Sunday, February 22, 2015

The World Inside the New York Daily News Building

The Daily News building, also known as The News Building, is a 476 foot Art Deco style skyscraper located at 220 East 42nd Street, between Second and Third Avenue in New York City. Built in 1929-1930, it was the headquarters for the New York Daily News newspaper until 1995.  It now has as one of its tenants TV broadcast subsidiary WPIX, (All photos and photo collages can be enlarged for easier viewing by clicking on them)

The Art Deco design over the front entrance doors say "The News" and the words "He made so many of them" above figures of people. I had passed this building in Midtown Manhattan many times but never walked inside, but on this visit to New York I was determined to take a peek.

 Inside the building lobby is an amazing sight!  It is the world's largest indoor rotating globe!

The Daily New illuminated globe is 12 feet in diameter, weighs approximately two tons, and makes a full rotation every ten minutes.

There are compass points set in the ground around the globe, with the names of major cities and their distance from New York City.  Unfortunately, the globe's maps have not been updated since 1967, which means it is no longer accurate, but it is still an imposing sight. 

The impressive ceiling rotunda above the globe is made out of faceted black glass.

The New York Daily News building was used as the location for "The Daily Planet" in the 1978 Richard Donner production of Superman. The actors portraying Clark Kent/Superman (Christopher Reeves) and Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) could often be seen strolling by the globe as they entered or exited "The Daily Planet" (The Daily News) newspaper building.  You can look at this link to see photo stills from the movie that have the globe in the background.

Other features inside the building are brass meteorological gauges showing the weather conditions in the area, such as the temperature outside and wind velocity and direction. 

Click all photos to enlarge

There are also a series of panels describing the history of the building from its inception ....

...through the 1930's and 40's

...the 60's...

...the 70's .... the year 2003 when it was purchased by S.L.Green Realty Corp, New York City's largest office landlord

When you exit the building you'll get a view of another Art Deco gem in the distance on 42nd Street, the Chrysler building.

It is another beautiful building, with a unique facade and another beautiful lobby, but that is a story for a future blog post!

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Morgan Library and Museum, New York City

The Morgan Library and Museum, located at 225 Madison Avenue, New York, New York is a treasure trove of manuscripts, and printed books as well as prints and drawings that are in the once private and personal collection of the American financier and philanthropist John Pierpont Morgan. I felt fortunate to be able to visit the Morgan on a trip to New York City, and I'd love to show you some of its magnificence.  (All photos and photo collages in this post will enlarge  for easier viewing when clicked on)

Mr. Morgan's library was built between 1902 and 1906 adjacent to his New York residence at Madison Avenue and 36th Street.  It was designed by Charles McKim of the architectural firm McKim, Mead, and White in an Italian Renaissance style.  The two lionesses in front were sculpted by Edward Clark Potter, who would later create the two lions that guard the New York Public Library's main building.

Today the library is a complex of buildings that serve as a museum and a scholarly research center. The most recent addition, designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano and Beyer Binder Belle, and was completed in 2006, is a modernist entrance building that joins the interior spaces of the complex.

In 1924, eleven years after Pierpont Morgan's death, his son J.P. Morgan Jr, 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. The rotunda portion of the library is opulent in detail.

Monumental bronze doors lead to variegated marble columns, an ornately patterned floor, and fine mosaic panels that line the curved walls. Highlights of Morgan's collection of rare printed and manuscript Americana are on display here, such as letters of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln as well as the journal of Henry David Thoreau and Nathaniel Hawthorne and works by Edgar Allen Poe and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

I was particularly fascinated by this life mask of the first President of the United States, George Washington, made in 1785 by the French Sculptor Jean-Antione Houdon at the President's Mount Vernon residence.  To make the mold of Washington's face Houdon had Washington lay down, and he placed a protective layer of grease on his face and then applied plaster over that, covering his entire face. When the plaster hardened, he removed the mold and poured plaster into it, thereby making this positive "life mask."  Houdon returned to France with the mask and used it to sculpt a marble portrait of the president which was presented to the rotunda of Virginia State Capital building in 1796.

The grandeur of the East Room Library takes one's breath away!

The library, with three-story inlaid walnut bookshelves and magnificent ceilings, was designed as a treasury for Pierpont Morgan's collection of rare printed books.

