Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Roxy Paine on the Roof: Maelstrom

Somewhere far, far away, in a giant forest on a far away planet, there was a storm so strong that the branches on its trees were blown away, out into space, and into our atmosphere, where they finally landed on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

At least that's what it looks like in this installation, entitled Maelstrom, by Roxy Paine.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fuerza Bruta: Look Up!

From the creators of De La Guarda, in the Daryl Roth Theater in Union Square in New York City, this is the show you need to see.

Last night was actually my third time seeing this show, and probably not the last. Like the Ernesto Neto exhibit from an earlier post, Fuerza Bruta is a full body all sensory experience that happens above and around you. As you move through the space during the 65 minute show, the dancers are suspended above you, around you and next to you as they fly through the air and float through water and mist.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Serpentine Pavilion '09: SANAA

I wish I was in London this summer...

The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2009 has been designed by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of leading Japanese architecture practice SANAA.

Starting mid-July until mid-October, this reflective, floating aluminum cloud will descend onto Hyde Park in London, just outside of the Serpentine Gallery. At the end of the exhibition, it will be sold to the highest bidder and removed.

Here's how the architects describe their project:

"The Pavilion is floating aluminum, drifting freely between the trees like smoke. The reflective canopy undulates across the site, expanding the park and sky. Its appearance changes according to the weather, allowing it to melt into the surroundings. It works as a field of activity with no walls, allowing uninterrupted view across the park and encouraging access from all sides. It is a sheltered extension of the park where people can read, relax and enjoy lovely summer days."

Times Online has a nice little video about it

For those of you who can't make it to London, you can at least visit another one of SANAA's projects - the New Museum in Manhattan:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Flaming Lips: Embryonic

The Flaming Lips are coming out with a new album!! Its called Embryonic, scheduled to arrive later this year. For now, here's this:

Animal Garden

Someone's been tending to this plot of land in my neighborhood. But they aren't growing flowers or vegetables. They're filling it with animals! Stuffed animals, that is. Every day or two, they arrangement is slightly different, sometimes with new ones being added, or others being taken away. I'm not sure why, but every time I walk past this little property on my way to work in the morning, I am filled with a glorious happiness...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Favorite Youtube Phenomenon

I wanted to write about the Frying Pan - a boat rescued from the Chesapeake Bay now docked on the West Side of Manhattan and functioning as a party space with a full bar and grill.

I also wanted to write about Make Music New York, happening today all around the city, where over 850 bands take to the streets and perform outdoors for everyone.

But alas my dear readers, I have been feeling ill and have not been running around having fun and snapping pictures as I generally like to do. However, there is something, or rather someone, I have been wanting to share for some time now that I will now share with you.

Stevie Ryan. She is one of those people you hear or read about who started making movies one day and putting them up on YouTube (with a video camera she borrowed from her boyfriend). Not only do people love them, they get literally millions of views, and she now has her own online channel, and is also hired for commercials, music videos and other short film projects.

Stevie first gained notoriety for her fictional video blog of her Mexican America character, LittleLoca. Some of her other characters are Sceney Sceneable, Ooolala, Jaime Lynn, and Ally. She also had done a few videos for the Hairroin Hair Salon in L.A.
Below are one video from each of her characters. I strongly urge you to watch the rest! They're hilarious.

And I had to include this awesome father's day video too. Happy Father's Day everyone!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Baby Robot

This is one of my favorite murals in my neighborhood. Its on Bedford Avenue, right next to The Bagel Store on the corner of North 1st.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What is Infrastructure?

That's the question this exhibition at the New York Center for Architecture tries to answer. My friend Burt's professor - Nader Vossoughian - is the curator, and he suggests that our definition of infrastructure in the 21st century is "not just as an assembly of buildings, roadways, bridges, pipes, and tunnels (although each of these is important). " Maybe in the society we live in today, the internet, smart phones and blackberries are just as much an important part of getting from point A to point B on a daily basis as are roads, trains and bridges, and should be included in our new definition of infrastructure?

