NYC – Eataly NY: Gran Padano DOP

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NYC – Eataly NY: Gran Padano DOP
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Image by wallyg
The Grana Padano Consortium promotes the understanding and appreciation of Grana Padano DOP, one of the most popular and best-selling cheeses in the world. With a history that dates back to 12th century Cistercian monks in the region of Veneto, the extraordinary people who produce, age and sell Grana Padano DOP are beyond passionate about the cheese’s origin and taste. In order to be certified DOP, Grana must be produced along the Po River Valley in the northern regions of Piemonte, Lombardia, Veneto and Emilia Romagna. There are 6,193 farms in the Po Valley that exclusively produce Grana Padano DOP using the highest quality Italian milk from Italian cows. The cows are raised following rigorous guidelines and are milked no more than twice a day. Grana Padano DOP must be aged for at least 9 months and can be aged for up to 2 years.

Eataly NY, located at 200 Fifth Avenue, opened on August 31, 2010. The 50,000 square foot high-end Italian food market is owned by a partnership including Mario Batali, Lidia Bastianich and Joe Bastianich. Founded by Oscar Farinetti, the first Eataly opened in Turin, Italy in 2007.

Triumph of Dionysos and the Seasons Sarcophagus (Badminton Sarcophagus) (view of Oceanus)
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Image by peterjr1961
Triumph of Dionysos and the Seasons Sarcophagus (Badminton Sarcophagus) (view of Oceanus) .
Triumph of Dionysos and the Seasons Sarcophagus.
Roman, ca. 260?270.
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This highly ornate and extremely well preserved Roman marble sarcophagus came to the Metropolitan Museum from the collection of the dukes of Beaufort and was formerly displayed in their country seat, Badminton Hall in Gloucestershire, England. An inscription on the unfinished back of the sarcophagus records that it was installed there in 1733. In contrast to the rough and unsightly back, the sides and front of the sarcophagus are decorated with forty human and animal figures carved in high relief. The central figure is that of the god Dionysos seated on a panther, but he is somewhat overshadowed by four larger standing figures who represent the four Seasons (from left to right, Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall). The figures are unusual in that the Seasons are usually portrayed as women, but here they are shown as sturdy youths. Around these five central figures are placed other Bacchic figures and cultic objects, all carved at a smaller scale. On the rounded ends of the sarcophagus are two other groups of large figures, similarly intermingled with lesser ones. On the left end, Mother Earth is portrayed reclining on the ground; she is accompanied by a satyr and a youth carrying fruit. On the right end, a bearded male figure, probably the personification of a river god, reclines in front of two winged youths, perhaps representing two additional Seasons..
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The sarcophagus is an exquisite example of Roman funerary art, displaying all the virtuosity of the workshop where it was carved. Although the marble is Phrygian, from central Anatolia (Turkey), the stone was probably shipped to Rome and worked there. Only a very wealthy and powerful person would have been able to commission and purchase such a sarcophagus, and it was probably made for a member of one of the old aristocratic families in Rome itself. The subjects?the Triumph of Dionysos and the Seasons?are unlikely, however, to have had any special significance for the deceased, particularly as it is clear that the design was copied from a sculptor’s pattern book. Another sarcophagus, now in the Hessisches Landesmuseum in Kassel, Germany, has the same composition of Dionysos flanked by the four Seasons, although the treatment and carving of the figures is quite different. On the Badminton sarcophagus, the figures are carved in high relief and so endow the crowded scene with multiple areas of light and shade, allowing the eye to wander effortlessly from one figure to another. One must also imagine that certain details were highlighted with color and even gilding, making the whole composition a visual tour de force..
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Very few Roman sarcophagi of this quality have survived. Although the Badminton sarcophagus lacks a lid, the fact that it was found in the early eighteenth century and soon thereafter installed in Badminton Hall means that it has been preserved almost intact and only a few of the minor extremities are now missing.

Central Park
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Image by peterjr1961
Hans Christian Andersen Monument

“To be born in a duck’s nest, in a farmyard, is of no consequence to a bird, if it is hatched from a swan’s egg.” –The Ugly Duckling (1844)

This bronze larger-than-life-sized figure depicts Hans Christian Andersen (1805–1875), Danish poet, novelist, and author of fairy tales including The Ugly Duckling and The Little Mermaid. Sculptor Georg John Lober (1892–1961), who also created the statue of George M. Cohan (1958) in Duffy Square, shows the writer seated on a bench appearing to be reading his semi-autobiographical Ugly Duckling story to a rather attentive 2-foot-high bronze “duckling.”

The sculpture was sponsored by the Danish American Women’s Association and was first unveiled in 1955 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Andersen’s birthday. Both Danish and American schoolchildren helped raise the ,000 needed to build the piece. To this day it continues to attract children who enjoy sitting in the writer’s lap. In 1973 the bronze cygnet was stolen, later recovered, and secured. Since 1956 the statue has served as a backdrop for children’s reading events, the best known of these storytellers is author Diane Wolkstein, who has spearheaded the summer reading program at the statue since 1966.

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