Federal Hall National Memorial in New York City

10 August 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, New York City

George Washington statue © flickr.com - Ken Lund/cc-by-sa-2.0

George Washington statue © flickr.com – Ken Lund/cc-by-sa-2.0

Federal Hall is a historic building at 26 Wall Street in the Financial District of Manhattan, New York City. The name refers to two structures on the site: a Federal style building completed in 1703, and the current Greek Revival-style building completed in 1842. While only the first building was officially called “Federal Hall”, the current structure is operated by the National Park Service as a national memorial called the Federal Hall National Memorial. The current structure, one of the best surviving examples of Greek Revival architecture in New York City, was built as the U.S. Custom House for the Port of New York. Later it served as a sub-Treasury building. The current national memorial commemorates the historic events that occurred at the previous structure.   read more…

Roosevelt Island in Manhattan

8 July 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, New York City

© FEMA - Kenneth Wilsey

© FEMA – Kenneth Wilsey

Roosevelt Island is a narrow island in New York City‘s East River, within the borough of Manhattan. It lies between Manhattan Island to its west and the borough of Queens, on Long Island, to its east. Running from the equivalent of East 46th to 85th Streets on Manhattan Island, it is about 2 miles (3.2 km) long, with a maximum width of 800 feet (240 m), and a total area of 147 acres (0.59 km²). Together with Mill Rock, Roosevelt Island constitutes Manhattan’s Census Tract 238, which has a land area of 0.279 sq mi (0.72 km²), and a population of 11,700. The island was called Minnehanonck by the Lenape and Varkens Eylandt (Hog Island) by New Netherlanders, and during the colonial era and later as Blackwell’s Island. It was known as Welfare Island when it was used principally for hospitals, from 1921 to 1973. It was renamed Roosevelt Island (after Franklin D. Roosevelt) in 1973. Roosevelt Island is owned by the city but was leased to the New York State Urban Development Corporation for 99 years in 1969. Most of the residential buildings on Roosevelt Island are rental buildings. There is also a cooperative named Rivercross and a condominium building named Riverwalk. One rental building (Eastwood) has left New York State’s Mitchell-Lama Housing Program, though current residents are still protected. It is now called Roosevelt Landings. There are attempts to privatize three other buildings, including the cooperative. The FDNY also maintains its Special Operations Command facility at 750 Main St. on the island. Due to its proximity to the headquarters of the United Nations, Roosevelt Island is home to a large number of diplomatic sector employees. At one time these included then-United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan.   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…

Franklin D. Roosevelt East River Drive in New York City

27 March 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, New York City

© flickr.com - Bob Jagendorf/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – Bob Jagendorf/cc-by-2.0

The FDR Drive (officially referred to as the Franklin D. Roosevelt East River Drive) is a 9.68-mile (15.58 km) limited-access parkway on the east side of the New York City borough of Manhattan. It starts near South and Broad Streets, just north of the Battery Park Underpass, and runs north along the East River to the 125th Street / Robert F. Kennedy Bridge / Willis Avenue Bridge interchange, where it becomes the Harlem River Drive. All of the FDR Drive is designated New York State Route 907L (NY 907L), an unsigned reference route. The FDR Drive features a mix of below-grade, at-grade, and elevated sections, as well as three partially covered tunnels. The parkway is mostly three lanes in each direction, with the exception of several small sections.   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…

InterContinental New York Barclay Hotel in Midtown Manhattan

1 January 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month, Hotels, New York City

© Onyo at wts wikivoyage/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Onyo at wts wikivoyage/cc-by-sa-4.0

InterContinental New York Barclay Hotel is a historic luxury hotel in Midtown Manhattan in New York City. Caswell-Massey had its flagship store in InterContinental New York Barclay for over 80 years. Caswell-Massey, the oldest chemist and perfumer in America, was the first and oldest tenant of the Barclay. Bette Davis, Gloria Swanson, Mary Pickford, Marlon Brando, Jimmy Durante, Debbie Reynolds, Ernest Hemingway and David O. Selznick all called the Barclay home. In 1992, when Bill Clinton first ran for President, the Barclay was his New York headquarters.   read more…

CBGB Bowery on the Bowery in Downtown Manhattan

18 November 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, New York City

CBGB club facade in 2005 © Adicarlo/cc-by-sa-3.0

CBGB club facade in 2005 © Adicarlo/cc-by-sa-3.0

CBGB was a New York City music club opened in 1973 by Hilly Kristal in Manhattan‘s East Village. The club was previously a biker bar and before that was a dive bar. The letters CBGB were for Country, BlueGrass, and Blues, Kristal’s original vision, yet CBGB soon became a famed venue of punk rock and new wave bands like the Ramones, Television, Patti Smith Group, Blondie, and Talking Heads. From the early 1980s onward, CBGB was known for hardcore punk.   read more…

Commissioners’ Plan of 1811 for Manhattan

27 September 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, New York City

Central Park is by far the largest interruption of the Commissioners' Plan © Piotr Kruczek

Central Park is by far the largest interruption of the Commissioners’ Plan © Piotr Kruczek

The Commissioners’ Plan of 1811 was the original design for the streets of Manhattan above Houston Street and below 155th Street, which put in place the rectangular grid plan of streets and lots that has defined Manhattan to this day. It has been called “the single most important document in New York City’s development,” and the plan has been described as encompassing the “republican predilection for control and balance … [and] distrust of nature”. It was described by the Commission that created it as combining “beauty, order and convenience.”   read more…

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