How the Five Boroughs of New York City Unite

nyc skylineSeparated by water and demeanor, the five boroughs of New York City – the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island – face the sweeping sky line of Manhattan.  Small towers against a floating sky.  Each brings their novel area to the middle of the city.  They dock the city to its art heritage, history, architecture and natural habitat. 

In Manhattan, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a well-visited  gallery.  The museum was first opened in 1880.  The style of the building is Ruskinian Gothic.  The exhibition had become one of the world’s largest art collections by the 20th century.  Tens of thousands of objects can be disclosed at any particular time.  There is the American Wing, Ancient Near Eastern Art, Arms and Armor, Arts of Africa, Asian Art, Drawings and Prints, Egyptian Art, European Paintings, European Sculpture, Greek and Roman Art, Islamic Art, Robert Lehman Collection, Medieval Art, Modern and Contemporary Art and Photographs.  When you walk into the Metropolitan hall you are greeted by a grand staircase and pillars holding up the edifice’s base.  The galleries off to each side offer a salutation to the hall.  But to decide where you would like to walk can be daunting.  You may want to visit the European Paintings, where you can view art by Jan van Eyck, Rembrandt, Monet or Cezzane.  Colorful landscapes and portraits on canvas.  Or you may prefer meandering through the Egyptian Art.  A plateau to many types of findings. You should see the sphinxes or ancient busts.  The objects date from the Paleolithic to the Roman period (c.a. 300,000 B.C.-A.D. 4th century). 

The Yankees have a history that begins in Baltimore.  They moved to New York in 1903. Then, a three-tier stadium was built in the Bronx.  A 15-foot copper façade had been constructed  to add an element to the stadium’s 3rd deck.  The scoreboard was located behind the bleachers in right field.  The new Yankee stadium bears Monument Park and a decorative frieze.  It has those venerable arch windows that add to the three-base shape of the stadium’s exterior.  The classic-functioning manually operated scoreboards have been brought back to right and left field.  The monuments which once stood in the recesses of center field are moved to the not as open place behind left center field fence.  At any given game, the stadium holds 4,300 tickets.  Concession stands line the inner hallways to pickup popcorn or a hotdog.  And the always sought after memorabilia is hung.  An elevated subway line runs alongside the stadium to keep access available. The Yankees play most nights of the week, from April to September, and you may notice them playing the Red Sox or the Mariners.  You cannot forget the blue and white pin stripes that are glanced down upon from the upper tiers of the iconic stadium.  

In 1897, the New York State legislation puts aside 39 acres for a botanic garden.  In 1911, the local flora section is laid out. The garden is located near the Eastern Parkway.  There are exhibits and walking tours through the pathways of the garden, and you may want to observe the cherry blossoms come Spring.  Some of the plants that can be found are Honorine Jobert, Early Amethyst and Doumetti.  At the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, a display that is simulated by the garden is “Gardens Within the Garden.”  There is the Japanese-Hill-and-Pond Garden.  The enclosure includes ancient hill-and-pond style where different landscape variances are seen along winding paths. There is a waterfall and an island with delicately placed rocks. Architectural parts of the garden are wooden bridges, stone lanterns, a viewing pavilion, the gateway and the Shinto shrine.  The Herb Garden looks at the plants we eat as food.  Following the diverse cultures and culinary traditions of Brooklyn’s neighborhoods.  The garden consists of medicinal and culinary herbs, vegetables, berries, fruit trees and flowers.  The Native Flora Garden represents native plants growing in the New York Metropolitan area. Showing plants in three eco-regions, coastal plain, piedmont and highland, the garden has many plants communities, serpentine rock, dry meadow, kettle pond and bog to name a few. 

It is viewable from the LIE, Grand Central and Van Wyck, the large silvery sphere dancing light off its surface. It was built in 1964 for The World’s Fair.  The steel structure is molded to lay out land and has three orbital rings surrounding it.  Its 140 feet high and 120 feet in diameter.  Viewers can see through its open spaces, so it suggests an optical illusion when light hits its surface.  It does not move, but perched on an axis it gives the tone that it is moving, an idea, that its creator was trying to impose–we are all part of the same universe.  But, there was also the message that keeping things within your grasp is important, in a time of ever-expanding growth.  The globe remains in Flushing Meadows, Queens where some say the notion still holds truth, even in the days way past The Great World’s Fair.

Fort Wadsworth (in Staten Island) is nestled under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge on the Western shores of the Narrows.  Hidden here, it has a decisive role in protecting the entry to New York harbor for over 200 years.  The site was first used by the military in 1663.  If you visit, you can amble through the catacomb tunnels in the fort’s batteries.  You may be able to imagine the cannons that once fired from the base.  They would have been heard across the water and in other boroughs of the city.  In 1910, the fort fired a 21-gun salute to former President Theodore Roosevelt.  During the war of 1812, the fort was divided into smaller sections, these included Fort Tompkins and Fort Richmond.  Today the fort is occupied by the United States Coast Guard and a Maritime Safety and Security Team.  The United States Army reserve takes up several buildings on the fort.  When you climb up the overlook you can feel the breeze of the water and enjoy the sites from afar.  Walking tours are given should you wonder about this historical stone shelter that has held so many tales from yesterday to present day.  It is a piece of America’s history that rests on the Hudson River.

Accomplished writer - has written for a trade magazine. Amy enjoys writing general interest stories with an emphasis on the traveler.
Amy Bernstein
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