NYC for Free: How to See the City on a Budget
While New York is arguably the greatest city in the world, it can also be incredibly expensive to visit. As a resident, I’m constantly finding myself forking out a hefty amount for a cappuccino; a cocktail can empty my bank account faster than I can drink it.
Yet for visitors who aren’t willing to take out a second mortgage on their house, there are many ways to enjoy the Big Apple that won’t break the bank. Personally, I’ve found that the best way to experience New York City is to walk it.
Find your favorite park.
You can spend an entire day wandering around New York City’s famed Central Park. My favorite way to experience the park is to simply get lost in it, finding little pockets of solitude, sitting on park benches and listening to incredibly talented street performers play music. In the summer, I love to lie out on the Sheep Meadow with a book or hire a rowboat at the Loeb Boathouse. Winter in the park offers ice skating, Christmas lights and a quiet blanket of snow, while autumn is a great time to wander along the park’s various pathways and watch the leaves change color.
Then there’s Prospect Park, the lesser known younger brother of Central Park that was, in fact, designed by the same park-itects. I used to live a few blocks from Prospect Park, and I consider it just as beautiful. Most days I strolled with the horses, rode my bike around the perimeter, or enjoyed Sunday night drumming circles as the sun set. Washington Square Park, home of 1960s folk legends such as Bob Dylan, is still teeming with street performers every day of the week. It’s one of my favorite spots in the city, and during my explorations I’ve seen a live Shakespeare performance, poets writing personalized poems for a dollar, and a piano player playing a baby grand, as well as mimes, dancers, rappers and a whole lot of chess players ready for a match.
Other noteworthy parks that I like to frequent are Union Square (look for the markets), Bryant Park (with free movie screenings in the summer) and Brooklyn Bridge Park, the perfect place to experience the Brooklyn waterfront and take in the Manhattan skyline. Fort Tyron Park is also worth the trip up to the tip of Manhattan, offering magnificent views of the Hudson River, The Cloisters Museum and numerous walking trails.
Spend time on the High Line.
Technically, the High Line is also a park, but it deserves its own space on the page. It’s one of the most popular free activities in New York, and it’s not hard to see why. The repurposed freight rail line is an excellent way to experience some of the coolest neighborhoods in the city.
The High Line opened in various phases from 2009 to 2014, with the city’s most inventive designers transforming the out-of-use rail line into a beautiful raised park and garden walkway. Running from Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street, the walkway is home to numerous delicious food stalls, constantly changing art installations and street performances of all kinds.
Go museum and gallery hopping.
New York City is home to magnificent galleries and museums, many of which are free or operate on a donation system. While wandering along the High Line, I usually pop down to the art galleries of the Chelsea art district. The galleries are extremely varied, with dozens and dozens to choose from, encompassing a wide range of art to satisfy any taste.
As for museums, Friday is usually the hottest free day in New York. For example, the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) and the recently opened Whitney Museum of American Art are open to the public free of charge or pay-as-you-wish on Friday evenings.
The secret? Take a walk!
Sure, New York City can be expensive—but I’ve found that it doesn’t have to be. Whether I’m in the mood for exploring New York’s parks, neighborhoods, museums or galleries, walking is my favorite way to take in everything this great city has to offer, without breaking the bank.
Cold temperatures, gray skies, short winter days? Although it might not sound ideal, New York locals know that winter is actually the best time to enjoy the Big Apple — you’ll encounter fewer crowds and discover incredible bargains, too.
Winter in New York City is magical. The air is crisper, and the lights twinkle a little brighter. As the days shorten and sweater weather turns to down coat season, the crowds melt away like the season’s first dusting of snow. I’m no lover of the cold, but I do enjoy the city on a fresh winter’s day — especially when I can walk into my favorite museums and restaurants without the wait. In short, there is no shortage of activities that are, frankly, just better in the winter!
Watch world-class theatre.
One benefit of winter in the Big Apple? Bargains. And I’m not just talking about January’s steep discounts at department stores like Saks and Macy’s and indie shops downtown (although I definitely enjoy those). Amazing deals abound for activities, too.
