Tag: Exploring Inwood and Washington Hieghts

Fort Tryon Park                                            Riverside Drive to Broadway                             New York, NY 10040

Fort Tryon Park Riverside Drive to Broadway New York, NY 10040

Fort Tyron Park

Riverside Drive to Broadway

New York, NY  10040

https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/fort-tryon-park

https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/fort-tryon-park/history

Open: Sunday-Saturday 6:00am-1:00am

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d2305249-Reviews-Fort_Tryon_Park-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

I love Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan. It is one of the most beautiful parks in New York City. It is a park of rolling hills, stone paths that hug the hills, interesting garden that are ablaze when in season, shady tree sitting areas and is home to many playgrounds and the Cloisters Museum which is part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It has so much to offer a visitor coming into Manhattan from exploring the woods that line the path to looking at interesting art at the museum. This 67 acre park is one of the interesting and complex in New York City.

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A city view of the beauty of the park by the Hudson River

When you enter the park from Inwood by Broadway, you enter through Ann Loftus Park which is named after a local community leader and is one of the popular parks with kids and families in the area. In the summer months, the fountains and water fixtures are going strong and the kids run around them while the parents lie under shade trees talking to one another.

Ann Loftus Playground

Ann Loftus Playground

Anne Loftus Playground

When taking the path from Ann Loftus Park and winding up the hills of woods and rock formations is the Hudson River looming in the distance with spectacular views of the Palisades and the large cliffs of Fort Lee, NJ on the other side.

At the top of hill like a crown jewel is the Medieval Galleries of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Cloisters Museum. Filled with all the Met’s collections of Religious and Medieval art set into themes of old churches, stained glass windows, flowered courtyards and vistas of the river, it is the perfect place to wonder around.

Cloisters

The Met-Cloisters Museum

Don’t miss the “Hunt of the Unicorn” tapestries.

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The Hunt of the Unicorn Tapestry

The Cloisters:

https://www.metmuseum.org/visit/plan-your-visit/met-cloisters

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d106609-Reviews-The_Met_Cloisters-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

As you pass the Cloisters and walk further in to the park, there is still so much more to see and do. The Linden Terrace overlooks the Hudson River with its large shade trees over head and its stone benches to sit and just look in the distance or read a book. This was the site of the original Fort Tryon and is the highest location in the park.

Fort Tryon Park III

Linden Terrace is a nice place to relax and read a book

David Rockefeller Linden Terrace

Further down in the other entrance of the park is Heather Garden, a large path of flowers , bushes and trees with benches lining it. The garden was the Olmstead Brothers when the park was taking shape and is a beautiful place to walk in the Spring and Summer months when the park is in full bloom.

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The Heather Garden was recently remodeled to follow the original design by the Olmstead Brothers.

Heather Garden and Alpine Garden

There is even a terrace restaurant in the middle of the park, the New Leaf Cafe (See review on TripAdvisor-Closed in 2018) which sits off to the side of the Corbin Circle on the other side of the park. The food is over-rated and very expensive. The last time I ate there the menu was pretty standard. It is a great to take out of towners who want a view of something. It is not worth the trip. The views are nice and in the summer months it is pretty but the food and service are standard.

Fort Tryon Park-New Leaf Cafe

The New Leaf Cafe in Fort Tyron Park (Closed in 2018)

New Leaf Restaurant and Bar

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g60763-d478282-Reviews-New_Leaf_Restaurant_Bar-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

The park has so much to offer in all months of the year especially in the Spring and Summer.

History of Fort Tryon Park:

The area was known by the local Lenape Indians as Chquaesgeck and by the Dutch settlers as Lange Bergh (Long Hill). During the Revolutionary War, the Battle of Fort Washington was fought on this site. The park is built on a high formation of Manhattan schist with igneous intrusions and glacial striations from the last Ice Age (Wiki).

John D. Rockefeller Jr. bought up most the land in 1917, which by that point had been old estates, to create Fort Tryon Park. He hired the Olmstead Brothers firm, under the direction of Fredrick Law Olmstead Jr., the son of the designer of Central Park,  to design the park and James W. Dawson to create a planting plan. Mr. Rockefeller also bought the collection of Medieval art from sculptor George Gray Barnard and it was the cornerstone of The Cloisters Museum which was built in 1939 (Wiki).

Through the years the park has seen its ups and downs especially in the 1970’s and 80’s with the decline of finances in New York City. There were extensive renovations when finances got better in the late 90’s and parts of the park were fully renovated. The Fort Tyron Park Trust, a non-profit organization was founded in 1998 to help maintain the park (Wiki).

