Sunday, 30 September 2012

Times Square

I warned you, there is so much to see downtown Manhattan, New York.
Just too much to fit into one post, so off we go again......
Times Square- the mecca of the advertising world.
The home of Broadway theatres, and also known as the "Crossroads of the World," it is a major center of the world's entertainment industry.
Formerly named Longacre Square, Times Square was renamed in April 1904, after The New York Times moved its headquarters to the newly built Times Building which is now called One Times Square. It is the site of the annual ball drop on New Years Eve.
According to Wikipedia, Times Square is the only area that has zoning ordinances requiring the building's owners to display illuminated signs.  The density of these illuminated signs in Times Square now rivals that of Las Vegas. 
These electronic signs in Times Square are officially called "spectaculars," while the largest of them are called "jumbotrons".

The Father Duffy statue - Times Square - is a bronze statue by American sculptor Charles Keck, situated at the northern end of Times Square, appropriately named Duffy Square in honour of Father Francis P. Duffy.
Father Francis P. Duffy was a military Chaplain and Roman Catholic priest. As a member of the  legendary "Fighting 69th" Infantry of the Rainbow Division, he served in Europe during World War I.  He became the most highly decorated cleric in the history of the U.S. Army.
The Father Duffy statue is depicted as a soldier-priest in military uniform, helmet at his feet, and bible in his hand. The statue is on a pedestal backed by a green granite cross more than 17 feet tall.

The George M. Cohan statue - Times Square
The bronze statue depicts the American composer, playwright, actor and producer, who was once known as The Man who owned Broadway.
He is considered the Father of American musical comedy, since he wrote, composed, produced and appeared in more than 36 Broadway musicals. He wrote 500 songs including the standards, "Over There," "Give my Regards to Broadway," "The Yankee Doodle Boy," and "You're a Grand Old Flag."

These steps are actually the roof of the TKTS booth where discount theatre tickets are sold. They also provide seating for various events. Also a good vantage point to take in all of the activity going on in Times Square.

The Toshiba billboard, right under the New Years Eve ball drop.

A clearer view of the ball drop (albeit leaning in this photo)

Billboards billboards everywhere......

New York tour buses filled to capacity.

Didn't I say Billboards everywhere?

And I mean everywhere.....

Everyone is here....even Sesame Street character Cookie Monster, as well as Alvin that mischievous chipmunk and Mickey and Minnie Mouse. There is a fee to take photos with/of these characters...I sneaked these photos hurriedly.

Elmo rubbing his ears, and Alvin checking me out about to take another free photo....

Here is  Batman waltzing with a tourist (for a fee of course!)

Right in the middle of all the action......this poster.

Electronic billboards as far as the eye could see......
ABC Super Sign waverunner LED curved ticker on the left.
ABC's Good Morning America broadcasts live from Times Square.

The seven story curved NASDAQ sign and electronic of the most well recognised advertising venues in the world

To get a feel for the place, check out here.
Can you tell where we are off to next? Check the large hand on top of the building on the left.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Downtown Manhattan

New York City is a hustle-bustle city that never sleeps....what a reputation. It is vibrantly alive and people are constantly on the go, a never-ending cycle of movement.
New Yorkers talk fast, walk fast and do everything fast, (yes, that too). I can't imagine any of them taking a real break to kick back and take it easy.
Going and going and going just like the Energizer Bunny.
I was on holiday, but at times, still felt the need to keep up with the fast pace, but then I reminded myself that I was there to "get away" and to give my body a well-deserved rest.
Chill-out time as it were.
My friends with whom I was staying, both worked during the day, and I had fun wandering around during the day by  train and lots of walking discovering new and old haunts.
On this particular morning, my friend Chippy took some time out to escort me around downtown Manhattan to view all the interesting touristy places....he was very good at it too.
I took as many photos as I could, so that I could share them with you, my blog friends.

Lots of interesting art sculpture displays outside large office buildings

The current rage - UniQlo a new Japanese clothing store (equivalent to the US Gap store)
.............just had to take a peek inside
Many floors with tons of trendy choices, and...........
....a lighted catwalk to model your choices

St. Patrick's Cathedral was undergoing extensive renovations....
A massive five year $175 million dollar renovation that will take care of the repairing, restoring and cleaning the soot-covered exterior, since pollution and acid rain has eaten away at the Tuckahoe marble. Crumbling bricks and faulty heating will also be addressed.

The Roman Catholic Cathedral remains open during the renovations (see the long line of tourists waiting to enter.....who wants to turn away 5.5 million tourist visitors annually.... the church knows business), however, work will pause during Masses.

Across the street a bronze statue of the ancient Greek Atlas is depicted holding the heavens.

Rockefeller Plaza

There are 200 flagpoles lining the plaza at street level. which includes various flags of  the United Nations member countries, the US states and territories.
During U.S. holidays, every pole carries the Flag of the United States.  

The lower level of the sunken plaza is converted to an outdoor ice skating rink every winter.  Since 1933 an enormous decorated  Christmas tree is placed in the area behind the Prometheus statue and the annual tree lighting ceremony takes place there.

