Tag: Walking the Upper East Side

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)

Institute for the Study of the Ancient World/New York University                         15 East 84th Street  New York, NY 10028

Institute for the Study of the Ancient World/New York University 15 East 84th Street New York, NY 10028

Institute for the Study of the Ancient World/New York University

15 East 84th Street

New York, NY  10028

(212) 992-7800/Fax (212) 992-7809

http://www.isaw.nyc.edu

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d1572637-Reviews-Institute_for_the_Study_of_the_Ancient_World-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

I just happened to stumble across this museum on the way back from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and saw that they were having an exhibition entitled “A Wonder to Behold: Craftsmanship and the Creation of Babylon’s Ishtar Gate”. The exhibition is on the craftsman who created the ‘Ishtar Gate’ and the ‘Processional Way’ in the Ancient City of Babylon.

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Glazed brick art from the ‘Processional Way’

The small exhibition contains many examples of clay bricks that were used to build the decorative walls and pathways, artwork from the ‘Processional Way’ were displayed as well as smaller decorative art pieces from the time period.

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Some of the works in the exhibition

The exhibition also showed tablets from the time period, information on the digs on the site of Babylon and some of the recorded history of the civilization.

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There are interesting tablets on display

For two small rooms of gallery space, the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World covers a lot of information on the time period. One nice thing about the museum is that you can see the whole exhibit in less than an hour and they do have a very nice gift shop.

The History of the Museum:

The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World is a center for advanced scholarly research and graduate education, which aims to encourage particularly the study of the economic, religious, political and cultural connections between ancient civilizations. It offers both doctoral and postdoctoral programs with the aim of training a new generation of scholars who will enter the global academic community and become intellectual leaders.

In effort to embrace a truly inclusive geographical scope while maintaining continuity and coherence, the Institute focuses on the shared and overlapping periods in the development of cultures and civilizations around the Mediterranean basin and across central Asia to the Pacific Ocean. The approaches of anthropology, archaeology, geography, geology, history, economics, sociology, art history, digital humanities and the history of science and technology are as integral to the enterprise as the study of texts, philosophy and the analysis of artifacts. The Institute’s Director and permanent faculty determine particular directions of research but both historical connections and patterns as well as socially illuminating comparisons will always be central to its mission.

The public presence matches its vision, engaging both the public and scholars worldwide in the work and findings of its scholarly community. Exhibitions, public lectures, publications, digital resources and other programs reflect the Institute’s ideal of study that bridges disciplines and ancient peoples.

The creation of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University has its roots in the passion that Shelby White and Leon Levy had for the art and history of the ancient world, which led them to envision an Institute that would offer an unshuttered view of antiquity across vast stretches of time and place. It was founded in 2006 with funding from the Leon Levy Foundation.

Areas of specialty among the museum’s faculty include the Greco-Roman world, the Ancient Near East, Egypt, Central Asia and the Silk Road, East Asian art and archaeology, Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages, ancient science and digital humanities.

Disclaimer: This information was taken from the museum’s website and I give them full credit for it.

Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum              2 East 91st Street                      New York, NY 10128

Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum 2 East 91st Street New York, NY 10128

Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum

2 East 91st Street

New York, NY  10128

(212) 849-8400

Home

Open: Sunday-Saturday 10:00am-6:00pm

Fee: Adults $18.00/People with Disabilities & Seniors $10.00/Children Under 18 Free/Students $9.00. Check the prices online as they change.

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d106188-Reviews-Cooper_Hewitt_Smithsonian_Design_Museum-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

 

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The Second Floor Design floor

I recently visited the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum for the first time. I can’t believe that all those years visiting the Met just down the road I had never stopped in the museum to take a peak. I went into see the “Nature-Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial” exhibition that was showing on all three floors of the museum. It was an interesting look on how nature plays a role in design and there is a beauty in the unusual shapes and colors that nature provides us.

