Update: LaGuardia Airport Development Project
First Phase Moving Along with Second & Third Phases About to Begin
I attended a Community Board One meeting at the Astoria World Manor on Wednesday, April 19th. People representing the LaGuardia Airport development project were scheduled to provide the community with an update regarding several of the multi-billion dollar renovation projects associated with LaGuardia Airport, that are either currently in the works or nearing the end of the planning process.
The presentation was split into three parts: 1) LaGuardia Airport development project construction updates, 2) traffic mitigation efforts and 3) community outreach including job opportunities related to the projects.
Click here to read our report on the LaGuardia Airport development project & expansion, related job opportunities, its possible impact on travel times to the airport and the public hearing details on May 3rd, 2017 in Flushing. We have also included a small bit of history about the airport and the fight over the property and development in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The graphic at right was created as part of the LaGuardia Airport development project.
Hundreds of Thousands March in NYC
Women's March Appears to Approach 21st Century NYC Protest Record
I headed into Manhattan around noon on Saturday. The #7 subway line was packed, even more than during rush hour on a weekday morning. There were protesters wearing pussy hats, bearing protest signs and placards, and generally in pretty good cheer as they headed into Manhattan for the Women's March in NYC.
I got off the subway at Grand Central Station along with the crowds of protesters, and made my way up to the 42nd Street exit. Out on the street there was a moving mass of marchers making their way down to Fifth Avenue where they would turn north to march up to Trump Tower along Fifth Avenue at 57th Street.
I have to admit I was surprised by the massive turnout. One person told me that over 50,000 people had signed up for the event on Eventbrite. But it would become obvious to me as the day wore on that the crowd had easily exceeded that number.
The event was planned to begin at 11 am in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza at Second Avenue and 47th Street. There would be a few speeches, followed by a march down Second Avenue to 42nd Street, then west to Fifth Avenue and then north up Fifth Avenue ending at Trump Tower at 57th Street. It was scheduled to end at 4 pm and waves of protesters had been choreographed to leave Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in 15 minute intervals.
I had listened to Donald Trump's Inauguration speech the day before [Friday] and there didn't seem to be anything in there that struck me as very objectionable if one didn't read anything into it. So I kind of thought the march might be a bit premature given he'd just assumed office and hadn't really done anything yet.
I asked one woman if I had missed anything in Trump's speech, that she / others found objectionable. She told me no, he hadn't said anything objectionable, but she went on to say that she didn't believe anything he said. I asked another woman why she'd come out to protest today. She told me that she wanted to stand with other women in making a statement to Trump that they weren't going to passively stand by and allow him or the Republican Party to roll back their hard fought equal rights.
There was a festive mood throughout the day. I occasionally asked policemen keeping the peace how things were going. Many smiled and said it was going well and that they hoped it would continue that way.
I'll have more on this, including some details of how the protest morphed throughout the day, as well as a photo slide show and some video, sometime in the next week.
Diwali in Times Square
3rd Annual Indian Festival of Lights Delights Audience
I attended the third annual Diwali Festival in Times Square on Sunday. The day long event, celebrating the millenia old Indian festival, had started in the afternoon at 2 pm and ran well into the evening, ending at 9 pm.
As I came up from the subway I asked an Indian-looking NYC policman to point me in the direction of the festival. He asked me how I had heard of the event and I mentioned that I had found out about it on Manhattan Buzz, but that I had also traveled to India some time ago where I first became aware of the Indian holiday. He inquired as to where I had traveled in India, which was mostly in the north, and he suggested the next time I visit, to check out Kerala, which is where his family is from originally. I had learned from my travels that Kerala is a southwestern Indian province along the Indian Ocean, and is said to be a bit of paradise.
A large crowd had gathered to watch the festival, many of whom were of Indian descent which I found from conversing with several of them. They brought their families to view the free entertainment which included a number of wide ranging song and dance performances by dance troupes and musicians.
Diwali is the festival of lights, which commemorates light overcoming darkness, good overcoming evil and knowledge overcoming ignorance and hope defeating despair. It is one of the three major Hindu festivals and a time for renewal and celebration which is denoted by the cleaning of homes and the lighting of lights. The Diwali Holiday officially runs from October 30th to November 3rd, but unoffically it lasts longer starting in September / October and ending in October / November. The other two major Hindu holidays are Holi which celebrates Spring with the coloring of people's bodies, faces and hair and Maha Shivaratri which is one of the rare nighttime celebrations, held just before the arrival of Spring with a mix of solemn practices including meditation, yoga and fasting.
Happy Holidays or as they say in Indian - छुट्टियों की शुभकामनाएं.
Pulaski Parade Charms Manhattan
I attended the Pulaksi Day Parade on Sunday. The Pulaski Day Parade celebrates Polish heritage in America, highlighting one of the early Polish contributors to America's democracy, General Pulaski who fought in the American Revolutionary War.
It was a beautiful clear day with temperatures around 70 degrees and the sun was shining. All along Fifth Avenue people had lined the streets, awaiting the parade floats, bands and marchers. In front of St. Patrick's Cathedral stood two members of the clergy with whom I had a chance to speak.
We'll have more about the Pulaski Parade later this week.
Flatiron District: Le Coq French Restaurant
Midtown French Restaurant has become a Crowd-pleaser
I took a trip into the Flatiron District just after the July 4th holiday to try out a new French restaurant that came recommended by friends. I arrived a bit late and my table had been seated in the main room in the back of the restaurant.
