January 23, 2011

November 2005

New York Fall Triple Header

LaGuardia (Oct 26), Yorktown Heights (Nov 3), Manhattan (Nov 11)




On my way back home from an IBM SMB (small and medium business) meeting in White Plains, New York, I caught this dramatic Manhattan skyline as seen from LaGuardia airport.

IBM STG Briefing

A week later, I was back in New York, and what a beautiful sight it was... Here's the view of the forest outside my Rye Town Hilton hotel.

IBM Yorktown Heights Research Center

Morning Sun...

The autumn leaves were even more beautiful around IBM's Yorktown Heights Research Center, where the IBM STG (Systems & Technology Group) meeting was held.  "This is where some of the 'IBM brainiacs' live and work," one executive explained.  

Here's what the view of the grounds in front of the building looked like the morning we arrived there (above).

And this is what they looked like in the setting sun.


Here's auditorium in which the meeting took place as one of IBM customers, SBC's CIO, was presenting.  After a full day of meetings, I went out for a walk around the Yorktown Lab's grounds just as the sun was getting ready to set.  It was a feast for the eye...

Symphony of Colors

Some of the older buildings that date back to the original 19th century farm which are now being used as part of the sports and recreation facilities.

Aren't these maples breathtakingly beautiful?

The same pair from a different angle. (For a contrast of the seasons, check out New York Spring 2005 at Palisades, when all these leaves were mere buds).

Nearby, a flock of Canada geese were happily grazing unperturbed by a human who walked by taking pictures.  Since the weather was unseasonably warm (71F), guess they were in no hurry to continue their journey south (Canada geese are migratory birds).

The man after whom the research center is named - Thomas J. Watson, Sr.  He led IBM from 1914 to 1954, i.e., during its most difficult formative years, before passing the baton to his son.


NEW YORK, Nov 11 - I awoke early in the morning this Remembrance Day 2005 to this view out of my Lexington Ave hotel.  It seemed like a typical Manhattan rooftop scenery.  Until closer scrutiny revealed...

... this close-up view of a brownstone on 49th street that had trees growing on its rooftop.  The old-fashioned water tower seems to be there just to lend authenticity to this typical Manhattan scene.

After my business meetings, I went out this afternoon for a walk in Central Park. 

I headed parallel to the Fifth Ave toward the Metropolitan Museum.  The fall colors were in evidence in Central Park...

... though some parts of it still looked pretty lush and green, especially this late in the fall.

Peaking through the rapidly defoliating trees were the facades of the ornate buildings that line the Fifth Ave...

...and here's the Fifth Ave around 72nd St...

... and the French consulate, too. 

When I finally made it to the Met, I found it all wrapped up like a Christmas present.  It seems to be my luck that everywhere I go this fall I run into renovations (check out the photos from Versailles, for example).

Worse, inside the museum was a regular "zoo."  This being the Remembrance Day (Veteran's day in the U.S.), all veterans had free access today to the museum that normally costs $15.  Plus there were lots of art classes.  And then there was a very extensive special Van Gogh exhibit that runs to the end of the year.  It attracted hordes of visitors.  And then there were just the ordinary tourists, like yours truly... who got out as quickly as possible after literally breezing through the museum.

On the way out, I took this shot from the steps of the Met.  Somewhere up there there was a three-quarters moon, the main reason for the shot.  Guess you'll just have to imagine it dropping its milky light onto the street ahead.

I then headed toward Times Square hoping to get some discounted same day theater tickets.  And this is the traffic mess that I found looking toward Times Sq from Broadway at about 56th St.  So I got out of the cab and walked the rest of the way.

A little further down Broadway I took this photo of the old Ed Sullivan theater where now David Letterman's "Late Show" is taped every weekday.  

I did not have any luck at Times Sq in getting tickets for any of the shows that seemed interesting to me.  I tried the "Mamma Mia" box office, too, but the musical was sold out for tonight.  So I decided to walk back to my hotel across town...

... and found out that the City's Christmas decorations are already well under way.  Here's the Radio City Music Hall, for example, at 50th St and Sixth Ave.

The scaffolding to the right of the skating rink is a part of the structure being built to support the giant Christmas tree that is always placed at this spot at the Rockefeller Center.

Speaking of the Rockefeller Center... look up!

Saks on Fifth Ave was also already well into the Christmas spirit.  I have been to this store many times around many Christmases in the last 25 years or so, but have never seen so much glitz and glitter as this year.  Move over Hollywood, the New Yorkers sure know how to put on a show...  And Saks is not even in the show business.  :-)

Finally, here's a nighttime view of Park Ave at Waldorf Astoria, looking toward the Met Life building (erstwhile PanAm building) that sits atop the Grand Central station.

And the same scene the following day - in the afternoon... just a couple blocks down Park Ave farther away from Grand Central.

The End

For other travel vignettes from New York, click on "Taking a Little Bite Out of the Big Apple", Palisades and New York 2004.

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