Thursday, October 13, 2011

Glimpses of New York



Before my husband and I left for Ohio last month, I saw a Delta Airlines fare sale. A room was available in the hotel where we usually stay in Manhattan so I went ahead and booked two tickets for New York City. We just came back after having passed nine days there, 4 in New York City and 5 in Long Island, which we had not visited before. I’ll write posts later on several of the places we visited, including the park where the “Occupy Wall Street” protesters are located. This post covers several glimpses on this last trip. The hotel in New York is a “no-frill” budget hotel but it has beautiful views of the Hudson River. I had to take the pictures through the window glass and screen so they are not too sharp. The picture above was taken from our hotel room looking straight ahead. The picture below is looking to our right.


Click on picture to enlarge, and click again to see even larger

We have been to New York several times and seen the major sights, so now when we go we don’t follow a strict schedule. We do, what we call in France “flâner” – which is strolling while observing. As Charles Beaudelaire said a flâneur is a person who walks the city in order to experience it." If we see something interesting, we stop. If we hear music or some unusual noise, we go and find out what or who made it. The first afternoon after our arrival we decided to just stroll in the neighborhood. A couple of blocks away are Theodore Roosevelt Park and the American Museum of Natural History. As we were approaching the park we heard clapping. So, we went closer. A security guard stopped us telling us that the Swedish and Norwegian Ambassadors were speaking. I told Security that I had been to Norway not long ago and would love to get closer, so he let us. Below is a picture of Wegger Chr. Strommen, the Norwegian Ambassador to the US speaking at the Nobel Monument.




The event was a Nobel Monument Inscription Ceremony co-hosted by Mr. Strommen, the Norwegian Ambassador to the US and Jonas Hafström, the Swedish Ambassador to the US. Two of the 2011 and two of the 2010 Laureates in Economics were in attendance as well as many other dignitaries. We stayed there and listened for a while. Then we came back on West 81st Street and looked at the interesting townhouses.



The next day we took the Long Island Railroad train to Oyster Bay Township in Long Island.




While there we saw the Long Island Sound in Great Neck, as shown below.




We had rented an automobile, a small Nissan, so we could travel to all the little towns along the North Shore of Long Island which is nicknamed “The Gold Coast” because of its affluent residents. Many mansions from the early 1900s still stand and some can be visited. Below is a side and back view of the Nassau County Museum of Art. Most of the 145 acres and mansion belonged to the Frick family (co-founder of US Steel Corporation.) Now the mansion is a museum of art and the land a preserve.




We walked though beautiful gardens (and I took many pictures – which will follow soon.) Below is a picture taken in the Old Westbury Gardens. It is a magnificent Charles II-style mansion surrounded by 200 acres of formal gardens, landscaped grounds, ponds and lakes. That day the sun was abundant which kept my cameras busy.




We visited another large garden located in a former Gold Coast Estate. The arboretum is 409 acres large (approx. 190 ares?) The estate still has the original historic buildings, including a 65-room Tudor Revival mansion called Coe Hall. Pictures were authorized inside the mansion and I took some. We were there just before closing time so I hurried to also take pictures in the colorful dahlia garden.




So much to see on the North Coast – the five days passed very quickly. I’d love to go back to explore this charming and historic area. Back in New York City we met two wonderful New York Bloggers. We met Frances of the blog “City Views, Country Dreams” and met for a second time Christina of the blog “Bowsprite” – both blogs are featured on the right side of my blog page. I’ll tell you more about these meetings in a future post. We went to South Street Seaport and sat a long time on Pier 17 looking at the ferries and ships going by.



It was not sunny that day but it was warm and it did not rain.



We saw more than tall buildings and ships. We saw people – many policemen




as well as dogs of all sizes and breeds.



We were fortunate to obtain two passes to visit the 9/11 Memorial. These are free (although they ask you for a donation.) You have to be at the Memorial at a time which is still available. Luckily I had reserved our passes a long time in advance. Our time was 3:00 PM on Tuesday October 4th. We arrived in the area a couple of hours early so we could stroll there and suddenly found ourselves in Zucotti Park. The park (formerly called Liberty Park) being across the former World Trade Center was heavily damaged in the September 11 attacks. It was rebuilt and is home to a couple of sculptures - a 70-foot tall sculpture of bright red beams called Joie de Vivre by Mark di Suvero and Double Check, a bronze businessman sitting on a bench by John Seward Johnson II. Pictures of empty park courtesy Wikipedia.




There were several hundred people in the park – regular people, housewives with children, seniors, businessmen, etc. The media only shows the most radical young students there, who were in the minority. I’ll write about this later as we did talk to several people at the park.




We had some sunny days, some grey days and a bit of rain, but we had a great time. New York is such a terrific city that there is always so much to see and do. I tried to take the picture below from my window on the airplane, but I did not get the K of New York….ah well …c’est la vie.


29 comments:

Virginia said...

Je suis une flaneur aussi! ( Pardon if I made a mistake here). Your trip to NY looks like you managed to see and do a lot in a short time. Loved your photos.
V

Filip Demuinck said...

Many nice pictures of the State of NY. I prefer the one of the arboretum garden. By the way, thank you for reading my blog articles and commenting.

Greetings,
Filip

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Such wonderful pictures, my dear Vagabonde.....You always capture such interesting amd beautiful places---the whole feeling of New York is in ALL the pictures...Of course, I loved the picture of Long Island Sound from Great Neck.....And The Dahlia----STUNNING!!!!
I look forward too much much more!!!

