Sunday, July 31, 2011

Revson Fountain

Check out this awesome video of the Revson Fountain (as I now know it's called) at Lincoln Center!

I'll post non-fountain things soon, don't worry :-).

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

More fountains!

As promised, here are more of my favorite fountains. The hot weather has sure put me in the water mood!

Lincoln Center
Located in front of Avery Fisher Hall by Lincoln Center, this fountain gushes with water! I love how it changes its form every few minutes, and on some nights even has a light show!  Check out this great article about the Revson Fountain for more information.

55th St. and 6th Ave.
Credit: Flickr user JakeRichter
A few blocks north of "My Fountain" is this unbelievable surprise! I'm not quite sure what it is called (a fountain like this must have a name!), but it looks like a snowflake suspended in the air, spurting out water with an ethereal mist around it. *EDIT - this is in front of the Alliance Bernstein building on 6th Avenue, and there is a twin fountain on the other side of the plaza!

Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Located at 55 Water Street (the same building that hosts the Elevated Acre), the Vietnam War Veteran's Memorial is a beautiful commemoration of our fallen soldiers. The Reflecting Fountain is a soothing center for the plaza, where water gently flows over light stones set in polished black granite. This is one of the most calming fountains I have ever encountered.

In my experience, the best time to visit these fountains is at night, when they are lit up beautifully and fewer people are around. The fountains seem to come alive under their spotlights!

But wait! That's not all...

I found this fabulous picture of "My Fountain!" Enjoy! (And be sure to check it out - 50th St. and 6th Ave. It's much nicer in real life. Especially at night.)


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Singing Pirates

There was a singing pirate on my no.1 uptown Subway today! Dressed in the full regalia... feather in the hat and all!

(UPDATE: Saw him again on the Subway a few weeks ago. Apparently he is an Irish Minstrel and calls himself The Creepy Bard).

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Awesome Fountains!

As many of you know, I am slightly obsessed with fountains.

And NYC is filled with them! There are fountains in front of buildings, on sidewalks, by memorials... and many other places you would least expect!

I guess it's the flow of water that makes me love fountains so much. It's such a peaceful feeling to sit by soothing water in the middle of a bustling intersection.  I often sit by my favorite fountain (#4) to read or write in my journal, or just observe the cacophony of the city around me.

Check out some of my favorite fountains (in no particular order):

Columbus Circle:
Located at Columbus Circle (59th St. and Broadway), this fountain is best experienced sitting at the base of the Christopher Columbus monument, and watching the water spurting from the fountain in a line-like appearance. You become entirely unaware of the traffic circling around you!

Lexington Avenue and 53rd Street
Credit: Flickr user Viridia
This amazing fountain greets you as you emerge from the Lexington Avenue and 53rd street subway station. Or perhaps I should call it a Waterfall. I love how it just cascades over the side, from street level down to the Subway level.

Central Park - Bethesda Fountain
Bethesda Fountain, located just passed the East 72nd Street entrance to the park, is one of the largest and most photographed fountains in the world. It is a huge tourist attraction and a popular filming location, so you will always find something interesting going on over here!

My Fountain

I call this fountain "My Fountain" because it is the most wonderful fountain in all of New York City (in my humble opinion), and I also don't know its name. The beauty of this fountain is in its simplicity. The few spurts of water that sprout from the center of the large, rectangular surface, and the water that gently glides over the top, creating a clear, glass-like appearance. I love sitting by this fountain at night, watching the water and feeling so tiny surrounded by the enormous buildings towering above me. The fountain is located at 6th Ave and 50th St., across from the Radio City Music Hall.

To be continued... there's more to come!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Flowers... on a roof?!

A few nights ago, I made my way downtown to the Financial District. I was on a mission to discover a secret hideaway, built for New Yorkers seeking to escape the overwhelming noise of the city streets.

What I found was The Elevated Acre, located at 55 Water Street. 

Allow me to take you on a tour.

First, you must find the hidden staircase.

Ride the escalator or take the stairs up to the top. When you get there, you will see this:

You have entered into a world of beauty, filled with flowers and greenery, overlooking the East River with magnificent views of the Brooklyn Bridge and beyond.

A view from the other side:

The landscaping is gorgeous! As I walked around, I noticed yellow daisies peaking out from behind some bushes. I felt like I was in a royal garden.

At night, a 50 foot LED light sculpture entitled "The Beacon of Progress," lights up the plaza. 

On the other side, there is a huge lawn with "year round grass" (i.e. fake grass that looks remarkably real).

The night I was there, I saw a young couple relaxing on the grass and enjoying each other's company. They looked like they had just gotten out of work.

If you are in the neighborhood, I encourage you to check it out! The Elevated Acre is minutes away from The South Ferry subway station, Staten Island Ferry and Battery Park. It is also on the same block as the Police Museum and the beautiful Vietnam Veterans Memorial (both of which will be detailed in coming posts).

Check out for more information.

The Elevated Acre at 55 Water Street is open Daily: May 1 through Sept. 30, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Oct 1 through April 30, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 
Free Admission (!)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Amazing Sidewalk Art

I was walking along Broadway a few days ago, and I saw this:

Art... on the sidewalk?!

A few days later, again walking along Broadway on the same street, I saw this:
Ah hah! The artist caught in the act!

Yesterday, I walked by the same spot and saw this:
The magnificent finished work. 

