Weekend Getaway – NYC for the Armory Show

Steppin’ Out…..E 89th St. at 2nd
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Metro to Downtown……


Sing your heart out on the High Line…..


The High Line is a 1-mile…New York City linear park built on a 1.45-mile …section of the elevated former New York Central Railroad spur called the West Side Line, which runs along the lower west side of Manhattan; it has been redesigned and planted as an aerial greenway. A similar project in Paris, the 3-mile, Promenade plantée, completed in 1993, was the inspiration for this project. The High Line currently runs from Gansevoort Street, three blocks below West 14th Street, in the Meatpacking District, to 30th Street, through the neighborhood of Chelsea to north of the West Side Yard, near the former connection with the Amtrak-operated Empire Connection, as well as just southeast of the Javits Convention Center.    




The Armory Show … the Grandest Art Show of them all…..



FORBES’ Guide To New York’s Largest Art Fair, The Armory Show 2014

New York’s largest art fair, The Armory Show, features modern and contemporary art from 205 galleries representing 26 different countries. Thousands throng to Pier 92 to browse, buy — and be seen. Here’s how to survive one of the busiest weekends in the art world’s calendar, and if you can’t make it in person, how to experience the show virtually.


To my dear son, Denny, who, in college, when life is void of any housekeeping at all, had the first Zomba ever, in spite of himself…….you were just one step shy of rich and famous…..opportunity missed…..?

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Back in Focus, a round, robotic vacuum cleaner was swerving around the booth belonging to Hong Kong-based Gallery Exit. Like a cross between a household appliance and a horseshoe crab, it stubbornly was butting against gray spiky balls scattered around the booth. They were enlarged dust particles, explained dealer Arianna Gellini, but they were meant to evoke explosive mines. “He was interested in creating a stage and creating an environment between a domestic setting and a war zone,” she said of the artist, Nadim Abbas, who was born in Hong Kong. The company that makes the droid-like vacuums reportedly also makes military supplies. 


Does this look familiar?


Chris Jordan – “Caps Seurat” (2011)

This rework of Seurat’s pointillist masterpiece depicts 400,000 plastic bottle caps, equal to the average number of plastic bottles consumed in the U.S. every minute. The digital pigment print is selling for $16,000

You have to do everything for the first time just to figure it out.   The size of the crowd, the length of the line to get in (a security guard let daughter Margaret and I in using a back elevator) and the excitement around this show, was overwhelming.  I’m afraid I was so distracted from people watching, that I’m not sure how much I learned about art??  Next time…..

Finally…..’tini time….!

What are the chances….that a favorite place for martinis is RIGHT next door to the brown cup…?  I love New York!

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And..what are the chances that over our delightful visit at the bar, while enjoying our perfect extra dry vodka martinis,  I came to realize that my first magical trip to NY, as the Director of Promotions for the Denver Nuggets Basketball Club, took me to this very place, where I sat next to the one and only Charles Nelson Reilly, no less……ha!

Reviving Elaine’s Without Elaine..

The swanky canopy will be out front again at 1703 Second Avenue at 88th Street, braving East River winds with new fabric popping on the original frame…..

… the Writing Room, … the former spot of one of the nation’s most celebrated A-list hangouts. It was a 48-year-long party, from 1963 until the final nose-dive in 2011, nearly six months after the restaurant’s formidable proprietor, Elaine Kaufman, died at age 81.



The closing of Elaine’s represented the end of not just a restaurant but of something more — an era of the city when writers were as famous as movie stars, when the goings-on at a little spot at 1703 Second Avenue just north of 88th Street became the stuff of legend, or at least headlines.


Can’t leave New York without a little food for the soul…a quick trip to Central Park ……..

Did you know that Central Park has 36 Arches?  No two are alike and each is more intriguing and beautiful than the next.  They were designed to separate the pedestrian, carriage and horse riding traffic.

