NEW YORK CITY

JANUARY 2003

 

Metropolitan Museum of Art

The largest art museum in the Western hemisphere (spanning four blocks, it encompasses 2 million square ft) is situated in East Central Park and 5th avenue. With a permanent collection of nearly 3 million works of art spanning from the Paleolithic era to modern times, this must be one of the world's greatest museums. And what a privilege it was for us to visit this museum for a second time; not only did we appreciate the magnificent art collections, but also the beautiful architecture of the building and interior design. This place has a magic feel to it!

 

The Irish Historical Society

On our way to The Metropolitan Museum, our eyes caught this building, squeezed in between two tall buildings; it was the Irish Historical Society's head quarters.   

 

Rockefeller Center

Conceived by John D. Rockefeller during the Great Depression of the 1930's, the Rockefeller Centre complex occupies nearly 22 acres of prime real estate between 5th and 7th avenues. The GE building is the tallest tower (70 stories) in Rockefeller Centre and is the backdrop to the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree (lighted during the holiday season) as well as the Channel Gardens, Prometheus and the ice skating rink (operating throughout he Winter months). Inside the lobby of the GE building is a monumental mural by Jose Maria Ser, American Progress (1937) - it depicts the the muses of poetry, dance and music along with those of science, technology and physical effort. 

 

Statue of Hercules

This statue of Hercules is situated in 5th avenue across the street from St. Patrick's Cathedral

 

St. Patrick's Cathedral

This gothic Roman Catholic cathedral is one of New York's largest (seating 2400) and most striking churches. Many of the funerals for fallen New York police and firefighters were held here in the fall of 2001 following 9/11. 

 

Empire State Building

Certainly one of New York's best-known skyscrapers. With a construction time of a mere 13 months in the 1930s, this is the fastest-rising major skyscraper ever built. Including the TV transmittal tower at the top, the Empire State building rises to a total of 1,472 ft. This building has appeared in more than 100 movies including King Kong in 1933 and An Affair to Remember in 1957. 

 

View from the Empire State observation deck (86th floor and 1,050 ft high). We are looking South over Manhattan's financial district and the Hudson River (right side of the photo) and East river.

 

 

With good friends, Carel and Jenny, on the observation deck.

 

And my best friend and husband, Nicol 

 

Icy barriers on the observation deck of the  Empire State Building

 

Brooklyn Bridge

Spanning the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge connects Manhattan island to Brooklyn and is one of New York's most recognized landmarks. It was the world's first steel suspension bridge and for several years one of the world's longest. Beginning in 1867, it was a long struggle to build the bridge, so much so that when it opened in 1883 it was promptly crowned the "Eighth Wonder of the World". Its twin Gothic-arch towers, with a span of 1,595 ft, rise 272 ft from the river below; the bridge's overall length of 6,016 ft made it four times longer than the longest suspension bridge of its day.  From roadway to water is about 133 ft, high enough to allow the tallest ships to pass.

View from the bridge to lower Manhattan

 

South Street Seaport Historic District and Pier 17

This charming cobblestone corner of New York hosts the city's largest concentration of early 19th-century commercial buildings and has been declared a historical district in 1967. Attractions include the Titanic Memorial, South Street Seaport Museum, Pier 16 where historical ships are docked, Pier 17 featuring a shopping mall and great views of the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. Some blocks along South Street still house a working fish market, which has been in operation since the early 1800s...the smell's not too good, but the fish is fresh and delicious as we found out at The Paris, an Irish (yes, Irish!) pub and restaurant just down the street from the market.

 

Views across the East River - Brooklyn bridge in the foreground and Manhattan bridge lies just behind it. Across the river is the suburb of Brooklyn. Click on the link at the end of this page to see some better pictures of this scene on Nicol's Black and White web page. It looks magic at night when the lights are on.

 

The Paris

It's Sunday afternoon, it's snowing outside and we're drinking Guinness at The Paris!!

 

Delicious seafood and fish! 

 

Times Square

With the confusion of millions of lights, elaborate billboards, countless shops, yellow cabs where-ever you turn your head and hordes of people, Times Square is definitely New York's white-hot energy center. This has been the city's main theater district since the turn of the 20th century. Before the 1900s, this was New York's horse-trading center, but substantial change came with the arrival of the subway and the New York Times opening its headquarters at Times Tower with a fireworks show at midnight, thereby starting a New Year's Eve tradition.  This building is now called One Times Square Plaza and topped with the world's most famous rooftop pole, down which an illuminated 200-pound ball is lowered each December 31 to the wild enthusiasm of the crowds below. Other mesmerizing sights in this area include a 42-ft-tall bottle of Coca-Cola, two-story-high cups of coffee that actually steam, super fast digital displays of world news and stock quotes, on-location network studios and countless other technologically sophisticated allurements.

 

Grand Central Terminal

As with most things in the U.S., this is indeed the world's largest  (76 acres) and the nation's busiest (500 000 commuters and subway riders use it daily) railway station. It is also said to be one of the world's greatest public spaces, and as critic Tony Hiss said, "justly famous as a crossroads, a noble building...and an ingenious piece of engineering". 

I must admit that a visit to this place was not high on my list of things to do in New York; we were just passing by, very cold and looking for a hot cup of something. Boy, was I surprised and lost for words when we decided to step into this building. Although bustling with thousands of commuters, there was a peaceful and graceful feel to the place. We were stunned by its dramatic arts facade, which is dominated by three 75-ft-high arched windows separated by pairs of fluted columns and bathed in golden light. In the main concourse a celestial map of the zodiac constellations covers the ceiling and the major stars actually glow with fibre-optic lights. Everything is made of marble, including a staircase modeled after the Garnier stair at the Paris Opera.

 I would from now on highly recommend visiting this prestigious terminal, by a long way this is not your average railway station!

 

Bryant Park

This park is midtown's only major green space and has become one of the best-loved and most beautiful small parks in the city. It is named for the poet and editor William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878). This 8-acre park lies next to the main branch of the New York Public Library in 6th Ave midtown West. Lined with London plane trees and formal flower beds it's not hard to see why the park draws thousands of lunching office workers in the more temperate months. It is also the spot for jazz and comedy concerts as well as outdoor film screenings during the warmer summer months. A lighted Christmas tree brought some colour to the gloomy day it was when we paid a visit to this park.    

 

Village Vanguard Jazz Club

An old-world jazz club in a smoky cellar in Greenwich Village was the venue for our night of jazz. We were entertained by a jazz orchestra consisting of about 20 members playing saxophones, trombones, piano, drums and trumpets. And what a show they gave us!

 

Our View

We stayed in the Le Parker Meridien hotel in 57th St., between 6th and 7th Aves. A perfect location to explore Central Park and Midtown Manhattan. The first two pictures were taken from our hotel room window and show the view we had over Central Park. 

The final picture was taken from the observation deck (roof) of the hotel. 

If you like this page, Here are some Black & White pictures of NYC 2003.

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