Tag Archives: Looking Up

Manhattanhenge

2 Jun

Stuyvesant Street is the only street on Manhattan that actually runs on the true East-West axis. All the other streets are slightly tilted. This allows for a curious phenomenon that occurs twice a year at sunset that has become known as Manhattanhenge.

Manhattanhenge

The sun comes pouring down all the streets, turning them into bright orange canyons of light. It’s truly spectacular, and a little awe inspiring. There’s another one on July 13th in case you missed this one.

Awesomeness!

9 Feb

Snowboarding In The City

I came out of the Union Square subway station yesterday morning and was instantly confused.  There was a Greenmarket on.  This usually happens on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.  I actually had to ask one of the vendors what day it was.  He confirmed that it was in fact Thursday.  So why were they there?  To feed hungry snowboarders.  Huh?  He said, turn around.  And there, when I did, was a little mini-mountain of snow and a whole gaggle of boarders.

Boarding In Union Square

They were just setting up for a big competition that was to occur later that night. So I went back on my trip home.  The kids weren’t going too hard, I guess the fear of landing on concrete is a mighty one, but it was an amazing thing to witness in the middle of the City’s hustle and bustle.

Boarding In Union Square

Ah, New York… You just never know what you’re going to find around the next corner.

Ka-Boom!

2 Jan

New Year's Eve Prospect Park Fireworks

Happy New Year everybody!

We spent our last minutes of 2006 beneath the annual fireworks display in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.

They were setting them off about 300 feet in front of us and exploding maybe, six stories above our heads. By the time the finale came around I was gobsmacked. I couldn’t cheer anymore, or smile any bigger, I was simply in awe.

Any day is a fantastic day to go to Olmstead & Law’s most impressive creation (in my humble opinion), but if you find yourself without a destination in the last hours of 2007 jump on a subway and head for the arch. Just be sure to get there before midnight!

Water Water Everywhere

28 Dec

Chelsea Water Towers

Those wooden tanks dotting the roofs of buildings all over New York City, as ubiquitous to the skyline as the Empire State Building, actually serve a purpose other than providing a dramatic arc for Law & Order plots.

Most buildings over 6 stories tall have one. Why? Because, we built this city on rock (no roll).

The bedrock is really, really hard meaning we can’t drill for water, and so our water comes from Upstate, through water tunnels. Without any assistance, the water will rise up to the 6th story, but no higher and since lots of buildings here are taller than that, it makes more sense to pump the water up to a tank on the roof once, than to pump the water numerous times to numerous places each time someone opens a tap or spigot. And so, we have water tanks.

Most are still made of wood, mainly by the Rosenwach Tank company, but some are made of metal, and I think there was (is?) even one made of resin.

Whatever the material, I really like them. They remind me of the past, which in a city that changes as rapidly as this one can, is comforting.

Angels In The Belfry

14 Dec

St. Mark's In The Bowery

St. Mark’s-In-The-Bowery is, according to One Thousand New York Buildings, the second-oldest church on Manhattan. It sits on the corner of 2nd Ave and E 10th St. near Stuyvesant Street, the only street on the island that actually runs on an east-west axis.

Good old Peter Stuyvesant’s own personal chapel once stood at this location, and the old codger is buried here himself, as are many members of his family. I guess this used to be a very fashionable church, but these days you’re more likely to see gawking tourists or sad homeless men loitering about than an actual congregant.

St. Mark's In The Bowery

Regardless, I love to sit on one of the park benches in the plaza in front of the church and soak up the sun while sipping coffee on a beautiful, sunny Sunday.