Tag: Author Justin Watral

Hudson River Maritime Museum  50 Roundout Landing  Kingston, NY 12401

Hudson River Maritime Museum 50 Roundout Landing Kingston, NY 12401

Hudson River Maritime Museum

50 Roundout Landing

Kingston, NY 12401

(845) 338-0583

http://www.hrmm.org/

Open: Sunday 11:00am-5:00pm/Monday-Thursday Closed/Saturday 11:00am-5:00pm

Fee: Adults $9.00/Seniors (over 62) & Children (18 & under) $6.00/Members-Children under 4 years/Active Military Free

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g48003-d285787-Reviews-Hudson_River_Maritime_Museum-Kingston_Catskill_Region_New_York.html?m=19905

I recently visited the Hudson River Maritime Museum after a boat cruise around the Hudson River and I found this wonderful little under-rated museum to packed with information not just about the history of the Hudson River Valley but the rich history of boating and boat building, the economic impact of the area in mining, brick building, ice manufacturing and cement development.

It was interesting to see how the natural wonders of the area have given the rise to so much development in not just building the area but its long lasting contribution to New York City.

One part of the museum is dedicated to transportation up and down the river with sailing and steamboats in the forefront especially how the luxury steamboat industry went full force until about 60 years ago. It was considered the nicest form of transportation to and from New York City. It was interesting how the modern train and car lead to the demise of something that today would be embraced as unique and fun.

Another part of the museum was dedicated to the history and development of the area from the Native American tribes living along the shore and the Dutch settlements to the rise of modern development of manufacturing along the shores to its after effects and clean up in the 1960’s and 70’s.

There were really nice displays on the ship building, sail companies and maritime industries that supported them. The manufacture of raw materials and building supplies because of the natural resources of the Hudson River Valley show how rich in minerals, clay, cement and stone from the cliffs built New York City and how they nearly destroyed nature.

The displays tell the stories of activists who saved the area, Robber Barons that exploited it and the everyday people who contributed to making the valley the interesting place that it is today. It showed how protests and free speech saved the Valley from devastating development.

With each room at the museum, there is a story to tell and pictures to explain why the Hudson River Valley and the Kingston Roundout is such an interesting place to see.

Take time to guide through the rooms and read the signs and stories. There is a lot to see and do here and make sure to leave plenty of time to walk the grounds and see the tug boat and sailing displays and walk the river front. It makes for an interesting afternoon.

History of the Hudson River Maritime Museum

(This information was taken from the Museum’s website and pamphlet)

Hudson River Maritime Museum

The Hudson River Maritime is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the maritime history of the Hudson River, its tributaries and related industries.

Ship building was very important in the region

The Hudson River Maritime Museum was founded in 1980 to preserve the history and maritime heritage of the Hudson River. Our collections range from steamboats, tugboats and sailboats to the canal system and waterfront industries, dating back to the early 19th Century.

The outdoor tugboat display

The museum has a library and archives open to researches by appointment. Some of our collections have been digitized and are available online at http://www.hrvh.org/hrmmkingston.

http://www.hrmm.org/

HRMM exhibits cover topics including:

Passenger steam boats, Hudson River rowing, ferries, ecology and conservation, ice boats, tugboats, fishing, ice harvesting, brick making, early exploration, cement production, lighthouses and more. HRMM features a new temporary exhibit every year. Information on exhibits, including online exhibits is available at hrmm.org.

Some of the attributes of the museum:

Wooden Boat School:

The Wooden Boat School was opened by the Hudson River Maritime Museum to preserve the rich boat building heritage of the Hudson River Valley. Wooden boat building occurred on Roundout Creek in particular throughout the 19th and 20th centuries including World War I & II and the Korean War.

Today, the Wooden Boat School offers adult classes, Youthboat program for teens and serves as the headquarters fro the Sailing & Rowing School, Sea Scouts Ship 609 and the Kingston Sailing Club.

Kingston Home Port:

A timber framed carbon neutral structure, the Kingston Home Port and Education Center was completed in 2012 to serve as the winter home port and maintenance center for HHRM partner the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater during the winter season. During the summer months, the Home Port serves as an event, lecture and educational space for the museum.

