Slide the City will arrive to Summer Streets this month. Photo via Slide City website
This Summer we’ve had a plethora of exciting art installations in all five boroughs. Playful, colorful, interactive, life-like, thoughtful and thought-provoking. We’ve been treated to art in public spaces and parks that have never had art before. Here’s what’s new in August, along with other installations in the city that are still up this month:
It is said that mustard is the second most used spice in the United States today, brought here by immigrants from all over the world and sold in tins and glass jars. For National Mustard Day on August 1st, we are staying close to home by honoring the old and the new companies that operate here in New York City, as well as around the country.
The Garment District Alliance, formerly the Fashion Center BID, invited famed sculpture artist, Seward Johnson to install eighteen colorful life-like bronze sculptures along the Broadway Pedestrian Plazas between 36th Street and 41st Street. The installation, named Seward Johnson in New York: Selections from the Retrospective features selections from three of his collections and will remain on view through September 15 as part of the Summer Arts on the Plazas program.
New Yorkers are having a lot of fun with this installation. We watched as commercial trucks unloaded in and around them, locals had their morning coffee at tables and chairs sitting next to them, and tourists couldn’t wait to have their pictures taken with them.
The Dutch settlers landed on the tip of Manhattan in 1623, naming their new home New Amsterdam and lining up a battery of canons to defend it. Historic Battery Park (now known as The Battery) was where the early immigrants landed, and Castle Clinton, built with the intention of preventing a British invasion in 1812, was where immigrants were first directed before Ellis Island was built.
Today, the twenty-three acre park is the largest public open space in the Downtown section of Manhattan and Castle Clinton is the most visited National Park Service site in the country, receiving over three-million people annually. In keeping with its history, we’ve put together 10 things you might like to see and do in The Battery this Summer.
Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon in the Inn at Irving Place Image via Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon
Afternoon tea emerged sometime between the 1830’s and 1840’s. So says the book “A Social History of Tea” by Jane Pettigrew, the well–known tea historian. Since lunch was light, and dinner no earlier than 7:30 pm, it was that pleasant bit of sustenance in mid–day. Called “Low Tea” because of the low chairs and tables, the offerings have not changed much over time, consisting of crustless finger sandwiches, scones, cakes, and other nibbles, in addition to a full complement of teas. It was very much a part of the fabric of the time, and has lasted, in various forms and in many Countries, through today.
Generally beginning sometime after 3 pm, Afternoon Tea in New York City runs the gamut, from the formal to the funky. Some with a bit of an ethnic twist and some designed specifically for kids. Some require sophisticated casual attire and others are just plain casual. Held in hotels and restaurants, they conjure up images of days gone by. But in fact, it is a wonderful break in our modern-day life, when friends can meet without the time and commitment of dinner, or without the noise you might find having a drink in a bar. It is a time and place where the frenetic urban air is left at the door. We’ve picked out twenty–five places, in no particular order, for you to have your Afternoon Tea, and hope you will add to our list with your favorites.
The Waldorf- Astoria Hotel
The famed Waldorf-Astoria Hotel has a quintessential New York City-origin story. It began as a family feud and rivalry between two very wealthy cousins who shared the last name Astor. William Waldorf Astor proceeded to irritate his cousin John Jacob Astor by building a 13-story hotel on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 33rd Street, on a residential block where John Jacob’s mother lived. Four years later, John Jacob, in turn, built a 17-story hotel just a few feet away–and the rest is history.