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Third Floor studio

The first floor was composed of design found in nature. You will see blood samples that move and shiver, electric movements and the role of it in nature and how plants and animals can be shown in simplest terms. On the second floor, you will see the prints in clothing and in home décor and see how color and design enhance beauty in an every day environment. The third floor will show more home décor and design objects.

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The First Floor Elements

What is unique about the museum is how the mansion was converted into display areas and the use of the interior was blended into fabric of the museum. Take time to look at the areas around the staircases to admire the ceiling and the walls. It must have been a very grand home in its day.

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The stairs of the mansion

Purpose of the Museum:

The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum is a design museum located in the Upper East side’s Museum Mile in Manhattan. It is the only museum in the United States devoted to historical and contemporary design. Its collections and exhibitions explore approximately 240 years of design aesthetic and creativity. In June 2014, the museum changed its name from Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum to Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and reopened to the public that December (Wiki).

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History of the Museum: (Provided by Wiki)

The Cooper-Hewitt Museum was founded in 1896. It was originally named Cooper Union Museum for the Arts of Decoration and it fell under the wing of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. In 1895, the granddaughters of Peter Cooper, Sarah Cooper Hewitt, Eleanor Garnier Hewitt and Amy Hewitt Green, asked the Cooper Union for a space to create a Museum for the Arts of Decoration. The museum would take its inspiration from the Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris. The museum would serve as a place for Cooper Union students and professional designers to study decorative arts collections. Cooper Union trustees provided the fourth floor of the Foundation Building. It opened in 1897. It was free and open three days a week (Wiki).

The museum and the art school started to distance themselves from on another in regards to programming. Other departments of the Cooper Union were making financial demands and the Cooper Union announced that they would close the museum. This led to the museum being closed on July 3, 1963. Public outcry was strong against the closing. A committee to Save the Cooper Union Museum was formed by Henry Francis Du Pont (Wiki).

The American Association of Museums developed a case study about the future of the museum. Negotiations then began between the Cooper Union and the Smithsonian Institution. On October 9, 1967, Smithsonian Secretary S. Dillon Ripley and Daniel Maggin, the chair of the Board of Trustees signed an agreement turning over the collection and library of the museum to the Smithsonian. On May 14, 1968, the New York Supreme Court transferred to the Smithsonian and the museum was renamed the Cooper-Hewitt Museum of Design. The following year, 1969, it was renamed as the Cooper-Hewitt Museum of Decorative Arts and Design. In October of that year, Lisa Taylor became the Director (Wiki).

The museum, which was the first Smithsonian museum outside of Washington DC, moved to its home at the Andrew Carnegie Mansion in 1970. The Mansion was renovated and the museum opened to the public on October 7, 1976 with the exhibition “Man transFORMs”. A conservation laboratory was opened in July 1978. The Samuel H. Kress Foundation funded the lab and it focuses on textile and paper conversation. Lisa Taylor retired in 1987 and in 1988 Dianne H. Pilgrim took her place as Director. In 1994, the museum’s name was changed again to Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. Pilgrim retired from the museum in 2000. In 2000, Paul W. Thompson became Director. On June 17, 2014, the museum’s name was changed again to Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. A new graphic identity, wordmark and new website was launched on this day. This identity was designed by Eddie Opara (Wiki).

The building is located in the Andrew Carnegie Mansion. The Georgian style mansion was built over the course of years 1899 to 1902 and has sixty rooms. The home served as not only the home for Andrew Carnegie, his wife and daughter but also as his office for his philanthropic work after his retirement. The mansion was designed by  Babb, Cook & Willard. It was the first private residence in the United States to have a structural steel frame. It was the first home in New York to have an Otis elevator (Wiki).

