How to correct the Clutch on a 30-Inch Vectra Murray Riding Lawnmower

How to correct the Clutch on a 30-Inch Vectra Murray Riding Lawnmower

When a clutch slips on a riding mower, then it usually means the driving belt is loose. The most obvious symptom of this is stalling while heading up a hill or pulling a heavy load. Fixing the belt slide and adjusting the clutch is a job a knowledgeable riding mower owner can do at no cost. Before attempting any yard tool repair, make sure that your engine is totally cool and the spark plug is disconnected.

Park the mower on a level, paved surface. Put the riding mower jack into place and pull the lawnmower up to the jack, putting the front wheels on the wheel pads. Secure the wheel chocks under the rear two wheels. Crank the handle or utilize the hydraulic lever to lift the mower, based on the model of jack you have.

Open the major hood. If any heat is coming from the engine, wait till it has cooled to continue. Disconnect the spark plug so the engine does not accidentally begin while you’re doing the repair.

Lie down on your back and appear under the mower. Locate the motion drive belt, then the key big belt running all around the bottom. Check all around the belt to be sure it is routed correctly inside every one the guides. Consult your owner’s manual for the routing of your exact model.

Locate the adjustable nut in the conclusion of the clutch rod. Pull out the cotter pin, washer and brake spring which attach the clutch rod into the brake assembly. Use a wrench to unscrew the adjustable nut from the brake lever assembly and parking brake latch.

Line up the hole at the brake lever using the hole at the mower frame. Insert a 1/4-inch screw or pin to hold the components in place temporarily. Pull the clutch rod ahead until it is tight, then turn the adjustable nut until it matches back through the hole at the brake lever.

Place the adjustable nut back into the parking break latch, spring and pulley. Fasten the meeting back together with the washer and cotter pin. Remove the temporary 1/4-inch bolt or pin.

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Are Jalapeno Seeds Supposed to Be Brown?

Are Jalapeno Seeds Supposed to Be Brown?

The precise shade of jalapeno seeds (Capsicum annuum) can vary slightly, depending on the variety and how mature the pepper is. The most noticeable difference in color is between fresh seeds and dried seeds. Although jalapenos and other hot peppers are generally treated as annual crops, they’re potentially perennials in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11.

New Seeds

When you cut into a fresh jalapeno, miniature, moist seeds have been exposed. These seeds ought to be an cream or lemonade color with a slight yellow tint. Brown-colored fresh seeds may be a indication of rotting seeds.

Dry Seeds

When jalapeno seeds have been dried, the cream color darkens or turns light brown. Dry seeds using a light brown shade are normal.

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What Type of Ignition is There on a Kohler 15 HP Engine on LX255?

What Type of Ignition is There on a Kohler 15 HP Engine on LX255?

The motorized lawn mower is a 20th century marvel which has spawned an industry dependent on the quest for the perfect lawn. The riding mower, the brainchild of engineers experienced in agricultural equipment, answered the need for a quicker cut during suburbia’s growth in the 1950s. The John Deere LX255 lawn tractor was produced with a modest but reliable Kohler 15-horsepower motor with electronic ignition.

Parts and the Whole

The LX255, produced between 1999 and 2001, had a broad cutting deck and gasoline-powered engine. Like other manufacturers, John Deere utilizes a variety of components produced by other manufacturers in its own mowers and also this model housed a 15 horsepower Kohler 426cc 1-cylinder, 4-cycle engine. The digital ignition, that was common for 10 years or more when this prototype was constructed, marked an improvement over the old mechanical ignitions that contained vendors.

Ignition Facts

Modern electronic ignitions replace the vendor, which is determined by the physical movement of a flywheel to generate electric pulses to the spark plugin, using a magneto — a magnetic coil which transfer pulses produced with a solid-state switch. Electronic ignition systems generate stronger pulses more efficiently — an increasingly important consideration in a 1-cylinder engine — and also use less fuel than old ignition systems. The LX255 series used a digital ignition module using a flywheel and 15-amp “stator,” which contained magnetic coils. Parts are available for this ignition program from John Deere and from individual parts suppliers.

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Bathroom Surfaces: Ceramic Tile Experts and Cons

Bathroom Surfaces: Ceramic Tile Experts and Cons

Often praised for its durability and variety, ceramic tile is a favorite choice for toilet finishes. If you are drawn to color and texture, this substance can deliver on both fronts. Nevertheless, the sheer variety of ceramic tiles is endless, which can make locating just the right tile very difficult.

Since ceramic tends to cost less than ceramic and is much lighter, it’s frequently used for wall and ceiling installations. But, there are some significant cons to this particular material, too: It’s not quite as powerful as ceramic, therefore it will not make the very best walking surface. It can be very cold underfoot at the winter, and heavy tile can be difficult to install.

Curious if ceramic tile will work on your toilet? Here’s what you need to be aware of prior to making the buy.


The fundamentals: Ceramic tiles are broad ranging; all are usually made from red or white clay that has been fired in a kiln and glistening or finished. If you are a tile nerd like me, ceramic tile technically contains ceramic tile too, but for this ideabook we will exclude this category.

Price: Ceramic tile is often priced below $2 per square foot. Higher-end tiles can easily run $20 to $40 and much more per square foot. The average tends to be around $7 to $9 per square foot.

Brandstrom Interiors

Experts: Ceramic tile can be unbelievably affordable, and there’s a whole lot of variety in styles, colors, finishes and textures. Additionally, it is easy to customize it for particulars like chair rails, soap dishes and special edging and nosing, as in this toilet.

Traditional Tile

Disadvantages: Ceramic tile is not quite as powerful as its cousin, porcelain tile, but what it lacks in power, it makes up for in price.


