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Walking Tour – NYC CricketDiane – November 2010

CricketDiane First Day Walking Tour New York City - Hartsfield Atlanta waiting for the plane to NYC

Airport at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson with birds and planes - a little unnerving - I thought they solved the bird problems at airports

My Note –

The scene out the window at Hartsfield-Jackson airport Atlanta waiting for the plane. I had met a really nice lady at the bus stop by Cumberland Mall that was going to the airport as well and we made our way together to find how to get to our planes. It turned out that she had retired from the same military base where I was born. Phenomenal lady – very wonderful to meet her.

– cricketdiane

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Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City -2010 - Bronx early morning

The Bronx early in the morning when the air is crisp and everything sparles with blue tones and busy-ness.

My daughter’s friend who lives in the Bronx, allowed me to sleep on her floor while I stayed in New York. My daughter, granddaughter and I got up early so they could go to daycare and to work and I went with them. This was the first picture I took of the Bronx in the morning with its clear, cold air and everyone moving to get to work. The buildings were so ornate and beautiful as they caught the shadows of the early morning blue light and the city awakened to a new day.

– cricketdiane

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Cricketdiane Walking Tour of New York City 2010 - Bronx Art Deco Architecture early morning

Architectural elements above these stores in the Bronx looks like something out of a book on Art Deco from the 20's or 30's.

I have seen a lot of things only in books (and online) – and here I was in person seeing it for the first time in real life – the way it sits today and it was beautiful to see. The elements on this building in the Bronx were all the things I had seen in books with the vast row of windows below the Art Deco looking architecture, and then the modern uses of the building added to it. I loved the way the stark barren tree of winter hovered in front of it and the contrasts of reflections on the windows and shadows on the 1920’s style architecture. It is amazing. (We were walking the first morning to the Metro station from Ms. N’s apartment in the Bronx where I stayed.)

– cricketdiane

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Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City -2010 - Bronx near Metro Station

Very city-ness photo of the Bronx in the morning with the Metro station hovering over the street behind the fall leaves still on the trees.

Okay, I’ll admit this isn’t the prettiest New York site photo but it is just the way I was experiencing it. The Metro station hovered in the air beyond the people walking with scowls on their faces and I really didn’t know how nice they would be at that point, but they really were nice and decent and helpful and very generous with their time and efforts everywhere I went in New York City and in the Bronx – mostly. There were a couple instances that had me questioning the human race – but those couple times were actually rare and specific to a situation rather than the most usual experience that I had with people in New York. But, I really did not know what to expect with all the stories that I had heard over many years about these places.

– cricketdiane

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Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City -2010 - view of Bronx from subway

The view of the Bronx from the Metro train out the window with buildings hiding the graffiti tagging that I couldn't even guess how they did.

In this photo from the subway window, there is a lone figure leaning up against the building on the sidewalk and no one as far as the eye can see, graffiti tagging has been done where it can’t be seen higher than most people stand – how did they get there and do that – did they take a ladder up there to create it? And the old-fashioned awning canopies across the front of the building midway up the street caught my attention – they don’t use those anymore in more place although they are really nice to have – Amazing.

I said “Wow” a lot when I was in New York City and its surrounding areas. I couldn’t think of another word for it . . .

And, between this photo and the last one in this series I had taken two pictures of my grandbaby wearing her new red velvet and white lace outfit with footies but I’m not including it here because of all the sad stories I’ve heard of what people online had done with those kinds of photos. She is a cutie though and has every expression of the New Yorkers already – she is a real New York girl.

– cricketdiane

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Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City -2010 - A city of contrasts

I was amazed to see the buildings where people lived with stores at street level and the contrasts of all these industrial things that had been added like airconditioning units and big iron framework for billboards next to whole walls that had been tagged with graffiti. It is a city of contrasts.

The picture before this one, I had seen some of the geology of New York sitting where it is visible from the train like they had shown on the History Channel when I was at home, but the photo was in motion – because of the train and showed my daughter, Ms. K better than the geology features out the window – although it is a good picture of her laughing at me taking pictures of everything out the train windows.