 

 

 

Jewish Museum  1109 Fifth Avenue        New York, NY 10128

Jewish Museum 1109 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10128

Jewish Museum

1109 Fifth Avenue

New York, NY   10128

(212) 423-3200

https://thejewishmuseum.org/

Open: Monday-Tuesday 11:00am-5:45pm/Wednesday Closed/Thursday 11:00am-8:00pm/Saturday & Sunday 10:00am-5:45pm

Fee: Adults $18.00/Seniors (over 65) $12.00/Students $8.00/Children under 18 Free

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60763-d106187-Reviews-The_Jewish_Museum-New_York_City_New_York.html?m=19905

 

I visited the Jewish Museum for the first time this week to see the Leonard Cohen exhibition which had gotten good review online ( I had never heard of him before). It was a combination of video and pictures. The videos were on concerts, interviews, poetry readings and documentaries on his life.

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The Leonard Cohen exhibition

After seeing his videos on each floor, which was nice because there were bean bags all over the galleries, I visited the other galleries. There was an gallery dedicated to Jewish religious symbols, Contemporary Jewish Artists and items by Jewish craftsman.

The one gallery that I thought was quite amusing was the depictions of Jews on TV and how stereotypes play a role in comedy. It had everyone in the gallery laughing their heads off. It is good when you can laugh at yourself.

There is some interesting silver works from the Eighteen century on exhibition and the contemporary works were very lively. The museum is not that big so you can visit all the galleries in one afternoon. There is also a branch of Russ & Daughters in the basement level that is very popular with visitors.

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The music gallery of the Leonard Cohen exhibition

 

History of the Jewish Museum:

The Collection that seeded the museum began with a gift of Jewish ceremonial art objects from Judge Mayer Sulzberger to the Jewish Theological Seminary of America on January 20, 1904, where it was housed in the seminary’s library. The collection was moved in 1931, with the Seminary to 122nd Street and Broadway. The Jewish Theological received over 400 Jewish ceremonial items and created. The Museum of Jewish Ceremonial Objects’, previously the Jacob Schiff Library. The collection was subsequently expanded by major donation from Hadji Ephrain Benquiat and Harry G. Friedman. In 1939, in light of WWII, Poland sent about 350 objects to New York City from homes and synagogues in order to preserve them.

Following Felix Warburg’s death in 1937, in January 1944 his widow Frieda donated the family mansion to the seminary as a permanent home for the museum and the site opened to the public as “The Jewish Museum” in May 1947. Frieda Warburg said at the opening that the museum would not be a somber memorial but rather a celebration of the Jewish faith and traditions. The first expansive of the museum was the addition of a sculpture garden in 1959 by Adam List. The building was expanded in 1963 and further by architect Kevin Roche in 1993.

In the 1960’s, the museum took a more active role in the general world of contemporary art with exhibitions such as Primary Structures, which helped to launch the Minimalist art movement. In the decades since, the museum has had a renewed focus on Jewish culture and Jewish artists. From 1990 through 1993, director Joan Rosenbaum led the project to renovate and expand the building and carry out the museum’s first major capital campaign of sixty million. The project designed by architect Kevin Roche, doubled the side of the museum, providing it with a seven story addition. In 1992, the Jewish Museum and the Film Society of Lincoln Center teamed up to create the New York Jewish Film Festival, which presents narrative features, short films and documentaries.

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Contemporary art galleries

Today, the museum also provides educational programs for adults and families organizing concerts, films, symposiums and lectures related to its exhibitions. In 2011, the museum named Claudia Gould as its new director.

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The Warburg Mansion

Architecture:

Felix M. Warburg House  was constructed in Francois I style in 1906-1908 for Felix and Frieda Warburg, designed by C.P.H. Gilbert. Francois I style was originally found in New York City in the late 19th century through the works of Richard Morris Hunt. Hunt was a renowned architect throughout the Northeast, particularly in New England and was one of the first American architects to study at the elite Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

The original house is built in limestone with mansard roofs, dripping moldings and gables. This architectural style was based on French revivalism and exuded wealth, a point which Felix Warburg wanted to make to his neighbors. It featured a green yard in front of the house, which was later converted into the museum’s entrance.

Disclaimer: This information was taken from the Wiki story on The Jewish Museum and I give the site full credit for it.)