Friday, August 10, 2012

Rockefeller, Madison Ave and Sort Of Movie Stars

"I believe in the supreme worth of the individual and in his right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty.

I believe that the law was made for man and not man for the law: that government is the servant of the people and not their master.

I believe in the dignity of labour, whether with head or hand; that the world owes no man a living but that it owes every man an opportunity to make a living.

I believe that thrift is essential to well ordered living and that economy is a prime requisite of a sound financial structure, whether in government, business or personal affairs.

I believe that truth and justice are essential to an enduring social order.

I believe in the sacredness of a promise, that a man's word should be as good as his bond; that character not wealth or power or position - is of supreme worth.

I believe that the rendering of useful service is the common duty of mankind and that only in the purifying fire of sacrifice is the dross of selfishness consumed and the greatness of the human soul set free.

I believe in an all-wise and all-loving God, named by whatever name, and that the individuals highest fullfilment, greatest happiness, and widest usefulness are to be found in living in harmony with his will.

I believe that love is the greatest thing in the world; that it alone can overcome hate; that right can and will triumph over might.

John D Rockefeller, 1941

That Rockefeller was the bomb. Rich man but very philanthropic. Employed so many people building that Rockefeller centre in very tough economic times. Inspirational.

I made my way to the Rockefeller Centre, via a leisurely stroll down Madison Ave from the Upper East side, where I am staying now. There's no obesity up here. They're all slender and tanned and dog toting and label wearing. It's their uniform. It says what it's meant to say. I think?

I had a long chat to a doorman, standing out the front of some fancy apartment building. He says they can be very rude too. Why does wealth do that? It's a humbling job he said. He was a smiley, jolly man. I hurt for him a bit. He's not allowed to sit down during his entire 8 hour shift. Give the man a chair already! C'mon!

I left my fancy hotel, in my frock and heels, and did the Madison Ave thing, gazing into glamorous shop windows and witnessing early morning Upper East Side life on the street.

Even the real estate listings were in gilded frames!

See the mop? That red dress got the full mop treatment. Probably costs thousands. Gift with purchase....stinky mopped hem.

I wonder if the owner/designer knows that her cleaner brushes the filthy, dirty mop right along the base of all the expensive frocks in the window. I watched her. Every frock got the wet mop treatment. Cleaner couldn't care less. She had a job to do. Stuff the designer dresses. At least the floor was clean! I watched.... incredulous!

Seriously, glorious, heart-stopping architecture! People must have thought I was some crazy lady, exclaiming out loud and muttering to myself that it just 'couldn't get any better'.

The detail! The shops are so beautiful......everywhere you look, everything is so elegant.

'Ugg Australia' even features.

Yeah, ugh boots are the bomb here. Who'd a thought?

Please give me a gold star for persevering with this post. Blogsy has crashed about 100 times and I have lost everything a million times over. Grrrr. I have never sworn so much in my life. Yes, Blogsy I have reloaded, as you suggested via Twittter, when I had a whinge. You have major problems whether you like to admit it or not! #justsaying

So I got to the Rockefeller Centre (that square above is where they have the ice skating rink in winter) and headed straight to the top!

Hello gorgeous Central Park!

Hello Empire State Building?

Hello Times Square, New Year ball drop thingy.

Hello Statue Of Liberty!
See her, very faintly? ....on the left tip of that little island? How good is the iPhone zoom!
Crash, crash...Blogsy, I seriously hate your guts and will never use you again when I stop travelling and return to my laptop. Arrrghhhh. I'm going to do this post even it is kills me.

The Rockefeller complex is Art Deco heaven. Built in the 1930's for $250,000,000 (which was a bomb at the time) it's an amazing example of a building built to stay for eternity. The revolving doors are so heavy to move, I needed help to get through them!

