Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Unmasked Instagram

The two longest-reigning monarchs in modern times: the King of Thailand (1946-2016) and Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain (1953-) dining together in their younger days.
by Duane Hampton

Just after Halloween, appropriately enough, I removed my mask in my first column
for NYSD and acknowledged my role as an undercover Instagram poster (postess?) for NYSD's Instagram site. This second column includes various new posts over the several months since then (November, December and January). Emboldened by losing my mask I have even signed my NYSD Instagram efforts DH, and have posted an assortment of moments and events in the city, and even the world (e.g. the youthful photo of the longest reigning 20th century monarchs dining together: the King of Thailand, who reigned from 1946 to November 2016, and the Queen of England, whose reign began in 1953) that I found significant, beautiful, amusing, and maybe even helpful.

In this latter category is the Heimlich Maneuver post that commemorated the death at 96 of the pioneer physician Henry Heimlich who invented it — I have seen the HM successfully employed, and felt it was a good time to be reminded of it just before all sorts of holiday merry-making.
Also noted in a post was "National Giving Tuesday" on November 29th celebrating two of New York's great philanthropists: Brooke Astor and Annette de la Renta.
On "Giving Tuesday" a salute to two dedicated New Yorkers, extraordinarily giving of their time and intelligence as well as funds. Pictured here in a Horst photo from an article in New York Magazine in 1985, Annette de la Renta and Brooke Astor, who sat on many of the same boards (the Metropolitan Museum, the NY Public Library, Rockefeller University, etc.); Brooke always said she saw Annette as her heir(ess) in the philanthropic sphere.
In November, I reflected the holiday mood taking over the city — in the theater district at Times Square, shop windows around town, the lighted Christmas trees appearing before churches and down the medians of Park Avenue, and one lighted dinosaur in front of the Natural History Museum. The Park Avenue illuminated fir trees appeared in several posts, first just-installed and then in swirling snow.
Pre-theater in Times Square.
Ready for the holidays: one of the windows in a pet shop on Lexington Avenue between 82nd and 83rd.
The Museum of Natural History on Central Park West lights up its dinosaurs for Christmas.
The Christmas trees at Street Ignatius Loyola aglow at Park and 84th.
One of the hundreds of Christmas trees along Park Avenue's medians with snow swirling around them and coating their lighted branches.
Darkness is falling and the lights sparkle more brightly through the snow-laden branches.
My Christmas tree posts ended with a photo of trees from apartments and lobbies gathered on the sidewalk for garbage pick-up and recycling (and a silly sighting of the Grinch that didn't steal Christmas). The Park Avenue trees that have commemorated the fallen from American Wars since they were instituted in 1945 are always turned off (and later mulched for fertilizer) on the third Monday in January.
A definitive Goodbye to Christmas 2016!
In late November when this was taken, I thought that might have been a Grinch trying to steal Christmas — but no, all went well; Christmas happened, and now it's 2017.
The 3rd Monday in January is also Martin Luther King Day, which I saluted in a photo from Kitty Kelley's new book of the view from the podium in Washington, D.C. on the historic day that King gave his "I Have a Dream" speech.
Around-the-town posts in those months included one of the approach to the RFK Bridge on my return to the city after Thanksgiving in Connecticut with my sister, two examples of subway tile-art from the 86th Street subway station, a look inside and out at the art-deco Fuller Building at 57th and Madison Avenue, the installation of the AIDS memorial in Greenwich Village, the startling architecture of the new Via apartment building at 57th Street and the Hudson River, the newly-landmarked 1860 "Wooden House" on East 85th Street (it only took 50 years to landmark!), and some aerial shots of prospective views from the Robert A.M. Stern apartment building under construction at 520 Park between 60th and 61st Streets.
New York City straight ahead; returning home after the Thanksgiving holiday!
Beautiful tile art in the East 86th Street subway station.
The three-story entrance to the 40-story Fuller Building (an earlier 22-story building built in 1902, once called "the Fuller Building" is located at 23rd Street and Madison Square Park and now known as "the Flatiron Building") is topped by architectural sculptures by Ellie Nadelman. The building was designated a NYC Landmark in 1986.
This an example of the intricate bronze elevator doors, marble walls and mosaic floors of the Fuller Building. The Christmas tree in the Foyer of the Fuller Building.
New York City's new AIDS Memorial on the site of the former Street Vincent's Hospital in Greenwich Village was formally dedicated on December 1st.
A view from the Hudson River of Via 57 West, Danish designer Bjarke Ingels's first completed project in NYC. Though it appears to be, it's not really a pyramid, but what the NY Times calls a "hyperbolic paraboloid," likening it to "the sail of a ship." The angled balconies in the stainless steel exterior of the apartment building make hundreds of facets that shimmer in the changing light.
