Thursday, May 31, 2012

Free Yoga in Bryant Park

Isn't it beautiful?
The new yoga fan that I am is crazy about this idea: Lululemon Athletica provides free yoga classes all summer in NYC. These classes take place every Tuesday and Thursday in Bryant Park in Midtown; all levels are welcomed.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Governors Island: New York’s silent oasis, only a 5 minutes ferry ride away

New York is boiling hot these days. I was told a few months ago that the temperature can reach terrible highs in the City but I wasn’t expecting it so early. Anyway, I am glad I recommended to my family not to visit us from May to August. Forget that this weather is unbearable when visiting a urban area; they would probably think Martin and I are crazy to have moved here. 

Enough complaining; at least the heat makes me want to escape the city and leads me to unexpected places like Governors Island

Beautiful abandoned houses
on the island
Governors Island is a public park situated only a five minutes ferry ride away from Downtown Manhattan. New Yorkers go there during the summer to enjoy a quiet countryside atmosphere; on the island they can appreciate great and green outdoor spaces as well as a car-free environment. They can picnic, bicycle (with their own vehicle or using the bike rental shop) or simply walk along the water to absorb splendid views of New York City.  They can also visit for free the Castle Williams, a circular fortification that was built in the early 19th century to protect New York City from naval attacks. 

For my friends from Quebec or for those of you who had the chance to visit this wonderful land where I come from, Governors Island feels like the Plains of Abraham in Quebec city. It is totally sensible as the Island was used as a military facility by British and American forces for more than 200 years. In fact, it served an important military function until the 1960s; it was used for recruitment and as a prison for captured Confederate soldiers during the American Civil War, and throughout World War I and II, it was an important supply base for Army ground and air forces.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial day in Central Park

This weekend was hot sticky in New York. I went to Central Park yesterday and while I was reading my magazine in the shade, sweating on every page I was turning, I couldn't help wondering what all these New yorkers where doing in the sun with no water to cool down. Will I get used to this heat?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Psychic readings

One of my favorites New York idiosyncrasies is the fact that there's a psychic reading shop at every street corner. I've always wonder who use these services; New Yorkers? Tourists? If fortune tellers can afford a place in the most famous areas of the city, they must get a lot of business everyday.

This picture was taken in the neighborhood of Gramercy Park.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My love letter to Coney Island

Coney Island's large and golden beach
When the weather begins to be nice and warm in May, New Yorkers desert the city and rush to the beaches on every weekend. They go to the well-known Hamptons, but likewise in Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn as well as Staten Island where there a number of options to relax, put your feet in the sand and gaze into the sea.

I always wondered why we don’t see many pools in the suburban landscapes around Mahnattan when looking down from the plane while leaving or landing in New York (pools are an important aspect of suburban life in Montreal); who needs a pool when you can access the ocean so easily?

You all know I love Brooklyn. Obviously, Coney Island was another place I was looking forward to visit. I remember watching a video entitled “Love letter to Coney Island” a few months ago on the Internet; this short film left me seduced by the very rich history of the place. Think about it: Coney Island has been welcoming New Yorkers since the 1830’s.

Cookies n Cream truck

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Bitter End facade on Bleeker Street

The Bitter End is a famous bar situated in Greenwich Village; it has been on Bleeker Street since 1961. Among the numerous artists who performed there during their early career are Tori Amos, Tracy Chapman, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Lady Gaga and Marvin Gaye. Discover the entire list here.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday morning in the Flower District


Did you know that New York has a Flower District? Situated in the neighborhood of Chelsea around 28th Street between 6th and 7th avenues, this quite unique “green space” in the middle of the city is home to a community of plant wholesalers and retailers; I suggest you take a peak if you have the chance to pass close to the area someday.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Who said New York was a concrete jungle?

As soon as you leave the avenues and the main streets of NYC, you can end up in some quite beautiful and green areas. Among my favorite residential streets are those of Chelsea (particularly 13th to 22nd streets between 8th and 10th avenues) as well as ALL parts of the West Village.

