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First Day Walking New York City Cricketdiane November 2010

Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City - 2010 - Children's School in New York with windows

We passed this school walking to the daycare on the first morning and I was amazed to see schools with windows so I stopped to take this photo and the next one of it. Our schools don't have windows where I live and where it is an old school - they have covered them so the children can't see outside. It is insane.

It is wonderful to see schools that have windows. That is remarkable compared to the schools here which are more like prisons. I had to take a second picture of it because it was so hard for me to believe.

Here is the other photo of it –

Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City -2010 - school with windows

New York school with windows on our early morning walk to granddaughter's daycare on the first day of my first trip to New York City

In fact, it was pretty amazing to see a school that looked like a school instead of a prison – our schools, especially the new ones look pretty with their post modern suburban architecture but they have no windows, sick building syndrome from the very start and the students come out like a screaming herd every day they are there. It must be a difficult environment for learning to happen, but our educators claim it is better. I don’t think they want everybody to graduate anyway, or to try to go to college. It looks like our system is intended to exclude as many as possible from college and from education being a happy, successful experience for the majority of students – I don’t know how New York City schools are, but I would rather see my children go to school there than in West Georgia or Cobb County where failure is set up before anyone ever gets through the first year at any level.

– cricketdiane

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Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City -2010 -

This little skinny building stuck next to the other has an interesting mixture of styles and the fancy fire escape railings next door - very nifty

The morning shadows and blue tones almost take over this building but the skinny little building that seems to have almost grown up stuck next to the one next to it combines a number of interesting styles in the building’s ornament and windows. The next door building has the longest – almost floor to ceiling windows and very ornate railings on the fire escape “porches”.

I just liked it.

– cricketdiane

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Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City -2010 - architecture

These two buildings have such amazing work around the windows - with ornate little touches over many of them and the arched windows at the street level. The two buildings are different and obviously built at different times, but there are beautiful flourishes on most every window of the architecture. Amazing.

I wondered what it must be like from inside this building on the top floor where the windows are arched and facing the morning light. There are beautiful architectural elements throughout both these buildings around windows and even at the street level. Most of the arched windows in the mid-levels are actually square windows although their facades are arched. Who built them? What is it like to live there? Apparently many of these buildings share heating systems but not air conditioning as can be seen in the window units that jut out from some of the windows. I also like the many different curtains showing through the windows – most of our buildings have to be all the same window treatments on the inside so they all look the same as if devoid of life from the outside.

– cricketdiane

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Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City -2010 - flowers blossoming in New York City with cityscape contrasted behind them early in the cold November morning

Nearly to the children's daycare where baby was going to stay, I found these flowers tended, growing and still blossoming in November - in New York City - I would've never imagined such a thing was possible?

In all the things I’ve seen about New York, including little snippets about the small community gardens that people were creating between buildings and in old abandoned lots, I never expected the places where I found them. The parks were wonderful, and the little garden spaces here and there still had flowers, including roses in full bloom, despite the cold of the November morning when we were walking to the children’s school where Little Miss A would spend the day.

At this point, we were almost to the children’s school (daycare center) when I stopped to get this and the next couple pictures of the roses growing in a tiny space in front of a building’s entrance where nothing but a short chain-link fence protected it from everything else around it.

– cricketdiane

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Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City -2010 - Beautiful Roses Blossoming in New York City November 23, 2010 - Community Garden Spaces

The little garden space in front of a building's entrance that has been made into a well-tended community garden space with beautiful roses in full bloom.

This shows the garden space a little better in front of the building’s entrance – obviously well cared for and carefully tended. The roses were still blossoming. Amazing. And the colors were vibrant, this photo does not do justice to this beautiful rose.

We were just around the corner from the daycare where we walking to get to, but I didn’t know it at the time. I just had to stop to get these photos right quick. They were so different from what I expected.

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 First Day Walking New York City cricketdiane - a perfect rose blossoming in New York City

A perfect rose blossom of the richest pinks, oranges and yellows in the morning light of New York - the photo does not do it justice - and that is some amazing gardening for anywhere in order to create a rose like that.

When I uploaded these photos, I tried to make the colors more intense as I had seen them in real life, but this is not that photo – this is the one I took and the color intensified by the computer on the copy of it that I made still didn’t get it right. It would just have to be seen in person. The plants all look so healthy. It is amazing.

– cricketdiane

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First Day Walking New York City cricketdiane - bird in a tree that forgot to change colors for the autumn - New York City.