Ceramic Basics

Particular considerations: Considering ceramic tiles frequently have texture, you might want to think about this to add dimension to your toilet. The eased edge on this tile provides a little extra something to a toilet wall, but can make it challenging to figure out how to cut end tile. Consider utilizing a tile edge profile, like a Schluter strip, to make the transition somewhat awkward.

But, today’s ceramic tile offers much more than an eased edge. This wavy tile from Porcelanosa is just one example of the texture and detail available now.

This kind of tile can make for a fantastic accent in a toilet, but I would avoid having too much feel at a shower , since it can make for difficult cleaning. Try using it to get a feature wall or feature corner instead.


Ceramic Art Tile

Maintenance: Make sure you opt for a ceramic tile with a durable finish. How can you tell? Buy a sample, take it home and wash it to death.

I suggest cleaning ceramic tile using a white nylon scrub brush and a bit of soap. You should not need a whole lot more than that. Ceramic is very durable, but it’s best to stick to light household detergents and also to spot test before utilizing anything new.

Installation: Installing ceramic tile is really straightforward; it could likewise be a DIY job if you’ve got some experience working with tile. Many of the current ceramic tile really has vertical arrows on the rear side; make certain you keep them lined up precisely the same way so you get the appropriate appearance.

Inform us What pros and cons are you undergone ceramic tile?

More about how to choose and install bathroom tile

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12 Studio Homes Give Grand Small-Space Inspiration

12 Studio Homes Give Grand Small-Space Inspiration

Compact homes allow for jewel-box rooms with bold colors and innovative designs. See what we mean in these 12 innovative studios — some of the very creative homes on — listed from greatest to smallest.

Emily Campbell

Ultimate Live-Work Space Adapts to the Requirements of the Day
Location: Montreal, Canada
Size: 720 square feet

Designer and proprietor Aboudi Hassoune matches work and home life into 720 square feet. Creative furniture blends and custom designs (like one inventive flying-carpet table) let this studio to readily switch out of workplace to lounge to dining room to bedroom.

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Architecture Workshop PC

A Manhattan Studio Opens to Flexibility
Location: Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan
Size: 650 square feet

Despite its preceding run-down country, this studio had a attic like-feel the architect could work with. The open area had plenty of advantages, but he had to find a spot for the mattress that still felt confidential. A custom Murphy bed and sliding door did the trick whilst maintaining the option to open everything back up again.

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Martin Hulala

DIY Love Pays Off in a Small Prague Apartment
Location: Žižkov, Prague
Size: 538 square feet

Jaroslav Kašpar’s planned simple studio remodel quickly turned into a massive DIY renovation. Refinishing the original brick walls and beams preserved the original building’s integrity even though the floors were replaced. Highlighting the unique nooks and crannies — both new and original — gave this lovely studio plenty of personality.

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Gut Gut

Industrial-Modern Studio at Slovakia
Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
Size: 516 square feet

After gutting his industrial flat, this homeowner was left with little else but concrete vaulted ceilings and an open area. With no more than 1 client in mind — himself — he was able to personalize the distance just to his wants. This floor-to-ceiling shelf helps divide the toilet from the kitchen, while the living area and bedroom stay open to one another.

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Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture

Elegant, Efficient Manhattan Studio
Location: East Village neighborhood of Manhattan
Size: 500 square feet

Combining workspace, sleeping area and display space became simple with a custom white walnut sleeping attic, outfitted with storage tucked into every stair riser and a walk-in closet underneath.

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Ingenious Toilet Makeover at Bordeaux
Location: Bordeaux, France
Size: 441 square feet

Seeking a modern house on a budget, a French photographer got creative. A 441-square-foot garage in Bordeaux surprisingly fit the bill. With the support of a local design firm, he transformed the old garage into a slick, modern home. A large wooden cube in the centre houses his sink, shower, washing machine and toilet, maintaining both solitude and a spacious living area.

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Michael K Chen Architecture

400-Square-Foot Unfolding Apartment
Location: Manhattan
Size: 400 square feet

Intent on finding a way to have guests for dinner and overnight visits, this flat owner worked with a local company to squeeze every zone of his flat into a built-in cupboard along one wall. The massive cupboard contains a bed, desk and closet, all which can fold out or back as needed.

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Henry Yorke Mann architect

Pint-Size Cabin at Rural Canada
Location: Outside Oliver, British Columbia
Size: 280 square feet

With $25,000 to spend her new home, Denise Franklin had to downsize. Her miniature new cottage is constructed from all natural and local materials, and also the simplified structure helped reduce the cost.

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DMVF Architects

Overhauled Interiors at a Tiny Fisherman’s Cottage
Location: Bray, Ireland
Size: 280 square feet

A Beautiful Irish fishing shack is now a modern guest cabin. Although the traditional exterior remains the same, this very small home has a new, sleek interior that makes the most of every square foot.

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Churreria Photography

Tiny Fold-Out Apartment in Barcelona
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Size: 260 square feet

Hidden panels at the walls and flooring of the innovative Spanish flat make it function in various modes. 1 wall panel shows a fridge and stove for cooking style; another holds a full-size mattress for sleeping manner. “It is almost like living in a big closet,” says the proprietor.

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Ira Lippke

Industrial Minihouse at Seattle
Location: South Seattle, Washington
Size: 250 square feet

Artist and owner Michelle de la Vega acted as her own general contractor for this cute remodel. After an old garage set on a great lot, this distance turned into a usable, workable minihouse — complete with patio, kitchen, lofted bed and toilet — thanks to de la Vega’s ingenuity, vintage finds and artistic fashion.

