Going down the street toward the water (river, for those that recognize where this is) –

First Day Walking New York City cricketdiane - street scenes and American flags

American flag and MIA flag fly above the street heading towards the river. Tour buses are parked along the street.

At this point I still didn’t know what to expect at the end of this street besides the water and didn’t realize the Intrepid was nearby.

Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City - 2010

I looked up and saw this and absolutely had to get a picture of it. Very exciting. I'll explain why . . .

Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc. (NYSEKCP) is an American fashion house founded in 1982 by Kenneth Cole. He originally named the company Kenneth Cole Incorporated in September 1982 and planned to showcase his new line of shoes during market week at the Hilton Hotel in New York. Finding that he could not afford to purchase a hotel room or showroom to exhibit his line, he borrowed a truck and asked the mayor’s office for permission to park two blocks away from the Hilton Hotel in front of a fancy shoe building. Upon learning that permits were only granted to utility companies and production companies shooting full-length motion pictures, Cole changed the name of the company to Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc. and applied for a permit to shoot a full-length motion picture entitled “The Birth of a Shoe Company”.

With Kenneth Cole Productions painted on the side of the truck, they opened for business on December 2, 1982, in front of 1370 Avenue of the Americas. They had a fully furnished forty-foot trailer, klieg lights, a director, a rolling camera, models as actresses, and two NYPD policemen as doormen. A velvet rope allowed a limited number of people in the trailers and in two and a half days they sold forty thousand pairs of shoes. The company remains Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc. to this day to honor this unusual beginning.[1]

In 1985, Kenneth Cole opened his first store on Columbus Avenue in Manhattan, followed shortly thereafter by another store on Union Street in San Francisco. Kenneth Cole retail and Company Stores can now be found worldwide in countries such as Mexico, Canada, Venezuela, Colombia, Israel, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Philippines, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Australia and South Africa.


One of my heroes. Amazing ingenuity . . . absolutely brilliant.


First Day Walking New York City cricketdiane - sky gardens in New York City

Garden spaces grace the rooftops here and there throughout New York occasionally they can be seen from street level such as this one with its wildlife nearly hanging off the edge against the sky.


Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City - 2010 - city views of rooftop worlds

Massive windowed multi-story space - possibly a living space popped on top of another building - pretty wild.


Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City - 2010 - city scenes

Is it trompe l'oeil or real doors hanging from a larger than life peg board on the side of this building?



Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City -2010

An eagle with its wings spread for landing sings at the ocean's surf as the sun sets in this scene on the side of a tour bus. Very nifty.




Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City - 2010 - city scenes

looking back up towards the city from the street going towards the river.




Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City - 2010 - city scenes

Big boats - I could see this really huge boat being pushed by a tug at the end of the street - when the shutter closed only part of it can be seen under the Terminal concourse or whatever it is hovering above the street level.




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

Pier 88 - and the River that looks more like the ocean for the sizes of boats using it.


And then I came around the corner and saw this airplane (which I recognized since I had a model of it growing up) – but I didn’t know why it was there and started chasing it so I could see it better and discovered the Intrepid Air, Sea and everything museum . . .

The plane looked a little small to me, but I don’t know if it is lifesize and everything else is out of scale or if it is smaller than the real life ones simply to fit into the museum’s displays on the deck of the Intrepid. I didn’t get to go into the museum and take the tour.


Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City -2010

The airplane.

The airplane in the city of New York – that’s what it was . . .




Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City - 2010 - Manhattan Cruise Terminal

Manhattan Cruise Terminal - I would've never guessed that it was possible to run over a few blocks and get on a cruise ship for wherever - from Manhattan. I was completely surprised at its closeness to the city.




Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City -2010

Massive gantries for people to traverse the gangplank into cruise boats are amazing, but under the terminal structure across the river, there are two levels of homes and buildings - ones on the cliff and those at the water's surface level along with ferries awaiting riders in New Jersey which was even more amazing.




Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City -2010

The plane in its city environment.




Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City - 2010 - surprising city sights in New York City

The plane glistening in the sun.

That photo and the next one are two of my favorites –



Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City - 2010 - the amazing

I caught the truck with an American flag framing the plane as I was chasing to find why it was there sitting above and beyond the level of the traffic - one of my favorite photos - in fact, had I come upon this any other way - I would likely not have even seen the plane at all.



Cricketdiane First Day Walking Tour New York City -2010

Pier 88 - Manhattan

Significant – WWII event –

from wikipedia –

The New York Passenger Ship Terminal (also known as the Luxury Liner Row or Manhattan Cruise Terminal or New York Cruise Terminal) is terminal for ocean going passenger ships on Manhattan’s west side.

The terminal consists of North River Piers 88, 90, 92 and 94 on the Hudson River between West 46th and West 54th Street. (As a general rule, pier numbers in Manhattan can be determined by adding 40 to the corresponding cross-street.)

Ships now dock at Piers 88, 90 and 92. Pier 94 on the north side is now used for exhibition space. Pier 86, once used by United States Lines, is now home to the USS Intrepid. In 2003, the terminal handled 900,000 passengers. The city is forecasting that 1.5 million will use the terminal by 2017.

The piers are 1,100 feet long and 400 feet apart. They were first completed in 1935 to replace the Chelsea Piers as the city’s luxury liner terminal. The new terminal was built to handle bigger ships that had outgrown the Chelsea Piers. The piers were renovated in 1970 and are currently undergoing another $150 million renovation. The renovated plans call for it to handle three large ships at a time. In doing renovations, the city is also considering decommissioning Pier 92.


Logo of the New York Cruise Terminal.

