Tag: Walking the Upper East Side

Museum of the City of New York                      1220 Fifth Avenue                                               New York, NY 10029

Museum of the City of New York 1220 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10029

Museum of the City of New York

1220 Fifth Avenue

New York, NY 10029

(212) 534-1672

https://www.mcny.org/

https://www.facebook.com/MuseumofCityNY

Open: Sunday-Monday 10:00am-5:00pm/Tuesday-Wednesday Closed/Thursday 10:00am-9:00pm/Friday-Saturday 10:00am-5:00pm

Admission: Adults $20.00/Seniors over 65 $14.00 (with ID) and Children under 19 and Members are Free; please check website for updates.

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g48236-d15855802-Reviews-Museum_of_the_City_of_New_York-New_City_New_York.html?m=19905

The Museum of the City of New York in the Freelander designed building

I have been a member of the Museum of the City of New York for almost twenty years and what I love about the museum is that its concentration is to be everything about New York City and what makes the City so great. Its development from a Dutch Colony to the Modern Metropolis that it is today. It covers the history so well that they created a permanent display entitled “New York at its Core”, an extensive history of the City from its start as being colonized by the Lenape Indians as a fishing and hunting set of villages on the island.

The “New York at its Core” exhibition (MCNY)

Each display takes you through a different point in the history of the development of the City and how each era brought dramatic changes to the fabric of the City from immigration over the years to the fires that leveled the original City and the raise of Wall Street and the Arts to make New York City the Capital of the World. The almost bankruptcy of the City in 1975 to the attacks on 9/11 have really shaped the direction and change in the City to the COVID-19 pandemic reshaping it again. We see how New York City continues to survive.

The film “Timescapes” in the basement theater again tackles the issues of a changing City since its development and the City continues to morph over time. The movie narrated by Stanley Tucci tells the story of New York from the time of the Dutch settlement to the attacks of 9/11 and like “New York at its Core” the issues that come about after every event. The film is shown five times a day and do take the time to see it when visiting the museum.

A tiny clip of “Timescapes” from the Museum of the City of New York

Just recently I attended a special event at the Museum to honor the Founding Members of the “Talking Heads” Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth and their groundbreaking film “Stop Making Sense”. I was lucky to get tickets because the second I saw this on the museum listing I bought the tickets immediately. The event sold out quickly.

‘Talking Heads’ founders Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth

The event was discussion with the creators of the group and how the Talking Heads emerged as a popular group through the 1980’s and 90’s. I have to admit that the two of them have not changed much but looking a bit older. They enchanted the audience with their time with the group and some new things they have in the works. After a quick Q & A, we watched their popular concert film “Stop Making Sense”.

The film “Stop Making Sense” that we saw that evening.

We had such a good time at the event, the I wrote about it for my blog, “MywalkinManhattan.com”:

Day Two Hundred and Eight: Private Members nights at the New York Museums:

https://wordpress.com/post/mywalkinmanhattan.com/20227

On another recent trip, I visited the exhibition “New York New Music 1980-1986” which was an exhibition on the development of the music scene after the Disco era was over and the rise of MTV. You had a combination of Club Music, Hip Hop, New Wave and the English Wave from Australia and New Zealand coming into the United States plus a resurgence of Rock and Roll after years of the “Disco Duck”. The exhibition highlighted the music of Debbie Harry and Blondie, Run DMC, Cyndi Lauper and Madonna and the rise of music videos. The exhibition brought me back to my last years of high school and my college years as I remembered all these groups.

The “New York-New Music 1980-1986” exhibition

Over the years I have seen exhibitions on everything from the Bankruptcy exhibition of New York City and the rise of crime, the Gilded Era with Alice Claypoole Vanderbilt’s “Electric Light” dress that she wore to Alva Vanderbilt’s famous ball and the wonderful toy exhibitions of early playthings. I have also been to many lectures at the museum with guests such as former Brooklyn President Marky Markowitz.

