Sunday, May 3, 2009

Park Avenue Art Walk Part II

Classical Beauty on Avenue of the Americas

A pavement girl's tale continues...

Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

You have a choice. Either continue to walk north on Vanderbilt Avenue (it's across the street), as Park Avenue ends at 42nd St. On your right you will pass the Yale Club at 44th St., you can continue on Park Avenue at 46th St. Or, stop to enjoy a slice of Junior's famous Cheesecake, a scoop of Ciao Bella’s delicious Gelato, or an oversized Chocolate-chip cookie at Zaro’s. There's a wide selection of food shops on the lower level of Grand Central Station.

Munch while you walk. Park Avenue can be reached by the escalator across from the Information Booth in the Main Concourse that takes you to the lower level of the MetLife Building. Walk north until you reach the street, continue via the east or west underpass of the Helmsley Building to Park Avenue at 46th St. Now walk north on Park, turn left at 53rd St. and proceed west to Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue).

Our walk ends in front of Jim Dine’s triple giantess - Venuses de Milo. These ladies tower over sheets of flowing water. Inspired by the Classical Greek sculpture discovered on the Island of Melos in the 19th century now in the Louvre Musuem, they are sure to captivate. Admire them close-up and from a distance across the street.

Here are other interesting architectural landmarks and stops to make along the way:

The Waldorf Astoria – Park Avenue at 49th Street.

James Surl's playful bronze and stainless steel sculptures on display in the garden median that divides Park Avenue traffic - the Park Avenue Mall.

St. Bartholomew Church - Park Avenue and 50th Street, unusual in church architecture, the tiled dome looks as if it would be more at home in an ancient city like Istanbul.

345 Park Avenue - take a look at the wonderful sculpture on the 51st street side of the building.

Park Avenue Racket and Tennis Club - a Renaissance palace between 52nd and 53rd Sts.

The Seagram Building - 395 Park Avenue, the fountains gurgle up a refreshing splash of water.

Lever House - 390 Park Avenue, just across the street, offers comfortable seating for a rest along the way with a changing display of sculpture to fascinate youngsters while parents pause for a break. The Lever House Collection is open to the public and has a cafe offering light refreshments.

Fragments of the Berlin Wall - between Madison and 5th Avenues at 53rd Street.

Paley Park – Vest-pocket Park with cascading Waterfall - between Madison and 5th Avenues at 53rd Street was previously featured in Postcards, see A Waterfall Near Saks .

Glance to your left when you reach 5th Avenue to admire the twin Bell-towers of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Museum of Modern Art - 11 West 53rd between 5th and 6th Avenues.

Venuses de Milo - by Jim Dine at 1301 Avenue and Americas.

Just a block away, step into the lobby of AXA-Equitable at 1290 Avenue of the Americas to take a close look at Thomas Hart Benton's wonderful murals America Today 1930.

Between 48th and 50th Streets you'll find three visually exciting, limestone, red-granite and steel almost identical buildings across from Rockefeller Center, they are the closest reminder of the former World Trade Center.

There's lots to see, so enjoy the weather, the exercise and art work that takes on new vitality when experienced outdoors.

Jacqueline Cable
For Postcards from New York


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