I always take advantage of NYC Broadway Week in early February and buy two-for-one tickets to Broadway’s most popular plays and musicals. Last year, I took my son to see School of Rock the Musical, which was rocking good fun for us both. And during “Off-Broadway Week” in late February, small theaters offer twofers for new plays as well as long-running hits such as Blue Man Group (another show my son loved).
Find the tastiest eats.
A brisk round of winter sightseeing or shopping can whet the appetite, which leads to another fabulous winter bargain: NYC Restaurant Week, when top restaurants serve multi-course prix fixe menus for lunch and dinner, often for less money than a single entrée would normally command. Some of my personal favorites include swanky ABC Cocina near Union Square, Mario Battali’s fish-centric Esca for pre- or post-theater cuisine, and Asian fusion Morimoto in the Meatpacking District.
What could be more inviting in the winter than a satisfying meal in a cozy restaurant, especially one with a real wood fire? So even when it’s not restaurant week, I seek spots like the old-school leather club chairs around the fire at 21 Club or indulge in a winter classic bouillabaisse at Marseille. And I also head to the trendiest restaurants, such as Le Coq Rico, where I’m seated on short notice instead of having to make a reservation a month in advance.
Enjoy outdoor sports and exercise.
Even after the holidays wrap up, ice skating rinks remain open for the duration of the winter months, providing a way to work off some of that comfort food. I love to grab a cocoa in Bryant Park, where the rink faces the beautiful Public Library, or in Rockefeller Center, where I get a snack in the spacious subterranean food court and watch the twirling skaters at ice-level while keeping toasty warm behind the glass walls.
Winter spectator sports in the New York area are a treat as well: I’m a longtime Devils fan, so I head to New Jersey to watch hockey. But the Rangers play in the heart of Manhattan at Madison Square Garden, and the Islanders take to the ice at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn. Speaking of Barclay’s, the Brooklyn Nets play basketball there, while the New York Knicks shoot hoops back at MSG.
Head indoors for more culture and beauty.
Finally, when the winter gets a little too cold or snowy for me, there’s one reprieve that warms me up: a trip to the Museum of Natural History to visit the winter-only butterfly exhibit, where hundreds of colorful live butterflies fill the 80-degree air. It’s a delightful summer break in the middle of the Manhattan winter.
I also make a point to visit my favorite museum, The Whitney Museum of American Art in the Meatpacking District. In the winter, there’s no line and plenty of time to peruse of art and culture on even the chilliest afternoon a NYC winter throws my way.
The Ultimate NYC Trivia Night
The buttonhook was used at Ellis Island to inspect arriving immigrants for what disease? What borough has the most handball courts per capita?
Back by popular demand, the Museum of the City of New York is teaming up with the Gotham Center for New York City History for a night of trivia inspired by the city we know best. We’ll put your knowledge of NYC to the test in categories spanning the city’s epic 400-year history, iconic “only in New York” places and moments, and the notable individuals who have shaped our fair city – for better or for worse.
Ticket includes your choice of a free beer or wine. Prizes will be awarded to top teams!
There will be a cash bar and feel free to bring your own snacks to the event. Your ticket also includes Museum admission on the day of, so come early to explore (and study up on!) our exhibitions.
Players can compete in teams of up to six people. Each participant must purchase their own ticket and teams will be created at the door.
$15 General Admission
Includes Museum admission. Note: All galleries close at 6:00 pm.
ADAM DRIVER AND KERI RUSSELL SHARE THE STAGE IN BURN THIS
ELYSA GARDNER | FEBRUARY 12, 2019
When Pulitzer Prize-winner Lanford Wilson’s Burn This first opened on Broadway in 1987, its four-member cast included a luminous young actress named Joan Allen — already an accomplished stage performer at the start of a film career that would bring her more acclaim — and Allen’s fellow Steppenwolf Theatre Company member John Malkovich, by then celebrated for his work in both movies and theater.
More than 30 years later in the first Broadway revival, another duo carrying both critical cachet and star power – Academy Award-nominee Adam Driver and Golden Globe-winner Keri Russell – will bring Wilson’s modern classic back to Times Square, set to begin previews March 15 and open April 16 at the Hudson Theatre.
