New York Architecture Images-Upper West Side

Hotel/ Cafe des Artistes


George Mort Pollard (Walter Russell was said to be involved)


One W67, bet. Central Park West and Columbus Ave.












ROBERT'S CUBE About two decades ago, this duplex unit at the famed Hotel des Artistes was home to Irving Howe, the late firebrand social and literary critic. In fact, Howe-who rented at the building while between marriages-was actually just one of a gaggle of prominent artists who have lived in the building since its erection in 1915 as an artists' studio. The tenant roster has included painter Norman Rockwell, director Mike Nichols, actor Gary Oldman, playwright Noel Coward, writer Fannie Hurst and dancer Isadora Duncan. The latest owner of Howe's old apartment is himself an artist of sorts: prominent New York architect Robert Marino. "The apartment is kind of like a Rubik's Cube," said Mr. Marino. "That's what appeals to me architecturally about it. It's compactly put-together and very efficient." Mr. Marino, whose contemporary-styled residential and commercial projects dot the landscapes of Westchester, Manhattan and the Hamptons, happened upon the apartment after his wife saw an ad in the Sunday New York Times. "It said something like: 'Needs great vision,'" Mr. Marino remembers his wife saying. Great vision, indeed. The apartment hadn't been renovated since at least the 1950's. It had belonged to a retired college professor of medieval history-who had sublet the apartment to Howe. "It needs a tremendous amount of work," said listing broker Andrea Davis, who shared the listing with fellow Coldwell Banker Hunt Kennedy broker Scott Claster. That, according to Mr. Marino, explains how he snagged the space for such a price. And as befits his occupation, he's planning to refurbish just about every square foot of it, from the walls to the floors to the windows. Mr. Marino, who'd been living with his family in a smallish two-bedroom apartment in Chelsea, said that the apartment's set-up and location is perfect for his 2-year-old twins, Luke and Jake. "It's kind of like a compact playhouse," Mr. Marino said. "And the park is right next-door. An 800-acre front yard-you can't beat that."

Phone: +1 212 877 3500
Website: Cafe des Artistes
Open Hours: Lunch: noon-3pm Mon-Fri. Dinner: 5:30pm-11:45pm Mon-Sat; 5:30pm-10:45pm Sun. Brunch: 11am-2:45pm Sat; 10am-2:45pm Sun
Neighborhood: Upper West Side
Nearest Train: B, C at 72nd St; 1, 9 at 66th St-Lincoln Center
Category: European, Atmosphere

Overview of Cafe des Artistes 
This is the place to seriously impress your date (or anyone else for that matter), assuming no one in your party minds dining amid portraits of naked women. Most believe that the sumptuous, whimsical decor adds to the romance. The murals were painted by Howard Chandler Christy beginning in 1934; an illustrator and portrait painter, he lived next door to the restaurant at the Hotel des Artistes. Besides the decor, the French dishes at the Cafe are exquisite, both in presentation and taste. Jacket and tie are required.

Café des Artistes 
This is the place to seriously impress your date (or anyone else for that matter), assuming no one in your party minds dining amid portraits of naked women. Most believe that the sumptuous, whimsical decor adds to the romance. The murals were painted by Howard Chandler Christy beginning in 1934; an illustrator and portrait painter, he lived next door to the restaurant at the Hotel des Artistes. Besides the décor, the French dishes at the Cafe are exquisite, both in presentation and taste. Jacket and tie are required. 

Think Café des Artistes and it’s Christmas in New York. No other dining room in the city captures the sparkle of the season like this jewel-box of a restaurant in the Hotel des Artistes where George Balanchine used to live and where a few blocks away at Lincoln Center his Nutcracker Suite enchants an ever new generation each holiday season.

But our last visit was in midsummer. The sun had not yet set when we arrived, and the trees along Central Park West, thickly leafed, were still casting long, deepening shadows. Yet the Café glittered in a way that bespoke Christmas even on a mild Monday evening in July. 

