New York's newest architectural intrigue, the new Cooper Union building, was completed in July 2009. It is a new annex to the establishment of higher education, officially called "The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art." The striking new building was designed by the architect, Thom Mayne, who is known for designing ultra modern buildings all over the United States, such as the Federal Building in San Francisco. Other than being extremely unconventional, the building's design is very "green" and energy efficient. Naturally, Thom Mayne's design in New York was met with some criticism, but with much applause by many others. Personally, I have grown to like his building, particularly the way he has challenged the perpendicular lines of the city. The original Cooper Union building, diagonally across from the new one is also an architectural landmark. It was built overlooking Astor Place in the 19th century using New York's brownstone in an Italianate architectural style (see attached photos).
Opened in mid-2009, the High Line is one of New York's most creative rehabilitation projects. An abandoned and partially destroyed elevated railway track on the West Side of Manhattan, dating from 1930, has been transformed into a stunning public park with views over the Hudson River through a combination of genius landscaping, clever lighting and a sleek design. Although the project is still only partially complete, the section that is open to the public is deemed a great success. It is possible to walk the length of the tracks of the opened section, sit at one of the many benches or tables, take some sun on one of the chaises longues, or eat a sandwich at its café, Craftwich. When complete, the High Line will stretch a much longer length, but currently the opened section only runs from 12th Street in the Meatpacking District up to 18th Street in west Chelsea.
Richard and I came on a sort of sentimental "pilgrimage" to Greenwich Village. We are both ardent Bob Dylan fans- and this area is where Dylan really made his mark-and the rest is history.Not only did he live in the village- he wrote many songs about it. We had to visit 4th Street (positivly!)
This is what Dylan said about New York and the Village after arriving here in January 1961.He was 19 years old.
"New York was a dream... It was a dream of the cosmopolitan riches of the mind. It was a great place for me to learn and to meet others who were on similar journeys." (Bob Dylan, speaking on Westwood One Radio, 1985)
Greenwich Village played a major role in the development of the folk music scene of the 1960s. Three of the four members of The Mamas and the Papas met there. Guitarist and folk singer Dave Van Ronk lived there for many years. Developments in New York City would influence the simultaneously occurring folk rock movement in San Francisco, and vice versa. Dozens of other cultural and popular icons got their start in the Village's nightclub, theater, and coffeehouse scene during the 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s, notably Barbra Streisand, Peter, Paul, and Mary, Simon and Garfunkel, Jackson Browne, Eric Andersen, Joan Baez, The Velvet Underground, Richie Havens, Maria Muldaur, Tom Paxton, Phil Ochs, Jimi Hendrix and Nina Simone.
The village used to be very bohemian- it is now a very upmarket cosmopolitan residential area that is home to rich and famous , including a number of movie stars. The streets are lined with coffee shops and chic boutiques. It does, however, still maintain much of its old world charm, and we managed to actually visit a few of the surviving clubs where Dylan performed. It was a buzz.
“When we assumed the Soldier, we did not lay aside the Citizen.”
— George Washington (1732-1799)
At the southern most point of Union Square Park stands an equestrian bronze of George Washington by Henry Kirke Brown; it was installed here, facing East 14th Street, in 1856.
This equestrian bronze of George Washington, known in America as “the Father of our Country,” is the oldest sculpture that the New York City Parks Department owns. It has been in the park since its unveiling. It shows General Washington on Evacuation Day, 25.November.1783, when he reclaimed the city from the retreating British. With his outstretched hand, it has been suggested that Washington offers a gesture of benediction to his troops. This is an ancient gesture; it has its most famous example in the equestrian bronze of Emperor Marcus Aurelius on the Capitoline Hill in Rome (see von.otter’s Rome Things To Do Tips: “Campidoglio/Capitoline Hill: Marcus Aurelius Monument” and “Musei Capitolini, Marcus Aurelius” for photos of this ancient work).
Henry Kirke Brown, the sculptor of this monument, worked on it for 18 months in Brooklyn. Brown also made the bronze of Abraham Lincoln in the park. The sculpture was cast at the Ames Foundry in Chicopee, Mass. Following the Civil War, the Ames Foundry changed operations from casting cannons for the War Between the States to casting bronze figures for Civil War monuments throughout the East. It became one of the earliest art foundries in the country.
Accomplice: The Village is a really cool experience. I should not write anything at all other than to go - It's full of surprises and super fun. Takes place all over Greenwich Village and there are improv actors - it was hilarious - part theater, part tour and part game. Great for all ages - even our teenagers said that they loved it! Don't want to ruin it but check it out if you're looking for something different. We saw the "Village" version. I believe the "New York" version opens in April. Have fun!
Take in some street art when you are walking the charming residential streets of Greenwich Village.
The Carmine Street Mural was painted in August 1987 by graffiti artist Keith Haring (1958–1990) on the wall that faces the Carmine Street Pool, part of the Tony Dapolito Recreation Center at the corner of Clarkson Street and Seventh Avenue South.
The mural measures 18 feet high by 170 feet long. Haring was inspired by the colors of the pool’s underwater surface; the mural features fanciful images of fish and children and abstract shapes in black, white, yellow and blue.