Fresh off a six-season run in the hit FX series The Americans, and known for the titular role in Felicity, Russell will make her Broadway debut, like Allen did, as Anna, a dancer and aspiring choreographer who has just lost her roommate and creative partner, Robbie, in a mysterious boating accident.
Driver, whose numerous hit films include BlacKkKlansman and the latest Star Wars entries, along with an Emmy-nominated turn on the hit HBO series Girls, last appeared on Broadway opposite Frank Langella in a 2011 revival of Terence Rattigan’s Man and Boy. Here he is cast as Pale, Robbie’s mercurial, intense older brother, a restaurant manager. Pale’s arrival at the downtown New York loft his brother shared with Anna and Larry (played by Brandon Uranowitz) further unsettles matters, particularly for Anna and her screenwriter boyfriend, Burton (played by Tony Award-nominee David Furr).
Driver, who with wife Joanne Tucker regularly brings American plays to military audiences through their nonprofit Arts in the Armed Forces, had been eager in the past couple of years to get back onstage himself. “It was about finding the right one, and the timing being right,” he says. For Russell, last seen on the New York stage in the Off-Broadway premiere of Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig, Burn This presented a golden opportunity — if a slightly intimidating one — after The Americans had wrapped.
“I had just finished doing the show and thought I would take a break for a bit,” Russell says. “And then this came, and it seemed the right combination of interesting and scary, and a chance to be at home in New York instead of traveling to work.” She got encouragement from “my guy,” Americans costar and real-life partner Matthew Rhys: “He does stage readings all the time and loves doing plays. I’m more of a shy person; this is definitely pushing my boundaries, taking a leap…but that’s good.”
Russell has considered the differences between her Americans character, KGB agent Elizabeth Jennings, and Anna. “Elizabeth was so specific, so steely and strong. I loved playing her. Anna feels much more open. The thing about Anna is that she’s ready to have a have a huge experience, she’s on the precipice of starting a new life for herself, making her own way. All the characters in the play are in some way ready for that, I think. They’re at that age when everything feels very alive.”
Driver notes that loss is also a key theme in Burn This, “and how unexpected it can be. Robbie dies at such a young age, in such a sudden and unexpected way. I think that was Lanford Wilson’s response to the AIDS crisis. This was the ’80s, when all these young and beautiful and talented men were disappearing, and he was writing about what that does to the people left behind, as they try to process it and come together. [Wilson] wrote a lot about actual family and acquired family, and that’s a theme here too.”
Both actors were enthused about the prospect of working together. “I knew Keri through Matthew, and knew that working with her would be a dream,” Driver says. “It’s very rare that you get to work with people like her, who come totally prepared and totally professional, and who can convey strength and vulnerability at the same time. She’s always right there in front of you. I couldn’t ask for a better scene partner.”
Russell praises Driver’s “sensitivity as an actor. I think his role here can be read one way, but Adam brings other stuff, which will be really interesting.” Driver has actually played Pale before, in a college production. “[Pale’s] energy is singular and pretty demanding,” he recalls, musing, “I can relate to him more now than I could when I was 21.”
For Russell, working on Burn This also offers, in spite of the play’s gritty and darker elements, something of a reprieve from the drama of today’s world. “One thing that pulled me toward it is that everything we’re going through now politically is so taxing,” she says. “It feels so good to be dealing with love and lust, with people who have this burning need at a time when everything seems to matter. This was definitely the right play at the right time.”
Strictly limited engagement.
Previews begin March 15; Opens April 16.
Grand Bazaar NYC, formerly known as GreenFlea Market, has been operating every week, rain or shine, since 1985 on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, making it one of the oldest flea markets in New York City. It was among the first open air markets in the city, and it still considered today one of the best indoor and outdoor weekly flea markets in Manhattan, with its positive and vibrant shopping environment that reflects New York City’s originality and diversity.
With its large variety of antique, vintage, and handcrafted merchandises sold by 140+ new vendors and long-standing customer favorites, Grand Bazaar NYC is the ideal place to look for something different to give or to keep. A more extensive list of typical items that can be found at Grand Bazaar NYC include antiques, vintage collectibles, new handcrafted items, jewelry, furniture, clothing, new and vintage furniture, rugs (both old and new), lighting fixtures & parts, architectural salvage mantels, mirrors, China, glass, vinyl LPs, antique maps, new & used books, and custom eye-wear.
