Summer walk in Central Park

1D194D4D-0EE0-4B49-8BBD-46396D693D4AA note from Pinay New Yorker: There are times when I want to write a post in a very detailed manner that it ends up languishing in my drafts folder for ages. There are times when they end up like this one, forgotten. Many months after that walk in my Central Park, I found this and just realized I never published it. Now well into winter, I have finally decided that I will hit the publish button finished or not. It’s my own ode to the summer of the pandemic here in New York City. (12.30.20)

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A couple of weeks ago when I braved returning to the city, I had the chance to do my daily walk in Central Park. This is a much delayed post, but before the summer is totally over, I wanted to share my walk around this favorite part of New York.

One of the things I have always tried to aim to accomplish in any given year is to visit Central Park all four seasons. I’m starting a bit late this time, having skipped spring, but I had the chance to explore and visit some of my favorite spots a couple of Saturdays ago. This isn’t exactly this previous weekend, but for this summer, this is my Central Park trek.

Central Park is a big patch of green in Manhattan that spans acres of land. I have yet to reach the upper fringes of the park, but have gone enough times to have my personal favorites. One place I hope to visit with Angelo one of these days is The Gill where he used to play among the rocks. Maybe one day one he is up for a picnic lunch and things are not as different as they are now.

For this particular day in the park, I had my goals set modestly to walk towards the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain. It’s deep enough into the park to be not that easily accessible from the outer perimeter, but close enough that you can go back the same way you came in from 59th street.

I chose it not only for its beauty and serenity, because it’s one of the more iconic spots here. I have beheld it several times before, and I knew from which vantage point to best take the pictures. In all honesty, the best time to visit the park is in the early fall when the leaves change colors, but the trees have not shed its leaves to prepare for winter.

I was ready with my mask, my disposable gloves in the pocket of my leggings, and a small pocket sanitizer tucked in the other pocket. The things you have to bring now that we are all social distancing and trying to be careful.

There were a lot of people in the park, but not quite as many as there used to be on a weekend. Even with the open space, I still try to avoid areas where there is just too big a mass of people breathing into the air that I might eventually breathe. So I walk in the opposite lane or detour six feet away from people.

Central Park Summer 2020
Gapstow Bridge

I always prefer to enter the park from the 59th streets perimeter where the Gapstow Bridge of Home Alone fame can be found. (The pond was dry as the setting was winter in the movie.). If you are ever in New York City and can only spare a few hours in Central Park, this is one of the best places to go to for pictures and to get a taste of our backyard here in the city. The pond itself offers several photo opportunities around it, and there are ducks and sometimes unusual birds that take a dip in the water, or who fly around the lush flora and fauna. The bridge itself is not very long but provides a view of the skyscrapers surrounding this side of the park, and sunsets and the evening lights provide a gorgeous reflection off the water if you are lucky enough to catch it.

Central Park Summer 2020

Looking Up

One thing I like about this part of the park is that it provides such a picture perfect view of the concrete jungle that Manhattan is, with the greenery of Central Park in the foreground. Depending on where you’re standing and what time of the day it is, sometimes you can get lucky and see a mirror reflection of the buildings around in the water in this pond. Not today for me.

If you are ever pressed for time and don’t have the leisure to go in deeper into the park, this iconic spot is representative of the beauty of Manhattan’s backyard.

This wasn’t a random walk. I knew where I wanted to head to. While I have another part of the park that is special to Angelo and I a little further on, my personal favorite part of this expanse is actually the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain seen below.

Central Park Summer 2020

It entails a bit of a walk from 59th street, but is a focal point of the lake that borders it, and will take you through another favorite portion here called The Mall. It is a stretch of walk bordered by elms on both sides, fenced in to help preserve its beauty. The benches that line the entire stretch of this wide walkway are an interesting bunch of names and dedications. One time, I actually found Jim Henson’s bench.

