Dorilton:1904 coop on UWS with a charger for electric automobiles.

Dorilton apartment house is located at the northeast corner of 71st and Broadway. At the beginning of the 20th century  The Dorilton was bult as a   unique hybrid Second French Empire and Beaux-Arts co-op.
In 1899 real estate developer Hamilton M. Weed bought this  lot  for $275,000. It was a very good investment -the proposed Elevates Line was   completed in 1904 and the prices went up.
Completed in 1902 at a cost of $750,000, the building had separate servant and passenger elevators filtered water, separate tenant storerooms and a provision for charging electric automobiles.  The   amenities included : filtered water, free electricity,   soundproof walls and windows, and long-distance telephone service and refrigerators in every apartment. The one- to four-bedroom apartments, four to a floor were  renting for $100 to $300 a month. It was really a luxury building at that time, in 1904! With its curvy mansard roof and enormous arched entryway, it caught the eye of architectural critics. 

After the  World War II the  neighborhood declined and so did the Dorilton. The pieces of the cornices and other details  started falling off. The building was    landmarked in 1974-   the Landmarks Preservation Committee  described  it as evoking “memories of Paris” and ''exceptionally handsome.''
The building was converted into a co-op in 1984 and since 1985 work has been going on to restore it, especially the roof area.
Now the coop is fully renovated  and returned  to its glory. Now the Dorilton  is a  true old New York City style, there is a 24-hour doorman,  a private roof terrace and courtyard. Almost all apartments at The Dorilton have fireplaces and balconies.  There are now 57 units on 13 floors. A six-bedroom unit in the building is currently in contract for $9.2 million. 


Cool Globes near Battery Park City

Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet is a public art project dedicated to increasing awareness of global warming. This eco-initiative was  created by well-known Chicago environmentalist Wendy Abrams.

In 2006, Chicago and world artists were asked to submit designs for solutions to global warming.

Each globe was to be sponsored by an individual, company or organization. Completed globes were mounted along different places in Chicago.
Cool Globes has visited more than a dozen cities around the world. In 2009, Cool Globes began its International tour in Copenhagen., In 2011 there were more than 50 globes installed in Amsterdam,   in 2012  Globes  visited Vancouver. Two years ago Globes were in Jerusalem and this fall the exhibition landed in New York at Pier A in Battery Park City.

On September 23 governor Cuomo announced the installation of the “Cool Globes” exhibit, which will run through November 20. The public art exhibition aims to raise awareness of and inspire exhibit viewers to take actions on climate change.

There are twelve  globes installed, each is  five feet in diameter,  each with a message on a base on how both the public and businesses can help reduce and mitigate climate change every day through actions such as increasing energy efficiency in homes and businesses, purchasing products made with 100-percent post-consumer material, increasing recycling and greening urban landscapes.

‎“As we continue to face some of the most severe weather events in our history, we must reduce, mitigate and adapt to the effects of this new normal," Governor Cuomo said. ‎"I encourage New Yorkers to visit this exhibition and learn more about what you can do to help combat climate change.”

Boating on the lake in Central Park

There are two large lakes in Central Park. The largest one  Jacquelyn Kennedy reservoir ( I wrote about it in one of my posts)  and the next one is  just  "the Lake". Located on the East Side of the Park between 74th and 75th Streets, boating on the Lake   has been a favorite since the park opened more than 150 years ago.
Boats have been at the core of Central Park’s vitality since the 1860s.  Before any boathouse was even imagined, six rustic landings originally dotted the water's edge.  

A number of kiosks functioned as ticket booths where visitors could hire rowboats, gondolas and even multi-seat call boats. By 1869, over 250,000 boaters had the pleasure of paddling around Central Park each year.
 A series of rustic shacks and landings were built on the lake. In 1865, there were six of these shacks total.

In 1874, Calvert Vaux, one of the original architects of the park, personally took on the $2,360 project - about $45,000 in contemporary currency - of building a two-story schooner-garage.
In 1924, Vaux's boathouse was replaced by a rustic, wooden structure that  by the 1950s was in need of repair. Philanthropist Carl M. Loeb and his wife Adeline generously donated $305,000 to help create The Loeb Boathouse that stands today.

Loebs—along with   the Guggenheims, the Lehmans and others—represent a generation of banking families whose firms helped finance the growth of corporate America in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Carl Loeb founded the investment bank Carl M. Loeb & Co. with his sons in 1931, having left Germany nearly 40 years earlier to work in the U.S. metal industry.

