The sculpture Let Us Beat Our Swords into Ploughshares created by sculptor Evgeny Vuchetich out of bronze was presented to the UN in 1959 by the former government of the Soviet Union. The sculpture depicts a man holding a hammer aloft in one hand and a sword in the other in order to turn the sword into a ploughshare an old symbolic analogy which indicates mankinds’ sincere wish for peace, an affirmative appreciation of the wastefulness of war and recognizing the opportunity cost of making weapons when the means of creating destructive tools can be turned into the means for creating creative tools. It is in the United Nation’s North Garden at the UN Secretariat.
Single Form, crafted between 1961-1964, cast from bronze, It is 21 feet high and is located at the United Nations Secretariat in the UN Plaza in New York City. Single Form is Hepworth's biggest work quite probably her most significant public commission. It stands in the UN Plaza in New York. Hepworth was a friend of the first UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld, who admired and collected her works. Single Form was commissioned as a memorial to Hammarskjöld after his death in an airplane crash in 1961.
These pictures were taken from the international lunch buffet at the UN’s Delegates Dining Room. Two things about the UN these days when visiting. Make sure you call ahead, make sure they know you’re coming and make sure if you’re a general visitor that you have a ticket which you can buy online. If you don’t do these things you could experience difficulties. Also make sure to call ahead because the international buffet this year only happened after October 7th. I was also not aware of the jacket and tie requirement and fortunately I was let into the dining hall, but really they weren’t too keen on the idea. I pleaded that the word ‘buffet’ does not normally associate with a ‘jacket and tie required’ – apparently this logic had some impact. After being seated, the food was phenomenal and I did enjoy the sweeping views of the East River. However, on the day I was there, the terrace was not open and after taking some pictures I was politely told that taking pictures wasn’t allowed either. A lot of rules effectively takes the joy out of this place, but it is still an experience. The pictures obviously have some inside reflections since I had no choice but to take them from behind glass
Peace Form One was sculpted by Daniel La Rue Johnson who crafted a tall obelisk with variegated surface on a pentagonal base with a plaque bearing the inscription: “"I have a number of very strong biases. I have deep-seated bias against hate and intolerance; I have a bias against racial and religious bigotry; I have a bias against war, a bias for peace, I have bias which leads me to believe in the essential goodness of my fellow man, which leads me to believe that no problem of human relations is ever insoluble. I have a strong bias in favor of the United Nations and its ability to maintain a peaceful world.” Manufactured by Lippincott, Inc in North Haven, CT, the monument further reads: “Peace, to have meaning for many who have known only suffering in both peace and war must be translated into bread or rice, shelter, health, and education, as well as freedom and human dignity. Nobel Peace Prize Lecture, 1960, Ralph Johnson Bunche, Under Secretary-General for Special Political Affairs, the United Nations, 1904-1971, Daniel Larue Johnson, Artist.
"They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" carved into its cement wall. Known as the Isaiah Wall, it was rededicated in 1975 and had the name "Isaiah" added to make the connection with the Biblical verse of Isaiah 2:4
Raoul Wallenberg's monument in NYC honors him near the UN on the corner of First Avenue and 47th street. The sculpture is named Hope the work of Gustav Kraitz. It is placed in a triangular space in the middle of 1st Avenue in Midtown Manhattan (Turtle Bay), across the street from the UN building. The monument has 5 columns, 1 of which is 23 feet with a blue marblesque pottery sphere. The sides have inscriptions telling of Wallenberg’s life mission, as well as an excerpt of the joint resolution of the US Congress by which Wallenberg was declared an Honorary Citizen of the US in 1981. At the bottom of the columns is a bronze briefcase, seemingly carelessly left behind by somebody rushing. It represents Wallenberg's unfinished work. The area is paved with granite from the Jewish ghetto in Budapest, graciously donated by the country of Hungary. In 1944, Mr. Hilel Storch worked with colleagues in the WJC in Sweden to recruit Mr. Wallenberg as special envoy to Budapest, and supported Wallenberg in this effort. In that role Wallenberg is credited with saving tens of thousands if not over a hundred thousand Jews from deportation and probable death.
