28th October 2011

Photoset

The renovations on the Bolshoi have finally been completed after being the subject of corruption, faulty construction plans, and unforeseen volume of repairs.  Many of which fell into the catagory of “unavoidable” and if we don’t do them the foundation will "crumble like a deck of cards".

Overall, total renovations had the price tag of over $700 million USD, but considering it has survived 3 fires, a few WWII bombings and overall 150 years of neglect - of course many of those were during Soviet times.  The bill was high and all the dramatice events that followed it’s struggle back to like could be future subjects for those who compose operas and ballets for such venues.  It could even eventually be preformed before 1300 patrons on the Bolshoi’s very own stage.

I had a chance to visit Moscow back in May 2010 and loved it.  The pictures above are of what the Bolshoi looked like back then.  The front of the theater doesn’t look much different then the post renovated building, but if you look at it during the day you would have seen that the buildings visage is all fake.  I found a better daytime picture which shows what I’m talking about.  It’s by a fellow traveler named Alan Hadden and it’s here.  I was disappointed that it was covered but happy to see that some care was being given to a building that’s not just a theater but a location where many historical events took place.  It now has been restored to it’s former glory and I’m looking forward to seeing it someday.

For more information on the Bolshoi please check out the Bolshoi’s official website.  It officially opens November 2nd.

26th October 2011

Photoset

The temps are in the 60’s today, but cool weather and snow is coming to the NYC area. Get your skates sharpened and get the winter digs out of storage because the ice rink at Bryant Park is opening up tomorrow (Oct 27th) in Bryant Park.  It appears be the same set-up as last year (restaurant and cool seating area) and vendors and rink installers are working hard getting things ready for opening day which looks to be a raining one :>/

Anyhow…

Happy Skating!

Tagged: NYCNYC Ice SkatingBryant ParkHoliday 2011

13th June 2011

Photoset with 4 notes

Rainbow City at the Lot will be on display or inflated until the beginning of July.  This seedy part of Chelsea now is home to a cute interactive balloon filled lot.  The Lot is planned to be a summer home to pop up displays which will be accompanied by premium food and drink (for sale of course).  The current display is kind of cool but I wish it was more Takashi Murakami opposed to being a rip off of the hipster version of the Mario Brothers.  The addition does brighten up the hood to the dismay of the homeless squadors who used to call the area home.  Their pop up home was relocated to an undisclosed location. The area was quickly given some attention will soon be full of hand picked food vendor trucks.  So it’s out with the grit and in with the new Chelsea (or new name to be decided by real estate brokers).

Tagged: ChelseaHigh LineNYCNYC ParksThe LotRainbow City

28th May 2011

Photoset

The High Line will soon be extending its green path all the way up to 30th Street in upper Chelsea on the west side.  Many gardeners, construction, maintenance and administrative staff are all busy getting the latest section complete so it will open to the public in June. There isn’t an exact date and they have only said to stayed tuned and they will be posting the date on their website and here’s the latest teaser from their blog.

The Gothamist wasn’t even allowed to take pictures of the new section even after they asked for permission to tour of the new grounds.  This didn’t stop them.  They managed to get some adjoining roof access along the path and took a few shots. Here’s some of the illicit pictures they took from above.

Section 1 is full of green and coming of age now that plants are settling and branching out.  The monsoon rains this past week have given the elevated gardens a good feeding before the long hot summer sets in.  I’m curious to see what happens to the trees when they get too big?  My guess is that the gardeners will dig them up and replace them before the roots do any structural damage.  A good question to ask if I take a tour.

There are many like myself who are looking forward to what the High Line has to offer in the days ahead.  Lots of questions come to mind like:  Who will the food vendors be?  How will they effect the flow of the walkway?  What’s the new section will look like?  Will the new section change the area of 10th Ave between 21st and 30th?  I’m already seeing new businesses popping up that have High Line in their title. (i.e. The High Liner Diner formerly the Empire Diner on 10th and 22nd)  The answers will soon come in the weeks ahead.  

There is a little activity going on just beyond Section 2.  I’m already looking forward to the final Section 3 which is only mentioned to be started at a future date.  When it comes down to it,  the answers really aren’t that important.  All that matters is that we have more green to enjoy in a section of town that could really use it and some day there will be a green elevated trail that will give visitors 1.45 miles path just for walking, and lounging while enjoying the view of the NYC skyline from above the day to day commotion. 

Tagged: New York CityHigh LineNYC ParksChelseaFriends of the HighFriends of the HighlineFood Vendors NYC

28th May 2011

Photoset

Governor’s Island is open!  The ferries are free, the breezes are cool and there’s no better place to go and hang out this holiday weekend then this green island right off the tip of Manhattan.

The activities are there for both kids and adults all summer long.  They include:

FREE friday bikes from Bike and Roll Rentals

The Figment Mini Golf course (also free)

and food events throughout the summer including the Beer PickNYC May 29 + 30

For more information check out Governor’s Island Official site and follow them on twitter 

Tagged: Figment ArtFreeFridaysGovernors IslandNYCNYCFerryNYCfreeStorm KingpublicartMark di SuveroBeer PicNYC

28th May 2011

Photoset with 5 notes

WTC in lower Manhattan 30 stories above last night.  It’s looking pretty good.  It seems like they are in high gear as the 10 year anniversary is fast approaching.   The big corporations are signing up for a piece of space in the towers. The financial giants now headquartered in Times Square and Jersey could be planning a mass exodus from Times Square once the towers are complete.  Conde Nast publications has officially announced that they will be the anchor of One World Trade Center and will be moving 5000 workers to their shiny million square foot space as soon as the beginning of 2013.

