As someone who lives and walks this city daily…my blog is all about delving a little deeper, seeing what it has to offer, and capturing the true essence of New York City. Whether you live in Gotham, or just visiting…feel free to look around my blog. Bet you might find something new to do!
Keep in mind this isn't a blog about what is coming up...but what is experienced on a day to day basis.
P.S. As of the end of April 2013 my more personal postings will now be at The Next Few Years.
CopyrightAll images and content on this site are copyright ©GothamGirl 2009 - 2013, unless stated otherwise. If you'd like to use one of my photos, please give proper credit and link back to this blog.
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Category Archives: Local sights
Planning a visit to NYC and have St. Patrick’s Cathedral on your list to see? Well, the good news? It’s open. The bad news? It’s getting a facelift (still good news,) but unfortunately much of the cathedral is shrouded in scaffolding as it begins the first of three phases of restoration. Seems its been more than 60 years since significant work was done. I’d say it’s time. Can’t wait for the stage when more than 1,000 stained-glass windows will be cleaned.
When a friend visited a few weeks ago, we entered the cathedral and much of the nave was closed off in scaffolding with only a section open near the sanctuary. A wedding was in process, but it was still beautiful even when the cathedral was not at its best. When we left, a white antique Rolls-Royce was parked in front waiting for the bride and groom. With the Atlas in the background, it was a picture perfect moment.
When people ask me what’s the one thing that I love about living in New York City…the answer is definitely how anything goes. I couldn’t have found a better example while exploring in the Washington Heights area recently.
And now to share some of the details…
Oh how I’d love to chat with the mastermind behind this creation!
Can you imagine being a college student and attending an enclosed, 32 acre, 19th century Ivy League campus and having NYC at your fingertips? Welcome to Columbia University located in Morningside Heights, just north of my neighborhood – the Upper West Side. The university was founded in 1754 and is the oldest institution of higher learning in New York and the fifth oldest in the United States.
It was the architecture that enticed me there. And…they just happened to be in the process of setting up for graduation. One can only imagine this setting a few days later at the commencement ceremony. Even the Empire State Building is lit in blue and white in honor of the graduates. Later I read there was a 63-year age difference separating the oldest and youngest graduates. At one end was an 83-year-old getting his Ph.D. that was started in the 1950s. The youngest, who will earn a B.A. in economics and mathematics, will turn 20 this month. How inspiring!
There are various options for tours and you can learn about them here. I chose to take the self guided tour. It’s as easy as printing out the information at home or picking one up at the visitor’s center. With the walking tour, you’ll only have access to the Low Memorial Library and St. Paul’s Chapel which was perfect since the weather was beautiful and I really just wanted to stroll the campus and take in the sights.
The dome of St. Paul’s Chapel is complete with salmon Guastavino tiles which can also be found in Grand Central Terminal, Carnegie Hall and the Cathedral of St. John Divine.
Can you imagine having your first year residence right in the heart of this 32 acre campus?
There are many interesting facts and tidbits you’ll take in on this tour…as much or as little as you want to learn! It was certainly a morning well spent!
Oh..do I have a fascinating tour for you! Titled Radical Alphabet City Tour – held in one of my favorite parts of Manhattan – the Lower East Side. You’ll visit legendary historic sites where the community faced off with gentrification and corporate power left from the effects of inner-city turmoil which took place beginning in 1970′s and 80′s. The neighborhood experienced real estate abandonment and withdrawal as riots flared, buildings burned and drugs were widespread. I’m pretty familiar with the Lower East Side, along with all the community gardens that resulted, but I wasn’t at all familiar with the squatter situation that resulted as well.
We met our tour guide Fly (a legendary Squatter artist) at the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space, located on 10th Street at Avenue C.
Two hours of learning all about the area and how her squat attained legal status and what she can and can not do with it. Fly provided fascinating stories…such as the time when the riot police arrived in 1995 and used an armored carrier to evict squatters from buildings on East 13th Street…as well as many personal accounts she experienced. She’s passionate about the importance of her work to document the historical and cultural significance, as she personally took photographs to document the past 20 some years since she became a squatter.
My next step is to inquire if a tour is available that will give me access into a squatter’s home to hear their stories and view firsthand how their sweat equity provided them an opportunity for home ownership. So stay tuned!
One word to describe this tour – fascinating!!
A few days ago, a friend and I hopped on board the A train to Fort Tyron Park located in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan.
Destination? The Cloisters. However, upon arrival there was a slight detour…
Alan Binstock’s Wayfinder sculpture is eye candy with the shattered tempered glass and dyed resin that catches the light shining through the trees overhead…not to mention it’s directly across from the New Leaf Restaurant. The shrimp salad served open faced on brioche bread with homemade chips? Fabulous beyond words. And dessert? The Cloisters Museum & Gardens.
A branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cloisters is devoted to the art of medieval Europe. A beautiful day to explore the park as well as the gardens within. But the weather began to prepare us for a night of thunderstorms as the evening ended…as the George Washington Bridge began to slip away in the fog and heavy stormy clouds.
