1-Brooklyn_Museum_-_Walt_Whitman_-_Thomas_Johnson Image by Thomas Johnson

Walt Whitman is one of America’s literary giants. The poet lived and worked part of his life in what was then the independent city of Brooklyn and the now borough permeates much of his work. Although more than a century of transformations have significantly changed the Brooklyn that Whitman knew, if one looks close enough it is still possible to see remnants of Whitman’s time.

1. Fulton Ferry Landing


Vera Lutter-Black and White Negatives-Gagosian Gallery-NYC

Our top 10 events picks for this snowy week including urban talks about The Rockaways, the NYC subway, Empire State Building as well as new exhibits at Flatiron and Gagosian.

Monday, January 26th

Check out the newly installed Snow Monsters (actually made of marble) in Flatiron plaza before the actual blizzard takes over.

Tuesday, January 27th

If these events aren’t cancelled by the snow…New York Transit Museum launches AfterHours program series with “Fix & Fortify: MTA Successes” featuring discussion between Ben Kabak, of Second Avenue Sagas and MTA Infrastructure and Facilities Officer John O’Grady.


Snow Monsters at the Flatiron Plaza

Snow Monsters at the Flatiron Plaza

As if on cue, The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership and the New York City Department of Transportation Art Program presents their latest art installment: Peter Regli’s Snow Monsters. For the next few days of course, the Snow Monsters will blend in with the winter wonderland but those that go up close will discover that they’re made of hardier materials than they look.

This timely installation, presented by the Dominique Levy Gallery, is part of an ongoing series of interventions in public spaces that began in 1996. The artist, Peter Regli, named the series of interventions Reality Hacking, and they are meant to “interrupt the routine of the commuter and provide a humorous diversion within the wintry New York landscape.”


NYC Subway Cars-Reefs-Atlantic Ocean-Delaware-Stephen Mallon-Slaughter Beach-Photography-NYCNYC Subway Cars as Reefs. Photo via Gizmodo by Stephen Mallon

It can be easy to assume that the sole purpose for New York City subway cars is to transport passengers across the boroughs (yes, even Staten Island). However, the same subway cars that we associate with daily congestion and occasional delays have served a totally unexpected purpose: habitats for marine wildlife, as we showed previously in our Cities 101 column. Recently, Gizmodo published a spectacular set of photos depicting an onslaught of subway cars being discarded into the ocean. The photo series by Stephen Mallon, compiled over a three year period, will be on display at NYU’s Kimmel Galleries beginning February 6th.


The walls in both rooms of Harlem's Heaven filled with color

The walls in every room of Harlem’s Heaven are filled with color

Visit Harlem on any given Sunday morning and you’ll see colorful and over-the-top church hats on every avenue and street. Rivaling those on view at the Easter Parade on Fifth Avenue, these hats were meant to get God’s attention with a dizzying array of ribbons, fabric feathers and whatnots. It’s wearable art, Harlem style, and today we will take you to five hat stores


In February 1881, Thomas Alva Edison left his workbench in Menlo Park, New Jersey behind for New York City with the challenge of not only bringing electric light to lower Manhattan, but also to prove that his light could be applied to practical use. This was a business strategem more than a scientific one, as explained by the new PBS American Experience documentary “Edison” that premieres next Tuesday, January 27th. We’ve got an exclusive clip from the episode, which shows the spots Edison while pushing the lightbulb “to its full realization.”

Here are three spots in New York City that Edison worked in and left his mark: