11 January 2013

Big Apple Adventure: New York City, 3-6 January 2013

New York may be at its most picturesque in spring and summer, but a January 2013 visit proves that this city has an abundance of things to see and do whatever the time of year.  Encountering relatively mild temperatures and a city devoid of any ice or snow, we took in as many sights in the Big Apple as possible during our visit from 3-6 January, from the Staten Island Ferry and Rockefeller Center to Central Park and the American Museum of Natural History.  Presented below are the photographic highlights of winter in New York...

The ornate top of the Art Deco Chrysler Building in midtown Mahanttan, East 42nd St.
The Statue of Liberty, as seen from the Staten Island Ferry.
Looking up the East River from the Staten Island Ferry.  The iconic Brooklyn Bridge spans the river.

The GE Building, also known as 30 Rockefeller Center, seen from Fifth Ave. and West 50th St.
The GE Building by night.
The famous Rockefeller Plaza Christmas tree.
The Christmas tree towers over the statue of Atlas at the head of the Rockefeller Plaza skating rink.
A view of the interior lobby of 30 Rockefeller Center.  The mural 'American Progress' adorns the rear wall.
The frieze 'Wisdom' above the main entrance to the GE Building.
Another of the Art Deco friezes for which the buildings of Rockefeller Center is famous.
The frieze over the entrance to the RCA Building of the Rockefeller Center.
The Radio City Music Hall at Sixth Ave. and West 50th St.

The Roosevelt Hotel, seen from East 45th St. and Vanderbilt Ave.

The main entrance to the Roosevelt Hotel.
The lobby of the Roosevelt Hotel.  The hotel opened in 1924 and featured street-level retail shops as bars were banned in the Prohibition era.
A view of the lobby from the second-floor mezzanine.

A view of office towers along West 42nd St., across the street from Bryant Park

Bank of America Tower One
The Josephine Shaw Lowell Memorial Fountain in Bryant Park.  The fountain was dedicated in 1912 to the social worker and founder of the Charity Organization Society.

Citi Pond, the centrepiece of Bryant Park in winter, is a popular skating rink.

A view of some of the Holiday Shops at Bryant Park, selling gifts, jewelry, clothing, hot apple cider, and cosmetics.

A view of the 40th St. Allée in Bryant Park.  Inspired by French garden design, Bryant Park features promenades lined with London plane trees, garden beds, and a large central lawn. 

The Southwest Porch café located at the southwest corner of the park is just one of the 'witchcraft food kiosks operating in Bryant Park year round.

A view of the Met Life Building at Park Ave. and East 45th St.  This building, which soars over Grand Central Terminal, was opened in 1963 and once served as the headquarters of Pan American Airways.

A view inside Grand Central Terminal's main concourse, facing east.  This iconic New York transportation hub opened in 1871 and was rebuilt in 1913 and 1994-2000.

Another view of the main concourse.  Metro-North Railroad ticket counters are on the right, and an information booth is located in the centre of the vast open hall.  One level below is the food court and railway tracks on which commuter trains arrive from upstate New York and Connecticut.  Grand Central also provides access to the New York City Subway via the Grand Central-42nd St. Station.   

A scale model of Grand Central Terminal in the New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex, a free satellite gallery housed in Grand Central Terminal.  The miniature is part of a special model railroad display the Museum Gallery Annex hosted in late-2012 and early 2013 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Grand Central Terminal.

The entrance to the New York Public Library Main Branch on Fifth Ave. at West 42nd St.  The white marble Beaux Arts building opened in 1911.  The library's enormous underground stacks stretch under adjacent Bryant Park.   

The main lobby of the library, decorated for Christmas
The Rose Main Reading Room is 78 feet wide, 297 feet long, and 52 feet high, with massive chandeliers & ornately-carved and elaborately-painted ceilings.  

Another view of the rich surroundings of the Rose Main Reading Room.
Times Square, looking west at Seventh Ave. and West 42nd St.

Looking north up Times Square.  Since the closure of Times Square to vehicle traffic in 2009, pedestrians are free to stroll over what was once one of the world's most congested roadways.  Tables and chairs, accented by large planters, offer welcome respite for visitors. 

Times Square as seen from Seventh Ave. and West 44th St.

Times Square as seen from Seventh Ave. and West 46th St.

Daytime in Times Square, when the pace is a little more sedate and the surroundings less garish.

The New York Police Department Times Square Station, with its neon lights designed to fit in with its surroundings.

The Times Square-42nd St subway station entrance. 

Virgil's Real BBQ restaurant at 152 West 44th St.  This restaurant, opened in 1994, serves ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and other barbeque favourites in a down-home atmosphere. 

The Hershey's outlet in Times Square at the intersection of Broadway and West 47th St.

The main entrance to the American Museum of Natural History, at Central Park West and West 81st St.

The Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda, where visitors purchase admission tickets.  This ornate hall features a fossil diorama, depicting a Barosaurus defending its young against two attacking Allosauruses, while the walls contain murals depicting the accomplishments and pronouncements of President Theodore Roosevelt.  
A fossilised Triceratops in the 4th floor Hall of Ornithischian Dinosaurs.

An Apatosaurus skeleton in the 4th floor Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs. 

Mammoth skeletons in the 4th floor Milstein Hall of Advanced Mammals.

A Tyrannosaurus skeleton in the Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs 

A herd of eight stuffed African elephants is the centrepiece of the 2-story Akeley Hall of African Mammals, located on the museum's 2nd and 3rd floors.  Stuffed animals are mounted in 28 intricately-painted dioramas resembling the animals' natural habitats.  




The South African diorama, featuring gazelles.

Black Rhinocerous

A 94-foot long, 21,000 pound model of a Blue Whale hangs from the ceiling in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life.  The dark, cavernous room is lit with deep blue light and piped-in ocean sound effects contribute to the watery ambiance.  The two-story room features dioramas showcasing stuffed marine mammals and fish displayed in representations of their natural habitats.

A display on the importance and function of coral reefs.

A wall display showing the evolutionary tree of fish species.

Walrus diorama
One of the famous orange Staten Island ferries.
The Staten Island Ferry Terminal in downtown Manhattan.
A view of the exterior observation deck on the Staten Island Ferry.
The downtown Manhattan skyline, as seen from the Staten Island Ferry.  One World Trade Center is under construction on the left.
A closeup of One World Trade Center under construction in dowtown Manhattan.
An armed US Coast Guard boat escorts the Staten Island Ferry across the harbour from Staten Island to Manhattan.
A view of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge from the Staten Island Ferry.
The interior of the Staten Island Ferry.  While packed with nonplussed commuters during the weekday rush hours, the weekend passengers are mostly tourists who, given the pleasant, sunny weather and spectacular views,  largely prefer to sit or stand on the exterior decks.  

Approaching the Staten Island Ferry Terminal on Staten Island.

Tankers and freighters moored in a sunny New York harbour, with the Verrazano Narrows Bridge in the background.
The skyline of Brooklyn.
A closeup view of one of the piers of the Brooklyn Bridge traversing the East River.
Passengers disembark from the Staten Island Ferry at the Manhattan terminal.
Looking down the tracks of the Whitehall-South Ferry subway station in lower Manhattan.
Looking northeast up Central Park from Belvedere Castle. 
The body of water is the Turtle Pond.

Belvedere Castle, a visitor centre and weather
reporting station in Central Park.  Visitors can
climb to the top of the castle for spectacular
views of the park. 

A view of Belvedere Castle's observation deck.

A view of the Lake and the Bethesda Fountain from the Bethesda Terrace in Central Park. 

Bethesda Terrace

Another view of Bethesda Terrace and the Bethesda Fountain.
The Loeb Boathouse on the Lake, near Bethesda Terrace.

A horse-drawn carriage proceeds along East Drive in Central Park.

The Glade Arch, one of the numerous picturesque stone arches scattered throughout Central Park.

A view of the skyscrapers on West 59th St. across
from the park's southern boundary.
Despite it being January, Central Park's lawns were still green.
A view of the midtown Manhattan skyline, looking southwest
from a rocky bluff in Central Park.

A view of the skating rink in Central Park.

A view up The Mall

Ducks swim in The Pond, with the quaint Gapstow Bridge
in the background.
Looking south over The Pond. The Plaza Hotel is the white building on the right.
A closeup of the 20-story Plaza Hotel on Central Park South/West 59th St.

The National Museum of the American Indian, across from
Bowling Green Park in lower Manhattan.

The entrance to the Wall Street subway station on Broadway,
served by the 4 and 5 trains.
The entrance to the New York Stock Exchange
on Wall Street in lower Manhattan.

Federal Hall National Memorial on Wall Street. This building, built in 1842 as the United States Customs House, stands on the site of the former Federal Hall, where George Washington was inaugurated as the first President of the United States and where the Bill of Rights was introduced to the First Congress in 1789.

Union Square at 14th St. in the Flatiron District.
Equestrian statue of George Washington at the southern
end of Union Square.

New York, old & new: Met Life Tower (1909) on
the left and One Madison Park (2010) on the right. 
Inside Trinity Church, built in 1846 at the 
intersection of Wall St. and Broadway
Trinity Church cemetary. 

A napkin from Macy's Cellar Bar & Grill, one of the restaurants located in Macy's flagship New York store at Herald Square/ West 34th Street and Broadway. 

Below: The visitor's guide (circa January 2013) to the American Museum of Natural History, New York City.


Below: The guide to the New York Public Library's "Lunch Hour" exhibit on display at the Main Branch in Bryant Park (Fifth Ave. and East 42nd St.) in January 2013.  The exhibit showcases the impact of urban life on the evolution of the midday meal, with an assortment of photos and restaurant menus dating back to the late-19th century.



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