The Plaza is favoured by The Today Show (NBC) for outside broadcasts every morning, and also their Today Show summer concerts.

The bronze gilded statue of the Greek legend Titan Prometheus, bringing fire to mankind, was sculpted by Paul Manship, an American sculptor.
In Greek mythology, Prometheus betrayed Zeus, the Father of the Gods, by stealing fire and giving it to mankind.
You may read it all here.

The granite wall inscription behind him reads: "Prometheus, teacher in every art, brought the fire that hath proved to mortals a means to mighty ends."

In 1962, a plaque was placed at the plaza with a list of principles in which John D. Rockefeller Jr. believed, first expressed by him in 1941. It reads:
"I believe in the supreme worth of the individual and in his right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty.
I believe that the law was made for man and not man for the law; that government is the servant of the people and not their master.
I believe in the Dignity of labour, whether with head or hand; that the world owes no man a living but that it owes every man an opportunity to make a living.
I believe that thrift is essential to well ordered living and that economy is a prime requisite of a sound financial structure, whether in government, business or personal affairs.
I believe that truth and justice are fundamental to an enduring social order.
I believe in the sacredness of a promise, that a man's word should be as good as his bond; that character not wealth or power or position – is of supreme worth.
I believe that the rendering of useful service is the common duty of mankind and that only in the purifying fire of sacrifice is the dross of selfishness consumed and the greatness of the human soul set free.
I believe in an all-wise and all-loving God, named by whatever name, and that the individuals highest fulfilment, greatest happiness, and widest usefulness are to be found in living in harmony with His Will.
I believe that love is the greatest thing in the world; that it alone can overcome hate; that right can and will triumph over might."

One of the two Mankind sculptures by Paul Manship - "Youth"

Rockefeller Center Landmark Plaque.
Rockefeller Center was named after John D. Rockefeller

The other Mankind sculpture by Paul Manship - "Maiden"
These folks moved into view in a split second after I had lined up my shot.

The Brasserie Ruhlmann is the best outdoor dining in "The Plaza" with its French brasserie menu. The interior decor pays homage to the great art-decor designer Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann

Believe it or not, there were about twenty people (mostly women) camped out on the sidewalk  waiting to get a seat for the Jay Leno show for that night.
Didn't feel right taking their photo and posting, since some of them might have been playing truant from work.

Building 1251 Avenue of the Americas with its large fountain pool was once the worldwide headquarters for Exxon (now moved to Irving, Texas)

"Yes's Radio City Music Hall...."
One of New York's most popular tourist attractions, Radio City Music Hall seats 6,000 people. It's halls' interiors are one of the the world's greatest examples of Art Deco design.

Bustling crowded streets of downtown Manhattan
All the news....all the time
Revolving news to keep you updated

News Corporation Building has served as the headquarters for the News Corporation for many years. Stationed here are Fox Entertainment, The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post. The Fox News studio is located on the ground floor of the building.

Diamond District
The area is one of the primary centers of the global diamond industry, as well as the premier center for jewelry shopping in the city. An estimated 90% of diamonds in the United States enter through New York.
Downtown Manhattan has so much to see and do....many more photos to follow of this incredible city.

Friday, 28 September 2012

The adventure begins.....

My day of departure dawned bright and full of sunshine, and I was thankful for that. ...a nice day to travel.
Kissed both daughter dear and Brownie goodbye and prepared  to leave...then guess what?
The workmen whom I had been trying to contact for two weeks, suddenly appeared as I was closing my suitcase to head out the door.  Were they serious??  How do they know to show up at such inopportune times?  Unannounced???  I knew I won't be able to track them down when I returned, so I allowed them to work and left beautiful daughter in charge (that warrants a separate post, don't you think?)

I can never go a-visiting without bearing gifts.  My suitcase was already heavily laden with gifts for my friends, and then another suitcase arrived filled with lots more goodies for my friends.

As I headed out the door, I remembered that one of my dear friends who shall remain nameless simply adores Chicken Barn chicken, a local fast food eatery.

Since daughter dear was overseeing the workmen, another friend offered to give me a ride to the airport.  We stopped off to purchase the famous chicken delicacy before  the lunchtime patrons.  I had pre-ordered , thus it was ready to go as soon as we walked in.

A smooth ride to the airport to meet up with my new friendly airline...JetBlue Airways. Impeccable service, and no rude customer service attendants, a true customer oriented airline.  So glad that they fly to our island now, and I'm not stuck with the "other"  airline.
 Easy check-in, first bag flies free (50lbs), lots of leg room, free snacks and on-board movies, free cable channels and wifi, what more could you ask for??
The flight left at 2.25pm and we arrived at JFK, Kennedy, NY at 7.29pm.
A nice  comfortable trip with a pleasant flight crew.  Captain Ken took us up to 35,000 feet and kept us traveling above the clouds until he brought us down in a smooth landing on the tarmac at JFK.
Smooth processing through Immigration and Customs officials, and next thing I knew, I was standing on  a NYC sidewalk waiting to be picked up.
The Big Apple greeted me with a warm summer night's breeze and a nice temperature.
As I started to take it all in, I heard my friends hailing me. "Vee is over there! Look!! Vee!!"
And so the adventure began.....

