A Fort in Central Park

There was one area of Central Park I have NEVER been to, so on a nice warm autumn afternoon I decided to fix that. This area can be found in the northwest corner of the park and is part of an old fort at the top of the tallest spot in the park. Fort Clinton is part of a network of installations that were used as lookouts during the Revolutionary War as well as the War of 1812. While most of the remaining sections of the buildings are found just south of Harlem Meer, hidden in the trees of the west side of the park is a building called Blockhouse No. 1. While Ft Clinton and Nutter’s Battery are undergoing restoration, Blockhouse is hidden in the North Woods and left to relative obscurity. It took some wandering for me to even find it.

We will start on this dirt path into the woods.

We will start on this dirt path into the woods.

Stumbled on a paved path.

Stumbled on a paved path.

Up a hill and through the trees we come upon it.

Up a hill and through the trees we come upon it.

Tiny staircase to a very small doorway.

Tiny staircase to a very small doorway.

Through the doorway (it's locked).

Through the doorway (it’s locked).

Nature is trying to take the hilltop back.

Nature is trying to take the hilltop back.

The western wall.

The western wall.

Clouds are rolling in.

Clouds are rolling in.

The sun shows off the colors in the wall.

The sun shows off the colors in the wall.

It's right on the edge of the hill.

It’s right on the edge of the hill.

The blockhouse.

The blockhouse.

I wouldn't recommend climbing that ledge.

I wouldn’t recommend climbing that ledge.

The sky makes for a nice image.

The sky makes for a nice image.

Black and white makes it a bit spooky.

Black and white makes it a bit spooky.

Looking up the hill to the fort.

Looking up the hill to the fort.

Next week: Some other autumn images of the area after leaving the fort.

Posted in Architecture, Autumn, Central Park, Hiking, Landscape, nature, NYC, Park | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The High Line is Completed (for the most part)

A few months back (September 21 to be exact) the northern most section of the High Line was opened. This completed the park and let it stretch up to the Jacob Javits Center. This means that the High Line itself stretches from 34th street in the north down to Gansevoort street in the south. I walked over from an audition to check out the newly opened section and entered through the 26th street entrance. It isn’t fully completed, but it’s open and you can get an idea of the possibilities for the area. Unfortunately, it ends on 34th street where there are all of the Megabuses with massive lines and crowds. So that part is a nuisance.

My entrance staircase.

My entrance staircase.

Coming up on the new section.

Coming up on the new section.

The new section begins under a building that has been under construction since the first section opened.

The new section begins under a building that has been under construction since the first section opened.

Looks like there are going to be some stores added into this section.

Looks like there are going to be some stores added into this section.

The old tracks look nice and work as paths.

The old tracks look nice and work as paths.

Lots of the High Line style benches.

Lots of the High Line style benches.

Benches, benches, so many benches.

Benches, benches, so many benches.

Not much protection from the sun here. Also a bridge of sorts.

Not much protection from the sun here. Also a bridge of sorts.

Looks like the start of a garden area.

Looks like the start of a garden area.

I have no idea what this is.

I have no idea what this is.

Another section not done yet (they were actually working on it while I was there).

Another section not done yet (they were actually working on it while I was there).

Looking into the train yard below.

Looking into the train yard below.

This could use some work.

This could use some work.

Either an attractive ruin or an eyesore. Opinions vary.

Either an attractive ruin or an eyesore. Opinions vary.

Wooden benches and very harsh sunlight as we approach the Hudson.

Wooden benches and very harsh sunlight as we approach the Hudson.

Made it to the Hudson and the West Side Hwy.

Made it to the Hudson and the West Side Hwy.

Another interesting wooden bench set up.

Another interesting wooden bench set up.

This section to the west of the train yard had a high fence for some reason, unlike the rest of the extension.

This section to the west of the train yard had a high fence for some reason, unlike the rest of the extension.

Interesting steel work and the Intrepid way off in the distance.

Interesting steel work and the Intrepid way off in the distance.

It's the final curve as we come to the Javits Center.

It’s the final curve as we come to the Javits Center.

And we made it to the end.

And we made it to the end.

A map of the whole line, including various entrances.

A map of the whole line, including various entrances.

Next week: The only place in Central Park I had never been to: Fort Clinton.