If you are reading this on a tablet at a time when you have some leisure, this is a delightful description full of interesting information.  New York City’s Central Park by Louise Slavicek


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NYC … Museum Mile and More….

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New York Walking Tour: Moseying Down Museum Mile


It’s not as if Manhattan needs a marketing maven to designate it the cultural capital of the world. But in 1978 some clever curators came up with the moniker Museum Mile for the stretch of Fifth Avenue from 105th Street to 82nd Street that houses no fewer than nine world-class museums, most with shops and cafés.


The Frick Collection

The Frick mansion was designed by Carrere and Hastings, the same architects who worked on the New York Public Library, and was built to “make Carnegie’s place look like a miner’s shack.” Preserved on Millionaire’s Row, the mansion is a grand setting for an incredible collection of European painting and decorative arts. The enclosed inner courtyard is a perfect place for weary art lovers to take a rest.

1 E. 70th St. (btw Madison & 5th Ave)


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Ahhhh…the Met!


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Look at this cute couple resting?….They found just the place to take 5 (and maybe a little people watching while they’re at it?) ?  Looks easy enough except in reality you walk until your legs won’t take you another step only to realize there is no relief in site…one more step, one more block, one more place…..



The Metropolitan Museum of Art, located in New York City, is the largest art museum in the United States, and one of the ten largest in the world, with the most significant art collections.[6] Its permanent collection contains more than two million works, divided among seventeen curatorial departments.[7] The main building, located on the eastern edge of Central Park along Manhattan’s Museum Mile, is by area one of the world’s largest art galleries. There is also a much smaller second location at “The Cloisters” in Upper Manhattan that featuresmedieval art.[8]

82nd & Fifth: A web series       

6,464 views 8 months ago

82nd & Fifth is the Met’s address in New York City. It is also the intersection of art and ideas. We’ve invited 100 curators from across the Museum to talk about 100 works of art that changed the way they see the world. Eleven Museum photographers interpret their vision: one work, one curator, two minutes at a time.82nd & Fifth is a year-long series of 100 episodes. Throughout 2013, new releases will appear every Wednesday. Sign up for email announcements so you never miss
The Museum of the City of New York was founded in 1923 by Henry Collins Brown, a Scottish-born writer with a vision for a populist approach to the city. The Museum was originally housed in Gracie Mansion, the future residence of the Mayor of New York. Hardinge Scholle succeeded Henry Brown in 1926 and began planning a new home for the Museum. The City offered land on Fifth Avenue on 103rd-104th Streets and construction for Joseph H. Freedlander’s Georgian Colonial-Revival design for the building started in 1929 and was completed in 1932. During the next few decades, the Museum amassed a considerable collection of exceptional items, including several of Eugene O’Neill’s handwritten manuscripts, a complete room of Duncan Phyfe furniture, 412 glass negatives taken by Jacob Riis and donated by his son, a man’s suit worn to George Washington’s Inaugural Ball, and the Carrie Walter Stettheimer dollhouse, which contains a miniature work by Marcel Duchamp. Today the Museum’s collection contains approximately 750,000 objects, including prints, photographs, decorative arts, costumes, paintings, sculpture, toys, and theatrical memorabilia.
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The James Turrell exhibit was the most amazing installataion experience between the size of the space and the overwhelming color shock!  Picture taking was not allowed, not that a camera could capture it.  If you get the chance, check out the link.
James Turrell’s exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum will probably be the bliss-out environmental art hit of the summer. This is primarily because of the ravishing “Aten Reign,” an immense, elliptical, nearly hallucinatory play of light and color that makes brilliant use of the museum’s famed rotunda and ocular skylight. The latest site-specific effort from Mr. Turrell, “Aten Reign” is close to oxymoronic: a meditative spectacle.DSC04085
The story behind the The New York Public Library is a great read all by itself!
The New York Public Library (NYPL) is a public library system in New York City. With nearly 53 million items, the New York Public Library is the second largest public library in the United States (and third largest in the world), behind only the Library of Congress. It is an independently managed, nonprofit corporation operating with both private and public financing.
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On my last visit to NY, an gentleman from France that I chatted with over lunch, told me that the Sabarsky cafe has one of the best cappuccinos in town.  Can’t wait to try one for myself!  The cafe is so comfortable and cozy, and with it’s large windows’ view of the bustle of street traffic, it would make a great movie set.
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NYC…Central Park