Cloudia said...

very well captured!


Aloha from Waikiki;

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PEA said...

Make sure you come by my blog today to enter my birthday giveaway and see your princess costume! hehe Will be back later to catch up on your posts:-) xoxo

Elaine said...

Looks like you had a good time in New York and captured many interesting things. Our time in New York was spent in Upstate and Central New York, so a very different atmosphere. We drove into Maine today and will be exploring some of the sights here over the next week.

Frances said...

Vagabonde, what fun it was to meet you and your husband and trade tales and laughter. I am so, so glad that it was possible to find time to get together in the little cafe.

I have also enjoyed reading this post about some of the other parts of your New York visit.

xo

Vicki Lane said...

I like the way you travel -- following the moment!

Mary said...

So glad you had a wonderful visit. I was last there just before Christmas and despite heavy snow it was fabulous! Love to visit the city, and must say almost loved your visit as much as my own - you certainly covered a lot of ground. I love being 'a flaneur' in a city, just walking, people watching, and soaking in all the sights and sounds.

Busy days now for me - you know where I'm headed next - and I won't forget your memento!

Hugs - Mary

Riet said...

What a great New York post and what a wonderful view from your hotel window.I loved every photo you show here . What beautiful parks in the neighborhood, looking forward to photo's.
We are flaneurs too and we use the same word here in Dutch.
Have a wonderful day.

Pat said...

I'm having difficulty leaving a comment. Another very interesting post; it seems I have been a flaner for years without realising it:)

The Broad said...

Great post and great pictures. They really capture the ambiance of the City. 'Flaneur' is a new word to add to my vocabulary -- and I think I will aspire to become one!

Val said...

that was a fascinating and graceful tour. I have only even seen NY in february so these summer scenes look very tranquil. I am looking forward to your next post about the people you met in the park. there is so little on the news here about this protest. thanks

Roger Gauthier said...

Thanks for this post on New York! Very interesting photographs., windows on this extraordinary city...

And as usual, your posts are very well researched. Amazing.

Roger

DJan said...

It amazes me that we can both go to the same place and see such different things. I love your picture of the demonstration, I want to know more! :-)

Thérèse said...

Wow! So much in a single post. Glad you'll be showing more in the near future.

Olga said...

I have really enjoyed reading this post. For me, New York is still a big mystery. I have been there only once. I think I captured a certain rhythm of the city. It has a certain craziness and a relaxed feeling at the same time.

Pondside said...

Another fabulous trip and another fabulous post. We're hearing so much about the protesters - nice to have another view.

Jenny Woolf said...

Thanks for visiting my blog, and I love this tour of New York. I felt as if I was there with you, and heard about several places I'd not heard of before. And, you take wonderful photographs!

Deborah said...

Vagabonde, I've been very negligent these last months, so it's with special pleasure that I discover New York through your eyes. This is a place I've always wanted to visit, and might just get to it in the next year or so. The very good thing about posts like this is that you see places from such a different perspective - a street-side view, in a way, instead of a glossy tourist promotion. Interesting observation about the demonstrators - I applaud what they're trying to do and it's important that they represent a wide spectrum of society.
Glad to see that you and still traveling as much, and I really liked the image of the two of you just strolling, pulled into whatever interested you. This is exactly how I like to experience a new place.

TorAa said...

I love this post because you bring us out from the common Tourist Path:
Main attractions, landmarks and important museums etc, which we all can find via Search engines.

But this is what bloggers can do and I think more and more write posts like you here have done.
No headlines, simply how it is and how it looks - in our time.

I've done the same lately, even from Oslo South like it is here right now.
You might find something very unespected as well;-)

Tim said...

You present a great snapshot of New York and your time there. Thanks!

Ruth said...

Your method called flâner is what I do in Paris too. I love it.

I did not know the Fricks also had a place on Long Island. I have wanted to go to the Frick art museum near Central Park but haven't made it yet. Now that Lesley and Brian don't live in NYC, I wonder if I will go. Maybe with Poppy Seed one day.

The gardens look so beautiful. I love that dahlia! It reminds me of you, the image of you in your profile.

Ginnie said...

I am always amazed by how you travel and see things, Vagabonde, that most of us in/from the USA have never seen. Astrid has said the same of me for the Netherlands. She herself has seen more of her own country now that I am there. You definitely whet my appetite to see some of these places I've always heard about. Good for you. And thanks for sharing!

Vagabonde said...

Dear friends – I am glad you enjoyed my glimpses on New York. There will be more posts on New York soon. Thanks once again to everyone for finding the time to visit me and leaving a comment. I appreciate it a lot. I am still a bit behind reading your blogs, but I will visit them shortly.

Jeanie said...

You come across the best stuff when you travel! How moving it must have been at the 9/11 memorial. The gardens, parks, boat ride -- it all looks like my kind of day!

bowsprite said...

I love seeing everything through your eyes! Eager to read more about what you saw in Long Island, too. You have captured how the river is so thick and brown red from the hurricanes and storms. Only now is the silt settling or diluting, and the brown-blue-green is returning. Much is happening in that park downtown--and others. I look very forward to seeing more! xoxo c

Margaret said...

Long Island Sound looks lovely and the dahlia... just a stunning flower! I look forward to hearing your take on "Occupy Wall Street".

John bot said...

Nice post. I read total Post. It’s really nice. Thank you for sharing.........

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