This photo describes a lot of things very well and I like it. The vast air conditioning aluminum shielding on top of this building added to the heavy iron struts for a billboard in the building behind it that crawl across almost the entire roof of the building in order to be secure and the graffiti tagging in the midst of it where people had to say they had been there. The buildings where people live seem to rise out of store fronts at ground level and each one is so vastly different than the others. In the background it almost looks like an old English village style although it was probably built a hundred years ago and the sandstone colored apartment building in the middle has a curved facade which probably wouldn’t be visible at the street level.

And, everywhere there are trees. On the right hand side of this photo, it looks like a full grown tree is growing out of the tops of the store front shops from nowhere in particular. In the middle of the top of the picture between the buildings there are old growth trees hovering above the street along with ones growing out of the sidewalks at street level. I bet it is beautiful in the springtime.

– cricketdiane

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Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City -2010 - photo from Metro train between the Bronx and Manhattan

Buildings all smushed together where people live - looks like they could make friends by having a conversation across the street from their apartment windows without ever leaving home. Photo from the window of the Metro train between the Bronx and Manhattan.

I have two digital cameras and it turns out it is actually kind of hard to get the photo that is immediate because of a slight delay in the cameras between pushing the button and getting the picture. However, this photo does express the multitude of buildings all smushed together where people live that I was seeing out the Metro train window. It looked like I could walk out onto the rooftops and dance …

– cricketdiane

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Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City -2010 - scenes from the Metro to Manhattan - A sea of rooftops and birds

A sea of rooftops from different times and buildings that have some design elements from the time of minimalism or post modernism added right next to brick buildings built forever ago. It looks like there may be a park on the left hand side of the photo and birds have made their home on the roof of one special building in the center.

Some architect sat in his office at one time and decided to add those distinct color elements of white and tan to the buildings in the center of the photo. That is what I was thinking – what possessed them to do that when it doesn’t in any way fit with everything else where the buildings would be built? And the sea of rooftops spread out from the Metro train window of varying heights and materials – one has so many birds on it that it would be difficult to count them all and the others have none. It looks as though there may be a city park in the left side of the photos where suddenly a lot of scattered trees spread out between the buildings. And, of course – my questions about how people found a way on this rooftop landscape to tag walls with profound graffiti images to say they were there.

Photos on the subway train from the Bronx to Manhattan on the first morning of my stay in New York City, November 2010.

– cricketdiane

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Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City -2010 - going to the daycare center

The last picture I took before getting off the Metro train - looks like it has snowed on the rooftops although it hasn't yet and many more buildings are sharing close quarters. We were on the way to drop granddaughter at the daycare center before Ms. K went to work.

The Metro trains are clean and everywhere there are people who were nice to us even though the train was often filled with people nearly standing on top of one another. This was the last photo I took before we arrived where we were going which would be hard to tell where it was – somewhere in the upper West side of Manhattan I think. But, the buildings were so much more and so much closer together that it defied my thinking about the Google Maps I had seen before coming to New York City. This wasn’t any Google map.

– cricketdiane

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Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City -2010 - 110th Street View Early Morning

The first day we got off the train at 110th Street to walk baby over to daycare. There are real New York bagels in the cart on the left-hand side next to us but we didn't have time to stop and get any.

There looks like a little church stuck between buildings in the center of the photo which I noticed everywhere we went – that church buildings were in little betweens with buildings hovering skyward right next to them. We didn’t stop for a bagel and I guess I never did get a real New York bagel while I was there. I did finally get a hotdog from the street vendors and Ms. K and Ms. N laughed at me for paying too much for it. On the first day, I was really not sure how far the little bit of money I brought would have to stretch or the little bit that Ms. K was using had to go – so I passed up a lot of things that if I had really had the money to do, I would’ve indulged in doing. That included a variety of things from getting a real New York bagel in New York City to going on the tour of the Intrepid and the Top of the Rock observation deck at Rockefeller Center. I was holding out to go on the ferry to the Statue of Liberty but we never did get to do that either. It was too cold and too expensive – well, too we were dealing with a very ugly incident that happened which I told about earlier in another post.

– cricketdiane

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Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City -2010 - Hell Gate Post Office New York City

Thinking about my dad who takes something to the post office every other day back where I live and it would be only fitting that I found this post office first out of all the ones in New York City.