In the courtyard of the daycare center amongst huge buildings of co-op apartments was this tree with green leaves and a bird sitting in the branches chattering.

It is probably hard to see the bird – of course, I took three pictures of it but I’m only going to put one here. The bird is in the center sitting on the y of the branch. The tree’s leaves were green surprisingly enough and I can only guess that being protected by the buildings that it didn’t get the memo about fall.

Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City -2010

The bird left just as the shutter closed on the camera but it made such an interesting picture with the building juxtaposed through the tree leaves that I had to keep it. This is the building or the one next to it where the daycare center is for Baby.

This is one of the buildings with co-op apartments which Ms. K explained to me as a place where everyone works together to buy their apartments and have ownership of the building together. It seems like a really interesting plan and people were so nice around there that it was more like a community than a city.

– cricketdiane

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Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City -2010 - Beautiful Churches

This church seems to have snuck in between two other buildings shoulder to shoulder and I noticed the stonework of the front as if it were built in some far away place. I would love to see its stained glass window that sits in the round section of the front. I imagine that it is beautiful.

After we left Baby at the daycare center, Ms. K and I walked to the bus for her trip to where she works. This church was along the street before we got on the bus and it was such a contrast with the buildings around it that I had to stop and get a picture. It has a massive round stained glass window in the front and amazing stonework that makes it look like it belongs in the country side of some far away place and time. It is beautiful.

Maybe some day I can go searching out all the stained glass windows of these spaces and discover the inside places I couldn’t see on my first trip. This sanctuary also has a bell in its bell tower above the church and ornate work along the roof that is astounding. The building on the right has stunning work around the archway in the center with its double arched windows below it. There is a grand style at work in that building that I would love to understand better. It almost looks like window box ledges at the windows on the second level from the top and nearly all the windows seem to be floor to ceiling windows. Really amazing.

– cricketdiane

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First Day Walking New York City cricketdiane - Kress /building maybe

I took this picture through the window of the bus but the brickwork on this building is amazing with a very specialized style thar probably hasn't been done in sixty years at least. I wish I had a better picture of it and I think this is a Kress company building of the old 5 and dime store days. It looks like real oak between the glass and in the window frames.

Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City -2010

I cropped a bit of the photo before this to show off the stunning and unusual brickwork style -

Well aside from the very bad photo taken through the bus window, this building has bricks cut at an angle on the ends with a long then half brick. They are laid with such precision that it looks as though there is no irregularity in the lines all the way across and up to down. The offset decorative areas above the windows have angled bricks trimming them and an ornate iron grating in the space above the beautiful oak window frames. Kress is impressed into the top facade but I almost bet it was cut from stone rather than impressed . . . the experts that built this – were so precise with their mastery that it has survived to this day with the precision of their skills still evident. Amazing.

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First Day Walking New York City cricketdiane - Cityscene of a beautiful city park from the bus

A park came out of nowhere while we were on the bus going to Ms. K's workplace and I snapped a photo just as the bus moved so it is a wonder that it came out at all.

Well, it could be Central Park or anything, I don’t even know but it is beautiful and it seemed to come out of nowhere. Ms. K pointed out a beautiful Madonna at a church that I would love to go back and photograph. It looked as though Mary was alive and shining the way the lighting was when we saw the statue. And, I was too stunned to even get my camera in place to take a picture through the bus window . . .

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Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City -2010 - The Museum of the City of New York

There's a very nifty statue behind the tree - The Museum of the City of New York - and an amazing building with walk outside spaces built into the building - taken through the bus window on the way to Ms. K's work

I can’t tell if that is an eagle in the ornament above the statue or something else – The place for the statue is built into the actual building out of marble curved and vaulted – pretty nifty and there is a walk-out window space above the statue with a tiny little ironwork balcony. Someday I’m going to go see that museum.

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Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City -2010

It looked like this building was in the process of restoration maybe - the elements around the windows on the left are waiting to be done and the ones on the right are clean and remounted. There seemed to be work like this going on all over the city and obviously a great deal of work has been done already with many old buildings absolutely gorgeous.

This photo was also taken through the bus window. The building looks both old and new at the same time. A lot of places around New York City seemed to have ongoing work being done with scaffolding and obvious grand efforts underway to restore buildings as well as to build new things or to renovate existing buildings to incorporate new things.

Strangely enough, when looking at this photo up close, there are literally straight angle lines through the brickwork that show how precisely they have been laid. I’m not sure if this is new or old, but it speaks of the ongoing conscientious building masons that have created these buildings where people’s lives take place.