Today at the New York Boathouse visitors can enjoy a meal in any season, with overhead heating helping to extend as long as possible the pleasure of dining on the deck overlooking the Lake.  Because the Loeb Boathouse is so incredibly picturesque, it has,   been featured countless times in various movie and television productions. 

One of the  episodes of Sex and the City   shot at The Boathouse Restaurant.   When Big sees Carrie standing on the small dock outside the restaurant, he leans in to kiss her and as she tries to back away from him, they both fall into the pond and start cracking up hysterically.  The Boathouse is also the spot where Sally lunched with her friends, one of whom was Carrie Fisher, at the beginning of the 1989 romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally. 

 In the more recent 27 Dresses, the Boathouse figures prominently as the place where Katherine Heigl’s character’s parents were married. The final  scene  from one of the most romantic movies "Autumn in New York" was shot on this lake. 

Boating  in the park  is very affordable-   $15 for an hour (up to 4 people per boat).  Row boats can be rented at the Loeb Boathouse daily, 10:00 am to 5:30 pm,  April through 1 of November
Rowing boats is super romantic as well! Take your significant other rowing and I promise you'll both enjoy it!

Jan Karski bench and Polish artist Olek

Jan Karski was a Polish World War II resistance movement fighter and later a university professor in  Georgetown university.  You can find more about Karski in my previous post.  A statue honoring his  memory   was  unveiled in Georgetown university, Washington D.C.  in 2002.  In New York the copy of the same statue  was unveiled in 2007  in front of the Polish Consulate in Manhattan. You can read about  Polish Consulate, former Joseph Raphael De Lamar House in my blog.

This summer Polish artist Olek crocheted  the Jan Karski statue  at the Polish Consulate in New York.  The project was intended to honor the memory of the Polish hero on the fifteenth anniversary of his death. Olek is known for dressing the iconic Charging Bull of Wall Street and ‘yarn bombing’ everything from the Cube in Astor Place to a locomotive in Łódź to a minotaur in Switzerland.

  She said : “The broad appeal of my work invariably sparks second thought, even awe, by being accessible and playful. I accepted the invitation from the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York to transform the “Jan Karski bench” because I felt that Mr. Karski’s life and accomplishments should be revisited. By dressing this important piece of public art in a new skin, which was crocheted on location, I hope to spark people’s curiosity as to who the “crocheted” man was, and highlight the heroic actions of this great Pole who risked his life to, among other things, tell the world about the atrocities of World War II. I am honored to be part of this large-scale promotion of Jan Karski, a man whose actions and achievements should never be forgotten.”

Albert Einstein, Washington D.C.
In July 2012  Olek covered the National Academy of Science’s Albert Einstein Memorial (Washington D.C.)  in pink and purple crocheted fabric. Olek says  that Einstein, for her, was an easy choice since he was such a creative thinker himself. “I thought he might have a sense of humor about it,” she says. DC didn’t—Olek’s work was removed within hours.

Charging Bull , NY
At this point, Olek has assistants in New York and Poland whom she has trained and who help her “with crocheting different patterns” for her monumental works, most recently:  the large traditional Hawaiian canoe, the women’s shelter in New Delhi (for which she also hired local women), and the Jan Karski statue and bench in front of the Polish General Consulate in New York.
Monument in Santiago
Earlier this year during the  Festival in Santiago, Chile,  Olek  covered  obelisk at the center of Plaza Baquedano  in a rainbow colored crocheted design to highlight the issue of equality.

This  year  she’s going to begin “a huge public project, involving the community and talking about environmental issues and recycling” with the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art.

John Lennon, Melissa and world’s largest cupcake mosaic.

John Winston Lennon was born 75 years ago,  on October 9, 1940, in Liverpool, England. Lennon and his wife Ono moved to the U.S. in September 1971. Lennon   lived in New York last seven  years of his life on the Upper West Side in Dakota building at the corner of West 72.  The Lennons bought several of the apartments in the Dakota. John Lennon was shot in front of the main entrance on December 8th 1980, when he was returning from a recording session for his last album "Double Fantasy" accompanied by Yoko. Yoko still has her New York residence on the top floor of the building. Here apartment  overlooks Central Park across the street and the special section dedicated to her husband, Strawberry Fields. You can read about Dakota in one of my posts.

Several days ago, on October 6,   Yoko Ono led an attempt to create the largest-ever human peace sign  in  Central Park’s East Meadow in commemoration of  John Lennon’s 75th birthday. Ono was hoping to gather between 6,000 and 10,000 people, with 5,000 attendees needed to break the world record.  However, a representative from the Guinness World Records told CBS News that only 2,000 individuals attended, meaning that Ono fell well short of the record number.