Central Park Summer 2020

When dusk sets in, the lamp posts on both sides are lit and a soft glow descends upon the corridor. You will find musicians and artists dotting the whole area. A staple of this particular patch is Jazz musician Ralph U. Williams, who has been there forever since I first walked this part of the park two decades ago. He is a fixture in the park through all four seasons, filling the air with his music . You can catch him on any given day, and enjoy his park concerts from the benches lining both sides of the mall. If you hear the smooth notes of a sax, it’s him. (I am trying to upload a 3-minute video of his performance which I shot while seated across the way from where he was playing. Rather than wait for that, though, I would like to see this post finally published.)

I found myself walking in circles the day I decided to do my 10,000 steps in Central Park. I actually ended up doing almost double that, but for all the extra steps and exhaustion, it was well worth exploring one of my favorite parts of New York City.

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It’s the penultimate day to the New Year, and I have double these pictures to share of that one day that I was able to roam Central Park freely — even if donning the required mask. I haven’t gone in the fall nor yet, this winter. I have always tried to make one year where I can visit all four seasons. Maybe 2021 is the magic year. For now, I write with the memories of this day I took to explore and just bask in the beauty of this huge patch of green in the concrete jungle that is Manhattan. In two days, it will be 2021, and if I can visit in the next couple of weeks, that makes for the first of the four seasons. Central Park will be there, waiting.

A Date with David Letterman

It wasn’t my first time to watch a “live” taping of a show in New York.  Back when my sister was here, (sometime 2001), we watched the then “Live with Regis and Kelly”.  I’ve been very determined to watch David Letterman after he announced him impending retirement from “Late Show,” and I thought I’d pick a “light week” and signed up for tickets.

The marquee said it all: Late Night with David Letterman #lateshowwithdavidletterman #theedsullivantheater #thingstodoinnewyork #visitingnyc #mynyc #mynewyork #ilovenewyork #ilovethebigapple

The thing is that when I signed a few weeks back, they only allowed you a choice of the next 4-5 weeks of taping coming up.  In addition to that, they required I give not only my name but the name of my guest as well.  I had put in Alan thinking he’d be in town, but I didn’t know then that he had a conference coming up.  So they called the day before I was to watch.  I didn’t even catch the call because it came after office hours and I was on the bus.  I did return the call when I got home but didn’t get a call back, so I thought that was that. 

But they DID call back the next morning, and I was told to bring a government-issued ID and to identify myself as being on Karen’s list.  I was told to appear at the theatre between 2pm and 3pm and identify myself, get my ticket, and line up.  The taping itself was 4:30-5:30 the same day.

The Late Show with David Letterman- worth all the lines and the wait.  Would want to watch again if I can... No matter what others may say, it's a totally different experience seeing David Letterman live.  I'm glad I snapped a pic of the ticket because th
The Late Show with David Letterman- worth all the lines and the wait. Would want to watch again if I can… No matter what others may say, it’s a totally different experience seeing David Letterman live. I’m glad I snapped a pic of the ticket because they took it back.

I ended up seated on the left side of the lower level, four rows from the front by the aisle. (Which, I guess, was orchestra in a formerly three-level audience seating>)  It worked out because the front has the camera obstructing your view of the band and of Dave at his desk. There was a lot of pep talk and cheering and rehearsing, but you go in trying to have fun and can have a ton of it if you let yourself go.

The CBS pages worked really hard and are a bunch of talented young people who will try to get you primed for your hour-long date with the big guy himself.

I’ve been watching David Letterman for years even when I was back in the Philippines. I can actually say we grew old together, although I’m not quite as old as he is. (HA!) As a New Yorker, you find yourself surrounded by a flock of tourists from all over. As a “native”, I actually felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb. But I think it would be a shame to be called a New Yorker without ever watching an icon like David Letterman “Live”.

Another one I would want to watch (someday) is Saturday Night Live.  Their ticket sweepstakes run in August (I must check that out), or you can brave the line and try for the rehearsal show or the show itself.  I would take either one anyday.  (But they only tape on Saturday — literally.)  One day.. some day…

Looking up: while waiting in the lobby of the historic Ed Sullivan Theater – home of The Late Show with David Letterman. #lookingup #ceiling #theedsullivantheater #lateshowwithdavidletterman #davidletterman thelateshow #newyork #mynewyork #thingstodoinnewyork

A Saturday afternoon walk down Central Park

I was in the city to meet with a friend of my sister who was visiting from Manila last Saturday.  This was our second meeting and I just wanted to catch up with her before she left, hand her a few things for my sister, and just have a different kind of Saturday lunch in the city.  Something for me.

