Thursday, May 31, 2012

American Idolatry: JESSICA SANCHEZ Performs On The Today Show and Live With Kelly

American Idol runner-up JESSICA SANCHEZ visited the Today Show this morning and performed in the studio. As part of the morning show's Toyota concert series, the 16 year-old Filipino-Mexican American singer sang "I Will Always Love You" and "And I Am Telling You." She also guested on another morning show, Live with Kelly, where she also performed, "I Will Always Love You." The Today Show studio is located at Rockefeller Center while Live With Kelly studio is at 7 Lincoln Square at the southeast corner of West 67th Street and Columbus Avenue on the Upper Westside. 

Manhattanhenge 2012 at 42nd Street

Yesterday was full sun Manhattanhenge, when the sun set in full alignment with the Manhattan street grid. Manhattanhenge derived its name from Stonehenge, the million years old rocks in South England, where sun aligns according to the tall standing stones. It was a little cloudy yesterday making the sunset underwhelming. The photos of the sunset and the many enthusiasts, watchers and photographers of Manhattanhenge were taken at 42nd Street. Many photographers and watchers gathered on the Pershing Square (Park Avenue) Viaduct. The top photo was taken from last year. The next half-sun Manhattanhenge will be on July 12 (8:25 PM) while the full sun on the grid will take place again on July 11 (8:24) PM according to astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mad. Sq. Eats

Mad. Sq. Eats returns this spring at Worth Square next to Madison Square Park in the Flatiron district. The event is a month-long food market bringing back food vendors including Roberta's, Bar Suzette, Resto, Sigmund Pretzelshop, Piccolo Cafe, P & H Soda Co., Eataly, Nunu Chocolates, and Calexico. The event runs from May 6th to June 3rd and is open 11am to 9pm everyday.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

New York City's Narrowest House

New York City's narrowest townhouse (9 1/2 ft. wide) is located at 75 1/2 Bedford St., off Seventh Ave. between Commerce and Moore Streets in Greenwich Village. On the inside, it measures 8 ft. 7 in. wide; at its narrowest, it’s 2 ft. wide. From the facade to the rear garden the house is a cozy 30 ft. deep. It is a three-story red-brick structure where regular as well as famous people have lived, including the Pulitzer Prize winning poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. According to the archives of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, the house was constructed in 1873 during a smallpox epidemic, for Horatio Gomez, trustee of the Hettie Hendricks-Gomez Estate, on what was the former carriage entranceway (with stables to the rear) between numbers 75 and 77. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Fleet Week New York

Thousands of sailors, marines and coast guardsmen from the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard are participating in this year's annual Fleet Week New York, taking place May 25 – June 1. Since 1984, Fleet Week New York celebrates the sea services with events throughout the city and immediate surrounding areas. This event provides an opportunity for citizens to meet sailors, marines and coast guardsmen, as well as see, first-hand, the latest capabilities of today’s maritime services. In Times Square, there are military demonstrations and displays throughout the week. Several participating ships are also open for public viewing.

For more information, visit the official Fleet Week New York City Web site at

Saturday, May 26, 2012

"Ang Babae sa Septic Tank"/"The Woman in the Septic Tank" In A Six-Day Run at the Museum of Modern Art as Part of ContemporAsian Film Series

One of the films featured in the ongoing ContemporAsian film series at the Museum of Modern Art is "Ang Babae sa Septic Tank"/"The Woman In the Septic Tank" from the Philippines. This self-reflexive parody of contemporary Filipino art films and the international film festival circuit follows a trio of young filmmakers during pre-production on the film they hope will get them to Cannes. This wonderful film is directed by Marlon N. Rivera, and stars Eugene Domingo, JM de Guzman and Kean Cipriano. Although there were scenes that dragged ending is predictable, this film is hilarious and very entertaining. Eugene Domingo shines in her portrayal of the lead actress. The movie is being shown at the Roy and Niuta Titus Theater (T2) of the Museum of Modern Art located art 11 West 53 Street. The film is in Tagalog with English subtitles. This is the film's New York premiere.