Another attempt to break  the  world record done on the same day was more successful.
In honor of John Lennon’s 75th birthday, Baked by Melissa partnered with Yoko Ono and the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus  created the world’s largest cupcake art mosaic in front of the iconic Bethesda Fountain in Central Park .  You can read about fountain in one of my posts.   A record-breaking 40,000 cupcakes were used in the creation of the mosaic.

Melissa Ben-Ishay said, "Coming together to build a giant 40,000 cupcake tie-dye peace sign, in honor of John Lennon's birthday made this one of Baked by Melissa's most magical days yet."
 I was not there  at the East Meadow, but   I was lucky to make some pictures of the team working at the mosaic .
Melissa  Ben-Ishay ( now 31)  started her business  in 2008. In  her interview done in 2009 she said: "I  got fired from my job at Deutsch Inc. I hated my job as assistant media planner. I tried to love it but I couldn't. When I got fired I felt that it was unjust. I thought it was because my boss just didn't like me. Now I don't really care what the reason was, I'm just happy it happened."

 World Street Journal wrote about Melissa:
"Within a week, and with some help from her brother, she had a new job: president and chief product officer of Baked by Melissa, her own cupcake business.  Seven years later, Ms. Ben-Ishay’s one-woman show has transformed into a small empire. With nearly 300 employees and 12 locations in the greater New York area, Baked by Melissa is now a multimillion-dollar company within a market that has seen slipping sales and store closures as the nation’s cupcake fad begins to dwindle.

I tried Melissa cupcakes several times  -they were  really yammy! My favorite is the  red velvet.

 The cupcake display in Central park measured in at over 25 x 25 feet.  Measurements were taken by independent professionals and will be submitted to the Guinness Book of World Records. The record is currently held at 30,400 cupcakes.

Columbus day

2015 Parade
Christopher Columbus never set foot in the land that would become the United States of America. In fact, he never even saw it.   On 3 August 1492, Columbus had set sail on his flagship   Santa María. There were two other ships with him,  the Pinta and the Niña.     Columbus intended to chart a western sea route to China, India and the fabled gold and spice islands of Asia.  Instead exactly 10 weeks later, on 12 October, he landed on “San Salvador” — a still unidentified island in the Bahamas. By October he was in Cuba, and on 6 December he had landed on the island of Haiti, which he renamed La Spañola (Hispaniola).
Columbus Circle, New York
The first recorded ceremony commemorating Columbus in America occurred in 1792, 300 years after his famous first voyage in 1492. To honor Columbus, a ceremony was held in New York, and a monument was dedicated to him in Baltimore, Maryland.

  Taking pride in Columbus’ birthplace and faith, Italian and Catholic communities in various parts of the country began organizing annual religious ceremonies and parades in his honor.
 In 1892, President Benjamin Harrison issued a proclamation encouraging Americans to mark the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ voyage with patriotic festivities, writing, “On that day let the people, so far as possible, cease from toil and devote themselves to such exercises as may best express honor to the discoverer and their appreciation of the great achievements of the four completed centuries of American life.”
2015 Parade

Colorado became the first state to observe an official Columbus Day in 1905. The Knights of Columbus,  the world's largest Catholic fraternal service organization with more  than  1.8 million members had been intensively lobbying  the idea of the observation of the Columbus day, and in  1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed Columbus Day a national holiday.  Before  1971  it was observed October 12.  Later on it was   fixed to the second Monday in October.  Hawaii, Alaska, Oregon, and South Dakota   do not recognize Columbus Day at all.
2015 Parade
In Spain, Columbus Day, the Fiesta Nacional   or El Día de la Hispanidad is celebrated as a national holiday.  In  1981, a royal decree established Día de la Hispanidad as a national holiday. In    1987, the name was changed to Fiesta Nacional, and October 12 became one of two national celebrations, along with Constitution Day on December. This day is also seen as Spain’s Day of the Armed Forces, which is celebrated with a military parade in Madrid each year.
In Italy Columbus Day (Giornata nazionale di Cristoforo Colombo) has been officially celebrated since 2004.   
2015 Parade

Before the Columbus Day Parade  in New York became an institution in 1929, Columbus Circle was the site of an annual wreath laying that commemorated Christopher Columbus’s historic voyage.
In  Brooklyn the Federation of Italian American Organizations honored  its Italian heritage during  Annual Columbus Day Parade that  stretched along 18th Avenue-Cristoforo Colombo Boulevard from 61st Street to 84th Street.