Today it is just an amazing park!

American Academy of Arts & Letters                 633 West 155th Street                                        New York, NY 10032

American Academy of Arts & Letters 633 West 155th Street New York, NY 10032

American Academy of Arts & Letters

633 West 155th Street

New York, NY 10032

(212) 368-5900

Academy@Artsandletters.org

HomePage

Hours: Thursday-Sunday-1:00pm-4:00pm/Open During Exhibitions times only or by appointment (Mid-March-Mid-April; Mid-May-Mid-June)

Fee: Free

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g60763-d548512-r682038708-American_Academy_of_Arts_and_Letters-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

I was finally able to visit the American Academy of Arts and Letters on the last day it was open for the year to the public. It was for the ‘Ceremonial Exhibition: Work by New Members and Recipients of Awards’, an exhibition on members art that was chosen specifically for the show. Most of the work was very contemporary and some a little political. It was interesting work by new artists that filled the small gallery rooms.

One of the buildings was used for the contemporary art while the one across the courtyard was used for the more architectural pieces. The galleries are small but the art was impressive. What I liked when I talked with one of the women who worked there said to me that after the show, the pieces would be donated to galleries and museums all over the country. The galleries are only open four months out of the year and this was the last day of the exhibition so the work being shown will be gone.

Some of the pieces that really stood out were by Judith Bernstein, a contemporary painter who seems to not like the current administration too much. The themes were on power and money and corruption in the administration. Her work really shows what she personally thinks of  our President. Her ‘Trump Genie” was very clever and I can see this in a major museum in the future.

American Academy of Arts & Letters III

Judith Bernstein’s work

Other work in the main gallery were by artists Stephen Westfall with ‘Solid Gone’, Hermine Ford with ‘Paris, France’ and Paul Mogensen with several ‘Untitled’ pieces. The contemporary works I was not sure what the meaning of them were but they were colorful.

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The works of the artists of the front gallery

One of the pieces in the front gallery that really stood out was by artist Francesca Dimattio, ‘She-wolf’ which was a classic Greek character made of porcelain, enamel, paint and steel.

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‘She-wolf’ by Francesca Dimattio

There were light installations that were very interesting by artist James O. Clark. He had one piece, ‘Wunnerful, Wunnerful’,  which is a work that just keeps being creating itself by bubbles and ink markers moving along a turntable that stops and starts.

There was a permanent exhibition of Charles Ives home in Connecticut that was transported and recreated here. His studio and works are featured here as well as his family life. There are copies of his works in the display cases and his career.

When it is open, the galleries are very interesting filled with works of new artists being featured. Now you just have to wait until March of 2020.

About:

The American Academy of Arts & Letters was founded in 1898 as an honor society of the country’s leading architects, artists, composers and writers. Charter members include William Merritt Chase, Kenyon Cox, Daniel Chester French, Childe Hassam, Henry James, Theodore Roosevelt, Elihu Vedder and Woodrow Wilson. The Academy;s 250 members are elected for life and pay no dues.

In addition to electing new members as vacancies occur, the Academy seeks to foster and sustain an interest in Literature, Music and the Fine Arts by administering over 70 awards and prizes, exhibiting art and manuscripts, funding performances of new works of musical theater and purchasing artwork for donation to museums across the country.

Collections:

The Academy’s collection, which are open to scholars by appointment, contain portraits and photographs of members, as well as paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints and decorative art objects. The library has more than 25,000 books by or about members. The archives house correspondence with past members, press clippings, institutional records and original manuscripts of musical and literary works.

History:

The National Institute of Arts & Letters, the parent body of the Academy, was founded in 1898 for “the advancement of art and literature”. The Institute met for the first time in New York City in February 1899 and began electing members that fall. Architects, artists, writers and composers of notable achievement were eligible and membership was soon capped at 250. In 1913, President Taft signed an act of Congress incorporating the organization in the District of Columbia.

American Academy of Arts & Letters IV.jpg

American Academy of Arts & Letters

In 1904, The Institution created the American Academy of Arts & Letters, a prestigious inner body of its own members that modeled itself on the Academie francaise. The first seven members of the Academy were William Dean Howells, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Edmund Clarence Stedman, John La Farge, Mark Twain, John Hay and Edward MacDowell. Those seven then chose eight more and so on, until the full complement of 30 and later 50 was reached. Only after being elected to the Institute, was a member eligible for elevation to the Academy. This bicameral system of membership continued until 1993, when the Institute dissolved itself and all 250 members were enrolled in the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

The Academy inaugurated its annual awards program in 1909 with the Gold Medal for Sculpture. Since then, over 70 awards and prizes have been endowed through gifts and bequests or established by the Academy’s board of directors in the fields of architecture, art, literature and music. There are conferred each year at the Ceremonial in May when new members are inducted and a distinguished speaker is invited to deliver the Blashfield Address.

