There are countless statues in New York City, each one put into place for a different reason. Many of these statues have been there for decades, often gifts and peace offerings from other countries. The Statue of Liberty, for example, was a peace offering from France, officially dedicated in the year 1886. Lady Liberty represents the Roman goddess of freedom, Libertas. While the word ‘creepy’ typically does not pop into anyone’s head when they think of this important statue, there are plenty of other monuments in good ol’ New York which can make the most fearless person’s skin crawl.
Listed here are the top creepiest statues in New York City. Understand that while some of these statues may seem like odd choices, there is always a rhyme and reason behind picking them. Fasten your safety belts and get ready for an interesting journey into the weirdest monuments the Big Apple has to offer.
1. Miguel de Cervantes (right) First on the list is the statue of famed Spanish writer and painter, Miguel de Cervantes. Cervantes was born on Sep. 29, 1547 and died April 23, 1616. He lived in Madrid for a large portion of his life and is most popularly known for writing the epic novel “Don Quixote.” A statue of him currently rests on the NYU campus near Fifth Avenue and has been in place since 1986. This particular statue is known for giving the viewer a solemn, lonely feeling. Plus, it does sort of look like he is watching everyone as they walk past him. At any rate, whether some people agree or not, the statue of Miguel de Cervates is pretty creepy.
2. Lin Ze Xu This is probably an odd choice, considering Lin Ze Xu was a widely respected Chinese scholar and member of the Qing Dynasty, advocating peace and moral high-ground during his tenure–but the selection stands. Xu was born Aug. 30, 1785 and died Nov. 22, 1850. A statue was erected by an unknown sculptor in 1999 and is now sitting on the busy intersection of East Broadway St. and Chatham Square. Xu was chosen to be on this list of creepy statues because of his grim expression and stature. Xu’s memorial has him dressed in ancient Chinese garb, looking as if he is lording over the many passerby of Broadway St.
3. Dolly Dimples Now it’s time to kick it into high gear. Dolly Dimples is an extremely odd example of New York statues, currently owned by a local candy shop called Valvo’s Candy. She is a giant 1950’s style little girl and can be seen in the distance waving at passersby, sporting a rather unscrupulous smile. She was originally part of a drive-in restaurant in the 1970s called Pat’s Diner. While Dolly Dimples is probably modeled after the idea of a sweet, innocent school-girl, she at least appears to have ulterior motives hidden somewhere behind that creepy grin of hers.
4.Big Leather Guy This statue resides off of Route 30 and used to belong to Alvord’s House of Leather. Alvord’s closed in late 1998 and now the statue has found a new home. He looks quite a lot like the fabled character Paul Bunyon and is totally retro, sporting his 1970s suede jacket and high-legged boots. Big Leather Guy is now positioned outside of the entry way at Adirondack Leather Shop, greeting customers with his all-too-warm smile.
5.The Long Island Sphinx Near the beaches of Long Island resides a strange, small-scale ‘replica’ of the mighty Sphinx. This one more than makes the list of creepy New York City statues, not only because of it’s decidedly lecherous expression, but because of an odd inscription carved into his midsection, which reads: “She Who Climbs To The Sphinx’s Head, A Millionaire Will Surely Wed.”
6.The Stoned Shores of Staten Island Finally, the time comes to mention the stone structures of Staten Island’s beaches. These strange monuments litter the shores, taking the viewer on a wild journey to what appears to be a very creepy alien landscape, full of towers, rooms and Stonehenge-like structures. These oddities were in fact built by Douglas Schwartz, who claims that his creations, spanning over a half-mile, are the product of an ecological art experiment. Regardless of their purpose, Schwartz gets awarded the official crown for ‘King of Creepiness.’
Despite the recent spring snow in NYC, New Yorkers are keeping their heads up, looking forward to warm weather. But one meteorologist is advising New Yorkers not to get their hopes up too soon.
