Friday, November 18, 2016

TFBT: The Gods of Manhattan

My wife took me to Le Relais de Venise, a French, all-you-can-eat steakhouse to celebrate my birthday a week early.  As we walked around New York City I realized the old gods still abound.  Here is who I saw;


Pallas Athena reigning over the Great Dionysia where all the famous Ancient Greek tragedies were performed. More specifically in this case the Radio City Music Hall and its Christmas Spectacular.  Here is the line to get in to see the Rockettes perform. 


Hermes, god of commerce presiding over the Grand Central Terminal.  And some of the commerce within that my wife was particularly interested in.



The Nymph Daphne was honored at this Greek restaurant. Greek food is very similar to the Lebanese food I grew up on.  I had stuffed grape leaves and my loved the baklava.  The tavern claims on its website;Apollo's first love was the nymph Dafni.  As he pursued her, she called upon the gods to help her escape him and was immediately transformed into a laurel tree.  Still in love with her, Apollo vowed to always wear a crown of laurel.  As the originator of the Pythian Games, and as the god of poetry, he swore to crown all victors, heroes and poets with wreaths woven of laurel leaves.”  I saw the crowns of laurel on the wall!

Athena Parthenos recently took command of the lobby at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  This is a life-size (if you are a god) Roman copy of the lost statue at the Parthenon.  Knowing you will find a surprise in hand if you check out the rear of Farnese Hercules, I checked out Athena from behind and spotted her hair braided back in to a pony-tail.  A detail too high up to notice when I visited the Parthenon in Nashville.


Prometheus Bound a little differently at Rockefeller Center than tradition says; no eagle, no mountain, no exposed entrails.  Ends up the friend of the human race and giver of fire was just being protected during the decorating of the Christmas tree.  


 Meanwhile his brother Atlas stands nearby upholding the cosmos while gazing upon the house of another god; that is St. Patrick’s Cathedral.


 Nike, goddess of Victory is honored in the southeast corner of Central Park, where our carriage ride ended. Of course maybe she was there to honor General W.T. Sherman.


         And yes, it was a spectacular and divine way to celebrate by b-day! 


1 comment:

  1. You must have had good time in New York!
    In Northern Italy, I was impressed by the huge number of "atlantes" - some so well carved that almost made me pity them.