Image via Invisible Paris
The origins of basketball are undeniably in America, in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1891 where the game was invented at Springfield College. But the oldest known basketball court is actually located in Paris, according to Invisible Paris who recently took a visit during the annual Journées du Patrimoine. The court is located in the YMCA on 14 rue Trévise in the 9th arrondisement of Paris, in a building built in 1892 (the same year the first public basketball game was played).
Image by Ron Ziel
The original Pennsylvania Station was a marvel of architecture from its Beaux-Arts exterior that stood like an imposing entrance to New York City’s west side to its lofty steel interior that harkened back to the Belle Époque of France. Its loss, which was one of the clinching demolitions that cemented the preservation movement, is still felt in New York City’s historical consciousness today. Architectural competitions seek to return the station to its glory, while better serving the population. And now, a play called The Eternal Space is in the works about an untold story from the demolition.
There’s a lot of activity happening in the Cultural Services of the French Embassy on 5th Avenue and 79th Street. The former Gilded Age mansion of Payne Whitney designed by Stanford White has been host to predominantly offices, special events and film shoots until tomorrow, when Albertine, a French bookstore and reading room will open to the public. In fact, it will be the only French bookstore in New York City, following the closing of Librarie de France in 2010.
Infrastructure is an inevitable part of urban living. Subways and tunnels need ventilation, but the question is often–how to keep these functional spaces contained and away from the public eye? While many subway substations have been gutted and turned into apartments in New York City, other ventilation buildings have been concealed as residential townhouses. Here’s a roundup of these clever pieces of faux architecture in NYC, Paris, London and Toronto:
Image via Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance
Freight barges aren’t something we think about all the time but did you know there’s a floating train barge that crosses the Hudson River twice a day? It’s known as the New York New Jersey Rail car-float operation and just last week, the Port Authority approved a $356 million contract that will upgrade the system. The current floats transport 14 train cars at once, an equivalent of 56 semi-trucks, but the new cars will be able to accommodate 18 train cars. By crossing the Hudson, the floats take trucks off the highways and give freight a more direct route between New York and New Jersey. (more…)
Sakagura, a hidden Japanese restaurant and sake bar in Midtown Manhattan is one of our favorite hidden gems. We’ve highlighted it before for its quirky bathrooms that are in the shape of oversized sake barrels, but the entire restaurant is deserving of its own feature. First, it’s one of those places that you have to be in the know because the entrance isn’t right on the street. Open since 1996, Sakagura is located in the basement of a nondescript Midtown office building, past the security desk and through a pristine white marble lobby. Go down the stairs and into the entrance, and suddenly you feel as if you’ve entered a Japanese village.