nw3 to nyc

Observations on moving my family across the Atlantic


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Brooklyn buildings

Impressive buildings outside of Manhattan? Why yes, there’s a couple in Brooklyn.

How about the Brooklyn Museum?  Although its steps appear to be missing,  replaced with a rather odd glass atrium out the front. It is a formidable presence, towering over the very busy Eastern Parkway.

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Or the Brooklyn Public Library?  Certainly not your average public library with gold leaf columns. Check out how tall the front is, when you see how tiny my mum looks on the steps. Those are big doors!

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And the glorious Brooklyn Botanical Gardens nestled between the two.  No pictures of buildings, just an oasis in the middle of urban car noise.


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Watch your step

All along the streets of New York you’ll see cellar doors open, just like the picture below. How people don’t end up falling down them on a regular basis, I don’t know. They are used to bring supplies into restaurants mostly but seem to be open pretty much all the time.

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I did a bit of research to see if there were lots of casualties, but all I could find was this:

http://www.quora.com/How-many-sidewalk-cellar-door-accidents-happen-each-year-in-New-York-City?share=1


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I don’t think we’re in Manhattan any more

There are five boroughs in New York, with Manhattan being the most well known. Staten Island suffered horribly in the Hurricane and is often forgotten as the island off the bottom of Manhattan. The Bronx is at the other end of Manhattan and whilst I have discovered there is a zoo and a botanical garden there (to be visited on warmer days) it still makes me think of scary New York of the 70s. Ed Koch, Mayor between 1978 and 1990 died recently and was credited with transformation of the Bronx and other run down parts of New York. This leaves Queens and Brooklyn. The latter is of course well known because the Beckhams called their eldest son after the borough – it’s certainly up and coming now, with Park Slope known as the nappy valley of New York.  I visited the Transit Museum today and got my first glance at Brooklyn. I only saw the civic parts around city hall and the MTA (transport authority) but it was a world apart from Manhattan. Lower built and more interesting to look at than the high rises of the Upper East Side. And as for Queens, well, I wouldn’t go there again unless there was a good reason. We went to Astoria, which is across the East River from the Upper East Side of Manhattan and it is pretty unloved and run down. The Museum of the Moving Image has been there for 20 years but it hasn’t led to any regeneration in the neighbourhood a la Tate Modern in London. The museum is great, hosting a computer games through the ages exhibit (or excuse for middle aged men to play with computer games dating back to their teens) and it did make me laugh to see the Wizard of Oz as part of the permanent exhibition, when the first thoughts I had when we emerged from the subway were “I don’t think we’re in Kansas any more, Toto”.