Tag Archive for "New York" tag
At Ground Zero, the death of Osama bin Laden was greeted with great jingoistic fervor within hours. But the next morning underneath Williamsburg it was a different story.
Calling it the Real Good Experiment, furniture retailer Blu Dot is placing nice, modern chairs around New York City for people to take home and use for free. The chairs, which retail for $129, are undoubtedly a great curbside score. The trouble is the chairs are equipped with GPS tracking devices so their journeys can be monitored publicly. Take a look at where they’ve been placed.
There’s a crazy faux-archeological dig going on in New York Harbor right now. Belgian artist Geert Hautekiet is curating a dig on Governors Island which includes artifacts from the former Belgian/French settlers’ collection of commercially unsuccessful snow globes, like one depicting a small boy being chased by two polar bears. Read a full report in the New York Times or go to Hautekiet’s site, The Archaeological Dig to read more. For pictures of the site, check out this photo slideshow.
The site also includes a number of sculpturelike apparatuses for scaring off birds, the result — according to what Mr. Hautekiet said the archaeologists have pieced together — of a troubling period in the town’s history in 1953 called the Plague of Birds. A monthslong infestation was apparently caused when the Spanish gas station owner, distraught that his wife had left him for a trucker, built hundreds of intricate and alluring bird houses and placed them around his business, where they can now be seen.
Yesterday a stretch of Broadway around Times Square between 42nd and 47th Streets and another near Herald Square between 33rd and 35th Streets was closed to automotive traffic and more than 3 acres of new open space was added to the heart of Manhattan. Officially, a $1.5 million pilot project that will be evaluated throughout 2009 for a final approval, the Green Light for Midtown project has turned Broadway into a pedestrian mall that will soon be dotted with cafe tables, slacking smokers, tourists with rollybags and Chinese delivery guys on bikes. While Mayor Bloomberg might get all the glory (or grief) for this and other bike- and pedestrian-friendly civic plans (180 miles of bike lanes have been added in New York since 2006), it turns out that the bold genius behind turning Broadway into the newest park in New York is Janette Sadik-Khan, the city’s Transportation Commissioner since 2007. Oddly, closing Broadway, and removing its diagonal slice through the Manhattan grid, is going to have a beneficial effect on auto traffic through Midtown. With no more 3-way intersections at 34th and 42nd Streets, Midtown traffic models predict a 37% improvement in travel times for cars traveling north on 6th Ave. and a 17% improvement to travel times when traveling downtown on 7th Ave. New York Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff sized up the first day without cars down Broadway this way:
Walking down the cramped, narrow sidewalks, a visitor could never get a feel for the vastness of the place. Now, standing in the middle of Broadway, you have the sense of being in a big public room, the towering billboards and digital screens pressing in on all sides.
See photos of the day Broadway was given back to pedestrians.
Spend some time exploring the amazing map of the Mannahatta Project. If you zoom in and click around, you can explore every damn block on the island of Manhattan and see what was there before 1609. After nearly ten years of research, landscape ecologist Eric Sanderson, working through the Wildlife Conservation Society at the Bronx Zoo, has used old maps and modern spatial analysis techniques to map every hill, valley, stream, spring, beach, forest, cave, wetland, and pond that existed on the island of Mannahatta. It also lists all possible animals, humans, and plants that could have been in there– on every damn block! The project claims the GIS database for the project is the most complete description of a landscape ever attempted. This year marks the 400th anniversary of of Henry Hudson’s arrival in New York Bay and other coinciding history goodness includes the exhibit Mannahatta/Manhattan: A Natural History of New York City, at the Museum of the City of New York and the publication of Sanderson’s book, Mannahatta: Natural History of New York City.
You’ll get hungry after browsing through the daily Scanwiches of some brilliant blogger in NYC.
A major exhibition of the artist Jenny Holzer opens today at the Whitney Museum of American Art. This is the largest exhibition in the U.S. of Holzer’s work in more than 15 years. Organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the show centers on Holzer’s work since the 1990s and includes her LED sculptures, paintings and some Projections. See images and video from the exhibit. The show closes May 31st…. And also…There’s a nice review by Roberta Smith in the New York Times, where she singled out Holzer’s piece “Red Yellow Looming,” as what may be the most beautiful yet most sinister piece Ms. Holzer has made. See more photos of the Holzer show.
Brooklyn artists Doug and Mike Starn have recently completed See It Split, See It Change, a 250 foot-long wall of fused glass panels and mosaic that curves along the walls of the new South Ferry subway station in New York. The $1.5 million installation looks stunning in pictures with its luminescent glass tiles and an especially nice looking mosaic made from a topographic map drawn in 1640. Read more about the installation or see more pictures here.
Probably one of the last signature architecture pieces in New York for a while the new Cooper Union academic building at Third Ave. and 7th St. in New York is taking shape. Designed by Thom Mayne of Morphosis, the building will have a 120ft. atrium, Gold LEED certification, carbon dioxide detectors in the building that will automatically dim power and ventilation when rooms are unoccupied and a green roof that will be covered by a layer of low-maintenance plantings. One of the more interesting things about the building is that Cooper Union’s promotional website contains the worst description ever written in English about a building, e.g.: The zoning envelope proscribes the kind of exuberant challenge to the grid that the institutional personality of Cooper Union would seem to demand.
An unintended consequence of sheathing the new Renzo Piano-designed New York Times building in a ceramic-rod lattice is that crazy people can climb the building like a ladder. And it was climbed by two different crazy people just yesterday. It took the first climber 40 minutes to reach the top of the 52-story tower. See photos and video of the climbs.
Great article in New York Magazine describing the tensions between MoMA and P.S.1 and the impending retirement of its founding director Alanna Heiss. Over 32 years, she built P.S. 1 into one of the city’s most refreshingly unpredictable venues for contemporary art, drawing crowds of young, aggressively hip visitors to see its exhibitions and join in its boozy summer dance parties. But former MoMA curator Rob Storr says that while Alanna has built something that is very important to New York. She should be very proud of it and she should be lauded for it, but it has outgrown her, and she needs to graciously let it go. Since the merger with the Modern, he adds, it’s become a semi-museum institution, where what it really needs to be is the sexiest, fastest-moving, most dynamic non-museum institution in town.
David Byrne will be turning the Battery Maritime Building in Lower Manhattan into a very large musical instrument this Summer. Devices will be attached to the building structure — to the metal beams and pillars, the heating pipes, the water pipes — and are used to make these things produce sound.. The building will be open and free to be played every weekend for 11 weeks this Summer.