Inside Ikea

I'm a long way from Strawberry Fields now (that's the title of this photo blog - "I could not stay in Strawberry Fields forever"). I started writing this about a year ago in April when I noticed how amazing the change of seasons was. I had a lot of photos from when I lived a few blocks away from Strawberry Fields in the Upper West Side, and those photos were starting to pile up along with new photos of other parks and neighborhoods throughout Manhattan and the other boroughs (Queens and Brooklyn).

Maybe not every day, but most days I try to go on an adventure and see a new place or revisit an old one during a different season so that I can capture a different image of what it looks like. I've been to Brooklyn a lot, but never out to the new Ikea store in Red Hook and I finally got the chance to go this past week.

Rather than shop for sofas and poang chairs, I took some pictures and enjoyed the view of the Statue of Liberty from inside the upstairs cafeteria where I had chicken fingers and french fries. It's always so amazing to catch a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty. I was excited enough as it was just to see it through the windows of the water taxi on the way there... and here I was sitting in a Swedish chair at a Swedish table eating what I suppose were Swedish chicken strips, enjoying a view of one of the most famous statues in the world.

View of the Statue of Liberty from inside the Ikea cafeteria

The Ikea cafeteria

View of one of the put-together rooms

Signs were everywhere for their food, ha ha!


On the way to Ikea

Visiting the new Ikea in Brooklyn is more than just a chance to buy home goods for your city apartment, it's a chance to see the Statue of Liberty while you shop! I went out there via water taxi from one of the piers below Southstreet Seaport and was able to get a view of the Statue of Liberty on the way there. The water taxi passes by Governors Island and nears Staten Island as it enters the docks on the edge of Red Hook where Ikea is located. The ride is free and convenient, and it's quite an experience to get to a shopping store in NYC by boat instead of the usual car or train or bus!

Views from inside the water taxi

The back of Ikea viewed from the dock where the water taxi parked


Weekend Update

Throughout this summer, if you're in New York, you should stop by one of these two museums on a weekend night since their admission fees go down from about $10-15 to "pay what you wish".

On Friday nights, the Whitney Museum of American Art allows you to pay what you wish from 6 to 9 pm. Right now there are some interesting installations on display: mirror installations by conceptual artist Dan Graham and some pop sculptures by Claes Oldenburg. These are beyond worth seeing any night of the week!

On Saturday nights, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum has the "pay what you wish" option from 5:45 to 7:45, and a lot of people already know about it. When I got there this past Saturday, I waited in line on Madison Avenue, about 2 blocks away from the museum's entrance. Since it is the 50th anniversary year, The Guggenheim had an amazing special exhibition of its own architect and designer: Frank Lloyd Wright. It included original drawings and ideas for The Guggenheim's exterior, as well as for urban communities, schools and other institutions.

Exterior of The Guggenheim Museum on 5th Avenue

The line that was two blocks long!

The exterior of The Whitney Museum on Madison Avenue

Cool street art on Madison Avenue at 75th Street


What's new?

There is a new set of sculptures in the Flat Iron District between 5th & 6th Avenues and below 23rd Street. Amy and I went down there after Broadway in Bryant Park one day last week to get cupcakes from the Cupcake Stop Truck when we noticed the tall Daisies in the pedestrian area of Broadway between the Flat Iron building and Madison Square Park. There were green plastic couches for people to sit on, plugs for charging your mac or phone, and signs telling about free WiFi and whatever other features I can't remember now. It is all part of a Prius promotion. I think that's a car. 

Anyway, it's a great place to sit, chat, people watch and eat a cupcake!

The Flat Iron Building on 23rd Street between 5th & 6th Avenues


The New York Public Library: Mac's (and books) galore!

So, I don't really get this library. You walk in from the 5th Avenue & 42nd Street entrance and you feel like you're inside of a museum... or City Hall or something. It is very majestic and overwhelming—and where are the books I wonder? 

Up many steps and stairways, you will finally find room 315 where there are books, but all you seem to notice are the rows of people sitting at long tables with their Macbooks open (as opposed to books  being open).

