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Showing posts from 2018

New York City Fall Calendar 2018

Vernon Duke (1903-1969), né Vladimir Dukelsy, wrote the music and lyrics for "Autumn in New York," the jazz standard that originated in the 1934 Broadway musical Thumbs Up! . The bittersweet lyrics call forth the sight of autumn in the big city, "the promise of new love," and a grateful acceptance of inevitable change and loss. Autumn in Central Park, New York City No wonder Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan, Billy Holiday, Johnny Mathis, Barbra Streisand, Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Tormé, and a hundred of other crooners wanted to record such a wistful song. The notes themselves, falling like leaves, were enough for the likes of Charlie Parker and the Modern Jazz Quartet. Read more, and listen . The calendar includes most major events through the fall season. A New York City Winter Calendar will be published in December. Seasonal Changes • Peak fall foliage The peak fall foliage in NYC usually occurs in late October and the first two weeks of November, coinciding

Delacroix’s Cats

Following its record-breaking debut at the Musée du Louvre in Paris, the blockbuster Delacroix exhibit has opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. While not all of the works could travel, as some are intrinsic to the Louvre, the big cats made the trip to the city. For the Delacroix exhibit poster, the Met has selected Young Tiger Playing with Its Mother, the artist’s great and surprising painting from 1830, as the signature and defining work of the exhibition. Eugène Delacroix, (French, 1798–1863). Young Tiger Playing with Its Mother (Study of Two Tigers), 1830. Oil on canvas, 52 x 76.6 in. (130 x 195 cm). Musée du Louvre, Paris. © RMN-Grand Palais (Musée du Louvre) / Franck Raux Eugène Delacroix (French, 1798–1863), known as the leading Romantic painter of his era, loved cats. His many notebooks show preparatory sketches of lions, tigers, and several charming domestic cats. The big cats, for the most part, made it into big paintings. At 52 x 76.6 in. (130 x 195

Starstruck at MoMA

Update:  MoMA  is reopening August 27. Timed tickets. The Museum will be open daily, from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays are reserved for members and their guests. Please see a new post, MoMA in Masks , about the museum reopening in the pandemic. (reopened in 2019) The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in Midtown Manhattan is undergoing a significant renovation and expansion that will increase gallery space by thirty percent upon completion in 2019. In the midst of renovation and following a long hot summer, the museum may currently look a little rough around the edges and even disorienting for longtime patrons. For starters, you’ll need to enter the museum on W. 54th Street instead of W. 53rd Street while the work is taking place, and the museum store is now currently on the second floor next to the coffee bar which has also moved. W. 54th Street entrance, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) This state of affairs didn’t stop visitors on the Saturday of L

A Walk from Orchard Street to Tompkins Square Park

Before the mid-1960s, the neighborhoods we now call the Lower East Side and the East Village were essentially the same thing. During the 1960s, many artists in the northern section of the Lower East Side started calling the area “East Village” to recognize the rise of a new culture in the neighborhood. The label was used to make a distinction between the older bohemian Greenwich Village to the west as well as to the Lower East Side on the south. The Beckenstein Building at 130 Orchard Street encapsulates the area’s continued story. At some point the Lower East Side started being abbreviated as LES. As a friend likes to remind me of the era before the 1960s, “Once upon a time, it was just ‘uptown’ and ‘downtown.’” View of SE corner of Orchard and Broome The Lower East Side and the East Village have long been associated with a diversity of immigrants from many nations settling the area in sequential waves. Beginning in the late 19th century and continuing into the early 20t

In the Unruffled Waters at the Top of Manhattan

While activity in the waters off of Lower Manhattan is almost always busy, the waters at the top of Manhattan, by contrast, are often quite placid, even serene. In the land where the Harlem River meets the Hudson River, the tides gently come and go, and with the ebb and flow a variety for shorebirds and the occasional visitor arrive for a little fishing and some rest. The often photographed view of Inwood Hill Park with the Henry Hudson Bridge. The weather has been warm and muggy these past few weeks, so going for a walk has been challenging. This morning, though, the weather seemed fine for a stroll, so it was a good time to see what was happening at the park and the shoreline. Summer pool scene in Northern Manhattan Everyone was there, and by everyone, I mean the Great Egret and the Great Blue Heron, a modest flock of ducks, and a small colony of herring gulls. They were in the bay of Inwood Hill Park, a scenic area popular with locals for walks, picnics, sports, and ot

Strange Days: A Walk in Murray Hill

This 1.5-mile self-guided walk in Murray Hill, beginning and ending at Grand Central Terminal, includes a handful of interesting places in a small geographical area. Nestled between Bryant Park to the west and FDR Drive at the East River, the eclectic neighborhood includes a mishmash of architectural styles from the Gilded Age to the modern. Popular with young people beginning in the 1990s, especially in the more modern sections near the river, the area has mostly kept a low profile.    A recent walk from The Morgan Library and Museum to a nearby diner (Sarge’s, as it turned out) turned up an assortment of architectural gems, including a small private court that was used for the cover of a classic rock album. Not every worthy facade or alleyway is mentioned here, so be on the lookout for additional treasures. Consulate General of Poland, 233 Madison Ave. with sculpture of Jan Karski (1914 – 2000) 1. Consulate General of Poland, 233 Madison Ave. Originally Joseph R. De Lamar H

