NYC Keeps Giving…

red lighhouse

New York City…the gift that keeps on giving and so we delighted in yet another interesting day exploring all that Manhattan has to offer.

We hopped on the bikes for a strenuous against the wind (Bob Seger was on a loop in my head) uphill climb along the Hudson River Bike Path heading uptown.

We had an early morning departure and rode by major activity on the clay tennis courts with people prepping for the fortnight at Wimbledon.

If you can, attend this superb Grand Slam event. Center Court is so very dignified, endlessly bathed in forest green without intrusive advertising and branding invading the tennis playing area.

Riverside Park Uptown Bike Path
Riverside Park Uptown Bike Path

We biked past people picnicking at 8am probably escaping the early morning heat.

We arrived at the picturesque Little Red Lighthouse, officially known at Jeffrey’s Hook Light, located along the Hudson River. It was made famous by the 1942 children’s book, The Little Red Lighthouse and Great Gray Bridge.

We then had a flashback to Machu Picchu and attempted to navigate a vertical climb up to the Henry Hudson Parkway, forged a rickety wooden bridge and ascended to the top. Life seems to be all uphill as of late!

We moseyed around Washington Heights and then took a lovely ride downhill (thankfully) along Riverside Drive which was virtually devoid of traffic.

Grant's Tomb
Grant’s Tomb

We explored the European inspired architecture and absorbed the beauty of Grant’s Tomb, happening upon Gaudi like benches encircling the monument…who knew.

The back story on the 17 benches that surround the monument is that they were erected by artists and volunteers in the 1970’s in what was described as the largest public art project in the country, They fell into disrepair. 

In response, more than 40 artists and volunteers have restored the benches, replacing damaged tiles with newly donated ones. The restoration project was coordinated in 2008 by CityArts, the nonprofit group that originally commissioned the work.

Gaudi like Bench Circling Grant's Tomb
Gaudi like Benches, Grant’s Tomb

Grant’s Tomb located at Riverside Drive and West 122nd Street,  is the final resting place of President Ulysses Simpson Grant and his wife, Julia. It is the largest mausoleum in North America and was completed in 1897.

It is a testimony to a people’s gratitude for the man who ended the bloodiest conflict in American history as Commanding General of the Union Army and then, as President of the United States, strove to heal a nation after a civil war and make rights for all citizens a reality.

gaudi2

After our interesting walk around the monument and examination of the benches we parked and paid divine homage to the deities that bless us with this amazing city at the gothic Riverside Church.

Riverside Church
Riverside Church

Threading our way to Riverside Park, we explored an area we used to walk the dogs in daily when we briefly rented on West End Avenue and where, “You’ve Got Mail” filmed some memorable moments.

"You've Got Mail," Riverside Park
“You’ve Got Mail,” Riverside Park

We glided home, changed and headed to Broadway to see the newly minted, Holler If Ya Hear Me.

140108-tupac-musical-holler-broadway

Holler If Ya Hear Me opened on June 19th. It offers a look inside the world of Tupac Shakur’s music and lyrics. The musical comes to life in a non-biographical story about friendship, family, revenge, change and hope.

Through the poetry of one of the 20th century’s most influential and culturally prominent voices, we are given a window into realities on the street.

Tupac Shakur was gunned down at the age of 25 in 1996. Before his untimely death, Shakur’s raw, propulsive music struck a powerful chord, especially among disaffected black and white youth living in poverty amid explosive violence, while America was supposedly thriving. His lyrics contained a singular poetic grittiness and eloquence.

Tony award winning director, Kenny Leon (Raisin in the Sun), has paid homage to Tupac’s lyrics. Perhaps it is to Leon’s credit that he has not staged an elaborate production because Tupac’s lyrics carry such a strong message.

The book, written by Todd Kreidler, has homogenized Tupac’s sentiment, adhering to the dictum of the Broadway musical.

Tupac Shakur
Tupac Shakur

I hope it survives. The actors are very talented. The play screams for more of the evocative street dancing. It is too bad the musical did not open while schools were in attendance as the theme and essence is relevant to the school age demographic.

Holler If Ya Hear Me is heartfelt. Thugs Mansion, California Love, I Ain’t Mad At Cha and the Act 1 brilliant finale, Holler If Ya Hear Me, are all worth the price of admission…good seats are available at TKTS which is directly across the street from the Palace Theatre.

Another day to holler, I LOVE NEW YORK!

Palace Theatre, 1564 Broadway, NYC. Plays daily except Wednesday at 8pm and Sunday at 7pm. Matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2pm. Running time: 2 hours 30 minutes with a 15 minute intermission.

Take a peep inside, Holler If Ya Hear Me:

2 Comments

  1. Paula Lopez says:

    A wonderful tribute! By the way exactly where is this lovely light house?

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