As I walked past the long modern bar to my left, I found myself tempted by its airy openness and ambiance as the front of the restaurant opens onto the street and the ceilings are in the neighborhood of 12 feet high. Just past the bar, along to my right there were bottles upon bottles of refrigerated champagnes. Hmm.
In the main room there were between a dozen or two tables. Some of the tables for couples were set in front of the walled booth-like benches, which were arranged next to one another. There were round tables for larger groups and families in the middle of the room, and an alcove containing a couple of tables set away from it all. The lighting was well done, with the inset lights on the ceiling radiating a quiet ambient light, supplemented by accent lighting on the ceiling that provided ample light on the table.
My party had already begun ordering, so in an attempt to be a good, but late guest, I went along, to get along.
More about Le Coq at a later date.
Holi Hai in Dag Hammarskjold Park
Indian Festival of Colors Celebrates the End of Winter & Love
This year I decided to celebrate the coming of Spring by joining the thousands of Holi Hai celebrants at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza two weeks ago.
Holi [without the Hai] is an ancient Hindu festival that celebrates the end of winter, the triumph of good over evil and love. The Holi festival dates back thousands of years, coming down first through an oral Hindu tradition and first documented about the 4th century A.D. according to Wikipedia. I'll get into the mythology and history that accompanies this annual celebration a bit later in this report.
I'm pretty sure that the Holi Hai festival at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza began in 2013, thus making this its fourth year. The event started at 2nd Avenue and 47th Street in Midtown East at 11 am and ended at 6 pm, although many folks didn't depart the plaza until sometime later. During the seven hour event there were easily hundreds of celebrants at any one given time, and musical performances on a stage set back in along the plaza, complemented by several Asian food stalls interspersed in and around the plaza.
But the main fun is in the interactions that take place within the large body of celebrants, who don old T-shirts, and come prepared to give messy and get messy. More to come late this week.
United Nations: Cultural Influences on Gender Roles
Women's Groups Discuss Cultural Influences on Gender Equality
On March 17th I attended a series of lectures entitled, The Role of Culture in Women's Empowerment: Possibilities and Challenges. The lectures were given to a standing room only audience in Conference Room 7 on the lower level.
The five member speaker panel was comprised of women from Liberia, Nigeria and Thailand. And each speaker came from a different walk of life including law, government, education and social work.
The program was organized by the United Nations Mission from Gambia in collaboration with a number of other groups. The intent of the program was to disseminate information to help those in attendance understand the role in culture in defining gender roles, and how to go about dealing with embedded cultural biases.
We'll have more at a later date. The photo at right was taken in the United Nations lobby.
Midtown International Theater Festival & Short Play Lab 2016
Two Off Off Broadway Theater Festivals Open in Manhattan
The Midtown International Theater Festival begins this week and the Short Play Lab begin this weekend. These two incubator theater festivals are the brainchild of John Chatterton, former Publisher of Off Off Broadway World magazine.
Off Off Broadway World magazine was started by Chatterton in 1993, and was published for a number of years in the 1990’s, but ultimately didn't survive. Founder, John Chatterton did survive, and he went on to pursue his passion for theater by founding the Midtown International Theater Festival and the Short Play Lab series.
The two theatrical incubators provide a venue for participants to create and produce minimalist performance productions and perform them in front of live audiences, which are oftentimes comprised of many of their fellow participants and peers, as well as those interested in original theatrical works. The Midtown International Theater Festival and Short Play Lab series are both an opportunity to try one’s hand at producing and performing an original work in front of a live audience, as well as a good networking venue to meet others aspiring to find their places in the theater business.
I attended a Short Play Lab previously and here's what I found ...
Click here for the full story about the Midtown International Theater Festival & Short Play Lab series both of which begins this week and weekend, respectively.
Brewer Gives State of the Borough Address
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer Talks About Manhattan 2016
I attended Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer's State of the Borough Address on Sunday afternoon. The event was held at the New School at 63 5th Avenue just south of 14th Street in the Village neighborhood. Last year Gale Brewer gave her State of the Borough Address up at Columbia University, followed by a forum where she discussed general issues facing the borough. This year, at the New School, the forum topic was about engaging Manhattan borough youth through school and after-school activities.
Gale Brewer's State of the Borough Address
Brewer began her address by thanking all of the other government officials in attendance, as well as members of her family. She encouraged folks to keep out their phones and use Twitter to comment on the forum as it proceeded. The Twitter posts were shown on a big screen behind her, which is something I found more a distraction / nuisance than helpful - but I don't have Attention Deficit Disorder - so my opinion may not reflect the general populace.
Social & Economic Issues Facing Manhattan
Brewer focused on about four topics: 1) affordable housing, 2) small business, 3) urban gardening, 4) police / community relations and 5) public schools.
She told us that she introduced 32 pieces of legislation this year, 8 of which were passed by the NYC City Council. The bills included: 1) shielding applicants arrest records from employers so they can't discriminate against people who had conflicts with the police, 2) the passage of paid sick leave for employees where she claimed that she did all the work to get the bill passed, while the Mayor got the credit, rezoning bills for 3) Midtown that she worked on with NYCCM Garodnick and NY City Planning for Midtown East and 4) rezoning for the South Street Seaport with NYCCM Chin wherein the real estate developer finally withdrew their plans for a large tower along the East River near the Brooklyn Bridge. She mentioned something about the Zoning legislation set forth by the de Blasio Administration to enable development of affordable housing, which didn't pass, but I didn't catch the gist of it.
