Manhattan, looking South

Paris, 2014

Stereographic Panorama shot above Times Square at night using an iPhone 5. Click to zoom in If you’re looking at this from your tumblr dashboard.
New York is not just a city, it’s a religion.

Washington Square Park

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Waldolf-Astoria Hotel, NYC, New YorkPhoto by Spencer Platt
From a story on a huge real estate deal this week, the sale of the historic Waldorf-Astoria for almost $2 billion (!).
This brief in Architectural Digest of a nice short summary of the building’s history:

Hilton Worldwide Holdings announced yesterday the sale of one of the country’s most iconic hotels, Manhattan’s Waldorf-Astoria. Chinese Anbang Insurance Group will pay $1.95 billion for the property, which has long been a fixture in New York society.
To look back at the Waldorf’s past is to unwind a tale involving some of the biggest players in American real estate and culture. The original Waldorf Hotel was opened in a small space on 33th Street by William Waldorf Astor. Not to be outdone, Astor’s cousin, John Jacob Astor IV, opened the competing Astoria hotel on a neighboring site four years later. Eventually the two were joined with a corridor, and the property acquired its now famous hyphenated name. 
A few decades later, the prominent family sold the original hotel to developers to make way for another landmark—the Empire State Building. The hotel moved several blocks north to its current address at 301 Park Avenue in 1931. Its new home, the stately Art Deco palace on one of the city’s most illustrious streets, was designed by New York firm Schultze and Weaver (previously of Hotel Pierre fame) and briefly reigned as the world’s largest and tallest hotel. In 1949 it passed into the hands of another fabulously wealthy American, Conrad Hilton, under whose management the property saw massive restorations by architect Lee Jablin.
The Waldorf’s future remains uncertain with the sale, but such a high valuation seems promising for its preservation. Although Anbang will own the property, Hilton’s management contract has been extended, ensuring some sense of continuity. Here’s hoping the new owner respects tradition while ushering this historic hotel smartly into the modern era.

Saint Michael’s Church, Charleston, SC
© Doug Hickok  All Rights Reserved

Cologne, Germany - September, 2014
by Martin Lux  (