Yes, there is the post office from Hell just like Dad said . . .

No, not really – he didn’t say that but I think I have seen pictures of this area of New York and read about it actually before coming here. This was on the first day as we walked from 110th Street to the daycare to drop off baby and then take my daughter to where she works. I set out from there exploring, walking and taking photos. This was on the way and caught my attention of course along with its flag at half mast and I’m not sure why it was. November 23, 2010 early a.m., Manhattan more or less.

– cricketdiane

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Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City -2010 - walking to the daycare in New York City

Early morning, the sky reflects in every window as people hurry in the shadows of the buildings to ward off the cold and get to work on time.

Ms. K was right, the sidewalks are wide – not like in Atlanta and Marietta where I live. The people hurried along in the shadows of the buildings eating their breakfast and drinking their coffee on the way to work as they walked. I could never do it. It was amazing. And, the buildings caught the morning light of the sky showing off every little element that had been added by architects who designed them. The cars were much fewer than later in the day but everywhere people were walking to get where they were going and they seem to walk much faster than I ever had time to think about doing.

I really wondered what was in the gated up buildings on the right hand side as we passed them. Were they stores when opened with vast arrays of goods displayed or parking decks or what? And, here and there a twig of a tree sprouted between things like cars and people and sidewalks and buildings, now without leaves from the winds and wintertime.

– cricketdiane

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Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City - 2010 - New York City Library with remarkable ornamental facade

Another great Wow we passed on the way to the daycare - It is a New York City Library in the most amazing architectural facade with little medallions and ornate flourishes, several different doric columns and what is that material - is it metal work in the center and stone on the sides?

I never did get to go back to this library and take more pictures or go inside to take pictures, but I would’ve loved to do that if I could have. It is remarkable. I don’t know the story about its ornamentation, but I’m going to look it up online and see if I can find out about when and how it was done that way. Very remarkable – I would love to see inside it some day. How did they do that? How did they create a building to look that way? Who designed it and when? Me, and my thousand questions . . .

On the way walking to the daycare, I don’t know what street this on or anything – somewhere, heading away from 110th Street toward where we were going early in the morning on the first day in New York City.

– cricketdiane

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Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City - 2010 - doorway caught in a time meld

Very nifty doorway that we passed. I just had to stop and take a picture. Wherever there is a spot for character, style and ornament from some time - somebody took the opportunity in New York to create it. Really amazing. And, it's everywhere, around every corner, down every street - above, below, everywhere . . .

How many generations ago did this get created and how many generations of people have passed through it? Amazing. Everywhere there is style caught between places and times as if a whole other world exists that just stopped somewhere and everything around it was added after that (or before that). And, the threshold looks worn from the thousands of feet that have passed over it, each of their lives important and unique – and many of which have already passed away somewhere long ago . . .

Hmmmm…….

Yes, it takes a lot of patience to walk with me when I am taking photos. But, in this case – I was mostly stopping to take a picture and then having to run to catch up with the lady and the stroller who was not really slowing down much for me. Love them bunches, but durn – they are hard to keep up with it and get photos of nifty stuff at the same time, especially when they are in a hurry.

– cricketdiane

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Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City - 2010 - New York City fire escapes to get people out alive

There are plants on the second landing up and storm windows on the white building to the right which seems to have been a beautiful brick before getting painted. These fire escape stairs are something I had only read about and seen on tv so I had to take a picture - they don't have them where I live because they don't care if people get out of the building or not - and I was amazed to see how many windows had window air conditioners rather than central air like I would've expected.

Well, I just had to take some pictures of the fire escape contraptions because they are amazing and sit right against some very ornate building elements such as the window casings seen in this photo and the roof elements so elegantly carved and shaped. There is a beautiful bit of brickwork showing in the right hand building beneath the paint and obviously there are storm windows that have been added which was not what I would’ve expected. Window air conditioning units are fairly common, but not in every window which means that the summertime, must be rather difficult at times for many people living in New York. I can’t imagine how the buildings have been re-wired for the more modern appliances, phones and computers given the age of many of the buildings.

– cricketdiane

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Taking a break for awhile to get warm . . .

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