Posts by isabelleyisak:

Articles By: isabelle yisak

A native Chicagolander with the accent to boot, she is currently studying Architectural Studies and International Relations at Brown University. Isabelle is a self-proclaimed “dabbler”  in various pursuits such as photography, origami, and foreign languages. Discovering hidden treasures in marketplaces and bazaars is another delight she enjoys, as is, oddly enough, spending time in airports. Follow her on Twitter: @iyisak

A/C/E Lines

42nd Street-Port Authority Bus Terminal

A splash of color takes up the walls near the passageway between the Times Square hub and Port Authority Bus Terminal.   Lisa Dinhofer’s Losing my Marbles captures the motions of toy marbles while in mid-flight, breaking free from its constraints as a two-dimensional piece of work.   According to Dinhofer, “Every object I paint actually exists; I work from life. The space I create is believable – but not real. Because I design my own space, I call myself an ‘illusionist’ painter rather than a ‘realist’. The space in my work is invented. It’s flattened – like the space we see on a television or a computer screen.”


With the Empire State Building looming overhead and several retail chains abound, it’s easy to miss a few of these spots, especially when they solely dwell in the upper floors of buildings.

1.)  Paris Baguette

Don’t let the name fool you, this bakery on 6 West 32nd Street is a popular food company based in South Korea.   With 2,900 stores already established there, Paris Baguette has made its way to the States with its current number of 15 stores, soon to be 22 at the end of this year.

Now, when it comes to baked goods, I’m already half-way sold if I can catch a whiff of that bread-right-out-of-the-oven smell when I enter through a doorway, as was the case when I first came to this bakery.   With regards to the menu, while they do offer sandwiches, Paris Baguette is better known for their bread, pastries, cakes, and coffee.  A re-imagination of Parisian food by Koreans, Parisian Baguette acts as a reminder of South Korea where these stores are found in abundance.  Yet, their recipes appeal to Americans for its West-East fusion.  As for the staff,  some of the food workers don the most stereotypical “Parisian” outfit: a black beret and a striped black and white “mime” shirt.   C’est très amusant.


After traveling through the 4,5, and 6 lines  last week, I’ve hopped on over to the N,Q, and R subway lines to journey primarily through lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.

R Line

Jay Street-MetroTech

With a wide spectrum of vibrant colors, the mosaic on the South Mezzaine wall of this station is quite the eye-catcher. It spans the length of the corridor, breaking up the otherwise monotonous white and barren walls. Arranged in symmetrical patterns, Ben Snead’s mosaic, Departures and Arrivals, underlines the relationships among different species and their roles in Brooklyn’s ecosystem.


Here is the next piece for Untapped’s curated guide for speedy exploration.  Last week, I presented 5 spots in Chelsea, and this week I now take you around the Flatiron District.

1) Idlewild Books

While guidebooks are sufficient for short touristic stays abroad, if you want to ensure that you gain more than a fleeting impression of a country then Idlewild Books at 12 West 19th Street is the go-to place for your pre-traveling preparations.

Arranged by country, the bookshelves feature world literature (fiction and nonfiction) alongside travel guides. During my visit, I decided to do some personal research and look up books on Denmark since I will be studying abroad there this fall. I sought help from one of the sales associates, David, and he located the books I needed in five seconds flat. He left me to peruse the texts on my own time, but the employees were always nearby, chatting casually with other customers but also ready to help anybody else.

As for my books, in addition to the travel guides, I found a murder mystery set in Copenhagen, a series of Danish fairytales, and historical fiction novels. Overall, the novels and travelogues that Idlewild chooses to accompany guidebooks strongly embody a facet of the chosen country’s personality.

And as for language classes, Idlewild hosts classes for those who want to learn French, Spanish, or Italian.

2) Beecher’s Handmade Cheese

The name of this shop/café is very fitting since Beecher’s makes its flagship cheese right on the spot.  Part kitchen, part bistro, Beecher’s on 900 Broadway is definitely an exploration and learning experience on what can be eaten with cheese.

