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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Still out and about in New York...

One thing I forgot to mention in the last post was that on the downtown tour we learned that there are ‘urban farms’ on the top of some apartment buildings which include keeping chickens as well as crops!
On Monday we took the ‘Uptown Tour’. We saw a lot of apartment blocks where the rich and famous once lived in and some still do. The Dakota Apartment Building was where John Lennon lived and in front of which he was shot and killed. Dakota wasn’t its original name but when it was built it was way out of the city people joked that it was so far out it might as well be in the Dakota territories, so the owner changed the name to that. We saw glimpses of Central Park and eventually DH and I got off this bus at the point known as The Reservoir. The path beside the lake was used in the movie, ‘Marathon Man’ and there were people running along there on Monday or walking dogs.
Looking across the Hudson River from a path in Central Park

Some joggers on the path

Bit of trivia we were told by yesterday’s tour guide was that dog walkers can now only walk a maximum of 3 dogs at any one time. Apparently it was getting out of hand with people trying to exercise incredible numbers of dogs at one time. I guess dog walkers are kept busy walking dogs for busy, wealthy people who live in apartments!

Some of the buildings we saw on our tour

This beautiful dog was resting after walking in Central Park
The famous Guggenheim Gallery was near that stop so that’s where we went. The gallery is first of all, in an amazing building. It’s built like a ‘helter-skelter’ or a screw shape, in that each level ‘winds’ its way up so you walk round and around each level and at the same time you are walking up to the next level. Secondly the collection is vast and includes some very well known artists of the era represented in the gallery; this era being 1910 to 1918. Some artists represented included, Van Gogh, Monet, Marc, Kandinsky, Chagall and Toulouse Lautrec. There were obviously many others but the brain isn’t co-operating at the moment! We got an audio tour for the price of our entry ticket and this was excellent! I fell in love with the Kandinsky exhibit and bought some postcards of his work as well as some magnets for the fridge back home where the Mona Lisa magnet from the Louvre is already there!
The Solomon Guggenheim Gallery

Looking up from the first floor. Each level is a gallery

The magnificent ceiling; it lets in so much natural light
The above link gives some details of the Guggenheim exhibits.
And that link has some images of the building which are much better than mine! Lol
After a few hours at the Guggenheim, we caught a train to Grand Central Station. When we got to the stop we had to walk around a bit to find the ‘grand part’ which ended up being across the street from the subway we emerged from. The station is magnificent and must contain an unbelievable number of tons of finest grade marble! The floor, the walls, the vaulted ceiling, the lights, everything is certainly on a grand scale. Police presence was large and I was surprised to see 2 soldiers, fully armed, patrolling as well. It didn’t seem to be any sort of emergency, just routine.

People walking around me in the concourse of Grand Central Station

Shoe shine 'boys' at Central Station

Later that day we went on our pre-booked night tour which started in the daylight but obviously was mostly after dark. We went through similar districts to the other city trips but also included places such as Harlem and Brooklyn. Going to Brooklyn meant driving over the Manhattan Bridge. As we headed for the bridge, the guide suggested that people sitting on the outside seat of the right-hand side of the bus, who are scared of heights, may like to move seats. Apparently being on the top deck of a double-decker bus, driving over the bridge, you get the illusion of flying...all you see is the water, no road. DH was going to brave it out but decided at the last minute to swap seats with me. Heh heh! It was wild!! It was scary! But I loved it...! Unfortunately we didn’t take our cameras on this tour.
We drove around Brooklyn streets for a while, including the edges of Brooklyn Heights and then they parked the bus at a waterfront park so we could look across at the city of New York with all those lights! Wonderful views! The part of New York on the waterfront is the site of New Amsterdam which was the Dutch town before the Brits took over and renamed it. A large part of this area is the Financial Quarter.
This tour took 1 hour 45 minutes and ended just the other side of Times Square. We got back to 34th Street Station after 9 and we were still able to get a restaurant meal! Little bit different to home!
This entertainer was performing in Times Square; he calls himself 'The Naked Cowboy' ...(he isn't lol!)


Claud said...

Nice pic of the Naked Cowboy - he's a very popular character in that area (or so I've heard). At least he has a good body ;-). NY looks great. I'm not a fan of big cities, but I would love to go see a good play in Broadway. Enjoy!

Maria said...

Claud I hate big cities and where I come from is so small compared to NY and SF! But I survived NY and I saw so many things that I had wanted to see close up so it was worth it. I'm enjoying the relative serenity of Niagara Falls!