on picture to enlarge - taken via iPhone] When you exit the subway at 59th street, you come face to face with this globe sculpture, with the Trump International Hotel and Tower as backdrop.
The building, also known as One Central Park West, stands on the north side of Columbus Circle. It was built in 1970 for the Gulf + Western company and was originally an office tower, housing the New York City headquarters of Paramount Pictures. And from what I read, was pretty famous for all the wrong reasons. The building was scaffolded for years. The upper floors were prone to sway excessively on windy days, to the point of causing seasickness. The top of the building sported a restaurant which was never a success. There was a cinema in the basement which was closed when the building was sold to Donald Trump in 1997.
From a 45 story office tower, Trump converted it into a 52 story hotel and residential building. The white facade was converted into a dark glass one with a shiny steel framing. In order to deflect the bad energy from Columbus Circle, Trump's feng shui consultant added a shiny globe at the front of the building. The steel globe was designed by sculptor Kim Brandell. A touch of feng shui that seems to be just what the area was missing.
[click on picture to enlarge] This is another one of those things you walk by a number uncalculated of times without even noticing. And then one day it hits you: you see that little blue door with a weird number: "170 1/2". It's that little "1/2" that makes the whole difference. And from now on, each time you will walk pass that door, it will make you smile. Simple. Efficient. It's the little things, I am telling you. A few meters away on W78th, there is of course a big door, the entrance of the appartment building and the number for it is a very boring "170".
Here's a close up of "170 1/2". And here is the boring "170".
[click on picture to enlarge] It is one of the most well known building in the city, one where over half a million people cross path every day. In the heart of midtown Manhattan, Grand Central Terminal is a pompous building, in the literal sense of the word. It is grandiose, majestic, full of pomp. This is the southern facade which features a clock and a fifty-foot-tall sculpture of Roman deities. The Glory of Commerce representing Mercury, Hercules, and Minerva, was designed by French sculptor Jules-Félix Coutan in 1914.
[click on picture to enlarge - another one taken with the iPhone]
A few days ago, Fabrizio in Torino posted the irrestible beauty and the beast. So when I saw this today, I really could not resist to immortalize its New York cousin... Two versions of express delivery. By bicycle for the busy or lazy office workers' lunch. By truck for all these other things that just can't wait. And I will get you a messenger one of these days. Promess.
This is the South West corner of Times Square (42nd & 6th Ave.). On the southern side, the Ernst & Young building, the icon of every accountant on the planet. And across the street, the Reuters building, with its blue neons stripes. I just like the way these buildings reflect into each others and how sleek they look at that time of the day.
[click on pictures to enlarge - these were taken from my iPhone] This will probably qualify me as a snob but I hate those street fairs. You have crowded blocks where people coming from god knows where are strolling in your streets, eating things like corn dogs and other greasy things from those smokey food stands, making it such a pain to get around your neighborhood. But once in a while, it is fun to leave your prejudices behind and explore anyway. You might just find that glass of fresh lemonade you are craving for.
Well, today was just my luck. The Columbus Avenue Festival which runs from W66th St. to W86th St. was hosting the White Castle NYC Big Apple Grapple XXX International Championships. This arm wrestling championship is open to pro and amateurs, men and women. It is $20 to compete for a chance to be crowned NYC’s King and Queen of Arms. No matter whether your ego get bruised or not, you'll leave with that kick-ass T-shirt.
For the list of this year NYC's Kings and Queens of Arms and to learn more about this sport, visit the New York Arm Wrestling Association’s web site at www.nycarms.com. The strongest New Yorkers are in Brooklyn, so start training now for next year!!!
NB: this link on http://www.nyc.gov, the official website of the city allows you to search street events.
I have walked pass this shop nearly every day without ever noticing this amusing inscription on the window. They carry both men's and women's mix of new and vintage designer clothing and jewelry on a consignment basis. I have never ventured inside but have smiled often at their humorous displays. Something tells me that I will pay them a visit very soon...
See, a little research taught me that have amazing connections. They have dressed many celebrities and supplied numerous movie wardrobes, including the popular HBO series Sex and the City and The Sopranos. Kyra Sedgewick, Boy George, Matt Dillon, Catherina Zela Jones, RuPaul, Cindy Crawford, Madonna and Naomi Campbell all have shopped there.
Time Out New York refer to them as the "Regis and Kathie Lee of the resale clothing world". They say that whether you're a showgirl or a working girl, chances are good you'll find something that suits you. The store is packed with Gaultier, Pucci, Lacroix and other designer samples they sell for about 70 percent off retail. Celebrities have been known to dump the contents of their closets here."
And to think I have lived close to four years ignoring this!
