Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Manhattanville, 135th Street Between Convent and Amsterdam Avenues


FOUR DAY VACATION

I'm going to DC tomorrow and I'll be back and posting Sunday night. You may take advantage of my absence to study the archives.



Mary Sargent © 2009 …………………………………….. click to enlarge


I skipped ahead for this photograph. I wanted to leave you with something inspiring.

See map.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Manhattanville, Morningside Avenue at 125th Street


Mary Sargent © 2009 …….. click to enlarge

I know I've photographed this diner before and I thought I'd posted it, but I can't find it anywhere in the blog. It must be one of those I had to skip because I ran out of time. So on Saturday when I saw it was closed, I had a moment of regret; it was the regret of seeing another colorful, long-time, neighborhood place close.

Then tonight, I found this and felt like weeping. I didn't know. I want to be in there when it's raining listening to the juke box. Nevermind, I don't know who Solomon Burke is; I'm sure I'd like him. Well, thanks to the magic of youtube, now I know, and now I wanna be there when it's raining listening to the juke box.



Mary Sargent © 2009 …….. click to enlarge


Here's a straight on shot.


See map.



Monday, April 27, 2009

Manhattanville, 125th Street Between St. Nicolas and Morningside Avenues


Mary Sargent © 2009 …………………………………….. click to enlarge

It's been awhile since I've posted a truck shot. Isn't this a beauty?

You say you hate truck shots? Well, nevermind, then.


See map.

Manhattanville, 125th Street Between St. Nicolas and Morningside Avenues


Mary Sargent © 2009 …………………………………….. click to enlarge

Here's a pretty pastel spring shot and what's more, it proves that there is such a place as Manhattanville.

See map.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Manhattanville, St. Nicholas Avenue at 125th Street


Mary Sargent © 2009 …………………………………….. click to enlarge

Last Saturday when the weather was finally gorgeous and I was free to pick any street in Manhattan, I looked at my map and chose Convent Avenue in West Harlem. Convent Avenue is a partly curvy street that runs from 125th Street to 153rd, where it merges with St. Nicholas Avenue. It was named for a . . . convent, yes, the Convent of the Sacred Heart, which burned down in 1888. But enough history.

This is where I got off the subway at 125th Street. The first thing I saw was this arresting sign and it caused me to wonder a couple of things. One, what the hell is it advertising? Two, are there people back behind there?

-------------------

5/5/09 - No, no, Convent Avenue starts on 127th, although it should start on 125th.

See map.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Gramercy, 29th Street Between Third and Second Avenues


Mary Sargent © 2009 ………….….. click to enlarge

We have crossed Third Avenue and are now in Kips Bay, but only for one brief moment because this is the last shot of this walk.

I included it because it's so weird. You might almost think that white clapboard house is a paper cutout slipped in under the tree.

See map.

Gramercy, 29th Street Between Park Avenue South and Lexington Avenue


Mary Sargent © 2009 ……… click to enlarge

One of my favorite kind of shots. The blankness of it. Or is it the 2D aspect of it?

See map.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Gramercy, 29th Street Between Park Avenue South and Lexington Avenue


Mary Sargent © 2009 ……… click to enlarge

I was attracted to this building because of the unusual architecture spanning the two wings. It certainly serves to make a very ordinary building look imposing. I don't know if there's a special name for this – anybody out there know?

This is Yeshiva University Schottenstein Residence Hall for women.

See map.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Gramercy, 29th Street Between Park Avenue South and Lexington Avenue


Mary Sargent © 2009 ……… click to enlarge

I have things to tell you about this photo, but it's much too late to be coherent. Please wait until tomorrow. Thank you.

See map.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Gramercy, 29th Street Between Park Avenue South and Lexington Avenue


Mary Sargent © 2009 ……… click to enlarge

Spring on East 29th Street.


See map.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Gramercy, 29th Street Between Park Avenue South and Lexington Avenue


Mary Sargent © 2009 ………. click to enlarge

Here's another little hotel on a Manhattan side street. Hotel Deauville. Unlike the last one, though, this one gets good reviews. And so cheap! Maybe I should start a collection of these little hotels. You never can tell when you might need one.

See map.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Gramercy, Park Avenue South Between 28th and 29th Streets


Mary Sargent © 2009 ……….. click to enlarge

I loved Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain. If you have any interest in food and restaurants, you must read it. Very funny. He was the chef at Les Halles and I couldn't wait to go there. It's pretty, right? Real Frenchy. One of the first.

All I can say is it was so disappointing that I lay awake writing letters in my head to him. Dear Tony, casual is one thing, inept is another. And another thing . . . Of course, he was long gone as chef there, but still, it's his restaurant.

When you read books you love, do you kind of assume a special relationship with the author and have mental conversations with him/her?

See map.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Gramercy, Park Avenue South Between 28th and 29th Streets


Mary Sargent © 2009 …… click to enlarge

Across the street (west side) some construction. According to the web, it will be a luxury hotel; the Gansevoort Park. Hmm. I just wonder a little bit about the timing.

See map.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Gramercy, Park Avenue South Between 28th and 29th Streets


Mary Sargent © 2009 …………………………………….. click to enlarge

Here we go with another short convenience walk, one I took Monday, on my way to my Philosphy Meetup at Dolcino. I'm getting my hopes up for a nice long walk tomorrow; it seems it may be getting warm at last.

But first take a look at the fabulous colors nail salons and their customers use.

See map.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Upper West Side, 105th Street at Broadway



Mary Sargent © 2009 …………………………………….. click to enlarge

This is the final shot of this April 5 pre-dinner walk. Toast has replaced Carne. What was there before Carne? Do you remember, Luka? I haven't been to Toast yet; Henry's, right across the street, always exerts its magnetic draw. However, as frugality sets in, I should probably give it a try.

The link to Toast is to its Morningside Heights location; there is nothing online about this 105th Street site. Apparently the food uptown is good, but the servers are rude.

Have you noticed how this building has been stripped of half of its fa├žade? I confess I looked at it a long time before I noticed. People, we must notice more! Beginning with me; after all, I'm the artist. Not that you aren't; I just mean, let's see, I mean I'm the artist-in-charge, here.

See map.

Upper West Side, 105th Street Between West End Avenue and Broadway


Mary Sargent © 2009 …………………………………….. click to enlarge

By now, Luka has met up with me and she says, oh, this is a nice building; Madeleine L'Engle used to live here. Christopher Gray mentions the Cleburne in Streetscapes and especially likes this "great drive-through entrance". But what that means, I do not know.

See map.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Upper West Side, 105th Street Between Riverside Drive and West End Avenue


Mary Sargent © 2009 ………….…….. click to enlarge

The Historic District just scoops out these white stone buildings and that's it for the south side of the block. See how the individual houses are the same only different? The two end buildings at one end pretty much match the two end buildings at the other and then the next two do the same and then the center two have big bowed fronts. Luka said when she saw them some years ago, flowers were all over the balconies. And maybe they will be again this year if it EVER GETS WARM.



Mary Sargent © 2009 ……….. click to enlarge


These two buildings are the second and third buildings from the left.


See map.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Upper West Side, 105th Street Between Riverside Drive and West End Avenue


Mary Sargent © 2009 ..……………………….. click to enlarge




Mary Sargent © 2009 ..……………………….. click to enlarge

On page 3 of this link is a map of the historic district, showing that most of the north side of 105th street is included in the District, but since I was unaware of the District at the time, I took these pictures instead.

See map.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Upper West Side, 105th Street Between Riverside Drive and West End Avenue


Mary Sargent © 2009 click to enlarge

Now I have walked back from 106th Street and I've turned east onto 105th. Here is a closer view of the front of the building we saw last Monday. Can you imagine this being your house? Well, I gotta go home now, you'd say – Mom's calling me to dinner.