If you’re looking for a good hotel to stay at in NYC, odds are you shouldn’t ask a New Yorker for the very simple reason that we just don’t stay at the hotels. The Hotel Carter is surely an historic hotel, but like with everything old, old things eventually draw mice, cockroaches and bedbugs. For sure, the Hotel Carter has been undergoing a recent renovation and this was sorely needed. Hopefully the reputation of the cleanliness for the hotel will improve. The location of the place surely can’t be beat, its only a half block from Times Square. Until October 1976 it was called the Dixie Hotel. The building is 24 stories high and initially had 1,000 rooms now 700 rooms. It apparently has been ranked the dirtiest hotel in America four years running through 2012. The City had been using the hotel as a shelter in 6/1984. The hotel began to make an effort to attract tourists once again. In 1987, a woman was thrown out of a window from one of the top floors. NYC removed all homeless families from the Carter in 1988. In 7/1999 a brawl between workers led to the death of a clerk. On 8/2007, a maid found Kristine Yitref, 33, under a bed in Room 608. Sex offender Clarence Dean, 35, was charged with homicide. Yitref, as Mistress Kris, was formerly a member of the goth rock group The Nuns. She had resorted to prostitution at the time of her death to support a drug habit. In 7/2009 Glenn Beck Program highlighted the reports of the Carter Hotel’s bad reputation. The Bed Bug Registry listed numerous report over the years citing visitors' issues with the hotel. In 2011, TripAdvisor.com made the Carter Hotel #4 on their Top 10 of dirtiest hotels. The hotel was also noted in USA Today as dirtiest hotel in the US in 2009. As of 2012 the hotel is still in the process of being renovated. For all its past problems, the Hotel Carter’s location makes it poised for a comeback! The picture was taken on the last week of September in 2013, the building in the background is the Westin at Times Square, a much more modern hotel.
Throwback (1/3) is a sculpture by Tony Smith, located in MMC Plaza at 1166 6th Avenue (the building was formerly known as the International Paper building). The sculpture was built by welding multiple sheets of aluminum together at various and precise angles to form a geometric 4 sided but hollow ring. The sculpture is coated with a matte-black industrial exterior paint which matches the building at 1166 6th. Currently in a fountain, Smith named it as he explains, “In a certain sense the piece is unique. I did not have the prospect or opportunity of making a large architectural sculpture so I decided to do something more conventional. I made an object that recalls an earlier period.” According to art historian Sam Hunter, “His major piece, Throwback, is based on the regular geometric solids of this familiar combination of tetrahedrons and octahedrons, the basic space frame for all his ambitious, conjoined sculpture. Although it is less eccentric or fanciful in its spatial sprawl than some of his complex monumental sculpture its shifting silhouettes and planar configurations can still dazzle the eye of the circulating spectator.” The catalogue text continues to support this, stating that “Throwback shows all the hallmarks of Smith’s ponderous yet graceful and versatile formal constellations.” Smith created Throwback in three pieces, the one in MMC is (1/3), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art owns (2/3) and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden owns (3/3). All three were created between 1976-1979 and are aluminum painted black and equal in size. The public space, MMC Park, was built in 1972. The space is a popular place for lunch, inasmuch as most of the park is shaded in the summer. It was renovated in 1981 as International Paper Plaza. After that, the plaza was renovated again in 1989. Now, Marsh & McLennan owns a 70 percent share in the building and the public space, known as MMC plaza. The plaza was completed again in 2001. After the recent renovation keeping its centerpiece sculpture Throwback (1/3).
This is a waterfountain on 1133 Avenue of the Americas. A 2002 water sculpture by Peter Durst in what are called ‘privately owned public spaces’ – I personally find the sculpture quite fetching because for all its big buildings, none of them are possible without a mastery over water and this exemplifies NYC’s ability to bring water to its 8 million plus residents.