Manhattan Borough President's Community Efforts in 2015
There were other things that Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer talked about that she and her staff had done last year including, a) working with the police and the community to improve relations [not sure what], b) hosting small business round tables and an urban gardening symposium, c) organizing two mixers with teachers and private businesses in the arts and technology, and d) something about presenting a large scale map of Manhattan on the 19th floor gallery.
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer noted that the Upper West Side was heralded as the second most livable communities for the 50 plus crowd by some organization or magazine, which also cited New York City as the 5th most livable city for the 50 plus crowd in the larger cities category. Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer noted that the age to serve on Community Boards had been lowered to 16 years and that applications to serve on the Community Boards must be submitted by February 1, 2016 [now closed].
[Editor's Comment: One has to question the wisdom of allowing 16 year olds to represent a community as there's a great deal of life's lessons that one doesn't have at that age which leaves them susceptible to manipulation by powerful people and politicians. Isn't 18 or 21 young enough?]
Manhattan Borough President Hosts Panel Discussion About Youth at the New School
Then the panel began which featured: 1) an African American Khary Lazarre-White of the Brotherhood / Sister Sol, 2) an Asian Sumie Okazaki of the NYU Steinhardt School, 3) a Hispanic Francisco J. Nunez of Young Peoples Chorus of NYC and 4) a Caucasian Marc Murphy who is a chef / restaurateur.
The topic of the discussion was how to engage youth. They talked about: 1) income / opportuity inequality and discrimination, 2) that not everyone is able or interested in being a Rhodes Scholar and hence need to be engaged with in other endeavors or they become lost, 3) that music, farming and food are several of such avenues, 4) that income segregated housing isn't good for society, 5) that immigrant parents' language capabilities limit their ability to help their children evolve, 6) that ethics should be a part of the school curriculum because it's not always taught and reinforced in the home, and 7) that managing the impact of social media on kids complicates educators and parents ability to manage social situations that go awry.
Unfortunately I could not stay for the entire discussion, but I think you can get a flavor of the event from what I've reported above. Have a good year.
Hanukkah NYC: Lighting of the Menorah in Manhattan
NY Senator Charles Shumer Lights Large Menorah in Grand Army Plaza
I attended the lighting of one of the World's Largest Menorahs at Grand Army Plaza in Manhattan. It was an unusually warm December night, with the temperatures in the high 50’s, and only a gentle breeze stirring the air. Grand Army Plaza in Manhattan is located just across from the 5th Avenue entrance of the Plaza Hotel at the southeast corner of Central Park.
It’s worth mentioning that there are two Grand Army Plazas in New York City. During Hanukkah, both Grand Army Plazas become the locales wherein two very large, 32 foot high Menorahs are lit. The Brooklyn Grand Army Plaza is located on the northwest corner of Prospect Park in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn. The Large Menorah in Brooklyn, is lit throughout Hanukkah, by Rabbi Shimon Hecht of the Chabad of Park Slope.
Click here to read the rest of our report, including a video, of NYC Hanukkah - Menorah Lighting in Manhattan.
Nigerian Parade NYC
Nigerian Americans Celebrate their 55th Year of Independence
October 26, 2015 / Midtown Neighborhood NYC / Things To Do Midtown / Gotham Buzz. It was a beautiful Fall day as I made my way to watch the Nigerian Parade. The celebration was scheduled to run from about 11 am to 5 or 6 pm. I saw multiple listings for the parade time, including at noon and at 1 pm, but in fact they 'hit the road' a bit later than that.
Nigeria is celebrating its 55th year of independence from Great Britain. The country was formed in its current state around 1914. Independence was recognized in 1960 and Nigeria began operating as a Republic in 1963. Its current Constitution was put in place in 1999.
Nigeria is located in central Africa, along its western coast on the Gulf of Guinea which lies adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean and has a population of about 180 million people. While English is the official language, the native languages of the dominant tribes - the Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo - are also spoken in great numbers.
Nigeria currently has the largest economy in Africa [recently surpasses South Africa] and the 20th largest economy in the world because of its rich oil supplies. Nigeria provides the United States with about 20% of its oil imports and hence runs a trade surplus with the U.S.
There appears to be constant political turmoil in the nation due to: 1) international interest in the nation's oil, 2) the nation's three largest ethnic groups are about the same size and 3) the Islamist movement is also at work in the region. It seems oil riches bring unwelcome interference.
Taste of Gramercy Hits The Spot
Taste of Gramercy Showcases Gramercy Park Neighborhood Restaurants
It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon as I made my way up Irving Place to the Taste of Gramercy Park. Irving Place had been cordoned off between 17th and 18th streets and there were a number of food tents, tables and bar stools situated in the midst of the blocked street to let attendees sit while tasting the delicious morsels served by restaurants from the surrounding Gramercy neighborhood.
I began visiting each of the booths, surveying their goods and sampling some of them. Chef Brando De Oliveira is shown in the photo at right standing in front of a collection of Florian's famous short rib meatballs.
We'll post more about the Taste of Gramercy later tonight.
Taste Asia Times Square
2nd Annual Celebration Of Asian Cuisines
The second annual Taste Asia Food Festival was held last Friday and Saturday in Times Square. The event is part outdoor cooking show, part street fair and part Asia buffet and it is sponsored by the Epoch Times.
I attended the event early Saturday afternoon. About every hour or two there's a cooking demonstration / competition wherein a number of the chefs from participating restaurants compete for prizes in live cooking demonstrations [see photo at right].
The competition is fierce as most of the chefs are life long curators of their ethnic cuisines and marshall their talents and trade secrets to win the prize.