Posted in Architecture, garden, Highline, Hudson River, NYC, Park, People | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Climbing the Cathedral of St. John the Divine

I went on a trip to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine to climb it with untapped cities – who have already posted some of my pics, along with others, of the event here. The tour takes about an hour and is slightly claustrophobic as the stair case is a circular staircase that is inside a buttress. So for a larger person, like me, it can be a little tight at times. Also, if you have issues with heights, you may have some trouble on this tour. I had a slight attack on the first stage (which is the longest climb by stairs) but after I got past that, I was fine. My group consisted of people of all ages, so yes, if you feel you can do roughly 12 floors of stairs, then you should give this a try.

This is the door into the stair well.

This is the door into the stairwell.

Up in the Triforium, looking out into the nave.

Up in the Triforium, looking out into the nave (already above the phoenix art piece).

The windows are getting closer.

The windows are getting closer.

Occasionally there are windows in the stairwell.

Occasionally there are windows in the stairwell.

Yes, we are outside walking on the lower portion of a flying buttress.

Yes, we are outside walking on the lower portion of a flying buttress.

Looking up at the buttress and windows.

Looking up at the buttress and windows.

Heavy doors at various stages.

Heavy doors at various stages.

Welcome to the clerestory - you are standing on the portion of a flying buttress that is inside the building.

Welcome to the clerestory – you are standing on the portion of a flying buttress that is inside the building.

Nice and close to the windows now.

Nice and close to the windows now.

Looking down at the triforium.

Looking down at the triforium.

Looking through the pillars and ribbed vaulting to see other windows.

Looking through the pillars and ribbed vaulting to see other windows.

Some ribbed vaulting on the ceiling.

Some ribbed vaulting on the ceiling.

Through the fake windows to a real one.

Through the fake windows to a real one.

We enter the attic - above the clerestory and ribbed vaulting.

We enter the attic – above the clerestory and ribbed vaulting.

Lots of steelwork holding up the roof.

Lots of steelwork holding up the roof.

Light is coming in from the roof.

Light is coming in from the roof.

It kind of looks like a sewer.

It kind of looks like a sewer.

Stay on the path or fall 12 floors. Yikes.

Stay on the path or fall 12 floors. Yikes.

Welcome to the roof.

Welcome to the roof.

Our tour guide shills some bags while demonstrating the various sections of our climb.

Our tour guide shills some bags while demonstrating the various sections of our climb.

Stone gutters.

Stone gutters.

The window that let light into the attic.

The window that let light into the attic.

Looking around the roof level.

Looking around the roof level.

Our view of the Peace Fountain from the roof.

Our view of the Peace Fountain from the roof.

Leaning on the banister for a more centered shot.

Leaning on the banister for a more centered shot.

Back down the spiral staircase we go.

Back down the spiral staircase we go.

Next week: they finished (for the most part) the extension of the Highline. So let’s go take a look.

Posted in Architecture, Art, Artsy, Church, fountain, garden, Hiking, NYC, Park, Peace Fountain, Sculpture, St. John the Divine | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

St John the Divine: A Merging of Two Architectural Styles

Before we begin the climb up the cathedral, I explored the ground floor once again. This time, using the RAW settings. I think I got much better images this way.

The history of the cathedral is very interesting. It can be seen here. Due to the architect dying before finishing, the Western side of the cathedral is done in a gothic style while the eastern end is a more classical style. It is a very sharp contrast when you walk through the nave, both in style and lighting. The building is still unfinished, even more so since the fire in 2001 that destroyed the northern transept. They continue to raise funds in the hopes that the building will eventually be finished.

The Phoenix exhibit kind of dominates the nave.

The Phoenix exhibit kind of dominates the nave.

Natural light down the side of the nave is augmented by hanging lighting.

Natural light down the side of the nave is augmented by hanging lighting.

A closer view of the Phoenix art structure.

A closer view of the Phoenix art structure.

The choral area is a tad messy with discarded chairs from earlier in the day.

The choral area is a tad messy with discarded chairs from earlier in the day.

The altar in the transept with the nave in the background.

The altar in the transept with the nave in the background showing the contrasting line of the architecture.

Looking west along the south aisle of the nave.

Looking west along the south aisle of the nave.

A 9/11 memorial in the nave.

A 9/11 memorial in the nave.