Just don't think living here would make you happy. Do you remember the baking powder Davises who once lived here? Theirs was not a happy home if you can believe what you read in the newspapers. I refer you back to this article where it is reported that during a bitter divorce, Mr. Davis accused Mrs. Davis of trying to have him declared insane and of making him a prisoner in his own home.

See map.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Upper West Side, Riverside Drive at 106th Street


Mary Sargent © 2009 ……………………….. click to enlarge

This is the equistrian statue of General Franz Sigel, posing beautifully in the afternoon sun. You say you've never heard of General Franz Sigel? Me either. Let's look him up.

Hmm, quite a colorful character. Read about him here. For non-readers, here is the bare outline: he was born in Germany, moved to the United States in 1852, joined the Union Army when the Civil War began, rallied German immigrants to the Union cause (see song, I Goes to Fight Mit Sigel) but ultimately was relieved of his command for "lack of agression". X

Well, that changes things.


See map.

Upper West Side, Riverside Drive at 106th Street


Mary Sargent © 2009 ………click to enlarge

As promised last night, here is the "magnificent" River Mansion. River Mansion does not seem to be recognized on the web, nor does the John Mace Music School, which was in residence when the Commission Report was written. I did find a great NY Times story about this whole block of houses, the high point of which is a man having one leg removed in an attempt to save his life and then when that didn't work, having the second one sawed off so his body would fit in a trunk. Shady characters, all of them.

Also see the photograph looking down on the entire block.

Please note that this building fronts on 106th Street; we are looking at the side. Perhaps another time we can see the front.


See map.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Upper West Side, Riverside Drive Between 105th and 106th Streets


Mary Sargent © 2009 …….. click to enlarge

I took this photograph because the panels beside the door were glittering so much in the sun they looked like sequins (unfortunately, the camera didn't capture that – please use your imaginations). Then I crossed the street to examine those sequins and was pretty surprised by what they actually were.



Mary Sargent © 2009 ……… click to enlarge

There you have it. I wonder how they got that by the Landmarks Commission?

Yes, it turns out that this is part of the historical district, and the building is described, in part, as "a very formal limestone building preceded by an unusual entrance stoop composed of console bracket scrolls set on blocks. . . The house provides a dignified transition to the magnificent corner 'River Mansion' . . ."

Tomorrow night: River Mansion.

See map.

Upper West Side, Riverside Drive Between 105th and 106th Streets


Mary Sargent © 2009 ………. click to enlarge

Here on Riverside, right smack in the middle of our Beaux Arts Historical District is a bigger-than-lifesize statue of Shinran Shonin, a thirteenth century Buddhist monk.

I've seen this figure before but it was still a surprise to come upon him. So unexpected.

There were three nearly identical buildings here on Riverside, built at the same time and by the same architects and builders who worked on the corner building from last night. The edge of the building we see to the right of the photo is the first one, 331. You can see it has some similarities to the corner building. The second one, 332, was demolished and replaced by this Buddhist Church. And the third one, 333, must still be there, but I didn't notice because at the time I didn't know any of this and I was just looking at this monk.



Mary Sargent © 2009 …................................……. click to enlarge

This just shows you a little more of the next door building.




Mary Sargent © 2009 …................................……. click to enlarge



Mary Sargent © 2009 …................................……. click to enlarge

And here are closeups of the two stone plaques on the wall underneath the monk. One is beautiful and the other is readable. If enlarged.

See map.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Upper West Side, 105th Street at Riverside Drive


Mary Sargent © 2009 ……….. click to enlarge

This is quite a contrast to the last two shots. Luka had mentioned that part of this block is in an historic district, but I saw no signs of it when I later walked up the block. However, I now have in front of me a copy of a 1973 Riverside-West 105th Street Historic District Designation Report, confirming its existence. What did people do before the internet existed? They remained shrouded in ignorance is what.

