Moody Poseidon wields his mighty trident!

Images of Poseidon, Greek God of the Seas, wielding his mighty trident, drawn by a sea-horse drawn chariot-shell, catapulting through a storm-tossed sea, flashed through my mind when I first set eyes on the iconic Childs Restaurant at Coney Island! A life-long love affair with Roman and Greek mythology (my most loved course in college) drew me to this neglected, vacant restaurant in 2011. Childs Restaurant was completed in 1923, on West 21st Street and the Boardwalk on Coney Island. At that time the Childs chain (founded by brothers Samuel and William Childs) was one of the largest in the United States; they were credited as inventors of the “tray line” self-service cafeteria format introduced at their 130 Broadway location in 1898. By 1925, they were spread across twenty-nine cities in one-hundred and seven locations.

Designed in a Spanish Colonial Revival style by Frederick Charles Hirons and Ethan Allen Dennison, the resplendent terra cotta ornamentation depicts themes of the sea by which it resides –  Ionic marble columns, Poseidon, a plethora of sea creatures such as the dauphin/dolphin, shells,and sailing vessels grace the walls of this New York City designated landmark. By New York standards, Childs was considered to be a very large restaurant stretching about one-hundred feet along the newly constructed Boardwalk, a two-hundred fifty feet along West 21st Street, and three stories high, in addition to a pergola roof garden.  The interiors were decked out with white tile walls and floors, marble tables, and electric lighting with fans. It was quite exciting as the New York City Subway had just reached as far as Coney Island in 1920. Due to entertainment popping up in other areas, Childs became less popular; closing in 1952. It then was purchased by the Ricci family, becoming a candy factory. At the time it was converted into a roller skating rink in 2008, it had already been designated in 2002 as a New York City Landmark.

Tremendously elated that it has undergone a magnificent restoration using vintage photos for inspiration (was told some terra cotta pieces were sent to France for repair), today’s venue, Kitchen 21, consists of five different dining and drinking concepts –  a rooftop wine bar, Test Kitchen fine-dining restaurant, Boardwalk and Vine, Community Clam Bar and The Café. Its western side now showcases the Ford Amphitheatre – all you Wendy Williams fans can look forward to her Mixtape Beach Party on July 23, 2017!

Architecture and cuisine lovers – Kitchen 21 awaits! It will always be Childs Restaurant to me! All who know me, are aware of how keen I am about movies – this exquisite building really first came to my attention as it was featured as a community center in one of my  favorite Sandra Bullock movies premiering in 2002 – Two Weeks Notice. 

 

 

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sea foam green and azure blue terra cotta tiles mirror the sea

 

 

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I wish the Ford logo could have been placed elsewhere – the amphitheatre is visible on the western side of Childs

 

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cyclone tossed sea

 

 

 

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pecten bordered arches

 

 

 

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can you spot a crab?

 

 

 

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each marble column is different

 

 

 

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absolutely incredible restoration of these intricate terra cotta details

 

 

 

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ionic columns characterized by volutes

 

 

 

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love the little creature bottom left

 

 

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pardon the blur – will have to reshoot this image

 

 

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keen on these Grecian urns

 

 

 

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so whimsical!

 

 

 

stairs leading to the rooftop pergola

 

love that the view through the bar windows appear to be a watercolor

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I was captivated by the craftsmanship of this original detailed downspout

 

 

 

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My hope is that like my parents before me, I never lose my thirst for adventure and knowledge!!

 

 

Don’t tarry too long before exploring whimsical, historical Childs Restaurant – the $60 million redesign is well worth your time.

 

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Ki tchen 21 – Eater > ny > kitchen-21-childs-coney-island

 

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A plethora of fiddles nestled in Bowling Green

Ayrshire Scotland has been of special interest to me since meeting a gifted musician and singer, raised there, Jamie McKeechan, a.k.a. Little Fire. We met during the 2017 Tartan Week in New York City.  I photographed him in Bryant Park at Tartan Week in 2016 , but didn’t  have the privilege of meeting this fine young Scotsman.  What did impress me then,  was his self-deprecating, easygoing manner as he shared with us the reason for his tardiness – lost on the NYC subway. He laughed and commented that in Glasgow, one just hops on and goes around and around.  He has the distinction as having been the only one to perform live at the home of beloved Rabbie Burns.