"The Wooden House" at 412 East 85th Street is the newest individual landmark on the Upper East Side. It was built in 1860 and serves as a reminder of an era when Yorkville — as the neighborhood from 79th Street to 96th Street between 3rd Avenue and the East River was long called — was primarily farmland. First put on the Landmarks Commission calendar for designation in 1966, it has taken 50 years to achieve Landmark status! Great credit must be accorded to the owners who have researched, restored and preserved the house over so many years, as well as to the many preservationists who have worked for years to achieve the designation.
This is a simulated view from a high floor of the luxurious 54-story (780 ft.) 520 Park Avenue, a Robert A.M. Stern-designed limestone condominium tower currently under construction between 60th and 61st Streets on Park Avenue (the entrance will be mid-block on 60th Street). The building will have all sorts of up-to-date amenities including a sunken gym and swimming pool, and it offers numerous duplexes crowned by a triplex on the top floors.
In November, I checked out and posted the luxurious iPic theater in the South Street Seaport area which was showing "Fantastic Beasts" to an audience who felt rather fantastic themselves as waiters served them food and drink at their seats! Posted also was the LOT studio's interactive art structure on 23rd Street's Flatiron Plaza (from Nov. 2 to Jan. 2) where viewers might take a hammock and look up through lighted arches at the surrounding landmarked buildings.
The iPic theater on Fulton Street which offers drinks and food delivered, silently mid-movie, to your reclinable seats.
On the Flatiron Public Plaza at East 23rd Street the architects' studio, LOT. The structure was made of colliding arches, studded with LED lights and hung with hammocks. The public was invited to take to a hammock and look up at the landmarked architecture surrounding the busy intersection. Six hammocks were installed within the arches.
Avoiding politics, I posted a photo of Donald Trump's childhood home in Jamaica Estates, Queens as well as a photo from a rehearsal hall at Carnegie Hall across the Carnegie rooftops to the penthouse apartment of newly-appointed Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Another nighttime photo I took from up high was a shot of the Chrysler Building and a corner of Grand Central from the West 43rd Street 5th-floor terrace of the Century Club.
Just sold: Donald Trump's childhood home on Wareham Place in Jamaica Estates, Queens. He told Jimmy Fallon in September on "The Tonight Show" that he wanted to buy it back.
From the Women's March in NYC on January 21st — the crowd marched from the United Nations Plaza to the Trump Tower Building on 5th Avenue.
This photo was taken from a rehearsal room in Carnegie Hall looking north over lower sky-lighted Carnegie floors and across 57th Street at the penthouse apartment of prospective Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and his wife Hilary. They recently purchased an apartment at the River House, and this 14-room penthouse with Christmas trees cheerily twinkling on its terrace at 171 West 57th Street is on the market.
An early evening view looking across the corner of 5th Avenue and 43rd Street at Grand Central Station with the Chrysler Building in the distance. (Photo taken on the 5th floor terrace of the Century Club at 7 W. 43rd Street).
To herald the much-anticipated opening of the 2nd Avenue Subway, I posted a 1941 Billy Collins poem, found in the car of another subway line but equally appropriate, about gratitude for the workers who built it.
In 2017, riders might be lost in the maze of a cell phone or an iPad — but the gratitude holds true.
A sequel to the closing of the Crawford Doyle Bookstore.
I trekked down to The Cherry Lane Theater in a Nor'easter to see a staged reading of "Breathing Under Dust," and posted photos of the author and several actors; and then, on a sunny day, I went to the Winter Antique Show where I posted some of my favorites of the hundreds of displays of art and antiques.
The Cherry Lane Theater on Commerce Street in the West Village was the site of a play reading (Jan 24, 2016) of Michael O'Leary's first play, "Breathing Under Dirt."
Clockwise from top left: Cynthia Watros, the brilliant winner of both Emmy and SAG awards is the lead of "Breathing Under Dirt"; TV, film and stage veteran Tina Sloan expertly portraying Cynthia's mother; Devilish little Lucy, or 'Lucifer,' played by Alana Troxell; The author of "Breathing Under Dirt," Michael O'Leary, convincingly played several roles: Father, Chuck, Man at Bar.
Another January NYC attraction was the Winter Antiques Show at the Armory (between 66th and 67th on Park Avenue). This is a self portrait by Johnathan Adams Bartlett that is part of the collection of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Museum, which was the centerpiece of the show.
This John Singer Sargent is a 1903 oil on canvas portrait of Kate Haven in the Adelson Gallery's booth at the Antiques Show.
Also at the Winter Antiques Show was this glorious 18th century mirror (one of a pair) in the booth of the Ronald Phillips Gallery; and Phillips has several more carved and gilded mirrors (including another pair) of varying sizes.
My last post was a celebration of the Chinese New Year; 2017 is the Year of the Rooster. Happy New Year!