Friday, October 9, 2015

The New York Public Library...A City Treasure

As many times as I've been to New York, I've not ever visited the library.  I think in large part because I honestly didn't see the need to do so...I hate to admit that, but I mean with so many other places to visit in Manhattan, why visit the library...of all places?  Let me tell (and show) you why...

The building alone is worth the visit.  It truly is one of the most beautiful buildings in the city.  The interior is stunning!  It is considered to be "the apogee of Beaux-Arts design" (; The New York Public Library, 2015), and "was the largest marble structure attempted in the United States." 

The architectural firm of Carrere and Hastings were selected to construct the building that had begun as a sketch on a piece of scrap paper by Dr. John Shaw Billings, who was named director of the library.  Before construction could begin, a reservoir, where the library was to be built had to be dismantled (; The New York Public Library, 2015).  The cornerstone of the library was laid in May 1902.  The library finally opened it's doors to the public on May 23, 1911, welcoming between 30,000 and 50,000 visitors!

The library came to be as a result of the vision that Governor Samuel J. Tilden had of a free library in New York City.  There were two other libraries in the city at the time; the Lenox and the Astor libraries, but neither were what Governor Tilden had in mind.  So at his death he bequeathed about 2.4 million dollars for the library's construction.  For more interesting information about the history of the New York City Library, click here.

I am so glad I visited the library on this trip...and with Deirdre, who just as I, have a love and appreciation for the arts, history, architecture, and just all things beautiful.  It is important to visit cities, countries, places, museums, etc. with people who share some of the same interests as you; or at least can appreciate them, because if not, you will not enjoy yourself and miss out on so much of what life and the world around us has to offer.  If you don't have anyone to go with...go alone!  There is much to be gained and you will be so glad that you did.

I can remember when very little thought was given to the selection of light fixtures in our homes.  Thank goodness times have changed!  Lighting, of course needs to be functional; however it can be an artistic statement, an expression of our personalities.  It should be!  I wish I could have gotten a better picture of the fixtures above, but I'm hoping it's at least enough for you to get the general sense of it's beauty, along with the hallway and the ceiling.  Extraordinary!

Would you look at all of that marble; the floor, the walls, the ceiling...all constructed with marble!  In our homes, many of us love the look of marble, but hesitate to use it...(1) the expense, (2) the maintenance.  The beauty of the stone is undeniable.  It commands attention and keeps you in a world of awe. 

This is definitely one of my favorite photos of the library!  I love how the skylights flood the space with natural lighting, really bringing out the beauty of the ceiling.  The details of the ceiling, stairs, and the opening just above is evidence of a love for beauty carried out by the skilled hands of those that were commissioned to help build this section of epic American architecture.  

A little funny side note...these are the same stairs where Carrie Bradshaw dropped her cell phone because Big was not going to show for the wedding!  Okay...well, my daughter got a kick out this little tid bit!

This was my least favorite hallway in the entire building.  That actually says a lot when you consider how large the building is.  I'm just not a fan of this shade of red...kind of makes me angry!  However, there were a few reading rooms on this hallway and one office in particular that I would have liked to have gone into (but was locked).  There is a brief but informative video that you can sit through that gives you so much information and insight into the library, as well as plaques all around that serve to help you better appreciate the enormity and importance of where you are!

Marble at every turn!  What other buildings, can you think of, here in the United States that are constructed almost completely of marble?

Oh!!! You can see our hotel (the Andaz), just across the street through this marvelous window!

The Rose reading room was closed while we were there, and it was really disappointing!  More than one million books were set in place for the dedication of the library in 1911 (; The New York Public Library, 2015).  The architecural details of this huge room with it's coffered ceilings and rich wood finishes I'm sure would have given me heart palpitations!  To see this room on television and in movies, but not to be able to experience it firsthand was a huge let down...just gives me another reason to visit when I'm back in the city.

I am so sorry for the glare!  It does, somewhat, take away from the artistry and the craftsmanship of the walls, but hopefully you can still see the magnificence of it all!

The ceiling is nothing short of jaw-dropping!  When I see work like this, it makes me think and wonder about the people who did it and what it must have been like to do it.  I mean, it's a ceiling for goodness sake!  It had to be back-breaking work...and how long did this take to complete!  I'm not even a DIY'er, so to think about doing something like this really does exhaust me!

