Thursday, October 27, 2016


If you've been to New York City, you know that there is no shortage of things to see. Once you get past the major tourist sites--the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, the 9/11 Memorial, Central Park, the art museums, and so forth--you might think you've seen it all, but you've NEVER seen it all in NYC.

I am always on the lookout for interesting graffiti and all kinds of public art, especially in large cities. New York City has something to look at on almost every corner.

For example, in one nook a bronze statue stands out rather conspicuously against a tower of letters:

Lady Liberty has had a new facial and make-up job since the last time I'd seen her:

This black and white panel has a Halloween-y feel . . .

. . . and is topped by an enormous, creepy, eerie green child that appears to be 3-D and straight out of a low-budget horror movie:

From demonic to delicious--NYC has everything.

New York City is known for its diversity of restaurants. You can get just about anything you want in the city, and for me that means dessert. Our son took us to a bakery not far from Columbia University called The Hungarian Pastry Shop. I like their "Expect a miracle today" motto. I guess finding a Hungarian bakery on a drizzly day can be considered a miracle.

My order came in a "white paper package tied up with string":

These ARE a few of my favorite things!

Oh, yeah!

Even the birdies were happy with my crumbs:

After a previous trip to NYC, I did a post about the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, a very unique Episcopal church located in the Upper West Side of the city:

It's a quirky place with a quirky sense of humor, evidenced by these signs posted on the fence around the yard:

But what caught my attention this time was the front door:

Since I was last here, I've gotten obsessed with doors, and this is a particularly lovely one.  There are panels illustrating many stories from the Old Testament, including the Garden of Eden:

Noah's ark:

Abraham's (almost) sacrifice of Isaac:

King Solomon and the two mothers:

and Moses and the serpent on a staff:

And there are panels with New Testament scenes, such as Jesus and three women (although I'm not sure what the reference is):

This one depicting the Last Supper is my favorite, even if it is lacking a few disciples. Could that be Judas front left?

These doors are a tourist destination all by themselves.

NYC's subways could also be a tourist destination. One of my favorite subway mosaics of all time is at one of the stops:

There are always plenty of performers looking to make a few bucks, and I'm usually happy to oblige, especially if they are singing "Here Comes the Sun" on a rainy day:

My last subway picture is a nice segue into my last item of NYC miscellany:


I wrote briefly about Columbia University in a previous post. As I mentioned in that post, it was my dream to get a PhD at Columbia, something that, given my other life choices, was never really a possibility for me. I didn't know when we visited in 2011 that four years later our son would be a graduate student there. Dreams get fulfilled in strange ways, don't they?

Thomas Jefferson stands guard in front of the Graduate School of Journalism, founded by Joseph Pulitzer in 1912:

The Low Memorial Library, built in 1895, is one of the most prominent buildings on campus:

Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was the president of Columbia University from 1948-1953, was elected President of the United States in November 1952. In 1954, to commemorate Columbia's 100-year anniversary and to honor President Eisenhower, the Low Library appeared on the U.S. postage stamp.

St. Paul's Chapel, designed by a Columbia alumnus, was dedicated in 1907. Unfortunately, it was locked and we didn't get to see the inside:

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery was founded in 1986 and is the main art space on campus:

I fell even more in love with Columbia when I learned its mascot is the lion, my hometown high school mascot:

Famous Columbia alumni include Alexander Hamilton, Upton Sinclair, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, both Richard Rogers AND Oscar Hammerstein, J.D. Salinger, Art Garfunkel, Langston Hughes, Isaac Asimov, Madeleine Albright, Alan Greenspan, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Warren Buffet, and Barack Obama. In six more months the list will hopefully include our son, who begs to be kept out of this blog. :)

Wikipedia notes:
"As of 2011, Columbia alumni included three United States Presidents, 26 foreign Heads of State, nine Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States (including three Chief Justices) and 39 Nobel winners. As of 2011, alumni have also received more than 35 National Book Awards and 123 Pulitzer Prizes. Today, two United States Senators and 16 Chief Executives of Fortune 500 companies hold Columbia degrees, as do three of the 25 richest Americans and 20 living billionaires. Attendees of King's College, Columbia's predecessor, included five Founding Fathers."

Pretty darn cool.


  1. I would love to go to New York again to see any of these places. You have to hit the tourists sites the first time. The second visit would definitely be the more interesting places.

  2. New York has variety, for sure. It's fun that our kids pull us to places we might not otherwise visit and our lives are enriched.