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Tiny Home Built for Large Adventure
Location: Camp Ondessonk, Illinois
Size: 117 square feet

Inspired by the Very Small houses by Tumbleweed Tiny Homes, Evan and Gabby Coulson decided to give small-space dwelling a shot. The few built this house in their own, sticking to a small budget and tight square footage; the miniature and mobile house fits all their essentials.

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8 Weeks to Gorgeous Modern Eclectic Style

8 Weeks to Gorgeous Modern Eclectic Style

No sooner had inside designer Shirley Meisels finished a complete renovation for a family of four if the parents found that they were expecting twins. After the babies were born, the family of six immediately outgrew their property. They’d had their fill of the inconveniences of the extensive renovating procedure and did not wish to replicate it for a little while, so that they found a house with great bones which needed just a fast facelift.

“The notion was that we would tackle more extensive work like remodeling the kitchen and bathrooms in a few years,” Meisels says. “All in all the new house had a wonderful feel, but the finishes needed some updating.” In eight weeks (the painting process took time), fresh paint, restained flooring, new hardware and light fixtures as well as fresh decor gave the house a cohesive, comfy texture, and it had been move-in ready for your family.

in a Glance
Who lives here: A family with 4 kids (age 9, age 7 and 3-year-old twins)
Location: Midtown Toronto
Size: 6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms

Shirley Meisels

First up was unifying the distances, which had been opened up from the 1990s but lacked cohesiveness. The floors were cherry-colored walnut except at the kitchen, in which they were light walnut. Meisels restained all the flooring a uniform brownish-gray tone. She also had the house painted white and changed the metal door hardware to crisp black.

Pops of purple turn up around the first floor. From the foyer it is introduced via an overdyed classic carpet by Elte. Meisels also commissioned the painting and also the custom seat.

Chandelier: Crown Minor, Jehs and Laub

Shirley Meisels

“I like eclectic mixes the best,” Meisels says. “This to me feels that the most natural, like things were accumulated over time rather than installed by a designer out of a showroom in two months.”

She commissioned a habit chandelier to function as a striking focal point along with also an art piece. She utilized a dining room table and chairs that the customers already possessed. “I dipped the chairs in black paint to give them a contemporary edge and accessorized with bold hits of colour for unexpected hits of brightness,” she says. An oversize mirror bounces light around.

Before Photo

BEFORE: The prior kitchen was too traditional for its homeowners’ tastes, but the open layout, black granite counters and open shelving were versatile and contemporary enough to keep to your new look. “The open shelving is a great way to utilize a wall for storage that might otherwise be dedicated just to the windows — enormous runs of shelving hold vases, dishes and more,” the designer says.

Shirley Meisels

AFTER: Meisels had the windows painted in Benjamin Moore’s Wrought Iron and included a stunning light fixture and backsplash. Glass objects on the shelves facing the windows allow sunlight to filter through.

“Changing a backsplash is generally pretty straightforward and included without having to devote a good deal of time and money, and new grips on doors and cabinets make a difference,” she says. “Upgraded appliances at a tired kitchen really are worth the splurge!”

Shirley Meisels

Customized walnut cabinets provide a workstation as well as storage. “I needed it to feel as a standalone piece that was compatible with the rest of the house … almost like furniture,” she says. The piece will work with the present kitchen when the owners decide to leave it as is, and also with a more contemporary style should they renovate later.

Kitchen table:Paola Navone

Shirley Meisels

The house has two other family room and den spaces, so Meisels went formal with the living room, which is just off the foyer. She painted the pine fireplace surround black to get a contemporary edge.

The Juju hat was something she’d selected for her customers’ former residence, and it made the move with ease, adding another dash of purple. “I love using Juju hats, as they include a touch of texture and colour, as well as also the sculptural effect is a wonderful relief from each the art and white walls,” she says.

Sofa: Raleigh, Design Within Reach; cocktail table: Spindle, West Elm

Shirley Meisels

A Park lounge chair and ottoman add another dash of purple. Meisels began the classic glass set for those homeowners during the prior project; the existing glass display shelves in the living room seem to have been made for this.

Artwork: Canvas

Shirley Meisels

“I desired the master bedroom to feel striking and sexy,” Meisels says. “This wallpapered accent wall is a great background for an easy, low contemporary bed.”

Background: Elitis; pillow fabric: Missoni; bed: Bensen

Shirley Meisels

Iconic midcentury modern pieces — a Jens Risom desk and Saarinen Executive Chair — make an unobtrusive writing area from the master bedroom.

Lamp: Ventana Tripod Desk Lamp, Jonathan Adler

Shirley Meisels

The homeowner’s young kid is a big Star Wars fan who has earned millions of hockey trophies. “We are Canadian, after all,” Meisels says.

She had commissioned the custom dresser to your master bedroom at the customers’ former residence, but it is better suited for your boy’s room currently.

Background: Woods, Cole & Son

Shirley Meisels

This is actually the third-floor bedroom of one of those brothers. “I love a black wall in a bright room. I think that it makes the colors and whites feel fuller and crisper compared,” Meisels says.

Accent wall paint: Black, Benjamin Moore

Shirley Meisels

This is actually the eldest daughter’s room. “She would have had the whole room dressed in pink when she’d had her druthers. She was demanding, but I convinced my little client to let me add modest hits of other colours and white,” Meisels says.

She had the headboard habit made. The light fixture is a classic find, and also the eye-popping floral wallpaper is Tokyo Dahlia from Designer’s Guild.

“This particular couple is edgy and contemporary and was ready to take risks,” Meisels says. I really like how spare this house is while still feeling hot; each piece was carefully selected to be functional and beautiful.” The family is so delighted with their fast fixes that they are happy to wait patiently before handling the bathrooms and the kitchen.

