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Long Acre Square-Times Square-Vintage Photo-New York

Times Square has become so synonymous with New York City that many visitors and residents alike don’t stop to think about where the name came from. This origin story goes back 111 years, to April 8, 1904, when Mayor George McClellan renamed Longacre Square for the proud newspaper that had just relocated to the block.

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SoftSpin-UntappedCities-640x640Soft Spin, a sculptural & sound installation by Heather Nicol in the Winter Garden Atrium

The Winter Garden Atrium has always been one of our favorite indoor public spaces. It was designed by architect Cesar Pelli in 1985 and completed in 1988, bearing the name World Financial Center. Severely damaged during the September 11th attacks in 2001, the reconstruction required 2,000 panes of glass and 60,000 square feet of marble flooring and stairs. The ten story pavilion located on Vesey Street is now part of the Brookfield Place office complex.

Often activated with art programmed by Arts Brookfield, the latest is the current exhibit Soft Spin, a sculptural and sound installation by Heather Nicol. Designed to conjur up the feel of swirling skirts, six colorful sculptures are suspended from the ceiling.

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Paul Hecker-Cartoon-Edward Hopper-Nighthawks-Painting-NYCPaul Hecker’s painting Popeye Hopper

A New York artist is bringing fun to the art world by inserting classic cartoon characters into Old Master paintings. Paul Hecker’s work sees Popeye serving at the diner in Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks, the Gummi Bears living it up at Toulouse Lautrec’s At The Moulin Rouge, and the bad guys from GI Joe seated at Da Vinci’s Last Supper.

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Girlfriends

New York creativity springs to life during the annual Easter Parade down Fifth Avenue. The street, which is only open to walking traffic between 49th Street to 57th Street, becomes a colorful sea of hats in every shape and size, from vintage to down-right playful.  This year we bumped into many familiar faces, and some new kids on the Avenue, that were probably in strollers last year.  Here are a few of our favorites this year.

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Slave Rebellion-1712-NYC

The British takeover of New Amsterdam in 1664 brought several changes to the growing port city, and one of them was an increased, more brutal practice of slavery. On April 7, 1712, nearly two dozen slaves rose up in defiance, torching houses and taking to the streets to foment a larger rebellion. This early American revolution was put down, but not before sending shockwaves through the young city.

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Eric Snowden Bust-Fort Greene Park-Prison Ship Martyrs Monument-NYCPhoto by Aymann Ismail/ANIMAL New York

Just before dawn on Monday morning, artists erected a sculpture of Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower, atop the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument in Fort Greene Park. Though it’s the latest artistic expressions inspired Snowden, it’s not the first and will certainly not be the last. Here’s a recap of this latest sculpture, and 5 other Edward Snowden monuments that have gone up around the world.

6. Fort Greene Park, Prison Ship Martyrs Monument, Brooklyn

Eric Snowden Bust-Fort Greene Park-Prison Ship Martyrs Monument-NYC-2Photo by Aymann Ismail/ANIMAL New York

ANIMAL New York was on hand to document the creation and installation of “Prison Ship Martyrs Monument 2.0″ in Fort Greene Park, and one of the artists, with voice altered in a video, says “It’s truly not just about the bust, it’s about the context. We feel its a continuation of a story that was started hundreds of years ago,” linking the story of Snowden to the many who died on British prison ships during the Revolutionary War, memorialized at the Fort Greene monument is martyrs towards American freedom.

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