Monday, November 3, 2014

Chuang Yen Monastery - A Buddhist Temple

The largest indoor statue of Buddha in the US sits in the Great Buddha Hall just upstate at the Chuang Yen Monastery. The name "Chuang Yen" means “Majestically Adorned” and this 125 acres of land in Putnam county is definitely Majestic. Architect Edward A Valeri designed much of the temple in the style of China's Tang Dynasty. (618-907 AD) Visitors from all over the world and every walk of life come here for Peace. The CYM has programs every weekend with lectures, meditation and a vegetarian lunch. There are also events are held here every year such as the Chinese New Years Blessing, Ritual for the Deceased and even a Summer Camp. They also have a Free Book Distribution made possible by the contributions of many Buddhist Masters and Authors. The books are free for visitors and volunteers as well as sent out to prisoners if requested. With the beautiful garden to walk in and the grand Buddha himself sitting in the Hall one is flooded with a calm feeling. This place is a feast for the soul and something that could take your breath away. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

NYC Haunted Spots to Visit on Halloween

Its the time of year to dress up, have fun and see something scary. This city is an old one. So there is no shortage of haunted spots to check out. Here are a few that may just surprise you. Starting with the oldest haunt in town "The Bridge Cafe." This is in a building that dates back to 1794. Believe it or not this was a old pirate bar and brothel. In what was The Fourth Ward this bar was in a hood that was no joke. "A travel guide of the day called it the most violent street on the continent." If you messed around in this place a 6-foot-tall Irish bouncer would bite or cut off an ear and pickle it in a jar above the bar. Her name was Ms. Gallus Mag, a woman not to piss off. Then there is "The Death House" on West 10Th. It is said that 22 people have died in the house. This was once Mark Twain's old stomping ground and he is said to haunt the stairwell of the house. Then in 1987 Joel Steinberg beat his 6-year-old adopted daughter Jessica Steinberg to death. Just walk by and feel the death coming out the windows. Some spots with ghosts are places people walk passed every day. Like Empire State Building where there has been 14 suicides from the Building's observatory. Five in 1947 alone. Also in 1945 a B-5 Bomber crashed into the building killing 14 people. It is said if one was to walk by at Midnight screams can be heard from above. Then Washington Square Park was once a potters Field where the poor bodies that were unwanted by the church were put to rest. Most of the graves were not deep enough and reports of stepping on crushing bones were made. In the 18Th century the park was used for hangings. It is said that the large tree in the northwest corner of the square is Hangman's Elm, but there is some evidence that the tree was where the fountain is now. In 1825 the cemetery was closed. So when walking through this park that is now a tourist attraction think about the people hung there and the 20,000 bodies that remain under foot. Happy Halloween!!

Bridge Cafe
279 Water St
The House of Death
14 West 10Th Street (near Fifth Avenue)
Empire State Building
350 Fifth Avenue
Washington Square Park
West 4Th Street and MacDougal

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

NYC You Are Here.....
 Has been Places...
But will be coming back soon!!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

NYC You Are Here Talks to Liniers at the Lyon BD Festival -France

The Lyon BD Festival has just finished up it's 8 Edition in Lyon, France. NYC You Are Here got to talk a little with Argentine Cartoonist Ricardo Siri Liniers about his new book for children, "The Big Wet Balloon." He is Known for his comic strip published in the La NaciĆ³n Newspaper. Liniers has many a book out in Spanish. This year he will publish not only his new collection of comics in English (Macanudo) but has jumped into making children's books with Toon Books of New York City. This September Toon Books and Liniers will celebrate the publishing of "The Big Wet Balloon" at the Brooklyn Book Festival. This Wet book is a funny and sweet portrait of the cartoonist daughters and the way they love Saturday's, even rainy ones. Liniers said that comic strips like "Charlie Brown" and "Calvin & Hobbes" are one of the reasons he started to draw. Also he took inspiration from cartoonist like Art Spiegelman and Matt Groening. So much so that he took out a pen and paper to draw a cartoon of himself as a cross on Art's "Maus" and Matt's "Life in Hell" cartoons. Check out "The Big Wet Balloon" this September from Toon Books and look for Liniers other comic collections in print in Spanish and soon in English.

Toon Books "The Big Wet Balloon"

Brooklyn Book Festival

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Poetry, Muaic and Art Tonight at the 61 Local!

