Category: - AM Musings
Highland Park with benches and planting
Planted paving
The Highline Park in New York's Chelsea district is an example of how the liability of a crumbling relic from a by-gone era, has been transformed into something exciting.  It's a buzz as a "must see" among visitors, especially design and landscape aficionados.

The "park" uses an old elevated railroad line that has been long abandoned and weed infested.  As they say, the most sustainable design is one that re-uses what is existing and this is exactly what they did.  Look at the narrow gaps of the paving at the left.  Some still contain the steel rails of the old railroad.     On the Highline you can stroll 3 floors above the street level through the west side of the city near the Hudson River -- a little removed from the hustle and bustle below.  There are elevators so the park is accessible for wheelchair visitors.

Gahm Mi Oak Restaurant - NYC
Sul Lang Tang is a Korean soup of beef bones boiled carefully until the stock turns white. Whenever we visit Los Angeles, we always order Sul Lang Tang as San Francisco doesn't seem to have a Korean Restaurant that serves a good one.

Gahm Mi Oak Restaurant in Manhattan's Koreatown on 37th Street near  Broadway -- and right around the corner from the Empire State Building -- serves a superior Sul Lang Tang.  Chris has  declared it perhaps better than our Los Angeles favorite.  The intense beef flavored soup with slices of beef comes steaming hot.  Season it yourself at the table from large bowls of salt and slices of green onions.  This is a dish that isn't easy to attempt at home.  One the surface it is easy, but getting the right flavor and color seems mysterious to me.  When I went by the kitchen, the stove seemed to be a clay- like structure.  They wouldn't let me take a picture so I guess it is their "secret". 
The Red Cat Restaurant - NYC
Sparkling Water in Candlelight
The Red Cat Restaurant at 10th Avenue near 23rd Street in New York's Chelsea District was a lucky find.  Arriving in Manhattan late at night, I called the restaurant and asked if they could seat us at 11:45 PM.  They said yes so we hurried over.

The interior had a comfortable settled-in look as though it had been around for many years.  I tried their Pan Roasted Tilefish served over a cucumber salad with pureed chickpeas.  The combination seemed unusual but surprisingly good --the start of an auspicious vacation!

Chrysler Building - New York
The Chrysler Building in New York's Manhattan seems to endure with timeless grace.  The gray building set against a gray sky enhances this feeling of grace.  If I were to analyze the design of the building, I would probably tell the architect it should be more restrained and will look old fashioned and dated after a while. 

Well it does look "dated" in the best sense of the word, as it is a masterful design with beautiful proportions showing that the rules of "good taste" don't always apply.  Rising on the horizon, it seems to wink a welcome to me whenever I visit.  It's no wonder it's a favorite and instantly recognizable.
San Francisco Marriott Hotel
Contrast the Chrysler Building with this hotel in San Francisco built about 30 years ago.  It uses some of the same curved elements at the top.  Which do you think is the most successful?

Miller's Pastrami Sandwich - San Francisco

I had my first "real" pastrami sandwich at the famous Carnegie Deli in Manhattan - piled high and impossibly delicious. Katie always ordered the Chicken Soup, Alex always wants a piece of cheesecake, and Chris wants the dill pickles. Too bad it's so far away.

Ted, at Mock/Wallace Architects is the "Pastrami King" and blogs about all things pastrami at this blog-site.  He'll tell you everything you want to know about Pastrami in the Bay Area and beyond.  He says Millers East Coast Deli  has the best Pastrami in San Francisco.  When Alex suggested going there last week, I said "YES!"   How does it compare to Carnegie? -- close. . . 
Photo - New York Architecture
Architectural  Record recently announced the sale of the  Folk Art Museum (completed 2001) in Manhattan to its adjacent neighbor, the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA).

MOMA plans to use the space for needed expansion and there is fear the building will be demolished.  I saw the building when after it was done and thought it was a masterful composition of space and materials.  Sad to think that the building's life may be so short.  Click here for more details.


I must have jiggled when I took this i-phone photo on the left on a rainy day in Manhattan.  I liked it blurry as it reminded me of impressionist paintings of Paris like the one on the right.