The event was held in Times Square along Broadway between 42nd and 43rd streets, which given the attraction and the natural crowds, was crowded.
Manhattan Midtown Neighborhoods - Page Directory
Midtown Manhattan Neighborhood Directory NYC - Links or Scroll
Midtown is comprised of many neighborhoods. In Midtown East there's Sutton Place, Murray Hill, Kips Bay, Turtle Bay, Gramercy Park, Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. And in Midtown West there's Hell's Kitchen, Times Square and Chelsea. Bryant Park and Madison Square Park are about in the center of Midtown, with the former to the north and the latter to the south. Union Square Park is typically associated with the Village, even though technically it's in Chelsea.
- Midtown Things To Do NYC
- Midtown Restaurants NYC
- Midtown Shopping NYC
- Midtown Real Estate NYC
- Midtown Movie Theaters NYC
- Midtown Neighborhood History
On Site Directory
Things To Do In Midtown NYC
Midtown Manhattan Events, Attractions & Neighborhood
This section provides an overview of the main attractions on the Upper East Side. In this section we provide a look at the main cultural venues, tourist attractions, parks and facilities one can find on the Upper East Side neighborhood of Manhattan in NYC.
And click here for the history of Manhattan Midtown including historical sites in NYC.
In Flight Magazine Soars
Funny & Engaging, without Enraging
I was treated to a rare pleasure this past weekend. I attended the opening performance of a play that was funny and engaging without enraging. It was written and performed in verse, but it wasn't at all terse.
It was in some small measure, a modern Shakespearean pleasure, like Shakespeare’s more poetic works with modern themes and quirks. So we travel into this story together, I’ll treat you to some of the verse-like pleasure, but be advised that I was hypnotized and the verse was spoken more quickly than I was able to accurately capture it.
Our story begins in the office of the Publisher of an In Flight Magazine sometime near 2015. As it’s set in the 21st century, the themes we encounter are all very modern. It begins with the Publisher, Marti – short for Martinelli, who is interviewing job applicants for a couple of travelogue reporter positions. What could be better than having a job where you get to travel to exotic places on the company dime and all you have to do is write about it?
One of the applicants is a handsome young man, whose writing background is that of a novelist. His name is Andrew, and he’s not just handsome but also well read and an artful conversationalist, so Marti does a bit more than hire him.
The next applicant is exactly the kind of reporter that Marti had hoped to find and hire, but just prior to the interview she is told by the Owner of In Flight Magazine [which is owned by Omega Airline] that her son Ted will be interviewing for one of the open reporter positions. So, Marti promises the perfect applicant that she’ll get back to her soon ... yeah.
Ted, the Owner’s son, is also handsome, but a bit hapless having been looked out for by his overachieving mother. He’s not a great writer, but rather a list maker. He captures and catalogues everything. And much to our surprise … he’ gets the second and last open reporter position. But Ted's issues with his mother enter the workplace, and to Marti's advantage.
The entire story takes place in Marti’s office. You see, for a travel publisher, Marti isn’t much of an adventurer herself, but rather lives vicariously through the work of the reporters she sends off to distant lands with the objective of capturing and then telling tales that will make people want to hop on an Omega Airline plane in pursuit of romance and excitement.
So hop aboard as we fly to distant lands - like Brazil, Canada and Bhutan - with Andrew, Ted, Marti and Ted's mother ...
We'll have more later this week about In Flight which is playing at The Workshop Theater on W. 36th Street in Midtown until May 23rd [tickets $18 - daily performances - 1.800.838.3006 or online at www.ttfinflight.bpt.me].
St Patrick's Day Parade Manhattan
St. Patrick's Day Parade In Manhattan Celebrates Centuries Old Tradition & Becomes Focal Point Between Old & New Social Norms
It's really quite a sight as there are cadres of bagpipers, policemen and firemen, soldiers, sailors, special forces, bands and civilians. It was a very well organized parade. Very neat and very precise ... and with all due respect, not necessarily what I think of, when I think of the Irish.
We'll delve a bit more into the history of the parade, the current controversy and we'll set up a slide show of the parade last year.
BALCONY - Business And Labor Coalition NY
Forum Discusses Challenges & Opportunities Of De Blasio's Affordable Housing Plan
February 23, 2015 / Midtown Neighborhood / Manhattan Real Estate / Gotham Buzz. One day after Mayor de Blasio gave his State of the City Address, the Business And Labor Coalition of New York [aka BALCONY] met to discuss affordable housing and their role in it.
A high quality panel of speakers had been enlisted to help stimulate the discussion which happened on an early Wednesday morning in February. The panelists included a real estate lobbyist, a unionized labor representative who oversees the management of labor pension investments, Public Advocate Letitia James, a representative from the Governor's Office and others. The BALCONY forum attracted a full house of real estate, financial and labor professionals, as well as government officials.
By the end of the morning I had heard how a number of large and important participant groups were processing Mayor de Blasio's plan to address NYC's affordable housing shortage. We'll have more a bit later this week about this informative housing forum.
Di Blasio's State Of The City Address
NYC Mayor Maps Out A Framework To Tackle NYC's Affordable Housing Crisis
Mayor Bill di Blasio sent the NYC political, media and real estate worlds abuzz on Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015 when he laid out his administration's plan to solve one of the severest shortages of affordable housing in the history of New York City. It seems everyone had something to say in response to it - from the folks on the street to the NYS Governor. NYC Mayor Bill di Blasio is shown standing in the bottom left corner of the photo, after giving his first State of the City Address.