I couldn’t believe how many people were walking up and down on a Saturday, and I guess I really shouldn’t be complaining because that means good business for my city.  We met, had lunch and said our goodbyes.  (And there will be another post about that.)  I deposited her over at Carnegie Hall on 57th and Seventh Avenue and went on my way.  I had already made up my mind that I would make my way to the bus stop through Central Park to snap up some pictures and to do a bit of some exercise for the day.  I wasn’t quite up to walking all the way to my favorite Bethesda Fountain a bit of a ways in from the 59th street edge of the park, but I thought it would be a short detour to head towards the bus stop on Madison and 57th.

Walking down Central Park - April 26, 2014

I missed my little guy.  He always enjoys spending time here because it’s such a wide swathe of open space, and the rock formations are great for make-believe mountains and battles in his imagination.  He likes picking up twigs on the ground and using them as swords to fight off his imaginary foes.

Walking down Central Park - April 26, 2014

I didn’t quite go as far as his favorite rock formation around The Ramble which I am sure we will visit again soon.

Walking down Central Park - April 26, 2014

I always encourage friends visiting from other places to visit even just the outer fringe of Central Park to have a sense of its feel and flavor, but when you’re visiting all those other landmarks that dot the streets of this beautiful city, it ends up as an afterthought.

This is already my second visit this year, and I hope to visit more often in the coming weeks.  There is always so much going on and even just the changing of the colors and elements of nature surrounding the park can be so awe-inspiring.  I usually end up walking the trails of the park in the fall when the foliage is the prettiest and most breath-taking, but I want to see it in its full splendor in the spring.  (Right, Lou?)

You’d think that working on 42nd and Sixth Avenue and being relatively in the same area of Manhattan would make that a breeze — but it isn’t, and it does take some effort to make it happen.  My shots this grey but pleasant Saturday have inspired me to try harder at being in this corner of my city more often this year.

Walking towards the east, I approached the Pond (of Home Alone fame) from the west side of the Gapstow Bridge and caught some nice snapshots of the water reflecting the landscape around it.  I guess it’s because the sky was the way it was, and because I was viewing the water from where I was standing.  The reflection doesn’t come out as perfectly as the shot below from angles closer to the eastern side of the bridge.
Walking down Central Park - April 26, 2014

By the time I got to this side of the park, the clouds had started to gather up above. That, plus the flowers in bloom were beginning to droop down towards the ground instead of standing proud looking up at the sun like usual — a sign that it was about to rain.
Walking down Central Park - April 26, 2014

I exited on to 59th street and Fifth Avenue, heading out via the Plaza Hotel side to make my way to 57th.  Always well worth the detour even on an afternoon I’m trying to get home as fast as I can… What’s your favorite part of Central Park?

 

The Big Egg Hunt in New York City

egghuntI spied these eggs in two locations and decided to go and check it out. Turns out that Faberge is sponsoring The Big Egg Hunt in New York this Easter and I’m hooked!

Over 200 eggs created by both pop and fine artists are on display in various places in the city.  What to do?  Well, first, you have to download the app (Search for BigEggHunt) and register.  View the Map to visit cracked eggs and hunt for hidden eggs.

Share your photos on Twitter and Instagram so that we can share them with others. Use #thebigegghuntny and the individual #’s for the eggs you photograph (the #’s are on the plaques that accompany egg)

So what’s in it for you?  Besides the fun of actually spotting, hunting, photographing and scanning these works of art, there’s a sweepstakes running which might mean your winning one of three top prizes (eggs, of course) worth quite a pretty penny.  (Check them out here.)

