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The Seward Monument
“If slavery, limited as it yet is, now threatens to subvert the Constitution, how can we as wise and prudent statesmen, enlarge its boundaries and increase its influence, and thus increase already impending dangers?”
— William H. Seward (1801-1872)
At the southwest corner of Madison Square Park, where Broadway and East 23rd Street intersect, stands an imposing bronze of statesman William Seward. It was designed by Randolph Rogers (1825-1892). After the sculpture was dedicated in 1876 Seward became the first New Yorker to be honored with a monument in the city.
We have Seward thank for giving Sarah Pallin the opportunity to say that she is qualified to conduct foreign policy because she can see Russia from her backyard. As Secretary of State in Abraham Lincoln’s first administration, Seward negotiated the purchase of Alaska from Russia; this real estate deal became known as Seward’s Folly.
In addition to his national public service as secretary of state, Seward served as United States Senator from New York from 1849 to 1861. He was a two-term governor of New York State from 1839 to 1843; and he was a leader of Whig Party’s the anti-slavery wing.
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Building
The Metropolitan Life Tower is also known as the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Building or Met Life Tower. This landmark skyscraper can be found at One Madison Avenue and East 23rd Street and Madison Square Park in Manhattan. The architectural firm of Napoleon LeBrun & Sons modeled it on Venice’s Campanile. It was built in 1909 and served as the world headquarters of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company until 2005. It was the world’s tallest building briefly; in 1913 the Woolworth Building took over that honor. The building received the designation National Historic Landmark when it was added to the National Register of Historic Places on 6.February.1978.
Because the building is still an active office building where people work, it can only be appreciated from the outside.
The 50-story Tower is the most noticeable part of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Building. It is a later addition to the original 11-story, office building, known as the East Wing (see photo #4), that was completed in 1893. There are four clock faces, one to each side of the tower. Each clock measures 26.5 feet in diameter with each number measuring four feet in height. The total weight of all four minute hands add up to two tons!
Originally the Tower was sheathed in Tuckahoe marble, sadly during a misguided renovation in 1964, limestone replaced it on both the Tower and the East Wing, doing away with the original Renaissance revival details in favor of a so-called streamlined, modern look. Thankfully now there is a Landmarks Preservation Commission that would prevent such capricious steps.
- Historical Travel
Metropolitan Life Tower
From its completion in 1909 and until the Woolworth Building was constructed, this Renaissance-style clock tower was the world's highest building. It was designed by Napoleon LeBrun as an expansion of the 1893 building used by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. It is said that the tower was much more richly decorated, but in a 1964 renovation, sadly its marble ornamentation was deliberately stripped and it was given a smooth limestone surface. In 1929, a northern annex to the tower was built and connected to the tower with a causeway. The new building was designed to complement the tower by the architect Harvey Wiley Corbett. The pyramidal top of the Metropolitan Life Tower is beautifully illuminated every night (see attached photo).
New York Life Building
With its 187-metre gilded octagonal pyramid roof, the New York Life Building has been a landmark since its construction in 1928. It was one of the last buildings to be designed by the prominent architect, Cass Gilbert, whose most famous work is the Woolworth Building in downtown Manhattan, and it carries his signature Neo-Gothic style. The building continues to house the headquarters of the New York Life Insurance Company.
Madison Square Garden
Going to Madison Square Garden is a must while in New York. The big arena often called as The Garden can seat up to 19.000 people and was built at 34th street and 7th Avenue not far from Penn Station. The building was built in 1925 but there were two previous arenas the first from 1879.
It is the home of the New York Rangers (NHL), New York Nicks (NBA) and New York Liberty (WNBA) and many other events such as concerts.
Inside there are several fast food places to grab something to eat while watching the game. Space between rows is really small so don’t take to many things inside (I had to take a big bag inside and was uncomfortable). When the game starts, the first thing is the national anthem so don’t do what I did. When I got to the arena I was starving so I got something to eat. So I was in the middle of the american national anthem trying to get up and juggle a sandwich and the potato chips and the coke it was not very easy.
The game is a show, besides the NBA game, there are many things happening in the intervals. The screens of the stadium keep pumping support messages, the public goes wild, the music pushes for the public. In the interval there are long shot games, cheerleaders, song contests, and even marriage proposals. Everything happens in Madison Square Garden!
Be careful where you buy your tickets. There are many forgeries in tickets so purchase them in official places or on the web. I stayed in one of the worst seats but still visibility was nice. The official website (www.thegarden.com) sells tickets.
There are also many guided tours to the inside of this place known worldwide including by many movies, TV and showbiz stars often appear to games and other events.
Even if you’re not into sports for me it was a highlight of my trip to New York.
