New York’s Civic Center – A Walking Tour

I walked through the Civic Center area of Manhattan last weekend, on an AIA (American Institute of Architects) tour. What follows is a photo vignette of the cloudy afternoon – the light made for interesting contrast and a particularly flat reflectivity in the glazed and metal surfaces we observed.

A peek at 8 Spruce Street, by architect Frank Gehry, as seen from Park Row.
look up

Another view of the Gehry building.shimmer

A mish mash of verticality, lost in the clouds.upright

I was most moved by the African American burial ground, from which my subtle senses perceived a shaft of light emerging. Not captured by my iPhone. Worth a visit.african american burial ground 2

This plaza by Michael Van Valkenburgh at Federal Plaza struck me for two reasons. One, I do not recall it from the days when I lined up with the hundreds of other immigrants to get a green card. Two,

the mirroring of the wall geometry in the paving geometry creates an expansive effect that is not unlike that of standing at the center of the labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral in France, where the floor pattern and stained glass geometries mirror one another.

I was surprised and delighted by that discovery.terrace

Correct me if I’m wrong; I believe the red sculpture is a Calder sculpture. I was getting somewhat daydreamy at that point in the tour and had (visibly) dropped behind the rest of the group!lamppost

steam and calder

We ended near this festive arch close to the 4, 5, 6 train. A wonderful tour hosted by the Center for Architecture. For more information about future tours, please visit the website linked here for The Center for Architecture.passage

Enjoy your walking!


Growing in Good Company


I’m giving a shout-out to two wonderful women’s business and networking organizations – BIG (Believe, Inspire, Grow) and In Good Company.

I am a member of both, and while my connections to them are primarily online, when I do connect in person, it’s a delightful experience.

We – my husband and two kids and I – are moving house. We are moving from a cozy nest in one corner of New Jersey, to another expansive opportunity in a town nearby. As such, it’s been a while since I last wrote or blogged or regularly tweeted or – you get the idea. It’s within this busy stretch that I found connections, twice, through my women’s networking groups.

The circle drew closed when I dropped in at In Good Company in Manhattan a few weeks ago, and ran into a dear friend from home. Seeing a friend within a business context is magical – and even though it was not the reason I dropped in, seeing her that day reinforced the strength of the dot-to-dot matrix that is my life. The dots connected.

The circle expanded today when I visited a new pod of the Believe, Inspire, Grow group. In group-speak, I went “pod-hopping.” This new pod is in my family’s new town. Instant friends. Instant connections. A sense of grace came with it all, as well as appreciation for the organization that stands behind us in our entrepreneurship.

Support those organizations that support you – that’s my takeaway from these busy weeks.

When you’re too busy to come up for air, the organizations are there to support you when you do.

More soon – before, during and after the move! I have an interesting architecture project in the works with a creative client, as well as another book in the research and jotting stage. Lots cooking, more to share.