The Dakota in New York

July 1st, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, House of the Month, New York City

© Ingfbruno/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Ingfbruno/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Dakota, also known as Dakota Apartments, is a cooperative apartment building located on the northwest corner of 72nd Street and Central Park West in the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City. It was built in 1884 and is considered to be one of Manhattan’s most prestigious and exclusive cooperative residential buildings. The Dakota is famous as the home of former Beatle John Lennon from 1973 to his murder in the archway of the building in 1980. The Dakota was constructed between October 25, 1880, and October 27, 1884. The architectural firm of Henry Janeway Hardenbergh was commissioned to create the design for Edward Clark, head of the Singer Sewing Machine Company. The firm also designed the Plaza Hotel.   read more…

Chelsea in Manhattan

April 9th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, New York City

High Line © flickr.com - Matias Garabedian/cc-by-sa-2.0

High Line © flickr.com – Matias Garabedian/cc-by-sa-2.0

Chelsea is a neighborhood on the West Side of Manhattan in New York City. The district’s boundaries are roughly 14th Street to the south and the Hudson River and West Street to the west, with the northern boundary variously described as 30th Street or 34th Street, and the eastern boundary as either Sixth Avenue or Fifth Avenue. To the north of Chelsea is the neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen, as well as the Hudson Yards; to the northeast is the Garment District; to the east are NoMad and the Flatiron District; to the southwest is the Meatpacking District; and to the south and southeast are the West Village and the remainder of Greenwich Village. It contains the Chelsea Historic District and its extension, which were designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1970 and 1981 respectively. The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977, and expanded in 1982 to include contiguous blocks containing particularly significant examples of period architecture.   read more…

Chinatown in New York

February 12th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, New York City

© chensiyuan/cc-by-sa-4.0

© chensiyuan/cc-by-sa-4.0

Manhattan‘s Chinatown is a neighborhood in Lower Manhattan, New York City, bordering the Lower East Side to its east, Little Italy to its north, Civic Center to its south, and Tribeca to its west. Chinatown is home to the highest concentration of Chinese people in the West. With an estimated population of 90,000 to 100,000 people, Manhattan’s Chinatown is also one of the oldest Chinese ethnic enclaves. The Manhattan Chinatown is one of nine Chinatown neighborhoods in New York City, as well as one of twelve in the New York metropolitan area, which contains the largest ethnic Chinese population outside of Asia, comprising an estimated 820,000 uniracial individuals.   read more…

Brighton Beach in New York City

January 8th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, New York City

© Daniel Schwen/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Daniel Schwen/cc-by-sa-4.0

Brighton Beach is an oceanside neighborhood in the southern portion of the New York City borough of Brooklyn, along the Coney Island peninsula, connected via Coney Island Avenue. The Brighton Beach and Coney Island area, combined, has more than 150,000 residents. Brighton Beach is bounded by Coney Island proper at Ocean Parkway to the west, Manhattan Beach at Corbin Place to the east, Sheepshead Bay at the Belt Parkway to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south along the beach and boardwalk. It is known for its high population of Russian-speaking immigrants, and as a summer destination for New York City residents due to its beaches along the Atlantic Ocean and its proximity to the amusement parks in Coney Island. The proximity of Brighton Beach to the city’s beaches—Brighton Beach Avenue runs parallel to the Coney Island beach and boardwalk—and the fact that the neighborhood is directly served by a subway station makes it a popular summer weekend destination for New York City residents.   read more…

The Upper West Side in New York

September 29th, 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, New York City

Upper West Side and Central Park from Rockefeller Center Observatory © Nmattson10

Upper West Side and Central Park from Rockefeller Center Observatory © Nmattson10