For decades the terminal was the only ocean-going passenger terminal in New York harbor. With an upsurge in cruise ship traffic and the terminal’s ability to handle comfortably only three large ships at a time, two new terminals have opened in the harbor — the Cape Liberty Cruise Port opened in 2004 in Bayonne, New Jersey (used by Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises), and the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal (used by the Queen Mary 2 and larger ships of the Carnival Corporation cruise brands) opened in 2006 in Brooklyn, New York.

The West Side Highway takes a small jog east from the piers to below West 42nd Street because when the terminal was built land had to be taken away from Manhattan to allow for longer piers. The US Army Corps of Engineers, who control the waterfront dimension, would not extend the pierhead line farther into the river, so the city extended the pier by cutting away at the land. The city earlier did this for the Chelsea Piers; however in Chelsea only landfill was taken away. At the Passenger Terminal actual Manhattan schist was taken away[1].


From downstream in the river

Many major passenger ships have docked there, including the RMS Queen Mary 2 and Freedom of the Seas, before the Brooklyn and Bayonne terminals opened. The SS Normandie caught fire and subsequently capsized at its Pier 88 berth during World War II.




SS Normandie was an ocean liner built in Saint-Nazaire, France for the French Line Compagnie Générale Transatlantique. She entered service in 1935 as the largest and fastest passenger ship afloat; she is still the most powerful steam turbo-electric-propelled passenger ship ever built.[1][2]

Her novel design and lavish interiors led many to consider her the greatest of ocean liners.[3][4] Despite this, she was not a commercial success and relied partly on government subsidy to operate.[4] During service as the flagship of the CGT, she made 139 transatlantic crossings westbound from her home port of Le Havre to New York and one fewer return. Normandie held the Blue Riband for the fastest transatlantic crossing at several points during her service career, during which the RMS Queen Mary was her chief rival.

During World War II, Normandie was seized by the United States authorities at New York and renamed USS Lafayette. In 1942, the liner caught fire while being converted to a troopship, capsized and sank at the New York Passenger Ship Terminal. Although salvaged at great expense, restoration was deemed too costly and she was scrapped in October 1946.[5]




Adolphe Cassandre‘s famed 1935 depiction of the SS Normandie.
[ . . . ]
The first class dining hall was the largest room afloat. At three hundred and five feet (93 m) it was longer than the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles,[26][27] stood 46 feet (14 m) wide, and towered 28 feet (8.5 m) high. Passengers entered through 20-foot (6.1 m) tall doors adorned with bronze medallions by artist Raymond Subes.[28] The room could seat 700 at 157 tables,[26] with Normandie serving as a floating promotion for the most sophisticated French cuisine of the period. As no natural light could enter [26] it was illuminated by 12 tall pillars of Lalique glass flanked by 38 matching columns along the walls.[26] These, with chandeliers hung at each end of the room, earned the Normandie the nickname “Ship of Light”[22] (similar to Paris as the ‘”City of Light”).

Normandie carried distinguished passengers, including the authors Colette and Ernest Hemingway,[41] the wife of French President Albert Lebrun,[32] songwriters Noël Coward and Irving Berlin, and Hollywood celebrities such as Fred Astaire, Marlene Dietrich, Walt Disney, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr, and James Stewart.[42] Normandie also carried the von Trapp family Singers of The Sound of Music from New York to Southampton in 1938, and from Southampton, the family went to Scandinavia for a tour before returning to America.


Normandie, renamed USS Lafayette, lies capsized in the frozen mud of her New York Pier the winter of 1942

In 1940, after the Fall of France, the United States seized the Normandie under the right of angary. By 1941, the U.S. Navy decided to convert Normandie into a troopship, and renamed her USS Lafayette (AP-53), in honor both of Marquis de la Fayette the French general who fought on the Colonies‘ behalf in the American Revolution and the alliance with France that made American independence possible.


Lafayette (AP-53) afire at New York harbor

Earlier proposals included turning the vessel into an aircraft carrier, but this was dropped in favor of immediate troop transport.[46] The ship was moored at Manhattan’s Pier 88 for the conversion. On February 9, 1942, sparks from a welding torch ignited a stack of thousands of life vests filled with kapok, a highly flammable material, that had been stored in the first-class dining room.[47][48] The woodwork had not yet been removed, and the fire spread rapidly. The ship had a very efficient fire protection system but it had been disconnected during the conversion and its internal pumping system was deactivated.[49] The New York City fire department’s hoses also did not fit the ship’s French inlets. All on board fled the vessel.

As firefighters on shore and in fire boats poured water on the blaze, the ship developed a dangerous list to port due to water pumped into the seaward side by fireboats. About 2:45am on February 10, Lafayette (The S.S. Normandie) capsized, nearly crushing a fire boat.

The rescued items include the ten large dining room door medallions and fittings, and some of the individual Jean Dupas glass panels that formed the large murals mounted at the four corners of her Grand Salon.[53] Also surviving are some examples of the 24,000 pieces of crystal, some from the massive Lalique torchères, that adorned her Dining Salon. Also some of the room’s table silverware, chairs, and gold-plated bronze table bases. Custom-designed suite and cabin furniture as well as original artwork and statues that decorated the ship, or were built for use by the French Line aboard Normandie, also survive today.[53] Pieces from the Normandie occasionally appear on the BBC TV series Antiques Roadshow. A public lounge and promenade was created from some of the panels and furniture from the SS Normandie in the Hilton Chicago.

Designer Marin-Marie gave an innovative line to Normandie, a silhouette which influenced ocean liners over the decades, including the Queen Mary 2. The design of Normandie and her chief rival, the Queen Mary, was the main inspiration for Disney Cruise Line‘s matching vessels, the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder.[52]




The streamlined profile of Normandie. The third stack was a dummy employed to balance the ship aesthetically.