An interesting table.

An interesting table.

Prayer candles and stained glass.

Prayer candles and stained glass.

Each window covers a theme - this one is medicine.

Each window covers a theme – this one is medicine.

This window is either craftsmen or literature.

This window is either craftsmen or literature.

The ambulatory - area behind the altar that wraps around it forming the eastern end of the cathedral.

The ambulatory – area behind the altar that wraps around it forming the eastern end of the cathedral.

Shadows and light: always present in the cathedral.

Shadows and light: always present in the cathedral.

Looking up at the roof of the ambulatory.

Looking up at the roof of the ambulatory.

An archangel statue.

An archangel statue.

More shadow and light.

More shadow and light.

One of several chapels in the ambulatory.

One of several chapels in the ambulatory – in areas called a Chevette.

A chapel and the gate in front of it.

A chapel and the gate in front of it.

The large side chapel on the south side of the ambulatory.

The large side chapel on the south side of the ambulatory.

Apparently this angel angered someone who struck off its nose.

Apparently this angel angered someone who struck off its nose.

Detail of the choral seats.

Detail of the choral seats – wood carving.

The main altar.

The main altar.

Looking down the choir to the nave and rose window.

Looking down the choir to the nave and rose window.

From one end to the other. Note the differences in lighting.

From one end to the other. Note the differences in lighting.

High above the altar.

High above the altar.

More of the transept and brickwork.

More of the transept and brickwork.

Each section of the nave is set up for different aspects of society. Here are the poets/artists.

Each section of the nave is set up for different aspects of society. Here are the poets/artists.

The poet window.

The poet window.

Floor tiles in Poets' Corner.

Floor tiles in Poets’ Corner.

The golden gates of the cathedral - they do open, but it's a rarity.

The golden gates of the cathedral – they do open, but it’s a rarity.

Next week: We climb the Cathedral from the ground floor to the roof.

Posted in Architecture, Art, Artsy, Church, NYC, St. John the Divine | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Return to the Cathedral of St John the Divine

I made a return trip to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine one weekend in order to climb the building. The last time I was there was before I was shooting in RAW format. Exteriors can be seen here. Interiors can be seen here. And one other entry (clearly I have a thing for church architecture). So today we’ll take a look at the grounds and exteriors on a very sunny day. Building up suspense before the actual climb entry, as you do.

There is a shanty town on the side of the smaller church on the side of 110th St. In this shot, someone left a suitcase.

There is a shanty town on the side of the smaller church on the side of 110th St. In this shot, someone left a suitcase.

The facade of the smaller church.

The facade of the smaller church.

The Peace Fountain: just as disturbing in harsh sunlight.

The Peace Fountain: just as disturbing in harsh sunlight.

Religion can be imposing at the right angle.

Religion can be imposing at the right angle.

Monkey on a swing - one of many sculptures around the fountain.

Monkey on a swing – one of many sculptures around the fountain.

Angels behead demons/evil angels.

Angels behead demons/evil angels.

Another monkey sitting around.

Another monkey sitting around.

A hunting dog.

A hunting dog.

Tiny dragon.

Tiny dragon.

A guy riding a dragon.

A guy riding a dragon.

Pan and some sheep. Paganism mixes with catholicism.

Pan and some sheep. Paganism mixes with catholicism.

The sun shines on the angel.

The sun shines on the angel.

Tower through the trees.

Tower through the trees.

Nicely decorated gate.

Nicely decorated gate.

It was a popular wedding photo day outside the cathedral.

It was a popular wedding photo day outside the cathedral.

A shot of the facade from down 112th St.

A shot of the facade from down 112th St.

A nicer image of the Peace Fountain with the Cathedral tower behind it.

A nicer image of the Peace Fountain with the Cathedral tower behind it.

Sun and shadows on the Cathedral.

Sun and shadows on the Cathedral.

One of the lesser known commandments found on the gate to the People's Garden.

One of the lesser known commandments found on the gate to the People’s Garden.

The centerpiece of the garden.

The centerpiece of the garden.

The sunlight was just fantastic when I got to the garden.

The sunlight was just fantastic when I got to the garden.

The garden and the Cathedral.

The garden and the Cathedral.

Light and shadow on the monastery.

Light and shadow on the monastery.

