Showing posts from April, 2017

First Luxury Apartment Houses on the West-side of Central Park were referred to as "outposts in Indian Territory"

The gigantic luxury apartment houses of Manhattan fascinate me and I love to talk about them on my private tours. The most famous of course, is The Dakota, built 1880-84 by Edward Clarke and designed by Henry J. Hardenburgh. But there are many others that have survived into the 21st century. Many were built as hotels or as rental buildings and have been turned into condos or co-ops.
The first gigantic buildings built with steel beams popped up in the late 19th century and the idea to build them came from Chicago. In fact, the first Manhattan skyscrapers were designed and built by Chicago builders so the first buildings were referred to as “Chicago-style” buildings years before the word “skyscraper” was coined. It wasn’t long before the tall office buildings gave way to steel frame apartment buildings and hotels and churches.
The South and West sides of Central Park began developing in the 1880s as a place for these new gigantic structures, but genteel high society in their fancy houses …

New York Secret: The American Academy and Insitute of Arts & Letters

Probably the most elegant and secret setting in all of Northern Manhattan is the landmarked Audubon Terrace, at Broadway & W. 155th Street. It’s the home of several institutions including Boricua College, The Hispanic Society and the fabulous American Academy and Institute of Arts & Letters, whose past and present members include many of the great artists and writers. It’s located in a landmarked, glorious 1907 Beaux-Arts complex, thru gates and a plaza which places it mere feet (yet worlds) apart from the mean streets of Washington Heights around it. I’ve been to many exhibitions, openings and events here and met the elegant Executive Director Virginia Dajani.  The exhibits and art shows are open to the public but check their website or call first because the public hours vary. A partial list of past & present members and honorees include: Frank Lloyd Wright, Booth Tarkington, Edith Wharton, Thornton Wilder, Woodrow Wilson, Carl Sandburg, Theodore Roosevelt, Eero Saarinen, M…

Throwback Thursday- Tourguide Jim Dykes leads people thru Central Park.


Central Park's manmade landscape was created in 1858-1870. Jim Dykes leads tours all around the 843 acre park. The landscape masterpiece was created by Olmsted and Vaux...they worked together with 3,000 workers to create a magnificent "living painting" out of an English countryside. Today the sheep and cows are missing.
The famous Dakota.
People skating in the shadow of the Dakota.
Lovely Bethesda Terraces under construction and finished.

Bethesda in the snow.

New York's "Celebrity" Tourguide Jim Dykes leads people thru the fancy land of the Rich and Famous...the Upper Eastside

RICH & FAMOUS galore! Here's a few snaps from my walking tour of the Upper Eastside including the house from Breakfast at Tiffany's, Andy Warhol's house, the townhouse where Dorothy Kilgallen was mysteriously found dead, Jackie Kennedy's childhood home and Bill Cosby's Manhattan home. Private schools such as Miss Spence (graduates including Anna Wintour's daughter Bea, Gwyneth Paltrow, The Bloomberg girls and Kerry Washington. The Convent of the Sacred Heart, the Buckley School for Boys, the Collegiate Prep (young Barron Trump), private clubs galore, multi-million dollar condos, co-ops and townhouses. Take Jim Dykes' Private Insider's Tour.

New York story: A dear friend dies today ANIE NUNNALLY

It's a sad day....just got the news of the death of a dear friend who was truly closer than family.....Anie Nunnally (1936-2017)...but what a life she lived in her 80 years!  I met her thru my dear friend Kathy Kibbey Cushman who met her singing in the choir at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal church on Park Avenue and they became fast friends. Born Gary Anne Nunnally in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, her beautiful voice brought her to the attention of Madame Liebling the famous voice teacher. There were men, husbands, world travel, Broadway, opera, famous friends and adventures.  She was an extremely devoted board member and President of the Foundation for World Education.Here are pictures of us together in Los Angeles before her recent move back to India. She had lived in India for several years and written a book about her life and her study of the Sri Aurobindo yoga (The Golden Path) so after years back in New York, Los Angeles, etc. she returned to India and died after a short illn…