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5 Easy Plants for a Romantic Entry Garden

5 Easy Plants for a Romantic Entry Garden

Exuberance is key for a romantic garden style; it requires a happy mingling of foliage and blossoms rather than regimented spacing. Yet with this layout to be considered easy care, the plant choice should also be well behaved — no longer allowed, and minimum watering and deadheading.

No romantic garden is complete without odor, so the plant combination here contains lavender to permeate the pathway that leads to the front door. Even if the lavender is not in blossom, casual cleaning against its foliage will release the aromatic oils to perfume the atmosphere.

A controlled color palette of white silver and blue brings a feeling of calm into the space. Flowers, foliage and even the bark of a multitrunked Himalayan white birch (Betula utilis var. Jacquemontii) play into this color scheme.

The end result is an enchanting entry backyard that leads one to the front door while inviting you to linger.

Le jardinet

Comparatively few plants are contained in this layout, but they’re repeated frequently through the backyard. The aim is to create a series of billowing mounds with both foliage and flowers in cool shades of silver and white with blue accents which tie visually to the glass sculpture.

This spectacle welcomes people from June through November and demands little more than an occasional watering during the peak summer months. Here is the way to get the look.

Le jardinet

1. Begin with a froth of white flowers.

Whirling butterflies (Gaura lindheimeri)is one of the most enchanting summer perennials. The delicate, white, butterfly-like flowers are suffused with pink and dancing in the slightest breeze, bringing color and movement to the summer garden. Each plant produces dozens of flowering stalks, so when they’re massed together, as in this layout, the effect is of a gentle floral haze.

This really is a woody perennial, and therefore don’t cut it into the ground. Allow the twiggy construction to stay, which will protect the crown from frost damage. When new growth is observable in spring and you’re certain the danger of frost has passed, trim the stalks into the new expansion to form the plant.

USDA zones: 5 to 9(find your zone)
Water necessity: Low
moderate requirement: Total sun
Mature dimension: 2-foot basal foliage with 4-foot flowering spikes
When to plant: In spring or autumn

Le jardinet

2. Add odor.

Grosso lavender (Lavandula intermedia var. Grosso) is one of the taller, billowing cultivars which is perfect for creating a statement in the backyard or even developing a brief hedge. The green-gray foliage creates a clean mound 3 feet tall and broad, blooming from July through September with aromatic wands of heavy blue.

USDA zones: 5 to 10
Water necessity: Low
moderate requirement: Total sun
Mature dimension: 3 feet tall and broad
When to plant: In spring or autumn

More about growing lavender | Other plants with gray-green foliage

Le jardinet

3. Contain foliage that is great.

Magical Fantasy weigela (Weigela florida ‘Magical Fantasy’) differs from before cultivars since it has a pristine white variegation as opposed to a creamy yellow one. The tubular flowers are a soft pink and begin to appear in May; they continue off and on throughout the summer, much to the joy of the hummingbirds. As temperatures dip in the autumn, the leaves onto this tree carries on a beautiful rosy cast.

USDA zones: 4 to eight
Water necessity: Typical, lower once recognized
moderate requirement: Total sun
Mature dimension: 3 to 4 feet tall and broad
When to plant: In spring or autumn

Le jardinet

Silver Mound wormwood (Artemisia schmidtiana ‘Nana’) brings a feminine touch with its soft, feathery, silver foliage.

This continuing can be sheared back in midsummer in case it begins for straggly and it is going to quickly rebound. I have not seen this to be necessary, however.

USDA zones: 4 to 8
Water necessity: Low
moderate requirement: Total sun
Mature dimension: 12 inches tall and 18 inches broad
When to plant: In spring or autumn

Le jardinet

4. Accent with touches of color.

Rozanne cranesbill (Geranium x ‘Rozanne’) is noted for its striking periwinkle blue flowers with deep purple stamens. The foliage is a bright green with lighter markings and dark red highlights.

This remarkable perennial blooms from May through November and can quickly cover an area 3 feet by 3 feet or be trimmed back partway through the season to help keep it somewhat controlled. But if you would like a gentle, intimate effect, liberty rather than restraint is more preferable.

USDA zones: 4 to 9
Water necessity: Average but lower once recognized
moderate requirement: Full sun or partial shade
Mature dimension: 12 to 15 inches tall and spreading to 3 feet
When to plant: In spring or autumn

More guides to flowers and plants

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Travel Guide: New York City for Design Lovers

Travel Guide: New York City for Design Lovers

Putting together a guide to New York City is tough, because the city provides so much for so many people. It’s harder to figure out what not to comprise than to determine what to emphasize. As far as possible, this manual avoids the apparent icons which come to mind when Folks consider NYC: the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the World Trade Center site, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Times Square, although a few (Central Park, the Guggenheim, Grand Central Terminal) are included. Yes, we will start with Times Square, however, only as a jumping-off point to some of the delights that city of 8.25 million people provides.

John Hill

Just as New York City devotes America while being completely different from the rest of it, Times Square sums up much of what the city provides much since it is nothing like the areas found in the rest of Manhattan and beyond. A great deal of resorts are located in and around Times Square, so it’s easy to stay close there and feel its pull, but this guide proposes things beyond this hub of subways, roads and LEDs. Times Square should be experienced at least once, preferably in the night. This manual, however, looks elsewhere for recommendations.

A couple notes about the information that follows: Prices provided are for adults not eligible for a discount; in most cases kid and senior prices are reduced. And all the places are in Manhattan, together with speech and neighborhood provided, unless noted otherwise.