Flea market enthusiasts will find wonderful things at reasonable prices — most of them probably not available anywhere else. Some of the handicraftsmen at the market also offer custom-made merchandise, from jewelry to furniture and clothing. In fact, the vendors take pride in helping shoppers find just what they’re looking for. Last but not least, special themed events and pop-ups highlight the different categories found at the market, and the organizers of Grand Bazaar NYC are always featuring new one-of-a-kind vendors throughout the year.
Grand Bazaar NYC truly has something for everyone, as this unique and dynamic market features talented local artists, designers and craft-makers, reputable independent vintage and antique dealers, and dishes from delicious artisanal food vendors.
The icing on the cake? Shopping at Grand Bazaar NYC is a good deed, as this flea market is the funding source for four public schools in the surrounding neighborhood. 100% of profits from the market benefit over 4,000 school children.
NYC Maple Fest will be happening for the very first time on April 14th. And it will be going down right here on the Upper West Side of NYC! The UWS eventwill be happening at Grand Bazaar at 100 West 77th Street. Maple Craft Foods, a Connecticut-based natural foods company, will be co-hosting. Artisanal maple makers from throughout the northeast will also be showcasing their sweetest syrups at this one of a kind event!
Visitors will get to consume these syrups in various forms including maple candies, beverages and with warm waffles.
A vast amount of natural, organic and infused syrups will also be available for purchase.
Interactive demonstrations will provide a behind-the-scenes view of the process of harvesting sap. They’ll also explain the science of transforming that sap into syrup.
Like all Grand Bazaar events, NYC Maple Fest will start at 10am and go until 5:30pm,
Grand Bazaar NYC is open every Sunday, year-round, and is the city’s largest curated weekly market. Located at 100 West 77th Street (on Columbus Avenue), the indoor and outdoor market hosts local artists, designers, antique and vintage dealers and jewelers, many who sell one-of-a-kind pieces. Grand Bazaar NYC donates 100% of its profits to four UWS public schools, which benefits over 4,000 children.
VALENTINE’S DAY IS the day of love. More than any other day of the year, romantic couples shower their better half with gifts and tokens of appreciation.
Much about Valentine’s Day is well known. The handwritten cards, chocolate hearts, and red roses are all staples of the annual tradition, recognized easily at any convenience store. However, much about the holiday and how it came to be remains a mystery, details lost to time and transformed as romantics retold history.
Why do we celebrate Valentine’s Day?
Was Valentine’s Day inspired by a party, an execution, or a poem? Historians aren’t sure.
The earliest possible origin story of Valentine’s Day is the pagan holiday Lupercalia. Occurring for centuries in the middle of February, the holiday celebrates fertility. Men would strip naked and sacrifice a goat and dog. Young boys would then take strips of hide from the sacrificed animals and use it to whip young women, to promote fertility.
Lupercalia was popular and one of the few pagan holidays still celebrated 150 years after Christianity was legalized in the Roman Empire.
When Pope Gelasius came to power in the late fifth century he put an end to Lupercalia. Soon after, the Catholic church declared February 14 to be a day of feasts to celebrate the martyred Saint Valentine.
According to Noel Lenski, a historian at the University of Colorado at Boulder,
Lupercalia was "clearly a very popular thing, even in an environment where the Christians are trying to close it down." In an interview with NPR Lenski theorizes that the feast was meant to replace Lupercalia. "So there's reason to think that the Christians might instead have said, okay, we'll just call this a Christian festival," he said.
Apart from the name, these feasts share little resemblance to our modern, romantic notions of Valentine’s Day.
By some accounts, the true origin of Valentine’s Day didn’t come for another thousand years. Jack B. Oruch, a professor at the University of Kansas, argues that the poet Geoffrey Chaucer was the first person to link Valentine’s Day to romance in his poem The Parlement of Foules.
Oruch suggests that Chaucer might have linked Valentine’s Day to romance more or less by chance – Valentine’s Day is approximately the time when European birds start mating. Later poets, including Shakespeare, followed Chaucer’s lead and helped create the romantic connotations we have today.
