Friday, December 15, 2023

Black Taxi Tour, Belfast

One of my favorite things on my last trip to Ireland was a black taxi tour of Belfast

A black taxi tour of Belfast promises a fascinating and insightful journey through the city's rich history, particularly its complex and often turbulent past. Here's what you can expect:

Unveiling the Troubles: These tours are often led by former taxi drivers who lived through the Troubles, a period of conflict in Northern Ireland from the late 1960s to the late 1990s. They'll share personal stories and firsthand experiences, offering a unique perspective on the human cost of the conflict and the resilience of the Belfast community.

Murals and Memorials: Prepare to be moved by the powerful murals that adorn the city walls, each one a vivid story of the Troubles and their aftermath. You'll visit key sites like the Peace Walls and memorials dedicated to those who lost their lives, gaining a deeper understanding of the city's ongoing efforts towards peace and reconciliation.

Beyond the Conflict: While the Troubles are a significant part of Belfast's story, the city offers much more. The tours will also introduce you to Belfast's vibrant cultural scene, its historical landmarks like the Titanic Quarter and Stormont Parliament Buildings, and its charming neighborhoods like the Cathedral Quarter and the bustling city center.

Local Flavors: Immerse yourself in the local culture by stopping at pubs frequented by locals, savoring traditional dishes like Ulster Fry and Belfast Bap, and listening to the city's unique dialect. You'll get a taste of Belfast's warm hospitality and its genuine spirit.

A Personal Connection: Black taxi tours are not just history lessons; they're opportunities for dialogue and understanding. Your guide will encourage questions and discussion, allowing you to connect with the city's story on a personal level.

Remember: These tours can be emotionally charged, so be prepared for sensitive topics and potentially graphic details of the conflict. However, they offer an invaluable opportunity to learn about Belfast's past, present, and hopeful future.

Whether you're seeking historical insights, cultural experiences, or simply a deeper connection to the city, a black taxi tour of Belfast promises a memorable and thought-provoking journey. So buckle up and get ready to explore the heart and soul of this remarkable city.


Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Oasis in Midtown Manhattan

Greenacre Park is a privately owned, publicly accessible vest-pocket park located on East 51st Street between Second and Third Avenues in the Turtle Bay neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. It was designed by Hideo Sasaki, former chairman of Harvard's Department of Landscape Architecture, in consultation with architect Harmon Goldstone. The park, which is owned by Greenacre Foundation, was a 1971 gift from Abby Rockefeller Mauzé, the philanthropist, the daughter of John D. Rockefeller Jr. and the granddaughter of John D. Rockefeller.

The park is a small oasis in the middle of Midtown Manhattan. It is only 60 feet wide by 120 feet deep, but it is packed with features that make it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. There is a waterfall, a trellis with heat lamps for chilly days, chairs and tables, as well as honey locust trees, azaleas, and pansies. The park is open from 7am to 11pm daily.

Greenacre Park has a rich history. It was originally the site of a mansion owned by William Waldorf Astor. The mansion was demolished in 1929, and the land was left vacant for several years. In 1969, Abby Rockefeller Mauzé purchased the land and donated it to the Greenacre Foundation. The foundation commissioned Hideo Sasaki to design the park, and it opened to the public in 1971.

Greenacre Park has been praised for its design and its contribution to the community. It has won numerous awards, including the American Society of Landscape Architects' Honor Award and the New York City Parks Council's Frederick Law Olmsted Award. The park is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Greenacre Park is a beloved New York City landmark. It is a place where people can come to relax, enjoy the outdoors, and escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

Monday, May 15, 2023

Atlas At Rockefeller Center

 The Atlas statue at Rockefeller Center is a 45-foot-tall (14 m) bronze sculpture by Lee Lawrie. It depicts the Greek Titan Atlas holding the celestial sphere on his shoulders. The statue was commissioned by John D. Rockefeller Jr. for the Rockefeller Center complex, and was installed in 1937.

Atlas is a figure from Greek mythology who was the leader of the Titans, a race of giants who rebelled against the gods of Mount Olympus. After the Titans were defeated in battle, Zeus condemned Atlas to carry the weight of the heavens on his shoulders for all eternity.

The Atlas statue at Rockefeller Center is a powerful symbol of strength, endurance, and responsibility. It is a reminder that we all have a role to play in supporting the world around us. The statue is also a popular tourist destination, and is often photographed by visitors to Rockefeller Center.

In popular culture, the Atlas statue has been featured in numerous films, television shows, and books. It is also a popular symbol for the Objectivist movement, a philosophy that emphasizes individual liberty and responsibility.

The Atlas statue is a significant work of art that has stood for over 80 years as a symbol of strength, endurance, and responsibility. It is a reminder that we all have a role to play in supporting the world around us.

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Prometheus At Rockefeller Center


I was walking by Rock Center recently and in place of the ice rink was a roller rink  The new layout allowed for a completely different angle for a photograph of Prometheus  

Prometheus statue low angle Rockefeller center building rising in background

The Prometheus sculpture at Rockefeller Center is a 1934 gilded, cast bronze sculpture by Paul Manship. It is located above the lower plaza at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, New York City. The statue is 18 ft (5.5 m) tall and weighs 8 tons. It depicts the Greek legend of the Titan Prometheus, who was the son of the Titan Iapetus and the Oceanid Clymene, brought fire to mankind by stealing it from the Chariot of the Sun, which resulted in Zeus chaining Prometheus and sending an eagle to prey upon his continually regenerating liver.

The statue was commissioned by John D. Rockefeller Jr., who was the driving force behind the construction of Rockefeller Center. Manship was a well-known sculptor at the time, and his work was often praised for its classical beauty and realism. The Prometheus sculpture was one of the first pieces of art to be commissioned for Rockefeller Center, and it quickly became one of the most iconic symbols of the complex.

The statue was unveiled in 1934, just as the Great Depression was beginning. In the midst of economic hardship, the Prometheus sculpture came to represent hope and resilience. The statue's message of human ingenuity and progress was a source of inspiration for many New Yorkers during a difficult time.

The Prometheus sculpture has been a popular tourist destination ever since it was unveiled. It is a popular spot for photos, and it is often used as a backdrop for special events. The statue is also a reminder of the importance of art and culture in our lives. It is a symbol of the human spirit, and it stands as a testament to the power of creativity.

In addition to the Prometheus sculpture, Rockefeller Center is home to a number of other works of art. These include the Atlas Fountain, the Channel Gardens Fountain, and the Paul Manship Fountain. The complex also features a number of murals and sculptures by other artists. These works of art add to the beauty and cultural significance of Rockefeller Center.