The housing crisis in New York City reached crisis proportions during the Bloomberg Administration. Former Mayor Bloomberg's approach to the issue was to let rent regulated apartments expire or become transformed to encourage investment, provide generous tax incentives and city land deals to real estate developers to build luxury high rise apartments, and build more homeless shelters.
A severe shortage of affordable housing was lurking in the background, as candidate Bill de Blasio began running for the office of mayor with the theme of "the tale of two cities". His campaign keyed into the pinch being felt by the 70% of New Yorkers who rent.
Thus one year later, while giving his first State of the City Address, the 109th Mayor of New York City put the affordable housing problem front and center for his Administration in a manner similar to what he had done on the campaign trail.
And in doing so, the Mayor set afire talk about affordable housing by city and state pols, the media and city real estate developers.
Click here later in the week to read the rest of our report about Mayor Bill di Blasio's State of the City Address, including reactions by banking and real estate executives, members of labor unions and other government officials .
New York Boat Show @ Javits Center
Full Steam Ahead For Boat & Yacht Dealers & Manufacturers
January 25, 2015 / Midtown West NYC / Manhattan Business / Gotham Buzz. For the price of a small apartment in Manhattan you can buy yourself a floating power palace with about the same amount of space, and water views on all sides.
It was my first venture into the New York Boat Show on Sunday at the Jacob Javits Center in Midtown West. There were about 400 boats and yachts on display [364 was the unoffical count] for those looking to buy, trade or just look at the state of the art in boating technology and comfort.
Again unofficially - using one of the dealer's gate count numbers - it seems attendance was up a bit this year versus last year. They surmised that the lower gas prices, the better economy and apparently a few folks were looking to replace what had been damaged or that they'd lost to Hurricane Sandy. And so it was ... show on.
Later this week I'll post a photo slide show of the event and take you onto a few of the boats and yachts so you can see what owning or riding on one of these floating palaces would look like. Ship Ahoy.
International Center For Photography
ICP's Last Show On 6th Avenue, Sabastio Salgado, Ends
January 12, 2015/ Midtown Manhattan NYC / Art Museums Manhattan / Gotham Buzz. The International Center For Photography closed on Sunday for the last time at its 6th Avenue location. The museum now goes on hiatus pending arrangements for its new home in the Bowery. The museum is expected to re-open mid year somewhere near the New Museum, so stay tuned.
I attended the Sabastio Salgado photo exhibit last week and shot photos of the work, the museum and the some of the last folks to visit the museum in its 6th Avenue location. The Salgado exhibit was as engaging as it was moving. It was about the environment, capturing some of what remains of raw nature on the planet.
Sabastio's work took us down onto the Antarctic continent, into the South American rain forests as well as into the jungle and plains of Africa. All of the photos were shot in black and white as Salgado took us on a journey into the vanishing natural environment.
We'll have more, including a photo slide show at a later date.
Steinway Hall Moves 14 Blocks South
Second Manhattan Move In As Many Centuries / International Center of Photography Moves To Bowery
January 5, 2015 / Midtown NYC / Manhattan History / Gotham Buzz. The Steinway & Sons Piano Company sold Steinway Hall on 57th Street last year for a reported $195 million, and then sold the piano company which has called Astoria Queens its home for about 150 years.
Steinway Hall was just across the street from Carnegie Hall, which made moving the very large but delicate and valuable pianos into and out of Carnegie Hall less complicated. Steinway Hall is moving into what has been the Midtown home of the International Center of Photography along 6th Avenue and 43rd Street. The International Center of Photography is moving to a new location in the Bowery near the New Museum which is at 235 Bowery near Prince Street.
Steinway Hall has been located on 57th Street since 1925 when Steinway & Sons Piano Company moved from their first location on 14th Street. Steinway Hall has been a mix of history and art as it was designed by Warren & Wetmore, one of the architectural firms that collaborated on the re-design of the Beaux-Arts Grand Central Terminal a dozen years earlier . Grand Central Terminal was first erected in 1871.
Steinway Hall is expected to open in this location in 2016, following the re-design of the space. The International Center of Photography is expected to open in mid 2015.
Holidays In Manhattan
Things To Do Over The Holidays In Manhattan
December 10, 2014 / Midtown Manhattan Neighborhood / Gotham Buzz. Last Wednesday they lit the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center for the first time. The tree is a 90 year old Norway spruce which came from the yard of a Danville, Pennsylvania couple. According to one report the gigantic tree stands 85 feet high and weighs 13 tons.
The tree was cut the week of November 6th and arrived in NYC the week of November 10th. On Wednesday, December 3rd it was first lit amid a bit of fanfare including two hours of televised entertainment. We were told that 300 solar panels atop Rockefeller Center power the 45,000 lights that adorn the tree.
There's public skating at the base of the tree which may be accessed via a stairway at the end of the corridor that faces Saks 5th Avenue. The stairwell leads down to a skate shop alongside the open air sub level rink where you can rent skates. There's also a restaurant, Rock Center Cafe, that looks out onto the rink and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Happy Holidays.
People's Climate March Photos
Over 300,000 People March / Interesting Signage / Creative Costumes / Jazzy Music / Important Message / By The People & For The People / We Are One World / We Are One People / We Must Learn To Live In Harmony With Each Other & With Our Ecosystem
Green Companies Missed Big Marketing Opportunity To Reach Their Passionate Audience
I came up the subway stairs at Times Square Sunday, September 21, 2014 shortly before 1 pm. I had hoped to cover the People's Climate March story beginning at 11.30 am at Columbus Circle which was when the parade was to start; but I was detained and rushed to cover what I had thought might be the END of the parade. Boy, was I wrong. I ran head on into the BEGINNING of the parade, although I had missed the very front of it.