While there I took a look at the Gutenberg Bible and some hand-written pages from Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence. It occurred to me that I was voluntarily walking around a museum-like library, looking at famous literature and artifacts, when I could be out shopping or at the beach. One could do worse than be a swinger of birches—I mean... avid Museum/library-goer (I love poetry, too).

Inside Room 315, on the 3rd floor

A closer look would reveal many Macs

Beautiful, grandiose lighting


Broadway in Bryant Park

Every Thursday throughout this summer, Bryant Park will be hosting Broadway in Bryant Park out on the lawn behind the New York Public Library. This past Thursday, songs from The Little Mermaid, 9-5, Toxic Avenger and Pure Country were performed. I love every one, especially Toxic Avenger! 

You can get a sandwich from 'wichcraft, pull up a chair and take in the view (of both the Bryant park stage and beautiful Manhattan above the park's trees).

Here's their calendar for this summer's performances.

The crowds and a view from behind the stage

Allison Janney and crew performing a song from 9-5

View of the Empire State Building (34th & 5th) 


Dali in SoHo

Inside the William Bennett Gallery at 65 Green Street in SoHo are 150 or so proofs, prints, photographs and other works by the Surrealist artist, Salvador Dali. I've been a fan of his since high school, so when I heard of about this exhibition running through the summer, I knew I needed to stop by at some point.

The outside of the gallery is a little surreal, with one of Dali's drooping clocks on display by the front window, willing passersby to come in. The gallery itself is a beautiful, two-story space with gleaming hardwood floors, long, stretching wall space and several little rooms with couches and coffee tables for viewers to rest in. 

I really liked this gallery and the collection of Dali's work that was chosen for display. The exhibition, titled Persistence of Dali, contained pieces that most people and even artists or art history buffs may never have seen before. The collection was well related and curated, and a treat for any art enthusiast as a lot of these Dali works are rare and unique!


French Festival: Bastille Day

There was a very interesting French festival on Sunday called Bastille Day  taking place along 60th Street on the East side of town. There were Can-Can dancers, information booths (about the French), food and treats to enjoy. There were plenty of people there and a friend and I enjoyed some really great crepes.

From there we ended up at the bottom of Central Park on 5th Avenue and 59th Street where there is an interesting new structure that people can both look at and interact with.

Additionally, 60th Street is beautiful street and is great to take a stroll along! See below for some of the views it offers:

American and French flags raised on Bastille Day

Interesting new structure by Central Park on 5th & 60th: Franz West's 'The Ego and the Id'.

View of the sculpture with the Plaza Hotel in the background

View down 60th Street towards Columbus Circle


DUMBO sights and sites

While out visiting the galleries in DUMBO, a friend and I wandered out to Brooklyn Bridge Park to get a view of the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges and the east side of Manhattan's skyline.

You can see the skyline on the east side isn't much (I think that is either the East Village, Lower East Side or Murray Hill that you can see across the water), but the blue Manhattan Bridge is impressive enough. 

This is one of my favorite places in the city, and it is one of the most active. On Thursday's they have movies on the lawn by the Brooklyn Bridge and on Tuesdays they have yoga. Then just a few blocks away is the famous pizza place Grimaldi's, where there is always a line outside waiting!

You can see the Empire State Building in this shot!

View of Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan

There are always post-wedding shots going on out here!


DUMBO art galleries

On the first Thursday of every month in DUMBO, the art galleries stay open later for visitors as they walk through the scenic neighborhood. A bunch of us went out this past Thursday evening to view works inside the powerHouse arena, D.A.C (DUMBO Arts Center), Melville House and Smack Mellon.

There were a lot of great photographs and paintings on display, a live band playing, and lots of Booklynites and Manhattanites filling the art studios. One of my favorite pieces on display in A.I.R. Gallery was from Burst 387 - a collage of photographs of words and signs throughout the city, all arranged in alphabetical order.



One of the many beautiful things to see around the city are the signs for hotels, stores, restaurants, parks and events. 

Some of the best ones to see are the ones that have the sky as a backdrop. When it comes to backgrounds for New York City photos, there's nothing better than blue...

Hotel Empire on West 63rd street, as seen from Lincoln Center's plaza

Coney Island as seen from inside the Coney Island/Stillwell Avenue subway station