Sunday, June 30, 2013

New York Pride March 2013

Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and their allies marched earlier today from midtown Manhattan on Fifth Avenue to Greenwich Village for this year's Heritage of Pride Parade. This year's march was a particularly festive occasion, due to the recent Supreme Court Ruling that it was unconstitutional to ban gay marriage. One of the grand marshals was Edith Windsor, who only days before won the Supreme Court case to grant same-sex couples federal marriage benefits. Joining her were musician and activist Harry Belafonte and Earl Fowlkes, head of the Center for Black Equity.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Empire State Building Top Tier Lights Up In Rainbow Colors In Honor Of Pride Week 2013

This weekend, the top tier of the Empire State Building lights up in rainbow colors with sparkle in halo in honor of New York City Pride Week. The iconic building is privately owned by Empire State Building Company, L.L.C. (ESBC); it is not owned or run by the City or State of New York. According to the Empire State Building official website, its official Lighting Partner program was established after the prior managing agent was replaced in August 2006. Its policies and practices are subject to change in accord with ownership's preferences. In November 2012, the Empire State Building (ESB) replaced its traditional light fixtures as part of its 21st century renovation and unveiled its new, state-of-the-art dynamic LED lighting system, designed by Philips Color Kinetics (PCK). This system, which is unique to ESB, allows customized light capabilities from a palette of over 16 million colors in limitless combinations along with effects previously not possible such as ripples, cross-fades, sparkles, chasers, sweeps, strobes and bursts. In addition to greater control and management of the lighting, the new computerized system delivers superior light and vibrancy levels in real-time, unlike the previous floodlights. The new lighting system minimizes light spill, ensuring that light is focused on the façade and mast, while providing enough light to allow the building to be seen from anywhere in New York City. This feature not only respects the night sky, but the building's neighbors as well.

The rainbow colors reflect the diversity of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, and a symbol of pride and solidarity. Pride week festivities kicked off yesterday, culminating in the Pride March tomorrow. New York City is the U.S. city with the largest gay population.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Building Reflections (51 Astor Place, Cooper Square)

This is the new glass and steel building rising at 51 Astor Place in Cooper Square, reflecting other buildings and clouds. Designed by Maki and Associates, this new 13-story class-A office and retail development features a black glass exterior with black granite and silver fins and boasts a distinctive angular design on each of its four sides. While some critics praised the architectural design, others think that it fails to "live up to Cooper Square's legacy of edgy design."

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Marriage Equality Celebratory Gathering at the Historic Stonewall Inn (Where Gay Pride Began)

This morning, The Supreme Court ruled the federal definition of the Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional, clearing the way for marriage equality in 12 states and Washington, D.C. In addition, California's Proposition 8 appeal was dismissed, making this a landmark day for gay rights. The Supreme Court rulings will extend federal recognition to same-sex marriages in the states where they are legal and will add California — the most populous state — to the 12 others in that category. To celebrate the victory, gay rights advocates and their allies gathered today at New York City’s most famous gay bar, the Stonewall Inn, “where Pride began”. The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations by members of the gay community against a police raid that took place on June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn. The raid and subsequent demonstrations sparked the gay liberation movement and the modern fight for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights in the United States. The Stonewall Inn is located at 53 Christopher Street in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhhattan. Across the street from the bar is Christopher Park, where the sculptures "Gay Liberation" by George Segal are installed. The sculptures were adorned today with pins, ribbon, American flag hats and photos of two women from New York City, Edith Windsor and Thea Clara Spyer, who married in 2007 in Canada. Ms. Spyer died in 2009, and Ms. Windsor inherited her property. The federal law did not allow the Internal Revenue Service to treat Ms. Windsor as a surviving spouse, and she faced a tax bill of about $360,000, which a spouse in an opposite-sex marriage would not have had to pay. Ms. Windsor sued, and last year the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in New York, struck down the federal law.

Red Double Decker New York Sightseeing Tour Bus

One of the most popular tour buses roaming the streets of the city is the red double decker New York Sightseeing bus. The New York Sightseeing bus tour is being operated by the Gray Line. Since 1926, Gray Line New York is the source for the city's best double decker bus and deluxe motorcoach tours. The hop-on, hop-off bus tours Uptown, Downtown, Brooklyn and Night loops. They also offer fully-escorted foreign language motorcoach city tours in German, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian with top multi-lingual tour guides. Gray Line New York Sightseeing, is independently managed and operated. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Jane's Carousel

Brooklyn Bridge Park has been home to an historic and beautifully-restored carousel since 2011. The carousel was a gift of Jane and David Walentas. Originally constructed in 1922 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, the carousel was purchased in 1984 and painstakingly restored to its original condition. The carousel is located in the Empire Fulton Ferry section of Brooklyn Bridge Park, housed in an extraordinary new glass and steel pavilion, designed by architect Jean Nouvel. The carousel operates year-round every day except Tuesdays when the horses "have to rest." In the backdrop is the Manhattan Bridge.

Monday, June 24, 2013

34th Street At Dusk

This is 34th Street with the Empire State Building in the Background. The street is a major crosstown street in Manhattan, connecting the Lincoln Tunnel and Queens-Midtown Tunnel. The images were captured at dusk yesterday.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Police Building - Former NY Police Department Headquarters Converted To Luxury Condominiums

Originally constructed in 1909 as the New York Police Department (NYPD) Headquarters, the Police Building was vacant for more than a decade following the NYPD’s transition to a new facility near City Hall. The "exuberant Edwardian Baroque style" building was ultimately converted into 55 apartments in 1987, with the group overseeing the renovation ensuring residences maintained the building’s singular architectural touches. There are 6 varied floor plans, as a result, and units are spacious with tall ceilings and open layouts. It is conveniently located close to the shops and restaurants in Nolita, TriBeCa, SoHo and NoHo. The Police Building is located at 240 Centre Street in Little Italy.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Yoga Enthusiasts Take Over Times Square To Celebrate Summer Solstice 2013

To celebrate summer solstice yesterday, the longest day of the year, yoga enthusiasts converged in Times Square, one of the busiest crossroads in the world. The “Mind over Madness” event included free yoga classes all day, as well as the Athleta fashion shows. Fifteen thousand people registered to roll out their yoga mats and join in. Part of its appeal is finding stillness and calm in the middle of the chaos in big city life. The images were taken during the fashion class with yoga instructor, Douglass Stewart.