The outdoor pool, built in the 1930s, is a city public pool open to city recreation members for a small fee.
The mural’s creator, Keith Haring, was born on May 4, 1958 in Pennsylvania, and died of AIDS on February 16, 1990.
This is a free walking event. There are no memberships, administrative or registration fees. The desserts are free to drool over, but affordably priced for consumption.
Now that we’ve cleared up what’s free, let’s concentrate on those succulent works of art, the desserts. This inaugural monthly walking tour will take us to the West Village, for tasting delicious hand-made chocolates, gelatos and cupcakes.
Meet our tour guide in the red ball cap saying “Free NYC Dessert Fest” on Sunday December 7, 2008 at 10:30am at Magnolia Bakery, 401 Bleecker Street at West 11th Street. Then over to L’Arte Del Gelato, and our last stop we’ll be at Jacques Torres Chocolate. Tour lasts approximately 2 hours. Walking distance 1 mile.
For questions or comments http://www.walkingtoursmanhattan.com click contact
This is almost certainly the best known of New York’s downtown districts and has been a focal point for alternative city living for over a hundred years. It is generally considered as being bounded by Broadway on the east, the Hudson River on the west, Houston Street on the south, and 14th Street on the north, though this varies slightly according to the source you consult – some for instance regard the West Village (west of Seventh Avenue) as a separate district. Unlike more northerly districts of Manhattan, its historic streets are laid out in a more European fashion rather than a geometric grid, with diagonals and even bends quite commonplace. This makes exploring here more of a challenge but also more fun, as getting lost is the best way to encounter unexpected sights and events.
It grew up as a distinct village and was only later absorbed into the fast-growing New York City. Perhaps because of this it has always been seen as a focal point of new movements and ideas: political, artistic and cultural. Artists were attracted to its bohemian image, and in the 1950s it saw the birth of the Beat culture, attracting writes such as Jack Kerouac, Allan Ginsburg and Dylan Thomas. And growing up in the 1960s and 70s I first heard about “The Village” as the place for American folk music and my favoured musical genre, the folk-influenced singer-songwriters. Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Simon and Garfunkel, Jackson Browne, Tom Paxton and many others lived and played here. More recently the area played a key role in the gay liberation movement – see my separate tip on the Stonewall Inn for more on this. These days this is an expensive area in which to live, so it has perhaps lost its former beatnik charm, but the presence of lots of students (New York University has its main campus here) keeps it young and lively in tone. There are still plenty of music and comedy clubs, bars and excellent coffee shops.
This is exactly the sort of area that makes exploring New York such a delight in my view. You can be walking the skyscraper-walled canyons on midtown Manhattan in the morning, and by lunch-time find yourself, as we did, on the much more human-scale streets of the Village. This is a people-watcher’s paradise. Take a seat at a pavement café or in a local bar, maybe bring along a book to fit in (although on this visit we saw as many Apple Macs as we did books!), and relax and watch the world go by. Or wander in and out of some of the more eclectic shops to be found here – left-wing bookshops, vintage clothing stores, old vinyl record shops and much more. You could easily spend the best part of a day exploring just a few streets, and still not see everything.
My photos were taken mostly around Bleecker and McDougall Streets.
One of my most enjoyable experiences in NYC is to walk around aimlessly in the West Village. This is a peaceful, wealthy neighborhood, still in Manhattan, but away from the noise and congestion of Midtown and other neighborhoods like Midtown (ie. UES, UWS, Murray Hill, you know who you are).
Also, there are lots of little boutique stores like Marc Jacobs, enjoyable cafe spots , celebrities incognito, renowned cupcake shops (Magnolia Bakery), a really nice vibe overall. Walking through the streets of the West Village is a perfect antidote to the madness of the rest of New York.
The area of Bleecker & Macdougal St in the village is an enjoyable walk, both day and nightime.
There is so much history and for me
so many musical ghosts to chase.
Some of the best music & major influences from my teen years originated in this part of town.
from my favorite Fred Neil ... (Here's a classic & beautiful Fred Neil 'Dolphins' clip)
the Blues Project / Cafe Wha? & the Bitter End, the Velvet Underground scene with Andy Warhol to the best early Dylan.The Greenwich Village music scene from as early as the 1920s to 1964 was the precursor to the major wave of musical influence that spawned out on the West Coast and later in 1966 / 67 washed over the entire country,
cleansing and changing everything.
Even if music history isn't your thing, though now a gentrified, expensive neighborhood (like most of Manhattan these days) there are still lots of off-the-wall interesting little businesses & cafes: everything from psychics, tattoo parlours & unique / collector record shops to coffeehouses - great places to hang out & people-watch.Speaking of NY gentrification: Comdomania (pictured 2nd) is yet another victim of skyrocketing Manhattan rents
(gee, maybe they'll slam in another fu#%ng Starbucks ...)
Sorry, the Bleeker St / Village webcam appears to be gone.
Though it is definitely not what it was then (what IS?) the area of Bleecker & Macdougal still can be a very interesting & fun walk, not to mention (if you are an aging musician) a both happy & sad stroll down "nostalgia lane."
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