A Thrilling Visit to the New One World Observatory at the Top of the World Trade Center

World Trade Center One on August 29, 2015, looking west from Vesey Street.

World Trade Center One on August 29, 2015, looking west on Vesey Street.

On Saturday, August 29, 2015, I had the great pleasure of visiting the new One World Observatory at the top of the World Trade Center. The 360-degree view from the 101st, 102nd and 103rd floors was absolutely spectacular.

A 48-second elevator ride took visitors all of the way up to 103rd floor. On the four walls of the elevator was an immersive animation of New York rapidly rising and growing over its 500 year history. Once we arrived and left the elevator we were then guided forward and shown an extraordinary video for several minutes about the construction of the new One World Trade Center. The large screen went up and there was a breathtaking panoramic view of New York. The Observatory was then open for visitors to walk around, marvel at, and photograph the view. Fortunately, it was a clear and brilliantly sunny day.

I love New York, my hometown and residence for my entire life, more than I really know how to put into words. Seeing all of it in its full glory from so high up was nearly overwhelming.

If you live in the New York Metro area or you are ever here for a visit, I cannot recommend this experience highly enough. You will remember it for a long time.

I took all of the pictures in this post. I have arranged the views below moving from south to east to north to west. I hope they provide you with some sense of the beauty and scope of this great city.

 

Looking south, the Statue of Liberty is in the middle of New York Harbor.

 

Boats traveling south, passing by Governor's Island in New York Harbor. The Yellow boat in the middle is the Staten Island Ferry.

Boats traveling south, passing by Governor’s Island in New York Harbor. The yellow boat in the middle is the Staten Island Ferry.

 

The southern end of Manhattan in the Wall street area. The green area in the middle is Battery Park.

The southern end of Manhattan in the Wall Street area. The greenery in the middle right before the water is Battery Park.

 

Looking east, this is the historic Brooklyn Bridge connecting the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Looking east, this is the historic Brooklyn Bridge connecting the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

 

Looking northeast, top to bottom is Queens, the East River, and the Lower West Side of Manhattan.

Looking northeast, top to bottom is Queens, the East River, and the lower eastern side of Manhattan.

 

Looking North, a very long view of Manhattan. The Empire State Building is in the middle left of this picture.

Looking North, a very long view of Manhattan. The Empire State Building is in the middle left.

 

Still looking north in Manhattan from a different view more towards the west.

Still looking north in Manhattan from a different view more towards the western side of the island.

 

Looking west, a series of boats sailing north on the Hudson River.

Looking northwest, a series of boats sailing north on the Hudson River. Jersey City is to the left.

 

Looking northwest, a wider perspective of the Hudson River.

Looking northwest, a longer perspective of the Hudson River.

 

 

On Location Filming of a New Movie About the Kitty Genovese Case

See the end of this post below for two updates on the Kitty Genovese Case on April 5, 2016 and May 31, 2016.


In May 1964 there was an absolutely horrific murder of a young woman in Queens, New York, named Kitty Genovese. Late at night as she was returning home from work, an attacker viciously stabbed her twice and then returned about ten minutes later to brutalize her again and murder her.

Winston Moseley was later arrested, tried and convicted for this crime. He remains in jail to this day.

At first, the crime did not receive that much attention in the press. Several weeks later, a metro writer for The New York Times reported that as many as 37 witnesses in the surrounding apartment had seen the crime and heard the victim’s cries for help but did nothing to assist or protect her. The Kitty Genovese Case as it came to be known (the link is to a concise summary on Wikipedia of the facts, history and lasting impact), turned into a decades long shameful story and commentary about the indifference of the neighbors who were alleged to have not acted when someone’s life was at stake. Over the many years since this crime, it was also often cited as a symbol for the callousness of New Yorkers.

In 2007, a new study carefully re-examined the records and evidence, concluding much of the case’s legacy was wrong. Last year in 2014, on the 50th anniversary of the crime, two books were published and critically well-received about how the reporting was incorrect and how the public’s outrage over her neighbors’ behavior had tragically taken root in US culture. The two books are Kitty Genovese: A True Account of a Public Murder and Its Private Consequences by Catherine Pelonero, published by Skyhorse Publishing, and Kitty Genovese: The Murder, the Bystanders, the Crime that Changed America, by Kevin Cook published by W.W. Norton & Company. On March 14, 2014, Mr. Cook was interviewed on New York radio station WNYC about the case in a podcast entitled What Really Happened on the Night Kitty Genovese Was Murdered?

A movie is being currently made about this terrible crime and its aftermath in an attempt to revise the misconceptions surrounding it. During a walk yesterday morning, I happened upon movie company filming this famous story on location and took a series of pictures wile they were filming. The working title of the film listed on the local notices about the filming  posted on the street signs is “37”. I am not certain whether this will be for a theatrical, television or web release.

Nonetheless, below are five of the pictures I took as I walked down the street. They are sequenced in the order I took them.

