Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Iwalked New York City’s Jerry Seinfeld and Cosmo Kramer Apartment

Iwalked New York City’s Jerry Seinfeld & Cosmo Kramer Apartment - This building is the address provided in the television series Seinfeld as the location of the Shelby apartments where Jerry Seinfeld and Cosmo Kramer call home. Obviously upon inspection this building is not used for any of the exterior shots in the show. That building is actually located in Los Angeles at 757 South New Hampshire Avenue. This address is, however, where a young and up-coming Jerry Seinfeld did formerly reside as he was beginning to make a career as a stand-up comedian here in New York.

To read about Jerry’s current real home at the Beresford on Central Park West, read here.

Jerry Seinfeld & Cosmo Kramer Apartment
Jerry Seinfeld & Cosmo Kramer Apartment

  • Website: http://www.nyc10best.com/culture-history/10-best-places-and-locations-from-the-seinfeld-show-in-new-york-city/
  • Address: 129 West 81st Street, New York City, NY
  • Cost: Free.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Iwalked New York City’s St. Paul’s Chapel

Iwalkedaudiotours.com - The Episcopal church of St. Paul’s Chapel is the oldest surviving church in New York City. The initial chapel was constructed in 1766 as a chapel of ease for those individuals who lived north of the city and were unable to attend Trinity Church just a quarter of a mile to the south.
St. Paul’s Chapel
St. Paul’s Chapel
The church was built in a much less elaborate Georgian style and made to face the Hudson River which was then located just two blocks to the east. It was constructed on Manhattan mica-schist. The octagonal steeple with two bells was erected in 1794 and designed by James C. Lawrence who was paid the handsome sum of $25 for his efforts. It was around this time that the entire building including the brownstone trim were coated in white paint before reverting to its more natural and current appearance in 1840.

St. Paul’s is the site, where on April 30, 1789, that George Washington attended service immediately after taking his oath of office at Federal Hall. While Trinity Church may seem like a more natural selection, Trinity was at the time a victim of the Great Fire of 1776 and in the process of being rebuilt. St. Paul’s had survived this devastation via a bucket brigade, which may provide some insight as to why it and not Trinity, is the oldest church in New York City. The pew where Washington sat in 1789 is now roped off along the northern wall for viewing if you visit the interior. This box has only been used once since this time when, in 1989, then President George H.W. Bush attended a mass here in honor of the bicentennial of establishment of the US presidency.

For its 200 plus years of existence St. Paul’s has largely maintained much of its original design. In 2007 it made perhaps one of its most significant changes, however, when it decided to remove all of the pews to create a more open space for worship.

Of course, St. Paul’s is also known for its close association and proximity to the events of 9/11. It has been described by many as “the little chapel that stood” for amazingly, through all of the dust and debris it did not suffer even a single broken window. During the subsequent clean-up efforts, St. Paul’s served as one of the major volunteer centers for which 14,000 people assisted. The iron perimeter fence during this time was also an often recorded site as family members posted pictures here searching for missing loved ones.

While walking around the yard at St. Paul’s take some time to admire the oak statue which resides just atop the Ionic columns on the front façade of the building. This statue is of St. Paul the apostle who is recognized as one of the primary authors of the New Testament. If you are doing this walk between the hours of midnight and 1a.m., then keep your eyes peeled to see if this statue comes alive. Various legends and tales have arisen over the years telling of how this statue would leave its perch and either come to greet onlookers or else make its way to a nearby water pump and refresh its parched wooden pallet.

From the rear of the chapel direct your attention to the center window. This is the back side of the alterpiece titled “Glory” which was designed by the same man who created the layout of Washington D.C., Pierre L’Enfant. While you may obviously get a better view from the inside of the chapel it is interesting to note from the backside that you can see the thirteen rays of light (representing the then thirteen colonies) emitting from the sun of the sculpture.

Also right within this vicinity (behind the chapel) is a large bell known as the Bell of Hope. It was presented to St. Paul’s by the Lord Mayor of London in September 2002. The bell was cast at the oldest manufacturing company in all of England, and the same foundry which cast the 13.5 ton bell for Big Ben in 1858 and the Liberty Bell in 1752, the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. Every year on September 11, the bell is rung.

If you want to spend a bit more time to take in the interiors of St. Paul’s Chapel feel free to do so. Admission is free and it is open 10am-6pm Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm Saturdays and 7am-4pm Sundays.