Tonight come down to a Poetry Reading and Embroidery Circle. It all starts at 6pm and will wind down around 9pm. Bring your words and smiles to the 61 Local, 61 Bergen Street near Smith Street (F/G trains to Bergen) This event is in conjunction with the Artist Iviva Olenick's work with the @EmbroideryPoems project. The evening will begin with a quick embroidery lesson, after which poets will read, with musical breaks by Cristina Martin and friends. As poets read, embroiderers will stitch select phrases, creating new "found" embroidered poems. Everyone can come and join the embroidery circle because the supplies will be provided, or be an audience member without embroidering. The 61 Local has a great selection of locally crafted beers, food, and non-alcoholic beverages. The Performing poets/musicians include: Jeanette Anderson, Mahogany Browne, Robert Colpitts, Liz Daly, Megan DiBello, Jessica Elsaesser, Kevin Kinsella, Iviva Olenick, Monte Olenick, Montana Ray, Purvi Shah, Kris Wettstein, and original music by Cristina Martin. This event was funded from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs as administered by the Brooklyn Arts Council.  With music, beer, poetry and craft art this is the best way to spend this Thursday evening!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Last Days to see Scarecrow at the Film Forum!

The 70's had the best Road Movies. Think back to the end of the 60's and Easy Rider. Then on to films like Two-Lane BlackTop and Vanishing Point in 71'. These and many more showed the gritty American landscape of that decade with trips across country. If one would like to be taken back to this time head Downtown to the Film Forum to see Gene Hackman and Al Pacino in the 1973 Road Movie - Scarecrow. The 70's might have been the last decade of the Hobo Traveller. This was a way to get around hitchhiking on the back roads and if need be hopping trains. This film Directed by Jerry Schatzberg, who just two years before had made The Panic in Needle Park with Pacino, is about two down and outs that meet on the road and head East. Max (Hackman) is a ex-con that likes to fight with a dream of opening a Car Wash in Pittsburgh. Lionel (Pacino) is a sailor who has some strange ideas about playing the clown. Lionel believes that the scarecrow doesn't scare birds, but instead amuses them - birds find scarecrows funny. In this way he shows Max that fighting can be avoided by making people laugh. This is not always the case as the two jump from one ride to another stopping at dive bars and little towns that seem to be living on their last leg. This is a film that shows just how crazy traveling can be and is one of the films that made the 70's the decade of the Road Movie. In New York the Film Forum brings lots of old films to the screen. So go down and check out the Director that gave the young Al Pacino his big break in the second film they made together - Scarecrow.

NYC You Are Here Back-Log - Panic in Needle Park

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Book Then Movie - The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby by American author F. Scott Fitzgerald is now a box office hit Directed by Baz Luhrmann. A all star cast has come forward to be apart of this historic film based off one on the best novels ever written. First is Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby, then Tobey Maguire, and one of the best young actress out there, Carey Mulligan, make this production of a classic pice of literature into a big box office smash. Luhrmann was the Director that brought the world Romeo + Juliet in 1996,  also staring DiCaprio. This movie will be in the theater for a long time. So one will have time to flip through the book and then get to the Cinema. This is not only a must read for every New Yorker, but all Americans and book lovers. It not only shows us the American Jazz Age, it shows us just how good a pice of writing can be.

Here is a Book Review from the back log on NYC You Are Here of F. Scott Fitzgerald's the Great Gatsby --

This great work of Twentieth Century American Fiction was not so well known in Fitzgerald's life time. The first printing that came out in 1925 was over 20,000 copies and sold out. The second printing (3,000) sat on the shelves of a warehouse for 15 years. Only after the news of his death did the last of the second printing finely sell. His novel is not just a social history, but is a pleasure to read. The Jazz Age, that great party before the depression. This is what is represented with the bigger then life characters in the Great Gatsby. The twenties was a time of bootleggers, flappers, and self made men. Fitzgerald knew how full and just how empty these characters lives could be. "The Jazz Age, it was an age of miracles, it was an age of art, it was an age of excess, and it was an age of satire." Gatsby is the man of the Jazz Age. He Has "some heightened sensitivity to the promises of extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness." This is a story about life, love and money from the 20's. It is also a story about New York, Long Island and how even back then young people flocked here to be where the actions is. The narrator Nick Carraway comes from the Midwest to find himself before being married. His story is told by reconstructing events in Gatsby's life from his own prospective. This Tall Tale is not just Gatsby's, or Nicks, but it becomes yours as you form your own prospective. "I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life." Nick lives next door to Gatsby on Long Island. On the Island rich people have big parties, nice cars, and huge estates. In contrast some of the story goes on inside Manhattan, in small apartments, city streets and train stations. Nick's NYC is a big bustling place full of surprises. The whole book has a dark feeling that is heightened when in the city and lifted, if only slightly, within the excess of Long Island. But this is a vale, a fake cover for people that want to run from not through life's twist and turns. A must read for any New Yorker.