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…

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…

Hunts Point in the Bronx

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

Former Hunts Point Avenue station, now serving shops © Jim.henderson

Former Hunts Point Avenue station, now serving shops © Jim.henderson

Hunts Point is a neighborhood located on a peninsula in the South Bronx of New York City. It is the location of one of the largest food distribution facilities in the world, the Hunts Point Cooperative Market. Its boundaries are the Bruckner Expressway to the west and north, the Bronx River to the east, and the East River to the south. Hunts Point Avenue is the primary street through Hunts Point.   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…

Portrait: Ayn Rand, the voice of libertarian Objectivism

24 June 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait

Ayn Rand quote - American Adventure - Epcot Center - Walt Disney World © flickr.com - Cory Doctorow/cc-by-sa-2.0

Ayn Rand quote – American Adventure – Epcot Center – Walt Disney World © flickr.com – Cory Doctorow/cc-by-sa-2.0

Ayn Rand< was a Russian-American writer and philosopher. Rand was born Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum on February 2, 1905, to a Russian-Jewish bourgeois family living in Saint Petersburg. She is known for her two best-selling novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and for developing a philosophical system she named Objectivism. Educated in Russia, she moved to the United States in 1926. She had a play produced on Broadway in 1935 and 1936. After two early novels that were initially unsuccessful, she achieved fame with her 1943 novel, The Fountainhead. In 1957, Rand published her best-known work, the novel Atlas Shrugged. Afterward, she turned to non-fiction to promote her philosophy, publishing her own periodicals and releasing several collections of essays until her death in 1982. Rand advocated reason as the only means of acquiring knowledge and rejected faith and religion. She supported rational and ethical egoism and rejected altruism. In politics, she condemned the initiation of force as immoral and opposed collectivism and statism as well as anarchism, instead supporting laissez-faire capitalism, which she defined as the system based on recognizing individual rights, including property rights. In art, Rand promoted romantic realism. She was sharply critical of most philosophers and philosophical traditions known to her, except for Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas and classical liberals. Literary critics received Rand’s fiction with mixed reviews and academia generally ignored or rejected her philosophy, though academic interest has increased in recent decades. The Objectivist movement attempts to spread her ideas, both to the public and in academic settings. She has been a significant influence among libertarians and American conservatives.   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…

Crown Heights in Brooklyn

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

West Indian Day Parade 2008 © Fordmadoxfraud/cc-by-sa-3.0

West Indian Day Parade 2008 © Fordmadoxfraud/cc-by-sa-3.0

Crown Heights is a neighborhood in the central portion of the New York City borough of Brooklyn. Crown Heights is bounded by Washington Avenue to the west, Atlantic Avenue to the north, Ralph Avenue to the east, and Clarkson Avenue/East New York Avenue to the south. It is about 1 mile (1.6 km) wide and 2 miles (3.2 km) long. Neighborhoods bordering Crown Heights include Prospect Heights to the west, Flatbush and Prospect Lefferts Gardens to the south, Brownsville to the east, and Bedford-Stuyvesant to the north. The main thoroughfare through this neighborhood is Eastern Parkway, a tree-lined boulevard designed by Frederick Law Olmsted extending 2 miles (3.2 kilometres) east–west. Originally, the area was known as Crow Hill. It was a succession of hills running east and west from Utica Avenue to Washington Avenue, and south to Empire Boulevard and East New York Avenue. The name was changed when Crown Street was cut through in 1916.   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…

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