With Your Coffee

#ihavethisthingwithfloors = one of the best internet trends lately.

#ihavethisthingwithfloors = one of the best internet trends lately. This floor is in the women’s’ bathroom at the Vermont State House. Yes, even the bathroom floor is beauitufl in that building. 

Happy weekend, friends! How are you? Hopefully Spring has sprung where you are. I can see flowers, green grass and buds in Vermont! Why am I always talking about the weather? Because I get so excited for warm weather in Burlington; I can’t help it. Today I spent the day in Montpelier with all of the Vermont preservation consultants and the Division for Historic Preservation staff at a training for preservation consultants. How fun it was to see everyone together. Side note: most of us are graduates of the University of Vermont Historic Preservation Program. Also, Happy Preservation Month! I hope you have fun weekend plans, including watching the Kentucky Derby, wearing big hats, and drinking Mint Juleps. Or something equivalent. Cheers! xo.

What’s going on in your world? Any interesting news? I’d love to know!

New York, New York

The oddest feeling came over me on my recent trip to New York City. Odd in the sense of unexpected as opposed to strange. What was it?

Central Park, NYC

Central Park, NYC

I realized just how much of a New Yorker I am. The characteristics of New York City slipped my mind over the years of being away. Like a flashback, I was struck by the familiarity of accents, of last names, of food, of the pace.

NYC Public Library is a perfect spot for preservationists.

NYC Public Library is a perfect spot for preservationists.

I’m a New Yorker (Long Islander, if we’re being specific), born and bred, though I’ve found my home as an adult to be in Burlington, Vermont. It’s been almost six years in Vermont, much less than my time in New York.

You get used to the culture of a new home after a while. In Vermont, you can go with the typical no billboards, a focus on the local economy, green mountains and blue skies, an outdoorsy crowd of people. You get used to the habits and quirks and standard practices of wherever you live. While I’ve yet to fall into the hiking and skiing culture, count me in for the local food, environmental love, the beauty of Lake Champlain, and the pure beauty of Vermont.

Growing up on Long Island, there were many, many families with the last name O’Shea. I competed in track with another Kaitlin O’Shea! In Vermont, there are only a few O’Sheas (no relation to me). Most everyone I knew on Long Island was Irish. That is not the case in Vermont. And studying Spanish for 9 years is not as useful in Vermont; French would have been a better choice.

A snowy evening in New York City.

A snowy evening in New York City.

It’s not that I thought I had lost the New Yorker in me; I just hadn’t thought about it in a while. Have you experienced that after being away from your childhood home for a while? Vermont is my home now, and one that I love, but it’s good to know that New York will always feel like home, too, and I know where my roots are. Like the saying goes, “You can take the girl out of New York, but you can’t take the New York out of the girl.”

The Upper West Side on a lovely sunny afternoon.

The Upper West Side on a lovely sunny afternoon.

What about you? Have you ever felt something similar?

Flamingos in NYC: Lower East Side

What do a flock (excuse me, flamboyance) of flamingos look for in a NYC visit? We visited The High Line, the amazing elevated railroad rehabilitated into a public park, which feeds the urban planning interest among us. We also spent time in the Lower East Side, exploring with the Lower East Tenement Museum and on our own.

A good museum isn’t always easy to find, but the Lower East Side Tenement Museum had been on our preservation-visit wish list for years. It did not disappoint! It is not your typical museum. With a baby flamingo & stroller in tow, we were unable to take an interior tour, so fortunately the weather cooperated and we enjoyed an “Outside the Home” tour. With an engaging, knowledgeable guide, the group walked the Lower East Side neighborhood, learning of the history of its residents and buildings. Did you know that a “tenement” is any building with more than three families in it? However, it’s the connotation that most of us know.

Behind this facade is one of the oldest buildings in the lower east side.

Behind this facade is one of the oldest buildings in the lower east side.

The fire escapes are so interesting.

The fire escapes are so interesting.

One of the schools. (The playground is located on the rooftop, if you're wondering.)

One of the schools. (The playground is located on the rooftop, if you’re wondering.)

Looking up in Chinatown.

Looking up in Chinatown.

A former movie theater house was located in the center building. What a beauty!

A former movie theater house was located in the center building. What a beauty!

Our regret was not being able to take additional tours. The tickets for the 90 minute tours are about $20 each, which seems expensive; however, it is worth the money. Let us not forget that museums require money to operate. And it’s an amazing story of the women who found 97 Orchard Street and established the museum for all to learn about the immigrants in this neighborhood.

Speaking of money, the gift shop is one of the best. (Aren’t museum gift shops always greatt?!) We browsed around for a while as we waited for our tour time.  You can buy your tickets ahead of time, or buy them on site, though some of the tours fill – so plan accordingly.

Inside the gift shop/book store. Good stuff.

Inside the gift shop/book store. Good stuff.

After our museum visit, we strolled around the neighborhood and stopped by the Saturday Hester Street Fair for lunch and browsing. Tents were filled with homemade food (ice cream sandwiches, small plates, pie, smoked meat, ice pops, noodles, soup – all sorts of options) and other tents featured homemade jewelry and other crafts.  It was a nice way to pause between our walking and mass-transit adventures.

Hester Street Fair.

Hester Street Fair.