It truly was a People's Parade as there were few government officials were in attendance. According to one report I read after the parade, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon joined the head of the parade around 12.45 pm, which was about the time I had arrived, so I missed them.
There were also a few NY City Council Members who marched, versus an NYT report that indicated a third or more planned to march. I recognized three of about five NY City Councilmembers that were there: NY City Council Speaker Viverito, UWS CCM Rosenthal and Astoria Queens CCM Costa Constantinides.
Click here later today to read our full report of the People's Climate March including hundreds of photos, and a number of parade marchers' views of what's really going on, as well as what can practically be done by regular folks about it.
Click here Monday evening to read our report and view photos of the People's Climate March in NYC.
Fashion Week Manhattan NYC
Beauty & Style on the Runway At Couture Fashion Week
September 8, 2014 / Manhattan Fashion Shows NYC / Midtown Neighborhood NYC / Midtown Buzz. I attended a bathing suit and bridal gown runway show at Couture Fashion Week at the Crowne Plaza Sunday evening. It was one of many fashion programs going on around NYC during NYC Fashion Week.
The runway show was held on the fourth floor in the Crowne Plaza located at Broadway between 48th and 49th Streets near Times Square. About a half dozen designers were featured in the show which included a beautiful vocal performance by Maryann Connolly and a dance performance by Battle For Your Life Tour Dancers and In Da Clutch and the Hood Lockers.
The show was fully attended with a standing room only crowd. And it was a visual feast of the voluptuous vogue. In the photo at right are the models coming out for a bow at the end of the Maty Machado Swimwear segment of the show.
Manhattan History NYC
Historical Sites Midtown Manhattan
A Look At The History Of The Midtown Neighborhoods In NYC
The following provides both a history and links into some of the current day things to do in the Midtown neighborhood of Manhattan including museums, historical sites & tourist attractions, restaurants and shops.
Farmlands & Woods
At the time of the birth of the nation in 1789, New York City was comprised primarily of what today would be called Lower Manhattan, meaning the area south of Canal Street. At the time there were about 100,000 people living in the city.
The city began laying out a grid plan in 1807, which was finalized in 1811. In 1822 the land that now represents the neighborhoods of Midtown Manhattan came under the jurisdiction of New York City. The land became what is called a potters field which is a graveyard for the unknown. In 1840 the land was decommissioned as a potters field and the area that is now the main branch of the New York Public Library was designated to become the water reservoir of New York City. At the same time the adjacent land was to become a park [now Bryant Park].
Click here to continue reading our history of Manhattan Midtown including historical sites in NYC. And click here for a listing of things to do in Midtown NYC in Manhattan.
India Day Parade Photos
Beautiful Parade Celebrating Indian History & Culture
I attended the 44th annual India Day Parade in Manhattan on Sunday. As you can see by the photo at right, it was a colorful event full of peace, love and cultural enchantment, which are a few of the hallmarks of Indian culture.
It was a large parade including about 40 floats, 20 marching groups and six bands. We photographed Mayor de Blasio appearing at the stand to make a few remarks. And a number of food vendors as well as a number of cultural attractions were stationed where the parade terminated, in Madison Square Park, to provide food and entertainment from 3 pm to 6 pm.
The Indian Day Parade was started in 1981 making this years parade its 34th year. The parade was started by the Federation of Indian Associations [FIA] which, according to Jay (Jaswant) B. Mody [one of the parade officials I met at the event], the FIA started in 1974 / 1975 under a different name. The parade celebrates Indian independence from Great Britain on August 15th of 1947. Pakistan, which was a part of India prior to independence, was granted its independence from Great Britain on August 14th, 1947.
Federation of Indian Associations also celebrates the 26th day of January which is the Republican Day of India [the day the Constitution of India passed into law]. The Federation of Indian Associations also raises funds to help families and to donate to catastrophic situations at home and abroad. As of 2006 more than 300,000 Indian Americans lived in the tristate area and the Indian immigrant population continues to grow. The Federation of India Americans main office is in Jackson Heights in Queens. And significant Indian communities may be found in Edison & Jersey City in NJ, in Stamford and New Haven in Connecticut, and Jackson Heights and Manhattan in NYC.
Click here to read a report about events leading up to India's Independence and view the photos of the India Day Parade NYC in Manhattan.
Steinway History Is New York's History
19th Century Queens Pioneers With Big Ideas
Steinway & Sons Legacy Permeates NYC in Manhattan & Queens
December 7, 2010 / Manhattan Buzz NYC.
In our effort to inform Midtown Buzz readers about the full historical significance of the Steinway Mansion, we traveled into Manhattan.
We visited Steinway Hall, which is located on 57th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues, and which is owned by Steinway & Sons pianos - some 85 years later. Once again, I stepped through a time warp, similar to the one into which I stepped when I visited to the Steinway piano factory and more recently the Steinway Mansion, both of which are located in Astoria in Queens.
Steinway Hall was built by Steinway & Sons piano company in 1925, following the erection of Carnegie Hall, which had just supplanted the old Steinway Hall located on 14th Street, as NYC's cultural centerpiece. Click here to read more about Steinway Hall in NYC including numerous photos.
Also, you can find a complete section dedicated to the Steinway & Sons legacy on both Gotham Buzz NYC and Queens Buzz NYC.
