Entries Tagged as 'Explore New York'

Stonewall: The Power in History’s Places

June 26th, 2016 · 4 Comments · Explore New York

If you ever for a moment doubt the importance of declaring a site as a landmark, preserving at least some part of it, or placing a sign at a spot of historical significance, go to The Stonewall Inn this month, in New York’s Greenwich Village. There, hundreds have converged in vigils and left remembrances such […]

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Sacred Sites Open for Exploration

May 20th, 2016 · 2 Comments · Explore New York

New York’s sacred places of worship possess countless life stories and historical chapters as well as inspiring and magnificent art, architecture, and design. Jacob Riis, the social reformer and photographer whose works brought to light the suffering of the poor living in New York City tenements, was one of the early parishioners of the Church […]

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Goodbye to the Greenwich Street Tree

May 3rd, 2016 · 6 Comments · Explore New York

The tree wasn’t a towering oak on the rolling landscape of a New York City park, a magnificent elm with big-shouldered limbs, or a bright, showy dogwood welcoming the spring on a village street. It was, in fact, the most unlikely of survivors, sort of scrawny, alone, between city buildings and flanking some very inhospitable […]

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Art Deco’s Wisdom of the Ages, Part II

January 29th, 2016 · 4 Comments · Explore New York

How many schoolchildren over the decades glanced above the doorway to see a woman reading to a boy while a girl nearby is working on an abacus? It is a simple, beautifully sculpted panel, attentive to detail, as the architectural historian William Rhoads writes, “down to the shoelaces.” The scene is one of two on […]

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The Tree as Artist and Art Form

December 30th, 2015 · 8 Comments · Explore New York

To Paul Klee, a tree embodied the creative process. In a public lecture, the artist likened the artist to a tree. The artist is deeply rooted in the world, while the artist’s work is similar to the tree’s crown, as the book Art and Phenomenology explains. “Standing at his appointed place, at the trunk of […]

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A Message in a Lobby

January 26th, 2015 · 8 Comments · Columns and Features, Explore New York

It was just before Christmas, and thousands were in the mad rush and jostling along Fifth Avenue, with their cameras and shopping bags, to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. The shoppers lined up at the boutiques and gift shops in Midtown Manhattan. Just south, however, is a building that doesn’t make a list of […]

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A Peek Inside Dazzling 29 Broadway

June 20th, 2014 · 6 Comments · Explore New York

It’s hard to quantify the exuberance of Art Deco. Its energy can make an immobile decorative element feel like it’s about to move. Its images jump off of flat surfaces. Its zigzags, lines, and circles seem to dance. Such is the quality of the lobby of 29 Broadway, a lesser-known beauty in New York’s Art […]

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Joseph Mitchell’s Regard for Ornament

April 18th, 2014 · 6 Comments · Explore New York

Joseph Mitchell possessed a lifelong fascination with New York City’s survivors, both its characters and its buildings, especially ones that often escaped notice. For some 26 years, from 1938 to 1964, his essays in The New Yorker portrayed the city’s inhabitants from the bearded Lady Olga of circus sideshows and the stout Germans carrying their […]

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Pennsylvania Station: Its Glory and Death

February 18th, 2014 · 9 Comments · Explore New York

If ever a hallowed place existed for the travel of the common man and woman, it was New York’s original Pennsylvania Station. Yet a magnificent, soaring station that Alexander Cassatt and the Pennsylvania Railroad built for the ages and opened in 1910 lasted barely over a half-century. Two days after workers started tearing down the […]

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Art Deco Jazz in Brooklyn Heights

January 19th, 2014 · 12 Comments · Explore New York

Naomi Fatouros, one of three children of architect H.I. Feldman, once wrote that her father “had no pretensions about being artistic.” Still, architects and builders had high regard for Feldman for creating building plans that minimized construction costs and that provided renters and buyers with good views and high-quality apartment layouts, she said in the […]

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The Art Deco Pleasures of 29 Broadway

November 15th, 2013 · 6 Comments · Explore New York

Their names are unknown, but the fine results of their craftsmanship remain today. On an evening in late February, 1931, the New York Building Congress gave awards and gold buttons to 26 craftsmen for their outstanding work in constructing 29 Broadway. The awards went to William John Delaney, a stonecutter; Louis Materossi, a cement mason; […]

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Roped In at Madison Square Park

August 12th, 2013 · 5 Comments · Explore New York

You cannot miss Orly Genger’s Red, Yellow and Blue art installation this summer in Manhattan. If people say this statement, they may mean, “You have got to see this!” Or, they may mean, “You cannot escape seeing this!” when walking through Madison Square Park. During the late spring and summer, this 166-year-old gracious park has […]

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New York’s Dark Days: The Draft Riots

July 18th, 2013 · No Comments · Explore New York

On July 13, 1863, Chief Engineer John Decker of the New York City Volunteer Fire Department stood before a mob that had ransacked a building and were now intent on setting it afire. It was known as the Colored Orphan Asylum, a refuge for hundreds of black children located on Fifth Avenue between 42nd and […]

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An Iconic Carousel Is Now a Landmark

June 28th, 2013 · 8 Comments · Explore New York

To call the Forest Park Carousel a rare work of art is understatement. In an age when we’re so often attached to complex 21st century electronic devices, a simple ride on a carousel still enchants its young and young-at-heart riders, just as it did those who rode carousels a century ago. In the Golden Age […]

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What Is the Future of Midtown East?

May 31st, 2013 · 2 Comments · Be a Mindful Activist, Explore New York

One person’s “beautiful” is another person’s “dowdy,” and someone’s pronouncement of “architectural significance” is another’s “obsolescence.” These are the terms people are using in a clash over zoning and related plans that will likely shape a historic part of New York City for the future. Consider the character and skyline of Manhattan’s Midtown East, where […]

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Grand Central’s Gems at 100, Part II

March 27th, 2013 · 1 Comment · Explore New York

If children were to design and build a train station, it might well turn out to be Grand Central Terminal. It’s big, and it has all kinds of cubbyholes, caverns, and passageways; a magical ceiling full of stars; places with models, books, and toys; great food from hot dogs and chili to all kinds of […]

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The Treasures of Grand Central at 100

January 31st, 2013 · 9 Comments · Explore New York

For many, it may be hard to grasp that where Grand Central Terminal stands today we could have had massive office towers and no magnificent train station. But it’s important to never forget. In the 1950s and 1960s on separate occasions, developers and Penn Central Railroad launched plans that would have destroyed Grand Central. Ultimately, […]

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Splashy Art Deco on a Staid Block

December 6th, 2012 · 11 Comments · Explore New York

Some musical riffs can suddenly elevate the mood. So, too, can a jazzy building. It can bring your senses alive, make you perk up and pay attention, if even for a short time. Buildings aren’t passive entities; the very good ones generate an active engagement. The best architects know this to the core. In a […]

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Our Connection to the Prison Ship Martyrs

September 5th, 2012 · 4 Comments · Be a Mindful Activist, Explore New York

The thousands of Revolutionary War prisoners who died in horrible and inhumane conditions aboard ships moored in New York waters form one of the most neglected chapters of American history. Many New Yorkers and Americans do not know about or have forgotten these prisoners, even though a far larger number of those fighting for the […]

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NYC’s Sunset Spots: Brooklyn Bridge Park

February 14th, 2012 · 2 Comments · Explore New York

In a city that is perpetually in motion, a sunset is an irresistible invitation to become still. Our days often have an agenda. Our walks are often preoccupied. But then it happens: At dusk the sun, sky, and water begin their dance of countless subtle movements. In New York’s open spaces edged by sky and […]

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