It had been a while, too long, we thought as we settled into a banquette. Behind us, leaded windows, their sills overflowing with potted azaleas and begonias, looked out onto a West 67th Street that always seemed as much Paris as New York. Before us a profusion of gardenias and passion flowers spilled extravagantly across a rectangular table. And all around were the murals, Howard Chandler Christy’s nubile nudes frolicking in lush gardened settings. One of the many artists who have lived in the Hotel des Artistes, Christy was the first to buy an apartment when both the building and restaurant opened in 1917. He was born in Ohio and painted the murals in the 1930’s and 40’s. Yet they evoke the Art Nouveau/Bohemian/Central European ambience that has defined the Café for nearly seventy years.

This evening, the dining room was filled with a sophisticated, well dressed, and multi-generational crowd. The staff was multi-generational as well. The familiar face belonged to Hiran Pagan, a native of Puerto Rico who has been on the job since 1954. A distinctive presence, warm and at the same time distinguished, we remembered him from a previous visit. Small wonder people call for reservations and request Hiran’s tables. He has no plans to retire, he told us, ever. And then there was the youthful headwaiter whose first encounter with the Café was on a hotel school trip. “When I began working here, I felt like a new baseball player coming into Yankee Stadium,” he said. 

The ebullience, enthusiasm, and desire to please, infectious among the staff, are a reflection of the attitude of George Lang, the Café’s charismatic proprietor since 1975. When he was originally asked by the Hotel des Artistes board to take over what had become a deteriorating property during that bleak period in New York City, the restaurant developer who lived down the block declined. But soon after, a rainy night and a lack of taxis on West 67th changed his mind. “If there was a successful restaurant on this block, we’d never have trouble getting a taxi,’” he told his wife Jenifer.

And with that, George Lang, the one-time Hungarian refugee and Holocaust survivor, committed to the renovation and operation of Café des Artistes. Known as the Gastronomic Impresario for having opened 200 restaurants in as many as eighteen countries, George stopped before our table just as one of us was helplessly succumbing to a second helping of the irresistible rustic bread served at the Café, the sole product of a tiny bakery in Long Island City. We asked him to sit down, but he demurred. “I learned long ago in the restaurant business you never sit down with a guest. Why? The people at the next tables will say ‘Why isn’t he sitting with me?’ Also anything can happen in the dining room and you won’t notice it because you are too busy enjoying yourself.”

But George did tell us his vision for the legendary property he decided to take on. “The trick was to build a new house but leave the old house there. I did a lot of research to discover what was there, what cannot be changed, what should be changed, and to what purpose. I learned the restaurant was originally a home for artists, writers, and politicians who lived in the building and on the block. They came here and felt like they were still at home. That is what I have tried to recreate. 
“Still I have to make sure tradition does not become a jailer. If every time you think you cannot do this, you cannot do that, you can only do what has been done, it will not work. We want to keep the atmosphere of 1917 with the technical advances of today.”

So they have. Café des Artistes remains a popular neighborhood place, but it is also a destination restaurant with an international and frequently illustrious clientele. It has, according to George, one of the highest percentages of regulars among restaurants anywhere in the world.

Our midsummer visit reinforced past pleasures. The Café’s comfortable atmosphere suggests a familiar and well-loved bistro in Paris, or maybe Vienna, or maybe even Budapest where George comes from –albeit in surroundings of greater luxury and with a cuisine of greater complexity under the direction of Finnish-born chef Ari Nieminen.

Ari changes his menu frequently to take advantage of seasonal products and tries out new concepts regularly at tasting sessions with George, Jenifer, and the staff. Still he seems to remain true to what George calls the Café’s essential cuisine bourgeoise with signature dishes like pot au feu and schnitzel of weiner or sturgeon.

But we were inclined to more summery selections: icy blue point oysters (order half a dozen, and seven arrive shimmering on a jumble of ice), pure-green asparagus in a light vinaigrette (in the springtime, it’s possible to dine on an entire menu devoted to asparagus), and height-of-the-season soft shell crabs with braised, garlicky mustard greens and arugula and trumpet mushrooms in a warm tomato vinaigrette. And then there was the Dover sole, classically grilled, moist and tender, served with fondant potato that melted into the juices.