“This recent snowfall may not be the last spring snow shower we see in New York”, says meteorologist, Harvey Cline. Cline has spent nearly the last decade studying the notorious nor’easters. As a lifelong resident of New York City, Cline has devoted his recent years to understanding patterns related to these unique storms so that he, and other meteorologists, can better predict when the storms will hit.
“I have suspicions, which colleagues of mine have supported, that we may see two or possibly three more snow storms in New York before the snow lets up for this season”, says Cline. “I’m not predicting any North American Blizzard of 2006”, assured Cline, “but I think we might see snow within New York City limits as late as mid-May”. I had a chance to discuss the disappointing prediction with some New York residents. The responses I received were varied.
“This is awful, just dreadfully awful”, commented Regina Landers, a 35 year old ice cream shop owner in Park Slope, Brooklyn. “My business depends on warm weather. Nobody wants to come out to my ice cream shop, or any ice cream shop at that, when it’s snowing. I mean, it’s really not funny. My livelihood depends on this, it really does”.
Landers isn’t the only one in this position. In fact, most people in the city seem to be squirming under the pressure of this news. Beer garden bartenders, Botanic Garden landscape artists, Coney Island lifeguards, Fire Island fire dancers, and even regular people living in New York suffer when winter overstays its welcome.
“My family has suffered enough”, said Michael Zito, a 48 year old father of three. Zito recently purchased a home in Jamaica, Queens and he’s unhappy with Bloomberg’s inability to control these spring snow storms. “This is taxing on my home”, said an angered Zito. “It’s hard on my pipes, my roof, on everything. But does the city care? No, ma’am. They don’t care about little ol’ me”.
In contrast to Landers and Zito, some New Yorkers don’t like it hot. Mira Petrov, 19, came to the States from Moscow with her family 5 years ago so that she could pursue her modeling career. Petrov says the warm weather doesn’t “help” her ambitions and that’s she’s happy to have more cold weather than usual this year.
“My love for fashion revolves around clothing. If the sun is always out, why wear clothing? There’s no need for it”, says Petrov, clearly annoyed by those who are annoyed with the spring snow news. “Summer apparel is much more revealing than winter and spring apparel. Think about it. What does a lady wear? A lady wears gorgeous furs and complex layers”, remarked the girl.
I must have seemed dubious because she quickly neutralized her stance in saying, “Now I don’t want it to snow all summer. It would be nice if we have a few months of weather in the 50’s and 60’s, but anything hotter than that is just unnecessary”.
Meanwhile, NYC’s hip are considering other cities.
“It’s not that I don’t love New York”, said Megan Price of Williamsburg, but originally of Akron, Ohio. “But I’m pretty sure I could wait tables at a cool raw food joint in Austin and not be so miserable half of the year”.
John Mark is a painter based out of Long Island City. He’s been in New York for over a decade now and this spring snow prediction seems to be convincing him to “finally” leave.
“Living in NYC seemed so essential 11 years ago”, he explains. “Before Etsy, I mean. But now I have an Etsy and I sell my art on there and quite honestly, I sell much more on Etsy than I ever did in Union Square. And I mean, I could sell to these customers from everywhere. I’m actually really confused about why I’m paying New York rent…”, he trailed off.
“I guess I’ll just stock up on groceries and hole up in my studio”, Mark continued. “And I’ll try to stay positive. The snowflakes here are really gorgeous when they’re falling. Snow in New York is beautiful. Until it hits the ground”.
So brace yourselves, New Yorkers. If there’s any such thing as karma in any form whatsoever at all, you will probably be rewarded for your ongoing hard work despite the dismal weather with a few decent months this summer.
Summer is upon us, and that means it’s time for road trips. Even with gasoline prices nudging the three dollar mark, there’s no better way to spend a summer day or weekend than taking part in the American tradition of a great drive. With that in mind, Gadling has put together 39 great drives across the U.S. you’ll want to check out. So grab your keys and get out on the open road!
