Sunday, March 27, 2011

Harlem Is.......

Harlem is many things.  Here are some of them.

Harlem is......
...the Apollo Theater.

Harlem is.....

Harlem is.....
..the B and C subway lines.

Harlem is.....
...nail salons.

Harlem is....

Harlem is.... salons.

Harlem is....
...dry cleaners.

Harlem is....
...soul food.

Harlem is....
....corner stores.

Harlem is...
...barber shops.

Harlem is....
...hip hop.

Harlem is.... taxis.

Harlem is....

Harlem is...

But most of all, Harlem is.....

...its people.

Thank you Harlem for a fabulous time in New York City.  I am so glad we stayed with you.
With love,
Nancy and Joe

(On the corner of 132nd and Frederick Douglas Boulevard, Harlem, New York City.)

NYC Fun Facts

I am by nature a very curious person.  I love to learn.  I guess that's why I became a teacher.  One of my goals for each of my students is to become a life-long learner.  I am one of those.

I love fun facts.  Here are a few that I learned about New York City.

'I Heart New York' concept sketch on a scrap of paper.  1976. 

The finished product.

At a time when the fear of crime was depressing tourism in New York City, the Department of Commerce commissioned Milton Glasner to develop a positive campaign for the city.  Designed pro bono for a 3 month campaign, the wildly successful design has been copied millions of times all over the world.  Glasner's rebus has become a strong icon for New York City.  The design was finally copyrighted after about 10 years in use.

Macy's flagship department store covers an entire New York City block.

Macy's was founded by a former whaler named R. H. Macy who opened a small store on 14th Street in 1857.  The red star logo came from one of Macy's many tattoos from his sailing days.

The famous Reading Room in New York Public Library.

The New York City Library cost $9,000,000.00 to build in 1911.
The Main Reading Room stretches two full blocks.  Below it are 140 kilometres of shelves, holding over 7 million volumes.  A staff of over 100 and a computerized dumbwaiter can supply any book within 10 minutes.

The Flatiron Building.

The Flatiron Building was the world's tallest skyscraper when it was built in 1903.  It is only 6 feet wide at its apex.

The view of Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge.

Walt Whitman said of this view, "It is the best, most effective medicine my soul has yet partaken."

The Brooklyn Bridge

Each cable of the Brooklyn Bridge contains 5, 657 kilometres of wire, galvanized with zinc for protection from the wind, rain and snow.

Empire State Building

The Empire State Building has attracted over 130,000,000 visitors since it opened in 1931.  The views from the 86th floor observation deck are astounding.

The Chrysler Building.

I don't know a fun fact about this amazing art deco building except to say it has always been my favourite piece of architecture.

Lower East Side living conditions in the 1850s.

Each apartment was only 325 square feet.

Sometimes 2 families would share one apartment.

Between the 1870s and 1930s, hundreds of thousands of European immigrants flooded into New York's Lower East Side.
At the turn of the last century, the Lower East Side was the most densely populated area in the world.  There were 240,000 people per square mile.
The tenements had no indoor plumbing.  Outhouses were in the rear alley along with a spigot for collecting water.
Two toilets for every 4 families were added in 1901.
Gas heating arrived in 1905.
Electric light was added in 1924.  Until then the only light an apartment would get was through its one window.
The tenement at 97 Orchard Street was home to over 7,000 working class immigrants from 1860 until it was condemned in 1930.  The building was bought in 1988 and was the first tenement ever designated as a historic landmark.  The Lower East Side Tenement Museum was born in 1992.

A mosaic in Strawberry Fields, Central Park.

This mosaic is set in the pathway through Strawberry Fields.  It was a gift from the city of Naples in Italy.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Few More Photos.....

I was able to eke out a few more pictures from the computer....

 Frick and Frack at the Gershwin Theatre on Broadway to watch 'Wicked'.

Joe walking up Frederick Douglas Boulevard in Harlem.

We ate a lot of soul food in Harlem on this trip.  
Oh yes, we did.

Central Park in the snow.

Lower East Side.

Rockefeller Square at night.

Quintessential Harlem brownstones.  I love how every townhouse has a different coloured cornice on the roof.

Photo Friday

Self appointed flower arranger in Strawberry Fields, Central Park.

Soccer in Central Park.

Central Park.

Strivers Row in Harlem.

Greenwich Village.


Street art.

The view from Brooklyn.

Joe walking to Manhattan on the Brooklyn Bridge.

Zabars' cheese counter.

A finial on a set of brownstone steps.

NYC from the 86th floor of the Empire State building.

Unfortunately, there have been some problems with the photo manager on the little laptop Joe bought for me to use on this trip.  I am going to have to wait until I get home to post any more photos.  For now, I offer you this small sampling of where we've been and what we've done.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tuesday In Bullets

We are cramming and jamming as much as we can into every day.  We are following the sage advice of the old adage "Make hay while the sun shines."  

Here's what we did on Tuesday in bullets:
  • Took the subway down to Morningside Heights.  Sunny day!
  • Walked to see the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine.  Largest Gothic cathedral in the world.  Only 2/3 built.  Can seat 10,000 people, give or take.
  • Walked to Zabars.  New York City's pre-eminent gourmet shop.  We bought some lunch foods to eat in Central Park.
  • Walked to and through Central Park.
  • Went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Could not get in with our groceries.  Couldn't even check them along with our coats.  "We've had problems with food before" we were told. 
  • Exited the Met.  Went around the corner to an art vendor on the sidewalk and asked him if we could leave our bag of food with him for $5.00.  Vendor said yes.
  • Entered the Met.  It was the best art museum I've ever been to.  It was FABULOUS!  Move over Musee D'Orsay.
  • Left the Met.  Retrieved our lunch from the art vendor.  Paid him his five bucks.
  • Sat on the steps of the Met to eat our lunch instead of returning to Central Park because there was a quintet performing Motown hits on the sidewalk.  Sang along while we ate our potato and onion knishes.
  • Took a taxi to the Empire State Building.
  • Went up to the 86th floor to the observation platform.  Took panoramic photos of NYC.
  • Went down 86 floors.
  • Walked to Macy's.  Bought nothing.
  • Walked to Bryant Park.  Admired the daffodils.
  • Walked to the New York City Public Library.  Visited the famous Reading Room.  Took a photo where I wasn't supposed to.  Oops!
  • Walked to Grand Central Station.  Roamed the concourse with the rest of humanity.
  • Had our shoes shined outside of the station.  Much fun and laughter!
  • Walked to the Chrysler Building.  Ogled the lobby.
  • Took the subway back up to Harlem.
  • Joe napped while I showered and wrote in my journal.
  • Walked to Sylvia's Restaurant for a late soul food supper.
  • Fell into bed at 11:30pm.
Tender tootsies. 

 It's exhausting being on your feet all day.