John Hill


“Top of the Rock”: An observation deck beneath “30 Rock”
Cost: $27
Location: 30 Rockefeller Plaza (on W. 50th St., between Fifth and Sixth avenues), Midtown
Noteworthy: Panoramic views of New York City and New Jersey

Before hitting the town to see museums, eat at fancy restaurants or do some shopping, it is great to get some bearings with a trek up to among the city’s sky-high observation decks. The deck at 1 World Trade Center won’t be open until 2015, so I recommend the one at “30 Rock” within the one on top of the Empire State Building, partly because the former gives visitors a view of the latter.

“Top of the Rock” also has more generous terraces and a fantastic light display at the glass-top elevator on the way down and up. The panorama features close-up views of Midtown, distant views of Lower Manhattan, along with a fantastic, all-encompassing view of the next must-see, Central Park.

More info: Top of the Rock

John Hill

Central Park: The 1.3-square-mile green center of Manhattan
Cost: Free, although places like the zoo charge admission
Location: From 59th Street to 110th Street, between Fifth and Eighth avenues
Noteworthy: The banquet, Bethesda Fountain, Central Park Zoo, the Fantastic Lawn, Strawberry Fields, the Ramble, the Conservatory Garden … too many Fantastic places to record

While it’s Difficult to envision Manhattan without its tall buildings, it is even harder to consider the island with no Central Park. The city had the foresight to set aside 150 cubes (roughly 800 acres) in the early 19th century for a large park, well prior to the built-up section of the island went beyond what is now considered downtown.

Not surprisingly, a few of the very valuable real estate in New York City (and the planet) lines Central Park. However what makes the adventure of the park so amazing is being in some elements in its center without feeling the city around it.

More info: Central Park

John Hill

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum: A world-famous museum of modern and contemporary Global art
Cost: $22; cover What You Want on Saturday evenings
Location: 1071 Fifth Ave. (at 89th Street), Upper East Side
Noteworthy: James Turrell exhibition (his first in an NYC museum as 1980) in summertime 2013

Along much of Central Park’s east edge is Museum Mile, operating from 82nd Street to 110th Street on Fifth Avenue, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the Museum for African Art (under construction).

Most striking is Frank Lloyd Wright’s design for the Guggenheim, an inverted cone which altered museum architecture forever upon its 1959 completion. The art appears to be secondary to the construction, but thankfully the curators understand how to host proves which frequently benefit from the unique atrium space.

Take the elevator to the top floor and descend via the spiral slide round the full-height atrium, taking in the adjoining skylit galleries. Grab lunch at The Wright on the ground floor in a space made by Andre Kikoski.

More info: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

John Hill

Grand Central Terminal: The best of New York City’s train stations
Cost: Free
Location: 42nd Street and Park Avenue, Midtown
Noteworthy: Grand Central Terminal is celebrating its 100th birthday at 2013, with events throughout the year.

Grand Central Terminal might be one of New York City’s icons — like the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and even Central Park — which visitors do not need to be told about, but it is worth highlighting for its amazing architecture, expansive spaces and hidden gems. Along with a recovery in the 1990s means the construction celebrates its centennial with no looking a day over 10!

The plan of both Reed and Stern with Warren and Wetmore elevates and reroutes Park Avenue around the construction to, among other things, create the expansive main hall (seen here awaiting its newest tenant, the Apple Store). A subtle sign of the before condition can be seen by looking to the northwest corner of the ceiling, in which a tiny dirty patch can be viewed, exhibiting the decades of cigarette smoke which lined the surfaces.

Hidden gems contain the whispering gallery outside the Oyster Bar and the Campbell Apartment (a bar), accessed via an elevator off among those ramps leading down to the whispering gallery.

More info: Grand Central Terminal

John Hill

41 Cooper Square: Cooper Union’s engineering construction
Cost: No public access past the reception
Location: 41 Cooper Sq. (at East Seventh Street), East Village
Noteworthy: Those reductions in the metallic facade replicate the atrium inside; take a few steps inside to grab a glimpse upwards.

Since 2000 many developers and institutions have enticed big-name architects to design dramatic parts of buildings that stand out from everything around it (Wright’s Guggenheim apparently affected more than just museums). The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art — an art, architecture and engineering school that’s traditionally tuition free for pupils — hired Thom Mayne, the Pritzker Prize–winning head of Morphosis Architects, to design a building for the engineering students, across the road from the 1858 Foundation Building.

The new building is about the same size as the older one, but it is an entirely different beast — metal rather than stone, irregular rather than routine, gray rather than brown. The construction can be situated at the northern end of the Bowery, historically a holdout to gentrification but now home to the New Museum (at Prince Street), museums, expensive restaurants and, as we will see, some fancy resorts.

More info: 41 Cooper Square

John Hill


Morimoto: The NYC restaurant of “Iron Chef” Masaharu Morimoto
Cost: $125 for the “Chef’s Choice” tasting menu
Location: 88 10th Ave. (between 15th and 16th streets), Chelsea
Noteworthy: A stunning interior designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Tadao Ando

It’s difficult to go wrong with any food in New York City, as long as you stray from chains and tourist traps around Times Square. But since restaurants can have a brief shelf life in Manhattan, it is worth highlighting a couple recent examples with fantastic design and a few (relative) longevity.

This Asian-fusion restaurant is tucked beneath the High Line at the Chelsea Market. Access is by way of an opening in a wall of dark metallic panels, an arch wrapped with Western noren (drapes). The two-story interior is light and bright, marked by a wall made from tens of thousands of water bottles. Tadao Ando’s signature concrete can be found in partial-height columns, but thicker elements, like the draped ceiling, prevail.