The sixteenth-century tapestry over the mantelpiece depicts avarice; one of the seven deadly sins personified by the mythological King Midas.

One view in the East Room are examples from The Morgan Library and Museum's extraordinary collection of medieval illuminated manuscripts, rare printed books, and bindings, and handwritten manuscripts of great writers, artists, and composers from the Renaissance to the present day.

Some articles in the collection have been acquired since Pierpont Morgan's death.

There were volumes upon volumes of books on the shelves...

...and beautiful murals painted on the ceiling.

Two staircases, concealed behind bookcases, provide access to the balconies.

Display cases held a variety of rare books in the library.

The North Room is lined with two tiers of bookshelves and adorned with ceiling paintings from the studio of American artist James Well Finn. This was the first librarian's office. In 1905 Pierpont hired Belle de Costa Greene to manage and augment his collection of rare books, and she later served as Morgan's first director.

Selection on display are changed regularly in the library, but one work always-on display is one of Morgan's three copies of a Bible printed by Johannes Gutenberg in 1455. With Gutenberg's Bible, the painstaking process of copying books by hand gave way to an innovative new technology--movable type--that facilitated the exchange of art and ideas for the greater masses of people.

Pierpont Morgan's study, called the West Room, was a lush but intimate room where Morgan relaxed and met with art dealers and business associates.

To the left of the massive fireplace, Morgan's impressive manuscript collection was once secured in a vault lined with solid steel.

The Morgan Library and Museum offers the Thaw Conservation Center,  Research Services, as well as Online Exhibitions.  Information on Current and  Upcoming Exhibitions can also be accessed on their website. It truly is one of the exceptional library and museum gems of New York City!

Do you remember the TV show called The Adventures of Superman?  Next post I'll show you a building that has a fascinating bit of scenery that was used in the show!

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Saturday, February 14, 2015

No Sad Goodbyes

My beautiful and talented friend Lucie was lead to heaven by the angels on Thursday, after a long illness.  She was a loving wife and mother, a ballet dancer, artist, volunteer for multiple causes, and a gracious friend to many. I know her spirit will live on in all who loved her and in the ballet school and dance students she devoted so much time and inspiration to.  
I have so many happy memories that I shared with Lucie over the years I knew her. We first met when her son was in kindergarten and my children were just a couple of years older.  I was part of the Parent's Association and we were busy setting up for the annual holiday boutique fundraiser, where the students could come to buy gifts for their parents and siblings. Lucie came in shyly at lunchtime, as she did not know anyone in the PA as yet, but wanted to join and help. She had her toddler daughter with her and brought homemade baba ghanoush spread for us to share with our usual PA lunch of bagels and cream cheese. When I saw her I immediately knew I was going to like her. We began to talk, and it wasn't long before we became good friends.

In our busy lives we, along with Rosemary, another dear friend, always took time to take daily early morning walks in our local park.  We walked for over 15 years together, in all of the seasons, in all kinds of weather. Lucie and Rosemary were power walkers, and I often had to huff and puff behind, sometimes taking photos and then running to catch up with them!  As we walked around the park we talked about everything--our husbands, our children, our vacations, our jobs, politics, art, current affairs, recipes, and our pets---basically our lives.
When Lucie was getting chemo treatments she often had little energy and instead of walking she took her dog into the middle of the park to run around with the other dog walker's dogs, but whenever she felt strong enough she would join us for our last lap around the park. She handled her illness with bravery--never letting it make her sad or discouraged, She kept hope in her heart, even when faced with circumstances that would defeat many.  When I was moving to Colorado we all met together for one last breakfast-- I had tears in my eyes to leave my two wonderful friends behind!

In Lucie's last days in the hospital, our friend Rosemary brought her a bouquet of daffodils from both of us. We always looked forward to seeing the daffodils blooming in the park, as it meant Spring and nicer weather was on its way.  They are a symbol of rebirth and new beginnings. Sadly, I was not in Brooklyn for Lucie's last days, but I was able to talk to her over the phone to tell her I loved her and to wish her a peaceful journey.

My husband and I planted daffodil bulbs in our garden this past fall, and when I see them bloom this Spring I know Lucie's beautiful spirit will be there among them, smiling at me and telling me everything is good, everything is OK.

There are no sad goodbyes dear friend! Your beautiful light has not been extinguished--it lives on in all of us who have loved you!

