Helen Rose Outdoors Diary: New York Again.

new york from central park

June 2023


I was recently in New York visiting friends in Brooklyn in New York City. I always find the size of New York overwhelming with the five boroughs and a population of over 8.8 million. There is a distance to travel on the subway to go anywhere and it is often disrupted by ‘Jumpers’ who are people throwing themselves on the subway rails for various reasons. The subway is an amazing feat of engineering and is 248 miles long of track with 472 stations linking four of the boroughs. On my way to the subway station I noticed that the Council plants flowers around the trees on the pavements and I was particularly impressed by the extra frilly tulips.

Juilliard School

New York is classed as the most expensive city in the world and my friends look for free events to attend. One of these was the free afternoon concert at the Juilliard School, the top Conservatoire for music in the world. These final year students are the stars of tomorrow. We heard Hanke Li play an excellent programme on the violin including works by Beethoven and Debussy.

Founded as the Institute of Musical Art in 1905, the Juilliard School is a world leader in performing arts education. The school’s mission is to provide the highest calibre of artistic education for gifted musicians, dancers, actors, composers, choreographers, and playwrights from around the world so that they may achieve their fullest potential as artists, leaders, and global citizens. The Institute of Musical Art was founded by Frank Damrosch, the godson of Franz Liszt and the head of music education for New York City’s public schools, with the idea to establish a music conservatory in New York City that would allow talented musicians to gain advanced musical training on American soil, and not have to travel abroad. Nine years later, Augustus Juilliard, a wealthy textile merchant, left in his will the largest single bequest for the advancement of music at that time.

Century Association Club

I arranged to meet a writer friend for lunch in the Century Association Club in Manhattan. The Century Association was formed in 1847 at a meeting of the Sketch Club, a group of artists and writers, and took its name from the number of men who were invited to join it. The Century made its home in a variety of odd places around the city until it finally settled in 1891, in its present Renaissance-style building, The Century Association is made up of more than two thousand authors, artists, and amateurs of letters and fine arts. To qualify as amateurs, individuals may be of any occupation provided their breadth of interest and qualities of mind and imagination make them sympathetic, stimulating, and congenial companions in a society of authors and artists. For welcoming members from poets to presidents, Mark Twain called the Century “the most unspeakably respectable club in New York.” It had the feeling of a hushed Gentlemen’s club in London.

Intrepid, Sea, Air and Space Museum

The Intrepid, Sea, Air and Space Museum adjacent to the Hell’s Kitchen area in Manhattan is free on Friday evenings from 5pm but normally costs $35 dollars entry. It is an outdoor museum and has a British Airways Concorde on the pier.  It is amazing to walk under Concorde and admire the sleek shape of the aircraft. The pier is at the Hudson River.

I went on the tour of the Growler submarine and it was as cramped as I expected. I don’t envy the submariners on their extended missions in these conditions. The Growler was built in 1941 and saw active service in World War 11. Between 1960 and 1964, the submarine USS Growler (SSG-577) sat hidden in the frigid waters off the coast of Russia. Its crew of 90 men waited for a signal to fire their nuclear missiles at Soviet military facilities. Growler is the only nuclear missile submarine open to the public in the United States.

The aircraft carrier Intrepid is the fourth US Navy ship to bear the name. Commissioned in August 1943, Intrepid participated in several campaigns in the Pacific Theatre of Operations. Decommissioned shortly after the end of the war, she was modernised and recommissioned in the early 1950s as an attack carrier and then eventually became an antisubmarine carrier.  In her second career, she served mainly in the Atlantic, but also participated in the Vietnam War.

National Museum of the American Indian

The National Museum of the American Indian has free entry and is situated in the Financial District of Manhattan. It is located in the former Alexander Hamilton Custom House named after Alexander Hamilton, a founding father of the United States, who fought in the American Revolutionary War, helped draft the Constitution, and served as the first secretary of the treasury. He was the founder and chief architect of the American financial system.

The displays were fascinating with the history of the American Indians and a little known fact that the name Manhattan originated from the Munsee Lenape language term manaháhtaan translated as “the place where we get bows” or “place for gathering the (wood to make) bows”. Mohawks are legendary for their dizzying work in erecting skyscrapers and steel bridges. Mohawk men have walked and worked on nearly all of New York City’s towering buildings, including the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and Rockefeller Centre. https://americanindian.si.edu/

Fraunces Tavern

It was a short walk to the last historical visit to the Fraunces Tavern, the oldest pub in New York City. . There is a small entry fee to the museum on the upper floors. At various points in its history, Fraunces Tavern served as a headquarters for George Washington, a venue for peace negotiations with the British, and housing federal offices in the Early Republic. It is famous as the place where George Washington gave his famous farewell address to his officers in 1783, but the building traces its history to 1719 when it was built as a home for Stephen DeLancey, a minor French noble who fled from France and made his fortune in New York. One of the previous owners was Fraunces and the name has been retained. It is still a pub and restaurant but tends to be very busy.

Central Park

No visit to New York is complete without a walk in Central Park. We had been for lunch at Nice Matin in the Upper Westside so decided to walk through Central Park to the Upper East side to catch a subway. It was a fine afternoon and a lovely way to end the trip.

I have walked in the park many times but I never fail to be impressed looking up at the surrounding high buildings from the greenery of the park.

Coming attractions; Whitby and Cullin.






Helen Rose Outdoor Diary, Whitby.
Helen Rose Outdoors Diary: Kinlochleven.

This section: Helen Rose Hillwalking Diary

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