Yesterday The Atlantic Cities and Curbed broke the news of a Watertower Speakeasy in Chelsea–that’s right, a speakeasy IN a watertower. For urban buffs, this is probably the ultimate New York experience, up close and personal inside those ubiquitous characters of the city skyline. The six-week event was produced by N.D. Austin under the organization The Night Heron. Austin is also involved with Wanderlust Projects, an urban exploration group partnered with our friends at Atlas Obscura.
In true speakeasy style, invitations were only had through a previous attendee (similar to another favorite event of ours, The Dîner en Blanc), passed on to new attendees through the gift of a pocket watch. Guests entered into the space via a trap door cut into the watertower and a stage was built inside. The series was deliberately not held in Brooklyn, to keep the “hipster quotient” low, aiming for attendees of a variety of backgrounds and economic levels, mixing high-profile celebs with “struggling artists in threadbare jackets.”
Sadly, the watertower is now closed but you can sign up for the lists of both The Night Heron and Wanderlust Projects to stay in the loop for future events.
Get in touch with the author @untappedmich.
You’ll probably walk into Aksel Paris at 311 West Broadway thinking that it’s just another Soho fashion store, but a pleasant surprise awaits those who enter—this high-end shirt shop doubles up as an art gallery as well. Be it the Gregory Okshteyn-designed bright orange, 3D-printed, wave-like rack displaying the store’s fine garments, or British artist Saroj Patel’s intricate mural crawling over the store’s walls, one can easily tell that this is not just another Soho shop.
The New York World’s Fair, with its “World of Tomorrow” theme, inspired a legacy of cultural references, from the 1941 film Mr. and Mrs. Smith, to Charlie Chan’s film Murder over New York, to an essay by E.B. White. For urban planners, the Futurama exhibit by General Motors introduced Americans to the idea of the expressway system, which would then dominate city and regional planning for the next 60 years.
Photographer and teacher Walter Plotnick has been melding images of the 1939 World’s Fair with 1930s circus performers, using a hybrid of wet photography and digital processes. He’s inspired by photographers of the Bauhaus and Constructivist movements, lending a Surrealist influence juxtaposed against familiar vintage imagery of culture and commerce.
High above the bustle and noise of Times Square, piano keys tinkled as guests of the Sing For Hope Pianos Launch Party admired the 88 new painted pianos that the organization will be scattering throughout public places in the city’s five boroughs over the next two weeks. (The organization chose to debut 88 new pianos because there are 88 keys on a piano).
A nonprofit charity whose primary focus is making art “accessible to all,” Sing For Hope was founded in 2006 by best friends Camille Zamora and Monica Yunus, two world-renowned sopranos who met while at Julliard; the idea behind the joint project was to provide a way to connect working artists to elementary schools in need, health resources, and the community at large. (more…)
The momo, the Tibetan dumpling, could be considered the unofficial “spokesfood” of Tibetan Cuisine. You might feel inclined to dismiss these as merely ubiquitous dumplings within our fine metropolis but the difference is in the details.
Taking its name from Potala Palace, former home of the Dalai Lamas of Tibet, Potala Fresh Momo in Jackson Heights, Queens is a symbol of the fairly recent rapid influx of Tibetan, Nepalese and Himalayan people making the cultural blend even more complex. It’s one thing to see a sit-down restaurant in an area, but when something as casual as a food cart appears, you know that the culture has a stronghold in the neighborhood. (more…)
In 1857, the city held a design competition for Central Park. The winning plan, by Frederic Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, was named ‘the Greensward Plan’ and featured an English style landscape with meadows, lakes, hills, winding pedestrian paths, and many trees to block the view of city buildings. The park was envisioned to be world class, on par with the greatest parks in London and Paris.
In today’s post, we focus on some of the most naturalistic features and areas of the park that were included in the original Greensward Plan. Like all the landscapes in Central Park, these beautiful areas are all man-made in areas that were irregular, containing swamps and farms. Most of that was completely razed, though some existing trees and many rock outcrops were incorporated into the plan. These naturalistic areas and elements were intended by the designers to allow city dwellers to connect with nature and experience the change that comes with seasons, weather conditions, and different times of day.