See ANYTHING at Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden is an arena that hosts a variety of exciting events. The New York Rangers hockey team and the New York Knicks basketball team play there during the fall, winter, and spring. There are also other sporting events such as boxing and bullriding. Tons of musical acts (Madonna, U2, Oasis, Rascal Flatts, ect.) and comedians (Dane Cook - yay!) have shows there throughout the year as well. Family events such as Sesame Street Live and the Ringling Bros and Barnum Bailey Circus also can be seen at the Garden at various times throughout the year. Tours of the Garden are also available.
Go to the New York Rangers
On January 8th, just four days after my arrival, I went to the Madison Square Garden to see the New York Rangers (Jaromir Jagr, Brendan Shanahan, Scott Gomez, Michal Roszival...) play the Tampa Bay Lightning (Vinnie Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis). I booked a ticket in the 300 seating on Ticketmaster (USD 80.00 with all fees) and I had a great view from up there. Sadly the Rangers didn't manage to win that night but nevertheless: The arena, the whole show is worth it.
- Theater Travel
Yet another good place to relax
You may wonder why so many of my NYC tips are about where to relax - this is simply due to the fact that I enjoy exploring cities by foot. On my first full day in NYC I walked for roughly 17km through the south tip of Manhattan! No need to mention that a pause now and then is necessary...
A good place to have a break and enjoy people-watching and occasionally some music is Madison Square Park which must not be confused with Madison Square Garden. The beautiful and well-kept park in the middle of Midtown is a wonderful oasis in the middle of the chaos and hectic of New York. It's a convenient location to have lunch as some relatively cheap restaurants are around. Apparently, the one in the park is a special place for whatever reason - there was a line of like 100 people when I passed the place. I decided, however, not to line up myself and went to a nearby sandwich place instead.
Madison Square Park is located next to the Flatiron Building, one of New York's first skyscrapers (1902). Another interesting building close by is the Metropolitan Life Tower (1909) which resembles the clock tower of St. Marcus's church in Venice.
Catch a Concert at Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden hosts some of the biggests music and concert venues in the City. I come to the garden to catch some of my favorite singers, like most recently the tour of Marc Anthony & Jennifer Lopez.
What a performace!
Some of us have had fantacies about Michael Jordan and Scotie Pippen and Shaq and...you carch my drift? So when I got to the Big Apple, I refused to let the opportunity of a night at Madison square garden pass!!!
Madison Square garden has an amazing energy and it's not just basketball. There are also usually some or other concert.
Madison Square Garden
I am not into sports so we simply made a stop in front of the Madison Square Garden during our on-foot exploration of the city. After all, you can't go to NYC and not so much as take a look at legendary buildings such as this one.
So yeah, it's a building - what we were mostly impressed by was the INCREDIBLE number of taxis at the door and the number of people with whistles trying to get more to stop by. If you want an example of the stressed out NYC lifestyle, this is it!
Madison Square Garden
Just seeing the outside of the place was a kick for me. There is a huge basketball on the top of a building. I had heard about in in many Hollywood movies including Rush Hour 2 when Jackie Chan can't say Madison Square garden in the credits. Inside of course one can watch the famous basketball games starring the New York Knics.
Lovely tree lined avenue
Walking down Madison Avenue was a delight on a sunny Sunday morning because NYC is very much a working city there were very few people about. It really is a lovely avenue for a quiet stroll along its leafy tree lined streets
- Family Travel
Little park, great experience!
After a long period of restoration the park reopened in 2001. It looks the same as it was in the 19th century. Madison Square Park is located at Manhattan's Flatiron District and is one of the oldest parks of New York.
Madison Square Garden is a small park, but nevertheless a park with a serene atmosphere. There’s a playground, picnic tables, lush lawns and flowering plants everywhere you look. If you’re hungry you can buy burgers, hot dogs, and cold drinks at a food stand called Shake Shack.
There are benches everywhere shaded by large trees and that’s a great treat after a long walk. People come here to meet friends, have something to eat during there lunch break. I saw people reading a book or newspaper. And I? I was watching the people who walked by and enjoy the great ambiance of Madison Square Park.
While you’re sitting in the park, you can see parts of the surrounding landmarks like the Flatiron Building. It’s a very enjoyable park to spend some time.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Budget Travel
A must do for a basketball lover. The Knicks were on a 7 game losing streak when we arrived and went on a 7 game losing streak after we left but somehow, I presume just for us, they won on the night we were there.
It was near enough to a packed house which amazed us. In Australia you rarely get full houses to basketball even in the smaller stadiums and supporting a winning team.
There are signs up everywhere saying no photos. Not sure what that was all about as once we got in there we, and everyone else, took heaps of photos so dont worry about those signs.
The feel of the place was incredible and the atmosphere was something that even non basketball or even non sporting people could enjoy. So if you are the half of the couple or group that thinks you wont enjoy the night, then dont worry, you will enjoy it.
A lifelong dream completed that night.
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