Strolling Notes from Recent New York Walks: Mostly Wine and Lofty Views of Architecture

• Visitors to the new segment of the High Line, if they're walking from the south, immediately come across a picturesque church scene near 21st Street. Just to the east side of the line we see the back of the Church of the Guardian Angel, situated at the northwest corner of W. 21st St. and Tenth Avenue. The church was built in 1930, designed by architect John Van Pelt in the Italian Romanesque style. Here's a picture of the High Line side and the Tenth Avenue side. The church is an active Catholic church in the neighborhood with its own parochial school.

Church of the Guardian Angel
Church of the Guardian Angel, High Line view (l) and street view (r)

The Muffin House. 337 West 20th Street in Chelsea. Built in 1850. In the early 20th century Samuel Bath Thomas used the building for his famous muffins. The arched brick ovens remain in the building courtyard. After visiting the High Line, try to visit these side streets of residential townhouses in Chelsea.  No muffins here, though. You'll have to get them at the grocery store.

The Muffin House, 337 West 20th Street in Chelsea
The Muffin House. 337 West 20th Street

• People regularly leave flowers at the statue of Fiorello LaGuardia in LaGuardia Place. The statue, created by sculptor Neil Estern and unveiled in 1994, depicts the mayor of New York City (from 1934 through 1945) in the middle of celebratory clapping. His outstretched hand seems a good fit for a floral offering. "Fiorello" means "little flower" in Italian.

statue of Fiorella LaGuardia at LaGuardia Place
the statue of Fiorello LaGuardia in LaGuardia Place with big flowers

• Visiting friends should always seize opportunities to take in the pleasures of New York City dining and drinking. A new favorite here is The John Dory Oyster Bar, located on the first floor of The Ace Hotel on the corner of Broadway and 29th Street. On a recent visit, we enjoyed the wine and a selection of oysters accompanied by delicious rolls. For loftier views with wine, especially of stellar architecture on the east side of Madison Square, check out the breezy and sleek 12-floor Rooftop Garden at the Hotel Giraffe (Park Avenue South and E. 26th St.). Elsewhere, when chasing a good glass of wine in the Village, just head to 'ino at 21 Bedford Street. Let an informed staff member match the wine with your mood, accompanied by mood-altering selections of panini, tramezzini, and bruschette.

Hotel Giraffe, Park Avenue South and E. 26th St.
Hotel Giraffe (Park Avenue South and E. 26th St.)

• Speaking of lofty, construction at One World Trade Center, soon to be the tallest building in the United States, continues apace. With steel now rising to the 70th floor, according to the Port Authority's site, it's easy to see the tower from many places in the city. Below, please find a zoom photo of 1WTC as seen from Washington Square Park. By the way, everyone's favorite Washington Square red-tailed hawk, Pip, fledged yesterday. Pip took the big jump from the 12th floor ledge at Bobst Library on the south side of the park and glided gracefully over to the top of a nearby building. The parents, Bobby and Violet, were perched nearby and watched Pip's every move. Just like a hawk.

One World Trade Center (in progress) as seen from Washington Square Park
One World Trade Center, as seen from Washington Square Park

Images by Walking Off the Big Apple from various recent walks.

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