Also known more simply as the Grace Building, the building is located at 1114 Avenue of the Americas. One of the hallmarks building is the concave vertical slope of its north and south faces. The exterior is covered in white travertine contrasting with the black windows, giving the building a bright appearance. This is very similar to the Solow Building, which is no coincidence, since the design was used twice by the designer. The building’s designer was Gordon Bunshaft, and topped out in 1974. The building was commissioned by the W.R. Grace Company, and has been used by the Deloitte & Touche. The main entrance is on 42nd Street, between 5th and 6th. It overlooks Bryant Park and the New York Public Library. The building’s rentable square feet is about 1.5 million and it sits on a parcel about 100 X 442
The Hotel Paramount in Midtown, NYC specifically located at 235 West 46th Street, just west of Times Square. Originally designed by Thomas Lamb, the building was completed in 1928. The hotel was remodeled in the late 1980s, and reopened in 1990 as the Paramount Hotel. Known today as an excellent hotel to provide visitors access to the theater district and Times Square, not to mention tourists from around the world. Many musicians have been associated with the Paramount. Charlie Barnet led a band there from 1932 onwards. From 1938 to 1951, Billy Rose operated a nightclub in the basement of the Paramount. The club was known for its chorus of showgirls, "Billy Rose's Long-stemmed beauties." The Diamond Horseshoe featured some of the top entertainers of the era, and was the inspiration for the 1945 musical film, Diamond Horseshoe starring Betty Grable. Pictures were taken on the morning of September 30th, 2013
These pictures are views from 25 Wwst 45th Street as seen on September 20th, 2013. I particularly enjoy the back alley pictures because these areas of the city are not meant to be seen so when the city reveals her bumpy warts I like to revel in the city’s grittier side. Nevertheless, these pictures show an excellent progression on the development in Manhattan in this area, ranging from the old walkups, to the relatively unsightly backsides of the buildings on 46th Street, to the old the 1903 building on 45th Street and the 1930 – 15 story tower, 21 West 46th Street to the relatively new, built in 1974, the Grace Building.
The bridge crossing from Manhattan into the Bronx on Broadway? Surprise, it doesn’t actually cross into the Bronx. How’s that? Well as it turns out the straightening of the Spuyten Duyvil Creek wound up leaving the community of Marble Hill on the wrong side of the river. The community remains within New York County, Manhattan. The Broadway Bridge in NYC crosses the Harlem River Ship Canal between Inwood on Manhattan Island and Marble Hill. The bridge is named because it carries Broadway, which will fully transform into US 9. This route is quite historic with roots stemming back to the Mohicans.
One of my more fond childhood memories is of ascending the torch of the Statue of Liberty. I fondly recall the fundraisers that our school took part in to raise funds for the mid-80s After the restoration, in my memory, the torch never reopened. While taking the Circle Line on September 15th, 2013 I learned that the Statue of Liberty’s arm hasn’t been open since 1916. The reason being WWI and German saboteurs. Hearing this I couldn’t believe it at first. After all, I can assure you, the memory of ascending to the torch seems distinctly real to me. Of course the bottom line? It never happened. On July 30, 1916, during World War I, German saboteurs set off an explosion on the Black Tom peninsula in Jersey City, NJ, in what is now part of Liberty State Park, close to Bedloe's Island. Trainloads of explosives that were being sent to Britain and France for the war efforts was detonate leading to the deaths of 7 people. The statue itself sustained minor damage, mostly to the torch-bearing right arm, closing for ten days. The cost to repair the statue and buildings on the island was about $100,000, a tidy sum for the era. The narrow ascent to the torch was closed for public safety reasons, and it has remained closed ever since.
The Little Red Lighthouse, also known as Jeffrey's Hook Light is a small lighthouse on the Hudson River at the base of the George Washington Bridge in New York City. It was made famous by the children's book The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge by Hildegarde Swift. The lighthouse stands on Jeffrey’s Hook in Fort Washington Park. Published in 1942, the book symbolizes the building of the George Washington Bridge next to the small lighthouse to affirm that the small are important. The book struck a chord with children because when it was proposed that the little red lighthouse be demolished, a public outcry went up and the NYC Parks Dept preserved the ligthhouse
I was really quite taken by this Big Blue Man on Sixth Avenue. Near CBS and MoMA the statue, to me, simply had to be George Washington. The artist though didn’t design it to be George Washington at all of course as I would later find out. Indeed, the name of the statue is “Jean-Marc” which is a kind of homage to his artist friend in France. The artist, Xaver Velhan’s, publicist was actually able to recognize Jean-Marc in the statue immediately on seeing it. Putting this question to our audience on facebook I asked a mostly American audience what they thought they saw and the two most common responses were: George Washington and Darth Vader. So, I wrote to the artist not expecting a reply: “I was really taken by your sculpture today in NYC. Looking at the sculpture today, I was certain the statue was supposed to be George Washington. Of course I read an article where you said the statue was this man: “Jean-Marc Bustamante” – in the United States not a household name of course. Of course, the other 50% who see the statue here don’t say George Washington, they say “Darth Vader” Thought that might give you a chuckle!” Whereupon I received a response: “Dear Craig, Thank you for your great comments on "Jean-Marc": it is always a mystery for the artist what people will see in their work.I like what you see and what the 50% that recognize darth vader. What is important is see and think, that is art! Sincerely, Xavier Veilhan” The first picture below is a picture taken while on the street in NYC by myself. The second picture was sent by the artist showing me the installation of the statue.