American Academy of Arts & Letters II

In 2005, the Academy purchased the former headquarters of the American Numismatic Society, the neighboring building on Audubon Terrace. A Glass Link now connects the Academy’s existing galleries to newly renovated ones in the former Numismatic building. These new galleries house the permanently installed Charles Ives Studio.

(The Academy of Arts & Letters Website)

Shorakkopoch Rock                                         Inwood Hill Park                                                 New York, NY 10034

Shorakkopoch Rock Inwood Hill Park New York, NY 10034

Shorakkopoch Rock

Inwood Hill Park

New York, NY  10034

(212) 639-9675

https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/inwoodhillpark

https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/inwood-hill-park/monuments

https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/shorakkopoch

Open: Sunday-Saturday 6:00am-1:00pm

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d21055143-Reviews-Shorakkopoch_Rock-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

Located in Inwood Hill Park and part of the NYC Parks System. The rock was dedicated on February 2, 1954 by the Peter Minuet Post #1247, American Legion.

I came across the Shorakkopoch Rock, the noted spot that Peter Minuet has been said to have bought the island of Manhattan from the Indians. No one is too sure where the spot of the ‘transaction’ took place as some feel it may have been closer to downtown by the Bowling Green, where the original Dutch settlement was located or maybe he traveled to them, we will never know. What we do know is that he said the transaction took place under a tulip tree and in this spot used to be a tulip tree that was over 220 years old before it died.

Shorakkopoch Rock

The rock reads:

Shorakkopoch: According to legend, on this site of the rock, principal Manhattan Indian Village, Peter Minuet in 1626, purchased Manhattan Island for trinkets and beads them worth about 60 guilders. This boulder also marks the spot where a tulip tree (Liriodendron Tulipifera)  grew to a height of 165 feet and a girth of 20 feet. It was until its death in 1932 at the age of 220 years old, the oldest living link with the Reckgawawang Indians, who lived here. Dedicated as part of New York City’s 300th Anniversary celebration by the Peter Minuet Post 1247 American Legion 1954.

For more information on the rock, please contact the Art & Antiquities  at (212) 360-8143.

Disclaimer: This information was taken form the NYC Parks Department website.

Please take time out when visiting Manhattan to see this important piece of the city’s history as the city itself was founded on this very site.

Dyckman Farmhouse Museum                           4881 Broadway at 204th Street                         New York, New York 10034

Dyckman Farmhouse Museum 4881 Broadway at 204th Street New York, New York 10034

The Dyckman Farmhouse

4881 Broadway at 204th Street

New York, NY  10034

(212) 304-9422

dyckmanfarmhouse.org

http://dyckmanfarmhouse.org/

Hours:

Winter Schedule: November-April Friday and Saturday 11:00am-4:00pm

Monday-Wednesday: Groups by Appointment Only; Groups of 10 or more by appointment

Thursday-Saturday: 11:00am-4:00pm

Sunday: 11:00am-3:00pm

Fee: Donation Based

My TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d108018-Reviews-Dyckman_Farmhouse_Museum-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

I visited the Dyckman Farmhouse on day during my walk around the Inwood section of Manhattan and came upon this old farmhouse in the middle of the commercial district by Columbia University’s football field. You have to take the A or the 1 Subway uptown to get there but it is one of the last vestiges of the farming community that once was Manhattan in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. It has been there since the family donated it to the city in 1916. It should not be missed when visiting Manhattan. I wrote more about my trip there in “MywalkinManhattan.com” blog site.

Dyckman Farm House II

The Dyckman House in the Spring

The Dyckman House, now the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum in the oldest remaining farmhouse on Manhattan Island, a remainder of New York City’s rural past. The Dutch Colonial-style farmhouse was built by William Dyckman in 1785. It was originally part of over 250 acres of farmland owned by the family. It was once the center of a thriving farm with fields and orchards of cherry, pear and apple trees. It is now located in a small park at the corner of Broadway and 204th Street in the Inwood section neighborhood of the city.

Don’t miss the self-guided tours of the house. You can tour all three floors of the house to see the bedrooms on the second and third floors and the first-floor parlor and receiving areas. The basement area has the ‘winter kitchen’ where all the cooking of the house was done, and it was the room that kept the rest of the house warm during the winter months.