The Kingston Home Port also functions as the main operational headquarters for the Roundout Rowing Club and the Kingston High School Crew Team.

The Hudson River Valley in all its glory

The Hudson River Maritime Museum (HRMM) features a variety of programs and events throughout the year including:

*Lighthouse Tours

*Local History tours, including guided walking and car tours.

*Woodworking, maritime art and boat building classes at the Wooden Boat School

*Sailing, boating and rowing classes at the Sailing & Rowing School

*Follow the River Lecture Series

*School Field trips

*Museum Mates monthly family programs

*Free Public Festivals

*Visiting Vessels

*Special members only events-Join today!

Walkway Across the Hudson State Historic Park  87 Haviland Road  Highland, NY 12528

Walkway Across the Hudson State Historic Park 87 Haviland Road Highland, NY 12528

Walkway Across the Hudson State Historic Park

87 Haviland Road

Highland, NY 12528

(845) 834-2867

https://parks.ny.gov/parks/178/details.aspx

Open: Sunday-Saturday Dawn to Dusk/Office Open 8:00am-4:30pm Daily

Fee: Vehicle Fee $5.00/Educational Programs Adults $5.00/Students $2.00

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g48443-d2249606-Reviews-Walkway_Over_the_Hudson_State_Historic_Park-Poughkeepsie_New_York.html?m=19905

This is the best way to experience seeing the Hudson River by walking on top of it. It is especially nice on a beautiful day.

The day I walked over the “Walkway over the Hudson” it was a rather cool September day in the last days of the summer but still it was a spectacular day to see the river with blue skies and sunshine.

The views are just amazing

On both sides of the bridge, there are small parks to sit and relax. There are signs all over the bridge to tell the story of the bridge and the people who helped save it. The best part is to just sit around the rails and see the views of the Hudson River.

What is nice too is when you are leaving the Walkway is that you can tour Little Italy and Downtown Poughkeepsie. The Riverfront area of the City is changing quickly and new bars and restaurants are opening.

The towns and neighborhoods to visit after leaving the Walkway

The history of the ‘Walkway Across the Hudson’:

The bridge now known as the Walkway Over the Hudson opened in 1889 as the Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge to transport western raw materials to eastern industrial centers. Rosendale cement was used in the original construction of the piers. At the same time of its opening, it was the longest bridge in the world.

In addition to freight trains, the bridge hosted passenger trains connecting Boston, New York, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington as early as 1890. Trolley cars termed “rapid transit” were modified to run on both trolley and railroad tracks and served tourists, students and shoppers (from New Paltz to Lucky Platt’s). Special West Point Football trains ran from 1921-1930. Circus trains, milk trains, trains for hogs and cattle-the uses were varied and the impact was huge. At its peak as many as 3,500 rail cars crossed the bridge each day.

There were two sets of tracks until 1918 when gauntlet track, also called interleaved track, was installed to handle the weight of diesel locomotives. It was removed in 1958.

During World War II the bridge was painted black to make it less visible in the event of an attack. Painting continued until the 1960’s. The high quality of the steel used in the original construction does not need to be painted. Metal experts during reconstruction stated that the absence of paint in fact helped keep the steel in the good condition it is in today.

The fire that destroyed the tracks in 1974 was probably started by a spark from a train’s brakes. From Carleton Mabee’s ‘Bridging the Hudson’, page 247: “An hour after a Penn Central train with 100 cars crossed the bridge on May 8, 1974, a thick cloud of black smoke hung over the bridge. Wooden ties were smoldering and wooden walkways were burning, fanned by a moderate breeze. Because Penn Central had no guards or maintenance men on the bridge at the time, the fire was not quickly reported. When firemen arrived at the site, they found they could not easily pump water up to the top of such a high bridge.

When firemen arrived arrived at the site, they found they could not easily pump water up to the top of such a high bridge. When they tried turning on the water to flow into the bridge. When they tried turning on the water to flow into the steel pipe which ran the length of the bridge, a line meant to help fight fires, they found that because it had not been drained the previous winter, it had burst at several points-Penn Central had known it but had not repaired it.”

It was rebuilt and re-opened in October 2009 as the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park thanks to the efforts of a dedicated friends group, the Dyson Foundation, many donors and New York State.

At 212 feet above the Hudson River, this 1.28 mile linear park boasts scenic views north to the Catskills and south to the Hudson Highlands.

The Walkway is amazing on a sunny day

The Walkway is part of the Hudson Valley Rail Trail Network and was inducted into the Rail-Train of Fame in 2016, it connects Ulster County’s Hudson Valley Rail Train to the William R. Steinhaus Dutchess Rail Trail.

The ADA compliant 21 story glass elevator provides seasonal access from Poughkeepsie waterfront at Upper Landing Park a short walk from the Metro North train station.

The Walkway welcomes more than 500,000 visitors annually from all over the world who enjoy walking, cycling and running amidst its scenic beauty.

Today, the Walkway is operated and owned by NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the NYS Bridge Authority it is open year round, offering programs, events and tours made possible through membership and donations to the Walkway organization.

(This information was taken from the Walkway over the Hudson website and pamphlet and I give them full credit for all of this information).

The Morgan Library & Museum                                                                                                225 Madison Avenue          New York, NY 10016

The Morgan Library & Museum 225 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10016

The Morgan Museum & Library

225 Madison Avenue

New York, NY 10016

(212) 685-3484

Open: Sunday 11:00am-6:00pm/Monday Closed/Tuesday-Friday 10:30am-5:00pm/Saturday 10:00am-6:00pm

Fee: Adults $22.00/Seniors (over 65) $14.00/Current Students with ID $13.00/Free to Members and Children under 12 accompanied by a parent. Free on Friday Nights from 7:00pm-9:00pm. Discount for people with disabilities $13.00-Caregiver Free.

https://www.themorgan.org/

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d107356-Reviews-The_Morgan_Library_Museum-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

The Morgan Restaurant:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g60763-d502683-Reviews-Morgan_Cafe-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

What I love about the Morgan Library & Museum is the level of sophistication and quality of their exhibitions. The museum really makes you think when you tour their galleries and attend their lectures and gallery talks. Their docents and curators bring an exhibition to a whole new level. I always feel like I am taking a college course and will be graded afterwards. They really make you think about the work or what the author or artist is trying to say.

Two of my favorite exhibitions were the “150th Anniversary Celebration of Alice in Wonderland”, which is why I joined the Morgan Library & Museum. I loved the novel and I wanted to get some ideas for our library’s own celebration. They had the original manuscript written by Lewis Carroll, some original prints and memorabilia from various times including posters, books, artwork and decorative items.

The entrance to the “Alice in Wonderland” exhibition

Another wonderful and interesting exhibition was on Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” which was a celebration of her life, her works and of the novel through the ages in both context of the novel and in Hollywood. There were various copies of the books in the exhibition as well as the history of the author’s life.

The Frankenstein print

The exhibition showed the clips of the original silent version of the film, the 1931 version with Boris Karloff and the modern version “Young Frankenstein” with Gene Wilder from 1974. I learned from the exhibition that the set used in the 1974 version of the film was from the original 1931 film and it had been in the director’s basement all those years.

The entrance to “It’s Alive: Frankenstein at 200” exhibition at the museum

Another exhibition that was very interesting was the recent American artist Al Taylor with an showing of his drawings. The works were unusual but really stood out was his time in Hawaii and the drawings that inspired him.

Duck Bondage Study by Al Taylor

Untitled by Al Taylor

American artist Al Taylor

It is nice to walk among the permanent collection of prints in the lower level and to visit the former private areas of Mr. Morgan’s home. It adds to who he was as a financier and as a homeowner. The home was not as elaborate as you would have thought.

The private part of the museum

I also enjoy the Morgan Cafe on the main level of the museum in the courtyard area of the first floor. The food is a little pricey and a limited menu but the service is wonderful and the quality of the food is very good. You will enjoy the meal and I have heard from other patrons that the Afternoon Tea is very nice as well.

The Morgan’s foyer and restaurant

They also have a Dining Room in the Library area that I have heard is very nice as well.

The Morgan Dining Room

They have a nice selection of books, cards and gifts in their Gift Shop just beyond The Morgan Dining Room. I really like their selections at the holidays and their theme books to the exhibitions especially for the “Alice in Wonderland” exhibition.