As my interest in Ayrshire peaked, I began to research this county in southwest Scotland  located on the shores of the Firth of Clyde. Of course, it has now been added to my list of sights to visit as my husband and I continue to explore wild and romantic Scotland (where his Glaswegian mother was born and raised). After all, Jamie promised me he would  entertain me if we came!!

Speaking of entertainment, when I found out through Facebook posts of the American-Scottish Foundation weeks ago, that the Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra would be performing at Bowling Green Park (in New York City) during the city’s Fourth of July festivities, it was immediately added as a priority to my busy calendar. I seized the opportunity to further explore other talented artists from Ayrshire.

Arriving at Bowling Green Park early,  a smile crossed my face as I observed this massive group of young musicians (ranging from eleven to nineteen) arriving at the entrance about 1 p.m.  Following their terrific blog on Facebook since their arrival in the Big Apple, I knew they had squeezed an inordinate amount of activities ( visits to the UN, Times Square, and a tour of Ground Zero)  into their calendar already. We New Yorkers were in for a real treat as this was the first stop on their North America 2017 tour!

In a nutshell, The Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra was founded in 1982 by Wallace Galbraith MBE, having  served for twelve years as conductor of the Ayrshire Symphony Orchestra. He was awarded the MBE for his services to music and his work with the Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra.

I feel special recognition should also be given to the following : Kathleen Terras, Orchestra Director, with whom I spoke at the suggestion of a “Gran” of one of the female violinist (as Kathleen was her teacher). She was a founding member of the orchestra when it began in 1982. Native-born  Euan Terras, a solicitor, who devotes much time as tour director, co-director, and vice chairman. Native-born David Moore, Musical Director,  who is a bundle of passionate, raw energy and also teaches music at a secondary school in Ayr.

Special thanks to the American-Scottish Foundation’s President Camilla E. Hellman  MBE, and the ever supportive New York City Parks.

And now I present to you the phenomenally talented Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra!

@AmericanScottishFoundation  @NYCParks  #afo #visitscotland

 

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A respite from the heat under the shade of the London Planes at Bowling Green Park – once farmland with cows

 

bonnie faces of the musicians as they hydrate, grab a quick bite, a few donning their tartans in the heat of the day,and warming up before the performance.

 

 

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Camilla and Euan “sorting everything out”

 

The crowds began to grow as Bowling Green is always a chaotic and bustling area in Battery Park.

Ahhh, I never tire of the lovely Scottish complexions.

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Camilla introducing the Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra – recognizing the youngest eleven-year old member. Check out my Passionfornyc Facebook posts for a video of this and other videos of the orchestra’s performances.

The bundle of energy, David T. Moore  – musical director and the intense faces of the musicians.

So impressed with the concentration amidst the cacophony of ambulances, fire trucks, tour buses and normal traffic at this time of day at Bowling Green and Broadway.

As I popped up and  around the performers, their expressive, intent faces as well as those peeking through the fence and in the park fueled my energy.

I can only imaging how challenging it must be to manage a group of this size – I take my hat off to the parents and all involved in planning a tour of this magnitude.

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a candid image of this proud Gran – I talked at length with this warm, witty woman who proudly showed off her granddaughter to me and directed me to Kathleen Terras who was her granddaughter’s violin teacher and Orchestra Director;  who shared the backstory of this orchestra with me.

It is always lovely to shoot with the filtered light under London Planes.

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When Camilla mentioned in her introduction that the youngest member was only eleven, I zoomed in on my video, but alas, she was on the last row. She acquiesced to pose for me after the performance was over!  What poise!

Euan presented both Camilla and the tour guide at the 911 site with this lovely, polished granite Curling stone made by Kays Curling founded in 1851 in Mauchline, Ayrshire  – supplier to the best curling stones in the world.  They have been used in all precious Olympic Games and will be used in the PyeongChang in 2018.

 

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Looking forward to following the Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra’s blog as they fly across North America on this 2017 tour – nary an unengaged face did I see as they wowed us with their brilliant performance!

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I videoed most of the songs the Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra performed including “America the Beautiful and Auld Lang Syne which can be viewed on Facebook Passionfornyc.