The Upper West Side is a neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan, New York City, that lies between Central Park and the Hudson River and between West 59th Street and West 110th Street. The Upper West Side is sometimes also considered by the real estate industry to include the neighborhood of Morningside Heights. The area north of West 96th Street and east of Broadway is also identified as Manhattan Valley. The overlapping area west of Amsterdam Avenue to Riverside Park was once known as the Bloomingdale District. From west to east, the avenues of the Upper West Side are Riverside Drive, West End Avenue (11th Avenue), Broadway, Amsterdam Avenue (10th Avenue), Columbus Avenue (9th Avenue), and Central Park West (8th Avenue). The 66-block stretch of Broadway forms the spine of the neighborhood and runs diagonally north/south across the other avenues at the south end of the neighborhood; above 78th Street Broadway runs north parallel to the other avenues. Broadway enters the neighborhood at its juncture with Central Park West at Columbus Circle (59th Street), crosses Columbus Avenue at Lincoln Square (65th Street), Amsterdam Avenue at Verdi Square (71st Street), and then merges with West End Avenue at Straus Park (aka Bloomingdale Square, at 107th Street). Traditionally the neighborhood ranged from the former village of Harsenville, centered on the old Bloomingdale Road (now Broadway) and 65th Street, west to the railroad yards along the Hudson, then north to 110th Street, where the ground rises to Morningside Heights. With the building of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, its name, though perhaps not the reality, was stretched south to 58th Street. With the arrival of the corporate headquarters and expensive condos of the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle, and the Riverside South apartment complex, the area from 58th Street to 65th Street is increasingly referred to as Lincoln Square by realtors who acknowledge a different tone and ambiance than that typically associated with the Upper West Side. This is a reversion to the neighborhood’s historical name. Like the Upper East Side, the Upper West Side is an affluent, primarily residential area with many of its residents working in commercial areas of Midtown and Lower Manhattan. It has the reputation of being New York City’s cultural and intellectual hub, with Columbia University located at the north end of the neighborhood, and artistic workers, with Lincoln Center located at the south end. Conversely, the Upper East Side is traditionally perceived to be home to commercial and business types. Both Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue from 67th Street up to 110th Street are lined with restaurants and bars, as is Columbus Avenue to a slightly lesser extent. The Upper West Side, along with the Upper East Side, is considered to be among New York City’s wealthiest neighborhoods.   read more…

Theme Week New York City – The Upper East Side

September 13th, 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, New York City

Fifth Avenue © flickr.com - Alex Proimos/cc-by-2.0

Fifth Avenue © flickr.com – Alex Proimos/cc-by-2.0

The Upper East Side is a neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, between Central Park/Fifth Avenue, 59th Street, the East River, and 96th Street. The area incorporates several smaller neighborhoods, including Lenox Hill, Carnegie Hill, and Yorkville. Once known as the Silk Stocking District, it is now one of the most affluent neighborhoods in New York City. In the 19th century the farmland and market garden district of what was to be the Upper East Side was still traversed by the Boston Post Road and, from 1837, the New York and Harlem Railroad, which brought straggling commercial development around its one station in the neighborhood, at 86th Street, which became the heart of German Yorkville. The area was defined by the attractions of the bluff overlooking the East River, which ran without interruption from James William Beekman‘s “Mount Pleasant”, north of the marshy squalor of Turtle Bay, to Gracie Mansion, north of which the land sloped steeply to the wetlands that separated this area from the suburban village of Harlem. Among the series of villas a Schermerhorn country house overlooked the river at the foot of present-day 73rd Street and another, Peter Schermerhorn’s at 66th Street, and the Riker homestead was similarly sited at the foot of 75th Street. By the mid-19th century the farmland had largely been subdivided, with the exception of the 150 acres (61 ha) of Jones’s Wood, stretching from 66th to 76th Streets and from the Old Post Road (Third Avenue) to the river and the farmland inherited by James Lenox, who divided it into blocks of houselots in the 1870s, built his Lenox Library on a Fifth Avenue lot at the farm’s south-west corner, and donated a full square block for the Presbyterian Hospital, between 70th and 71st Streets, and Madison and Park Avenues. At that time, along the Boston Post Road taverns stood at the mile-markers, Five-Mile House at 72nd Street and Six-Mile House at 97th, a New Yorker recalled in 1893.   read more…