Next week: we build more towards the climb with the interior of the ground floor of the Cathedral.

Posted in Architecture, Art, Church, fountain, garden, Landscape, Monument, NYC, Park, Peace Fountain, St. John the Divine | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Interrupted Walk through the UWS

I started an afternoon walk in the Upper West Side when it was interrupted by an impromptu audition that sent me racing across Central Park to the Guggenheim. I got a few pictures I wanted to take in the area, including the First Baptist Church (but only the exterior as they are not open 24/7 – something I never understand with NYC churches). I was going to go take some shots of the summer sunlight hitting Lincoln Center, but had no time, so I stopped off in Verdi Square and then headed for Central Park. Here are some of the architectural views I saw along the way down Broadway and to the park.

The First Baptist Church stands out through the tree divider.

The First Baptist Church stands out through the tree divider.

The view from the opposite corner.

The view from the opposite corner.

A close up of one of the lanterns.

A close up of one of the lanterns.

An interesting quote above the doorway.

An interesting quote above the doorway.

The side tower of the church.

The side tower of the church.

The side door, which was locked.

The side door, which was locked.

Walking down Broadway in the sunlight.

Walking down Broadway in the sunlight.

A sculpture and some interesting windows.

A sculpture and some interesting windows.

The sunlight was pretty brutal this afternoon.

The sunlight was pretty brutal this afternoon.

The 72nd St subway station in Verdi Park.

The 72nd St subway station in Verdi Park.

Lions on the walls.

Lions on the walls.

A statue of Verdi in the park.

A statue of Verdi in the park.

Someone needs to repaint their staircase.

Someone needs to repaint their staircase.

Sun and shade.

Sun and shade.

Tall towers through the trees.

Tall towers through the trees.

Brickwork and vines on a porch.

Brickwork and vines on a porch.

Fourth Universalist Society Church along Central Park West.

Fourth Universalist Society Church along Central Park West.

Next week: we return to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine to climb the cathedral – first part – the grounds and outside.

Posted in Architecture, Church, NYC, Summer | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Commercial Leads to the LES

I did a commercial in an area of the city I don’t usually go in to: the Lower East Side. It’s been pretty much overrun by Chinatown, but there are still bars and clubs. The area I shot in is Mechanics Alley. I’d never been there before and it was really interesting looking, so I went back the next week with my camera. The morning started out with an audition by Delancey St, and then I headed south from there. Afterwards I just wandered around for a bit enjoying the day. Since it was the middle of the day in the middle of the week, most of these streets were really empty resulting in pictures of places without crowds of people (my own personal preference).

Started my walk up by Delancey St and the Williamsburg Bridge.

Started my walk up by Delancey St and the Williamsburg Bridge.

Empty park.

Empty park.

Interesting church in the projects.

Interesting church in the projects.

There might be a few bridges around this area.

There might be a few bridges around this area.

Interesting architecture on the facades of the buildings still around here.

Interesting architecture on the facades of the buildings still around here.

The Seward Park branch of the NYPL.

The Seward Park branch of the NYPL.

Fun with arches in the architecture.

Fun with arches in the architecture.

The Church of St. Teresa is really tall.

The Church of St. Teresa is really tall.

Made it to the Manhattan Bridge, which overshadows the alley.

Made it to the Manhattan Bridge, which overshadows the alley.

Mechanics Alley in the shadow of the Manhattan Bridge on ramp.

Mechanics Alley in the shadow of the Manhattan Bridge on ramp.

Really interesting graffiti in the alley.

Really interesting graffiti in the alley.

The south end of the alley.

The south end of the alley.

Directly under the bridge.

Directly under the bridge.

Walking through the LES where Chinatown has invaded/spilled over.

Walking through the LES where Chinatown has invaded/spilled over.

Southern Manhattan skyline.

Southern Manhattan skyline.

I had taken this exact image as the sun was setting the week before with my phone. Wanted one on this walk as well.

I had taken this exact image as the sun was setting the week before with my phone. Wanted one on this walk as well.

The courthouse and bikes.

The courthouse and bikes.

The whole complex from across Foley Square.

The whole complex from across Foley Square.

Next week: An interrupted walk on the Upper West Side.

Posted in Architecture, Art, Artsy, Courthouse, Foley Square, fountain, NYC | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment