Monday, April 30, 2012

One World Trade Center Officially Becomes the Tallest Building in NYC Today

One World Trade Center (formerly known as Freedom Tower) reached a milestone shortly after 2 PM today. It became the tallest building in New York City, surpassing the Empire State Building which had been the tallest skyscraper since September 11, 2001. During today’s milestone, two, 26-foot steel interior columns were attached to the top of 1 WTC, reaching a height of 1,271 feet above street level, according to the Port Authority. In the coming months, 1 World Trade Center will top out at 1,368 feet, (104 stories) and then get a 408-foot telecommunications spire that will push the tower’s height to 1,776 feet. It will be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. The building aims to open in 2014. The images above were made earlier this evening.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Central Park West by Bond No. 9

Bond No. 9 is a perfume company that launches a fragrance collection as an homage to New York City. The name of the fragrance collection is derived from the address of its headquarters boutique at 9 Bond Street in NoHo. The latest collection is called Central Park West, inspired by the fabled thoroughfare that runs the entire two-and-a-half mile length of our greatest urban grassland. The fragrance, has been designed to have the grandeur of the street itself. It starts off with a springtime wakeup call:Narcissus mingled with tangy ylang ylang and a pinch of piquant pepper.Then comes a beckoning white-petal mélange—orris, jasmine, and linden—surrounding their centerpiece, majestic gardenia. Sustaining and enriching this bouquet is an enduring base of white oak and vetiver, combined with the animal whiff of musk. The Central Park West bottle has a classic but oversize houndstooth check pattern. Wound around the neck is a gift—a detachable, double-row bracelet of pink beads with a big pink floral blossom. The blossoms are recapitulated in the springy store window artwork and on the exterior of the car parked in front of the store's branch in the Meatpacking District at 863 Washington Street.

"Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey" - Tribeca Film Festival's Documentary Film About Discovering "Journey" Lead Singer, Arnel Pineda

Last night, the final screening of the new documentary "Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey" was held at the SVA Theatre 1 in Chelsea as part of the Tribeca Film Festival. Ramona Diaz's film tells the story of how "Journey", the iconic, quintessentially American rock band who recorded eight platinum-certified albums during their heyday between 1978 and 1986, discovered a lead singer in a manner befitting this internet age: they found him on YouTube. Arnel Pineda is a soft-spoken band member and "cover singer" from the Philippines. Pineda had been on his own since he was 13, even homeless for several years. He eventually made a decent if not extravagant living as a musician, singing a mix of originals and covers, for a time in Hong Kong and then in Manila. In 2007, his life took a dramatic turn. An ocean away, Journey guitarist Neal Schon was desperate for a new lead singer to replace Steve Perry, his band having auditioned and rejected countless singers. Messing around on YouTube late one night, Schon spotted Pineda singing "Faithfully" and other Journey hits. Stunned by how precisely Pineda mimicked the voice of Steve Perry and other rock singers including Bon Jovi, and Don Henley, Schon was enthused but wary. The film chronicles the audition process and how he was eventually hired as the frontman. The movie then follows Pineda as he embarks on a global tour with the band and attempts to adjust to life on the road. One of the highlights was the band's performance in Manila of "Don't Stop Believin", the most downloaded track recorded in the 20th century. It is also the most "covered, karaoked, and parodied song in modern music history. Ramona Diaz was in attendance last night and she answered questions from the audience after the screening.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sotheby's Expects to Sell Munch's "The Scream" For 80 Million or More

Giant poster of "The Scream" on display outside Sotheby's
Sotheby's New York will auction the only privately owned version of Edvard Munch's painting called "The Scream" on May 2 where it expects to sell for over $80 million, the highest pre-sale value the auctioneer has ever put on a work of art. "The Scream" is one of the most instantly recognizable images in art and popular culture, second only perhaps to Leonardo Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa". The 1895 work is owned by Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, whose father Thomas was a friend, neighbor and patron of Munch, the auctioneer said on Tuesday. There are four versions of the famous depiction of an apparently screaming figure. The three others are part of Norwegian museum collections. The painting aims to to convey Munch's anxiety in the hills above Oslo and has been interpreted by many as the embodiment of modern-day anxiety and existential angst.

Friday, April 27, 2012

New York Rangers Fans (Blueshirts United)

Citysights tourist buses carrying enthusiastic New York Rangers fans rolled down 42nd Street in Times Square last Saturday, sharing their passion for Rangers hockey and Rangers towels. The fans are members of Blueshirts United, a fan group dedicated to celebrating the New York Rangers hockey team. The New York Rangers eliminated Ottawa with 2-1 victory and moves on to an Eastern Conference second-round matchup with the Washington Capitals.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ship Super Models and Ships in Bottles On Display at South Street Seaport Museum

The South Street Seaport Museum have reopened recently featuring sixteen galleries. Included in the exhibition installations are displays of historic ship models and tiny ship models in bottles. The museum is located at 12 Fulton Street, between Water and South Streets in Lower Manhattan.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Kehinde Wiley's "Napoleon Leading the Army Over the Alps"

On display at the Brooklyn Museum is the 2005 oil on canvas painting by American artist KEHINDE WILEY. It is on view at the Martha and Robert Rubin Pavilion on the first floor of the museum. 

