Tortoise Strolls

Archive for the ‘Attractions’ Category

New Amsterdam Market

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The New Amsterdam Market was founded by Robert LaValva in 2005 and takes place every Sunday from 11-4pm. Its location, just north of the South Street Seaport, is a familiar place for haggling produce as far back as the 1640’s when markets began to spring up along the Ferry landing at Peck Slip.

Right next door to the New Amsterdam Market sits an old icon of a building that once housed the Fulton Fish Market, (which you can see in my second photo). The fish operation moved to Hunts Point in the Bronx as of 2005 and for 7 years nothing has been done with this crumbling building. No one comes down at the crack of dawn to buy fish here anymore. The area’s residents probably don’t miss the smells but a crumbling empty building with no purpose is a waste and an eyesore.  Robert LaValva’s bright idea would be to move his once a week New Amsterdam Market (which currently takes place outside in the parking area) into this enclosed space. Of course there’s red tape but I think it’s a great idea and I wish him luck. Through the New Amsterdam Market, many emerging businesses get to have their fledgling opportunities. Some of the vendors sell handcrafted, vintage inspired bicycles, artisanal jams, kimchi and wines grown on the North Fork of Long Island. There’s plenty of cheeses, meats and heirloom fruits and vegetables. There’s even some yummy sandwiches that pair up well with a walk along the East River. The New Amsterdam Market has great views of the Brooklyn Bridge so grab a treat from the market and head over for a stroll or cycle.

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Written by agnesbstanton

October 3, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Hudson River Park Pier 25 Playground

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Splashy, Splashy!! Oh boy what fun my son had at this fairly new playground on Pier 25. It’s part of the 550 acres that make up Hudson River Park which extends from Battery Park Place all the way up to West 59th Street. Along with the “Imagination Playground” at South Street Seaport, this ranks as one of the most modern play-areas in Manhattan! There aren’t many tall trees around so do bring the hats and sun-block and don’t forget a change of clothing for the little ones. They will definitely get wet as a good third of the area is dedicated to water activities. Don’t let your child fool you into standing under the dripping water bucket. You’ll be drenched before you know as it unexpectedly dumps all of its contents once a minute. In other words, you’ll get a whole bucket load of water on top of your head.

There’s a climbing wall as well as one of the best dome climbing nets I’ve ever seen. I feel like I’m on an island when I’m here, especially when the water sparkles and boats pass on by on the Hudson. Sunsets are my favorite time to come visit.

Written by agnesbstanton

June 17, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Posted in Attractions, Tribeca

Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument (89th Street and Riverside Drive)

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I lived on the Upper West Side for a short time only, nevertheless I feel privileged to have had that experience which opened up the doors for my appreciation of Riverside Park. It’s quit unique, hardly a tourist in sight, and there’s a very European feel to it. The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument I would pass many times as I descended the ramp towards the Hudson River and made my way to the 96th Street tennis courts. I was never any good at the game but managed to find a partner here and there. What I loved best, and still remember, is playing in the evenings when the sun was setting on the Hudson a few feet away.  The water would sparkle and there would be a warm hue to it all. The perfect atmosphere for pondering the day’s events in between an ace. Of course it was always my partner who would get those aces:)

Designated a landmark in 2001, The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument commemorates the Union Army soldiers and sailors who served in the American Civil War. The Interior gets opened once a year for OpenHouseNewYork which takes place in October. The Monument is also home to the Hudson Warehouse, a not-for-profit theatre company. It’s akin to “Shakespeare in the Park” but on a smaller scale. This year’s lineup will be: “A Comedy of Errors” taking place in June. “The Rover” by Aphra Behn in July, and concluding the summer season will be “Richard III”.  Throughout the summer, don’t be surprised to see young lads and lasses practicing their lines in full Renaissance costumes. I’ve jogged past many of them thinking that they’re getting a better sweat than I.

Written by agnesbstanton

April 25, 2012 at 10:36 pm

433 Broome St. “Harney & Sons”

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I was walking around Soho and found this jewel of a tea shop on Broome off of Broadway.  Located in an old loft building, the decor was hip, almost too sleek for a place selling just tea.  I immediately had a flashback to a tea shop I used to visit constantly when I was in college called “Symphathy for the kettle” on 109 St. Mark’s Place. It was my all-time favorite place to order a pot of tea and cram for finals. You could stay for hours nursing a single pot. Unfortunately it closed down a little while ago and I sure do miss it. I’m rarely in the East Village anymore, but when I do make it downtown, I feel I need to find something to take its place. The only similarity between the two tea shops are the tin cans that are used to store the loose teas. Sympathy for the Kettle was just such an intimate unique place, a little dingy, like an old pair of jeans with holes in all the right places. I worry I’ll never find another like it 😦  In the mean time, Harney & Sons sells very reasonably priced teas and has a little cafe in the back, perfect for trying out some exotic flavors before you commit to buying. I suppose this will be my new favorite tea shop, unless Sympathy for the Kettle decides to reopen.

Written by agnesbstanton

May 11, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Posted in Attractions, Soho

421 E. 61 St. “Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden”

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Up a few steps away from the sidewalk, one of New York’s little jewels lies hidden. It is one of the oldest buildings in the city having been built in 1799 as a carriage house  for Col. William Stephan Smith and his wife Abigail Adams Smith, the daughter of President John Adams. The name Mount Vernon was chosen to commemorate President George Washington’s residence in Virginia also known as Mount Vernon. Just as George Washington’s home overlooked the Potomac River, its New York City counterpart had easy access to the East River. In fact its location was once a country retreat when most of the city’s inhabitants lived below 14th Street and normally did not venture so far uptown unless they were searching for rest and relaxation. Between 1826-1833 this Hotel operated as the Mount Vernon Hotel where visitors would come to enjoy such fascinating past times as swimming in the East River.

After a short span as a hotel, this carriage house was purchased and used as a private residence until 1905 when the Standard Gas Light Company (present day Con Edison) purchased it. After spending a few odd years as an antiques shop, it was purchased by the Colonial Dames of America who undertook a serious renovation. As the New York World’s Fair came to town in 1939 , this carriage house was renamed and opened as a museum called “The Abigail Smith Adams House“.  It became a Historic Landmark in 1967 and in the year 2000 it was renamed “The Mount Vernon House Museum & Garden“.  In a city built around skyscrapers this low-rise structure has a fantastic view. The 59th St. Bridge, recently renamed the “Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge” fills the panorama just across the street.

Written by agnesbstanton

March 30, 2011 at 1:26 pm

100 United Nations Plaza

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A bit of a run-in for this witch!

Written by agnesbstanton

October 27, 2010 at 10:18 am

161 E. 70th St.

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Watch out for all the goals and goblins, witches and ghosts.

Written by agnesbstanton

October 27, 2010 at 8:56 am