DSC04255I had a couple of hours on the last morning of my visit to New York and wanted to spend it in Central Park taking pictures.  As luck would have it, a couple passing by offered their assistance with directions.  Thank goodness for small favors!  The gentleman was a Central Park docent and ended up walking and talking me through a private tour.  Central Park went from being an amazing place to me to a cherished connection.  it’s history is legend and there is a story behind every turn.

Did you know that 38 million people a year visit the park with a budget of $38 million dollars a year — with only 15% coming from city funding?  The rest is driven by fund raising.

The Park is divided into 42 section, each having it’s own gardener and each gardener having their own team of volunteers.

Every picture, statue, carving, and motif has been carefully hand made by an artisan with tender loving care on behalf of the story behind.  There is no end to the lore behind every detail.

By the way, Central Park has it’s own staff of docents with docent tours.  Their official website is:

http://www.centralparknyc.org  AND http://www.centralparknyc.org/visit/tours/guided-tours/

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The Official Website of Central Park – Bethesda Fountain

Rising from Bethesda Terrace is Bethesda Fountain, with the famous Angel of the Waters statue atop. The statue references the Gospel of John, which describes an angel blessing the Pool of Bethesda and giving it healing powers. The fountain commemorates the Croton water system, which first brought fresh water to New York City in 1842. The angel carries a lily in her left hand — a symbol of the water’s purity, very important to a city that had previously suffered from a devastating cholera epidemic before the system was established. The piece is the only statue that was commissioned for the Park. Created by Emma Stebbins, it also marked the first time a woman received a public art commission in New York City.Bethesda Fountain is the central feature on the lower level of the terrace, constructed in 1859-64,[1] which is enclosed within two elliptical balustrades.[2]

I just found some fascinating (I find it fascinating?) information in Wikipedia about Emma Stebbins.  She was of interest to me because we are familiar with Harriet Hosmer from having one her best works at the Cleveland Museum of Art.  I always introduce her (Harriet) as one of the first recognized American female artists.  Interesting.


Emma Stebbins

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Emma Stebbins

Emma Stebbins (1 September 1815 – 25 October 1882) was among the first notable American woman sculptors.


Stebbins was born and died in New York City. Raised in a wealthy New York family, she was encouraged by her family in her pursuit of art from an early age. In 1857, sponsored by her brother Col. Henry G. Stebbins, head of the New York Stock Exchange, she moved to Rome where she moved in with sculptor Harriet Hosmer, who had established herself there in 1852. She studied under John Gibson an English neoclassicist working there at that time. In Rome she fell in love with actressCharlotte Saunders Cushman, and quickly became involved in the bohemian and feminist lesbian lifestyle, which was more tolerated there than it would have been back in New York.[1]

Cushman was confident, strong, and charismatic, and recently recovering from a break up following a ten-year relationship with the actress Matilda Hays. Cushman and Stebbins began traveling together, immediately taking a trip to Naples. Upon their return, they began spending time in a circle that included African American/Native American sculptor Edmonia Lewis, many celebrities, and fellow lesbians that included Harriet Hosmer. In this environment, the women flourished without regard for showing outward affection for one another.[1]

One of Stebbins’ early commissions was a portrait bust of Cushman between 1859-1860. In 1869, Cushman was treated for breast cancer. Stebbins devoted all her time during that ordeal to nursing her lover, ignoring her work during the next two years. The following year, the couple returned to the United States. Cushman died of pneumonia in 1876 at the age of 59. Following the death of Cushman, Stebbins never produced another sculpture. She released the correspondence, Charlotte Cushman: Her Letters and Memories of Her Life in 1878. Stebbins died in New York in 1882, at the age of 67.[1

