New York, June 2007 - Walking Through NY Rock History / Coney Island Boardwalk

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Woke up Thursday and decided to walk down by the East Village.

Joey Ramone's got his own street in the East Village now, put up in honor of the singer after his death in 2001.  This was otherwise known as Bowery and 2nd. 

We walked around the East Village, tracking down rock history.  CBGBs was just around the corner.

Another now-defunct place, the Fillmore East, now turned into a bank.  But we've got this lightpole.  Look, I wasn't planning on having two traffic posts in a just worked out that way. 

96 and 98 St Mark's Place, East Village, buildings that were photographed for the famous "Physical Graffiti" cover by Led Zeppelin (see inset). Mick Jagger also appeared in a video for "Waiting on a Friend" in front of these buildings.

St. Mark's Place is a street that has always figured prominently in NY counterculture, with GG Allin, Thelonius Monk, Yoko Ono, Lenny Bruce, Andy Warhol and the Exploding Plastic Inevitable, and others having a history here.

After eating some fine NY-style pizza baked in a coal-fired brick oven at John's Pizzeria on Bleecker, we eventually made it over to Brooklyn to hang out with the family.

Our Thursday family dinner at the Seaport Buffet in Brooklyn, with Gail, John, and Melody - Misty the bride's family - talking over a seafood dinner.

My brother Dennis at the Seaport Buffet, showing the camera who's boss.

Fun dinner.  Our cousin drove us back to the Upper East Side, saving us a long subway ride.

Woke up to a nice, cool Friday morning.  We were happy about this - we had a monster day crammed full of things to do: Central Park, a Burmese restaurant, The Whitney Museum's psychedelic exhibit, Coney Island, DUMBO at Brooklyn Bridge - yeah, we were gonna see it all.

We walked around quite a bit of Central Park, zigzagging our way from 88th down to 65th and then eventually back up to the Dakota, John Lennon's former residence (and yes, where he was killed), and Strawberry Fields. 


A duck hanging out by Turtle Pond in Central Park, sitting at the foot of the Belvedere Castle.

The Belvedere Castle in Central Park, sitting on the same rock in which it was ultimately constructed.  The castle is a miniature Gothic castle that offers great views of the Great Lawn and much of Central Park.

Along one of the twisting pathways in Central Park, this offers a glimpse of what Manhattan must have looked like before someone went and built all those tall buildings on it.

Painting in Central Park.

The Dakota, John Lennon's residence, located at 72nd and Central Park West, across the street from what is now the Strawberry Fields Memorial. 

To the left of the building is the entrance where Lennon was murdered as he and Yoko Ono were returning home late one night after their days' work at a recording studio.

In Strawberry Fields Memorial is this circular tile mosaic, made of inlaid stones that were sent in from all over the world.  The message is simple:  IMAGINE.

Strawberry Fields is the name given to a garden in Central Park dedicated in memory of John Lennon. The entrance to the memorial is located directly across Central Park West from the Dakota building.

To the right of the mosaic was a group of people singing "Imagine" with the hushed tones of a church group on a field trip.  Elsewhere, a long-haired young guy led a bicycle tour.

Flowers left on a park bench in the Strawberry Fields Memorial.

A flower pot by the Dakota, near the entrance where John Lennon was murdered.  When I was there, there were numerous people stopping and shooting photos.


After visiting Strawberry Fields, we walked over to eat at a Burmese Restaurant called Cafe Mingala on 2nd between 72nd & 73rd St. The food was quite tasty, although not quite capturing the elusive feel of much of the food that we ate while in Burma for three weeks in 2000. 

We then walked over to the Whitney to see their Summer of Love - Art of the Psychedelic Era exhibition.

The psychedelic car Janis Jopllin used to drive, parked outside the Whitney Museum of American Art at the Summer of Love - Art of the Psychedelic Era exhibition. 

The exhibit revisits the explosion of contemporary art and popular culture brought about by the civil unrest of the 1960s and early 70s. The exhibition includes paintings, photographs and sculptures by Richard Avedon, Jimi Hendrix, and Andy Warhol, among others, and contains a rich selection of important posters, album covers and underground magazines.

After the Whitney, we hopped on a couple of subways to Brighton Beach.  Brighton Beach has the largest community of Russians outside of Russia, and is nicknamed "LIttle Odessa by the Sea".  It's quiet, with very nice stretches of beaches all along the boardwalk, where New Yorkers come to escape the heat.

We walked down the boardwalk to Coney Island, enjoying the fresh ocean breeze.

What is this?

Coney Island restaurant.

The enormous Wonder Wheel ferris wheel looms large over Coney Island.

New York 2007

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