The Lower East Side in New York

August 30th, 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, New York City

Katz's Delicatessen © Alex Lozupone/cc-by-sa-4.0

Katz’s Delicatessen © Alex Lozupone/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Lower East Side, sometimes abbreviated as LES, is a neighborhood in the southeastern part of the New York City borough of Manhattan, roughly located between the Bowery and the East River, and Canal Street and Houston Street. Traditionally an immigrant, working-class neighborhood, it began rapid gentrification in the mid-2000s, prompting The National Trust for Historic Preservation to place the neighborhood on their list of America’s Most Endangered Places in 2008. The neighborhood is bordered in the south and west by Chinatown – which extends north to roughly Grand Street, in the west by Nolita and in the north by the East Village. Historically, the “Lower East Side” referred to the area alongside the East River from about the Manhattan Bridge and Canal Street up to 14th Street, and roughly bounded on the west by Broadway. It included areas known today as East Village, Alphabet City, Chinatown, Bowery, Little Italy, and Nolita. Parts of the East Village are still known as Loisaida, a Latino pronunciation of “Lower East Side.”   read more…

Midtown Manhattan

July 3rd, 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, New York City

Times Square © Matt H. Wade/cc-by-sa-3.0

Times Square © Matt H. Wade/cc-by-sa-3.0

Midtown Manhattan, or Midtown, represents the central lengthwise portion of the borough and island of Manhattan in New York City. Midtown is home to some of the city’s most iconic buildings, including the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and the headquarters of the United Nations, and it contains world-renowned commercial zones such as Rockefeller Center, Broadway, and Times Square. Along Manhattan’s north-south long axis, Midtown Manhattan separates Lower Manhattan from Upper Manhattan. Geographically, the northern border of Midtown Manhattan is commonly defined to be 59th Street on Manhattan Island, and although its southern border is less clear, it is variously taken to be 34th Street, 23rd Street, or even 14th Street. Midtown spans the entire island of Manhattan along an east-west axis, being bounded by the East River on its east and the Hudson River to its west. Midtown is the original district in the United States to bear the name and included historical but now defunct neighborhoods such as the Ladies’ Mile, along Fifth Avenue from 14th to 23rd Street; and the Tenderloin, from 23rd to 42nd Street and from Fifth Avenue to Seventh Avenue.   read more…

The Cloisters in Upper Manhattan

June 30th, 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, Museums, Exhibitions, New York City

The Cloisters © flickr.com - Brian Clift/cc-by-2.0

The Cloisters © flickr.com – Brian Clift/cc-by-2.0

The Cloisters is a museum in Upper Manhattan, New York City specializing in European medieval architecture, sculpture and decorative arts. Its early collection was built by the American sculptor, art dealer and collector George Grey Barnard, and acquired by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. in 1925. Rockefeller extended the collection and in 1931 purchased land at Washington Heights and contracted the design for a new building that was to become the Cloisters. The museum is today part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and has been described as the “crowning achievement of American museology.” Its architectural and artistic works are largely from the Romanesque and Gothic stylistic periods. Its four cloisters; the Cuxa, Bonnefont, Trie and Saint-Guilhem cloisters, were sourced from French monasteries and abbeys. Between 1934 and 1939 they were excavated and reconstructed in Washington Heights, in a large project overseen by the architect Charles Collens. They are surrounded by a series of indoor chapels and rooms grouped by period which include the Romanesque, Fuentidueña, Unicorn, Spanish and Gothic rooms. The design, layout and ambiance of the building is intended to evoke in visitors a sense of the Medieval European monastic life through its distinctive architecture. The area around the buildings contains a number of reconstructed early medieval gardens.   read more…

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