New Years Parties In Manhattan
New Years Parties in Manhattan, UES, Upper East Side, Midtown, West & East Village & UWS
December 29, 2016 / Manhattan Restaurants / Manhattan Buzz NYC.
We've taken an look into some of the restaurants hosting New Years parties in the Manhattan NYC. The restaurants in Manhattan offer a wide variety of party venues.
Picking the restaurant you're going to party at in Manhattan is something you should give thought to - not just for budgetary reasons, but depending on the time of you arrive and your plans for the evening.
Click here to read the rest of our report about new new years parties in Manhattan.
Taste Of Times Square
Festive Food Event Along Restaurant Row In Theatre District Of NYC
June 2, 2014 / Manhattan Restaurants NYC / Theatre District Midtown NYC / Midtown Buzz. I went to the Taste of Times Square on Monday evening. The festive food event was held on 46th Street between Broadway and 9th Avenue, and it had begun at 5 pm and was to run until 9 pm.
Needless to say, Times Square is nearly always crowded and busy, and this Monday evening was certainly no exception. The sun was out, the temperatures were in the 70's, and it was fairly dry and comfortable. I started in from Broadway, where the restaurateurs were busy serving the hungry attendees, who paid $6 per ticket which was good for one taste.
I sampled a number of delicious morsels and had a chance to talk to some of the people working the event. As near as I could tell, all of the participants were from restaurants from the immediate vicinity and the offerings ran the gamut from appetizers to full meals.
In the top photo at right you can see the Taste of Times Square between 8th and 9th Avenues along 46th Street in the Theatre District of Manhattan as the Taste of Times Square was winding down. In the photo at left, you can see a crabcake croquette from O'Lunney's Times Square Pub which was so good that I'm still thinking about it. We'll post more about this fun food event in Midtown NYC at a later date - including photo slide show of the food and restaurateurs.
Manhattan Farmers Markets & Street Fairs in Manhattan
March 6, 2014 / Manhattan Farmers Markets / Manhattan Street Fairs / Midtown Buzz. Many Manhattan farmers markets are open year round, but there are also a number of them that are seasonal. Some of the seasonal Manhattan farmers markets begin opening in the Spring, with the rest of them opening no later than the first couple of weeks in July.
Click here to view the schedules of many of the farmers markets in Manhattan. Manhattan street fairs are entirely seasonal, with some of them hitting the streets as early as March. Manhattan street fairs rise markedly during the spring and lighten up during the dog days of summer [July / August], returning in the fall. Click here to view a full schedule of Manhattan street fairs.
RESTAURANTS & DINERS - Midtown Manhattan NYC
Midtown Manhattan is home to a number of fine restaurants, ranging in scope from the high end restaurants to the more casual and comfortable diners open 24 hours per day in NYC. Click here to view our emerging section on Midtown Manhattan restaurants.
In Gramercy Park you'll find an assortment of dining venues from the historic Pete's Tavern, where O Henry wrote The Gift Of The Magi, to the Friend of a Farmer which has home cooked meals and a very popular Sunday brunch, to the Orion Diner [formerly Cosmos Diner] which is open 24 hours a day / 7 days a week. There's also the Ess A Bagel on First Avenue, which is a popular morning bagels and coffee place, serving many of the residents of Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town.
In Midtown Manhattan in Bryant Park, there's the popular Bryant Park Grill, which also has outdoor seating during the warmer weather months.
In Murray Hill, El Rio Grande is a popular Tex Mex restaurant, serving killer margaritas.
Manhattan NYC - Specialty Food & Wine Shops
This section contains stories done of some of the specialty food & wine shops in Manhattan & NYC
Click here to enter the Specialty Food Stores & Wine Shops in Manhattan & NYC section of the site.
Midtown Manhattan Restaurants NYC
Cafes, Diners, Bistros & Fine Dining Restaurants & Bars in Manhattan
May 2017 / Midtown Manhattan Restaurants & Bars / Manhattan Buzz NYC.
This section contains review of the restaurants in Midtown Manhattan that we've visited to date. This section also includes maps and transit info & links, as well as information and links pertaining to neighborhood attractions and shopping in the Midtown Manhattan neighborhood / section of NYC.
Click here to view our section on Midtown Restaurants Manhattan NYC.
Greek Food In Manhattan NYC
Titan Foods Has Been Importing Greek Foods Into Manhattan NYC For Decades
Food Stores in Manhattan NYC / Manhattan Buzz NYC.
Astoria has long been known as the Greek section of Queens and NYC. And for nearly 30 years Titan Foods has been serving the Greek section of Queens and NYC with imported Greek food. In 1991 Optima Foods, which is owned by the same folks as Titan, began operating as a mid sized importer and since that time has grown to become one of the leading distributors of Greek food along the eastern seaboard of the United States.
Click this link to read the full story about Titan Foods - Greek food stores in Manhattan NYC.
Organic Food & Organic Food Stores In Manhattan NYC
All Natural Foods - Buying Organic Foods In Midtown NYC & Upper East Side NYC
I’ve been doing research on local organic / all natural food for some time. I recently had the opportunity to interview an "organic insider", Metin Mangut who is one of the managing partners of a local supermarket which is an organic / all natural food store in Long Island City. Metin shared with me some of his insights into the changing landscape of organic, all natural and conventional foods.
In this report we'll delve into some of the issues and purchase strategies for buying from organic food stores / organic foods in Manhattan and pretty much anywhere.
