Very Old NYC

Found a quirky cool little blog if you are a NYC lifer like me … it’s lovingly called “Stuff Nobody Cares About” and there are some gems. For instance:

NYC’s first female cop. 1908 people.

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Or perhaps the first “Hop On Hop Off” sightseeing bus … in 1906:

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Or Macy’s before Macy’s … Herald Sq. in 1895:

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Audrey Munson. The 1st Supermodel.

The NY Post did a nice little write up about Audrey Munson, who was basically NYC’s first Supermodel. She posed for dozens of statues around the city, dozens which are still watching us walk by. Unfortunately she ended up insane, mixed up in a murder case, and selling silverware door to door in upstate New York before dying at 103 and being burried in an unmarked grave.

Truly an amazing story, and more amazing to see her everywhere around the city and never really know who she is.

I did a short doc about her years ago which is included in the article. Definitely worth a peek if you like interesting stories, tragic endings, and really passionate voice over;)

Here’s the link, do go give it a quick peek.

-Rs

Roberto Serrini is a professional traveler who records his adventures in word, photography and film. He is a staff writer for Get Lost Magazine as well as a commercial film director and drone pilot. His work can be seen at www.robertoserrini.com where he can be contacted as well. 

Japan: Next Stop Nara.

Nara is a beautiful little town. Quiet, out of the way, and not murdered by tourists, it really is a beautiful retreat where you can experience ancient Japan in the modern era. The train here is a quick hop from Osaka, and getting around by foot is a breeze.

Arriving at the station we didn’t know what to expect; it really looked like any other town. As we walked down the main street, just off the station, we started to notice the shops were a bit more geared to antiques and writing utensils. It took us a good 20 minutes to get Nara Park. Lemme tell you something, this place is magical.

First of all… deer. Everywhere. It’s like a Disney movie. According to legend, a mythological god Takemikazuchi arrived in Nara on a white deer to guard the newly built capital of Heijō-kyō. Since then the deer have been regarded as heavenly animals, protecting the city and the country. They also love these deer biscuits that guys with carts sell. Don’t try to ride them thought. They do not like to be ridden, apparently, if you are not a god.

The park is magical. There are several shrines and museums, but the most fantastic part is just walking the paths. Stone lanterns line green paths, there are gardens pretty much everywhere, and you truly feel at total peace. At the end there is a small “love” shrine, where you can get a “magical” piece of paper that when soaked in the sacred water will show your love’s path. I can tell you this, my love’s path was the one that led me to Nara because I simply am in love with it.

Once you had your full of nature, the back roads of Nara are equally enchanting. This is an ancient city, and was the capital of Japan in the 700’s. Not too shabby. Wandering around here you will find little shops and artisans selling this and that, and some fantastic spots to eat that will make you cry tears of miso.

One thing that was super interesting were these yellow raised tiles (see above). You will find them everywhere in Japan, in the train stations, in the streets, everywhere. They’re for blind people. Yeah. So blind people can get around Japan, easier. That’s the kind of place Japan is.

In any case, blind or not, Nara is definitely not to be missed. Easy to get to, walk and see in a day. We had lot’s to see though so …

Next stop… KYOTO!

-Rs

Roberto Serrini is a professional traveler who records his adventures in word, photography and film. He is a staff writer for Get Lost Magazine as well as a commercial film director and drone pilot. His work can be seen at www.robertoserrini.com where he can be contacted as well. 

mighty manhattan.

It has been two months since I have had the pleasure to call the great city of Manhattan my home. I had left for the left coast in search of new business and prosperity, but down deep I knew that I would never call any other city “home”. New York is not a place, its a state of mind. You can’t come from there, you certainly don’t ever leave. You just are or are not New York.

This little charming film is from 1949. Fresh after the great second world war, and the city is clean, polished and looking dandy. The United Nations building has yet to go up, the Bowery is definitely not a hip place to hang out, and Times Square looks like a provincial mainstreet in comparison to what it looks like today. It’s wonderful to look back at old family films, and New York, you are my family.

I ❤ NY

Rs

Special love to Dave Hanson keeper of the faith, and finder of film treasures like this one.

denver. sleeping with history.

Continuing the series on Denver, we move on to sleeping accommodations, a very important chapter in a stay. It is important to mention that hotels at one point in history were originally places you paid people to not kill or rob you when you sleep. Pretty simple. Sometime not too long ago a guy named Phillipe Starck came along and put glass walls in the bathroom and the boutique hotel was created, where you now paid people to let you into overpriced bars and drink very small bottles of liquor. Oh how things have changed. So it was super refreshing to stay at the Oxford Hotel in LoDo Denver. The Oxford is a beautiful timewarp back to a season where elegance and service were fresh and ready for the picking. While the Oxford is the oldest hotel in Denver, it certainly doesn’t look like it; modern amenities, deluxe bathrooms, and even a free hotel car await you at this refurbished relic. oxford hotel lobby Built in 1891, the hotel was a “city within a city” having a Western Union, Barbershop, Bar, Restaurant, Stable, and even a movie theater. Much of that can be seen in the layout of the building and it is amazing to wander the wide halls, or take in a cold drink at their original bar. The Oxford is sort of a living museum that you can sleep in; the art on the walls are all notable pieces, and many a famous guest, from the Dali Lama to Kid Rock have graced her with their presence. (would have loved to been in that elevator ride… oh the conversation.) One of the things I loved about the hotel was the old-timey key system; I felt like I was in a Wes Anderson film. oxford hotel denver keys Another thing I particularly enjoyed was the “day of the week” floor-mats in the elevator. I had to ask the desk about these because my travel partner and I got in a heated debate about exactly when do they change the mats. The desk was quite serious about it saying that one man alone has been changing the mats for the last 40 years. Every night right at midnight he brings both lifts down and locks them, and changes them out. No one knows where the mats came from or when the tradition started, but in a city where pot is now very legal, lemme tell you, it’s not a bad idea to be reminded what day it is. You will see that I forgot to take a picture one day. Case in point.

Finally, a hotel is nothing without rooms, and these were fantastic. Thick, comfortable beds. Modern amenities and wifi. Bathrooms that made you want to film a scene from The Untouchables. De-Lux!

It was a fine home, and a great base of operations for conquering the great city of Denver. Rs