They were pretty strict with photo taking. I was not allowed to photograph the lifts that had all these beautiful art deco, brass signs above them.
After marvelling at Rockefeller's glorious buildings for hours, I headed to MOMA and made a beeline to the architecture and design floor.
There was this fascinating video installation, addressing the ubiquitous McMansion concept. In the display, the video on the left (above) presented a series of Latin American immigrants to the US describing how they imagine suburban homes transforming over time. The animated architectural rendering on the right depicted such a home evolving as the characters told their stories, creating a renewed suburban landscape in a densely arranged network of retrofitted homes. It was amazing ..... listening to how they all thought the homes were too big and how they would change them, move family in, create a small business out of the garage....and then watching the home transform into what they envisaged as they spoke.
Another fascinating video display, that had nothing to do with architecture, was these 128 video monitors (above) that presented continuous footage, run simultaneously, of an artist during his last year of life. You see the artist, while recovering from alcoholism, working in his studio, sleeping, bathing....everyday activities that suggest the isolation, loneliness and tedium of everyday living. Very thought provoking.

I got caught up in an installation on bloodlines and a very sad study of a Ukranian Orphanage .... and where the children ended up after the orphanage. Oh so sad. Only one child each year gets placed with a family, the rest end up as slaves...and the rest that I can't type here as the search engines would have a field day. Heart breaking.

Look at this little darling. Heartbreaking stuff.

C'mon, how is this art?

I started getting confused and thought this was another installation.....but it was really an exit!

It was in the same room as this.....

And this! ......

Yeah, right!

.. And then the window shopping started.

Goodness, this post is going on forever. Ok, so I shopped, drooled over Anthropologie, ate a red velvet, Magnolia Bakery cupcake and stumbled upon Pokemon World in which I found the contents of my little one's wish list for one quarter the price of Australia's prices. Grrrr. It's going to be hard to come home. If it wasn't for my children, you would never see me again in an Australian street.


I stumbled upon a side street, on my way back to my hotel, where they were filming 'Person Of Interest', where I chatted, to this delightful suited gentleman standing nearby, for at least half an hour .....about life, New York, Australia. When I asked what he did for a living, he said, "act in 'Person Of Interest". Ha! I had been chatting to one of the actors! Goose! Orlando was his name. Huffington Post has just done an article on him.

Ok, this post might have to be in 2 parts as the length is getting ridiculous...and the Blogsy crashing is driving me furiously crazy.

I'm heading to some interior stores today. First stop, Ann real life!!!! Be still heart!

Back soon,

A-M xx



  1. Thanks for persevering through blogger troubles. I'm enjoying your trip and all the pictures!

  2. I have been to NYC a dozen times A-M, but you are showing it to me with new eyes. So wonderful to join you on this journey. You are the ultimate host - adventurous, enthusiastic, and not afraid to talk to strangers be they doormen or movie stars!

  3. What an exciting, hilarious, ridiculous, heartbreaking, swooning trip you have taken us on today. God bless blogsy for being there even if it couldn't cope with your amazing day!!!!! xx

  4. Hysterical! You make me laugh. Was Orlando single? Go back tomorrow and try and get a date. Love the window with the black and white dresses. NY does the BEST window displays. Bergdorf Goodman even brought out a book of their merchandising. It was $5000 or something ridiculous. Have you been to the D&D Building yet? (979 Third Ave) It's where all the interior design and fabric houses are. You'll really cry with delight when you see that! xx
    PS Oh, and brunch at the Kelly Wearstler cafe atop Bergdorf Goodman is lovely too. Has the best views of Central Park, plus the penthouses and rooftop terraces of Fifth Ave. Oh - And lots of great kitchen and bathroom shops neat the Flatiron Building. You'd better stay another week!

  5. The orphanage exhibit would have been tough going I'd imagine. Breaks one's heart.
    I bet you will be tuning into that television show from now funny. Oh and is blogsy always temperamental? I installed it just today but haven't had time to learn to drive it yet!
    Loving all the photos and have been living vicariously through you!!