Synopsis: (From Cinemalaya) Ang Babae sa Septic Tank chronicles a day in the life of three ambitious, passionate but misguided filmmakers as they set out to do a quick pre-prod at Starbucks, a courtesy call to their lead actress, Eugene Domingo, and an ocular inspection of their film’s major location, the Payatas dumpsite. Director Rainier, Producer Bingbong and Production Assistant Jocelyn are well-to-do, well-educated film school graduates who are dead set on making an Oscar worthy film. They believe they have a winning script, the energy and the drive to make their dreams come true. Like most filmmakers they know, they have devised a screenplay that will show the real essence of our culture: poverty. In the course of one day, they brainstorm and exhaust all possible treatment of their project: the story of Mila (Eugene Domingo), a mother from the slums, who out of desperation to survive, has sold her child to a pedophile. As they discuss the possible executions of the story, the movie-within-a-movie gets reborn in Jocelyn’s imagination several times. As a gritty no frills neo-realist film, as a glossy musical, as an over-the-top melodrama and as a docu drama using non-actors. For their last task of the day, they visit the dumpsite for the first time. As filmmakers gunning for authenticity, they get excited with the ”beauty” of the squalor around them. Soon enough, they are faced with reality as they come face to face with the real effects of their chosen subject. Babae sa Septic Tank is a comedy about misguided ambitions, the art of making art and the romanticization of poverty.
Screening Schedule
Wednesday, May 23, 7:00
Thursday, May 24, 4:00
Friday, May 25, 7:00
Saturday, May 26, 1:30
Sunday, May 27, 5:00
Monday, May 28, 4:00

Grey Area (Brown Version) by Fred Wilson on View at the Brooklyn Museum

Fred Wilson's "Grey Area (Brown Version)" is part of the Contemporary Art Collection of the Brooklyn Museum. This piece is comprised of five busts of the Egyptian queen Nefertiti, each bust measuring 8 3/4 x 9 x 13 in. (47.6 x 22.9 x 33 cm) made of plaster. The artist purchased and painted the busts, illustrating a value scale ranging in color from oatmeal to dark chocolate, raising controversial questions about the racial identity of ancient Egyptians. He has said of his practice, “I use beauty as a way of helping people to receive difficult or upsetting ideas. The topical issues are merely a vehicle for making one aware of one’s own perceptual shift—which is the real thrill.” Wilson is an American artist born in 1954. This artwork is on view in the Contemporary Art Galleries, 4th Floor of the museum.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Hot Dog Carts on Fifth Avenue

These are just two of the countless hot dog carts along Fifth Avenue. These photos were taken in front of Rockefeller Center's Channel Gardens, across from Saks Fifth Avenue.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

"Monet's Garden" in the Bronx

A reproduction of the green bridge that arches over the lily pond at Giverny
A recreation of the Grand Allee
Monet's wooden palette
The New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx opened "Monet’s Garden" last week. It is a living abbreviated recreation of the two major gardens that Monet created, one in traditional, orderly French style, the other a Japanese-inspired fantasia of water, blooming lily pads and weeping willowsThe garden show is organized by Paul Hayes Tucker, a Monet scholar. In addition to the beautiful garden, the show also features two rare garden-inspired Monet paintings, as well as Monet's wooden palette on display at the library. The garden show features an indoor approximation of the Grand Allée at Giverny, a straight walkway with flowers blossoming on either side. Overhead, on green metal arches, roses are beginning to climb, on course to flower in full in the coming months. More than 150 varieties of annuals and perennials are represented here, all known to have been planted by Monet himself, who kept detailed accounts of his horticultural activities. The Grand Allée leads to a green gate swung open between square, neo-Classical-style columns framing the view of a reproduction of the famous green bridge that arches over the lily pond at Giverny. Here historical accuracy gives way a bit to present circumstances. The bridge is oriented perpendicularly to the Grand Allée sightline, rather than in line with it, as it is at Giverny, and the pond is smaller than a putting green. Like the real one, it is surrounded by weeping willows, wisteria and clusters of bamboo, but nothing floats on its surface: Waterlilies do not do well indoors. They will be abundantly displayed, however, outdoors in the Conservatory Courtyard’s Hardy Pool, a rectangular, basketball-court size body bordered by paving stones. Only some of the about 50 varieties — many directly descended from Monet’s — are beginning to bloom now, but as time goes by, they should produce a symphony of color all together. (from the New York Times)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Top Designs from Parsons the New School for Design Class of 2012

Saks Fifth Avenue is showcasing the designs of the top of the Class of 2012 from Parsons the New School for Design in its flagship store windows in midtown Manhattan. The new designers show their fresh points of view, interesting use of fabric and impeccable construction.