Who was St. Valentine?
By some estimations there are over 10,800 saints, of which there are more than 30 Valentines and even a few Valentinas. Two Valentines stand out as likely candidates for the namesake saint, but neither dealt with matters of the heart.
The two Valentines share many similarities, leading some researchers to wonder whether they were the same man. Both Valentines were martyrs, put to death by the Roman Emperor Claudius in the third century. Both men were also said to have died on February 14, although years apart.
The first Valentine was a priest who was arrested during the Roman persecutions of Christians. When brought before the emperor, Valentine refused to renounce his faith and as punishment was placed under house arrest. The head of the house holding Valentine challenged the priest to show the true power of God. Soon, Valentine restored sight to a young blind girl and the whole house converted. Once word of the miracle and conversion reached the Emperor, Valentine was executed.
The second priest, the Bishop Valentine of Terni, was also a miracle worker. Known for his ability to heal physical disabilities, a scholar sent for the bishop to heal his only son, who could not speak or straighten his body. After a night of prayer, the bishop healed the boy and the family, along with visiting scholars, convert to Christianity. Shortly after the bishop was arrested for his miracles and, after refusing to convert to paganism, beheaded.
How to celebrate
Today, most lovebirds exchange gifts like candy, jewelry, flowers, and cards on Valentine’s Day.
The first Valentine's Day card dates to 1415 when the Duke of Orléans sent a card to his wife while he was he was a prisoner in the Tower of London. In the United States, Valentine’s Day cards didn’t gain popularity until the Revolutionary War, when people took up the habit of writing handwritten notes to their sweethearts. It was only in the early 1900s that cards were mass produced for the holiday.
Although gaining global popularity, Valentine’s Day is still not widely celebrated in countries like Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and Malaysia. In most of those countries the holiday contradicts aspects of their religion. However, some countries resist Valentine’s Day for political reasons. In India, some conservative political parties oppose Valentine’s Day because they believe the holiday promotes Western values.
Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day or not (by choice, fate, or otherwise), our ability to love has connected humans for centuries—from the Romans to today. Sure we may no longer whip each other with sacrificial hides, but we all enjoy treating (and being treated by) those we love.
For over 2000 years, the Western World has used life-size bronze statues to honorific ends. From powerful gods and conquering generals to presidents and poets, having one’s likeness cast in bronze is an unmistakable message that your contributions should not and will not be forgotten. Instead they will live on, much like the statue itself, beyond your lifetime and the lives of your contemporaries.
At a time when so much attention is being paid to the monuments of America, and questions are being asked about why they are there and what they stand for, Gillie and Marc would like to pose these questions: What effect does it have on the young women of our world to so rarely see anyone who looks like them cast in bronze, standing tall, and unapologetically proud? What does it do to young men to not see women honored in this way? This isn’t about numbers for numbers’ sake. This is about the conscious and subconscious way our children form their ideas about themselves, their gender, and their world when they are taken to the park to play or to the Rockefeller Plaza to ice-skate in their vacations.
To be clear, we are not speaking of the symbolic figures of “truth”, “justice”, or “The American Way”, which often adorn fountains and facades and are almost exclusively women. These are not specific women who are being honored for specific contributions, but rather empty shells of the romanticized female form standing in for concepts and ideals.
With the installation of this project, Gillie and Marc will increase the number of representational statues of women in New York City by 200% but there is still so far to go. The artists call on everyone to help them institute change:
Artists – when you make a statue, make it a woman! Cities and commissioning bodies – when you ask for a statue, ask for it to be a woman! Galleries – ask yourselves, what are the bodies in your space? Are they anonymous female nudes or are they specific strong women? Citizens – reach out to your representatives and let them know that this matters
10 sculptures of women to be installed in NYC this summer as part of ‘Statues for Equality’ project
Ten bronze statues of inspiring women will be installed in New York City this summer as part of a project that hopes to address the lack of monuments of women in the city. Artists Gillie and Marc, the couple behind Astor Place’s 17-foot-tall rhino sculpture, on Thursday launched “Statues for Equality,” which aims to increase the number of statues of women in NYC by 200 percent. Currently, only five of the city’s 150 statues depict nonfictional women.