"People-watching is to New York City what vista-gazing is to the Grand Canyon: You haven’t really been if you haven’t done it".(1) You can follow the latest fashion styles (or lack of), spot the tourists (we know who you are, even when you try hard to blend in). There's the people who read. And those who read above their shoulders. There's the crosswords people. And the sudoku people. The sleepers and the chatters. And then once in a while, there's something totally extraordinary that you can't keep your eyes off. My favorites are people knitting and crochetting. It is a rare species and something I have a hard time to understand. The other, more numerous, are the doodlers. They quickly draw while the subway zips from station to station. And when they are good, like the guy in this picture, they capture the attention of their fellow riders. We were all mesmerized at how good his portrait of the guy sitting across the aisle was. I can't even take a clear picture - hey, it's tricky: this thing moves, you know! For much better subway pictures, I highly recommend Travis Ruse's amazing daily photoblog in which he captures pictures of his commute, from Park Slope to Midtown.
If you plan to pratice this great sport for yourself on your next visit, "consider the ultimate people-watching joy ride: taking a subway line from one end to the other. The easy ones are the No. 7 and L trains, both of which start in Manhattan; the No. 7 is such a great people-watching train that it was named a National Millennium Trail in 1999. It winds through immigrant Queens as languages multiply and South American and Mexican riders morph into Asians as you pass into Flushing. The L takes you into the coolest precincts of Brooklyn and out to Canarsie".(1)
Black and white, shadow and light, old and new, church and finance, Mets and Yankees, I could go on...
But let's learn a bit about all those wonderful buildings, shall we?
In the foreground: • Trinity Church, located at the intersection of Broadway and Wall Street in downtown Manhattan. At the time of its completion in 1846, its Neo-Gothic spire and cross was the highest point in New York. Trinity was a welcoming beacon for ships sailing into New York Harbor. On September 11th, 2001, debris from the collapsing World Trade Center knocked over a giant sycamore tree that had stood for nearly a century in the churchyard. To learn more about Trinity Church: www.nyc-architecture.com or www.sacred-destinations.com and many, many more websites. The church has also its own official website:www.trinitywallstreet.org.
In the background, from left to right: • 100 Broadway, formerly known as The American Surety Company Building was erected between 1894 and 1896. At the time of its completion, it was the second highest building in the city. To learn more about it and find out if there's an available apparment for you, visit www.100broadway.com.
• 40 Wall Street (the white spire at the very back) was originally the headquarters of the Bank of Manhattan. It is also known as The Crown Jewel of Wall Street or as the Trump building (it was acquired and renovated in 1996 by Donald Trump). This tower was once a part of a three-way race to become the tallest building in the world. This 70 floors building was remarkably completed in less than one year. It briefly held the world's tallest title, which it stole from the Woolworth Building. But it only lasted from April 1930 to May 27, 1930, when it was eclipsed by the Chrysler Building's spire. Like the Empire State Building, 40 Wall has also been hit by an aircraft: in 1946 a US Coast Guard plane hit the building in fog, killing the five people onboard. You can learn more about 40 Wall Street here: www.greatgridlock.net.
• One Wall Street , originally the Irving Trust Company Building, later the Bank of New York Building, was completed in 1931 and opened in 1932. It is 50 stories and is 654 feet (199 m) tall. You can learn more about it in this article from The New York Times: 1 Wall Street; A Bank's Art Deco Signature.
A big thank you to Steve for identifying each building for me.
Behind me, the Staten Island Ferry terminal. And right on the other side of that construction fence, State Street and a piece of the Financial District where all the Gordon Gekko’s of the city are busy making greens. You know what I mean: they bring the bacon, the beans, the gravy, the dollars, the dough, the ducats, the funds, the lettuce, the pesos, the cash, the moolah, el dinero, some sugar, ...
I discovered this memorial a few weekends ago after getting off the Staten Island Ferry and walking on the North Shore Waterfront Esplanade (adjacent to the Ferry Terminal and the Richmond County Ballpark). I was touched by its beauty, its lightness and simple elegance. Most memorials are usually a bit cold and austere. I thought this one was so powerful. If you stand in the middle, the two wings frame a perfect view of Lower Manhattan.
There's a plaque nearby and this is what it reads: The Staten Island September 11 Memorial honors members of the Staten Island community who lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. These include Staten Island's commuters who made up a significant portion of the World Trade Center workforce, uninformed personnel who joined the rescue effort, and one passenger from Flight 93 who was lost in Pennsylvania. Additionally, one Staten Islander who was lost in the February 26, 1993 attack on the World Trade Center is honored. The concept for the memorial design is a symbolic portrayal of personal messages being sent. These two walls, which frame the view of Lower Manhattan, represent giant folded postcards reaching out across the harbor - their messages carried by the wind. Throughout American history, distinctive members of our society have been honored through the issuance of commemorative postage stamps to their likenesses, often in profile. The memorial granite walls feature 270 profiles of the Staten Islanders who lost their lives in the World Trade Center. Individually carved to represent their likeness and marked with their name, birth date and place of work on September 11, 2001.