More info: Morimoto

John Hill

Brasserie: A restaurant at the cellar of the Seagram Building
Cost: $35 for a prix fixe dinner
Location: 100 E. 53rd St., Midtown
Noteworthy: Voyeuristic interior designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Whenever the Seagram Building was completed in 1958, it comprised two pubs: The Four Seasons and the Brasserie, both designed by Philip Johnson. The first has remained basically unchanged since its opening, but the latter was renovated in 2000 by then-avant-garde architects Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio. They made a URL to the outside by means of a surveillance camera which would take a photograph whenever somebody entered the revolving door, submitting the photo above the bar for everybody to see.

The camera no longer functions, however, the shallow stair nevertheless provides diners into the center of the room like a catwalk that places those coming and going on screen. The food is adequate, but a trip is worth it only for the design and the people-watching.

More info: Brasserie

Blanca: A tasting kitchen supporting the popular restaurant Roberta’s
Cost: $180 for a 20-course tasting menu; drinks not included
Location: 261 Moore St., Bushwick, Brooklyn
Noteworthy: This place sums up Brooklyn’s culinary revolution.

One of the hippest places in the hip neighborhood of Bushwick, Brooklyn, is Roberta’s, an unassuming pizzeria with a few shipping containers at the side yard which are topped by herbs and vegetables used in the pizza and other foods. Behind Roberta’s, and run by the same people, is the 12-seat Blanca, an ultraexclusive area (only 12 diners per night, five days a week, feasting to a 20-course tasting menu) in which the kitchen takes up more room than the seating. Eric Safyan explains his style as “a state-of-the-art kitchen plus a casual and elegant dining room.” It looks more akin to the collection of America’s Test Kitchen than a typical restaurant. Reservations are taken only one day per month for the prized spots at the counter.

More info: Blanca

John Hill


High Line: A 1.5-mile park atop an old elevated railroad
Cost: Free
Location: From Gansevoort Street on the south to West 30th Street to the north, together 10th Avenue
Noteworthy: One of the most unique adventures in the city and a magnet for developments alongside it

Trains ran up and down the west side of Manhattan as early as the 1860s, but it wasn’t until 1934 that an elevated segment was built from 34th Street to Spring Street in SoHo, in reaction to the hazardous conditions along “Death Avenue.” But the rise of trucking that started in the 1950s meant that the usefulness of the elevated line was short-lived; the last car ran in 1980. In response to local land owners’ shouts to rip it down, Joshua David and Robert Hammond started Friends of the High Line in 1999. And good thing that they did, for today residents and visitors can traverse more than 20 cubes three stories above traffic and take in the buildings — new and old alike — it at the Meatpacking District and Chelsea.

The park itself was designed by landscape architect James Corner with architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro. It’s a great spot to take a stroll after a meal, although it’s an equally good spot for eating lunch and soaking in the sights and sun.

More info: High Line

John Hill

Brooklyn Bridge Park: A new park on industrial piers overlooking Lower Manhattan
Cost: Free
Location: East River, south of the Brooklyn Bridge
Noteworthy: Great views of Lower Manhattan

The iconic Brooklyn Bridge is suitably the namesake for a new park designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh that overlooks the bridge and much of Lower Manhattan. The park occupies former industrial piers that run from the bridge down to Atlantic Avenue. The park is a mix of comfort and play spaces, with seating, playgrounds and places for strolling between the piers.

Some borders of the park, such as the one shown here, are made to deal with the rising waters which Hurricane Sandy made apparent are a component of NYC’s future.

The best way to experience the park is to start near City Hall in Manhattan, walk over the Brooklyn Bridge and descend at Washington Street, walking through Dumbo (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) and south to the park. It’s also worth checking out Jane’s Carousel at the Empire-Fulton Ferry Park (now a part of Brooklyn Bridge Park), just north of the Brooklyn Bridge; the older carousel is inside an enclosure made by Pritzer Prize–winning architect Jean Nouvel.

More info: Brooklyn Bridge Park

John Hill

FDR Four Freedoms Park: A memorial to Franklin D. Roosevelt and his famous “Four Freedoms” address
Cost: Free, but total fare for the tram to Roosevelt Island is $2.50
Location: Southern tip of Roosevelt Island
Noteworthy: The fantastic architect Louis Kahn’s design was accomplished four decades following his death.

“Better late than never,” they say. Such is an appropriate phrase for Kahn’s posthumously completed FDR Four Freedoms Park. It transforms the southern tip of Roosevelt Island (in the East River between Midtown Manhattan and Queens) into a tree-lined place for relaxing, walking and remembering. Louis Kahn’s design is formal and symmetrical, culminating in an outdoor room at the tip where the heavens is more expansive than anywhere else in new york. Views of Midtown, such as the United Nations (shown here) are a treat, as is taking the tram to get to and from Manhattan to Roosevelt Island.

More info: FDR Four Freedoms Park

John Hill

Center for Architecture: Home of the local American Institute of Architects chapter and the nonprofit Center for Architecture
Cost: Varies; usually $10 for non-AIA associates, but sometimes events are free
Location: 536 LaGuardia Pl., Greenwich Village
Noteworthy: The three-story space hosts at least one and often two or three events almost every night of the year.

If you’re interested in design and architecture, it is worth seeing what’s happening at the middle for Architecture, be it an exhibition, lecture, book launching or even celebration. Events are free for AIA members (who receive continuing education credits for attending), but a few events will also be free for nonmembers.

The extent of the three-story space can be grasped from the storefront, which gives glimpses to the cellar lecture hall.

More info: Center for Architecture

John Hill

Storefront for Art and Architecture: A nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of innovative positions in architecture, art and design
Cost: Free
Location: 97 Kenmare St., Nolita (North of Little Italy)
Noteworthy: A hinged facade opens and closes depending on the time of season and needs for the exhibition or event indoors.