This picture was taken in Chelsea.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wednesday afternoon at the Union Square Greenmarket


I was at the Union Square Greenmarket yesterday afternoon to take a look at what the farmers have to offer. This place is amazing; it is my tiny Jean-Talon Market in the middle of the City – for those who don’t know Montreal’s Jean-Talon Market, it is a famous and HUGE farmers market that is really worth the detour. 

The Union Square Greenmarket is usually open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 8 am to 6 pm. In peak season, 140 regional farmers, fishermen, and bakers come to the public space to sell their products.

For more information about Union Square, I suggest you read my post about this important and fascinating historic intersection of Manhattan.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The former Hotel Theresa in Harlem

Also known as the "Waldorf Astoria of Harlem", the Hotel Theresa, situated at the intersection of 7th Avenue and West 125th Street, is a NYC landmark and an important place for the black community history. 

The place opened in 1913, but until 1940, it was only accepting white guests plus a few black celebrities. 

Louis Armstrong, Ray Charles, and Jimi Hendrix are among the several famous people who stayed there. Fidel Castro was also a guest of the hotel while he was visiting for the first time the United Nations in New York after coming to power in Cuba. 

The hotel, that we see from the back in this picture, closed in 1967. After remaining vacant for four years, the building was converted to office space in 1971 and now goes by the name Theresa Towers.

If you are interesting in learning more about the Hotel Theresa, I suggest you read this interesting article of the New York Time.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Friday, May 11, 2012

Meatpacking street

Here’s my preferred street of the Meetpacking District; it’s on this one that I photographed the Bob Dylan graffiti. This picture is also among my favorites; I framed it and it is now decorating my living room.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Some midtown buildings from Union Square

I took this picture almost a year ago, while Martin and I were visiting NYC and at the same time discussing if we wanted or not to move here. It is still among my favorites; I love the light effect, the trees and the colors. For me, this picture is very representative of Manhattan with its mix of architecture styles.

You can recognize the famous Empire State Building. The second building on the right with the golden top is the beautiful Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower, a landmark skyscraper located on Madison Avenue across from Madison Square Park. The tower was constructed in 1909 and was the world's tallest building for three years, until 1913. It is now occupied by a hotel.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Brush Up Business With Paint, Paste, Paper and Push

I truly like this building situated at Reade Street and West Broadway in Downtown
. The fading painted advertising on it is an old advertisement for outdoor advertising itself. The message in modern words: "Improve your business with outdoor billboards".

Monday, May 7, 2012

Graffiti in Downtown

Daily pictures are back! I am sorry I don’t always publish them on a daily basis; as I am travelling without an Internet connection, it is sometimes difficult to put something online every day. The good news is that there will be a photo published every morning of this week.

Here’s your Monday picture:

Have a lovely week!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

2012 Tribeca Film Festival

I have to admit that I was really lazy in my job search last week… I preferred going to the movies instead of passing my days on the computer looking for my next professional challenge. But all for good reason: It was my first Tribeca Film Festival. 

Getting ready for a film screening at
School of Visual Arts Theatre
Founded in 2002, the Tribeca Film Festival is a relatively recent but already famous and major New York spring event dedicated to independent cinema. Created in a response to the September 11, 2001 attacks and the consequent loss of vitality in the Lower Manhattan’s TriBeCa neighborhood, the festival was the initiative of the American film producer Jane Rosenthal, the renowned actor, director and producer Robert De Niro and Craig Hatkoff, a New York real estate investor and philanthropist. Its mission is to help filmmakers reach the broadest possible audience, enable the international film community and general public to experience the power of cinema and promote New York City as a major film making center.

Empty schoolyard in Hell's Kitchen

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Paul Richard's "designated art" in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

For those of you who are not familiar with this street art phenomenon, I invite you to read my recent article about the New York artist Paul Richard.

This picture was taken on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.