So about this building. It was designed "in the Beaux Arts manner by [the architectural firm of] Janes & Leo" and built in 1901-02 as a private residence. "Members of the Davis family, of baking powder fame, bought No. 330 Riverside Drive in 1905 and remained there until the last heir died in the 1950s." For those of you wondering what the heck baking powder is, here's a quick shot of a can of Davis baking powder I just happened to have lying around.




It was thought, so says the report, that part of the reason this district stayed so unchanged was that many families remained in their homes for long periods and so were less likely to make changes.

The report states that the building is now owned by the Brothers of the Christian Schools. That was in 1973. The web tells me it is an:


Opus Dei residence for men near Columbia University. Provides facilities for religious and formational activities such as Holy Mass, days of recollection and retreats by priests of Opus Dei.

See map.

Upper West Side, 104th Street Between West End Avenue and Riverside Drive


Mary Sargent © 2009 …….. click to enlarge

My walk today was a short one just prior to meeting Luka at Henry's. Henry's is on Broadway at 105th and I haven't walked 105th so that was easy. Plus there were those pesky connecting streets on Riverside Drive; one between 104th and 105th and one between 105th and 106th. As you might imagine, there's a lot of inefficiency in this project. So there I was walking across 104th Street to get to Riverside. We've DONE this block, I tried to say to myself, but I wouldn't listen, so here's this rather austere shot looking down the block to the river.

What's interesting to me is that I wouldn't know I was on the same block as the one I shot a year and a half ago. See? Nothing's changed. It's just what I shot and how I shot it.




Mary Sargent © 2009 ……click to enlarge

I'll end with this sweet little building so we'll all have pleasant dreams.

See map.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

East Village, Fourth Avenue Between 12th and 13th Streets

And now to conclude this walk, I give you three rooftop shots. The first one was taken from the block between 11th and 12th, but who's counting?



Mary Sargent © 2009 ………… click to enlarge




Mary Sargent © 2009 ………… click to enlarge




Mary Sargent © 2009 ……….. click to enlarge


It looks like tomorrow is a beautiful day. Maybe I'll get that long walk I've been longing for. Craving spring.

See map.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Greenwich Village, Fourth Avenue Between 11th and 12th Streets


Mary Sargent © 2009 …………………………………….. click to enlarge


Who could resist this color? Don't overlook the orange wrist band.


See map.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Greenwich Village, Fourth Avenue Between 11th and 12th Streets


Mary Sargent © 2009 …………………………………….. click to enlarge

There are two costume shops on this block, and in line with my plan to participate more, I decided to go shopping. Hmm, which one?



Mary Sargent © 2009 ………click to enlarge

Right! This one. Gothic Renaissance.




Mary Sargent © 2009 …………………….….. click to enlarge



Mary Sargent © 2009 …. click to enlarge

These are just a few of their costume and/or everyday items, depending on where you work.

So I bought a roll of spider web tape. Easy to carry.


See map.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Greenwich Village, Fourth Avenue at 11th Street



Mary Sargent © 2009 …………………………………….. click to enlarge

At the beginning of this walk, last Wednesday, we saw the spire of Grace Church up ahead. And here it is again, showing up behind this building. This is Grace Memorial House, part of the Grace Church Complex.

In the Landmarks Preservation Commission report of February 22, 1977, the point is made that this is a "terminal vista obtained by looking west on 11th Street toward Fourth Avenue," and that among the few other notable buildings in New York which provide such a view are Grand Central Station at the head of Park Avenue, The Metropolitan Museum of Art at the end of east 82nd Street, and the New York Public Library at the end of east 41st Street.

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine is another at West 112th Street.

The Landmarks Commission report above is actually concerned with the Clergy House which is another building in this complex. For an interesting newspaper item from 1883 about the Memorial House, click here. I love to read old newspapers. They're so chatty.



See map.

East Village, Fourth Avenue at 11th Street


Mary Sargent © 2009 ………… click to enlarge


See map.