Entries Tagged as 'new york'

A Subway Powerhouse Speaks To Today

March 11th, 2017 · 4 Comments · Beyond Gotham

Sometimes a message of resilience can come in an instant, and often not predictably. The IRT Powerhouse on 11th Avenue isn’t giving a speech or waving a flag, and it’s not a talking head seeking to shout a point of view at passersby or boast of its strength. Yet, the sight of it on a […]

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Speak Up on the Hudson River Barge Plan

December 5th, 2016 · 4 Comments · Beyond Gotham

The Hudson River is a bucolic, beautiful, and mighty river. Yet at various times, human activities have threatened the natural balance, splendor, and sustainability of this vital treasure. This is one of those times to speak up for the river. The shipping industry is proposing that the Coast Guard construct sites on the Hudson River […]

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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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Symbol and Story in Art Deco Panels

November 18th, 2015 · 2 Comments · Beyond Gotham

Buildings possess energy that can at times elevate or depress the people who view and inhabit them. Like other art, architecture can both be in and rise above its times. Talking about the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression, bandleader and jazz singer Cab Calloway once said that people really needed entertainment […]

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The Lessons of LG Sparing the Palisades

July 3rd, 2015 · No Comments · Beyond Gotham

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings,” wrote the pioneering conservationist John Muir in his 1901 book, Our National Parks. On Tuesday, June 23, the mountains – that is to say, the cliffs of the Palisades – were the focus of good tidings for all of us and for future generations. LG Electronics, the […]

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What You Can Do to Save the Palisades

August 16th, 2014 · No Comments · Be a Mindful Activist

Fast forward several years and picture that you are on the east side of the Hudson River, looking across at the steep ledges of the Palisades north of the George Washington Bridge. But where once over many years the cliffs stood out boldly, etched against the skies, now a large office tower protrudes above the […]

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July Notes: Daylight, Towers, Prison Ships

July 17th, 2014 · 2 Comments · Beyond Gotham

For early summer, let’s skim the stones across the waters of several Mindful Walker topics. Honoring the First American Prisoners of War: The words “freedom” and “Independence Day” are inextricably linked, but how often on the Independence Day weekend did any of us think about those who gave their lives for the cause of American […]

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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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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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Silhouettes, Shadows, and the Solstice

December 27th, 2012 · 16 Comments · Beyond Gotham

Perhaps the days of shortest daylight create a more intense desire to savor the play of light and shadow. We have just passed the winter solstice on Dec. 21, experiencing the shortest time of daylight for each day. It’s our all-too-human tendency to not appreciate something when we have it in abundance, say, when 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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