Posts Tagged ‘Central Park’

Fall Art Installations in New York City

After a long, hot summer, it’s refreshing to stroll around the city, particularly when the streets are dotted with exciting artwork, some permanent and some temporary. While museums are slowly opening, these exhibits will help you get your art fix.

Harlem presents a new monument celebrating multiple African kings. Titled The Boulevard of African Monarchs, the piece was designed by New York artist Kenseth Armstead and is located at 116th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard. A three-dimensional piece standing 10’ x 10’ x 10’, it was unveiled in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Boulevard of African Monarchs

Celebrating women for the first time in Central Park, the new Women’s Rights Pioneers Monument honors three New York women: Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony on Literary Walk at the Southern end of the Mall. The monument was unveiled in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote. The three women are shown seated around a table with Susan B. Anthony holding a “Votes for Women” pamphlet, Stanton holding a pen and Truth in the midst of speaking.

Women’s Rights Pioneers Monument

Also honoring women, a preview of the IF/THEN She Can exhibit is located at the Central Park Zoo. Starting with six, the exhibit will ultimately have 122 3D printed statues of notable women scientists. The pop-up preview includes Kristine Inman (wildlife biologist), Rae Wynn-Grant (ecologist), Dorothy Tovar (microbiologist), Jess Champ (shark researcher), Earyn McGee (herpetologist), Kristen Lear (bat conservationist). The project is a collaboration between the Central Park Zoo and the IF/THEN organization.

IF/THEN She Can

In Between is a new concept of video art exhibition where continuous artwork is displayed for 15 seconds every two minutes on a large digital billboard in the heart of Times Square. Starting with artist Ben Hagari, the first video is part of his pandemic-inspired “About Face” video series. Filmed in his home in NYC, the image shows a character, constrained by limited expression and space, trying to navigate daily routines. As conceived by Hagari, the faceless protagonist reflects the concealed images of people today wearing masks as they go about their business.

Ben Hagari “About Face” video series

King Kong has met a worthy rival with the new reclining gorilla sculpture by Gillie and Marc Schattner. In partnership with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, the artists hope to bring awareness about the diminishing population of gorillas in the world with their sculpture in Hudson Yards. King Nyani is based on the head of a silverback gorilla family and is the largest bronze gorilla statue in the world. Visitors are invited to sit in his hand, socially distanced of course. The sculpture sits in Bella Abzug Park.

King Nyani Photograph: Courtesy Gillie and Marc Schattner

NYC’s community gardens are fast becoming locations for some of the city’s most innovative and colorful art. As part of GreenThumb’s Art in the Gardens – Shed Murals project offering artists a means to display their art, the Flora_Interpretations mural by Rose and Mike DeSiano reflects the beauty of Manhattan’s Clinton Community Garden by two native New Yorkers with input from local residents.

Flora_Interpretations mural by Rose and Mike DeSiano

Also part of the GreenThumb’s Art in the Gardens – Shed Murals project, The Bronx shows off Vincent Parisot’s red, green and yellow wall painting of an agave americana plant, known as Athanatos in Greece, the home of the artist.  The name means without end, an allusion to longevity and to the love shared by the couples whose names and hearts are often inscribed on the leaves of the plant. Together, Athanatos for ever is in Jardin De Las Rosas.

A second mural in the Bronx, at the Jackson Forests Community Garden, Lady K Fever, Celebrations shows a group of people rejoicing over the creation of the garden with other images indicating planned garden features such as a pumpkin patch, a flowerbed and foliage displays.

Brooklyn has its fair share of murals in community gardens as well. Open to the public, Eden’s Community Garden is designed to educate neighborhood children about the benefits of growing your own food through gardening. The ArtisticAfro imagery on the shed shows a person holding a potted plant with a seedling inside supporting the garden’s theme of “Together, we will grow.”

Along the waterfront at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Reverberation is a new large-scale installation by Davina Semo made up of interactive bells. Visitors are encouraged to ring the bells, calling up the city’s maritime history when bells were a key form of communication among ships and sailors.

Reverberation by Davina Semo

Queens has one of the city’s most intriguing art pieces, located at Beach 98 St. at Rockaway Boardwalk. A fascinating Corten steel sculpture standing 35 feet tall, Mother Earth by Kris Perry reflects architectural elements from temples, mosques, churches and Classical Greek buildings. Visitors can stand in the central space of the sculpture and look upward and outward in a moment of contemplation.