  • Website: http://www.trinitywallstreet.org/congregation/spc/
  • Address: 209 Broadway, New York City
  • Cost: Free.
  • Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-6pm; 10am-4pm Sat; 7am-4pm Sun

Iwalked Boston’s Freedom Trail

Iwalkedaudiotours.com - The Freedom Trail is Boston’s most famous and historic walking trail. It was the product of a Boston columnist by the name of Bill Schofield who came up with the idea in March of 1951 in an article in the Evening Traveler. After much promotion, the city formally implemented the trail in June of 1951, although the red paved path was not added until 1958.
Boston’s Freedom Trail
Boston’s Freedom Trail
This brick-paved or red painted path extends approximately 2.5 miles throughout the city and connects seventeen historical sites related to the American Revolution. Those sites include:

1. The Boston Common
2. The Massachusetts State House
3. Park Street Church
4. Granary Burying Ground
5. King’s Chapel
6. King’s Chapel Burying Ground
7. Benjamin Franklin Statue & Old Latin School
8. Old Corner Book Store
9. Old South Meeting House
10. Old State House
11. Site of the Boston Massacre
12. Faneuil Hall
13. Paul Revere House
14. The Old North Church
15. Copp’s Hill Burying Ground
16. Bunker Hill Monument
17. U.S.S. Constitution

Just a tip, of these seventeen sites, while only three advertise admission fees (the Old South Meeting House, the Old State House and Paul Revere House) you may be expected to provide a donation at some of the churches (including Kings Chapel and the Old North Church).

Parkman Plaza within the Boston Common is the official starting point for the Boston Freedom Trail. Within the Visitors Center (which opened in 1966) you can pick up a free map if you wish to do a self-guided tour. Per the Freedom Trail website it is estimated that some 500,000 maps are disbursed annually.

From the Visitors Center you may also join a guided tour led by individuals in 18th century costumes. The guided tours are usually about an hour and a half, although if you really wish to spend time at even a handful of the sites, I would allow yourself a majority of a day to do so.

One final option on doing the Freedom Trail is if you go to their official website you can download an audio tour which provides full theatre to each of the attractions.

  • Website: http://www.thefreedomtrail.org/
  • Address: Boston Common, Boston, MA. Trail begins at Parkman Plaza. Near the intersection of Tremont Street and West Street.
  • Cost: Free.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Iwalked New York City’s Will and Grace Apartment

Iwalked New York City’s Will & Grace Apartment - Television fans of the 1998-2006 series Will and Grace may recognize the 12-floor apartment building at 155 Riverside Drive. It was the exterior for this building after all which represented the former shared apartment of the gay lawyer Will Truman and interior designer Grace Adler.
Will and Grace Apartment
Will and Grace Apartment
The television series aired for eight seasons and 194 episodes peaking at number nine on the Nielson TV rankings in 2001-2002. The show was known for exploring the homosexual lifestyles of Will and his friend Jack McFarland (aka “Just Jack” to many of us).

  • Website: http://www.durfee.net/will/locs_Riverside.htm
  • Address: 155 Riverside Drive, New York City
  • Cost: Free.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Iwalked New York City’s Ghostbusters Building

Ghostbusters Building - 55 Central Park West is known by many simply as the Ghostbusters Building, as it was the location where Sigourney Weaver’s character classical musician Dana Barrett lived on its 22nd floor. At the 1984 film’s climatic ending we see the Ghostbusters gang battle the demi-god Zuul atop the rooftop. All of these rooftop scenes, however, were filmed in at the Warner Brothers studios in Burbank, California. This apartment co-op was purely used for exterior shots.

When producers of the film initially began their hunt for an apartment that had the right paranormal look or feel, 55 Central Park West was actually not their 1st choice. The producers had their hearts set on an Art Deco apartment in the Village located at 1 Fifth Avenue. The building’s co-op, however, politely declined the opportunity.

Ghostbusters Building
Ghostbusters Building
In the film, Ghostbusters, it is mentioned that this building was designed by an insane architect named Ivo Shandor in 1920. In actuality it was designed by a quite sane firm named Schwartz & Gross who built the 19-story Art Deco structure in 1930. When it was introduced in 1930, 55 Central Park West was actually the 1st Art Deco building in the area. It opened initially as an apartment offering units with 1-4 bedrooms and was largely considered second-class amongst many of its more elite neighbors.

The building is now a 109-unit cooperative building and has taken on a bit more prestige. Current and former tenants have included the likes of Ginger Rogers and Calvin Klein. Not surprisingly, the most desired apartments are the top floor units of 19 and 20F which comprise a 4,500 square foot space with 11’ ceilings and 1000 square foot terrace.

One subtle but fascinating aspect to the building’s exterior its brick pattern. Start at the 1st floor and slowly move your gaze upwards. You should notice that the brick pattern begins with a dark red at the base and slowly gets lighter to a more yellowish hue at the top. This intentional trick actually makes use of approximately forty different colored bricks to leave the impression that the building is constantly in sunlight as it shines through the trees of Central Park.

We should also not forget that Dana Barrett of Ghostbusters is not the only famous fictional character to have resided at 55 Central Park West. Fans of the 2003 film Elf may recognize this building as where Buddy the Elf pays a surprising visit to the home of his estranged father, Walter.

  • Website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/55_Central_Park_West
  • Address: 55 Central Park West, New York City, NY
  • Cost: Free