These eggs were designed by the likes of Bruce Weber, Julian Schnabel, Carolina Herrera, Peter Beard, Jeff Koons, Tracey Emin,  Zaha Hadid and Ralph Lauren, and are egg shaped masterpieces that will disappear into some private collections once auctioned on April 22 at Sotheby’s.  There’s even a roaming “Where’s Waldo” egg each day, or simply just enjoy the sp-egg-tacular display as you walk around the city finding as many eggs as you can.

This is 100% for charity and I just snapped up some postcards from their shop  which I was iffy about trying to look for in one of the pop-up stores or at Saks Fifth Avenue, lest they run out!  There’s even a Big Egg Book (which I’d like to see before I buy), but I’m all in for the fun of it.  There’s actually an egg by Chorboogie right behind my building which is the first egg I cracked.

#thebigegghuntny: by @chorboogie right behind my building!  Get into it by visiting thebigegghuntny.org #egg280

I was trying to rush home from an appointment on West 21st when I chanced upon a group of these eggs over at the Flat Iron District before I headed to the subway on 23rd street to take the ride home.

Pictured below clockwise from left: #egg170: The Streets Are Talking, #egg20 : Brooklyn We Go Hard, #egg162: Columbus egg and #egg12: Black Moon Egg.

#thebigegghuntny : Clockwise from left: #egg170 The Streets are talking, #egg20 Brooklyn we go hard, #egg162 Colombus Egg, #egg256 Rosenblum Egg - by the Flat Iron District #easteregg #flatirondistrict #popart #fineart #faberge #egghunt #myny #mynewyork #And here’s an interesting composition of texture and color which almost invites you to touch it, more so since it’s simply mounted on a stand and not encased in glass:  #egg256: the Rosenblum Egg.

#thebigegghuntny : #egg256- the Rosenblum Egg by the Flat Iron District .. There were more but I had to hurry home! #ny  #mynewyork  #flatirondistrict #easter #easteregg #easteregghunt
As you will see,  some of the eggs are in a glass case, others are free standing.  Join the hunt before all the eggs are put on display at the Rockefeller Center on April 18 which should make for another great photo opp for those of you visiting New York City until the Auction on the 22nd.  Check out the Terms & Conditions here and who knows?  You might end up having one of the smaller but more sparkly (as in diamond-encrusted) Faberge eggs to wear around your neck.

I think I’m going to go egg-hunting tomorrow during my lunch break. More egg pics to follow!

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PS:  As I hit “Publish”, WordPress just told me I had published my 2400th post.  Wow. Have I been yapping here that long?  Or that much?  I guess by some accounts, that isn’t quite that impressive, but to have kept this blog going when other similar attempts to write other blogs fizzled away is a personal feat.

And the journey continues.. with this post and the posts that will follow… not necessarily about more eggs. (HA!)

It’s almost midnight and I’m exhausted.  I think the almost hour-long workouts zap me of energy because my body isn’t used to exerting itself.  I had hoped to work on my agate coin beads.  I guess not.  My trainer told me to listen to my body and just rest when it say “I’m tired.”  So goodnight, everyone.  Here’s to my 2,400th entry in this blog written by and for me. =)

 

A sight to behold: Analogia in Bryant Park

Analogia over at Bryant Park - viewed from across the Avenue of the Anericas.  This is an epic new public outdoor art installation by artist Ben Tritt making it's worldwide debut at #bryantpark.  There until March 18.  Just another one of those everyday t

It’s entitled Analogia and it’s one of those things that make being in New York City a privilege.  This has been up for a week now and you have another week or so more to enjoy it.  Up until March 18, this epic art installation in Bryant Park by Ben Tritt, produced by Jodi Kaplan has been standing proud on the Fountain Terrace.  The picture above was taken from across Sixth Avenue, aka Avenue of the Americas.

I snapped up a picture during my noon walk and another on the way home.

Even when taken with natural lighting, the graphics were imposing and just amazing.  Although the installation is not lit, the way it was executed makes the visuals come alive, more so when viewed up close from street level, making the various levels “connect” into one flowing scene on each side.  (Just below the steps is the better angle.)
In Bryant Park: Analogia at night with the Josephine Shaw Lowell MemorialFpuntain glowing at the back and the New York Public Library standing guard in the distance.  Even more imposing at night and viewed up close by the steps.  Art installation by Ben T

It was pure luck that I stood in the middle and then noticed the gap framed my fountain beautifully.  Just moving a few inches to center it made for the gorgeous evening shot.