Grand Marshal 2015
  In Manhattan  this year the parade   was led  by Grand Marshal Alberto Cribiore, vice chairman of Citi Institutional Clients Group.
In  1987  Rudolph Giuliani was Grand Marshal, in   1984 - Sophia Loren, in 1980 - Luciano Pavarotti and in 1979 - Frank Sinatra. 

Gov. Cuomo. Parade 2014

Mayor De Blasio.
Parade 2015
The Parade  marched up Fifth Avenue from 44th to 72nd Street.  There were around million spectators and 35,000 marchers.  Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio took part in the festivities. 

A troop of classic and contemporary  Maserati sports and luxury cars  lead  Columbus Day Parade. This year  Maserati cars  are the official mode of transportation along the Parade route.

Il Volo trio, that won  Sanremo Music Festival in 2015   and was the third in Eurovision Song Contest 2015 in Vienna  took part in the 71st Columbus Day Parade in New York City, along the Fifth Avenue. The guys were driven along the way on a Maserati Car. 
Il Volo. Parade 2015

Grand Master Masons and Grand Treasurer 

The statue of Jan Karski, the legendary Polish courier

The statue of Jan Karski, the legendary Polish courier, sits  in front of the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York. The corner of 37th Street and Madison Avenue is called "Jan Karski Corner".   Consulate  occupies Joseph De Lamar’s ebullient Parisian palace of 1905- you can read the  story of this mansion in my previous post.

Robert Kostro, Director of Polish History Museum said:  "Jan Karski's story is timeless and universal as it shows how to behave when one is confronted with evil. His life is proof positive of what to do in face of impossible challenges such as violence, totalitarianism and hatred".
Jan Karski was born Jan Kozielewski to a Catholic family on April 24, 1914 in Lodz, Poland.  He grew up in a multi-cultural neighborhood where the majority of the population was then Jewish. He completed his diplomatic education between 1935 and 1938 and on 1 January 1939   started work in the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He  spoke many languages and had a photographic memory.

In 1939, when Germany and the Soviet Union invaded Poland at the start of World War II, Karski( he was only 25)  was taken prisoner by the Red Army and sent to a Russian camp. He escaped and returned to German-occupied Poland where he joined the anti-Nazi resistance serving as a courier between the Polish government-in-exile in London and the resistance organization in Poland. 
 As a courier, he traveled through German lines to Paris to meet with the Polish exile government. He was caught by the Gestapo during his second mission and tortured to the point of attempting suicide. Rescued by the resistance, he spent months recuperating.

Preparing for his third mission in 1942,  Karski toured Poland at the request of Jewish resistance leaders and was a horrified witness to brutality and mass starvation inside the Warsaw ghetto and the early death camps.  Karski traveled through Germany, France and Spain to London, where he delivered his report and microfilm evidence to Polish and British leaders before crossing the Atlantic in 1943 to do the same in the U.S.
In 1943  Karski   met with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter and relayed to him in detail the horrors of the Holocaust.   "I do not believe you,"   responded Felix.  "Felix! What are you talking about?" interrupted Jan Ciechanowski, Poland’s ambassador to the United States, who was present at the meeting. "He is not lying!"   Frankfurter, a Jew himself, said: "I did not say that he is lying; I said that I don’t believe him," as if refusing to face the horrible reality.

Western leaders largely ignored Karski. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill claimed he had no time to meet with the Polish emissary. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt met with the  Karski in 1943, assured his support for Karski’s people, but made no mention of the destruction of the Jews.   "When I left, the President was still smiling and fresh.
 I felt fatigued," Karski later wrote of his meeting with the U.S. president.
Karski drew from his experience a profound lesson: “I learned that people in power are more than able to disregard their individual conscience if they come to the conclusion that it stands in the way of what they see as their official duty.” In 1944    Karski wrote a book on the Polish Underground  "Story of a Secret State: My Report to the World"  with a long chapter on the Jewish Holocaust in Poland. The book quickly became a bestseller. Bill Clinton, Karski’s student at Georgetown, later said that "all freedom-seeking people around the world should know Karski’s story."  

Karski became an American citizen and earned a doctorate from Georgetown University, where he had a long and distinguished career as a professor of international affairs. In 1982, he was honored as one of the Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem, Israel’s memorial to Jewish victims of the Holocaust, and in 1994 he was made an honorary citizen of Israel.

"Holocaust belongs to the Jews", he said, "The tragedy of the Jews is incomparable, there was nothing like it in the history of humanity."

