Yesterday I had an unprecedented spare 45 minutes to get to a meeting on the Upper West Side. I could have taken the train, been there in ten minutes, enjoyed a nice latte and relished my ‘alone time’. Instead, seeing as it was a beautiful, sunny morning, I decided to walk – from 57th and 7th Ave up Broadway to 92nd Street.
In thirty five blocks there is so much to see – interesting architecture, interesting people, just…a whole lot of interesting. Some things have been there forever, some seem to be constantly shifting. After admiring the stylish Time Warner Center, I passed Lincoln Center. When was the last time you really stopped to look at Lincoln Center? I worked in the basement of the State Theatre for 7 years so for me it was more like “Hello, Old Friend…” but even if you have never hung out on the terrace sneaking a cigarette or explored the intricate underground maze that connects all the buildings, it’s still a spectacular sight. Designed by a variety of some of the most accomplished architects of our time, each section has its unique style but the overall complex is unified and constantly improving. One of the first centralized groupings of cultural institutions in the United States, Lincoln Center was part of Robert Moses’ program of urban renewal in the early 1960’s. Cut through it sometime – all that sparkling white travertine, two fountains, a new pedestrian promenade – it’s a sort of public oasis.
A few blocks later, at 71st and Amsterdam there is The Dorilton apartment building, and The Ansonia a few blocks further up at 74th and Broadway. Come on, stop it! Look at these buildings – they are amazing – amazing and insane! Both built at the turn of the century in the elaborate Beaux Arts style, they just don’t make them like this anymore. In most places, they never did! Take a second to marvel at the ornamentation and grandeur – it’s incredible.
Personally, I was an unwilling convert to the urban jungle. I loved my homey Midwestern town and still do. It has taken me a long time to assimilate. Twenty two years later I am an actual New Yorker, who for the first time just this month, left the city and really missed it. And the thing I missed the most was walking. Walk! Walk around, look up and enjoy, wonder, wander, and fall in love with city.
One way I keep my home town close to my heart:
This very special clothing company empowers women and girls with their beautiful designs. It was born and operates in my hometown of Fort Wayne, IN. In addition to their awesome clothing line, they also do amazing charity work to improve the lives of woman and girls all over the world. I walk the streets of New York wearing my Matilda Janes with pride – you can take the girl out of Indiana but you can’t take the Indiana out of the girl!