Thursday, September 11, 2014

September 11, 2014

13 years ago I was waking up, ready to cover the NYC democratic primary. Instead my plans changed along with the world.

However, one thing that hasn't changed about my Manhattan are my walks. Even the first song I wrote that I also wrote music on a guitar has the line, "I long for lost walks, where will I end up? Park turns into 4th Ave. Of course I knew..."

So prior to moving to NYC when I still lived in Utica, luckily I took some pictures of the World Trade Center. These don't have date stamps on the back, but according to the placement in my photo album, it was late 2000.

It was a gray day, though of course my favorite color. It was even misting a bit. The clouds were heavy, and from angles, you couldn't see WTC.

In this angle below, from the Statue of Liberty, you have to almost know where the towers are supposed to be to see them.

This is one of my favorite pictures. It's up in my walk-in-closet converted to a home office that I call "The Map Room."

The skyline has since changed. The Twin Towers might be gone, but there isn't a hole it it's place anymore. From the end of 2001 to 2010 I jogged along the Hudson from the Upper West Side and watched the progress. It wasn't necessarily a skyline view from there, just the surrounding area.

One World Trade Center is nearly completed. It stands 1,776 feet over Ground Zero. By this anniversary next year, it should be occupied.

It's time for another long walk.

I've written a few 9/11 posts over the years. Here are two.
A look back.
An inspiring blurred image.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Inside the State Education Building

Sometimes it does pay off to talk crazily about obsessions.

How often do you randomly speak of wanting to write historical markers for the State Education Department and go on and on and on about the State Education Building to a stranger?

Funny when it turns out that stranger works at the State Education Building and says, "the building is closed to the public, but I can give you a tour."

I might have been without words for a few seconds. But finally when I could I speak I said to her, "let's go."

Once you step inside the 36-column building, there are more columns inside on the second floor, but the murals are the eye catchers.
VERITAS, THE GODDESS OF TRUTH, fixes her eyes  on the words of the Roman philosopher Marcus Aurelius, "If thou workest... with heroic truth in every word thou utterest, thou wilt live happily."
In the foreground, the poppy, hourglass, and head of Medusa represent aspects of temptation and error. The Great Sphinx of Giza in Egypt looms in the background. 
They're all by the same person, Will H. Low.

1917. Oil on Canvas.

With all the paintings it took me quite a bit to look up.
Once you do, you see the dome and this gold light fixture.

Up a few flights you'll see that the inside columns are double.

There are too many details to  mention. Here to the right you see an old elevator, no longer in service.

Look up again around the corner at the descent of a spiral staircase.

This bring us to where you would either begin or end. The Regents Room is on the first floor.

This is what a sign says in the room that is lined with oil paintings of Chancellors. 

"Founded in 1784, the New York State Board of Regents is the oldest policy making educational body in the nation. The Regents is the only state board of education that has oversight of educational society of all levels, including public schools and colleges, and cultural institutions.
Officially known as the Regents Room, this is the meeting space for the Regents when they are in Albany. This room is walled with Indiana limestone and an elaborate ornamental ceiling with a carved oak cornice. Portraits of past Chancellors hang on the walls.
Seventeen Regents are elected by the Legislature for terms lasting five years."

NY State Education Building

Walking or driving through Downtown Albany, it's difficult to not stop and stare at the State Education building.

It's the 36 column building that dominates Washington Avenue across the street from the State Capitol.

It's columns are quite impressive.
Several sources say it forms the longest colonnade in the US.

According to the Albany Visitors Center, it's where crews shot the HBO Muhammad Ali movie. If you watch, the scenes shot here are labeled Washington, DC.

Click on the pictures for detail on this sculpture. I was taking angles of the boy playing what looks like to me a fiddle or guitar.  You can see standing on the steps, you are facing the NY State Capitol.

It was built between 1908 and 1911 and used to be open to the public.  It used to house the state library and museum. They've moved the historical marker inside.
The architect is Henry Hornbostel, who is also responsible for the Williamsburg Bridge in New York City.

We go inside next post....