The museum is really all things New York.

The History of the Museum of the City of New York:

(From the Museum of the City of New York website/Wiki):

The Museum of the City of New York is a history and art museum that was founded in 1923 by Henry Collins Brown. The red brick building with marble trim was built between 1929-30 and was designed by architect Joseph H. Freedlander in the neo-Georgian style with statues of Alexander Hamilton and DeWitt Clinton by sculptor Adolph Alexander Weinman, which face Central Park from niches in the facade (Wiki).

The museum was originally located in Gracie Mansion, where available space was limited. One of the first exhibitions was “Old New York” in 1926. This took place in the Fine Arts Building on West 57th Street. The success of the project led to a search for a new, permanent headquarters for the museum (Wiki).

A design competition was held between five invited architects and the Colonial Revival design by Joseph H. Freelander was chosen. The City donated the site on Fifth Avenue and the funds for the construction of the museum was raised by public subscription. The original plans for the museum’s building were scaled back as a result of the Wall Street Crash of 1929. The building was finished and dedicated in 1932.

In 2000, there was talk by then Mayor Rudy Giuliani to move the museum to the historic Tweed Courthouse near City Hall but that was over-turned by the incoming Mayor, Michael Bloomberg. In protect the museum director, Robert R. McDonald resigned.

In coming new museum director, Susan Henshaw Jones, planned an extension to the museum and it was completed in 2008. The extension including renovating the existing gallery spaces and adding a new pavilion. New displays and a remounting of valuable artifacts were done to give the museum a refreshed look. In 2011, the Museum of the City of New York temporarily took over operation of the South Street Seaport Museum which itself reopened in 2012 (Wiki).

The museum has a collection of over 1.5 million objects including many items from the 19th and early 20th centuries including paintings, prints, costumes, decorative objects, furniture and an extensive collection of toys. There are also extensive collections of police and fire items as well as shop models, rare books and manuscripts (Wiki).

Day Two Hundred and Twenty-Six                                   The Private Members Night at The Met After Hours-MywalkinManhattan.com                                                                March 22nd, 2022

Day Two Hundred and Twenty-Six The Private Members Night at The Met After Hours-MywalkinManhattan.com March 22nd, 2022

Don’t miss the new Arabic Galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They are amazing!

The entrance to the Arabic Galleries at the Met

mywalkinmanhattan

I love coming to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the Private Members Nights. It is one of the perks that I enjoy of being a member for the last thirty years. The museum closes at 5:30pm to the general public and we as members get to roam certain parts of the hall on our own for almost three hours. It gives us a chance to visit halls that we have not seen or have not visited in a while and have special discounts in the restaurants and gift shops. There are also special lectures and talks in all the galleries and it is nice to talk to the curators and docents.

I just like the time that I can stroll around the museum at my own pace. We have the same thing when it is open to the public but here you are with other members who really areā€¦

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Society of Illustrators Museum/Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art                                                   128 East 63rd Street                                            New York, NY 10065

Society of Illustrators Museum/Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art 128 East 63rd Street New York, NY 10065

Society of Illustrators Museum/Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art

128 East 63rd Street

New York, NY 10065

(212) 838-2560

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society_of_Illustrators

Open: Sunday-Tuesday Closed/Wednesday-Saturday 11:00am-5:00pm

Admission: Adults $15.00/Seniors and Students $10.00/Members and Children under 10 free/US Veterans with Disability Free

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d136147-Reviews-Society_of_Illustrators-New_York_City_New_York.html

The entrance to the Society of Illustrators

It is always nice when you discover a new museum. In all my years of walking around the Upper East Side, I had never noticed the Society of Illustrators, nor had I heard of it, but I am glad I have now. The museum is home in a stylish brownstone on a residential block away from the traditional “Museum Row” on Fifth Avenue.