Café des Artistes has a substantial but manageable wine list. It’s possible to order quite good wines that are not very expensive, half as well as full bottles. We had a clean, crisp California chardonnay that was perfect for July, Chalk Hill (Somona County, Pomona) 1999. 
There is a nice selection of dessert wines as well – including ice wine from New Zealand, ports and Madeiras by the glass, and a slew of refreshing desserts made with ice creams, sorbets, and a range of summer fruits. But through all the seasons the Ilona Torte is a staple. This flourless walnut espresso chocolate cake is based on the one George’s mother used to make.

Recently we were talking to some friends about how so many restaurants come and go. Short lives seem to be the rule. By comparison, Café des Artistes’ longevity is exceptional, even if one limits it to the nearly three decades of George Lang’s domain.

He had said to us, “My dream is for the original owner of Café des Artistes, the man who opened the restaurant in 1917, to awaken like Rip Van Winkle, come into the Café for dinner, and then say to me ‘George, you did a pretty good job.’”

No doubt about it; he would.

# # #

Café des Artistes
One West 67th Street
New York, NY

Phone: 212 877-3500

Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer 

Howard Chandler Christy

Howard Chandler Christy was one of America's most distinguished illustrators, whose work, like that of Norman Rockwell, successfully captured the pulse of the nation.

His career was established when he worked for "Scribner's" and "Leslie's Weekly" doing illustrations of American troops in Cuba during the Spanish American War. After that, he was most sought after for his sumptuous, lush portraits of women, although he also painted other notables that included President Calvin Coolidge, General Douglas McArthur, Eddie Rickenbacker, Douglas MacArthur, Amelia Earhart, Herbert Hoover, and Benito Mussolini.

He was also a muralist and much sought-after teacher, giving classes in New York City at Cooper Union, the Chase School, the New York School of Art, and the Art Students League.

Christy was born in Duncan Falls, Ohio where he grew up on his family farm. At age sixteen, he went to New York City to study at the Art Student's League, and after less than four years, he entered the National Academy of Design where he won two prizes in draughtsmanship.

He worked for "Scribner's Magazine" as an illustrator for a number of years beginning in 1898. In addition to illustrating articles and stories, he traveled to Cuba and Puerto Rico and sent back illustrations of Spanish-American War activity. It was through this work as a commercial artist that he became a nationally known illustrator.

After his return to the United States, he taught for a brief time in New York; however, he soon returned to his hometown of Duncan Falls. There he built a studio and summer home and divided his time between painting and entertaining visiting authors and publishers.

While living in Ohio, he became famous for his stylized depictions of women, popularly known as "Christy Girls." These illustrations appeared in many publications and print art, and were eventually used on recruitment posters for Word War I.

By 1915, he had returned once again to New York City and soon took up portrait painting. Later in life Christy began painting large historical murals. In 1945, he was commissioned by the state of Ohio to paint "The Signing of the Treaty of Greene Ville," which today hangs in the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus. His most famous of these large compositions, "The Signing of the Constitution of the United States" is located above the grand staircase in The Capitol in Washington DC.

Christy died in 1952 in his studio apartment at the Hotel des Artistes

Walter Russell 
Walter Russell dropped out of school in grade 8 in order to help support his family. Always sensing a deep inner connection, he became aware of his genius no matter to what endeavor he turned his hand, becoming a world class pianist, artist, sculptor, writer, architect and figure skater. As his awareness of the true nature of man grew, he knew that anyone could do likewise.

In 1921, Russell experienced a 39-day cosmic illumination. From what he learned in that experience, coupled with studies in traditional science, he formulated the "Russell Cosmogony," through his books The Universal One, The Russell Genero-Radiative Concept, The Secret of Light, and A New Concept of the Universe. Though skoffed at by the scientific community of his time, he was later to be recognized for identifying new elements in the Periodic Table and work that is now being echoed in quantum physics.

Walter Russell was one of the greatest geniuses ever to walk the planet. Even though Russell died in the 60's, he greatly changed the world we live in today. Walter Russell felt it was his Life Purpose to be an example to mankind that we all have genius inherent within us.

Walter Russell mastered many talents, although he only had a fourth-grade education. Russell became a master painter, sculptor, author, philosopher, musician, composer, architect, scientist, equestrian, figure skater, and more.