One of the Hester Street Fair finds.

One of the Hester Street Fair finds.

Strolling the LES.

Strolling the LES.

If you are in New York City, plan to spend some time in the Lower East Side. There’s much more than just museums and fairs, and it deserves much more time than we flamingos had to visit.

Lunchtime at the street fair.

Lunchtime at the street fair.

Flamingos in NYC: The High Line

The flamingo crowd spent a September weekend in New York City, this year’s edition of our annual get together and oh! the sightseeing we did. One of the highlights of the trip was definitely The High Line.

What is The High Line? It’s an elevated railroad on the West Side of New York City converted to a public park. Check out maps here for a better idea of its location. Yes, a landscaped park above city streets. It’s unlike any park most of us have seen (one exists in Paris, but otherwise none have been created yet). This elevated rail line operated as a freight train from 1934 to 1980, serving the meatpacking industry on the West Side, as well as the post office. Portions of The High Line were demolished between the 1960s and 1990s, but 1.45 miles remain and 1 mile is open to visitors.

Mr. Stilts was along for the ride, of course.

Mr. Stilts was along for the ride, of course, just observing people strolling on the High Line.

Here’s a brief history of the creation of High Line from the Friends of the High Line website:

Founded in 1999 by community residents, Friends of the High Line fought for the High Line’s preservation and transformation at a time when the historic structure was under the threat of demolition. It is now the nonprofit conservancy working with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to make sure the High Line is maintained as an extraordinary public space for all visitors to enjoy. In addition to overseeing maintenance, operations, and public programming for the park, Friends of the High Line works to raise the essential private funds to support more than 90 percent of the park’s annual operating budget, and to advocate for the preservation and transformation of the High Line at the Rail Yards, the third and final section of the historic structure, which runs between West 30th and West 34th Streets.

The High Line is located on Manhattan’s West Side. It runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues. The first section of the High Line opened on June 9, 2009. It runs from Gansevoort Street to West 20th Street. The second section, which runs between West 20th and West 30th Streets, opened June 8, 2011.

Simply put, The High Line is a unique, amazing part of New York City. It is landscaped with plants and seating areas, self watered, rail lines are incorporated into design. Some areas are narrow, some wide enough for cafe areas. Sections pass under buildings, between buildings, all with interesting views and a captivating landscape. Historic preservation, landscape design, rehabilitation, urban planning, and community efforts all come together for one big win! Tae a self guided tour and check out some photographs from our flamingo adventure.

View on The High Line.

View on The High Line., near the southern entrance.

Some areas of The High Line are narrow like this and traverse under buildings.

Some areas of The High Line are narrow like this and traverse under buildings.

On The High Line.

On The High Line.

Other areas of The High Line are wide and have grassy areas like this one where visitors can relax and enjoy the scenery, like in any park.

Other areas of The High Line are wide and have grassy areas like this one where visitors can relax and enjoy the scenery, like in any park.

View from The High Line.

View from The High Line.

On a September Saturday afternoon, it was a very crowded spot!

On a September Saturday afternoon, it was a very crowded spot!

More surface and landscape.

More surface and landscape.

Permeable surfaces and plantings throughout the park.

Permeable surfaces and plantings throughout the park.

Laurel and me on The High Line, fellow flamingos.

Laurel and me on The High Line, fellow flamingos.

An excellent adventure on the High Line! If you are New York City, it’s definitely worth a visit, and it’s worth strolling the entire mile, though there are many access points.

Preservation Photos #201

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Jane’s Carousel at Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York City, overlooking the Manhattan Bridge.

Originally built in 1922 for Idora Park in Youngstown, Ohio, the carousel was purchased in 1984 for restoration. It opened in Brooklyn Bridge Park in 2011. On most days, you can ride the carousel for $2. It was closed on my visit, so it’s on my list for my next New York City visit. What a view!

Preservation Photos #200

20130924-091549.jpg Standing at a train station in Brooklyn. The view from the elevated railroad is fascinating, as you get to view buildings at the cornice and look below to the neighborhood.

Flamingo-grams Special Edition: Flamingos in NYC!

Just a lovely blur of weekend with some of the flamingo gang as we toured New York City. Expect more to about our trip, but here’s a collage for now, posted for the benefit of those who do not follow PiP on instagram or Twitter (@presinpink on both).  Enjoy! There are many more photos to come! {Click the individual photos for larger images and full captions.}

Flamingo Travels

This weekend the flock, or at least half of us, are exploring New York City. Follow along on instagram and twitter for a flamingo overdose!

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Friday Links

Happy Friday! Here are some preservation related links from around the web:

Neon signs in New York City.

An excellent article about the value of sense of place (and historic preservation) from the Urban Land Institute.

Take advice from Sabra and change the [preservation] world with kindness. Write a letter to someone, a business, or an organization that has acted in favor of preservation.

How to preserve Auschwitz? (Thanks for the link, Adam.)

A barn collapses in Saratoga County, New York. (Thanks for the link, Luke.)

Wondering about the biggest snowstorms in history?

Need a summer field school? How about San Gemini, Italy Program – a 12 week summer course. (Thanks for the heads up, Andrew.)

Save America’s Treasures Grant Winners announced for 2010.

A winter sky is much different from a summer sky.