NYC: Central Park, The Guggenheim & Times Square

On our first full day back in NYC I was invited along to a Flickr meet-up in Central Park, and in particular would be meeting my pen-pal Kaitlyn and her boyfriend Kevin for the first time! After meeting everyone at Columbus Circle we sat on some rocks for introductions before heading to the very iconic, and beautiful, Bethesda Terrace.
At the centre of Bethesda Terrace is a pool with a fountain sculpture of a bronze angel (top picture) that was designed in 1868 by Emma Stebbins, the first woman to receive a public commission for a major art work in NYC! The arcade (third picture) is also especially beautiful, with its Minton Tile ceiling designed by Jacob Wrey Mould. The tiles were produced in England and the Bethesda arcade is the only place in the world where they are used to decorate a ceiling rather than a floor.
After a lot of wandering around but not very much photo-taking (oops) the four of us separated from the rest of the group to grab some lunch & get to know each other better. I'm so lucky to have met Kaitlyn through Flickr (you can check out the incredible work of this super talented lady here!), they really are two of the nicest people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting!
After saying our goodbyes we headed to The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (or The Guggenheim, as it's better known), an art museum on the Upper East Side. We planned to visit on a Saturday as from 5.45 - 7.45pm they adopt a "Pay What You Wish" entry (instead of the usual $22). We arrived at around 5.30pm to find a huge queue, which admittedly made our hearts sink a little, but luckily as soon as the doors opened the queue moved quickly and we entered for $1 each (which was all we had as apparently they only take cash during this time).
At the time we visited the atrium was taken over by the Gutai: Splendid Playground exhibition. The Gutai group is the first radical, post-war group in Japan & Splendid Playground was the first large exhibition devoted to them. The atrium looked even more wonderful with their work in place!
Our main interest in The Guggenheim was, quite obviously, the building. The architecture is fantastic! It was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright & has been the home of The Guggenheim since 1959. It's a cylindrical building, wider at the top than the bottom, and has a continuous spiral ramp that goes from the ground floor all the way to just under the skylight. I'd highly recommend going on a Saturday evening just to explore the inside, as sadly you're not allowed to just pop in for a look...
Before heading back to Williamsburg for the night we jumped on the Subway down to Times Square (after all what tourist trip to NYC is complete without ticking that one off the list?!), and I can tell you that it is indeed as bright, loud and busy as you probably imagine it to be. Over 39 million people visit Times Square annually, making it one of the world's most visited tourist attractions!

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More posts from of our time in NYC:

NYC: The Met & The Upright Citizens Brigade

NYC: St. Patrick's Day Parade 2013

NYC: Brooklyn Bridge, the Staten Island Ferry & Wall Street

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