Angel of the Waters

Stebbins best known work is the Angel of the Waters (1873), also known as Bethesda Fountain, located on the Bethesda Terrace in Central Park, New York. According to Central Park historian Sara Cedar Miller, Stebbins received the commission for the sculpture as a result of influence from her brother Henry, who at the time was president of the Central Park Board of Commissioners. Henry was proud of his sister’s talent and hoped to have many examples of her art in Central Park.

‘Angel of the Waters,’ created to celebrate the clean healthful water from New York’s Croton Aqueduct, completed in 1842, with an oblique reference to the biblical “healing waters of Bethesda.” The fountain complex is widely considered to be one of the great works of nineteenth-century American sculpture.

Her bronze statue of educator Horace Mann was installed outside the State House in Boston in 1865.

Emma Stebbins and her brother Henry are buried at Green-Wood Cemetery, in Brooklyn, New York.

It all started with the reservoir.  In 1800 there were 60,000 people living on the southern tip of the island where it was founded by the Dutch.  By 1850 that number had grown to a half million people and the living conditions, not having kept up with the growth,  were deplorable.  The area that is now the park was depleted by prior ravaging for wood and resources used for survival and war.

It was carefully decided to create a reservoir for water that could be channeled to improve the quality of life.  the project and result was a tremendous success and was the start of what we know as Central Park today.  Every stone, carving, path, plant, bush an area was created by the human effort.

My daughter Margaret tries to run around the reservoir every day.  The run is about 1.5 miles and oh my goodness, the reward as much mental as physical!

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One of our favorite things ….. to walk to the park..to the boathouse..to the bar..for a before dinner martini (by the time you get there, you’ve earned it?!?).

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Boating on the Lake has been a popular pastime from the Park’s earliest days. Six rustic landings originally dotted the water’s edge, and a number of shack-like buildings served as boathouses. Passengers could hire rowboats, gondolas and even multi-seat water buses for ten cents a ride.

As interest in rowing grew, the Lake needed a proper boathouse. In 1874, Park architect Calvert Vaux designed a formal building on the eastern shoreline to provide covered space for docking and storage. With its charming Victorian touches, the building also featured a second-story terrace that afforded beautiful views of the Ramble. A popular draw for more than 80 years, the boathouse fell into disrepair by 1950 and was soon torn down. 

The iconic Loeb Boathouse that New Yorkers and visitors know so well today opened at the Lake’s northeastern tip in 1954, financed by philanthropist Carl M. Loeb. From beneath the green patina of the boathouse’s copper roof, visitors can rent rowboats and bikes; hire an authentic Venetian gondola; or dine overlooking seasonal views of the Lake at the Loeb Central Park Boathouse Restaurant.

The Boathouse also serves as the unofficial headquarters for birdwatchers who record their sightings in a two-inch loose-leaf notebook. Kept on a table inside the Boathouse, the hand-written compendium of bird life has become a cherished Park community tradition. Stop by to record your own observations, or read the entries of others.




Completed before 1910 in Germany, Walter Schott’s Three Dancing Maidens depicts a circle of three young women whose dresses cling to their wet bodies as if they were perpetually in the fountain’s spray. One larger jet of water is featured in the middle of their dance, while two smaller jets appear on either side of the oval pool. The circle of the sculpture and base and the ellipse of the pool complement the slightly oval-shaped garden itself.

The sculpture came to Central Park in 1947 after the death of Samuel Untermyer. It is a cast of the original. Just how Untermyer acquired the sculpture from the Berlin original or had the cast made remains a mystery.

Today the fountain is a joy to those who visit the Conservatory Garden, especially in spring amidst the tulip display, in early May, and in the fall when the Korean chrysanthemums bloom.