Visiting the Cloisters is like you’ve been transported to the other side of the pond…a must see!
You know, I’ve been in the New York Public Library many times, but it wasn’t until a friend was visiting that we decided to take one of their free tours at the main location at 5th Ave and 42nd Street. You can find out more about the tours here. There’s so much to learn about the library. Rooms that you’d never know existed, if you didn’t take the tour.
Never knew that the original Winnie-the-Pooh, the inspiration behind the popular children’s classic, is located in the Children’s library. Loved his little sewn up nose…
But, if you’re visiting and miss out on the tour, take a look here for some of what we learned. Also, if you’re familiar with Poet in New York…there’s a great exhibition on Federico Garcia Lorca’s work there until July 20th of this year.
as promised from my earlier post…
This is probably one of the most beautiful scenes I’ve ever encountered. It was like being bathed in bridal bouquets…an experience that will be remembered for a lifetime.
Couldn’t resist a little subway ride to Brooklyn to take in a perfect spring day. You must get to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden asap to see the ornamental flowering cherries. It may not be Japan or Washington D.C., but it seems pretty spectacular to me! Click here to get a day-by-day status of each and every tree!
Still in the budding stage, the Cherry Esplanade will be dripping in pink in a couple of days! Hurry! If you can’t make it, check back…I’ll be returning to both Central Park and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden early next week to see the results of a few warm days here in the city!
Regardless of how many times friends arrive in my city and no matter how many times I see the same sites…I’ll never tire as things in this city constantly change. A friend of mine from Delhi, India was visiting New York City for his very first time. Even though we only had a few hours together…well…much was seen and experienced. (And he’s a photographer too!)
Since it was such a warm spring afternoon, the High Line was on my list for him to see. An atmosphere where you can talk, walk and absorb the city views, the spring blooms, and lots of public art work. So we’ll start with Blue Falling by New York based artist Ryan McGinley. I’d read the write-up in the New York Times and was eager to see what was termed “figurative and abstract” by the writer. McGinley’s dream-like photo certainly leaves you with various impressions. Imagine at the age of 23 having a solo show at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Now the whole world sees his art on this billboard. Amazing! (Check out his photography here. Love, Love, Love his work.) As the evening continued on it was fun to watch the light casting some cool shadows on Blue Falling. Wonder what treat is in store for us on the next billboard coming up in May?
Between West 21st and West 22nd Streets is an incredible wall sculpture made of pressed tin and mirrors, titled Broken Bridge II, by artist El Anatsui. Anatsui is a Nigeria-based artist whose work typically involves metallic bottle caps from discarded Nigerian liquor bottles and woven together with copper wire. But more recently he has turned to installation art and from what I read he wanted to reflect the fabric of the city and the High Line’s landscape as it changes throughout the seasons. This is a massive piece at 37 feet high and 157 feet wide. So fun to play with the reflections of the surrounding buildings. Once again…wonder what will replace this sculpture at the end of this summer!
At another section of the High Line (around West 29th Street) a new mural was being painted on behalf of the Metropolitan Museum as part of their “One Met, Many World’s” campaign. It was fascinating to watch the painters at work. One second looking at the photograph of what they’re painting and the next blending the colors just right, all why tethered as they painted this five story tall mural.
Of course taking my friend to Grand Central Station and Rockefeller Center was on the list too. Perfect by night, a palette of color floating on top of a water fountain on Fifth Avenue was begging to be photographed. (As well as the lights on the trees in the Rockefeller Plaza area.)
Now this is what comes to mind when I think of Gotham!
So that was my evening in New York City! It was amazing to also see the amount of police presence in the city as a result of the recent events in Boston. A big thank you to our NYPD for keeping an eye on things!
Have you ever been to B&H photo superstore in Manhattan? Yesterday, I tried several macro lenses for my camera. I sooooo wanna macro. I’m putting it out to the universe and perhaps…just maybe…it’ll happen? It was so much fun shooting those little Zaza candies that B&H is famous for!
Anyway, I was really at B&H to attend an afternoon free event on “The Photographer as a Storyteller – From Street Photography to Documentary” with guest speaker Natin Dvir. He was amazing! So if you ever get a chance to see any of his work…well it’s well worth your time. He’s Israeli and I could listen to him talk photography ALL DAY LONG.
Also…if you happen to be in the B&H area and need to pick up some food quick, boy do I have the place for you. The real deal. The home of handmade mozzarella. Sergimmo Salumeria located at 456 9th Ave. OMG…the IL VIP panini with fig spread? To die for…
To top off the evening? Attending a movie from the 20th New York African Film Festival at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Titled Jeans & Marto…about a young Ethiopian who escaped his arranged marriage to fulfill his dream of becoming an educated man at the same time struggling to balance his tribe’s customs with his pursuit of knowledge. The young man, Roba Bulga, attended and held a Q&A at the end of the movie. He was amazing! (Can you imagine his reaction to being in New York City??)
So two amazing performances in one afternoon. Gotta love NYC!