"What is infrastructure? For much of the twentieth century, the answer to this question was guided by the ideology of functionalist urbanism, a school of thought that said that all healthy cities served four major needs – work, housing, recreation, and transportation. Today, we no longer take this view for granted, for it is a perspective that makes no provisions for community, identity, or history. At the same time, we still lack an alternative model for visualizing the city that can deal adequately with the public health and quality-of-life issues that the early functionalists sought to address. Our capacity to balance urban development with the demands of ecological imperatives and social needs has only worsened in recent decades, and this exhibition asks whether the trend can be reversed."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Rocket Park

The company I work for, Big Show Construction Management, served as the project manager for a newly completed project along with Lee H. Skolnick & Design Partnership: its a mini-golf course that also teaches astrophysics! (In fact, it is believed to be the first and only mini-golf course with that unique ability.) Located in front of the entrance to the Hall of Science, in Flushing Meadows, Queens, the course has nine holes, each one focusing on a different concept related to space travel.

Also, here's a link to the New York Times article about it.
And here's a post on Gothamist.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The High Line

Yes, at long last, The High Line has opened! Well, just part of it for now.

For the time being, you must enter at the first entrance on Gansevoort Street and Washington Street, but can exit at any of the exits located every few blocks up to 20th Street. There is an elevator entrance on 16th street as well.

Leora and I spent the afternoon walking along the path of the new park. It was pretty crowded of course, because this park is one of a kind and absolutely amazing. (We even had a butterfly visitor.) The old elevated train tracks, that sat rusting away for years, are now the home to a free public park. The plants grow alongside and in between the old rusty train tracks, and from this elevated vantage point you get a new, unique view of the city and river. Some parts of the track go through existing buildings, some parts veer off into dead ends, and there is also a giant glass window overlooking the street where it turns slightly west.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Rockefeller in Fog

Its been raining a lot here lately. It feels like monsoon season. I really hate all the rain and clouds and constant mist and fog hanging over the city making us feel like we're stuck inside of the vegetable aisle in the supermarket with the little showers going on every two seconds. We haven't had a chance to dry off in a little while. But I have to say, Rockefeller Center does look very nice...

I happened to have some extra time in the neighborhood, so I decided to wander around the "city within a city." Rockefeller is home to some excellent art and Art Deco and International style architecture, including one of my favorite sculptures - "News" by Isamu Noguchi in cast stainless steel.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Lego Architecture!

Lego, in collaboration with Brickstructures, have released the Lego Architecture collection. Some are available to purchase now, such as the Guggenheim (not accidentally coinciding with the Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit there) and the Landmark series. Falling water will be available in August, and others are on the way as well!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pencil Face

I love SCAD Shorts. Its a monthly series of short videos by The Dandy Dwarves, a production company formed by former film students of the Savannah College of Art and Design. Pencil Face is one of my favorites:

Monday, June 8, 2009

Balkan Beat Box @ The Bell House

Balkan Beat Box at the Bell House. A great band in a great venue. Middle Eastern roots in combination with music from Bulgaria, Morocco, Spain, Israel, and Palestine. BBB is about music, not borders. Watch out for your ears...this band is LOUD! In an old warehouse once used as a printing press and later a shipping company is now an awesome music venue in the Gowanus neighborhood in Brooklyn.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Ernesto Neto

I don't care how busy you are. You NEED to see (and smell) the Ernesto Neto installation at the Park Avenue Armory in Manhattan.

Its a space within a space. Its an installation of a complex of tunnels and caves formed of thin, translucent, stretchable fabric, inside of the old armory on Park Avenue.

The first thing I noticed was the overwhelming smell, and after walking into the room realized that each of the long tentacles that hang from the ceiling are filled with cinnamon, cayenne pepper (don't touch that one - it'll get in your eyes and burn), cloves, and other fragrant spices.

Its an all encompassing sensory experience. Smell it, taste it, touch it (the walls are really soft and squishy!) Walk in it, through it, around it. See the changes in perspective as you move around it and through it.

I don't care what you do, just go see it!