The Morgan Library & Museum gift shop

It is a nice place to take a gallery talk, then a light lunch in the main hall and then a lecture at night. It’s a great way to spend the day.

The History of the Morgan Library & Museum:

(from the Morgan Library & Museum website)

The Museum is a complex of buildings in the heart of New York City and began as the private library of financier Pierpont Morgan, one of the preeminent collectors and cultural benefactors in the United States. As early as 1890, Mr. Morgan had begun to assemble a collection of illuminated, literary and historical manuscripts, early printed books and old master drawings and prints.

Mr. Morgan’s library was built between 1902 and 1906 adjacent to his New York residence at Madison Avenue and 36th Street. Designed by Charles McKim of the architectural firm McKim, Mead & White, the library was intended as something more than a repository of rare materials. Majestic in appearance yet intimate in scale, the structure was to reflect the nature and stature of its holdings.

The result was an Italian Renaissance-style palazzo with three magnificent rooms epitomizing America’s Age of Elegance. Completed three years before McKim’s death, it is considered by many to be his masterpiece. In 1924, eleven years after Mr. Morgan’s passing, his son, J.P. Morgan Jr., known as Jack, realized that the library had become too important to remain in private hands. It what constituted one of the most momentous cultural gifts in the United States history. He fulfilled his father’s dream of making the library and its treasures available to scholars and the public alike by transforming it into a public institution.

Mr. Morgan’s private areas are part of the museum

Over the years, through purchases and generous gifts, The Morgan Library & Museum has continued to acquire rare materials as well as important music manuscripts, early children’s books, Americana and materials from the twentieth century. Without loosing its decidedly domestic feeling, the Morgan also has expanded its physical space considerably.

In 1928, the Annex building was erected on the corner of Madison Avenue and 36th Street, replacing Pierpont Morgan’s residence. The Annex connected to the original McKim library by means of a gallery. In 1988, Jack Morgan’s former residence, a mid-nineteenth century brownstone on Madison Avenue and 37th Street was added to the complex. The 1991 garden court was constructed as a means to unite the various elements of the Morgan campus.

The largest expansion in the Morgan’s history, adding 75,000 sq ft to the campus was completed in 2006. Designed by Pritzker Prize winning architect Renzo Piano, the project increases exhibition space by more than fifty percent and adds more important visitor amenities, including a new performance hall, a welcoming entrance on Madison Avenue, a new cafe and a new restaurant, a shop, a new reading room and collections storage. Piano’s design integrates the Morgan’s three historical buildings with three new modestly scaled steel and glass pavilions. A soaring central court connects the buildings and serves as a gathering place for visitors in the spirit of an Italian piazza.

The Morgan Library & Museum expansion by Renzo Piano

The Morgan Library & Museum Mission:

The mission of The Morgan Library & Museum is to preserve, build, study, present and interpret a collection of extraordinary quality, in order to stimulate enjoyment, excite the imagination, advance learning and nurture creativity.

A global institution, focused on the European and American traditions, the Morgan houses one of the world’s foremost collections of manuscripts, rare books, music, drawings and ancient and other works of art. These holdings, which represent the legacy of Pierpont Morgan and numerous later benefactors, comprise a unique and dynamic record of civilization as well as an incomparable repository of ideas and of the creative process.

(From the Morgan Library & Museum website and history)

Prospect Park Zoo                450 Flatbush Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11225

Prospect Park Zoo 450 Flatbush Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11225

The Prospect Park Zoo

450 Flatbush Avenue

Brooklyn, NY 11225

(718) 220-5100

https://prospectparkzoo.com/

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60827-d283820-Reviews-Prospect_Park_Zoo-Brooklyn_New_York.html?m=19905

The Prospect Park Zoo is one of my ‘go to’ places along with the Brooklyn Museum and the Brooklyn Botanical Garden when visiting Brooklyn. The three popular destinations are all in the same neighborhood and if you have a full day is worth the subway ride from Manhattan to visit.

