For all of us who have ever had and lost a pet, we know how big a place in our hearts they continue to occupy long after they’re gone. Last year we heard a rumor that there was a place deep within Central Park where people who lost their pets gathered to hang mementos on a tree. We could only find one article written on it, and no where could we find a hint of where in the park the tree might be. But at Untapped Cities, we do love a sleuthing challenge, so we set out to find it. It was no easy task but find it we did. This year, we heard that the ornaments started going up last week and set out to find it again this year.
The Park Avenue Armory, known for their larger-than-life art installations has put together a blend of architecture and music that is sure to delight even those who think they’ve seen it all. It began in a restaurant in Paris when the Armory’s artistic director, Alex Poots introduced the Scottish conceptual artist Douglas Gordon to the French pianist Helene Grimaud. It was in the sharing of their thoughts that this installation Tears Become….Streams Become was born that has literally flooded the Park Avenue Armory.
New York Light at Flatiron. Photo by Cameron Blaylock. Courtesy of Van Alen Institute.
It’s always fun to check in on the Madison Square Park Conservancy to see what art they’re featuring, from an installation of water towers to a life-size Lego reproduction of the Statue of Liberty. This time, the Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District put together a creative competition for artists outside the park. We caught up with Yoichiro Mizuno of INABA, on the North Public Plaza today, where we got to see the winning exhibit, New York Light, a mirror-paneled light installation.
Living in a city with so many galleries, it’s impossible to see them all. But when we heard of an abstract art exhibit that included works by Norman Lewis, Sam Gilliam, Barbara Bullock, Geraldine McCullough and Charles Alston–all at the same time–we couldn’t resist and headed north to one of the oldest galleries specializing in African-American Art in the historic Sugar Hill section of Harlem.
Built from 1884 to 1886, Pier A at the southern tip of West Street in Battery Park served as New York City Department of Docks and the home to the Harbor Police. The Pier was also used by the New York City Fire Department as a fireboat station from 1960 to 1992. But since 1992, the facility was vacated and ultimately fell into disrepair. The newly renovated $40 million project has a spectacular view of the New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The public can stroll out to the end of the pier from either side of the building. Here’s a look inside and outside the new Pier A.
Harlem’s Mother Clara Hale Bus Depot has come a long way since 1890, when it was a two-story trolley barn. Modified as a bus depot in 1939, renovated in 1990 and was named in honor of Mother Clara Hale in 1993. Even with the 1990 renovation, the facility wasn’t accommodating the needs of the MTA or the community, with buses forced to idle on Lenox Avenue for lack of room, and so many buses on 147th Street that often the cars couldn’t get by. The building was demolished in its entirety to make way for a more modern facility.
The $262 million project was a joint effort of the MTA and surrounding community, addressing not only the needs of the MTA but also the concerns of the people who live in the area. MTA Arts & Design joined in the effort, choosing artist Shinque Smith to do a large-scale mosaic piece titled “Mother Hale’s Garden” for the facade facing Lenox Avenue. There was a concentrated effort to employ locals, from the guard service to engineering and cleanup.