America's Cup in New York, on the Saturday With No Wind

On the first day of racing of the first America's Cup in New York in 85 years, the wind was calm. All were waiting for the sun to break through the clouds, and the winds to pick up in a southerly direction, so the sails could set sail and the races could begin. Delay followed delay. Yet, tens of thousands of spectators remained to watch the fast boats and their international crews sail up and down the New York Harbor and the Hudson River for races that didn't transpire. Eventually, officials got in one race, deemed officially a "substitute race" if needed after the races the following day on Sunday.

On the waterfront at Brookfield Place, the home base for Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series New York

Softbank Team Japan won the sole race on Saturday, followed by Sweden's Artemis Racing, Groupama Team France, Oracle Team USA, Land Rover BAR of Britain, and Emirates Team New Zealand. (More specifics from The Telegraph.) Identifying the sponsoring entity on the sailing yachts was much easier than trying to make out the individual national flags, given the relative size of the signage across the water.

Spectators take in America's Cup racing from the Battery Park City Esplanade.


A Walk through The Met Breuer, and A Tiny Little Dwelling

Hello, Marcel Breuer building, it's good to see you again.

View of The Met Breuer from Madison Avenue

For longtime museumgoers in New York City, returning to the austere and boxy building by architect Marcel Breuer (1902–1981) on Madison Avenue at 75th Street feels like going back to a childhood home. As the Whitney Museum of American Art for a half century, the building exuded a 60s modern vibe, with circular lights in the lobby ceiling and off-kilter windows framing views of graceful apartment buildings nearby. The famed Whitney Biennials played out under its high ceilings and in the cool courtyard spaces below street level. It was all a cool place.

In The Met Breuer, view of "Unfinished."

For now, the Whitney is repurposed as The Met Breuer. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is leasing the space from the Whitney for eight years to house its growing collection of contemporary and modern art. The Whitney "parents" have moved on, unpacking their Hoppers in a larger new industrial-chic home in the Meatpacking District complete with outdoor decks and views of the water. It's like they moved to Miami and let their grandparents stay behind in the groovy house on Madison.


A Rustic Escape in the Bronx: Van Cortlandt Park

This serene lake scene seems far away from the frenzy of the city, but really it's very close. Just take the uptown 1 train to the last stop, Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. The park is the 3rd largest in the city and offers many opportunities for outdoor recreation, including a swimming pool, cricket fields, a public golf course, and an extensive network of trails. Aside from the swan in the lake, another one is slightly out of view, tending to a nest behind the tree.

In places, Van Cortlandt Park feels more rustic than its counterparts in Manhattan and Brooklyn.  Nestled under the remains of old woodlands, many of the hiking trails veer away from the city. The 1.1 mile section of the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail is part of a regional trail that starts in Westchester County to the north. The east-west John Muir Trail, though far from Yosemite, covers 1.7 miles of woodlands.


Spring Interrupted and New York's Blooming Trees

Spring came. Spring left. That's what it felt like this past week or so as the winds howled and temperatures dropped to uncomfortable levels. During a stretch of warm and promising spring-like weather in late March, the blossoming trees on the streets and in area parks started opening and shimmering in shades of designer pastels. They were showstoppers, like Audrey Hepburn in a Givenchy pink dress.

Central Park near the Sheep Meadow. Easter Sunday. March 27, 2016.

Word on the street (that I heard from a clerk in the wine shop whose friend works for Parks & Rec) is that area trees have started to bloom several times already this spring. Even earlier. Many winter days were unseasonably warm. Remember that spring-like day known as Christmas Eve?