Mother Earth by Kris Perry Photo: Angus Mordant

Designed to reflect our changing times, the animated, augmented reality drawing Liberty Bell is being presented in six cities simultaneously, New York, Boston, Charleston, Philadelphia, Selma and Washington DC.  New York’s setting is Beach 108 St. at Rockaway Boardwalk and the Rockaway Ferry Landing. “Liberty Bell” was inspired by Philadelphia’s actual, cracked Liberty Bell and is a soundscape in 360 degrees that sways to the sounds of bells tolling in changing tones and rhythms. The full experience uses Baker Cahill’s free 4th Wall app with the viewer’s smartphone or tablet.

Liberty Bell

Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City is a favorite for cutting-edge outdoor art. Another timely tribute to today’s world, the art park’s MONUMENTS NOW exhibition seeks to address the role of monuments in society and commemorates underrepresented populations, cultures and histories. The exhibit evolves in three phases. Opening with commissions for new monuments by Jeffrey Gibson, Paul Ramírez Jonas, and Xaviera Simmons, the next two parts continue into the fall and winter with sculptures by additional artists as well as high school students.

MONUMENTS NOW

A timely visual nod to the country’s immigrant communities, The Immigrant Journey Past Meets Present in Staten Island also pays homage to New York Harbor. The mural and fence installation are located in Arrochar Playground. Artist Lina Montoya worked together with Sundog Theatre at the adjacent public school focusing on Ellis Island history and cultural immigration to create the yellow and blue design which features waves, mountains and stars.

Lina Montoya The Immigrant Journey Past Meets Present

You Still Have Time to See the Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden

You have just one more week to see The Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, and this year you can get closer to it than ever because of the show’s layout in a new space while the Palm Dome is undergoing restoration. The 28th version of the Holiday Train Show® at The New York Botanical Garden showcases Central Park, the most popular urban park in America, along with some of the city’s favorite landmarks. The beloved holiday event continues through January 26 and is a don’t-miss for architecture fans, city fans and train fans of all ages.

Central Park, designed in 1858 by landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, occupies not only the middle of Manhattan but also a special place in the hearts of New Yorkers and in the American imagination. Visited by more people than any other urban park in the United States, it has been featured in hundreds of movies. Perhaps even more important, Olmsted and Vaux’s “Greensward Plan” inspired cities across the country to set aside large open spaces as public parks. A striking feature of their design was the wide variety of buildings and architectural elements they included to complement the natural setting.

The miniature Central Park wonderland at the Holiday Train Show is made of natural materials including birch bark, lotus ponds, twigs, stems, fruit, seeds, fungus, pine cones, acorns and cinnamon sticks with mind-boggling creations of buildings, bridges, landscapes and train tracks, artistically crafted by founding visionary Paul Busse’s team at Applied Imagination. Model trains zip through an enchanting display of more than 175 New York landmarks.

New replicas of Central Park’s iconic architectural features include Belvedere Castle, the Dairy, the Old Bandstand, the Angel of the Waters sculpture atop the Bethesda Fountain, and two graceful pedestrian bridges. You’ll also see famous New York buildings that are either adjacent to the park or just inside it including the Plaza Hotel, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Rose Center for Earth and Space, part of the American Museum of Natural History.

In addition to the Central Park area, emphasis this year is on representing buildings that haven’t been highlighted in previous displays or in other ways in the city. Painstakingly recreated from old photos and records, many buildings long gone from the city’s landscape are presented. It warrants considerable time to ruminate on New York past and the architectural wonders that have been replaced by today’s skyscrapers and you’ll have a chance to view them virtually side-by-side with the city’s newest icons like The Oculus, looking almost like a mini-bug with its winged architecture. Plan on spending at least two hours to thoroughly enjoy the displays of each borough, the iconic city buildings, and watch the trains meandering throughout the exhibit.

Train lovers will enjoy more than 25 G-scale model trains and trolleys that hum along nearly a half-mile of track past re-creations of iconic sites from all five boroughs of New York City, the Hudson River Valley, and other locations in New York State. American steam engines, streetcars from the late 1800s, and modern freight and passenger trains travel underneath overhead trestles, through tunnels, across rustic bridges, and past waterfalls that cascade into flowing creeks. Thomas the Tank Engine™ and other beloved trains disguised as large colorful insects add additional fun to the displays.

