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Showing posts from November, 2016

From the Atrium to the Oculus: 5 Places to Look Up in Lower Manhattan

Look up.

This stroll in Lower Manhattan involves stopping to look up at soaring places way up high, something visitors in New York City are often told to never do. In less than two hours, you will see vestiges of old New York and emblems of the new New York and how contemporary New York interprets the past.


Municipal Building. The walk begins at the governmental center of New York City, the David N. Dinkins Manhattan Municipal Building. The Municipal Building (1909-1914) was the first skyscraper designed by the famous firm of McKim, Mead & White, and it was designed to inspire civic pride.

If arriving by subway, locate the signs for the Municipal Hall exit. On street level, take a look at the central Roman arch, inspired by the Arch of Constantine in Rome, and the Guastavino ceiling tiles in the south arcade of the landmark building.

Walk over to the corner of Beekman and Nassau Streets and look for the new Beekman Hotel. Along the way, be sure to take in views of City Hall and C…

At Wave Hill, the Grace of Trees

Around the time of Thanksgiving Day in New York City, the trees are preparing for winter.


While people gather around the table to enjoy nature's bounty, the deciduous trees are shoring up reserves of water and energy.


In the places where their leaves break off, the trees grow protective layers of cells.


Some trees lose leaves at other times, too, as in conditions of drought or other stresses.


The woody coniferous trees, on the other hand, manage to keep their waxy leaves through the deep, dark winter.


Are you a maple or a pine?


Wave Hill, a public garden in the Bronx, is a good place to contemplate the lives of trees.


Yes. I have actually asked, "What kind of tree are you?"


Around the sides and back of the sprawling garden, with exceptional views of the Hudson River and the Palisades, trails lead to both conifers and woodland.


Happy Thanksgiving from Walking Off the Big Apple.

Website for Wave Hill

Images by Walking Off the Big Apple from November 19, 2016.


By the way,…

Two Sundays in New York: Before and After the Election

On Sunday, November 6, on a bright clear autumn day, more than 50,000 runners dashed across all five boroughs to compete in the New York City Marathon. In fact, on initial count, 51,388 people crossed the finish line in Central Park, appearing to make the race the biggest ever.*

On the last leg of the race, the marathoners ran west on Central Park South. Just before Columbus Circle, at the Maine Monument, they turned north into Central Park to complete the journey. Friends and family, along with thousands of race watchers, waited for them in the area near the circle. Many solitary runners ended up in various parts of the park or on the streets of the Upper West Side or in the Time Warner Center to do whatever they needed to do to recover from running 26.219 miles. A handful of runners had the wherewithal to go grocery shopping in Whole Foods, like it was their normal Sunday routine.





On that Sunday, five stories above Columbus Circle, with a clear view of the marathon's final str…

Max Beckmann's Last Walk

On December 27, 1950, artist Max Beckmann (1884-1950) was walking from his home at 38 West 69th Street to see his painting Self-Portrait in Blue Jacket (1950) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  He lived just off Central Park, and the walk would have been a pleasant and easy one, rounding the southern part of the Lake, crossing Bethesda Terrace, and strolling up Cedar Hill toward the museum. But just at the western entrance of the park near W. 69th Street, he suffered a heart attack and died. He was 66.


Now, 66 years later, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is paying homage to Beckmann and the "poignant circumstances" of his death. On display in Max Beckmann in New York are 39 works that encompass the breadth of his career, including his final ones while a resident of New York City.

In the 1920s, Beckmann thrived in the creative world of Germany's Weimar Republic. He was the subject of major exhibitions celebrating his boldly colorful expressionist paintings, many of them …