As an architect, Russell conceived the ideas for the penthouse, the duplex, the cooperative apartment building (forerunner to the condo), and the studio apartment.  As a scientist, Walter Russell developed his own Periodic Chart of the Elements and was the first to define the trans-uranium elements--the elements eventually used (abused) to create nuclear energy and the atomic bomb. 

Walter Russell understood cause--the "why" of things.  Modern science uses observation and deduces the "effects" of things. Russell released many of his discoveries and insights to the world's leading scientists and physicists in 1926. The official scientific community considered Walter Russell to be a heretic because he approached science from a metaphysical viewpoint, though at least two scientists have since won Nobel Prizes by developing his ideas. He never was given credit for the discoveries he revealed to mankind in 1926, in his scientific treatise,
The Universal One.

Russell mastered all these talents by "writing his desire in light upon his heart in lines of light" and by tuning into Nature and to the universal One--Walter Russell's term for God.  He taught that all things are knowable in Light, and everything is light. Walter Russell taught that the entire, unlimited physical universe is the body of God, thought into creation by the imaginings of the universal One.

Russell went into "full illumination" for 39 days and nights in 1921.  In that time he "saw" and understood how the universe was created. About 30,000 words came through him during that time, which he considered to be Divine revelation (and so do I). Those words are revealed in The Message of the Divine Iliad. Russell spent the rest of his life revealing the insights he received during those 39 days.

Walter Russell also wrote The Secret of Light, which evolves his philosophy into the Russell science.

I feel it's part of my purpose on Earth to disseminate the teachings of this incredible man. Walter Russell truly was "the man who tapped the Secrets of the Universe."


By Walter Russell

Chapter XII, The Secret of Light

Light cannot be seen, it can only be known. Light is still. The sense of sight cannot respond to stillness. That which the eyes “feel” and believe to be Light is but wave motion simulating the idea of Light. Like all things else in this electric wave universe the idea of Light cannot be produced. Electric waves simulate idea only. They do not become idea.

When man sees the light of the sun he believes that he is actually seeing light when the nerves of his eyes are but “feeling” the intense, rapid, short- wave vibrations of the kind of wave motion which he senses as incandescence. The intensely vibrant electric current mirrored into the senses of the eyes fairly burns them. They cannot stand that high rate of vibration. The eyes would be destroyed by such a vibration but light would not be the cause of that destruction. Fast motion, simulating light, would be the cause. It would be like sending a high voltage electric current over a wire, so fine that the current would burn it out.           

Man likewise cannot see darkness. The nerves of his eyes, which sense motion, slow down to a rate of vibration that he can no longer “feel.”

Man is so accustomed to the idea that he actually sees light in various intensities illuminating various substances to greater or lesser degree that it is difficult for him to realize that his own senses are but acting as mirrors to reflect various intensities of wave motion. But that is all that is happening.

Every electrically conditioned thing in Nature reflects the vibrations of every other thing, to fulfill its desire to synchronize its vibrations with every other thing. All matter is the motion of light. All motion is expressed in waves. All light waves are mirrors that reflect each other’s condition unto the farthermost star.

This is an electrically conditioned wave universe. All wave conditions are forever seeking oneness. For this reason all sensation responds to all other sensation.

Is Light A Wave Or Corpuscle?

Much controversy has arisen as to whether light is corpuscular, as Newton claimed it to be, or waves. There is much evidence in favor of both theories. It is both. Light is expressed by motion. All motion is wave motion. All waves are expressed by fields of equal and opposite pressures of two-way motion. The entire volume within wave fields is filled with the two opposite expressions of motion—the positive expression that compresses light into solids, and the negative expression that expands it into space surrounding solids.

All space within wave fields is curved. Curvature ends at planes of zero curvature that bound all wave fields. These boundary planes of omnipresent magnetic Light act as mirrors to reflect all curvature into all other wave fields in the universe, and as fulcrums from which motion in one wave field is universally repeated.

All Matter Is Wave Motion

Together these constitute what we call matter and space. It has been difficult to conceive light as being purely corpuscular, for light is presumed to fill all space. Space is not empty. It is full of wave motion. Corpuscles of matter are one half of wave cycles of light. Space is the other half.