Duluth, Minnesota to the Canadian border
Heading northeast out of Duluth you’ll find one of America’s most beautiful waterfront drives. At Two Harbors, four lanes turn to two and the birch forest closes in. The next 130 miles include tunnels, waterfalls, a spectacular lighthouse and numerous other surprises that will make your day. Music: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door – Bob Dylan.
Trail Ridge Road, Colorado
An hour northwest of Denver, Trail Ridge Road is the highest paved through road in the United States, topping out well above timberline at 12,183 feet. The road is safe and easy to drive, but it’s only open during the summer months due to heavy snowfall. Be sure to check with the National Park Service for road conditions before making this trek. Music: Rocky Mountain High, John Denver.
Lower Wacker Drive is unlike any other street in the United States. For one thing, it’s underground. For another, it runs north, south, east and west. Immortalized in movies like the Blues Brothers, it allows you to cross under one of America’s busiest cities in a matter of minutes with virtually no traffic. Enter north of the river under Michigan Avenue or south of downtown at Congress Parkway. Music: Sweet Home Chicago, Robert Johnson.Flint Hills, Kansas
The 45 miles from Emporia to Florence along US 50 in the Flint Hills will take you by surprise. This is America’s last remaining tallgrass prairie and looks like much of the heartland used to look. Go in the springtime and you’ll think you’re in Ireland. Return in autumn for a completely different experience. Music: Dust in the Wind, Kansas.
Down on the Bayou, Louisiana
It’s 85 miles from Baton Rouge to New Iberia, Louisiana but a more interesting 85 miles you won’t find anywhere. Head west on Interstate 10 over the Atchafalaya Swamp before descending into Lafayette, the capital of Cajun culture. You’ll want to enjoy a meal here before heading south 20 miles on US 90 to New Iberia. Follow the signs to Avery Island, a unique wildlife refuge and the home of Tabsco-brand Louisiana hot sauce. Music: Zydeco Gris Gris, Beausoleil.
An Island in the Sky, Texas
The Chihuahan desert of west Texas is a stark, unforgiving place but in Big Bend National Park miles of sand and cactus give way to a lush pine forest high in the cool crisp air of the Chisos Mountains. This sky island is as different from the surrounding terrain as an island is from the sea. From Fort Stockton, head south on US 385 to the park entrance at Persimmon Gap. From here it’s still 35 miles to the Chisos Basin. In the summer months, it’s best to make this trip late in the day to avoid the extreme desert heat. Be sure to fill the tank….this is big country. Music: Into the Great Wide Open, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Merrit Parkway, Connecticut
In the far, far suburbs of New York City you’ll find one of America’s most beautiful highways. The Merrit Parkway runs from the New York – Connecticut state line approximately 37 miles to Milford. It is one of just a handful of American highways to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places due to it’s natural beauty and many stone arch bridges. Music: I Can’t Drive 55, Sammy Hagar.
Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
Head north from Portland on Interstate 205 and pick up Washington state highway 14 before heading east to Beacon Rock State Park. Stop and climb the easy trail to the top for great views of the Gorge. Continue on to White Salmon and cross the bridge to Hood River, Oregon. From here it’s a straight shot back to Portland on Interstate 84. Stops at Multnomah Falls and Bonneville Dam are pleasant diversions. Music: Given to Fly, Pearl Jam
Pasadena Freeway, California
Also known as California 110, this is the state’s oldest freeway. It has twists and turns, bridges and tunnels, mountains and canyons and more excitement than its better known brethren in southern California. From downtown Los Angeles, follow the signs to Pasadena. When you reach the City of Roses, turn around and do it again. Make sure the top is down. Music: I Love LA, Randy Newman.
The Bridges of Parke County, Indiana Parke County, Indiana has more covered bridges (31) than any other area of the United States. Most are accessible to passenger cars. If that’s not enough to entice you, rumor has it that there’s no better place to sneak a kiss than on a covered bridge. Head west 67 miles from Indianapolis on US 36 to Rockville. From here, take any of the five covered bridge routes on a journey back to a time when life was simpler and the pace was slower. Music: Small Town, John Mellencamp.
