You don't have to fight the traffic to get out of the city to enjoy amazing fall colors. There are numerous city parks that are excellent for watching the leaves turn glorious. The Parks Department offer a helpful fall foliage guide covering the five boroughs.
The city's centerpiece, Central Park, becomes a sight to behold when the sunlight hits it just right. Besides observing the trees at the park, we also have a balcony view from the many buildings that ring the rectangle—a number of which are open to the public—such as Top of the Rock. The home page for the Central Park Conservancy features some inviting photography to remind us what it will be like in a couple of weeks.
To plan your visit, download the Central Park's fall foliage map and then get out and take in the glowing golds, purples, bronzes, and reds as the trees begin to change color. Below is an excerpt from the map showing the description of locales and trees to look for. Bring a camera and happy leaf peeping.
by Laura Matiz
As a contributor to the Central Park Conservancy, I receive their literature quite often. The Conservancy often communicates the state of Central Park using numbers, something they do quite well. For example, Central Park now welcomes over 42 million visitors a year, although on some weekends, it feels like all 42 million are in the park at the same time. That's a mighty task to keep the park looking as good as it does day in day out.
The Central Park Conservancy's latest restoration project is the Grand Army Plaza entrance on the southeast corner of the park (Fifth Avenue & 59th Street). The iconic monument of Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman is the focal point. From his high perch in new and protected gold-leaf covering, he looks down on a beautifully reconstructed plaza with new benches shaded by a double row of London plane trees, replacing the ones lost in the snowstorm of October 2011. While the southeast corner of the park is often quite crowded and bustling, it will be worth sitting on one of the new benches and contemplating this latest restoration.
Learn all about the Grand Army Plaza in this audio clip from the Central Park Conservancy.
by Laura Matiz
In December 2014, I wrote about transit developments in "NYC Underground: New Transit Projects." There, I highlighted the 7 Line West Side Extension that will reach the Jacob Javitz Convention Center. The extension will also serve the new Hudson Yards Redevelopment Project, "the largest private real estate development in the history of the United States and the largest development in New York City since Rockefeller Center." This project is bound to open up and change Manhattan's far West Side.
by Laura Matiz
When showing apartments in the city, there are three things that sours a buyer's perception of a building and its vicinity, scaffolding, a garbage bag mound, and sidewalks full of dog dirt. I can usually convince people about the temporary nature of the first two, although some scaffolding seems to grow permanent status in front of buildings. Dog poop is another story, especially if on a second visit, the situation is the same.
Long-time NYC residents may recall 1978 when the pooper-scooper laws were enacted during the Ed Koch administration. Before that, the city sidewalks were a minefield. It was disgusting. Opponents of the law felt that picking up after your dog was also disgusting. So did the Department of Sanitation, who initially refused to pick up dog waste from public receptacles. At first, dog owners were instructed to bring home the droppings for disposal in their toilets. See FlushPuppies.
We have come a long way since the late 70s. Most dog-owners carry little baggies and willingly pick up after their pets. The City has a website with information on the law and a form where citizens can leave a complaint for dog waste. One presumes the complaint information will be used to canvas the affected area by one of the small number of Department of Sanitation employees who enforce the law. I have never seen one of these employees, so they may be as rare as Big Foot. I found some older articles that claim that much fewer than 1,000 summons are given out yearly in the five boroughs. That may be because scofflaws must be caught in the act of not acting. An amNY.com story tallied and mapped the number of complaints the city received for animal waste for the year ending July 2014. Manhattan had 220 of the total 2,442 complaints received.
Sidewalk cleanliness in residential areas is also probably a measure of the invisible socioeconomic boundaries that exist in the city. Most doormen buildings have sufficient staff to keep the front of their building clean. From anecdotal observations, most owners never let their pooches go in front of their own building. That would be uncouth. Also, residents of buildings on the avenues tend seek the quieter side streets to allow Fido to do his business and to hide from their neighbors during the act of bending down and picking up. Of course, there is always the park, but you have to pick up there too, or a Park Ranger will want to have a chat with you.
by Laura Matiz
News about futuristic designs in New York City bring out our skepticism, but when the Hudson River Park Trust and The Diller – Von Furstenberg Family Foundation officially announced a partnership to build a world-class public park and performance space on the site of the deteriorating Pier 54, the possibility became more bankable. It helps that Barry Diller and his wife Diana Von Furstenberg have pledged $130 million to build the park designed by British architect Thomas Heatherwick.
by Laura Matiz
In another one of those New-Yorkers-are-amazing stories comes the latest urban planning idea for the Lower East Side. Co-founders James Ramsey and Dan Barasch have proposed The Lowline, the city's first underground park to be housed in a football-field-sized trolley terminal that has been vacant for over 60 years. They plan to harvest natural light using a custom-designed fiber optics system during daytime and use LED lighting at night. This weather-protected space would be accessible year round adding much needed public green space to the densely-developed Lower East Side.
Maybe because this pleasantly cool August has been reminding us of those September days that harbor a fall chill and because Labor Day falls on September 1st, we anticipate an abrupt ending to summer of 2014 and a quick return to the lively real estate activity as buyers and sellers return from their summer vacations.
With that in mind, we have a fabulous exclusive listing to highlight. It is sure to catch the eye of anyone who knows the delight of a Central Park stroll as the trees morph into a beautiful bouquet of fall colors. Autumn will be around the corner, literally.