There need be no mystery as to whether light is corpuscular or wave, for waves of motion which simulate the light and darkness of space is all there is.

The light and motion of solid matter, and of gaseous matter of space, differs only in volume and condition. Water of earth is compressed into small volume while water of the heavens is expanded thou sands of time in volume. Each condition is the opposite half of the cycle of water.

Water vapor is water turned inside out. It again becomes water by turning outside in. Expansion- contraction sequences result from this process.

All Matter Is Simulated Light

Water of the heavens still is water, and it still is light waves. No change whatsoever has taken place between the waters of earth and those of the heavens except a change of its condition from positive to negative preponderance. This change is due solely to a change of its direction in respect to its center of gravity.

All dense cold matter, such as iron, stone, wood, and all growing or decaying things, are light. We do not think of them as light but all are waves of motion, and all waves of motion are light.

Light is all there is in the spiritual universe of knowing, and simulation of that light in opposite extensions is all there is in the electric wave universe of sensing. The simulation of light in matter is not light. There is no light in matter.

Perhaps the confusion which attends this idea would be lessened if we classify everything concerning the spiritual universe, such as life, intelligence, truth, power, knowledge and balance as being the One Light of Knowing, and everything concerning matter and motion as being the two simulated lights of thinking.

Thinking expresses knowing in matter but matter does not think, nor does it know.

Thinking also expresses life, truth, idea, power and balance by recording the ideas of those qualities in the two lights of matter in motion, but matter does not live, nor is it truth, balance or idea, even though it simulates those spiritual qualities.

Man’s confusion concerning this differentiation lies in his, long assumption of the reality of matter. His assumption that his body is his Self, that his knowledge is in his brain, and that he lives and dies because his body integrates and disintegrates, has been so fundamental a part of his thinking that it is difficult for him to reverse his thinking to the fact that matter is but motion and has no reality beyond simulating reality.

The light which we think we see is but motion. We do not see light. We feel the wave vibrations set up by the motion that simulates light, but the motion of electric waves that simulate light is not that which it simulates.


Concerning Light Corpuscles

There is much confusion concerning the many kinds of particles of matter such as electrons, protons, photons, neutrons and others. These many particles are supposedly different because of the belief that some are negatively charged, some are positively charged and some are so equally charged that one supposedly neutralizes the other.

There is no such condition in nature as negative charge, nor are there negatively charged particles. Charge and discharge are opposite conditions, as filling and emptying, or compressing and expanding are opposite conditions.

Compressing bodies are charging into higher potential conditions. Conversely, expanding bodies are discharging into lower potential conditions. To describe an electron as a negatively charged body is equivalent to saying that it is an expanding-contracting body.

Contracting and expanding bodies move in opposite directions. Contracting bodies move radially inward toward mass centers, and expanding bodies move radially outward toward space that surrounds masses. In this two-way universe, light which is inwardly directed toward gravity charges mass and discharges space. When directed toward space it charges space and discharges mass. All direction of force in Nature is spiral.

The charging condition is positive. It multiplies speed of motion into density of substance. The principle of multiplication of motion because of decrease of volume is the cause of the acceleration of gravity. The discharging condition is negative. It divides speed of motion into tenuity of substance. The principle of the division of motion because of expansion of volume is the cause of the deceleration of radiation.

One can better comprehend this principle by knowing that what we call substance is purely motion. Motion simulates substance by its variation of pressures, its speed and its gyroscopic relation to its wave axis.

Particles are variously conditioned as to pressure but there are no different kinds of particles. All are light waves wound up into particles that are doubly charged. Their position at any one point in their wave causes them to have the electric condition appropriate for that point.

Light particles are forever moving in their octave waves. All are either heading toward their cathode or their anode, which means toward vacuity or gravity. They are all moving either inward or outward, spirally.

All Light Particles Are Alike

All light particles are either expressing the mother- light principle or the father-light principle. For example, if a particle is on the amplitude of the wave, it would be a true sphere, and as a true sphere it would be neither positive nor negative. It might then appropriately be called a neutron. A particle which is spirally heading inward toward the apex of a vortex in the process of becoming a sphere might appropriately be called a proton, because of its expressing the father-light principle.

