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.
In an effort to raise global awareness of the importance of light-based technologies, the United Nations has declared 2015 as the International Year of Light. Through coordinated activities, with more than 100 partners from over 85 countries, they will highlight the importance of light and optical technologies in our society and in our future. As a kick-off to next years global education and festivities, New Yorkers will get a preview this Sunday, November 16th. TEDxCUNY has put together Access: Art, a full-day of free programming ranging from 3D printing demonstrations to interactive gaming workshops, art installations and guest speakers.
The original Guss’ Pickles on the Lower East Side. Image via Guss’ Pickles
New Yorkers take food seriously right down to the pickle on their plates. After all, the pickle has history in this town. It started as a peddle-cart finger food back in the 1930s on the Lower East Side. With a plethora of competition, it didn’t take long for the best pickle vendors to emerge successful and among them was Isidor “Izzy” Guss of the famous Guss’ Pickles. His pickles lived on after his death in 1975, creating a sort of pickle war between the family who bought his business and the company who sold him his cucumbers. In the end, the name Guss’ Pickles went with the cucumber supplier. The Baker family, who bought Guss’ pickle business eventually sold to Patricia Fairhurst who renamed her shop Ess-a-Pickle and then, after moving to Brooklyn, Clinton Hill Pickles.
This past Labor Day weekend in “El Barrio,” East Harlem, the famed Graffiti Hall of Fame became an outdoor artist studio. The weekend was filled with music, paint and lots of street artists working on one of the few protected walls in the city. Founded by Ray Rodriguez (aka “Sting Ray”) in 1980, the walls at The Jackie Robinson Educational Center are not only protected, but also cherished by the community and have become a destination for tour groups as well as a blank canvas for street artists several times a year.
One Museum Mile, a Robert A.M. Stern building, was built to house The Museum for African Art and 100 luxury condos that sit above. While the condo portion of the building vigorously moved forward in sales, the museum’s efforts were stalled and the street level space has remained unfinished. Recent efforts to rethink the project have sprung to life with a new Board, new philosophy, creative Chief Financial Officer and a new name–The Africa Center.
We were pleased to attend “Meet The Africa Center” on September 20th, a colorful one day event at the northern tip of Central Park at 110th Sreet on Fifth Avenue. The event provided visitors a glimpse into what’s in store for the museum, with an anticipated opening date in 2016. The stunning interior space is still unfinished but we were greeted by a colorful ball hanging from the ceiling measuring sixteen feet in diameter.
Leda and the Swan by Fernando Botero
The Marlborough Gallery has a history as significant as the number of artists they represent. Their string of galleries can be found in Madrid, Barcelona, London, Monaco and two in New York. The 57th Street gallery, located at 40 West, has a covered walkway that is a block away from 6 ½ Avenue (yes, you read that right), and it has proven an ideal setting for exhibiting outdoors.