Walk Around the West Side Piers, May 29 2011

Being a hot and steamy day in NYC, I wanted to walk along the west side promenade and enjoy cool breezes from the Hudson River. I didn't stay long as even the river breezes weren't that refreshing. These pictures don't do the views justice but they do reveal how steamy the weather was.

Free kayaking during the summer at the boathouse. The behemoth of a building is a ventilation structure above the under water Holland Tunnel:

Construction of the Freedom Tower goes on..

View of downtown Manhattan from Houston Street area of the promenade:

Flower beds by the walkway:

A mighty little tugboat pushing instead of tugging:

FDNY keeping guard:

Hot and hazy! I hope the boaters were cool despite the blistering sun and humidity:

New Jersey across the Hudson:

Verrazano Bridge in the distance:

Empire State Building and Chrysler Building (looking so tiny!):

Three incongruous buildings that ticked people off during their construction:

What is that standing in the corner of the apartment three levels up? A huge rabbit statue?

The water was peacefully lapping:

Building Facades and Ornamentation along Broadway, May 29 2011

These facades and scrollwork can be seen on the buildings on Broadway a few blocks north of Houston Street in Manhattan. More photos after the jump!

Street Sign Lodged in a Tree

When I first saw this metal sign on the side of the tree I thought maybe it was a hole or bird's nest. 

Getting closer, I realized it was an old street sign that had become embedded in the tree itself. The tree was tall, healthy, and beautiful and it was obvious the sign had been there for a decade or more.

Iron Gate Love, West Village & Greenwich Village (May 29, 2011)

Taking a walk on the West side of Manhattan today, I was charmed by all the various designs of townhouses' wrought iron gates and railings. Below is a sample of what you can find when meandering the quiet, tree-lined streets. More photos after the jump!

A Tree Grows on Broadway

Taking a walk down Broadway a few blocks North of Houston Street, I took some photos of the impressive architecture as I usually do but today for the first time I noticed something new.

I liked the figures on the faces of these buildings so took a grand photo of them before zooming in to enjoy the details. 

It was here when I noticed this tree growing near the top of one of the buildings:

Zooming in, I couldn't tell if the tree was a potted tree growing on the ledge or if it was a tree that bloomed there from a wind-blown seed that took root in the granite and was watered by the rain and warmed by the sun:

I definitely think the tree took root by dint of wind, sun, and rain. There are no windows in the vicinity so it doesn't look like a person could have set the tree on the ledge in a pot and been regularly taking care of it. I sure hope no one sees it and decides to hack it out from its footing.

Second Cemetery of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, Shearith Israel

The Second Cemetery of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue, Shearith Israel, is located at 76 W 11th Street between 6th Ave and 7th Ave. I nearly passed this tiny cemetery today without noticing it. According to different sources online, this is the second of three cemeteries. The original, and larger of the three, is located at St. James place, just off Chatham Square. The third cemetery is located at 98-110 West 21st Street. Shearith Israel was a Jewish sect active in New York City between 1654 to 1825. It was founded by 23 Jews, most of them of Spanish and Portuguese descent.