Next to the glass cases full of cheese, there is a small eatery that offers the “World’s Best” mac and cheese.  Made with Beecher’s original flagship cheese, I definitely should not have ordered it when I was only slightly hungry.  If you have not eaten in hours and are experiencing hunger pains or want a dish that is enough for two meals, that is the time to order this mac and cheese.

Despite the plethora of types of cheese, the best part of my visit was when I saw a man enter the store with a baguette already in hand and directly march up to the counter to buy a block of cheese.

Beecher’s Cheese Kitchen

Beecher’s trademark ‘Flagship’ cheese

3) Fifth Avenue Sidewalk Clock

Located on 200 Fifth Avenue, this elaborate cast-iron clock is a relic from the heyday of the toy district. Created in 1909, this clock was a replacement for the previous sidewalk clock that had once stood in front of the historic Fifth Avenue Hotel.

However, despite being established as a landmark in 1981, the clock fell into disrepair over the years. It was only in 2011, with some complementary  controversy with the name branding, when Tiffany and Co. restored the clock to its former grandeur.

4) Terri

I am an unrepentant carnivore but I will always be in the mood to go to this all-vegetarian restaurant/juice and smoothie bar. Located on 60 West 23rd Street, a health-conscious friend originally gave me the tip on this place. With sandwiches, wraps, salads, desserts, smoothies, and juices all under $10, my wallet remained pleasantly plump. I follow no diet regime whatsoever but it’s a nice feeling when I’m full and know that I haven’t eaten anything indulgent.

Terri does offer their own “juice cleanse” diet, but I have not tried it — I’m satisfied enough with their smoothie, Brazilian Bombshell.

5) The Museum of Sex

Let’s talk about sex.

While a trip to this particular museum may bring back memories of that embarrassing first lesson on sex during grade school, the Museum of Sex on 233 Fifth Avenue offers a great deal of unknown but interesting information about sexuality and sexual behavior. From the cinematic history of sex to the sexual activities of animals that’s usually edited out from mainstream animal documentaries, the exhibitions aim to “bring the best of current scholarship on sex and sexuality to the widest possible audiences.”

Plus, for the savvy museum visitor, if you check in on Yelp, you can get a $3 discount on the admission price.

The caption accompanying this piece reads, “Please ride gently”

A full list of the current exhibitions can be found here.

If you think a museum solely about sex sounds intriguing, check out Untapped’s article on entrepreneurship and the fetish industry.

Get in touch with the author @iyisak

After last week’s ride through the 1,2, and 3 lines, I have now transferred over to the 4,5, and 6 subway lines to explore another side of New York’s subway art.

Line 4

Crown Heights-Utica Avenue

Simple, clever, and playful, Hugo Consuegra’s Good Morning and Good Night focuses on the temporal quirks of its subway location. For commuters heading towards Manhattan in the morning, Good Morning decorates the inbound side of the station with various scenes featuring the Sun. As for riders returning to Brooklyn at the end of the day, when they disembark from the train Good Night with its scenes of the moon receives weary travelers.

Good Morning on the inbound side of the station


With no sun and no Manhattanhenge this past May, some photographers became a bit antsy last night when some clouds settled along the horizon before this much-awaited sunset.

As for myself, I managed to secure a spot on the Tudor City bridge above 42nd Street three hours before the sunset, but I definitely was not alone when I arrived there — some professional photographers had set up their gear at noon!

It was a tangle of tripods and photographers on the bridge’s sidewalk. Some seasoned veterans, who already knew of the struggle to get a clear view on the bridge, brought ladders to just avoid that problem altogether. As for photographers on the streets, several formed a line along the median or darted back and forth onto the street, much to the displeasure of passing cars and police who released a cacophony of beeping and sirens.

However, when the sun began to peek out behind the skyline, everyone let out some “oohs” and “aahs” and then commenced to furiously take photos.

If you still have not had the chance to catch sight of this fleeting phenomenon, the half-sun will appear on the horizon tonight at 8:25 p.m.

Get in touch with the author @iyisak