Every Seat Tells a Story

January 27, 2008

Central Park, the first public park built in America, attracts over 25 million visitors each year. Within its 843 acres, the Park contains 50 fountains, monuments and sculptures, 36 bridges and arches and more than 9,000 benches.

In 1986, the Central Park Conservancy devised an innovative way to raise the money required to maintain the benches. The program, called Adopt-A-Bench, provides donors with a small touch of immortality via engraved plaques affixed to benches.

The donor selects both the inscription and the bench on which it will be placed, and the Conservancy promises to care for the bench and surrounding plantings for the life of the Park. Most benches can be adopted for $7,500, but hand-made rustic benches in select locations can be adopted for $25,000.

To date about 2,000 benches have been adopted, and their plaques commemorate the joyous, humorous, tragic, puzzling, poignant and mundane moments that occur every day in this great park.

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In Honor of Shirley Turtletaub, Who Just Loves This Park

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A Bench for Book Lovers

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In Loving Memory of Gregory Richards. Dec. 28, 1970 – Sept. 11, 2001

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When There Is No Wind, Row. George Ames Plimpton

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Granny’s Summer Home

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In Loving Memory of Rocky

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In Loving Memory of Nauka Kushitani (2.5.57 – 9.11.01)

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Dick Gilder and Lois Chiles

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M.L. Will You Marry Me?

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In Memory of the Man Who Gave Me New York, My Prince Charming

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For The Rescue Dogs Of 9/11, Loyalty And Duty Beyond Our Comprehension

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“Aren’t We Lucky” – David Halberstam

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In The Stars’ Soft Light We Will Say Good Night

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What A Joy, This Park!

The Central Park Conservancy Adopt-A-Bench program
Adopt-A-Bench application form (pdf)


Doorway on Bleecker Street

January 20, 2008

This doorway is located at 194 Bleecker Street in the heart of old Greenwich Village.

194 Bleecker St (bet. 6th Av and MacDougal)

194 Bleecker St (bet. 6th Av and MacDougal)

NY Songlines: Bleecker Street


Suddenly, I feel very thirsty

January 16, 2008

I was on Manhattan’s Lower East Side when I noticed this building at the corner of Essex and Rivington Streets.

It is painted with enormous advertisements for Red Stripe beer from Jamaica and Schapiro’s Kosher Wine. This neighborhood must be a very tough place for a tea-totaler.

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We protest!

January 11, 2008

The crowd gathered in front of the Federal Courthouse was loud and passionate. They carried signs, chanted and marched on Cadman Plaza in a small circle. Very small. In fact, the police and court officers on the scene almost outnumbered the protesters.

The demonstration took place at lunchtime. Organizers plugged in their sound system, cranked up the speakers and drew spectators from nearby homes and businesses. A group of students said that they’d come over to investigate because the noise had disrupted their classes (“Our school is a few blocks away but we heard it,” they said.).

The marchers seemed committed to their cause, but few of the observers understood what the group was protesting. The signs and speeches made it clear that the demonstration had something to do with Puerto Rico, but not the specific nature of the problem.

When asked what the protest was all about, the observers shrugged their shoulders and confessed that they didn’t have a clue, but they were enjoying the little show in the sunshine. I took a few photos, but didn’t learn the nature of their cause (they want Puerto Rico to be independent of the US) until I found a report online.

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Women making a speech

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The marchers

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Anti-FBI sign

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Protester with tape over his mouth

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Jury resistance campaign

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More marchers

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Protesting the FBI

Newday: Pro-independence Puerto Ricans subpoenaed by NYC grand jury


Hats off, coats open!

January 9, 2008

Last week we shivered and froze, but today New Yorkers are basking in unseasonably warm weather. In fact, this temporary respite from frigid conditions (predictions are for snow within a week) has broken the city’s records for high temperatures in January.

Here are a few images of New Yorkers relaxing under the bare branches and enjoying a brief preview of spring.

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A fine day for skating

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Doing some work on a bench at City Hall Park

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Coats open, riding a scooter down Broadway

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Gossip and lunch al fresco

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Who needs a coat in Zuccotti Park?

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Roller blading on 5th Avenue

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Spring fever strikes along the Brooklyn Promenade

WCBS TV: High Temps Set Records Across NYC
Newsday: Record warmth marks January thaw


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