Wednesday, 19 January 2011

magic in the city

So, to shake me back into a working mood, I sometimes take a walk.
The Great Lawn

Today I decided to try to get away from the noise of New York, and get into that gem, that Central Park is.
Never a disappointment, I felt peace as soon as I entered and saw the beautiful snow that covered everything.
Of course I couldn't resist pulling out the camera to share with you.

I came across New York's "Cleopatra's Needle", if you know me, you'll know I love to sit by the river in London and the "Cleopatra's Needle" there has special significance for me, so it was amazing to see this one in NYC. Little lobster hands extend from the bottom which I thought is a bit odd coming from Egypt.. but they all have embossed on them a 'gift from Egypt' and it's been there since 1822. Lovely place to just sit and chill, even in the snow- to be honest because of the humidity 4c (41f) isn't as cold as a London 4c.
The MET Museum are going to do an exhibition on Cleopatras Needle starting Dec 3rd 2013, they will also include a time lapse of the Obelisk during a course of a day, and apparently the needle is seen from many vantage points from the Met.
Here is some more info about the Obelisk, and the upcoming exhibition; The obelisk in Central Park is one of a pair—each of which has come to be called “Cleopatra’s Needle”—originally installed by Thutmose III (r. ca. 1479–1425 B.C.) in front of the sun temple in Heliopolis, the ancient Egyptian city dedicated to the sun god Re. Over time, both obelisks toppled. Discoloration indicates that they may have also been burned in antiquity, and that exposure to the elements eroded some of the hieroglyphs. Augustus Caesar (63 B.C.–14 A.D.) took the two obelisks to Alexandria and installed them at the Caesareum, the temple built by Cleopatra VII to honor the deified Julius Caesar. (This episode may explain how the name of Cleopatra became attached to these two obelisks.) The Romans recognized the solar imagery of obelisks and connected them to their own sun god, Sol.  For Augustus, the link may have been personal as well, since Apollo, another Roman sun god, was his patron deity. Included in the exhibition will be a late 16th-century map and a late 17th-century Dutch watercolor, both showing the obelisk standing in Alexandria.

So on my walk I saw these beautiful blue birds, unfortunately this picture doesn't do justice to their striking blue coats, but it was almost romantic as they call to their mates till they come screeching over.
Cute squirrels, NY ones seem much less afraid of people than London ones do, one squirrel pretty much put his head in my hand, to see if I had food.

But amazingly, and I was so impressed to see it was a Hawk! not one but two, and then I read about Central Park's Pale Male Hawk.
A 'famous' hawk of Central Park, loved by locals and bird watchers, who had a mate Lola, who apparently went missing.

The New Yorker reported today that Pale Male, has found a new mate, a much younger looking bird to whom they call hussey! Poor bird.
I am thrilled that I saw them today 'courting' it seems.
Central Park is amazing, never seen a Hawk so upclose! He let me come right up to him and looked at me, then majestically flew across the park. I cant even explain the magnificence of this animal, and it's grace given it's size. I was so excited to see this New Yorker.. In Native American Indian medicine, the Hawk is a 'messenger', and that 'a clue about the magic of life is being bought to you'.*
Though I could still hear the drilling and police sirens, It felt like a bit of magic in the city.  
*from the book Medicine Cards, Jamie Sams and David Carson

1 comment:

  1. Sounds charming - and deep! Do they have urban foxes in New York?