North Shore National Scenic Byway, Minnesota
The North Shore National Scenic Byway, along Minnesota’s coast of Lake Superior, thrills drivers with 154 miles of towering cliffs, tucked-away cobblestone coves, roaring rivers and waterfalls, a 100-year-old lighthouse, and killer views of the world’s largest freshwater lake.
Thermopolis to Buffalo, Wyoming
Road-tripping from Thermopolis to Buffalo, WYspools past the rich reds of badlands and grassland greens before climbing into the deep browns of the dramatically rugged, beautiful Big Horn Mountains.
Road to Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii
It can feel like tumbleweed Texas, lush Ireland or thick forests of the Pacific Northwest as each elevation–and biome–changes the scenery on Maui’s road to Haleakala National Park.Highway 378 climbs 10,000 feet above sea level with exhilarating zig-zags, stellar scenery and sudden fog.
Highway One, California
Get a sampling of the stunning (and less crowded) California central coast with a trek along Highway 1 from Cambria and the Piedras Blancas elephant seal rookery up to spectacular hiking at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. You’ll find a hidden waterfall, redwoods and may even spot a migrating whale while hugging the coast.
Highway 22 and 31, Michigan
Michigan’s Highway 22 and 31 wind through forest, dunes, orchards, wineries, harbors, and the quaint lakeside communities nestled along Grand Traverse Bayand the Lake Michigan shore: Glen Haven, Suttons Bay, Traverse City and Petoskey. Chicago’s turn-of-the-century elite families left a legacy pastel-colored Victorian mansions overlooking the gorgeous blue-green bays.
Mount Evans Scenic Byway, Colorado
You don’t need a trip through Rocky Mountain National Park to enjoy stellar alpine views. The Mount Evans Scenic Byway, just outside Denver, Colo., claims to be the highest paved road in the country at more than 14,000 feet. The road to get there spins through valleys and climbs through the Arapaho forest, framing up perfect views of snowy peaks.
Highway 135, Indiana
An easy drive from Indianapolis, Indiana’s Highway 135 loops and roller-coasters through covered bridges, state parks, Brown County’s art colony and the dense hardwood hills of Hoosier National Forest between Nashville and Houston. You’ll be craving bluegrass music, guaranteed.
Great River Road, Minnesota
Cruise below sandstone bluffs that border the Great River Road as it follows the Mississippi River south of the Twin Cities and through historic small towns on its way to Red Wing, Wabasha (remember “Grumpy Old Men”?) and Winona, Minnesota. Best bet: Go in March for world-class bald-eagle watching or in the fall for prime apple picking and antiquing.
Needles Highway, South Dakota
One of the nation’s most skillfully engineered scenic byways perfectly frames up views of Mount Rushmore like a postage stamp. South Dakota’s Needles Highway also spirals down pig-tail bridges, nudges past granite needles and purposely slows down drivers so they don’t miss the Black Hills scenery–or the mountain goats.
Lake Superior Circle Route, Wisconsin/Minnesota/Michigan
This gorgeous stretch of road circles through Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan. This scenic tour takes you through picturesque villages, over crystal clear rivers, by spectacular waterfalls, over the highest mountains in the midwest, along panoramic beaches, and through towering forests. In addition, enjoy some great cafes, bakeries, and quilting shops. Carson Pass Scenic Byway: Jackson to Woodfords
The Carson Pass Scenic Byway travels along through alpine forests and meadows and over the towering Caron Pass in the central Sierra Nevada region. Spectacular views of rocky peaks and lakes, coupled with volcanic landscapes, deep canyons and dense forests make this seventy-five mile long scenic drive as varied as it is beautiful.
