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Film director Jevan Chowdhury fell in love with what he calls “cine-dance” in 2010. That year, he directed a short film for an art project commissioned by the dance company East London Dance, in conjunction with West Stratford City: a shopping center in the East London town of Stratford. The film, Dancing Voices, is a five-and-a-half-minute exploration into the many cultures, styles and people that make up the ELD. The dancers perform in public spaces around London, these places include: the Eastbury Manor House in Barking and Dagenham; the Trinity Buoy Wharf in Tower Hamlets; and The View Tube near Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Voices was released in 2011 and in the three years since, Chowdhury has been busy directing and editing a series of short films that once again feature dance prominently in his vision.  (more…)

There’s a lovely video spreading around the internet called Paris / New York, so well done you don’t realize it’s an ad for British Airways until the very end. Of course, it takes on a city duality comparison already heavily explored from Varham Muratyan’s influential illustrated series Paris v. New York: A Tally of Two Cities, to our own Parisians v. New Yorkers live drawing event at the French Embassy with illustrator David Cessac. Time lapse videos in Paris are also popular fare–with Luke Shepard’s groundbreaking one, Le Flâneur, a few years back. But, who doesn’t love a video of Paris and New York City all together? So, here are three! But first, some striking screen shots of the video, via Fubiz.

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Hehe-Railroad-Vehicle-Deisgn-Untapped Cities-NYCThe Métronome (Image via Hehe)

Before The High Line became “The High Line” it was an abandoned railroad track covered in vines and graffiti. It has become one of the most visited and welcome additions to NYC since it first opened. However, some of us do miss the graffiti the city washed away to keep the eyes of tourists free and innocent. Sure, if you look really closely, you can see an old COST and REVS roller, but if  you want to see anything done this decade, all you will get is art that looks like weird birdhouses.

For us who follow the art of the streets, some of NYC’ most creative graffiti pieces are on many of the cities abandoned and active railroad tracks. To venture into these tracks to see what these Picasso’s of the streets have created does come with consequences: the threat of being arrested, getting into a losing fight with a train, or worse, abducted by mole people (just kidding, maybe). So how can a family of four see what graffiti artists do under risk of being incarcerated?

Well thanks to the guys over at Pop-Up City, we may just have the answer for you. Hehe, a French urban design studio is working on a series of vehicles designed to transport urban explorers scared of the risks of urban exploration. Hehe’s goal is to open up these hidden urban museums, but to still keep the seclusion of this hidden world inside major cities. (more…)

There’s something about architects and businessmen wanting to live in the places they create. And we’re not talking about a live-work studio. We’ve been noticing a historical trend of apartments in grand civic spaces–from apartments atop the Eiffel Tower, Radio City, Bergdorf Goodman, the second Madison Square Garden–to more modern-day expressions of exclusivity–a cabin in a loft in Brooklyn, suburban houses plopped atop existing apartment buildings, an Fifth Avenue apartment full of secret riddles and compartments. Here’s a little about each of these idiosyncratic apartments.

1. Stanford White’s Seduction Lair at Madison Square Garden

Second Madison Square Garden-Stanford White-Apartment-NYC

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YMCA-Paris-Basketball Court-Rue Trevise-9th ArrondissementImage 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 PatrimoineThe 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).

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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:

1. Brooklyn Heights Subway Ventilator

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