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The Official Website of Central Park – Alice in Wonderland

Alice and her cast of storybook friends found their way to Central Park in 1959, when philanthropist George Delacorte commissioned this bronze statue as a gift to the children of New York City. Inspired by the zany characters of the Lewis Carroll classic Alice in Wonderland, the sculpture was also meant as a tribute to his late wife, Margarita, who read Alice to their children. Engraved around the statue are lines from his nonsensical poem, The Jabberwocky.

The sculpture is a favorite among children, who love to climb atop it and explore its varied textures and hiding spaces. Through the years, thousands of tiny hands have literally polished parts of its patina surface smooth.

Created by the Spanish-born American sculptor José de Creeft, the piece depicts Alice holding court from her perch on the mushroom. The host of the story’s tea party is the Mad Hatter, a caricature of George Delacorte. The White Rabbit is depicted holding his pocket watch, and a timid dormouse nibbles a treat at Alice’s feet.

Last but not least, you can’t visit the Park without a visit to Brow Bridge.   The Bridge has been a magnificent setting for many films including  ManhattanThe Way We Were and Keeping the Faith.  As a matter of fact, if you look closely, they were filming while I was there…

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This handsomely designed cast-iron bridge measures a total of 87 feet and spans across 60 feet of the Lake, linking the flowering landscape of Cherry Hill with the sprawling woodland of the Ramble. The first cast-iron bridge in the Park (and the second oldest in America), the bridge is named for its graceful shape — reminiscent of the bow of an archer or violinist.

When the Park was first planned, the commissioners requested a suspension bridge. The designers compromised with this refined, low-lying bridge. Today, Bow Bridge is quite possibly New York’s most romantic setting for lovers — and certainly a muse for photographers. You might recognize it from its starring role in many movies, television shows, and commercials.

Rising from the bridge are eight cast-iron urns, installed by the Central Park Conservancy in 2008 as replicas of the originals that had disappeared by the early 1920s. Almost a century later, the Board of Directors of the Women’s Committee of the Central Park Conservancy took up the challenge to restore the urns. A skilled team of Conservancy craftsmen used historic images and took cues from an urn thought to be an exact model of those that originally adorned the Bridge.


NYC…Union Square GreenMarket


Farmers’ markets are a wonderful treat…..I get such a thrill, each and every visit,  from the atmosphere, the energy and the extraodinary effort by the dedicated vendors matched equally by the enthusiastic shopper.  And…..there is so much more than meets the eye:



Greenmarket was founded in 1976 with a two-fold mission: to promote regional agriculture by providing small family farms the opportunity to sell their locally grown products directly to consumers, and to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to the freshest, most nutritious locally grown food the region has to offer.

What began over three decades ago with 12 farmers in a parking lot on 59th Street and 2nd Avenue in Manhattan has now grown to become the largest and most diverse outdoor urban farmers market network in the country, now with 54 markets, over 230 family farms and fishermenparticipating, and over 30,000 acres of farmland protected from development.

This unique relationship between farmers and city residents has not only changed the face of regional agriculture; it has revitalized rural communities and urban spaces, improved consumer health, provided fresh and nutritious food to those most in need through our EBT/Food Stamp and Youthmarket programs, supported immigrant farmers, encouraged crop diversity, educated school children and city residents about the importance of regional agriculture, provided a wholesaleopportunity for medium sized farms, inspired new culinary trends, and influenced chefs and eaters in one of the culinary capitals in the world.

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Union Square Greenmarket in NYC is the “Grand Daddy” of them all.

During peak seasons, the Greenmarket serves more than 250,000 customers per week.[2] More than one thousand varieties of fruits and vegetables can be found at the Greenmarket.

From NY Magazine by Steve Fishman:

Manhattan Gets Fresh

The greenmarket at Union Square brought new flavors to New York restaurants and home kitchens—and saved family farms in the bargain.