Manhattan Men's Clothing For All Seasons
Men's Fashions In NYC - A Short Subway Ride From Midtown Manhattan & The Upper East Side NYC
I recently stopped in to visit Frank Adhami the owner and manager of Esquire Men's Clothing Store to get the buzz on what’s happening in men’s designer clothing for the summer and fall.
Frank and Esquire have been selling men’s designer clothing on Steinway Street in Astoria dating back to 1982. Esquire started carrying the Canali brand of men’s suits as early as 1984, when the Canali brand was just making inroads into the American market. And Esquire has introduced many other European designers into the Astoria, Queens market since then, such as Hugo Boss in 1990, Versace in 1994 and Burberry in 2003.
Click here to read the rest of our report on shopping for men's clothing in NYC near Midtown Manhattan & the Upper East Side.
|Manhattan Shops & Shopping - Furniture Stores in Midtown Manhattan NYC|
Manhattan Shops - Furniture Stores in Midtown Manhattan NYC
Midtown Buzz / Manhattan Maps / Shops & Shopping Manhattan NYC. This page contains links to some of the information about furniture stores in Midtown Manhattan. Generally we post maps, stories about events and photos about furniture stores in midtown Manhattan NYC.
Click here to view our map of the Rochebobois - one of the leading furniture stores in midtown Manhattan.
SHOPS & SHOPPING - Midtown Manhattan NYC
The shopping in Midtown Manhattan is among some of the finest in the world.
In north Midtown along 57th Street, there are a number of fine clothing stores, including Burberry just off Fifth Avenue. Bergdorf Goodman is located along Fifth Avenue just north of 57th Street near the Plaza Hotel.
Further down Fifth Avenue in the low 50's and high 40's [streets] there's Saks Fifth Avenue which is located just across from Rockefeller Center in the high 40's. Versace is located a couple of blocks north of St Patrick's Cathedral along Fifth Avenue.
A bit further down Fifth in the low 40's along, you'll also find some interesting boutique stores, such as J & R Cigars, which has one of the largest and best kept cigars in New York City [see photo to your right]. Ann Taylor, J. Crew and Johnson & Murphy Shoes are located nearby along Fifth Avenue.
Lord & Taylor is located a few blocks south of 42nd Street between the NYC Public Library and north of the Empire State Building. Many other name brand designers have stores along Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue on down to Madison Square Park.
Along Broadway, south of 23rd Street and you'll find Restoration Hardware and just north of Union Square Park in the Village you'll find Paragon Sporting Goods, ABC Carpets.
Midtown Shops & Shopping
The Midtown neighborhood of Manhattan in NYC has some of the finest shopping street in NYC, including Madison Avenue, Fifth Avenue and Lexington Avenue. This section contains maps, a shopping center that links to many advertiser home pages and stories about what you'll find in some of the Midtown unique and exclusive stores.
Click here to enter the Midtown Shops and Shopping section of the site.
What Is A Decent City?
The Museum of Modern Art Explores Zoning & Real Estate Development
MoMA Exhibit: Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities
I attended a presentation and panel discussion at the Museum of Modern Art [MoMA] on Monday evening. The event was being given in conjunction with an exhibit at the museum entitled: Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities.
The presenters and panel consisted of two political scientists [Ira Katznelson & Margaret Levi], two architects / designers [Marion Weiss & Jose Castillo], one urban planner [Diane Davis] and the curator of the MoMA exhibit [Pedro Gadanho].
The presentations and discussion were - as billed - about what makes a decent city.
Click here to read a short report with photos taken at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan at the panel discussion entitled What Makes A Decent City?
Hudson Yards Real Estate Development NYC
Manhattan Real Estate: West Midtown Undergoing Massive Transformation
October 6, 2014 / Midtown West NYC / Manhattan Real Estate NYC / Midtown Buzz. I spent a fair bit of time surveying the construction projects underway in west Midtown Manhattan this weekend. I went to see for myself what was going on in the area just adjacent [kiddy corner south and east] to the Jacob Javits Center which is located on 11th Avenue and 31st Street.
The deals were cut during the Bloomberg Administration with two real estate development companies - the Related Companies of NYC and Canadian partner Oxford Properties of Toronto, Ontario. The negotations took about five years and involved the MTA leasing the airspace above their track space - the Hudson Yards.
Most of the development will reside atop a huge platform covering the yards, but the building in the photo to your right - the first of the development to come online - has been erected ajacent to the yards on terra firma.
We'll add more about the Hudson Yards real estate development in NYC as the development progresses.
REAL ESTATE - Buying & Renting Apts In Midtown Manhattan NYC
Real estate in Midtown Manhattan is very desirable.
Not just because of the restaurants, movie theaters, shopping, Bryant Park, Union Square Park, Gramercy Park but also because of the many cultural attractions located conveniently in the neighborhood [keep scrolling down]. All of which in and of themselves would make it a great place to live.
Transportation / Access. Midtown is conveniently located just south of Central Park, with easy access to the Upper East Side, the Village and the Upper West Side. The FDR highway which takes East Siders north, south and east into Queens.
It's also a quick taxi ride to LaGuardia Airport. And the 4, 5 & 6 subway lines provide easy public transit to destinations near and far within NYC.
Midtown Manhattan NYC Neighbohood - Movie Theaters
There are a number of movie theaters in the Midtown area. Most notably a Loews Cineplex located along Broadway in the low 20's.
I'm not sure if the theater on east 34th Street is still around. So I'll need to check on that, as well as the theater along 2nd or 3rd Avenues in the high 30's or low 40's. Real estate is expensive and it's difficult to make enough of a profit selling $15 $20 movie tickets to pay the rent.