Most people naturally take pictures from the observatory looking out at the vista that is Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs. While on 34th Street in the car stopped at a traffic light I decided to zoom in on the observatories from street level and to take the following pictures. Observing the observatory so to speak!
Seeing the statue, one might assume that it might be offensive to a neighborhood with many Jewish and Eastern European immigrants. However, another viewpoint is that the statue itself actually acknowledges capitalisms triumph based on the: 1. Cost of rent in the building hardly being affordable to the proletariat; 2. The Lenin salute in the general direction of Wall Street and 3. The building’s completion after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Soviet state department commissioned Yuri Gerasimov to sculpt it but the USSR collapsed soon after it was complete. The building itself isn’t much to look at, the developer called it Red Square, not as an homage to Communism but simply because it looked like a reddish square. The second feature is the Askew clock, the developer picked the design of a watch face he liked out of a magazine showing the numbers in random order. The clock doesn’t tell clock in an incorrect manner per se, looking at the clock in the picture, the actual time was about 5:30PM, not 10PM or 10AM
Installed in 1972, the Cubed Curve sculpture by William
Corvello stands outside of the Time & Life Building at 1271 Avenue of the
Americas (6th Avenue). Originally commissioned by the Association for a Better
New York, the sculpture sits atop the subway stop and helps to fill the space
created by the 25 foot setback to the Time & Life Building from 6th Avenue.
It is constructed out of a curved blue steel. Its location, use as a building marker, and the ubiquitous "Time & Life" on the sculpture itself, makes many people simply to refer to the sculpture as the Time-Life sculpture.
Of course, if one reads 'Union Square' one immediately thinks the square must be named for the 'Union' during the Civil War and without an immediate reference to the Civil War handy, one might perhaps think 'labor movement' -- but the word 'union' also means to join together and that's actually what Union Square means and where it got its name from, it was a place where two streets came together. The square predates both the Civil War and the modern labor movement by some time. Notwithstanding, the square itself still has a strong connection to the Civil War and the reason is because of Robert Anderson of Fort Sumter fame. We all know that Fort Sumter fell but a more human story emerges because after the fall of Sumter, Anderson, in possession of the flag, travelled to New York City. While its not known if he went to Union Square because of the square's naming being too difficult to ignore being a soldier of the Union Army. Fact is, he hung the Fort Sumter flag there; very symbolic and very emotional for the era and he hung it next to the equestrian statue of George Washington pictured below. This flag actually drew crowds and its said that up to 100,000 people come to see it, up to that point in time it was apparently one of the largest public gatherings in the United States. Even today it rivals the likes of the Super Bowl, Rose Bowl and other large public demonstrations. The flag then made a fund raising tour where the flag was raffled off and the winner cajoled into donating the flag back to the nation so that it could be raffled yet again. Of course, for many here who have visited Fort Sumter, the flag did obviously make its return to that historic location when Anderson was permitted to raise the flag at Fort Sumter. Union Square remains a living place today, still utilized heavily by the public.
Carnegie Hall Tower. 152 W 57th Street, is 60 stories, 757 feet tall. Completed in 1991 following the design by Cesar Pelli first conceived in 1987. The Carnegie Hall Tower is slim from the front however has wide sides facing its neighbors, the Russian Tea Room and Metropolitan Tower on the east and Carnegie Hall on the west. It was clad in brick and glazed brick of several colors, with precast concrete lintels above windows, and painted metal bands at intervals of six floors. The large cornice (crown) atop the building is an open trellis of wide-flange steel sections (I-Beams). The lobby and common rooms are covered in marble and granite with hardwood.
Alexandre Arrechea’s sculpture, Sherry Netherland, made of red steel depicts this artists take of the famous hotel, the Sherry Netherland as an ouroboros. The Ouroboros often symbolizes self-reflexivity or, more literally, cyclicality, especially in the sense of something perpetually recreating itself. First seen historically in Ancient Egypt, the Ouroboros has been important in religious and mythological symbolism.
The Museum of Art and Design is a museum located on the south side of Columbus Circle. An interesting museum in and of itself, they offer open studios for artists and also have quite a few exhibits of wood art and also of fashion jewelry which are quite fascinating. However the piece de resistance remains their 9th floor restaurant offering sweeping views of Columbus Circle, Central Park with a nice long and unobstructed view up Broadway. And as it turned out, the food was fantastic!
