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Posts tagged ‘New York’

Peace window

It’s human rights day today. So that has me thinking about Marc Chagall‘s Peace Window on the ground floor of the United Nations headquarters building in New York City. Created in tribute to former UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld and those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace, it is a beautiful piece of art with a deep message.

Marc Chagall, Peace Window, United Nations headquarters New York City

Doesn’t Chagall’s glass work look beautiful in photo form? We were also in awe of his monumental series of stained glass windows in the Fraumünster in Zurich. No photos allowed there though, so be sure to take the chance to check them out if you find yourself in Switzerland and haven’t already had the pleasure of seeing them.


Photo by CIA of Marc Chagall’s Peace Window, New York City, New York, United States, January 2012.

Some New York minutes

Our relatively spontaneous trip to New York in January (the result of stars aligning – cheap flights, accommodation with friends, an intense desire to see New York City) still sometimes feels like it was just last week. My own expectations were so high, I never thought the place could live up to them. But as is always the way with these things, it sneaks up with you in ways you don’t anticipate, even as some things seem muted when you see them up close for the first time.

Painted Cups

Painted coffee cups, hanging in the front-end of the Flatiron.

On our first day, after the Times (and the map), we made our way into the city. The Flatiron was our first point of interest. What we didn’t expect was the dazzling display of hanging, hand-painted coffee cups. They added immensely to the sense of occasion, and my excitement went into overdrive. The buildings, reflected in the glass, and visible through the glass hammered home that we were in the city of the skyscraper; we felt right at home.

MOMA, reflected

MOMA, reflected

We then covered a lot of ground on foot. We headed past the New York Public Library (we looked inside on another day), craned our necks up at the Empire State Building and the Rockefeller Center, before we arrived at MOMA.

PJD, reflected inside MOMA

PJD, reflected inside MOMA

As we wandered about, we enjoyed the inside of the building as much as the art.

Times Square

Times Square, lights reflecting everywhere

At the end of the day, we wandered back to Times Square. Because everyone has to go to Times Square. Don’t they? Even if they don’t, we did. And it was awful. And crass. And overrated. And most of all, it was awesome.

Some reflections on my first day in NYC (CIA had been before, and was lucky enough to visit again since!) only cement how much this city means to my imagination. In the end, it also affirms my sense of optimism. If New York is possible, almost anything is.


Photos by PJD or CIA. Provenance is hard to ascertain at this point. Incidentally, isn’t there some unstoppably excellent quality to this song? Or, more honestly, about its chorus?

First the Times, then the map

I was looking back through some photos, and found some shots I was only partially aware existed. And they made me smile, because our trip to New York City was one of the best trips we made anywhere. So, on our very first morning, in Brooklyn (where we are so lucky to have been able to stay with some friends) I got to sit in the kitchen and read the New York Times in New York.

Reading the Times! Oh, happiness is a newspaper...

Okay, so nerdy joy aside, we then got into the serious business of figuring out what to do, what to see.

In the end, we went straight to MOMA; after which we strolled to Times Square and then…


Photos by CIA, not exactly with the consent of the subject, but all is forgiven; Brooklyn, New York, January 2012.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban

This week we’ve taken a straight-up approach to the challenge. Though one may argue if New York City still epitomises the urban, there is no doubt that in the early 20th century when the skyscraper was new, NYC was unquestionably the queen of all things urban. Some may favour the taller Empire State, but from this view (taken from outside the New York Public Library), we have no doubt at all that the best of all New York buildings is the Chrysler building. Its imperious spire, the Art Deco detailing, it really is a thing of urban beauty; all the more so with the gorgeous tree in front.



Photo by CIA, alone in New York, April 2012.

Three museum moments

If you’ve been keeping up with the blog, you might have noticed we have a thing about museums. Art museums, history museums, design museums, national museums. We like to engage with the collections, the curatorship, the physical spaces. We like to think about how the buildings enhance, diminish or otherwise interact with their surroundings, their contents and their visitors. And so I have selected three museum moments, instances where the museum we were in at the time took an unexpected twist…

The Chinese Garden Court, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

It was my first time in the Met, and CIA was showing me around some of her favourites. Having seen some of the western art, we decided to check out some of the Asian collection. What neither of us expected at all was to stumble into the Chinese Garden Court. It was nearly empty (a stark contrast to the Impressionist paintings), so peaceful, and the conjunction of modern atrium, tiling, bamboo and rocks just took our breath away. A brilliant moment.

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Thinking on a wonderful moment

For most of us, life has many wonderful moments, but some certainly rank higher on the wonderful scale. I think the moments in life that really stand out are usually such because of the people that you experience them with, or the place that you experience them in. Sometimes, it’s a combination of the two (which I guess must make such moments super-wonderful!).

This afternoon it was one whole year since PJD asked me a very big question, which I answered with a resounding and overwhelmingly excited “YES!”. An incredibly wonderful and perfect moment. It’s been nice today to take time to reflect on that moment and what it meant – and all that has followed in the year for us since.

On my travels earlier this year in New York, alone, I came across this sculpture (photo above) by American artist Robert Indiana. Read more

Small questions often have tough answers


The card speaks so eloquently for itself.


Photo by PJD, on his phone as no camera was handy, in MOMA, exploring Flux (we think). PJD still laughs out loud, even in public, on his own, when he reads this card.

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