Sunday, January 19, 2014

Well, We Still Have Central Park

We were in New York City to tour historic Harlem, part of my research for a Harlem Renaissance course I'm teaching soon. However, because of a misunderstanding about the meeting place, we missed the tour and ended up back in Midtown strolling around Central Park. This is not a bad way to spend an afternoon in New York, and I made the best of this photographic situation. We did ultimately take an Uptown bus tour that included Harlem, but that tour guide was more interested in telling us where to eat and where famous people live(d). We did learn about Hell's Kitchen and stopped at an inexpensive bar & grill there (Smith's) before getting on the train to go home.

It was a cold, foggy day, and in the morning the top of the Empire State Building had vanished!
Shoot! Where did the top of the ESB go?
The buskers were out in force on this Saturday, and we tipped them after photographing them, I promise.
He was playing a Bach Cello Sonata.
He was fiddlin'.
Rockefeller Plaza has the more photographed ice skating rink, but Central Park's makes quite a nice foto:

I'm always up for a bridge picture:

So we did make it onto a late afternoon bus tour of Uptown which included Harlem, but picture-taking was near impossible from behind our Plexiglass shield on the upper level. We got off the bus to inspect the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, the ONE place in Harlem I had visited before (!!), but this was relevant because the Aristocrat of the Harlem Renaissance, Duke Ellington, had his funeral there in 1972. (More recently, James Gandolfini's funeral was there.) So here are most of the Harlem pictures I came home with:
Part of the facade
St. John the Divine lectern
Lectern detail
From behind scratchy, cloudy Plexiglass, I attempted a Hail Mary pass of a picture as we cruised past the famous Apollo Theater:

I think that last one is fun and kind of represents the kooky chaos of this day. In the end, the organizer of the initial tour took responsibility for the mix-up and will fix the problem on his website. He's going to refund my money (Yay!) and send me a voucher for a free tour (Yay!) so that there will be a Harlem Renaissance blogpost sometime in the future (and after the course is over, Boo!).


Barbara Backus said...

I love your photos, Margaret. A couple of years ago I took a walking tour of Harlem. Saw the Apollo theatre, brownstoned streets, the statue of Adam Clayton Powell, the Hotel Teresa once famous for the day Fidel Castro was rumored to have cooked chickens in his room! NYC is a fascinating place, always something new to marvel at!

Margaret said...

Thanks for commenting, Barbara! That walking tour is in my future, and I look forward to it. My Harlem Renaissance course is a hit so far--there is a wealth of fascinating culture to explore there. (I didn't know the story about Castro!)

Susan Branch said...

Central Park! What a miracle. Your photos are gorgeous Margaret . . . thank you for sharing them! I got your nice letter and just wanted to say thank you and I'll keep it in my special file! xoxo

Margaret said...

Thank you, Susan! Your work (art with writing with humor) is an inspiration to me. :-)