Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Day 37 - Riverside Park and Upper West Side

I found my way to Riverside Park which is right next to the Hudson River and made for a perfect Sunday afternoon with beautiful blue skies and nice warm weather with a small coolish wind. I was again officially in NYC heaven.
The playing friends in Riverside Park 
I found my way past so many kids playing on the fields and smallish parks so this is where the real New Yorkers played their sports with the kids.  There were soccer, hockey and baseball fields at the 91st area of the park.
The wide pathways 
I also found the spot where they shoot the final scene of “You’ve got mail”. I was so excited to chance onto that. 
Hudson Beach... Yes there is a beach ...  very tiny 
I was looking also for the historic upper west area which I thought was around this area. Turns out I was wrong on that one and should have read my map better. 
This is where this one was taken enjoying a perfect Autumn Afternoon
But strolling down riverside drive which also made famous by “you’ve got mail” and me enjoying the beautiful old buildings with the autumn chill in the air I still enjoyed and love loved.
you've got mail ...  
With beautiful wide pathways which kids were learning to ride bikes, scooters and playing with their parents.  Along with lovers snuggled on the benches along with the stone bridges it is truly a beautiful park. I wish I could have spent more time in there exploring.
From the garden at 91st Street 
I found a beautiful old fountain which has murky green water but right near it was a beautiful inscription by Eleanor Roosevelt. “Where after all did the universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home are such places, Where every man, woman and child, seeks equal justice, Equal opportunity, Equal Dignity”  Eleanor Roosevelt.
Eleanor Roosevelt quote
After I discovered this part of the city I made my way through to the main area of UWS with no real agenda in mind except to feed myself because I was starving. 
Fountain on Riverside Drive 
I found myself in a very bustling a busy part of UWS where the historical subway stop of 72nd street and Trader Joes which is a fantastic organic grocer but sooo seriously crowded. 
Riverside Drive 
I didn’t feel like standing in line for hour because my feet were sore and I was too hungry. 
Upper west side 
So I found a maccas and got a salad wrap relaxed and looked on Google maps to see what was around me. Also considering it was 5pm it was to get dark soon…  So what is a gal to do … shopping! 
Welcome to Riverside Park 
There was so much shopping in this area with Loft, GAP, Ann Taylor, Pottery Barn, Best buy, Apple!  More and more so I made my way along Amderstam ave and towards Lincoln centre with a couple stops on the way at the apple store … finally replaced the banged up screen protector (note to self) don’t put these on the morning before you are due to leave on a major trip! 
The Hudson River 
Found the Lincoln centre which is the opera centre of nyc with the ballet school of Julliard and music schools…  Channelling August Rush and Centre stage here! 
Lincoln Centre
Too bad there wasn’t anything showing so I could investigate the main hall.  But then I saw the time and I wanted to see my first overseas movie which was “life as we know it”. So I had to hurry back to the cinemas which were near 72nd street… 
Riverside Park 
I have to say they have more variety in terms of the snack bar and much much cheaper but the tickets weren’t as cheap as I thought … they were $12 which admittedly cheaper than what we pay here but I would think they would be in the single figures given how many people were in the cinemas. 
91st Street Garden 
So I just enjoyed and laughed at the movie and enjoyed the rom com – great for ones soul and birthday weekend. 
Upper West Side 
Once the movie was finished it was almost 10pm so I ventured back to 59th street and caught the subway back. 
Playing courts 
Just enjoyed the night air and was surprised by how many people were still out at 10pm on a cold autumn night in NYC. 
Lincoln Centre 
When I got back to the apartment I got myself sorted so I could plan my plan of attack for the next few days since my new york pass would start.
Lincoln Centre 
I must admit given that I walked over 50 blocks (which from memory is about 10 kms) which is a LOT of walking my poor tired feet needed the rest and was grateful for the comfy couch that night.
Lincoln Centre 
Bring on the sightseeing binge and I was really looking forward to Wicked on Tuesday night.  
Lincoln Centre 
Lincoln Centre 
Columbus Circle 

Day 37 - Cathedral of John Divine - Harlem

Today I had a late start because I had walked so much the day before but I really wanted to explore my neighbourhood so I got out my lonely planet guide and decided to explore Morningside heights – Harlem. I decided to go to the elegant gothic styled Cathedral of john divine. 
Top of Central Park 
So I ventured on the subway to 110th street and that also lead me to the top end of Central Park which was very pretty and so full of families on this beautiful Sunday afternoon. 
Let the adventure begin
So I wander to 110th and Amsterdam Ave past Morningside park and past the beautiful park and the amazing old gothic buildings.
Morningside park 
I found the cathedral eventually and wandered around.  It is so worth the trip up there and if you do the sightseeing buses the west side and Harlem tour stops outside the cathedral.
Harlem - Morningside Heights 
I wandered around inside with the amazing rose coloured glasses and the pipe organ still playing. It was so loud and beautiful. It also has all these chapels off the main chapel which are so beautiful and also demonstrated the virtual meal which is being shared across the world.  That part of the chapel was really unique. 
the back from the cathedral from Morningside Park 
I went to the poet’s corner which was built in 1984 to commemorate the many great poets of America.
Inside the Cathedral with the Poets Corner 
The beautiful rose coloured glass was creating a amazing atmosphere on the walls behind it.  Simply beautiful.
Fire-fighters memorial 
Looked at the fire-fighters display which recognised the efforts of the local fire-fighters in 9/11 and then the beautiful memorial candles.  I have to say that I love this photo.  It is one of my favourites. 
My fav shot from this day 
Made my “gold coin” donation so the cathedral can keep it free still to visit which I think is an important part of the city’s history especially with so many visitors coming through.
Memorial candles 
I then ventured next door to the Peace sculpture which is not advisable to visit after dark. There was a large homeless population with a lot of alcohol being consumed in the area. 
The front of the church montage 
The stench turned my stomach.  There were 2 guys arguing over something so I took my photos and got out of there. 
Sun and Moon - Good vs Evil at the Peace Sculpture 
The sculpture was developed to epitomise the struggle between arch angel Michael and Satan with the Sun Moon and animals littering the bottom which given the location and the overall beauty of it … It should have been in Rome or somewhere else. 
The Peace Sculpture - Aesop Fables 
I walked through the dormitory housing district of Columbia University which was just up the road. 
Walking down 116th St in the dorm district 
The area is littered with beautiful brownstones and pretty foyers which makes it seem like normal housing than dorms.

the amazing ornate altar
The pipe organ 
The virtual Feast 
One of the many Chapels 
The beautiful memorial candles 
The awesome door knocker Cathedral of the John Divine 
The Gothic Fa├žade of Cathedral of the John Divine 
The Peace Sculpture 
The Peace Sculpture 
The Peace Sculpture 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Explore Life Challenge - Day 30

With this being the final Day of the challenge – so thanks to Chrissie from Explore Life to pushing my boundaries and making me explore Brisbane. It helped me to push my boundaries and make sure I was experiencing life to the fullest. 
Niagra Falls 
So thank you Chrissie it helped to lift my spirits in trying to find a new job as a potential tour director.  Also helped me understand the things I need to learn.

Niagara Falls 

If it had been October last year it would have been a much different challenge with discovering NYC and many other fantastic places such as Eastern Canada, Niagara Falls and Washington. 
Lady Liberty 

I have included some of the photos from the journey. Sigh How I wish I can give someone the same journey that I found myself again. 

White House 
I challenge you to one day explore life the same way.  
Mid Town NYC