Manhattan is loosely divided into Downtown (Lower Manhattan), Midtown (Midtown Manhattan), and Uptown (Upper Manhattan), with Fifth Avenue dividing Manhattan’s east and west sides. We didn’t spend alot of time uptown but managed to see some beautiful buildings and experience a little of it’s culture. First stop was General Grant National Memorial, better known as Grant’s Tomb, is a mausoleum containing the bodies of Ulysses S. Grant (1822–1885), American Civil War General and 18th President of the United States, and his wife, Julia Dent Grant (1826–1902).
A West Point graduate, Grant served in the Mexican War and at various frontier posts before rapidly rising through the ranks during the Civil War. Grant’s tenacity and boldness led to victories in the Battles of Vicksburg and Chattanooga and Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox.
Grant’s tenacity and boldness led to victories in the Battles of Vicksburg and Chattanooga and Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. In 1966, mosaic murals by Allyn Cox were added to three lunettes inside Grant’s Tomb. The murals portray scenes from three of Grant’s greatest campaigns.
The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City is the largest cathedral in the world (St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome is larger, but it’s not a cathedral). Located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, St. John the Divine is the mother church of the Episcopal Diocese of New York and known for its strong interfaith tradition.
The first cornerstone of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine was laid in 1892. The cathedral was (and is still being) contructed using traditional Gothic engineering – blocks of granite and limestone carved by master masons and apprentices – which explains its long period of construction. On the Amsterdam Avenue side, wide steps lead up to five portals arching over the entrance doors. The central “Portal of Paradise” depicts St. John witnessing the Transfiguration of Jesus, and 32 biblical characters, all intricately carved in stone.
The 3-ton bronze doors below this portal are decorated with relief castings of scenes from the Old Testament on the left and the New Testament on the right. The Cathedral’s bronze doors were cast by Barbedienne, the same man who cast the Statue of Liberty. The doors are opened only twice a year: on Easter and in October for the Feast of St. Francis (blessing of the Animals) when animals as large as elephants and camels are brought in, along with cats and dogs, to be blessed.
High above the doors, the Great Rose Window is the largest stained-glass window in the United States. The Cathedral’s Great Rose Window is 40 feet in diameter and is composed by over 10,000 pieces of coloured glass.
Bishop William Thomas Manning, Episcopal Bishop from 1921-1946 oversaw the construction of the Nave, the West Front, the Baptistry, and part of the North Transept.
The Compass Rose is a symbol identifying those who belong to the worldwide Anglican Communion. This emblem was originally designed by the late Canon Edward West of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York. The center of the Compass Rose contains the cross of St. George and is surrounded by the inscription in Greek, “The truth shall set you free.” The points of a compass reflect the spread of Anglican Christianity throughout the world. The mitre at the top indicates the role of Episcopacy and Anglican Order that is at the heart of the traditions of the Churches of the Communion.
Two tapestry collections from the 17th century are displayed in the nave of the Cathedral. The Life of Christ from the Barberini looms of Italy were woven for the nephew of Pope Urban VIII and were made in Italy when most tapestries were woven in northern Europe. Moreover, the set was woven once only, rather than in an edition as was the custom.
What captured our attention was the 150+ stained glass windows depicting religious and non religious scenes.
The altar area includes menorahs, Shinto vases, and, in the Chapels of the Seven Tongues behind the altar, dedications to various ethnic groups. Seventeenth-century Barberini tapestries hang throughout the cathedral. The Cathedral’s eight granite columns behind the altar are 6 feet in diameter, 55 feet high, and weigh 130 tons each.
The Apollo Theater in New York City is one of the oldest and most famous music halls in the United States, and the most famous club associated almost exclusively with African-American performers. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and was the home of Showtime at the Apollo, a nationally syndicated television variety show consisting of new talent.
A statue of Duke Ellington stands in Duke Ellington Circle, a shallow amphitheater at 110th Street and Fifth Avenue, at the northeast corner of Central Park. Unveiled in 1997, the statue, by sculptor Robert Graham, is 25 feet (7.6 m) tall, and depicts the Muses — nine nude caryatids — supporting a grand piano and Duke Ellington on their heads.