When I think of chalk coloring on a sidewalk, I think of the hopscotch boards we used to make as kids, or the cute messages we would write for all to see. This takes it a whole new level!

Look at the details! Notice how it's all 3D... as if the hand is coming straight out of the sidewalk and into the world. The rainbow of colors are so bright and clear; it must have taken a really talented artist to create such a masterpiece.

Who is he, you ask?

After a quick Google Search I discovered that the artist's name is Hani Shihada, and he has been doing sidewalk art for the past 25 years. It takes a certain skill to create art on New York City streets, and with this skill Hani brings beauty and color to thousands of New Yorkers in their everyday lives. Hani himself says, "I do these works for your enjoyment."

Visit for more information.

Let me know if you spot Hani or any of his beautiful artwork around the city!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Pomander Walk

As a young girl traveling on the school bus to elementary school, I remember passing this:


In my young mind, I labeled these houses as "the only houses in Manhattan." They were such a stark contrast to the tall buildings and elegant brownstones surrounding them in the neighborhood. 

Little did I know that what lay the other side was...

Cool, no?

I only discovered this quaint little village (95th St. and West End Avenue) a few weeks ago when I read about it in a local paper and then set out to discover it. I was disappointed to find it closed off to visitors (by a wrought iron gate), but was thrilled when a deliver man opened the gate to leave the village giving me exclusive access to this private oasis!

As I walked down the little path between the houses, I felt like I was transported to a different era, or perhaps another country. The homes are reminiscent of Tutor style homes built over a century ago. 

Yes, it does have a name: Pomander Walk. Or "New York's Best Kept Secret." Or "The Cutest Walk You've Never Heard Of."

For more information and a bit of history, check out:
"Pomader Walk - the Cutest Street You've Never Heard Of"

Monday, July 4, 2011


I just had a quintessential New York experience: A private viewing of the Macy's 4th of July fireworks on a rooftop in Manhattan's Upper West Side.


It was fantastic! Someone brought up a radio and played the 1010 WINS official Macy's Fireworks broadcast which really set the mood.

The show ended off with a spectacular display of fireworks that lit up the night sky with the National Anthem playing on the radio. From the rooftop where I stood, I could hear the people down by the river and on nearby buildings clapping and cheering. Oh, and the boats on the river all tooted their horns at once! It was really cool!

The only downside was that the mosquitoes were out in full force.

Next year, I plan on facing the crowds and going to the best viewing spots by the Hudson River. I really want to see how the crowds turn out for this amazing event, and I also want to experience the fireworks literally above my head. Anyone care to join me?

Subway conversations

I manage to get a seat on a very crowded no. 1 uptown train on Friday afternoon. A few stops later, an old man walks into the car and looks around for a seat. I motion to him that there is an available seat next to me (someone had just gotten up).

He comes over and gratefully takes the seat. And then he starts to talk to me (why, oh why, do elderly people feel a need to talk to me on the subway?!).

Old man: "You know, I'm turning 82 next week."
Me: "Oh wow! It's nice to see that you're still getting around on the Subway!"
Old man: "I work part time."
Me: "Really? Where?"
Old man: "At a senior center. I do maintenance, painting... stuff like that. I used to be a painter."
Me: "cool!" (wondering how he could manage that, but hey! Whatever keeps him happy!)
Old man: (pulls out a small magazine entitled "Awake") "Have you ever seen this?"
Me: (thinking that it must be some missionary material meant to sway my belief)
Old man: (continues) "Here, take one!"
Me: "No thanks, I have way too much stuff to read already."
Old man: (begins reading an article entitled "How to Stay Awake While Driving")
Me: (minding my own business)
Old man: "Nice day out, isn't it?"
Me: "Mmmhhh hmmmm."
Old man: "I'm coming back from the dentist, just got a tooth pulled."
Me: (why did I ever let him sit next to me??!!) "Okay."

The train finally arrives at my station. As I get up to leave, the old man man says, "well, have a nice day and thank you for your consideration!"

Anyone ever have interesting Subway conversations? Or is it just me who has funny interactions with my fellow commuters?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Which Do You Prefer, Cacophony or Quiet?

I would like to point all my readers towards this fabulous article from the New York Times today:

Which Do You Prefer, Cacophony or Quiet? -

I just love the word "Cacophony."

I find a lot of truth in the ideas presented in the article. It seems an oxymoron to seek a place of solitude in the big, bustling New York City. However, if you look hard enough (often right in front of your own eyes), you will find places that are beautiful and peaceful despite the surrounding noise.

I own a fantastic book entitled New York's 50 Best Places to Find Peace and Quiet. Click on the picture for details:

I've visited a number of the places I read about in the book. I am now looking to check out The Elevated Acre. Anyone interesting in joining me?

Additionally, if you open your eyes and ears to the sounds and sights of the city, you may be shocked at how beautiful the city really is! (I know, I know, I sound like a city girl... but I'm really serious!) There is art in everything around us, from the music of the cars rushing down the streets and the subways screeching into the station. There is art in the trees rustling in the wind, and the colorful clothes outfitting our fellow New Yorkers. I mentioned in a previous post about the art in the Subway stations, but I'll extend that to the artistic details of the architecture on the buildings. Our senses just need to be fine-tuned to recognize the beauty, but once we start noticing... well, we just can't stop!

Keep me posted on your findings!