While doing my graduate work in East Asian Studies at Cornell University in centrally isolated Ithaca, NY, I would often escape to Manhattan for a taste of civilization. After my four years at Berkeley, one always referred to San Francisco as "The City", but learned quickly that New York City is really "The City of Cities". My passion for art, architecture and design took me to the streets immediately - literally. I walked from one end of the city to the other in awe and like Alice felt as though I fell deep into something bigger than myself like the Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged. Like the novels of Ayn Rand there are so many layers and one does not fully understand the meaning until you read the paragraphs over and over again. Here too in Manhattan one needs to look at the many layers and then decide if they are worthy of peeling away. Much of the New York urban experience is in your face and not for everyone, but New Yorkers attribute this energy as a prerequisite for survival on a tiny island on the frontier of everything old and new. Jump in and have fun!

I did just that on my last trip to Manhattan and spent the day experiencing for the first time the new urban garden called the High LineThe High Line was built in the 1930s, as part of a massive public-private infrastructure project called the West Side Improvement. It lifted freight traffic 30 feet in the air, removing dangerous trains from the streets of Manhattan's largest industrial district. No trains have run on the High Line since 1980. Friends of the High Line, a community-based non-profit group, formed in 1999 when the historic structure was under threat of demolition. Friends of the High Line works in partnership with the City of New York to preserve and maintain the structure as an elevated public park. 

I made this afternoon in Manhattan complete with a stop at the David Zwirner Gallery on West 19th Street and lunch at the The Spotted Pig on West 11th Street.


A Voce Madison (Italian)
AQ Kafe (Casual Northern European)
Aldea (Contemporary Iberian)
Alto (Italian)
Bouley (French)
Casa Mono (Spanish)
Corton (Modern French)
Daniel (French)
Dock's Oyster Bar (Seafood)
Dressler (Contemporary American)
Gilt (New American)
Gordon Ramsay at The London (Contemporary)
Jean-Georges (French)
Jewel Bako (Japanese)
Kajitsu (Japanese Shojin Vegetarian)
Kurumazushi (Japanese)
Le Bernardin (French)
Masa (Japanese)
Momofuku Ko (Japanese)
Per Se (American)
Picholine (French-Mediterranean)
Rhong Tiam (Thai)


- Museums: Guggenheim, NY MoMA, Whitney, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, DIA Center for the Arts, The Frick Collection, New Museum of Contemporary Art, National Design Museum, PS1 Contemporary Art Center
- The Cloisters: Art and architecture of medieval Europe from the Metropolitan Collections
- Time's Square, Broadway and the Theater District
- Fifth Avenue Shopping and Rockefeller Center
- Central Park
- Neighborhoods: The East Village, The West Village, Chinatown, SoHo, and Tribeca
- Battery Park, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty
- The Empire State Building
- The High Line 

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