Moving further down the block, the filming is going on in front the large white screen in the background. Notice all of the cars are from the 50's and 60's.

The actual filming is going on in front the large white screen in the background. Notice all of the cars are from the 50’s and 60’s.

This was taken directly across the street from the filming of a scene in front of a private house.

This was taken directly across the street from the filming of a scene in front of a private house.

Zooming in closer here. The actors where placed in front of the row of trees to the right.

Zooming in a bit closer, the actors and the director where working in front of the row of trees to the right.

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Another view of the filming in progress taken a bit further to the right.

A better view of that beautiful old purple Plymouth.

A better view of that beautiful old purple Plymouth.

 I am looking forward to seeing this film when it is finally completed and released.


April 5, 2016 Update:

Today’s edition of The New York Times carries an article entitled Winston Moseley, Who Killed Kitty Genovese, Dies in Prison at 81, by Robert D. McFadden. This report concisely covers the original crime, trial, Winston’s 52 years in jail, and the very inaccurate reporting in 1964 and its decades-long consequences afterwards. A postscript well worth reading if you have an opportunity to this terribly tragic story.

May 31, 2016 Update:

For a very different and poignant perspective on the Kitty Genovese case, today’s (May 31, 2016) edition of The Wall Street Journal carries a feature about the lifelong work and personal sacrifices made by Ms. Genovese’s brother, Bill, in getting to the truth of what really happened to his sister and making a new documentary film about it entitled The Witness. I very highly recommend reading this article entitled Kitty Genovese’s Brother Re-Examines Her 1964 Murder in Documentary Film, by Steve Dollar.

Thanks, Dave, for 33 Years of Great Entertainment

IMAG0063Tonight, May 20, 2015, will be David Letterman’s final appearance as the host of The Late Show.There is a terrific Page 1 appreciation of his work and his retirement from the show on Page 1 of today’s edition of The New York Times entitled David Letterman, Prickly Innovator, Counts Down to His Exit, by John Koblin. I highly recommend a click-through to read this in full. As well, I hope that you will be watching tonight’s final show.

I have been a major fan of Letterman going back to his very early days on TV. He always managed to make me laugh out loud no matter how tired I might have been while watching him late at night.

I had an appointment this morning in midtown Manhattan and my route took me right past The Ed Sullivan Theater on Broadway between 53rd and 54th Streets, the home of The Late Show. Above and below are four photos I took on this historic day in TV entertainment. In the pictures, you can see some of the media that was starting to gather outside. (I am about to upload this post at 12:35 EST.)

Thanks, Dave, for all of that great entertainment you have brought into everyone’s homes each nigh for the past 33 years. The very best wishes on your retirement and whatever the future may hold for you.

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Tech Day New York 2015’s Great Success Was Clearly App-arent

IMAG0059Even though the weather was cold and windy in New York yesterday, the environment inside Tech Day New York 2015 (and on @TechDayHQ and #NYTD) was sunny and warm. Thousands of guests attended and were able to survey the exhibits and speak with the representatives of more than 400 startups from the NYC area. (Thanks and kudos, btw, to the designers and coders responsible this event’s website because it’s a very snappy and original piece of work.)

There is a thriving entrepreneurial community across this great city and its pride and spirit were well represented here. I found the hours that I spent wandering around the exhibits to be exhilarating because of the energy, creativity and determination displayed by all of these budding companies. Indeed, I found a massive group of people doing a lot of way cool things today. I took the photos above and below to try to capture some sense of the scale of TDNY.

Of course, such vivid concentrations of tech entrepreneurship exist elsewhere in a multitude of locations across the globe. But, forgive me, this is my hometown.

The startups at the event displayed a deep and wide range of online goods and services. Among many others, these included programming and app development tools, big data and analytics offerings, medical information collection and analytical platforms, cloud management and security systems, employment and benefits sites, social networking and organization apps, food preparation and delivery services, fashion industry services, music and media apps and services, education support offerings, and 3-D printing systems. There was even someone dressed up like a slice of pizza putting on some pretty cool dance moves in the middle of it all.

I stopped and talked with the reps at a number of the startups. I was very impressed with everyone’s sincerity, desire to succeed and wide-ranging knowledge of their businesses and markets. Despite the vast number of people attending, they all appeared to be making their best efforts to speak with everyone who was interested in speaking with them. I found that all of own my questions were answered in full and any of my inquiries for further clarifications were gladly provided. I also saw none of them doing hard sales pitches. Rather, they seemed more determined to make sure that the attendees to understand each venture’s goals, methods and services.

I believe that the attendees and these entrepreneurs both got much value out of participating in this tremendously exciting event. While not all of these startups will survive, they all deserve a grade of A+ for their visions, hard work and willingness to take big risks. Some will have the insight and fortitude to pivot and adapt their businesses plans to changes in the marketplace.

My very best wishes for all of them to succeed and continue to thrive.

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