The women to be honored include Oprah Winfrey, Pink, Nicole Kidman, Jane Goodall, Cate Blanchett, Tererai Trent, Janet Mock, Tracy Dyson, Cheryl Strayed, and Gabby Douglas. The installation will be located at RXR Realty’s building at 1285 Avenue of the Americas. It will open on Women’s Equality Day on August 26.
“Our goal is to have a major city in each state erect a statue of an influential woman within the next five years,” Gillie said in a press release. “We hope that as the project expands, it will include a broader diversity of race, class, ability, sexual orientation, and gender expression.”
The 10 sculptures will be made of bronze because, according to the artists, the metal is “an unmistakable message that your contributions should not and will not be forgotten.” Each woman depicted in the monument will stand in the middle of an oversized flower of her own choosing, a symbol of power, comfort, and beauty.
The city’s cultural affairs department, along with First Lady Chirlane McCray, launched last year an initiative, She Built NYC!, to bring more commemorations of historic NYC women to public spaces. Last November, the city announced it is commissioning a permanent statue of Shirley Chisholm, a Bed-Stuy native who became the first black woman to serve in the House of Representative.
And Central Park is getting its first statue dedicated to two nonfictional women: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. The sculpture will be dedicated in the park on August 18, 2020, marking the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment.
Learn more about Gillie and Marc’s “Statue of Equality” installation here.
Lyft is providing a free ride to black history museums and cultural sites in NYC this month
To celebrate Black History Month, ride-hailing company Lyft is offering one free ride to black-owned businesses, history museums, and memorials in New York City. According to the company, 82 percent of Lyft drivers identify with a minority group, which makes the company “see the importance of celebrating the diversity that we have right around us.”
During the month of February, riders will get one free ride up to $10 to local sites significant to black culture, including the African Burial Ground National Monument, Louis Armstrong House Museum, MoCADA, Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Apollo Theater.
Riders can use the code BHMNYC19 anytime this month for one free ride up to $10.
“At Lyft, we believe in recognizing, celebrating, and supporting the contributions of incredible Black women and men throughout history and within our communities today,” the company wrote in a blog post.
Other areas participating in the area include Jersey City and Long Island. Get the codes for those two cities and see the full list of locations here.
BY LUCIE LEVINE
The story behind Harlem’s trailblazing Harriet Tubman sculpture
Harriet Tubman, the fearless abolitionist and conductor of the Underground Railroad who led scores of slaves to freedom in some 13 expeditions, fought for the Union Army during the Civil War, and dedicated herself to Women’s Suffrage later in life, was known as “Moses” in her own time, and is revered in our time as an extraordinary trailblazer. Her status as a groundbreaking African American woman also extends to the now-contentious realm of public statuary and historical commemoration, since Tubman was the first African American woman to be depicted in public sculpture in New York City.
Tubman’s statue, also known as “Swing Low,” was commissioned by the Department of Cultural Affairs’ Percent for Art program, and designed by the African-American artist Alison Saar. It was dedicated in 2008 at Harlem’s Harriet Tubman Triangle on 122nd Street. In her memorial sculpture, Saar chose to depict Tubman “not so much as a conductor of the Underground Railroad, but as a train itself, an unstoppable locomotive that worked towards improving the lives of slaves for most of her long life.” She told the Parks Department, “I wanted not merely to speak of her courage or illustrate her commitment, but to honor her compassion.”
The sculpture, realized in bronze and Chinese granite, depicts Tubman striding forward, pulling up “the roots of slavery” in her wake. Stylized portraits decorate Tubman’s skirt. The portraits, many of which were inspired by West African “passport masks,” honor the Underground Railroad passengers Tubman helped lead to freedom. Bronze tiles around the statue’s granite base depict events in Tubman’s life, as well as traditional quilting patterns. Linking the statue to its environment, Harriet Tubman Triangle is landscaped with plants native to both New York and Tubman’s home state of Maryland.