From its author, architect Masayuki Sono: “The concept for this memorial came from a desire to create something that would connect us all to the victims of this tragedy. I chose the symbol of the postcard because we all write to people we remember and miss. Set on the axis that frames the view towards the World Trade Center site, the memorial seeks to restore the tie between the community and its loss. At the same time it symbolizes hope for the future and the spirit of freedom.”
From my office overlooking Times Square we can see, at least once a week, a ballet of police cars. All racing together, nicely organized. They congregate to Times Square, then one after the other, they park perpendicular to the street traffic. Once all the cars have filled in a couple of blocks, one by one, they leave in direction of Lower Manhattan.
The other day on my way back home, I caught a similar exercise, on a smaller scale, right in front of the Times Warner Center (a new fancy schmanzy mall at Columbus Circle).
To grab one of those oranges, nicely peeled in circles, you'll have to head to Washington Heights. I brought you there not so long ago, remember? No?? Here's to refresh your memory: the cloisters.
Let's see what Wikipedia has to say!
Notable residents: • Leonel Fernandez President of the Dominican Republic • Alan Greenspan - 13th Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. • Jacob Javits - United States Senator. • Henry Kissinger - former National Security Advisor and United States Secretary of State. • Freddie Prinze - Puerto Rican and Hungarian descent Stand-up comedian, best known for his 1970s TV series Chico and the Man. • Alex Rodriguez - Dominican-American Baseball player for the New York Yankees.
The neighborhood has a majority Dominican population (the area is sometimes referred to as "Quisqueya Heights"), and Spanish is frequently heard being spoken on the streets. Since the 1980s, the neighborhood has been the United States' most important base for Dominican accomplishment in the political, non-profit, cultural, and athletic arenas. There is also a significant Jewish population, particularly in the Hudson Heights subsection, descended from a previous wave of immigration, as well as students (and recent graduates) of the neighborhood's Yeshiva University. The term "Hudson Heights" was created by one of the local real estate firms to attract more wealthy residents in the area. It worked, and the gentrification has been continuing in recent years. It brought a Starbucks to 181st Street, and other upscale stores, spas, gourmet markets, and restaurants. The neighborhood was severely affected by the crack cocaine epidemic of the early/mid-1980s. This was due, in part, to the neighborhood crack gang, known as the Wild Cowboys or the Red Top Gang, who were associated with Yayo. The Wild Cowboys were responsible for the higher number of crimes, especially murders, during the late 80s and early 90s. [...] It was nicknamed "Crack City" by newspapers. Crime subsequently fell quickly due to aggressive police tactics. Police presence increased, and building landlords allowed police to patrol in apartment buildings, which led to the arrests of thousands of drug dealers a year in Washington Heights. People were also being stopped for quality of life crimes, which deterred people from carrying guns. A new police precinct was also added in the area. Today, its crime rate, along with that of neighboring Harlem, is much lower. However, the area is still lovingly referred to by many people in the marijuana underground as 'the home of the haze' which is a term that refers to the prolific availability of a high potency strain of Marijuana that originates from Florida and is referred to as 'Purple Haze'.
A little boy anxiously waits outside of the store for some sweetness. Let's hope Mom choses the right ones.
Oooh I do love those escapades from the city, ... in the city! Hop on the 7 train and ten to fifteen minutes later, boom!, you're in India! Which, of course is in Queens! Leave the subway one station earlier and you'll walk thru all the colors and flavors of Latin America before reaching Little India (around Roosevelt Avenue and 74th Street, near Broadway).
Notable residents: (it's amazing the things we learn - thank you Wikipedia!) • Reflective of the tremendous diversity of the neighborhood, actors Lucy Liu, John Leguizamo, Susan Sarandon, Kevin Dobson, and Carroll O'Connor grew up in Jackson Heights, as did comedian Don Rickles, writer/director Peter Hoffman, film critic Jami Bernard, musician Gene Simmons of the rock group Kiss, playwright John Guare and Richard Grasso, former chairman of the NYSE. • Charles Chaplin had an apartment in the building The Towers in Historical Jackson Heights • Scrabble was invented by resident Alfred Mosher Butts in 1938, and perfected at Community Methodist Church. (A commemorative street sign at the corner of 35th Ave and 81st St, where the church still stands, was erected by the city in 2004.)
And, (again, thank you, thank you Wikipedia!), if like me, you are a movie fan and have seen Marial Full of Grace, "major portions of the film where shooted on location in Jackson Heights". If you have not seen it, do yourself a favor and rent it. For a peek, click on the link of the movie title. It's a wonderful little movie.