The entrance to the Prospect Park Zoo

On a nice day, the best place to start is the Brooklyn Botanical Garden at opening, then head over through the back part of the garden to Prospect Park and walk to the entrance near Flatbush Avenue and go past the carousel and enter the Zoo past the old Leffert’s Homestead. The Zoo is just past that.

The Leffert’s Homestead in Prospect Park

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60827-d103505-Reviews-Lefferts_Homestead-Brooklyn_New_York.html?m=19905

My review of the Leffert’s Homestead on VisitingaMuseum.com:

https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/visitingamuseum.com/2864

The best part of the Prospect Park Zoo is that like the Central Park Zoo it is small enough to see in one day and be able to enjoy the exhibitions in one afternoon and still have time for lunch.

The Map of the Zoo

The main focus of the zoo when you walk through the gates is the seal tanks. These playful animals spend most of their time swimming around or sunning themselves on a warm day. During the feeding schedule, it is interesting to see how they interact with the trainers.

The Seal exhibition

Walking further into the zoo you will walk past the Hall of Animals, where all the smaller animals and amphibians like frogs, snakes and turtles are located. These are a lot of fun for the smaller children who may not see these things in their backyards or even in the parks anymore.

Beyond that is the Barn, where your horses and cows are located and they even have a pair of turkeys, which makes for interesting conversation for children who wonder where they come from at Thanksgiving. The turkeys here are more bred than the wild ones you will see in the woods.

The turkey!

Next to the Hall of Animals is the Animal Lifestyle exhibition where a lot of the gorillas and monkeys are located. It is funny to watch their mannerisms and see ourselves and out behaviors in them. I guess a couple of thousand years never really separated us that much and we still are a lot alike.

From there you will take the Discovery Trail to see more familiar animals that you might see in every day nature such as deer, foxes, porcupines, ducks and geese in a more natural habitat where they can roam free. The space is limited but they look a lot happy to move around than some of the other animals.

All trails lead back to the Seal Tanks where the popular feeding time gathers a crowd and you will see the care that many of the trainers and zoo keepers give to their residents. There is a lot of love for these animals that is given and I can see a lot of respect.

The seals here have a personality

A trip to the snack shop and gift shops at the zoo are expensive and cater to the tourists. They are not as nicely merchandised as the Bronx Zoo or the Central Park Zoo. Still they are fun to visit once or twice.

The Prospect Park Zoo is still a nice afternoon out for families and a nice way to communicate with nature.

The History of the Prospect Park Zoo:

The Prospect Park Zoo is a 12 acre zoo located in Prospect Park, Brooklyn and as of 2016 houses 864 animals. The zoo was originally part of the plan of Prospect Park as a “Zoological Garden” in the western part of the park. The zoo was not part of the finished plan in the park in 1874 by designers Fredrick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux.

The original zoo layout

The park design included a Wild Fowl Pond in the northern part of the park that was stop off for water birds and a Deer Paddock in the southern part of the zoo where deer lived in a penned area.

In the 1890’s, gardens were created for park enjoyment and a informal Menagerie was created by the Brooklyn Parks Commission, George V. Brower, when the donation of small bear, white deer, seven seals, a cow and twelve peacocks came into the possession of the park.

In 1934, Parks Department head Robert Moses set a plan to reconstruct the City’s Parks and under the Works Progress Administration started to revamp the park system. In March of that year architect Aymar Embury II set to design the new zoo with six new buildings and centered by a Seal Pool.

By the 1970’s, the zoo faced disrepair and was neglect for the animals. It was considered one of the worst zoo’s in the country according to the press and finally in 1980, the Koch Administration signed a 50 year agreement with the NY Zoological Society, now called the Wildlife Conservation Society, which was also administrating the Central Park and Queens Zoo.

The new Prospect Park Wildlife Conservation Center

The park closed in 1988 for a five year, 37 million dollar renovation that gutted all the pits and cages but saved the historic buildings and statuary. The new zoo opened in 1993 with a new name, “The Prospect Park Wildlife Conservation Center” and a philosophy of educating children. The zoo along with the Queens Zoo have had some shortfalls in the past but have the full support of the Society and the public since the early 2000’s. Still the zoo remains popular with families from all over Brooklyn and the world.

(This information is provided by Wiki and the Wildlife Conservatory website and I give them both full credit for the information)