From the museum caption: Historically, the role of portraiture has been not only to create a likeness but also to communicate ideas about the subject's status, wealth, and power. During the eighteenth century, for example, major patrons from the church and the aristocracy commissioned portraits in part to signify their importance in society. This portrait imitates the posture of the figure of Napoleon Bonaparte in Jacques-Louis David's painting Bonaparte Crossing the Alps at Grand-Saint-Bernard. Wiley transforms the traditional equestrian portrait by substituting an anonymous young Black man dressed in contemporary clothing for the figure of Napoleon. The artist thereby confronts and critiques historical traditions that do not thereby confronts and critiques historical traditions that do not acknowledge Black cultural experience. Wiley presents a new brand of portraiture that redefines and affirms Black identity and simultaneously questions of the history of Western painting.

"Painting is about the world that we live in. Black men live in the world. My choice is to include them. This is my way of saying yes to us."
-Kehinde Wiley

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012

    Occupy Wall Street Protesters Assemble on the Steps of Federal Hall

    Occupy Wall Street protesters have been assembling on the steps of Federal Hall, which is under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service. The NYPD and the Park police soon barricaded the protesters into an area on one half of the steps, called the "First Amendment Rights Area." According to the rules, if there are more than 25 protesters on the steps, they require a permit, or face arrest. Federal Hall in Lower Manhattan is where the First Congress met and wrote the Bill of Rights.

    Monday, April 23, 2012

    “Titanic at 100: Myth and Memory,” A New Exhibition at South Street Seaport Museum

    Titanic Memorial Lighthouse outside the museum
    Prop life vest from "Titanic" (1953)
    To mark the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's fateful voyage, the South Street Seaport Museum is presenting an exhibition that explores the history of the public’s fascination with the ship. The show, “Titanic at 100: Myth and Memory,” offers a peek at some rare artifacts from the ship and its passengers, as well as a display of memorabilia from other exhibitions and films: the 1953 movie, as well as the very first, “Saved From the Titanic,” starring Dorothy Gibson, a survivor who played herself, wearing the same dress she wore during her rescue. It was released less than a month after the sinking.

    The exhibit also features the Marconi wireless system's  dispatches, including those that read “we have struck an iceberg” and “we are sinking.” Costumes from the latest retelling, a television mini-series by Julian Fellowes , are on display like ghostly figures at the entrance. 

    The museum is open Wednesdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the exhibit runs through May 16, 2012. The museum is located at 12 Fulton Street, between Front and Water Streets in Lower Manhattan (Tel. 212-748-8600).

    Sunday, April 22, 2012

    Stained Glass Art On Elevated Subway Stations In the Bronx

    A series of colored-glass panels on the elevated subway stations in the Bronx has been acclaimed as an exemplary work of public art. The artworks are made of pieces of faceted glass, which are about an inch thick and are held together by epoxy, for durability in harsh outdoor environments. Pictured above are two artworks installed on the Nereid Avenue station.

    Saturday, April 21, 2012

    Confetti For DICK CLARK (1929-2012)

    Inside the Times Square Visitor Center, the Times Square Alliance has designated an area on its New Year’s Eve Confetti Wishing Wall where fans can write down their memories on confetti to pay their respects to the late Dick Clark. These messages will be added to the one ton of confetti that will fall on Times Square at midnight on New Year’s Eve in 2013. Dick Clark, an entertainment legend, had been an iconic part of New Year's Eve celebration in Times Square for 40 years.

    “We are encouraging New Yorkers and visitors to help us honor his legacy by sharing their messages and memories on our New Year’s Eve Confetti Wishing Wall,” said Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance. “We remember and honor Dick for his lasting contribution to Times Square and his ability to bring us together every year to welcome in the New Year.” The visitor center is located at 7th Avenue between 46th and 47th Streets.

    Friday, April 20, 2012

    Wisteria in Full Bloom at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

    Purple wisteria vines are in full bloom at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The huge, cascading purple flowers provide a unique lavender like scent.

    Thursday, April 19, 2012

    Keith Haring: 1978-1982 Exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum

    Ongoing at the Brooklyn Museum is the first large-scale exhibition of Keith Haring, exploring the early career of one of the best-known American artists of the twentieth century. The playful exhibition traces the development of Haring’s extraordinary visual vocabulary from 1978-1982, and features 155 works on paper, numerous experimental videos, sketchbooks, journals, exhibition flyers, posters, subway drawings, and documentary photographs.

    When Keith Haring moved to New York City, he started his studio practice and began making public and political art on the city streets. Immersing himself in New York’s downtown culture, he quickly became a fixture on the art scene, befriending other artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Kenny Scharf, as well as many of the most innovative cultural figures of the period. The critical role that these relationships played in Haring’s development as a public artist and facilitator of group exhibitions and performances is also explored. Pieces on view include a number of very early works never before seen in public; seven video pieces, including Painting Myself into a Corner (his first video piece) and Tribute to Gloria Vanderbilt; and collages created from cut-up fragments of his own writing, history textbooks, and newspapers. The exhibition continues through through July 8, 2012. 

    The museum is located at 200 Eastern Parkway at Prospect Park.