Archive for the ‘Gramercy’ category

Bellevue South Park

March 14, 2008

Across from Bellevue Hospital is a very pleasant little park:  Bellevue South Park.

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It was cold and windy the day I went by there, but you can see that NYC has done a nice little job with the place.  And they’ve done one of their great little tricks:  lots of places to sit.

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The seating doesn’t show up particularly well in the pictures, but it’s there.  I imagine it’s one of those places that visitors to Bellevue can escape to on occasion to smoke a cigarette (rapidly becoming illegal anywhere in NYC) or to avoid the hospital atmosphere.

-H

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Bellevue Hospital

March 13, 2008

Long before I set foot in NYC, I had heard of Bellevue.  It seemed to be a staple element of detective novels and crime dramas and the occasional biography that I read.  It was always associated with the worst-of-the-worst sorts of situations:  shootings, stabbings, rape, the homeless and their afflictions, and often psychiatric disorders.

Bellevue is apparently the oldest public hospital in the US (founded 1736), and I can say this:  it is big.  And, amazingly enough, located right next door to another huge hospital center:  NYU Medical.

And it is located very close to where I live.  It’s around 29th Street and 1st Avenue.

When I saw this sign, all I could think about is that it looked somewhat gothic and cool.

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But it isn’t the main building or the main gate or anything in particular.  The main building seems pretty modern.

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Not what I would have expected from such an old institution with its gritty past.  But the front is just a facade.  Inside has to be one of the coolest entrances to a hospital that I’ve ever seen.  I’m not sure of it, but the glass exterior in the picture above is sort of an add-on and they’ve restored (or seemed to) the old hospital front in a sort of mall-like setting.

And I, idiot that I am, forgot to take a picture.  Actually, they prohibit pictures in there, and they’ve got plenty of security.  However, I could have snuck an easy picture without really violating anything as I’d technically be outside of the real entrance area.  However, I was concerned about the light and my flash and didn’t want to bring myself to their attention.

But it gives me an excuse to go back at a better time.

Anyway, this is only one of many buildings in the complex.  They, too, give me a reason to go back, but I don’t know that I’d be able to wander amongst the buildings.  I guess I’ll find out.

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-H

Gramercy Park

December 28, 2007

Gramercy Park is a very quiet, very nice, and very exclusive part of Manhattan.  It is, of course, part of the Gramercy neighborhood that starts somewhere around 34th Street and goes down to somewhere around 14th Street.  It’s on the east side of Manhattan.

Gramercy Park is a little different that other parks in Manhattan.  No.  Make that “Gramercy Park is a whole lot different than other parks in Manhattan”.

It’s exclusive.  You have to live in the immediate neighborhood of the park to get a key to the place.  For the rest of us, it just sort of sits there and mocks us as unworthy to enter.

It’s located around 22nd and Lexington Avenue.  It interrupts the flow of traffic, but that’s okay:  it’s Gramercy Park.

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A couple of years ago, I looked pretty closely at buying a place in the Gramercy neighborhood and their big selling point was that it came with a key to the park.  It’s a very nice park, but don’t confuse it with the big ones.  It’s pretty small.  The defining characteristic of it, aside from keeping out the riff-raff like me, is that it is very neat and clean and ordered.

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It really goes east to west.  Here’s a shot from the west.

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It was a cold Saturday, and there was absolutely no one in the park.  Right in the middle of Manhattan and not a single soul was walking it.  There were a few of us wandering the outside perimeter…probably mostly wishing to go into a warm building rather than a cold park.  ‘Cept for me, of course.

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In the center of the park is a statue that I really don’t understand.  I’m a bit of a history buff but I wouldn’t have put this person on my list of “center statue of Manhattan’s most exclusive park” within the top 2,000 or so.  I certainly knew his name, but…why on earth is he there?

Here’s his picture.

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Yep, it’s Edwin Booth, older brother of John Wilkes Booth (you ought to know that name without a Wikipedia link).

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He seems to be in his Hamlet costume, for which he was famed.  And we thought these were the days of celebrity worship.

-H

William Seward Statue

December 27, 2007

I went by Madison Square Park the other day whilst wandering about (I haven’t used the word ‘whilst’ in a long time and am happy to end that drought).

Two items impressed themselves upon me.  First, the Shake Shack was closed for the season.

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In an earlier post, I had commented how wildly popular the place is.

Second, I got a nice look and picture of the William H. Seward statue.  Alaskans can celebrate the man in English ‘stead o’ someone else in Russian due to the man’s stubborness.

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-H