I Spy: how well do you know Manhattan?

According to the CE’s calculations, with all of our sojourns strung together, we’ve spent almost two of the last fifteen years here in the city. But I still can’t shake off the tourist glow; I snap photos everyplace I go. There is a collective sense of discovery in the city, always something new or treasured to see. Some moments amuse, some shock, and some uplift the soul. (Well, at least when it’s not winter and snowing/sleeting/pelting rain!)

Here are some of my favorites from this visit. Let’s play “I Spy”:

We’ll start with easy peasy:

Columbus Circle fountains night july 2017

Got that one? There’s nothing like walking through Columbus Circle on a hot summer night, cooling off with the mist spray from the fountains. Did you know they were designed by the same firm that created the fountains at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas?

In case you missed that one, let’s go even easier:


I walk past the Atlas statue at Rockefeller Center several times a week, but I still can’t help snapping his photo every now and then. “Don’t shrug! Don’t shrug!” I whisper to him as I pass by. He is now widely associated with Ayn Rand’s novel, but when the Art Deco statue was erected in 1937, there were complaints that he looked too much like Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.

How about this one for you Midtown denizens:


Can’t quite place it? It’s detail of a ceramic pillar at New York City Center, the neo-Moorish building that once served as headquarters for the Shriners and now serves up spirited theatre revivals.

Sometimes the devil is in the details:


You know you’ve seen it, but it’s tougher out of context. It’s a ceiling detail in the Main Concourse at Grand Central Terminal. Taken from a seat along the rail at Cipriani Dolce, which is a lovely place to have lunch and soak up the hum of humanity – 750,000 people pass through Grand Central on an average day; that jumps to a million during the holidays!

Here’s one you’ll recognize:


You probably know the Petrie Sculpture Court at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but did you know that the brick wall was the original front entrance to the Museum? According to the Met web site, “It opened onto Central Park with a curved driveway so that visitors could pull right up to the door…in their horse-drawn carriages!”

Let’s go downtown:


If you got this one, you know your Soho: 38 MacDougal Street is the cheery home of Hundred Acres restaurant, where we had a fine dinner the other night.  Jackson Pollock once lived nearby and just up the street at Nos.130-132 is Louisa May Alcott’s former home.

Last one:


Okay, the answer to this one could be “ubiquitous”. The squirrels are everywhere in this city, but nowhere are they more forward and brazen than along Central Park South (although Madison Square Park probably runs a close second…) This guy was putting on quite a show – luckily, he works – literally – for peanuts.

Love this city!



About polloplayer

Empty nester searching for meaning of life through the occasional chicken epiphany.
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1 Response to I Spy: how well do you know Manhattan?

  1. dizzyguy says:

    All of these small architectural details contribute to the richness of one’s experience in this, or any other city. My, that sounds rather pretentious but I think its true anyway. So I will continue to enjoy my own walkabouts and pay homage to all of those little things that make me happy, including Mr. squirrel and his tribe.

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