If the Center for Architecture is the center of the profession in NYC, then the Storefront is its avant-garde heart. The organization started in 1982 and moved into its distinctive pencil-tip-shaped space, designed by Steven Holl and Vito Acconci, in 1993. The hinged facade is usually an invitation to step inside the gallery from the sidewalk and see what’s on screen. Likewise, when you’re indoors, the road is a constant presence instead of something that’s ignored. There’s always something of interest in the distance, be it an exhibition, a demonstration or sometimes both simultaneously.

More info: Storefront for Art and Architecture

John Hill

MoMA PS1: A contemporary arts establishment housed in an old public school
Cost: $10; free with MoMA ticket
Location: 22-25 Jackson Ave. (at 46th Avenue), Long Island City, Queens
Noteworthy: Each summer the courtyard is taken over by an installation that’s a background for weekend “warm ups.”

Everybody visiting NYC understands about MoMA, but its younger sister association is also worth seeing. MoMA PS1 takes its name from the construction (Public School 1) in which it is housed, but in the summer the focus is on the triangular courtyard. This is where the winner of the annual Young Architects Program constructs a pavilion that sunglasses, cools and functions as a background for warm-weather parties with lots of dancing and music.

Pictured is the 2012 installation, “Wendy,” by HWKN; the grim explosion housed fans and sprayed mist over revelers, but it was also treated with a nanoparticle spray which actually cleaned the atmosphere.

More info: MoMA PS1

John Hill

Historic House Trust of New York City: A nonprofit organization working together with the city to support houses of architectural and cultural importance, all open to the public
Cost: From $3 to $8
Location: Homes in all five boroughs
Noteworthy: The Historic House Festival (in October) included tours, tours and other events.

For individuals interested in background and houses, the Historic House Trust provides access to nearly 30 houses in all five boroughs, reaching back more than 350 years. Many of the houses are situated in parks, such as the King Manor Museum at King Park, revealed here. This house may seem like it’s found out of NYC, but it is in Jamaica, Queens, a couple blocks from the Long Island Railroad and the county’s court buildings.

More into: Historic House Trust of New York

John Hill


The Standard, East Village: The Bowery sister to The Standard Hotel atop the High Line
Cost: From $275
Location: 25 Cooper Sq. (Bowery at East Fifth Street), East Village
Noteworthy: A swooping design by architect Carlos Zapata

It’ll hardly be a surprise that staying at a hotel in NYC isn’t inexpensive, especially if you opt for hip areas and cool architecture and decor. While the Bowery hardly exudes hipness, the connotations of the thoroughfare are shifting, as a result of buildings like Cooper Union, the New Museum and this hotel that towers above its surroundings. The verticality may be its best draw, giving guests great views of Lower Manhattan. The pub and restaurant spaces are well done, and also a renovation in progress will make those even better.

More info: The Standard, East Village

John Hill

Fantasy Downtown Resort: Two maritime union buildings converted into a hotel
Cost: From $275
Location: 355 W. 16th St. (near Ninth Avenue), Chelsea
Noteworthy: A glass-bottom pool observable from the lobby

The sloped facade of Albert C. Ledner’s design for the National Maritime Union is an immediate diagram of the city’s zoning envelope, which facilitates light to the roads and is ordinarily addressed through miniature setbacks. Ledner created this wall even more distinguishing through round windows which directly reference his customer.

Fifty years after the building was converted to a hotel. Handel Architects made even more curved openings, extending them throughout the rest of the plan. Between the angular building and a reduced rectangular slab on the south are an outdoor deck and deck; the latter has a glass bottom that’s observable from the lobby below through (no surprises) big circular openings in the ceiling.

More info: Fantasy Downtown Hotel

John Hill

Ace Hotel: The old Breslin Hotel, renovated and now a popular place for tourists and locals alike
Cost: From $99
Location: 20 W. 29th St., Garment District
Noteworthy: The reception is a magnet for local creative types working on their notebooks.

The resorts included in this manual illustrate that choosing one can be as much about a hotel’s amenities as its rooms. (Disclosure: I have not stayed at one of these hotels.) The Ace Hotel’s lobby and adjacent storefronts (coffee shop, restaurants, retail) have made the place among the very popular for locals in addition to people visiting from outside of town.

The dimly lit reception is always crowded, typically by people staring at their notebooks. The eclectic design, by Roman & Williams, extends to the other spaces from the lobby, but they work together to create a microcosm of hipness within a place (wholesale and Flower District) where one would have expected it.

More info: Ace Hotel

John Hill

Wythe Hotel: The conversion of a 1901 mill into a 72-room hotel
Cost: From $179
Location: 80 Wythe Ave. (at North 11th Street), Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Noteworthy: A rooftop bar with views of Manhattan

If any area exudes the hipster phenomenon, it is Williamsburg; reach its center by becoming off the L train at the first stop in Brooklyn. Its gentrification this century has been predominantly residential, but the Wythe adds a hotel to that mix, bringing tourists to a place they could otherwise pass over or see very little of.

Morris Adjmi’s design additional floors atop the older brick mill construction, popping it up proudly above its neighbors. A pub and restaurant are popular neighborhood spots, offering some fantastic views of Manhattan — views which will disappear in the coming years since developers build up along the East River waterfront.

More info: Wythe Hotel

John Hill

Must-Visit Shops

MoMA Design Store: The SoHo store for the Museum of Modern Art
Location: 81 Spring St., SoHo
Noteworthy: A glowing interior made by 1100 Architect

Visitors to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) on the Upper East Side can browse the bookstore inside the museum or walk Throughout the road to visit the Plan store. Yet in SoHo those two types of shops are united into a single, at a two-story space made by 1100 Architect. Upstairs are furnishings, design items and children’s toys, while downstairs are books, furniture plus a Muji store. It’s no surprise that the selection of contemporary design elements is topnotch.