It’s nice to see that the trees are blooming and the site is coming back to life after all of these years. 

Tagged: Conde NastLower ManhattanNYCWTCWorld Trade CenterWTC Pics

21st May 2011

Photoset with 3 notes

Houses of Worship in Damascus.  

Tagged: ChristianityDamascusIslamMiddle EastMiddle East TravelMosqueSyriaTravelUmayyad MosqueJohn the BaptistDome of the TreasuryDome of the ClockDam

21st May 2011

Photoset

Spring in Central Park NYC.  Who says that NYC is not nice when it rains.

Tagged: Central ParkNYCSpring 2011SakuraFlowers in Central ParkBoating in Central Park

15th May 2011

Photo

What is that glowing white figure in the middle of Madison Square Park?  It’s the latest Madison Public Art exhibit simply called Echo by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa.  There are 15 blocks individually joint together by lead sheets.   The 3-D sculpture is the face of a 9-year-old girl who lives in his neighborhood and name “Echo” comes from a Greek Myth nymph character named Echo.  She looks as if she is listening to the conversations of visitors resting in the soft sun of late spring in the green oasis known as Madison Square Park next to the Flatiron Building.
 Echo is the first sculpture Spanish artist Jaume Plensa has ever assembled in New York City.  It is also the largest and most expensive piece that the park has ever commissioned.  The artist has always wanted to display his work in this area of the city and found that this creation with its message to the common man was perfect for this bustling venue.
This beautiful span of green is usually filled with sunbathers, office workers on lunch and others enjoying the green.  It is also home to many bold and well fed squirrels.  Today, the towering face is moonlighting as a scarecrow for the green picnic area.  It’s funny to see that most of the park’s puffy tailed residents are keeping a safe distance from the area surrounding the 44’ tall block of marble.
The Catalan artist, Jaume Plensa, has bought a very touching and beautiful piece to Madison Square Park.  This awesome vision named Echo will be peacefully resting in Madison Square park from now until August 14th. 
Madison Square Park is at 23rd Street just between 5th and Madison Avenues.  The N train is the closest train followed by the F and PATH train one block west and the 6 Train one block east.

What is that glowing white figure in the middle of Madison Square Park?  It’s the latest Madison Public Art exhibit simply called Echo by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa.  There are 15 blocks individually joint together by lead sheets.   The 3-D sculpture is the face of a 9-year-old girl who lives in his neighborhood and name “Echo” comes from a Greek Myth nymph character named Echo.  She looks as if she is listening to the conversations of visitors resting in the soft sun of late spring in the green oasis known as Madison Square Park next to the Flatiron Building.

 Echo is the first sculpture Spanish artist Jaume Plensa has ever assembled in New York City.  It is also the largest and most expensive piece that the park has ever commissioned.  The artist has always wanted to display his work in this area of the city and found that this creation with its message to the common man was perfect for this bustling venue.

This beautiful span of green is usually filled with sunbathers, office workers on lunch and others enjoying the green.  It is also home to many bold and well fed squirrels.  Today, the towering face is moonlighting as a scarecrow for the green picnic area.  It’s funny to see that most of the park’s puffy tailed residents are keeping a safe distance from the area surrounding the 44’ tall block of marble.

The Catalan artist, Jaume Plensa, has bought a very touching and beautiful piece to Madison Square Park.  This awesome vision named Echo will be peacefully resting in Madison Square park from now until August 14th. 

Madison Square Park is at 23rd Street just between 5th and Madison Avenues.  The N train is the closest train followed by the F and PATH train one block west and the 6 Train one block east.

Tagged: EchoMadison Square ParkNYCJaume PlensaPublicPublicArtFundFlatironNYC ParksNYC Picnic

28th April 2011

Photoset

Biking along the west side of Manhattan is one of the best ways to a break away from city and immerse yourself in the beauty of the green pathway that snakes its way around this big island.  The ride from Midtown to Riverside Park (99th Street) takes anywhere from 15-30 minutes.  100th Street seems far but those who venture will be pleasantly rewarded and surprised when they find the path less crowded and more tranquil then the packed tarmacs below 40th Street.  Riders here are able to focus more on the beauty of the surroundings and less on the obstacles which may block their path or come out of the blind spots without warning. (strollers, dogs, joggers with headphones, rouge bikers or the occasional rat making run for it)

Uptown can get really crowded during the warm weekends of summer.   Large groups and families take over the large open lawns and make a day of it. The parks are places where families can picnic, grill and play.  They even take their pets out for the day.  This is not just limited to dogs.  I once pasted by a family who brought their pet boa out to get some fresh air.  

If you don’t have a bike  then there’s plenty of places to rent.  The most convenient and probably most expensive bike rental company located on the Hudson is called Bike and Roll.   Here’s a list of others near by which give more reasonable rates.    The best times to bike during the warm months are obviously during the week and from early morning until mid afternoon.  The weekends aren’t too bad but it’s always good to get an early start. 

Tagged: West Side Bike PathBiking NYCGW BridgeGW LighthouseWest HarlemCherrycherry blossomsSpring FlowersSpring 2011NYCNYC Parks