Manitowoc Scenic Drive, Wisconsin
This drive tours the Lake Michigan shore from Sheboygan to Algoma, passing sand dunes, high bluffs, lighthouses, farms, and museums. The area’s flavor and history are closely tied to the lake through fishing, sailing, and ship building. Stop at one of the many specialty shops along the way to get a souvenir.
Door Country, Wisconsin
A drive through Door County, Wisconsin will provide you with views of over 250 lighthouses. In addition, 130 miles of the rustic Lake Michigan shoreline, limestone bluffs, and rocky shores will keep you awestruck for hours. If you need to stretch your legs, consider taking a tour of one of the many cherry or apple orchards who call Door County their home. Finally, wrap up your trip with a visit to Peninsula State Park, one of the largest state parks in Wisconsin. Glacier National Park, Montana
Glacier National Park, located in northwest Montana, boasts some of the finest mountain scenery in the country. A drive through this mountainous terrain will provide you with views of more than 50 major glaciers and over 200 lakes. Top that off with a tremendous variety of trees and all colors of wildflowers in summer, and you have a natural setting of excellence.
Kettle-Moraine Scenic Drive, Wisconsin
This 115-mile drive follows the Kettle Moraine, a long ridge of forested hills that mark where two great arms of the last glacier butted up against each other. The route follows the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive developed and maintained by the Kettle Moraine State Forest staff. Along the way you’re likely to learn more about glacial geology than you ever thought you’d know.
Amish Country: St. Charles-Harmony-La Crescent-Spring Grove, Minnesota
A stretch of road provides a 77-mile ramble through the wooded hills and intimate hollows of southeast Minnesota’s “bluff country.” Crossing the great rift valley of the Root River at Lanesboro, the drive passes through Amish farm country near Harmony and loops north and east through small towns and secluded valleys to the Mississippi River.
Sonoma-Napa Valleys Scenic Drive: Santa Rosa to Hopland, California
A scenic drive and wine tasting extravaganza! This 132 mile scenic drive loops through the wine country of Sonoma and Napa and follows three California highways. Winding through rolling mountains and dense forests, the scenic drive also passes through Clear Lake, the largest natural lake entirely within the state. Along with wine tastings, there are numbers state parks and sites including Old Faithful Geyser in Calistoga.
Sonoma-Mendocino Coast Scenic Drive: Marin City to US 101, California
This California scenic drive starts on the Marin Peninsula just north of the Golden Gate Bridge and follows Highway 1 up the beautiful Pacific coast. The highway passes through historic sites, redwood forests, wave carved coves, quiet sandy beaches and much more. From Muir Woods to Point Reyes National Seashore there are tons of state parks and beaches to visit and be awed by.
Monterey, California to Morro Bay, California
Traveling through California from Monterey to Morro Bay is a scenic drive that tops them as the best of the west. Beginning south of Monterey, the highway takes you along the Big Sur where the Santa Lucia Range meets the Pacific Ocean. This scenic drives offers an abundance of marine life, sandy beaches and breathtaking views.
Ocean Parkway, Long Island, New York
Starting at Jones Beach in the west, you can cruise East along the Atlantic Coast dune line of Long Island. Multiple beach stops along the way include Tobay, Gilgo and Oak Beach. It’s straight, desolate, with magical salty ocean breezes.
Pacific Coast Highway, Big Sur, Northern California
There’s only one road that takes you through the sparse and exclusive community. Breathtaking views of the Pacific bluffs on one side and the Santa Lucia Mountains on the other. Multiple state parks for camping, hiking and sightseeing all along Highway 1.
Badlands National Park, South Dakota. Miles and miles of (super) natural rock sculpture. Endless arrays of wildlife, especially endangered and protected herds of buffalo. If you’re lucky enough to ride West towards Sturges during bike week, you’ll have an escort of 150,000 bad-ass bikers.
Independence Pass, Aspen, Colorado
One of the highest paved roads in the country, with an altitude of over 12,000 feet. Hairpin turns in bad weather combined with unforgettable views of the Rockies give you Ansel Adams beauty and pure adrenaline in the same ride.
