Big Apple Secrets Digest: January 2014



January 2 2013 was the last year of the Central Park carriage horses.
On December 30, 2013 newly elected  the 109th and current Mayor of New York City de Blasio said at  education press conference:  "We are going to get rid of horse carriages, period “It’s over,” he told reporters in response to an off-topic question.  Read more 
January 5  'Club 21':Richard Nixon, Elizabeth Taylor and Ernest Hemingway dined there.
'21' is one of America’s most famous speakeasies from the Prohibition Era.  Every President since Franklin Delano Roosevelt except for George W. Bush has dined at 21. JFK dined at '21' on the eve of his inauguration. 
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January 8  Wallenberg -the hero of the Holocaust, who save tens of thousands of Jews. On a small triangle   on First  Avenue  across the street from   the United Nations Building in Manhattan, there is a memorial to Swedish Diplomat Raoul Wallenberg who saved the lives of  thousands of Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust.Read more
January 12  Russians on Park Avenue: Vyshinskiy and Khruschev. 
The famous state prosecutor of Joseph Stalin's Moscow trials Vyshinskiy,  who was the Soviet Foreign Minister from 1949 to 1953,  died on November 22, 1954  during breakfast in this building.  Another famous person who lived in 680 Park Ave is Russian  Premier Nikita Khrushchev. Read more
January 15  Miguel Cervantes: Statues in New York and Madrid The  statue of Miguel Cervantes, the famous Spanish writer and painter, stands at the end of a long, narrow courtyard on the campus of New York University, Greenwich village,  in the charming “Willy’s Garden” near the Graduate School of Arts and Science.
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January 2014 Citigroup Center, Part 1. Theater beneath the church and 7- story Atrium. 601 Lexington Avenue (Citigroup Center) is the 4th tallest in the city and 3rd tallest in Midtown. The building has a unique slopped roof and is one of the most recognizable skyscrapers on the New York City skyline. Read more...
January 22 Citigroup Center, Part 2. The disaster that almost happened.
Citigroup Center (601 Lexington Avenue) was built in 1977. The building site is located on the east side of Lexington Avenue between Fifty-third and Fifty-fourth Streets shared the block with St. Peter's Lutheran Church. The problem with the construction was found in June 1977 at the beginning of hurricane season.

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January 24 Swan Bay. Kill the plan not swans!
 In December 2013  New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) accepted a  management  plan  for mute swans in New York State. The plan calls for the department to kill swans, destroy their nests, coat eggs with oil or pierce them to prevent hatching, and sterilize birds by chemical or surgical means.
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January 26, 2014 Scandalous Armory Show of 1913 - art that shocked America. Part 1.
101 years ago "The Armory Art Show" shocked Americans. That show introduced American audiences to Cubism and other avant-garde forms of European art. The three-city exhibition started in New York City's 69th Regiment Armory, on Lexington Avenue between 25th and 26th Streets, from February 17 until March 15, 1913.

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Scandalous Armory Show of 1913 -  art that shocked America. Part 2.
The new art, welcomed by the Armory Show, was considered a negation of the basic values of academic art. Roosevelt  said about the show :  “Take the picture which for some reason is called “A naked man going down stairs.” There is in my bath-room a really good Navajo rug which, on any proper interpretation of the Read more...