The house was slightly decorated for the Christmas holidays with garland and ivy and holly to make it look more festive. The Dyckman House was built at a time after the Revolution where the excesses of the Victorian era had not taken hold and the Christmas holidays were more subdued and concentrated on going to church and a light luncheon that afternoon. The decorations of the home reflect this.

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The museum is decorated for Dutch Christmas

Don’t miss the gardens in both the spring and summer to see everything in full bloom. Even in the winter it is interesting to watch the paths and see what needs to be accomplished for spring planning.

It is an interesting look into how the Dutch farmers lived and worked.

History and Description

William Dyckman was the grandson of Jan Dyckman, who came to the area from Westphalia in 1661. Jan Dyckman, a shoemaker and another Dutch settler, Jan Nagel purchased much of the land between present 155th Street and the northern tip of the island. Members of the Dyckman and Nagel families lived on the land for three generations until the Revolutionary War broke out.

dyckman farm house III

The house and front gardens

During the Revolutionary War, the British occupation of Manhattan in 1776-83, the Dyckman’s, like many other patriots, fled the city and did not return until the British had been defeated. When the war ended and the Dyckman’s found their home and orchards had been destroyed, they built a new house on the Kingsbridge Road, now Broadway. They chose this location on a major thoroughfare in order to supplement their income by providing accommodations for travelers on their way to and from Manhattan.

William Dyckman, who inherited the family estate built the current house to replace the family house located on the Harlem River near the present West 210th Street, which he had build in 1748 and which was destroyed in the American Revolutionary War.

There was also 30 people living within three other houses scattered across the roughly 250 acre farm. The residents included laborers and other Dyckman family members. The main outbuildings for the farm were built close to the farmhouse including a cider mill, corn cribs, barns and stable (Dyckman Farmhouse Museum Alliance).

The house is designed with:

The Relic Room: Objects that are displayed were discovered from digs in the area.

The Second Floor Bedroom: Some of the rooms are decorated with furnishings dating from the 18th and 19th centuries and reflect colonial life around 1800.

The Parlor: This area was used for a variety of activities from dining to socializing.

The Bedroom: There were two bedrooms on the first floor and one large sleeping space on the second floor.

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Downstairs bedroom

The Winter and Summer Kitchens: The farmhouse had two kitchen, the Winter and Summer kitchens, the Winter one would have kept the home warm in the cold months and would have been used  as a non-cooking work space in the summer. The Summer kitchen is closed to the public has a small bedroom attached to it.

The Garden Area: On the half acre of family land left they have constructed a reproduction a smokehouse and outbuildings along with gardens planted with thousands of new plants that include things like bleeding hearts and foxglove.

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The gardens and smokehouse

(The Dyckman Farmhouse Museum Alliance)

The current two-story house is constructed of fieldstone, brick and white clapboard and features a gambrel roof and spring eaves. The porches typical of the Dutch Colonial style but were added in 1825. The house interior has parlors and an indoor (winter) kitchen, with floors of varying-width chestnut wood. The house outdoor smokehouse kitchen, in a small building to the south, may predate the house itself.

The house stayed in the family for several generations until it was sold in 1868, after which it served as a rental property for several decades. By the beginning of the 20th century, the house was in disrepair and in danger of being demolished. Two sisters of the original family and daughters of the last Dyckman child to grow up in the house, Mary Alice Dyckman Dean and Fannie Fredericka Dyckman Welch, began restoration of the farmhouse in 1915-16 under the supervision of architect Alexander M. Welch, the husband of Fannie. They then transferred the ownership of the house to the City of New York in 1916, which opened it as a museum of Dutch and Colonial life, featuring original Dyckman family furnishings.

Dyckman Farm House I

The Dyckman Farmhouse in Inwood

The farmhouse, which is not only the oldest remaining in Manhattan, but the only one in the Dutch Colonial style and the only 18th century farmhouse in the borough as well. It has New York City Landmark and a National Historic Landmark status since 1967. A major restoration of the house took place in 2003, after which it reopened to the public in the fall of 2005.

*Disclaimer: This information comes from the Historic House Trust and Wikipedia and the NYC Parks System. The site is free to visit and takes less than an hour to visit. During the summer months, it is nice to visit the gardens and property. It is a interesting property to visit and when you are through with your tour, there are many nice Spanish restaurants in the area on Broadway and along 207th Avenue corridor. It is a nice place to walk around and explore.