Each area of Manhattan has it's own particular flavor and vibe but this one is almost like going to another city altogether.
It's beautiful, and quiet and like many pockets of this city has little gems tucked away where you might least expect them. My favorite is this one.
The first time I saw this statue it caught my attention because it is nestled in between two large historic buildings on Riverside Drive, sort of in the middle of nowhere. It looks out towards Riverside Park and, uh... the river. It stands in front of the New York Buddhist Church and interestingly (you know, to me) I actually visited their main temple in Kyoto several years ago. The first few times I passed it I just kinda looked at the statue, and liked it. For reasons I cannot fathom, except perhaps scale and the 'huh... what's THAT doing there?' it reminded me of the masthead of Hercules that sits, pretty much in the middle of nowhere, out near where I grew up.
Finally one day the dog I was walking decided to stop for some serious sniffing right in front of the statue and I was able to read the plaque on the wall below. (if it's too small, just click on it and it will get big enough to read)
Knowing that this piece survived the horrific atomic bomb... it may sound over the top, but it really does fill me with a sense of awe. And there's just something about it, whether it's the sculpture itself or simply the unexpectedness of it, that gets to me. It's like certain paintings at MY museum (the Metropolitan Museum of Art) that I NEED to visit whenever I go to the museum, even if it's just for a quick look.
It does what art is supposed to do: makes you think about things, makes you feel things.
So while I'm scoopin' up the poopin' uptown and way across, I'm also visiting a lil' piece of art. And it makes me think. And it makes me feel.
It's nice to be able to visit 'another country' for the price of a subway token.