Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Walking in the City - West Side Monuments and Sculptures, Riverside Park South, NY

One of my favorite activities in Manhattan is walking by the river. Nowadays, it is possible to walk almost all around the island via either park or greenway, enjoying river views on one side and the cityscape on the other. One of the newest stretches of the river walk is through Riverside Park South which runs from 59th Street to 72nd Street on the west side and offers not only great views but some interesting sights as well.

At the entrance to the park at 72nd Street there is a impressive monument by sculptor Penelope Jencks honoring Eleanor Roosevelt.

Three blocks south there's a historic site of a very different nature. 

The 69th st Transfer Bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. Originally used to transfer boxcars from the rail line to car floats in order to get them across the Hudson River, the bridge fell into disuse as rail transport declined and was in danger of being demolished until it was decided it was of historical significance. Some residents of nearby luxury apartment towers consider it an eyesore and would still like to see it torn down.

Often on repeat walks you see the same sights over and over again until you barely notice they are there, but at Riverside Park South they've come up with a way to ensure there is always something new to see. The Art Students League of New York has a program called Model to Monuments which trains artists to produce work for public spaces. The resultant sculptures are displayed for one year in Riverside Park South (from June to May) and then replaced with the latest crop of students' work. 
By chance, I first noticed the sculptures in May. 

Flow 1 - Cascade by Sukyung Kim (Kimhan)

Untitled by Donat King

Can love pervade space? by Ken Shih

Which meant that on a later visit in June, sure enough, they had all been replaced.

Everyone Breaks - Tanda Francis

Stand Tall - Aaron Bell


Everything Between - Sarah Thompson-Moore

Fragments - Shiho Sato

What a great idea in terms of providing an outlet for artists' work and giving the public a change of scenery. On the two days I visited, the exhibitions were attracting a great deal of attention from passersby.  

However, of all the sights on offer,I think the most fun is this one at 55th Street:

Private Passage - Malcolm Cochran

Called the Private Passage, it may look like a wine bottle on its side, but the interior is furnished as a state room on the Queen Mary! I have to say, that was the last thing I was expecting to see when I peered through the portholes - although maybe the portholes should have given me a clue. 

Interior - Private Passage

Interior - Private Passage

With its broad walkways, landscaped surroundings, and plenty of places to sit and admire the views and the sculptures, Riverside Park South is an ideal place to while away a pleasant day and take in some art while getting fresh air and exercise. 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Walking in the City - Snug Harbor, Staten Island, NY

In the eighteen years that I've been in New York I've been to Staten Island twice and both of those visits were many years ago. Having recently extended my exploration of New York City into Queens and Brooklyn, it only seemed fitting to venture out to Staten Island too, especially as the trip from Manhattan requires a delightful ferry ride across the harbor offering a fabulous view of the Statue of Liberty.  

Monday, July 25, 2016

Finishing the First Draft

My posts to this blog have been few and far between recently as I've been finishing the first draft of my next novel. While it seems easy to cope with the numerous calls for action and attention everyday life makes when I first start a new story, there comes a point when the need to be with the characters takes over and I find myself paring down other aspects of my life to spend the maximum amount of time possible with them. It's a weird feeling, but one that I have to admit I quite enjoy. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

An Independence Day Walk - Fort Lee Historic Park and the Shore Trail

I hadn't planned on walking on Independence Day, but when I discovered Shorewalkers and AMC were holding a joint walk across the George Washington Bridge to the Long Path via Fort Lee Historic Park it seemed like the perfect activity for the day - history and exercise combined. I obviously wasn't the only one to think that - over sixty people joined the walk, certainly one of the biggest group walks I've ever been on.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Walking in the City - Sheepshead Bay and Rockaway Park Beach, NYC

After my recent trip to Coney Island, I was delighted to find another walk involving beaches in New York City, this time a 12 mile hike organized by the Appalachian Mountain Club, 
from Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn to Rockaway Beach in Queens. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Walking in the City - the Brooklyn Shore Line and Coney Island, New York

The last Saturday of February promised to be a spring-like day, offering the perfect opportunity to get out in the fresh air for some much needed exercise, so I jumped at the chance to join a Shorewalkers walk along the Brooklyn Shore Line to Coney Island. With the exception of a short visit to Coney Island fun fair many years ago, I'd never been to this part of the city before and, to be honest, if I hadn't seen the advertised walk, it's not an area that I would have ever thought of visiting.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter Sunday in New York City

Couldn't resist a trip into the city this weekend to see the annual display of Easter finery. Fifth Avenue between 45th and 60th Street is closed on Easter Sunday to allow locals and visitors alike to show off their creations. 

Of course, there are the hats: