9 Days in New York City ….. Winter 2011

This city is powered by dreams … wide-awake dreams that don't vanish with the dawn, but stay vibrant all day and night.
Richard Goodman – A New York Memoir

Reflecting Absence


The 9/11 Memorial ... A Sacred Place

It is impossible to stand here and touch those laser etched names
And not feel the loss …
Of lives not completed,
Of lives never lived at all
The Twin Tower footprints marked by cascading waterfalls,
Reflection Pools bordered by 3,000 names …
The voids represent loss and sadness
The plaza … the Earth
The forest of white oaks … life
The veils of water shower the names with grace

The Callery Pear Tree … the “Survivor Tree” …. sustained extensive damage in the collapse of 2001, but was freed from the smouldering rubble – blackened and lifeless. It symbolises the Resilience of those who lost loved ones. New buds formed for the first time in the warm winter of 2011 and offer hope for the future


Sacrifice & Courage

343 New York City Fire Fighters died on 9/11 …..

Sky of blackness and sorrow
Sky of love, sky of tears
Sky of glory and sadness
Sky of mercy, sky of fear
Sky of memory and shadow
Sky of longing and emptiness
Sky of fullness
Sky of blessed life

Bruce Springsteen – The Rising

The Koenig Sphere … Once stood in Austin Tobin Plaza between the North and South Towers.
After recovery from the rubble it was temporarily relocated to Battery Park as a memorial to those lost.



Tiles for America ….
Thousands of tiles, reflecting patriotism, heroes,
Courage and unity
At the corner of 7th Avenue and 11th Street
The artists are children, schools, families
Churches, Scouts and groups from all over the world
Each tile represents the artist's thoughts
On sadness and hope in the face of tragedy
And the resilience of the American people


Central Park

I couldn't live in New York City if Central Park weren't here. Central Park is a peaceful oasis in a desert of craziness. When the pressure of city life begins to get to me …I visit Central Park and have my soul restored

NYC Resident

Go into Central Park …You don't have people living in the Park, You don't have business and industry. You don't have hospitals

… It's serene


I really believe I was happier when I slept on a park bench in Central Park than during all the years of the “Perfect Lover” stuff

Rudolph Valentino


Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky ….

John Lennon

The Wisteria Pergola was designed by Olmsted and Vaux to provide shade to the Concert Ground. It remains a cool refuge from summer sun, it's gnarled vines woven over the years into a lattice-work roof, and the springtime lavender wisteria providing aromatic pale blossoms.


The Streets of New York

In New York … Concrete jungle where dreams are made

There's nothing you can't do – Now you're in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you

Jay-ze … Empire State of Mind



You remember those first few weeks after you arrived … How scared you were
You walked out of the Port Authority Bus Terminal
Smack into a mass of the most furious tidal wave of humanity you'd ever seen
And not one eye caught yours ….
The immensity of the place made you cower like a six year old

Richard Goodman – A New York Memoir



Neon heart, day glow eyes

A city lit by fireflies

Bono, U2 – City of Blinding Lights


Autumn in New York

Glittering crowds and shimmering clouds
In canyons of steel
They're making me feel I'm home
It's Autumn in New York
It's good to live it again

Frank Sinatra – Autumn in New York


I swung onto my old guitar

Grabbed hold of a subway car
And after a rocking, reeling rolling ride
I landed up on the downtown side
Greenwich Village

Bob Dylan – Talking New York
A heart in New York
A rose on the street
I write my song to that city heartbeat
A heart in New York, love in her eye
An open door at a friend for the night

Simon & Garfunkel

St Patrick's Cathedral

The story of New York's great cathedral mirrors the story of the city itself. Created to affirm the ascendancy of religious freedom and tolerance, St Patrick's Cathedral was built in the democratic spirit, paid for not only by the contributions of thousands of poor immigrants, but also by the largesse of 103 prominent citizens who pledged $1,000 each. St Patrick's Cathedral proves the maxim that no generation builds a cathedral. It is rather, a kind of ongoing conversation linking past, present and future.
For a few months, the Chrysler Building was the tallest building in the world, until surpassed by the Empire State Building

Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp” … cries she with silent lips

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door”

Emma Lazarus – The New Colossus

“How high can you make it so it won't fall down?” …. John Jacob Raskob, Empire's builder asked it's architect William Lamb, as the story goes. This would have been around the peak of the Stock Market in the late 1920's when everything must have seemed possible. Construction began just after the 1929 crash, which counter-intuitively aided it's construction. The lucky-to-be-employed workforce efficiently built it in a little more than a year (at times a floor a day) … With steel girders still hot from Pennsylvania mills, riveted together 15 to 20 hours after they were forged.
Trinity Church – Wall Street
The Dakota
A world of its own

The streets where we played,

The friends on every corner were the best we ever made.
The back yards, and the school yards
And the trees that watched us grow,
The days of love when dinner time was all you had to know
Whenever I think of yesterday
I close my eyes and see
That place just over the Brooklyn Bridge
That will always be home to me

Art Garfunkel – Just Over the Brooklyn Bridge

The FlatIron Building is an icon of New York City. It was designated a New York City Landmark in 1966, and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989. In January 2009, an Italian real estate investment firm bought a majority stake in the Flatiron Building with plans to turn it into a world class luxury hotel.
Completed in 1913, the 25 storey Municipal Building is surmounted by a central “wedding cake” tower of spires, colonnades, obelisks and the sculpture “Civic Fame” by Adolph A Weinman.

Soaring above the city at 1,776 feet, One World Trade Centre will be America's tallest building – and an indelible New York City landmark. The 2.6 million sq ft building will include office space, an observation deck, world-class restaurants and broadcast facilities. 1WTC will incorporate advanced life-safety systems… From structural redundancy, to dense fire-proofing, to bio-chemical filters, it will create a new standard for high rise buildings. Extra wide pressurized stairs, multiple backups on emergency lighting, and concrete protection for all sprinklers will ensure optimal firefighter access. Exits are designed to ensure easy evacuation, and all safety systems are encased in the core wall, with the enhanced elevators.
There never was a Woolworths store in this building … It was much too high class for that. But this was the symbol of the Woolworth company and it was designed in that traditional New York style, using traditional architecture – in this case Gothic, on the facade. The entire facade is clad in terra-cotta. It is blocks of moulded clay hung on a steel frame. Most is glazed white, to make it look like white limestone.


It comes down to reality
And it's fine with me 'cause I've let it slide
Don't care if it's Chinatown or on Riverside
I don't have any reasons
I've left them all behind
I'm in a New York state of mind
Billy Joel


3 thoughts on “9 Days in New York City ….. Winter 2011

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