Wednesday, November 16, 2011


On Tuesday morning, after a restful night, we were ready to go again. The plan for Tuesday was an architectural tour of Midtown, the heart and soul of New York City. Again, we took the train to 33rd street. this time we walked north on seventh avenue then east on 40th street to the New York Public Library. When you approach the front entrance of the library you are struck by the opulence of the facade of this Beaux-Arts masterpiece.
New York Public Library

 Inside the library there is sheer elegance. we toured all the sections of the library eventually winding up in the Rose Main Reading Room where we had some free time on a public computer to catch up on some of our emails. All we had to do was show some picture ID.

The Rose Reading Room

After the library we headed east on 42nd street towards Grand Central Terminal. As we walked, we had various views of the Chrysler building. I took pictures at various vantage points.

The Chrysler building

When arrived at the 42nd street entrance to Grand Central I was so impressed with the facade that I had to take pictures of the sculpture, Transportation, adorning the top of the clock. The three figures are Mercury flanked by Hercules and Minerva.

Mercury, Minerva and Hercules on top of clock of facade at Grand Central Terminal

Inside the terminal we were awed by the immensity of the great hall.

Great hall at Grand Central Terminal

When you look up there are figures of the zodiac across a pale blue ceiling.

We walked around the mall and looked in the various shop windows. I took a few pictures of the wonderful cakes in Zaro's window.

Zaro's bakery at Grand Central

We literally walked through the terminal to get to Park Avenue. A few block north of Grand Central is the famous Waldorf Astoria. We waltzed into the hotel as if we were long term residents and sauntered around the lobby and the promenade beyond taking in the art-deco murals, mosaics and ornamentation. If nothing else, the Waldorf Astoria is opulent.

Continuing north on park Avenue for just one more street to 50th street we cane upon St. Batholomew's church. What you notice about St. Bart's from the outside is its intricately tiled Byzantium dome.

St. Bart's Byzantine dome

Inside the church is an oasis of stillness in the activity of Park Avenue. There are lovely stained glass windows

Stained glass window at St. Bart's

and an absolutely beautiful baptismal font that is a sculpture of an angel holding a basin.

Baptismal Font at St. Bart's

Of course, my wife lit a candle which she has done in every church that we have visited.

Back out on the street, we realized that it was noon and we were hungry. After our little extravagance at Momofuku the day before we decided that we would dine off of one of New York's famed curb side food trucks. Since we did not know which one's were best we went with the truck that had the longest line figuring that the best would have repeat customers. We were not wrong. I had a lamb pita and my wife had a Greek salad. For both, we paid $11.00. both of us agreed that lunch was outstanding. We found a place to sit along the side of the church. It was great.

After lunch we walked west along 50th street to St. Patrick's Cathedral. When we entered mass was already under way so we sat down in a pew and waited respectfully until the mass was over. After mass we toured the church. I was impressed with the sheer immensity of the church. Of course, there were also outstanding works of art and sculpture. The architecture of the cathedral was a statement to the faith of the Irish workers who built the church in 1859.

St. Patrick's Cathedral

After St. Patrick's cathedral it was time for more secular sights. We continued north on 5th Avenue then west on 53rd street with the intention of going to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Unfortunately, MoMA is not open on Tuesdays so we had to content ourselves with going into the MoMA shop which probably has one of the most extensive and up to date collections of books on Modern and Contemporary art that I have ever seen. It is a worthwhile trip just to browse through the books in the museum shop.

After browsing through the MoMA shop we walked south down the Avenue of the Americas to Radio City Music hall where I took several pictures of the facade.

Radio City Music Hall

Around the corner and we were in the Rockefeller Center. There is so much to see in the Rockefeller Center that it is hard to see it all at one time.

After all the walking that we had done we felt it was time for a break so we went into Bouchon Bakery that was across the street from NBC.

Bouchon Bakery

I had a coffee, My wife had a tea and we split a muffin. Those three things cost more than the lunch that had purchased from the food truck! Still, it was very good and the ambiance at Bouchon was wonderful. After our brief but expensive refreshment we went back to the lower plaza of the Rockefeller Center to take pictures of Prometheus.


We agreed that we had walked enough and began the trek back to the 33rd street station to take the train back to Jersey City. Taking 7th Avenue to 33rd street took us through Time Square. My wife and I agreed that Time Square was the least favorite part of New York that we toured. Time Square is a larger than life barrage of billboards, flashing neon lights, hustlers and hawkers.

Time Square

We moved through Time Square as quickly as we could. However, we did make one detour to a sewing notions and supplies shop in the fashion district which is just south of Time Square. My wife bought some buttons for the Christening gown that she was making for our granddaughters upcoming christening.

After dinner that evening but before it was dark we went out onto the deck on the top of the building to take pictures of Manhattan. here are some of those pictures.

Lower Manhattan

The Empire State Building  and the Chrysler Building
A close up of the Chrysler Building

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