Wayne Thiebaud in New York, and Nearby Pies

In 1956, California artist Wayne Thiebaud took a leave of absence from teaching at Sacramento Junior College and moved to New York for the academic year. A skilled illustrator and cartoonist, the artist had developed a keen interest in art history and wanted to become a painter. Banner for Wayne Thiebaud, Draftsman at The Morgan Library & Museum An exhibition at The Morgan Library & Museum, Wayne Thiebaud, Draftsman , highlights the artist’s sketches, pastels, watercolors, and charcoal drawings. Arriving in New York during the heyday of the Abstract Impressionists, Thiebaud sought out and befriended many of the leading artists and critics of the day, including Franz Kline, Elaine and Willem de Kooning, Barnett Newman, the critic Harold Rosenberg, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jasper Johns.

Festival Season: A Summer Walk at Bard

Summer means festival season for music-lovers, and thoughts turn to listening to stirring music in a place with clean air, surrounded by picnic baskets and leafy lawns. New Yorkers have plenty of opportunities to enjoy music in the city and to many different types of music. Classical music fans like the relaxed atmosphere of the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park or Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, a festival mostly held indoors. Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts on the Bard College campus in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY Sometimes, the heat of the city in summer makes us long for places like Tanglewood in the Berkshires or the Santa Fe Opera in New Mexico. In New York State, the most celebrated festivals include the Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, Caramoor in Ketonah, and Bard College’s Summerscape and Music Festival in Annandale-on-Hudson. Let’s talk about Bard. Trees on the Bard College campus near the Fisher Center offer shade for a pre-performan

The West Side Piers: Where Hell’s Kitchen Meets Hudson Yards

The western boundary of the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood in Manhattan runs up the Hudson River from W. 34th Street to W. 59th Street, parallel with the West Side Highway and on the other side of the highway, a sequence of twelve piers. The piers serve as home to such diverse vessels as the commuter boats of NY Waterway, the Circle Line boats, New York Water Taxi, the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid (at the Intrepid Museum), and many cruise ships setting off for the Bahamas, Florida, Bermuda, Canada, and many other ports of call. Pier 83 South, home to the Circle Line Joining the mix are a few restaurants, bars, and recreational piers operated by Hudson River Park. At Pier 84 near 42nd Street, there’s a play area, a dog park, and kayaking. Piers 90, 92 and 94 are often used for the big art fairs such as the Armory Show. In the distance, a Norwegian Cruise Line ship (on the left) with Via 57 West (on the right) The northern part of the western riverfront, especially around W.

Introducing Sailing Off the Big Apple

Since 2007, I’ve been writing Walking Off the Big Apple, a strolling guide to New York City. I’m pleased to introduce you to a new sister blog, Sailing Off the Big Apple , a boating guide to New York City. I've been wanting to do this for a long time. Sailing Off the Big Apple From the introductory post, Setting Sail : “Expect posts on practical matters such as how to take a NYC Ferry, sightseeing tips for places near ferry landings, surveys of developments from the water, a few sailing lessons (I’m taking them), island explorations (City Island, Staten Island, Roosevelt Island, Coney Island, etc.), sunset sails, excursions up the Hudson River, a little beach fun, sightings of large cruise vessels, resources for sailing tourism, history posts, maritime museums, warnings about climate change, lots of oysters, and general navigational guides. As with Walking Off the Big Apple, you’ll also see lots of pictures and maps.” Other new posts on the site include a visit to the N

Walking the Museum Mile

The Museum Mile Festival typically takes place on a June evening in New York City, but if you happen to miss the festival, this walk up Fifth Avenue from 82nd Street to 105th Street could stand in as the next best thing. This year’s event unfolded on a day of exceptional weather, with the air at room temperature and the sky free of clouds. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fifth Avenue Of course, strolling this stretch of one of the city’s most famous avenues can take place at any time of year and in less than ideal conditions. The annual festival includes the added perk of free admission to select museums. A splendid Southern Magnolia at the side entrance to The Met Fifth Avenue. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim, the Cooper Hewitt, the Jewish Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, and El Museo del Barrio officially participated in this year’s festival. A walk on Museum Mile includes many more points of interest. In fact, the walk works just fine by stay

Return to Roosevelt Island

Nearly ten years ago, Walking Off the Big Apple visited Roosevelt Island and was struck by the comparisons between the island in the East River and the Île de la Cité, the island in the Seine in Paris. Roosevelt Island Welcome Center, near both the Tram and the ferry landing. Stop by to pick up more information. From June 9, 2008 : “The islands both occupy important geographical sites within rivers of major world cities, one in the East River and the other in the Seine. The islands both served as locations for historic prisons - Blackwell's Island Penitentiary in New York and The Conciergerie in Paris, and both incarcerated famous women - Mae West, Emma Goldman, and Billie Holiday in NYC and Marie Antoinette, Charlotte Corday, and Madame du Barry in Paris. Large hospital complexes dominate the past and present of both islands, the legacy of the ancient practice of shifting patients with contagious diseases to areas of isolation and quarantine. The Hotel Dieu, founded in 65