Since its 2008 dedication, this statue too has generated controversy: Tubman is facing south, instead of North, toward freedom. A petition that garnered over 1,000 signatures from members of the Harlem community in 2008 sought to have the statue reoriented so that Tubman would be striding north, but Saar explained that it was her artistic vision to depict Tubman making the trip south to help free slaves still in bondage.
Saar told Percent for Art, “The community largely saw it as the figure not facing the direction of the Underground Railroad, which was northbound. But for Harriet Tubman it was a two-way street, going back and forth, and that’s how I wanted to remember her. People kept demanding that she be turned around. What was nice about all of that was that it really opened up a dialogue with the surrounding community.”
As the dialogue around public statuary and historical commemoration continues to evolve, it has come to light that just 5 of New York City’s nearly 150 historical statues honor women. (In addition to Tubman the women so honored are Joan of Arc, Eleanor Roosevelt, Golda Meir and Gertrude Stein).
To address that imbalance, NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray has established the She Built NYC campaign to honor female leaders in public sculpture around NYC. Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman to serve in the House of Representatives and to run for President, will be the first person memorialized as part of the She Built NYC Program. Chisholm’s statue will be dedicated near Prospect Park in 2020.
That year will also see the first statue of historical women dedicated in Central Park, as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton take their place on the Park’s Mall. As more women are honored through public art, Tubman’s statue takes on added significance as a symbol leading the city toward a broader, more inclusive, historical narrative.
The MTA’s ambitious 10-year “Fast Forward” plan to modernize New York City’s transit system featuring a state-of-the-art signal system, more accessibility, a new fare payment system and thousands of new subway cars and buses. Perhaps the most ambitious part of the plan is that work previously estimated to take nearly 50 years would be completed within the next decade. But just how much would these marvelous changes improve our daily commute? Transit advocacy organization Transit Center breaks it down for a few of the city’s more sluggish examples to show us how much time we might get back to do better stuff than sit on the subway.
According to Transit Center’s new analysis, if you’re traveling into the Manhattan central business district from the Bronx, Queens, or Brooklyn, you stand to regain days of your time back over the course of a year in addition to shorter wait times, speedier trains and more reliability. Riding from Jackson Heights to West 4th Street, for example, would save 26 minutes each day (110 hours per year).
Overall the time savings for subway riders adds up to millions of hours per year. If the plan is fully funded, the MTA plans to overhaul the signal systems for substantial portions of every subway line within the next 10 years–much sooner than under the previous 40-year timeline.
“Fast Forward” breaks down into two five-year plans, with the first half estimated to incur an (unofficial at this point) cost of $19 billion and the next five years to cost $18 billion. The big debate at the city and state level is, of course, how Fast Forward will be funded. The biggest potential funding source is congestion pricing–that is, having car commuters pay a congestion fee.
Join Team Central Park for the United Airlines NYC Half on March 17, 2019!
As an Official Charity Partner, the Central Park Conservancy has a limited number of guaranteed entries available for runners in the United Airlines NYC Half. Now is your chance to participate in this premier race by joining Team Central Park as a runner yourself, or by sponsoring entries for family members, friends, or clients.
Team Central Park members support the Conservancy’s mission to restore, manage and enhance Central Park’s 843 acres, 365 days a year. And they have a lot of fun along the way!
Race: 2019 United Airlines NYC Half
Date: Sunday, March 17, 2019
Location: Central Park, New York City
Team Central Park Member Benefits
Ambassador (for runners already registered to run the 2019 United Airlines NYC Half)
Official Team Central Park performance t-shirt
Personalized fundraising webpage and fundraising guide
Central Park Conservancy membership card, with access to special discounts at our gift shop, online store and select in-Park vendors
Additional incentives and benefits available to help you reach higher fundraising goals
GUARANTEED entry into the 2019 United Airlines NYC Half on Sunday, March 17, 2019
Complimentary one-year Belvedere Knight membership, including invitations to behind-the-scenes tours and lectures, cocktail parties, ice skating party, and more
VIP seating at the Central Park Conservancy Film Festival
Official Team Central Park performance t-shirt
Personalized fundraising webpage and fundraising guide
All of the benefits listed above, plus a personalized granite paving stone on Gilder Run, at the base of the Reservoir Running Track in Central Park to commemorate your marathon finish or other life milestone