The exhibits were on the main and lower floors of the main building with the special exhibitions on the third and fourth floors. The museum also had a very nice restaurant with an open terrace when it got warmer on the fourth floor. The restaurant has been closed since COVID closed the museum, but the bar is open for a drink.

On the first floor and lower level, the exhibition “Illustrators 64: Advertising, Institutional, Uncommissioned, Surface/Product Design categories”. The exhibition is a presentation of outstanding works of the year by leading contemporary illustrators worldwide. This exhibit had all sorts of interesting pieces ranging from advertising art to pastels and drawings of all sorts of subject matter. There was everything from animals skateboarding to commercial portraits. There were also unique works based on national brand companies and New York City themed works.

The second floor was the “Eric Godal: A Cartoonist’s Fight for Human Rights” exhibition that had cartoons that are still prevalent to today. As I read and admired the works by the illustrator, I can safely say that his works are just as contemporary now as they were then dealing with antisemitism during WWII in Europe. His works ridiculed the party and the Third Reich’s power over people who they deem “unsatisfactory”. He also showed the rise of the labor movement and big businesses reaction to it.

Artist Eric Godal’s works on social justice

In the fourth-floor restaurant, was the “Kent State: 4 Dead in Ohio” exhibition on the May 4th, 1970, incident on the Kent State campus. The college students there like college students all over the country were protesting the war and there had been many incidents over the months leading to the shooting.

The illustrated story boards tell the whole story of the four people who had been killed and how the whole incident had happened. It was fascinating to see how each of the people involved how their lives came about during that time and how it led them to that horrible day.

The book and exhibition by Derf Backderf’s book “Kent State”

The “128 Bar & Bistro” is currently only open at certain hours and the bistro part of the restaurant is currently closed and according to the bartender being revamped. It has not been that busy before the pandemic, so they have the bar section open only.

The outdoor terrace with its breathtaking views and planted edges will make for a nice place for a cocktail in the warmer months. The space is a nice place to relax after a long afternoon of touring the museum.

This is one of those rare museums in New York City that is fun to find and explore.

The Dining Room/Lounge that is a bar area for now

The History of the Society of Illustrators:

(From the Museum Website)

The Society of Illustrators’ mission is to promote the art of illustration, to appreciate its history and evolving nature through exhibitions, lectures and education and to contribute the service of its members to the welfare of the community at large.

The Society of Illustrators is the oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to the art of illustration in America. Notable Society members have been N.C. Wyeth, Rube Goldberg and Norman Rockwell among many others.

On February 1st, 1901, nine artists and one businessman founded the Society of Illustrators with the following credo: “The object of the Society shall be to promote generally the art of illustration and to hold exhibitions from time to time.” This simple dictum has held true for over a century.

At the time when illustration was in what has been called its Golden Age, the first monthly dinners were attended by prominent artists including Howard Pyle, Maxfield Parish, N.C. Wyeth, Charles Dana Gibson, Frederic Remington, James Montgomery Flagg, Howard Chandler Christy and special guests such as Mark Twain and Andrew Carnegie.

Our museum of Illustration was established in 1981 under the stewardship of them president John Witt. We offer year round themed exhibitions, art education programs and annual juried competitions. Our Permanent Collection houses 2,500 pieces that are cataloged for scholarly use and displayed periodically. In 2012, we created the MoCCA Gallery with a focus on curated exhibitions of comic and cartoon art.

The Society of Illustrators is an organization of many layers, one which provides illustrators a center to discuss, demonstrate and exhibit their work, contributes to future artists and to the community at large, honors its preeminent practitioners, takes a stand on legal and ethical issues affecting the profession-and has a great dining room to boot!

As it faces the challenges of a swiftly changing future, the Society will continue to “promote generally the art of illustration,” as its founders dictated.

Central Park Zoo                                                  Fifth Avenue and East 64th Street                     New York, NY 10021

Central Park Zoo Fifth Avenue and East 64th Street New York, NY 10021

Central Park Zoo

Fifth Avenue and East 64th Street

New York, NY 10021

(212) 439-6500

https://centralparkzoo.com/

Open: Sunday-Saturday 10:00am-4:30pm

Fee: Adults $12.00/Seniors (65+) $10.00/Children (3-12)$8.00/Total Experience Adults $16.00/Seniors (65+) $15.00/Children (3-12) $12.00

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d267703-Reviews-Central_Park_Zoo-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

I love coming to the Central Park Zoo when I am visiting the Upper East Side. The zoo is a nice to just relax and reflect from the hustle and bustle of the City. On a quiet midweek day, there is nothing like going to the 2:00pm seal feeding at all times of the year. The seals get so excited and the humans like seeing the seals in their playful mood.

The Seal feedings are a lot of fun.

The zoo is small so touring it will only take about an hour or so to see all the exhibitions. You have a choice of seeing the monkeys, the birds, the seals and the penguins. They finally moved the polar bear out of the zoo a few years ago and he always looked so bored with his life. He would give you a look like ‘get me out of here’.

The Central Park Zoo is set up with different exhibitions.

The smaller animals like the monkeys and the penguins look like they are having more fun in their enclosed homes with more room to move around. They always look at us as visitors in an amusing way like why are we so interested in them. It is an interesting interaction with the animals there to see their reaction to us.

There is also more birds, amphibians and bats to see in other exhibitions around the zoo and smaller outside areas to view the smaller animals such as pandas and leopards that have finally been given space to roam around.

The penguin exhibition

There is also a nice gift shop just outside the zoo and the Dancing Crane Cafe is the zoo restaurant which is over-priced and the food the few times I have tried it was mediocre. It is not like the cafe up at the Bronx Zoo that was pretty decent.

Don’t miss the hourly concert at Delacorte Clock when the animal sculptures dance to the music played. It is such an enjoyable experience.

The Delacorte Clock that plays music hourly

History of the Zoo:

The Zoo was not originally part of the layout for Central Park when designed by Fredrick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux. A small menagerie developed on the edge of the park with exotic animals that had been donated to the park starting with a bear cub tied to a tree in 1859 and a monkey in 1860. Other animals came later including cranes, a peacock and a goldfish.

The original menagerie

In 1860, the American Zoological and Botanical Society wanted to create a zoo somewhere in New York City. In 1864, the zoo received a formal charter, making it the second publicly owned zoo behind the Philadelphia Zoo. Though a formal zoo had not yet been created, the menagerie, with its free admission and good location made it the most popular attraction in Central Park.

By the 1930’s, the menagerie had become run down and was not sufficient to hold the animals. In 1834, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia hired Robert Moses to head the unified Parks Department and a new more formal zoo was created. The new zoo was opened on December 2nd, 1934 and by 1936 over six million people had visited the zoo.

By 1967, the zoo was again falling apart due to years of negligence and budget cuts. New York City’s fiscal crisis had affected the Parks System and conditions had gone downhill. In 1980, The Wildlife Conservatory (the former NY Zoological Society) signed a fifty year agreement in April of that year and started a renovation of the zoo from 1982 to its opening in 1988.

When the Zoo opened in August of 1988, the concept of the zoo had changed. The Wildlife Conservation Society had taken over the Queens Zoo, the Prospect Park Zoo in Brooklyn and already had possession of the Bronx Zoo and the direction of the society was toward conservation and care of animals while the Prospect Zoo was to be used as a Children’s Zoo and the Queens Zoo would concentrate on North American animals. The Children’s Zoo next to the Central Park Zoo went through its own renovation in the late 1990’s and is now called the Tisch Children’s Zoo after businessman, Laurence Tisch who had donated most of the money for the renovation.

The structures and concept of what a zoo is has changed over the years.

(This information was taken from both Wiki and the Central Park Zoo History)