The Narrows in New York

11 September 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, New York City

One World Trade Center, Upper New York Bay, Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, and Staten Island © flickr.com - Anthony Quintano/cc-by-2.0

One World Trade Center, Upper New York Bay, Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, and Staten Island
© flickr.com – Anthony Quintano/cc-by-2.0

The Narrows is the tidal strait separating the boroughs of Staten Island and Brooklyn in New York City. It connects the Upper New York Bay and Lower New York Bay and forms the principal channel by which the Hudson River empties into the Atlantic Ocean. It has long been considered to be the maritime “gateway” to New York City and historically has been one of the most important entrances into the harbors of the Port of New York and New Jersey.   read more…

Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan

29 June 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, New York City

Vintner Wine Market © flickr.com - Jazz Guy/cc-by-2.0

Vintner Wine Market © flickr.com – Jazz Guy/cc-by-2.0

Hell’s Kitchen, sometimes known as Clinton (named for Governor George Clinton), is a neighborhood on the West Side of Manhattan in New York City, west of Midtown Manhattan. It is traditionally considered to be bordered by 34th Street to the south, 59th Street to the north, Eighth Avenue to the east, and the Hudson River to the west. Until the 1970s, Hell’s Kitchen was a bastion of poor and working-class Irish Americans. Though its gritty reputation had long held real-estate prices below those of most other areas of Manhattan, by 1969, the City Planning Commission’s Plan for New York City reported that development pressures related to its Midtown location were driving people of modest means from the area. Since the early 1990s, the area has been gentrifying, and rents have risen rapidly. Home of the Actors Studio training school, and adjacent to Broadway theatres, Hell’s Kitchen has long been a home to fledgling and working actors.   read more…

Hudson Yards in Midtown Manhattan

21 February 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, Living, Working, Building, New York City

Vessel sculpture © flickr.com - Ajay Suresh/cc-by-2.0

Vessel sculpture © flickr.com – Ajay Suresh/cc-by-2.0

Hudson Yards is a neighborhood on the West Side of Midtown Manhattan, bounded roughly by 30th Street in the south, 43rd Street in the north, the West Side Highway in the west, and Eighth Avenue in the east. The area is the site of a large-scale redevelopment program that is being planned, funded, and constructed under a set of agreements among the State of New York, City of New York, and Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), with the aim of expanding the Midtown Manhattan business district westward to the Hudson River. The program includes a major rezoning of the Far West Side, an extension of the New York City Subway‘s 7 and <7> trains to a new subway station at 34th Street and 11th Avenue, a renovation and expansion of the Javits Center, and a financing plan to fund the various components. The various components are being planned by New York City Department of City Planning and New York City Economic Development Corporation.   read more…

Upper New York Bay

20 January 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, New York City

Governors Island © Antony-22/cc-by-sa-4.0

Governors Island © Antony-22/cc-by-sa-4.0

Upper New York Bay, or Upper Bay, is the traditional heart of the Port of New York and New Jersey, and often called New York Harbor. It is enclosed by the New York City boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island and the Hudson County, New Jersey, municipalities of Jersey City and Bayonne.   read more…

Harlem in New York

28 December 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, New York City

Cotton Club © Gotanero/cc-by-sa-3.0

Cotton Club © Gotanero/cc-by-sa-3.0

Harlem is a large neighborhood in the northern section of the New York City borough of Manhattan. Since the 1920s, Harlem has been known as a major African American residential, cultural and business center. Originally a Dutch village, formally organized in 1658, it is named after the city of Haarlem in the Netherlands. Harlem’s history has been defined by a series of economic boom-and-bust cycles, with significant population shifts accompanying each cycle. Since New York City’s revival in the late 20th century, Harlem has been experiencing the effects of gentrification and new wealth.   read more…

Fort Lee in New Jersey

13 April 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Fort Lee Historic Park © Hudconja/cc-by-sa-3.0

Fort Lee Historic Park © Hudconja/cc-by-sa-3.0

Fort Lee is a borough at the eastern border of Bergen County in New Jersey in the New York City Metropolitan Area, situated atop the Hudson Palisades, with a population 37,000. The borough is the western terminus of the George Washington Bridge and is located across the Hudson River from the Manhattan borough of New York City. Named for the site of an early American Revolutionary War military encampment, it later became the birthplace of the American film industry.   read more…

The Upper West Side in New York

29 September 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…

Midtown Manhattan

3 July 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

30 June 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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