Catch it if you can while it’s still in the park.

Make your own Magnum Bar in Bryant Park

This post has been waiting to be published a while now.  it’s been in my flickr account and has been bumped off the badge on my sidebar by more recent uploads, and with the temperatures dropping, I just want toshare with you yet another sinful treat to indulge in while in my favorite Bryant Park.

Magnum in Bryant Park

This kiosk is on the 40th street side of the park and used to be a seasonal ‘wichcraft ice cream booth in the summer and its hot chocolate kiosk in the winter when the lawn is converted into a skating rink.

Magnum in Bryant Park: Offerings

They sell your regular Magnum Ice Cream bar varieties ($4.00), but what you’d like to try here would be their custom-made ice cream bars.($6.00).  They show this menu on the wall to give you your options.

Magnum in Bryant Park: Milk or Dark Chocolate?
You get to choose between “milk” and “dark chocolate” coating.  I always prefer milk chocolate.
Magnum in Bryant Park: Pick your toppings
Then you get to choose two toppings (I picked honey roasted almonds and chocolate caramel chips.). Your choice will then mixed in a martini-shaker like mini cup and sprinkled over your now chocolate-coated ice cream bar. But that’s not quite the end of it — they actually drizzle MORE chocolate atop your now sinfully delicious bar…!

Magnum in Bryant Park: Milk Chocolate w/ Roasted Almonds and Caramel Chips
Yum! I’d grab one soon as the dropping temperatures might mean a seasonal bow for this to-die-for chocolate treat. This makes it as a lunch meal given how rich a dessert it is. Check them out when they open at noon, seven days a week — until the hot chocolate comes back.

Weekend drive through the Lower East Side

It was sort of a last minute plan tying up a trip to my hair salon downtown and then hieing off to New Jersey for Max’s Fried Chicken.   What started out as a rainy day eventually turned into a sunny one which made the drive more pleasant.  On the way back, I snapped the pictures below with my blackberry (camera was left in another purse) as we drove through the Lower East Side back to our side of the city.

IMG-20130921-00675

I have vowed to myself that I will one day watch a movie here.  This greets us after emerging from the Lincoln Tunnel and we find ourselves on Canal Street.  I tried taking pictures but was unable to, largely because the traffic was heavy on both sides and I just couldn’t get a shot in.
IMG-20130921-00691

The diagonal orientation here was done on purpose and is something easier to do given that I’m shooting from the passenger side.  I have a couple of shots in my albums depicting the tight streets in this fashion which, I think, gives it a different perspective and a little more drama.

Driving through the Lower East Side - 1

This is my favorite of all the shots I took and is one of three that I managed to save as we idled at a stoplight.  I love the way this mural has evolved, considering its different versions through the years.  Seeing it, though, made me regret not having brought my camera along for a higher-definition photograph.  Still, how lucky could I get?

IMG-20130921-00703

Finally, before we headed on up to the bridge taking us from Manhattan to Queens, I found an opportunity to take a snapshot of this abandoned building which has been “decorated” with all these street art — giving it a different character but still a character all its own.

I hope you enjoyed our quick drive through the lower east side.

Advertising the Philippines in the streets of Manhattan

I was on my way back to the office from an afternoon at some consulate on the upper east side (which, for obvious reasons, I cannot name) when I looked out the window and I saw this bus with a huge photobillboard on it of the Philippines.
More Fun in the Philippines in a NYC Tour Bus 5

I was sooo proud and had to immediately fish out the bigger BB to take these pics.. I momentarily forgot that I  was rushing back to the office and trying to catch the boss who was presenting at a nearby hotel, around three blocks away.