Ecola State Park, Oregon Coast
Also an extension of the Pacific Coast Highway (named Route 101 in Orgeon). Breathtaking views of the Northwest Pacific Coast. March starts the spring run of brilliant whale watching.
2nd Avenue, New York City
After 10:00 PM, take the RFK Bridge (formerly the Triboro) into Manhattan with the stunning New York City skyline on your left. Take the FDR drive South, get off at 116th street. Make a left onto Second Avenue. Roll down the windows, crank up the tunes, drive all the way downtown and feel the city rhythm under your wheels.
Florida Keys, Route A1A, South Florida
A one lane road into and out of paradise. Traffic and roadwork can get ugly, but what’s the rush? Warm breezes, lazy palms and the bluest of blue water as far as the eye can see in every direction. Spring breakers on the move add a party flavor.
Interstate 15 from Los Angeles to Las Vegas
Classic road trip stuff. Grab your friends, pack all the necessary accoutrements, rent an old convertible and be the American Dream. Start in the afternoon, get that magic Sierra sunset and hit the Strip by nightfall.
I-87 North, Upstate New York
In September/October, the entire Adirondack region is afire with Autumn color. Beautiful side exits take you to Saratoga, Woodstock or Fort Ticonderoga. Stop for an hour to go apple picking – it’s a must.
The Road to Hana, Maui, Hawaii
This might be the most incredible drive in the United States. The first half is all flora, fauna and waterfalls. The ride back through volcano country is psychedelic, martian-like and wrought with peril if not taken seriously. The remote rainforest village of Nahiku is heaven on Earth.
Whether you live in New York City or are just visiting, it may interest you to know that there’s a luxury beach resort less than 30 miles away.
Just west of the Hamptons in Long Island is the Allegria Hotel, which boasts “oceanfront luxury in Manhattan’s backyard.” The LEED certified hotel consists of 112 guestrooms and 31 suites, an oceanfront lounge (called The Oceanfront Lounge) and a restaurant by Chef Todd Jacobs, conveniently located on Long Beach, just 15 minutes from JFK International Airport.
The hotel oozes beach elegance with a white sand, driftwood and periwinkle color scheme, limestone-finished bathrooms, Egyptian cotton towels, custom-made 400 thread count Parisian sheets and a dazzling ballroom with silver leaf ceiling tiles and 73 Kazumi glass chandeliers. On the roof, you’ll find an ocean view fitness center and yoga studio.
Services include a Beach Concierge — a modern spin on the “Cabana Boy” — who can assist you with beach chairs, umbrellas, towels, refreshments, surf rentals, volleyball games and other beach activities.
So, tell your spouse or significant other you’ve just come up with the cheapest luxe vacation idea ever, rent a Zipcar, and go get tan. Room rates start at $250 per night. Click here to book.
Want more? Get your daily dose of pampering right here.
Although Hurricane Bill is playing havoc with weekend travel plans for many on the East Coast, it’s proving to be a landmark event for surfers up and down the Eastern Seaboard. This Saturday and Sunday are shaping up to be some of the biggest wave days in recent memory, and the excitement among Eastern wave riders is palpable.
With sustained winds at over 100 MPH, Hurricane Bill has been whipping the wave action on Eastern beaches into a frenzy. At the time of this post, North Carolina’s Outer Banks, was experiencing wave action of 16 to 20 feet, while Maryland, the Jersey Shore, Long Island and Cape Cod can expect waves of anywhere from 9 to 15 feet in height. In Bermuda, which has taken the full brunt of the storm, waves have been cresting as high as 30 to 40 feet!
Considering the average wave size for most of the Eastern U.S., you can expect experienced surfers to be heading to the beach this weekend in droves. For less experienced surfers and beachgoers, this is definitely a weekend to stay off the shore, as strong rip currents and unexpected wave action are going to make for extremely dangerous conditions. Do you happen to live near the water? Let us know how it’s looking this weekend in the comments.