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Sunday, February 8, 2015


Isn't this Elmo face cute? I made Elmo, from the Children's TV show Sesame Streetout of berries, for my granddaughter's second birthday party this past weekend. He is one of her favorite characters from the show, and I knew she and my grandsons would enjoy eating the berries along with "J's" ice cream cake. I used a small orange for his nose, two large marshmallows with chocolate kisses in them as the eyes, blackberries as the mouth, and raspberries as the face.  I would imagine you could substitute other red and blue fruits such as cut strawberries and blueberries if you'd like.  It was easy to assemble!

Our little "J" had a very happy 2nd birthday party! She wanted another favorite character, Minnie Mouse, to be her party decorations, and wore a pink Minnie bow hairband instead of a party hat. Our son also celebrated his birthday this weekend, as he and "J" share the same birthday!  His two sons enjoyed the ice cream cake and berry Elmo with gusto!

Can you see my granddaughter playing with her party balloons? 

It was such a beautiful day here in the Denver area--in the low 70's--that my daughter was able to keep her front door open!

Another fun grandchildren event that we watched recently was a "Bike-a-Thon" fundraiser that our younger grandson's preschool sponsored as a fundraiser.  The children rode with tricycles or bicycles around a local high school gym while music played in the background.  It was a fun way to have the children participate in raising funds, as family and friends donated to the school on their behalf, and purchase refreshments, that were also donated by the parents. Our older grandson joined in on a borrowed tricycle when he saw how much fun the event was!

I know our life in our community nestled along the foothills of the Front Range of Colorado is very different from our prior lives in New York City, but I am so happy to have all these opportunities to spend time with our children and grandchildren.

We are also enjoying the very nice winter we are having here so far!  It may snow and be below 30 for a few days, but then the temperatures slowly rise up to the high 50's '60s and even '70s, and all the snow quickly melts. It is nice to be able to spend time outdoors because of this mild winter climate.

I've been the lucky winner of a few blogs giveaways the past few months!. 

I won the charming book "A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts: Stories to Warm Your Heart from the blog Terra Garden.  Terra is one of the authors of this book full of wonderful Christmas memories, recipes, holiday organization tips, and scriptures.  I enjoyed reading it very much when I was ill with the flu this past Christmas and I know I will be sharing it with my family for many Christmases ahead!

The hand-sewn dream cloud shaped pillow was made by the blogger Miss Red Fox,  The pillow is backed with terrycloth It has a removal liner filled with spelled grain that can be heated in the microwave so that it can be placed back inside the pillow and used as a heating pad. My granddaughter likes to use the pillow at nap time in her crib.

The beautifully illustrated book Dream of Venice was a give away from Diane Hales from the blog La Bella Lingua--Becoming Italian Word by Word  Diane wrote a fabulous book with the same title of her blog.  I enjoyed  Dianne's book very much, and her book, blog, and e-mail newsletter helps me to learn more about the Italian language and Italian culture.
Venice is one of the favorites places I visited in Italy, and I was thrilled to win this beautiful book! The book Dream of Venice, edited by Joann Loctov of Bella Figura Publications, brings back memories of what I loved about this unique city. It has a forward written by Francis Mayes, is full of evocative photography by Charles Christopher, and has essays and anecdotes by contemporary writers on what the city of Venice means to them.  A portion of the sale of each book will be donated to Save Venice Inc, to support vital art and architecture restoration in Venice.

The Newlywed Cookbook by Roxanne Wyss and Kathy Moore, was a recent win from the blog Cookbooks 365, by bloggers Shelly Peppel and Fran Brennan. The profile recipes from many different genres of cookbooks, on their blog, and I'm always learning something new from them!  The recipe in a blog post for Winter Chicken Cassouletwhich is in the Newlywed Cookbook, caught my eye.  I wanted to see more recipes from this book and entered their give away.  Even though I've been married 40 plus years, I feel like a newlywed again,  as my husband and I are now retired and I am cooking for two and not a family any longer.  I am enjoying the over 70 smaller portion recipes and the recipes incorporating modern conveniences and equipment in this cookbook.

I want to thank again all the blogs that gave away such wonderful prizes.  I feel very lucky to have won and also to know you through your blogs. and I hope I've encouraged a few of my Dear Readers into visit these wonderful blogs and to learn more about the books and products I won

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