How many ways can I say "stunning"?  
...amazing, astonishing, astounding, blindsiding, dumbfounding, eye-opening, flabbergasting, jarring, jaw-dropping, jolting, shocking, startling, surprising, stupefying...

I do realize that I have featured a lot of pictures, but I do hope that you will go back and take a look at each one noticing the attention to detail that went into creating this iconic building.  Our country is a very young one in comparison to others, so to be able to see such amazing work done by hundreds of tradesmen and workers in the early 20th century without the machinery and technology of today, should be awe inspiring.  Well, it was for me; especially since you don't find works like this in the construction of new buildings today.  It's actually quite sad, but I guess a sign of the times non-the-less (deep breath...long sigh).

 Make it AMAZING!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

My Weekend Trip to New York (Part 2)

Not realizing we were in the city the same time as the Pope and the United Nations conference.  The streets were extremely busy and filled with police presence and barricades.

My daughter would have fallen all over herself to get to this store!  American Girl Place was overrun with people!  I'm sorry, I just don't get it; but then again I am 46!  I only picked up a couple of items for her doll; one of which was a silver sequin beret.  I paid ten bucks for that thing!  I'm sorry...ten dollars for a beret for a doll?  But who's the bigger nut job, the one who is selling it for ten buck or the one who purchased it for ten bucks?

Rockefeller Center is always a pretty cool place to stop.

The many times I've visited Rockefeller Center and never stopped to read this!  

My son is a Lego and puzzle fanatic!  This was yet another store that was wall to wall people!  Yes, mostly tourists and visitors, but wall to wall!

I take so many pictures until it is nice to be in a few so I can actually see myself standing in some of the places I've photographed!

Saint Patrick's Cathedral is just an architectural fascination!

Click here to read more and see more images of this treasured landmark (and where the Pope visited while in New York).

The Apple store on Fifth Avenue, near Central Park, was ridiculous!  As we were crossing the street, we were wondering what were all of these people in line for; but then as we kept walking and saw the unmistakeable symbol that is recognizeable worldwide...we wondered no more!  Really?  Is it ever that serious?  Really?

I love this picture that I took as we strolled through Central Park!  It has been seen in countless movies filmed in the city.

I'm trying to remember why I took a picture of this!  I think maybe I was puzzled as to why there were stairs leading to a big rock...maybe?  Possibly?

"Sunny day's, everything's a-ok!"  I loved me some Sesame Street growing up back in the day!  I could not pass up the chance to photograph Big Bird and Elmo!  Deirdre asks, "Now who is the little one?"

One of many carriage rides through the park.

I'm always intrigued by the details that went into building any and everything at a time when there were none of the technological and/or mechanical advances of today.

I know it may seem as though this picture is of the red hooded one so prominently featured; but in fact, it is of the gondola on the lake!  But doesn't she look like some sort of caped crusader?  You know, this just makes me realize how much more aware I need to be of myself while out in public.  Oh Dear God, the idea that I've shown up in someone's photos looking a hot mess is terrifying!!!

See...I really was here!

It really was a beautiful day to be in the park.

One thing I saw quite a bit of, that is not shown here but I wish I had gotten pics of, were people taking pictures of squirrels!  Maybe this isn't surprising to you, but it was to me!  Well, especially since I can go out my front or back door and see many of them trotting about!

Another selfie to show I was there.  Dierdre was a good sport about it!  I don't like this filter!  I can't remember which it is, but I'll not be using it again anytime soon.

A better picture of one of my favorite views.

Ok...and now me with one of my favorite views!

Waiting for the elevator to make our way to the ballet.

Wait! One more selfie before we hail a cab and be late for Swan Lake at Lincoln Center
because we didn't think about Saturday night traffic in NYC!

Sitting in Bryant Park catching up on what's going on.

When I saw this picture, all I could think was I am definitely my mother's daughter!  Lord I look like my mom!  The facial expression is so her!  I have officially become my mother!

Flight delayed a little over two hours, but we were still able to eek out smiles.  That's what a weekend trip to New York City will do for you!

Make it AMAZING!
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