Tuesday, July 21, 2015


One of the most asked about attractions in the city these past few years has been The High Line, a repurposed old rail track that has a boardwalk built up around it. There's art, plants, trees, water fountains and peaceful areas to sit down to rest, read a book, people-watch or have something to eat.

The history of the structure dates back to 1847 when the tracks were on the street level, delivering dairy, meat and produce to factories and packing plants on the West Side near the Hudson River. The trains crashed so often with traffic (first horse carriages, then cars) that 10th Avenue was dubbed “Death Avenue” and because of that, the tracks were elevated in 1934 to avoid accidents.
The last train went through in 1980 and The High Line was left to the weeds until a massive rezoning effort and the nonprofit "Friends of the High Line", which runs the park, turned things around and made it into a hugely popular attraction. It now runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues.

At 13th Street in the Meatpacking District, look west for a line of large metal brackets on top of an adjacent building. The brackets once anchored meat hooks along one of the High Line’s widest sections, where trains pulled off to unload. It was once home to more than 250 slaughterhouses.

The High Line is free to visit and summer hours are from 7am-11pm daily. Early morning is least crowded. To see maps, history, event calendar, tour info and more, visit:www.thehighline.org

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden

 Discover one of the oldest buildings in Manhattan and one of New York City’s hidden treasures, The Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden, located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Constructed in 1799 as a carriage house and converted into a day hotel in 1826, the Museum transports the visitor back to the Mount Vernon Hotel, a country escape for New Yorkers living in the crowded city at the southern tip of Manhattan. Back then, the commercial shipping and business districts of New York City lay below City Hall, while private residences extended as far north as modern day Chelsea, and it was common for upper and middle class residents and visitors to take day trips to the then- rural setting that is now midtown Manhattan.
This unique museum brings a bygone era of old New York alive and has a fine collection of American furniture and decorative arts, costumes, quilts and textiles, and works on paper including early American and New York City historical archives and documents, such as old newspapers, log books and bar ledgers. 
The Colonial Dames of America own and operate the museum, having purchased it in 1924 to use as their headquarters. Intimate guided tours of the Museum's nine period rooms, representing the circa 1830 Mount Vernon Hotel, run throughout the day and last about 45 minutes. The guides are very passionate and knowledgeable about the history of the hotel and the old New York City so make sure to ask lots of questions while on the tour.
Since you are in this part of the town, board the nearby Roosevelt Island tram for a scenic glide over the East River. Once you get to Roosevelt Island walk south along the promenade, past the ruins of the Renwick Smallpox Hospital, and Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park. 

Address: 421 E 61st St. (between 1st Avenue & York Avenue). 

The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11am-4pm. Admission is $8 for adults and includes a guided tour.