  6. A-M,
    Another great post, my God how do you fit so much into one day?.
    Sorry I don't as yet know what a "blogsy" is, but it does sound like a sort of blog flue? Hope its not contagious!
    Love hearing a hour by hour, step by step log of yoru trip.
    So looking forward to seeing New York at Christmas myself, you are just helping build to anticipation.
    Keep safe,
    warm wishes,

  7. Is that the Chrysler building you question marked?
    You are so good to us persevering with ur blog. I guess ur boys r following too to see photos of where mum is:-)
    I'd just die to have that time to myself!

  8. Oh A-M I am so enjoying your trip. Thank you for persevering with blogsy!

  9. I don't think I can stand it any more! All this culture, and art and architecture and history! I love the words of ROCKEFELLER! What a guy!!!!!!!! I am going to put those words somewhere I can read them again and again! I believe them too! NOOO wonder you don't want to come home! I feel like that EVERY SINGLE TIME I go to LA...3 times now. I look out over the skyline and I feel 'at home!' Can't explain it, just do! ENJOY what is left of your time...I'll keep reading! Thanks for persevering! :) Hugs x

  10. Thank you for your wonderful posts. I almost feel like I'm holidaying in New York along with you (I wish!). Except that your holiday is far better tHan mine would be because you have this extraordinary gift to engage with people. Keep blogging!

  11. Wow, epic! I love the Rockefeller quotes. The photos are great, loved them all, that chair is gorgeous! I ate a whole box of Laduree in London in the store with my hubbie, they were delicious, but the ones in Paris were better! Have fun, cant wait to see the next installment!

  12. I always laugh when people ask, "how is this art". I wnt to art shcool many years ago and got so used to talking about all this sort of stuff, but now really, while I can still appreciate a lot of it, I'd rather look at a piece of art with beautiful colours, flowers, patterns etc, something to keep me entranced for a while. Art is a funny thing.
    Am loving reading about your trip. Ny really suits you!

  13. Loving it all, A-M! Thank you so much for your perseverance to share it along the way.
    Now, Ann Sacks....I'm getting seriously jealous! Enjoy every minute of it.
    Keep well, take care xx

  14. Thanks for sharing your trip, I have enjoyed reading about it & all your photos, so interesting & love what john Rockefellow had to say, it still stands true today. Enjoy the rest of your holiday.

  15. I agree. Your energy knows no bounds. it is invigorating & a lovely memory for you as well.
    Do you think you'll get to the Upper West side? Gorgeous brownstones...

  16. Your posts are brightening my evenings A-M. If it's doing this for me, what must it be doing for you!

  17. the orphan thing is really weighing on my mind, I cannot stand to see bad things happen to children -will discuss on your return x

  18. Oh A-M, what a ripper of a post, naughty Blogsy notwithstanding. I travel vicariously through you, don't you know?! I wish I had a magic carpet...J x

  19. Loving these posts A-M... and I would love to be in NYC with you.... It looks like the best... xv

  20. A-M , loving your adventures and pictures. You are a great tour guide for NYC! Be safe and enjoy!

  21. Hi A-M,

    I was in NY for the last four days as well. Just back in Briz this morning. Your posts were so helpful....if you went to the Highline, I went to the Highline. You went to NY Library and Bryant Park, well that was the itinerary for the next day! Must say the fabulous parks and gardens, and just gorgeous filled pots, were the biggest surprise. Always thought of NY as gritty and urban, but no....fabulous and green. Just underlines what a complete botch up we made of King George Sq in Brisbane, just quietly.

    For the first time ever, was a bit sorry to be coming home. But I think your vignette about the doorman and the rudeness from residents who would have been earning many multiples of his salary is what we must keep in view about Australia. I like to think we would not tolerate that guy having to stand for his whole shift, and we wuod ensure he was getting a decent minimum wage. Neither (I fondly hope) would we be rude.


Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave me a comment. I love hearing from you. A-M xx