More info: MoMA Design Store

John Hill

ABC Carpet & Home: Seven floors of furniture, rugs and furnishings near Union Square Park
Location: 888 Broadway (at West 19th Street), Gramercy
Noteworthy: there’s something for everybody in this massive store.

ABC Carpet & Home is about the size of a department store, but its eclectic selection of furniture and wares makes it something else entirely. The rugs are on the floor, but a stroll down shows modern and contemporary furniture, antiques, knickknacks, jewelry and just about everything in between. It’s more a bazaar than a single store, originating from the seven floors as well as the juxtaposition of diverse objects throughout. People on a budget can go down to the cellar to see what has been marked down by roughly half.

More info: ABC Carpet & Home

John Hill

Van Alen Books: The ground-floor publication of the nonprofit Van Alen Institute
Location: 30 W. 22nd St., Chelsea
Noteworthy: New York City’s only bookstore devoted to design and architecture

MoMA may have a Fantastic Choice of books, but much greater is Van Alen Books near Madison Square Park. It is the only publication in NYC devoted to design and architecture titles, filling the gap left by the closure of Urban Center Books at 2010.

The store can be remarkable for the design of its little yellow space (200 square feet). Architecture company LOT-EK added some actions made from old doors which act as chairs during book launches and other events.

More info: Van Alen Books

John Hill

Hidden Stone

Paley Park: A classic “vest pocket park” in Midtown
Cost: Free
Location: 3 E. 53rd St., Midtown
Noteworthy: The trees and waterfall drown out the sights and sounds of the surrounding traffic and buildings.

New York is a city of roads, so its hidden gems are places of respite from the traffic and crowded sidewalks. Paley Park is a little distance (42 by 100 ft) whose impact is much greater than its size.

A half block from Fifth Avenue, the place is a great place for sitting under the honey locust trees and allowing the noise of the waterfall clean the city off.

The park was designed in 1967 by Zion & Breen, and four years later came another vest pocket park nearby: Greenacre Park, made by Hideao Sasaki. Both these parks predate the city’s authorized privately owned public spaces, which grant developers extra square footage in exchange for public spaces. These two parks and their owners return to the city with no necessity for further profit.

More info: Paley Park; Greenacre Park

John Hill

Close to General Theological Seminary: The central green space of the seminary’s full-block home
Cost: Free
Location: 440 W. 21st St., Chelsea
Noteworthy: A peaceful alternative to the people-packed High Line neighboring

The General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church occupies all a full city block in Chelsea. Its set of primarily 19th-century buildings encompasses a central green space called the Close. Access to the distance is limited to certain days and times; buzz the gate on West 21st Street between Ninth and Tenth avenues to gain access.

This photograph shows the new residential development capping the block on Ninth Avenue, Chelsea Enclave, made by Ennead Architects and completed in 2010. Since that time the seminary’s dorms are converted to condos, and construction of a building on West 20th Street has started. Let us hope these modifications respect the silent of the Close, a pleasing antidote to the active High Line.

More info: Close at General Theological Seminary

John Hill

Ford Foundation Atrium: Headquarters of the Ford Foundation, near the United Nations
Cost: Free
Location: 320 E. 42nd St. (enter on East 43rd Street), Turtle Bay
Noteworthy: The glass and Cor-Ten steel construction has a 160-foot atrium at its core

The Ford Foundation’s headquarters represent the short-term tendency of covering buildings in Cor-Ten steel in the 1960s. Too much of the material can be harsh, but at the construction designed by Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates with landscape architect Dan Kiley, the atrium space softens the steel. Large glass walls face south and south, bringing light into the 160-foot-high space. Walking about the atrium is a delight, as it entails a whole lot of ups and downs among the various terraces and plant.

More info: Ford Foundation Atrium

John Hill

David Rubenstein Atrium: Privately owned public space near Lincoln Center
Cost: Free
Location: 61 W. 62nd St., Upper West Side
Noteworthy: Vertical green walls, circular skylights and a large mural create a pleasing space.

While privately owned public spaces are supposed to provide the public something in exchange for the developer’s ability to construct greater, too frequently the spaces are badly designed or limited in their audience. The latter proved to be the case with a semiopen through-block connection across from Lincoln Center; its main element was a climbing wall, hardly an amenity for people to utilize.

Now employed by Lincoln Center for a discount ticket booth and (frustratingly, since the booth then closes) the occasional performance, the distance is now fully enclosed and much more in line with today’s usage of public space (sitting, eating, with Wi-Fi).

Produced by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, the space is comfortable; it is characterized by skylights, a long mural and a couple vertical green spots near the entrances.

More info: David Rubenstein Atrium

John Hill

Noguchi Museum: An industrial building converted by artist Isamu Noguchi into a studio and museum
Cost: $10; cover what you wish the first Friday of each month
Location: 9-01 33rd Rd. (at Vernon Boulevard), Long Island City, Queens
Noteworthy: The enclosed garden is a beautiful space where you can appreciate Noguchi’s sculptures.

Back in 1974 Japanese-American Isamu Noguchi purchased a 1920s factory in Long Island City, turning it into a studio and warehouse. Eleven years after (three years earlier Noguchi’s death) the building opened as a museum.

To this very day the museum gifts Noguchi’s sculptures inside the construction and courtyard spaces he designed; it is rare to see such a fusion of art and architecture by a single artist in NYC (the Donald Judd Studio will start in 2013 after rehab).

Long Island City is now home to some of significant arts associations (MoMA PS1, the Museum of the Moving Picture, Socrates Sculpture Park), however the Noguchi Museum excels in creating a tranquil location for the contemplation of art.

More info: Noguchi Museum

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