Bronze sculpture by Richard Lippold hanging in the Four Seasons Restaurant Grill Room
In the book The Four Seasons: A History of America’s Premier Restaurant, authors John Mariani and Alex von Bidder write that there is a “composure about The Four Seasons found nowhere in the city.” Despite the high ceilings, French walnut walls, and high profile guests clinking glasses over lunch, visitors are often struck by just how quiet the place is, notes Mariani and von Bidder. We’re talking about the Four Seasons Restaurant in the Seagram Building on Park Avenue, more recently in the news due to the preservation battle over Le Tricorne, the Picasso tapestry that hangs inside.
Columbus Circle (a traffic circle, as shown by the walkways to access the center) viewed from inside the Time Warner Cable Building. (Image via Wikimedia)
This week we’ll celebrate Pi-Day on 3/14, so at HQ we’re thinking about circles. Did you know, the number of roundabouts and traffic circles around the world is in the thousands compared to only a couple hundred in the United States? The two things in the US refer to the same thing, generally speaking. Technically, the only thing that differentiates the two is the circle in the very middle. A traffic circle uses stop signs and/or signals to direct traffic, and allows people to traverse circular lanes and stop in the center. A roundabout on the other hand prohibits crossing to the center circle (as it is very dangerous) and only allows pedestrians to cross the streets that branch out from the circle. There are a few other technicalities left to talk about. (more…)
Just before noon on a cool, blustery Saturday in March, 1939, a limousine pulled up to the corner of 225th Street and Jacobus Place in the Marble Hill neighborhood of Manhattan. James J. Lyons, the Bronx borough president, had come with the express purpose of claiming the neighborhood for the Bronx (he compared it to Hitler’s annexation of the Sudetenland). Climbing up on top of a jagged rock outcropping, Lyons planted the borough’s flag, emblazoned with “Ne cede malis” (Yield not to Evil). Smiling widely to the cameras, he proclaimed that the territory of Marble Hill would hereby be a part of the Bronx.
After we published our article on 5 types of historic lampposts in NYC, we heard from the veritable Robert Mulero, who has been documenting the city’s lampposts since the 1970s. He wrote us, “I was called from The NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission in March of 1997 to testify for these old lampposts. I have photos of old and new lampposts going back to 1977.” Mulero was born on the Lower East Side and tells Untapped that he had “this love for street lights” since he was 5 years old. He remembers distinctly in 1962 when the lights on his street were removed and replaced by modern ones.
An Untapped Cities reader recently contacted the Untapped Mailbag wondering about the full, advertising takeovers on the S trains in New York City.
The MTA has attempted to stretch its advertisements to cover every nook and cranny in the subways–even attempting to install advertisements on the floors of the Union Square Station. Perhaps the most aggressive of the MTA advertisements are the advertising takeovers completely covering both the interior and exterior of trains.
These ads are most visible, and were first implemented, on the historic Shuttle to Times Square (or the 42nd Street Shuttle), with each current shuttle sporting an ad. However, the MTA has recently expanded these type of ads on both the 6 and 7 lines. These ads have been in place since 2008, overwhelming the riders of select trains with an advertisement takeover by companies ranging from the History Channel to the Super Bowl. (more…)