– cricketdiane

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Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City -2010

This isn't a cropped picture from the other one. I took a second picture to show the work that was being done - the third window to the right shows how they are having to go about it. Very, very nifty.

I thought it was amazing to get to see this work in progress and to see how these ornamental pieces are being fit back where they belong. It would be nice to find out more about this building and the architects working on it. They have the windows covered with protective coverings and I can’t really tell if this is new work or the restoration of an old building, but it is amazing nonetheless.

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Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City -2010

New York has some of the most beautiful doors. This one may be on the church where Ms. K pointed out the Madonna that is so beautiful - I'm not sure. But the beautiful scroll work above the door appears to be hand carved from marble - intricate, elegant and absolutely phenomenal artistry

It looks like a quarter couldn’t even fit between the stones on this building made of marble and the cornice above the door had to have been hand-carved from marble – The ornate work below the archstones is absolutely stunning – I can’t begin to imagine how they were created so beautifully. It is all amazing.

I don’t think that was done with an air chisel like they do now. It looks hand-carved and hand-polished, smoothed with one of those strange curved awls that stone cutters use. Hmmm….. I will have to get a closer look sometime. Looking at the stones that make up the building – it just looks like a quarter wouldn’t even fit between the space of the stones as I said above. How did they do that?

– cricketdiane

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First Day Walking New York City cricketdiane - Otherworldly 96th Street Metro station

Believe it or not - there is a Metro rail station that looks like it dropped down from Mars right in the middle of Manhattan - the 96th Street station was a complete shock - it looked like Europe somewhere instead of the USA - absolutely stunning.

I actually took two pictures of this but I like this one better – especially with the shadow silhouettes on the buildings across the street and the station rising out of the street suddenly as we came around the corner bringing it into view.

We were still on the way to get Ms. K to work. Apparently she rides the bus, walks a bit, rides a subway train and then walks a little more to get to work after the Metro ride and long walk to get baby to the daycare. I do not see how she does it. The temperatures were a bit on the cold side the morning we were doing it. My understanding is that sometimes it is negative something when the winds and cold come upon New York City.

– cricketdiane

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Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City - 2010 - 96th Street Metro Station Tile Work

I discovered that walking, talking, taking directions from daughter, following those directions and trying to take pictures doesn't always get all those things done exceptionally well. This photo taken inside the 96th Street station shows the tile work and iron grill that protects the city from people running through without a Metro card. The Metro card was the first thing I got when we came from the plane into New York City (at my daughter's insistence). It is definitely the thing to do because it allowed me to grab the train or a bus whenever I needed from wherever I was.

I was amazed to find out that all the Metro stations have this type of tile work which lets people know where they are now. It is used in a number of places to describe which station it is and I for one, was grateful for it. In the Atlanta system of trains, it takes a bit of knowing where to look to find out exactly which station it is and from some vantage points – it is almost impossible to tell which way to go to get on a train or a bus going whichever way is required. The New York City Metro system is genuinely intentioned to get people where they are going. It runs often and the stations are easy to navigate with maps available throughout and well-marked entry points to various buses and trains. I would say the elevators are a bit harder to find and they are not in all of the stations. But people are remarkable in New York for helping to get a stroller up or down stairs and to help answer dumb questions despite them being in a hurry to get where they are going.

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Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City - 2010 - Church of St. Paul the Apostle in New York City

Church of St. Paul the Apostle in New York City - is that amazing or what? I can still see the image of this in my mind - it is incredible.

After we came from the Metro station on the way to Ms. K’s work – this work in progress loomed before us. I had to get a picture. That is just beyond all measure. It looks like a cat up there sleeping between the two trees, when I zoomed in close on it. Now, surely not.

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Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City - 2010 - Amazing doors and churches and statues of life in marble in NYC

Doors with the blessings of Saints - New York City does have some sporty entrances, and elegant ones and amazing ones and then ones like this which defy all words that could express anything about them.

I don’t think they make doors like that anymore. And, the sculptures – Wow . . .

Throughout New York City, it would not have done much to have a video of me. My entire vocabulary seemed to be Wow and Wow again – and a few times – Wowsa. There it is, the next stop was to drop Ms. K off for her work day and then I wandered around from there to all kinds of nifty places until I found a large body of water – well, actually I saw a plane first and then started chasing it. The plane was one on the Intrepid but I didn’t know it right off.

Also, I found where some of the horses and carriages live before giving people rides around the city and a most marvelous park – among other things.

I’ll put it on the next post.

– cricketdiane

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