Thursday, 27 September 2012

A time to get away

Sometimes we just need to get away for a while....there is a sense of urgency that envelops us when "the time" comes upon us, and we instinctively KNOW that it is the right time to do so.
Our bodies can only take but so much, and in order to avoid total burnout, I have implemented a "getaway from it all" period every year to restore my soul and my mental health.
My many friends in foreign lands all jostle for my respite time away, but it is always impossible to visit them all, so I usually have to choose my best options.
I have many treasured friends and friendships which have been nurtured over the years, and some of them reside in the USA, so it was no problem making my mind up where my intended destination would be, however it was difficult to choose which states I would visit, so I decided to stick to the east coast.  Sorry to all my friends who live on the eastern seaboard of the US whom I did not have the opportunity to visit this year, due to time constraints....forgive me.

Strolling the garden for the last time before my flight, I came across my white Brassavola nodosa orchid blooming its head off.

Are you really leaving me?

Brazen had picked yet another avocado and taken a bite out, leaving it in my full view....."No avocados for you this year..."  That monkey just loves to taunt me.....even today he could not resist.

It was time to go.........."the time to get away."

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Home again, home again, jiggety-jog

I'm back!!!!
I have returned home after a lovely and much needed holiday away......time away from the stress and worries of everyday life was a good tonic for the soul and psyche.
To be honest, I was missing my boy Brownie quite a bit, and I just wanted to be back home with him.
Alas, The Head Honcho and beautiful daughter did not seem to miss me at all, and I was greeted with some annoyed barking and low growling.....he was still upset with me for leaving him.

The Head Honcho was not pleased

Here he is playing the "I don't know you" game

"Where were you all the this time? Now you have the nerve to cruise back in here and announce "Brownie I'm back!"   "Brownie don't play that."

After a while, he started to warm up to me again, especially after I changed into my home clothes that had a scent that he knew.
It took the better part of the evening for him to fully come around.....he's been watching too much Judge Judy...he knows I was guilty, so he made me pay for my behaviour.

Well the house is still standing, and the Head Honcho obviously was ruling the roost while I was away....oh yes, and beautiful daughter did a good job while I was away.
Clearing the mailbox and watering the outdoor plants were not included in her tasks, so they were not attended to....oh my oh my.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

The true Head Honcho

YES, something is up, but can you guess what it could be?
Why is this crazy girl labeling her plants "REAL"?  Has she gone completely bonkers now?
Maybe she was mad all along...after all some call her "The Mad Woman Jamming" when she is ever so busy.
What is really going on?

And what's with the all those frozen containers of food in the freezer?  What's going on?

Well everyone knows that preparation is the key to any successful undertaking. So here we have it in full force.
I will be away for a short period, and in the interim, my oh so beautiful daughter will be taking care of the household until I return.
Last year, she did not find it necessary to listen to my instructions, so she took it upon herself to water all the indoor plants, both real and artificial....this year I am taking no chances.

 I decided it may be better to make smaller tags (more discreet), in case her friends came over and queried the "why" and the "why not."  Peers can be so demanding.

Naturally, Mr. Brownie has to be fed and watered in my absence, so his meals have been carefully prepared , with a pre-planned menu, and stashed in the freezer.
We all know that he is the one who will really be in charge...the true Head Honcho.
I promise I'll be back real soon.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Did I do that???

After all the complaining about the rainy weather we had been having, the sun has returned in full force for the last two weeks, and it has been sweltering HOT....TOO HOT.
(Cue music to Kool & The Gang's "Too Hot.")
Couldn't even consider going into the garden after 9am, for even then it was HOT HOT HOT.
Sweat pouring down like a river, totally unbearable........everyone complaining again.
Can't please us weather wise at all.
The plants were suffering terribly, so I decided that I would quench their thirst.
I had just finished watering the garden, when who should come along but Brazen........and off Brownie ran behind him (with his foot still trying to heal properly).
Scrambling all through the freshly watered soil, trying to reach that darn monkey as he ran along the back wall.
When he eventually gave up, he came back inside dejectedly....poor thing.
Usually I would wash off his muddy paws before he comes inside, but this time I was distracted by a phone call, and by the time I was finished, the poor guy had tried to clean his paws, and the floor was a mess.

Did I do that????

Paw prints and clumps of mud.

He looked up at me when he saw me coming, probably thought I was going to admonish him for coming inside all dirty, but I just picked him up, and outside we went to the hose, and washed off the remainder of the mud.
He was very happy for the help, since the mud was caked thickly between his paws, and it was quite a pain to clean them on his own.
I got a thank you lick, and then he jumped up on my leg to have his head rubbed.
Clean dog, clean house, happy me = priceless.

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