His paintings always made me smile but I discovered another side of Andy Warhol's sense of humor last December when Barney's used his universe and quotes as the theme for their Christmas window show. It has just the right amount of silliness to make you smile.
I could not resist capturing this art gallery window. Warhol’s immortal words are now available as prints, featuring a quotation from the artist over a picture of him, declined in a series of Warholesque colors. You can buy yours at that Lower Manhattan gallery - don't ask me where it is, I have a vague idea but can't recall the precise location (not a very good city guide, eh?). Thankfully, you can also buy them online at the Bloomsbury Store. As well as his legendary quotation on fame (aka the 15 minutes of fame), there are others from the great man, including the equally sage “art is what you can get away with” and the decadent “but I always say one’s company, two’s a crowd, and three’s a party”.
Apple dropped the prices of its iPhone by $200 yesterday. After being flodded by angry emails from his faithful customer basis, Steve Jobs decided to offer a $100 store credit to the early adopters - read more here. Which brings me to this picture...
This is Tekserve, a well known Apple dealer store in Chelsea. Before the fancy glass cube flagship store open 24/365 on Fifth Avenue and Central Park, Tekserve has always been the apple nerds mecca. For the fans of Sex and the City, a scene of the series was shot there - "My Motherboard, My Self". There are a lot of fun decorative elements in the store like this brick wall covered with vintage radios (see above). Or ideas to recycle your old monitors ... (see below)
It's only fitting that I would show you two sculptures of the Garment District: • the Garment Worker, by Judith Weller, 1984 • the giant button-and-needle sculpture, designed by Pentagram, leaning against the Fashion Center Business Improvement District's Information Kiosk on Seventh Avenue and 39th Street.
Et oui, summer is nearly over. After Labor Day, it's back to work and back to school! These school busses are parked in front of the Mac Donald on 42nd Street - one of the many shops dressed up in for the Theater District/Times Square area. Let it sparkle!
It's free! It's a 5 mile, 25 minute ride and it provides you with a majestic view of New York Harbor. From the deck you have a perfect view of The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. You can see the skyscrapers and bridges of Lower Manhattan, Governor's Island, the Brooklyn waterfront, the Verazzano Bridge, New Jersey, ... And once you step in St George in Staten Island, turn right to get to the boardwalk. You'll get beautiful views of the harbor with lower Manhattan in the distance, with a little breeze!
A Few Ferry Facts: (from http://www.siferry.com) • Soon after Staten Island joined New York City in 1898, ferry service between St. George and Whitehall was transferred to the city Department of Docks and Ferries on October 25th 1905 and five new ferries -- one named for each of the five boroughs -- were commissioned. • In 1926 the city's original white color scheme was eliminated in favor of a reddish-maroon. This was changed to municipal orange later so that they could be seen in heavy fog and snow. • Steam was used on the Staten Island ferries up until the 1980's • In 1817 the cost to cross the harbor was 25 cents and half price for children. This was the cost to ride the Nautilus, the first steam ferry to make the famous trip. • The 5 cents fare was established 1897. On October 10, 1972 the fare was raised to 10 cents. In 1975 the fare was increased to 25 cents. On August 1, 1990 the fare went up to 50 cents. Finally on July 4, 1997 the fare for foot passengers on the ferry was eliminated.
Who said you need to go far away for a little escapade from the city?
"Once upon a time back in the sixties, a grand old movie theater stood on the west side of Broadway, north of 96th Street. Eventually, the building fell into such disrepair that it was torn down—leaving an empty lot. Would-be gardeners in the neighborhood took over, planting a riot of flowers in "The Broadway Gardens," while the local politicians, realtors and bankers squabbled over the lot's future." (from The Colombia Condominium website)
The lot became a garage and a bunch of determined Upper West Siders worked for more than a year with the building owner to persuade him to transform the roof of the garage into a neighborhood green space and an amenity that would enhance his building's charms and value.
And there you have it, in a nutshell, the story of The Lotus Garden, a community garden, built on the roof of the garage of the Columbia Condominum, on West 97th Street between Broadway and West End Avenue.
It's a lush urban jungle up there with two fish ponds, fruits trees, herbs, flowers, ...
The garden is accessible on Sundays between 1 and 4 pm. But for a mere $20 you can become a key owner and come whenever your heart desires. Plus, you'll be contributing in helping buy new plants and maintaining this surprising space. I am buying mine!
Belgian gal, French speaking, lands in Manhattan for work. Falls in love with her new city and stays. Keeps on discovering it every single day and loves it! Shares it with you through daily pictures. Makes no pretense of being a photographer. Is more of a happy-snapper note-taker.