More Fun in the Philippines in a NYC Tour Bus 3

Then the traffic started moving and my cab started to pull away… but I tried to cach as much of the bus as I can.
More Fun in the Philippines in a NYC Tour Bus 2A huge”Philippines” was actually emblazoned on the rear of the bus that’s why it caught my eye.  It was a literal eye-popping ad in a perpetually colorful New York City.More Fun in the Philippines in a NYC Tour Bus 1 .

 

Proud to be Filipino indeed!

With these stained hands, I type

Angelo saw my hands this morning as I handed him his daily allergy dose.  “What happened, Mommy?”  He looked on curiously as he saw my hands, stained with pink ink. 

“I was  busy last night.”

Busy, indeed.  Thankfully, after more washing and a shower, the stain is hardly visible.  And wonder of wonders, my nail enamel was totally unaffected.  (Vanity again. LOL)

I finally worked on a new set of stained map backgrounds and now have an additional 22 backgrounds to work with.  (Happiness..)  I also did something different by purposely “saving” the paper towels I used to wipe off the spray ink from my work mat (which is a plastic surface) and I came up with some rather interesting tie-dye like napkins.  I am scanning these and putting them up at my craft blog, Gotham Chick, as soon as I can make up my mind about the theme for the site. 

I need to rev up traffic to Gotham Chick, and what better way to do it than to offer digital files of the backgrounds as downloads for the digital and hybrid scrapbookers out there?  (I always like freebies!)  Soon.
Digital Paper Pack: Stained Paper Towels

Meanwhile, I made an effort to step out and actually HAVE a lunchbreak, and I went to my favorite Thai food street cart over at 43rd Street and Avenue of the Americas called “Bangkok Thai Street Food by Tuk Tukk Boy.”

Lunch: Thai food c/o Bangkok by Tuk Tukk Boy on 43rd and 6th Ave

I’ve been craving their Thai Shrimp Dumplings which I had already featured here before, but this time, I tried their Chicken Basil without the rice.  (Yes, I’m starting my diet unofficially, in baby steps.)

It was yummy as is, but would have been even yummier with rice.  I loved that it was spicy and yet not overpowering.  I got a little extra chicken because I didn’t get any rice to go with it.  (Thanks, Boy!)

 Thai Street Food on 43rd and 6th

I wanted to disappear into a corner in the airconditioned public area across from my building, but all seats were taken by people who were lounging around after the lunch hour rush. I didn’t want to go into the park, so I went instead to the open seating behind my building where I ate my lunch under the sun. It was pleasantly cool — and the sun wasn’t scorching. I really should do this more often.

 

Sunset past 7pm

Spring isn’t quite officially here yet, but we’ve been feeling the shift for a couple of days now, just don’t pay mind to the freezing temperatures.  Yesterday was another cold day and my bus took forever to come.  So I pulled out the bigger blackberry and snapped away.  Mind you, this was at around 6:30pm.  The sun hung around for a half hour or more afterwards.. quite a change from when I’d walk out at just after 5pm and find it pitch dark outside.  During the summer months, sunset is at 8pm.

Glass Canvas - Empire State Building reflection

I can never tire of taking pictures of the building reflections on this glass canvas.  Even without any variety, the way the light hits it or the colors that the Empire State Building are wrapped in are worth taking the snapshot every time.  Enjoy the rest of the pictures…Sun still up at past 6pm

This is what I see when I look up… It’s a good study of how things change through the seasons.  Soon the leaves will sprout anew and there will be a bit of green instead of the bare branches shown here.It's THAT COLD.. all bundled up while having coffee

It was THAT cold… all bundled up and having coffee…

Chrysler Building Reflection on the glass, NYC Taxi Cab
I was taking a picture of the yellow taxi cab which is an icon of NYC… then realized I had captured quite the reflection of the Chrysler Building. Gorgeous as always.

The week has been very exhausting — maybe I got spoiled because the boss was out almost 2 weeks before Tuesday.  Next week is another busy week but I have my lulls.  I stayed up late last night finishing a new technique for an all-black background ATC.  I don’t want any spoilers so I’m waiting a bit.. also did a handmade postcard which I’m hoping my partner will like.

Happy Friday everyone!