Again, if it is moving spirally outward, it could appropriately be called an electron because it would then be discharging in excess of its charge or expanding in excess of its contraction.

Light rays, for example, leaving the sun, are discharging the sun. They are also discharging themselves because they are expanding into greater volume. They are also lowering their own potential by multiplying their volume. They reverse their charge when radially converging upon the earth. They are then charging the earth and themselves by contracting into smaller volume and are simultaneously multiplying their own potential by thus contracting.

Semi-cyclic Alteration

In an electric current there is a constant interchange between anode and cathode or positive and negative poles. A light particle expands as it leaves the cathode in an outward radial direction and contracts as it radially approaches the anode. This light particle has been the same light particle at all times in all parts of its journey. Its variation of charge and discharge, its direction of motion and the condition of wave pressure in which it finds itself at all times are the sole reasons for its changing from one condition to another. The light particles are all the same light particles, all being different only in pressure condition.

This is also true of the elements of matter. Whether they be iron, carbon, silicon, bismuth or radium, all are composed of the same kind of light particles.

They all seem to have different qualities and attributes, but those qualities and attributes are likewise given to them purely by the positions they occupy in their waves.

All Things Simulate Light

A particle of light which belongs to an atomic system of sodium has in it all of the entire range of the elements, besides all of every other creating thing in the universe. It acts to carry out the purposefulness of the idea of sodium simply because it is in the pressure condition of sodium, and is a part of the unfolding pattern of the seed of inert gas of the octave from which it has unfolded.

If that same particle unfolded from the seed of the oak, it would be part of the wood fiber of its trunk, or leaf, or of the chlorophyll which colored its leaves, but it would be the same kind of particle while fulfilling the purpose of cellulose as while fulfilling the purpose of sodium.

All matter in this universe is but differently conditioned motion simulating light, and all differences in condition are pressure differences.

Light Does Not Travel

The speed with which light presumably travels is 186,400 miles per second. The distance between stars is so great that the speed of light is computed as light years, for the distance computed by lesser units of time would yield figures so great that they would be meaningless.

Light only seems to travel. It is but one more of the countless illusions caused by wave motion. Waves of the ocean seem to traverse the ocean but they only appear to do so, for waves are pistons in the universal engines, and pistons operate up and down. Wave pistons of light, or of the ocean, operate radially and spirally inward and outward, toward and away from gravity.

Waves of light do not travel. They reproduce each other from wave field to wave field of space. The planes of zero curvature, which bound all wave fields, act as mirrors to reflect light from one field into another. This sets up an appearance of light as traveling, which is pure illusion.

The sunlight we feel upon our bodies is not actual light from the sun. What actually is happening is that the sun is reproducing its own condition on the earth by extending the reproductions out through cold space into ever enlarging wave fields until those reproductions begin to converge again toward our center of gravity into ever smaller wave fields. The heat we feel and the light we see is dependent entirely upon the ability of the wave fields to reproduce the light and heat, and that ability is conditioned upon the amount of moisture in the atmosphere.

If there were no moisture in the atmosphere, our bodies would carbonize from the heat thus reproduced. One cannot consistently think of that heat as direct rays of the sun, for that same sunlight was intensely cold during its reproduced journey through the immensely expanded wave fields of space between the sun and earth.

The light and heat that appear to come from the star or sun have never left the star or sun.

That which man sees as light and feels as heat is the reproduced counterpart of the light and heat that is its cause.

The rate of vibration in a wave field depends upon its volume. Vibration in a wave field means the pulse of interchange between its compressed core and the space surrounding that core. A slow vibration in a large wave field would cool one’s body, or even freeze it, while fast pulsing interchange in extremely small wave fields could burn one’s body.

A lens that multiplies light and heat toward a focal point which sets paper on fire merely compresses larger wave fields into smaller ones. The rate of vibration increases for the same reason that the planets nearest the sun move much faster in their small orbits than those that are far away from the sun. Kepler’s law covering the speeds of planets will apply to rates of vibration in wave fields as appropriately as with the movements in the solar system.