During an interview with Hannah Rosen in 1995, Karski said about the failure to rescue most of the Jews from mass murder,
“ It was easy for the Nazis to kill Jews, because they did it. The Allies considered it impossible and too costly to rescue the Jews, because they didn't do it. The Jews were abandoned by all governments, church hierarchies and societies, but thousands of Jews survived because thousands of individuals in Poland, France, Belgium, Denmark, Holland helped to save Jews. Now, every government and church says, "We tried to help the Jews", because they are ashamed, they want to keep their reputations. They didn't help, because six million Jews perished, but those in the government, in the churches they survived. No one did enough".

Statue in Georgetown

After the war, Karski earned his PhD at Georgetown University, where he served as a distinguished professor in the School of Foreign Service for forty years. He died in Washington, DC, in 2000.
 In 2002 the Georgetown university dedicated a bronze statue by Polish sculptor  Karol Badyna on its campus that that was also a bench with a room for a visitor to join the chess game.  The versions     of the statue have been installed in Karski home town in Poland and in   Tel-Aviv.
Statue in New York at Polish Consulate

The statue in New York near the Polish consulate  was  unveiled on November 22nd, 2007.  The ceremony was attended by many distinguished guests, including the representatives of the President of Poland and the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Former US President and student of Jan Karski at Georgetown University Bill Clinton sent his personal letter.  In 2009 the southeast corner of Madison Avenue and East 37th Street was renamed for Jan Karski.
 In 2012, President Barack Obama posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor awarded by an American president, to Karski.  


De Lamar House, Polish Consulate

Upon walking around in Midtown, I came across a  gorgeous   mansion at the   southeast corner of Madison Avenue and East 37th Street.   This is the Joseph Raphael De Lamar House,  a mansion that really look like a mansion with a towering mansard roof decorated with copper cresting and shell motifs.  This house, built in a robust Beaux Art Style, is one of the most spectacular  mansions in the city.

Joseph Raphael De Lamar was born in Holland around 1843.   When he was a teenager he  stowed away aboard a Dutch ship  heading to the West Indies. When Joseph was found, he was put to work without pay as assistant to the cook.  Later he became the owner  and the captain of his own merchant ship and visited nearly every port in the world. He settled   first in Martha's Vineyard later he was lured westward by the discovery of gold in California.  In November 1879 he purchased the Terrible Lead Mine in Custer County, Colorado for $5500.   Later    DeLamar became interested in the   copper mines.  It was the beginnig... Three former mining cities, which are today ghost towns, Delamar, Nevada, De Lamar, Idaho, and Delamar, California, were renamed after him; the last is now under water of Shasta Lake. The Delamar Mountains, a mountain range in Lincoln County, Nevada, as well a mountain summit in San Bernardino County, California, were also named after him.  Later De Lamar was attracted by the finance opportunities on New York City. 

The mansion was built   1902 by Charles Pierrepont Henry Gilbert,  a society architect whose stock in trade was extravagant private mansions; his list of clients included the Woolworths.

The first floor housed an expansive dining room, library and a billiard room. The main oval staircase incorporated a fountain surrounded by exotic plants and marble figurines. The second floor boasted a ballroom, a concert hall, and an art gallery painted in Pompeiian red with Tiffany stained glass illuminated by electricity, which made this magnificent structure quite modern for its time. The mansion had an elevator   designed to lower a horse and carriage into the basement, and was later used for cars.

Pembroke at Glen Cove
 The Long Island residence of the De Lamar Family.
In 1916 De Lamar built a huge  French neoclassical estate in Glen Cove, Long Island.  This 60,000 square foot Gold Coast Mansion included 12 bedrooms, 12 baths, a billiard room, den, dining room, mirrored breakfast room, long party rooms to entertain hundreds of guests. De Lamar enjoyed playing an  pipe organ at the base of his stairway. Large windows overlooked exquisite gardens, the private bathing casino and boat landing on the Long Island Sound. 

Estate  was demolished in 1968. 10-story belvedere water tower - is still standing in a luxury gated community called the Legend Yacht & Beach Club. The  historic gates to this  estate in   Glen Cove were stolen January this year from a Port Washington property    and were not found.

Joseph  l De Lamar lived with his daughter and eleven servants in his  French mansion in Manhattan from 1906 until his death from pneumonia at seventy five years of age, in 1918. De Lamar’s obituary in New York Times described him as a Wall Street “man of mystery” and mentioned that he was an accomplished organist. He left an estate worth at least $32 million.
In 1923 the house became headquarters for the National Democratic Club for fifty years. In 1973  the Republic of Poland bought the mansion for $900,000.   The  Polish government restored the mansion  from top to bottom.

Situated just outside the Consulate General of Poland in New York, now there is  a bronze statue of a man playing chess.  It is the statue of Jan Karski, Polish resistance leader.   I'' l  tell you about Karski and this statue in my next post.