In the above picture is a typical window setting at the 9th floor restaurant
In the above picture is the general view uptown focusing on Central Park West
In the above picture the focus shifts eastward to show the sweeping views of Central Park offered from this location
In the above picture the Columbus Statue in Columbus Circle with the Trump Globe behind it
In the above picture is seen a closeup of Columbus' face with a portion of Trump's Globe as a backdrop
In the above picture is a closeup of the Columbus Statue atop Columbus Circle
In the above picture is the USS Maine Memorial
In the above picture is a closeup of the USS Maine Memorial from the 9th Floor restaurant of the Museum of Art and Design
In the above picture is a view uptown on Broadway from Columbus Circle
In the above picture is a view of the Museum of Art and Design, itself quite possibly the least impressive building in the frame.
The LOVE sculpture with the LO over the VE was a pop icon created by Robert Indiana. In NYC the sculpture is located on the corner of 55th and 6th, at least as of September 5th, 2013. Every once in a while somebody purports to have authority to charge to have pictures taken in front of it. The first rendering of it in sculpture was made for the
Indianapolis Museum of Art in 1970. There are many renderings of it, approximately 17 known ones in the United States alone.
Built in 1924 by architect H.P. Knowles, The Mecca Temple was originally a meeting place for the Ancient Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, a masonic group founded in 1872, the building uses Moorish-inspired elements, including brightly colored glazed terra cotta rile in an Islamic design and an arcade of nine horseshoe arches spanning the façade, faced in sandstone blocks. The building is crowned by a huge tiled dome. In 1943, the hall was converted into City Center, a performing arts center featuring a diverse roster of American and International theater, music and dance.
Located just north of the UN complex, the Beekman Tower Hotel is an Art Deco hotel.
The 170-room Art Deco hotel, which has a storied history as a hangout of
major stars including Frank Sinatra and was built as a home away from
home for sorority girls, into extended-stay corporate housing suites.
The building has a
restaurant on its top two floors with a deck offering sweeping views of
the surrounding neighborhood and the East River. It used to
be a place where Frank Sinatra would hang out after a show and would
give impromptu performances, it was the Boom Boom
Room of its day.
The Queens icon, the Unisphere 12 stories tall, a spherical stainless steel
representation of the Earth. Commissioned as a result of the space age,
the Unisphere was conceived and constructed as the theme symbol of the
1964–1965 New York World's Fair. The theme of the World's Fair was "Peace
Through Understanding" and the Unisphere represented the theme of global
interdependence. It was dedicated to "Man's Achievements on a Shrinking
Globe in an Expanding Universe".
Taken from an overpass with a high chain link fence that isn't conducive to climbing or to stick a camera through the chain links (so that things don't hit cars). I am however tall enough to stick my camera above the fence and to take a picture unobstructed, so I really had to do it.
Part of the UN Complex, the buildings house the United Nations and while outside the complex are sometimes thought of as part of the UN Headquarters in a broad sense. The buildings serve as offices for the agencies and programs of the UN
861 feet tall with 72 floors (In typical Trump fashion, the elevator panels show ‘90’ stories), the Trump World Tower was briefly the largest all residential building in the world. The building at night as seen from the Empire State Building Photographs taken on the morning of August 11th, 2013 from Roosevelt Island
United Enemies by Thomas Schutte began in the 1990s. The sculptures were made in pairs of two-headed 13' pieces bound together but struggling to tear themselves
apart, each supported by three pegs.
Mr. Schutte has described the faces as part
political caricature, the product of a 1992 visit to Rome when he
explained "heads of state and others were being exposed and discredited
and sent to jail. So the caricature and the satire were a reality.” He
explained that the figures were “modeled in isolation but bound in
pairs, emerging in parallel."
In the above picture is the general view of the Manhattan neighborhood of Sutton as it comes to the East River. The abundance of green foliage covering over the urban landscape is notable for what is, after all, a fairly high rent district.
Along the East River in the shadow of the Queensboro Bridge is this:
Behind it is Twenty Four Sycamores Park, but this dog run is right on the river. Passing by it on the FDR, its actually difficult to tell what this facility is. The scupture is reminiscent of a convoluted roller coaster with a fire escape attached to it.
New York City remains one of the few places which really makes an effort to integrate public art in its public spaces. These public sculptures will also typically change over time. Here we have a sculpture in the park adjacent to the Roosevelt Island Tram, called Hosea by Carole Eisner.