The New York Botanical Garden is a museum of plants located in the Bronx. The Holiday Train Show is very busy, so buy your timed tickets in advance at www.nybg.org .  The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, New York.

Enjoy the Last Weeks of Patio Dining and Drinks in Brooklyn and Manhattan

Now that Hurricane Florence has finally passed and glorious weather is upon us, it’s time to dine outdoors again while the temperatures are still lovely. Here are some wonderful restaurants and bars with patios perfect for people-watching and soaking up the rays in these last few months before fall hits.

Brooklyn

Pig Beach, 480 Union St. Gowanus; www.pigbeachnyc.com

Pig Beach is the critically acclaimed outdoor barbecue restaurant located in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn from Chef Matt Abdoo (Del Posto) and award-winning barbecue teams, Salty Rinse and Ribdiculous Bar-B-Krewe. The all-star team here brings an eclectic barbecue-focused menu to the Gowanus waterfront showcasing barbecue varieties from around the United States. If you’re chilly, there’s also a large indoor space, now open year-round. Come here, first, for a canoe trip on the Gowanus – it’s an experience you’re unlikely to forget.

Gran Electrica, 5 Front St. DUMBO; http://granelectrica.com

Another Brooklyn favorite, Gran Electrica is the Bib Gourmand Mexican restaurant located underneath the Brooklyn Bridge in DUMBO. Gran Electric offers an authentic and market-driven Mexican menu inspired by traditional Mexican street fare. From hand-pressed heirloom corn tortillas made daily stuffed with lengua, cilantro, onion and radish, to day boat scallops marinated in aguachile, the cooking shows diversity of the many regions of Mexico. The beverage program incorporates Mexican flavors with seasonal ingredients and also features an expansive agave list with more than 50 types of tequila, mezcal, racilla and sotol. The large outdoor area has a breathtaking view of the Brooklyn Bridge. To get here, rent a Citi Bike from Chinatown and bike over the Manhattan Bridge.

Sauvage, 905 Lorimer St, Greenpoint; www.sauvageny.com

Sauvage, meaning wild in French, is a neighborhood restaurant in Greenpoint, founded by the team behind James Beard Award-winning oyster bar and cocktail den Maison Premiere. The decor, cocktails, and wine all add to the restaurant’s distinct dining experience, creating an outdoor “natural” environment with a lush profusion of planted herbs and botanicals filling the restaurant. Facing nearby McCarren Park, the sun-filled restaurant has a lovely outdoor seating

Manhattan

The Smith Restaurant & Bar, Lincoln Square, Upper West Side; https://thesmithrestaurant.com

The Smith offers a wonderful choice for patio dining after an evening at any of the ballet, music and theater venues at Lincoln Center or Jazz at Lincoln Center on Columbus Circle. Under the direction of Executive Chef Brian Ellis, The Smith’s menu features bistro classics and seasonal fare from local farmers and purveyors. The restaurant has a popular craft cocktail program with house-made ingredients featured and an extensive wine selection which includes more than 20 wines by the glass or carafe.

Bowery Road & Library of Distilled Spirits, Union Square;

www.boweryroad.comwww.libraryofdistilledspirits.com

Taking its inspiration as well as ingredients from the nearby Union Square Greenmarket, Bowery Road is an all-day restaurant serving market-driven fare from Chef Ron Rosselli.  Some of the seasonal appetizers include pinto bean hummus with mole spice, seeds and flatbread; roasted carrots with pine nut cream and garlic-honey vinaigrette; marinated beet salad with avocado cream, pomelo, hearts of palm, and almond dukkah. Main courses mix vegetarian with meat-centric choices such as the Union Square Market grain bowl with farro, quinoa, lentils, avocado, broccoli, mushrooms, and sunflower; or Niman pork adobo with mango, radish, onion and corn crepes.

Together with adjacent craft-cocktail destination Library of Distilled Spirits, where more than 1200 different spirits are offered, Bowery Road gives a Manhattan sidewalk-patio dining experience that’s unusual in its spaciousness. Happy hour is popular here as a stop en route to the nearby subway hub, serving up a menu of well-priced cocktails, wines , beer and a shareable bucket and beer filled with fried chicken, two draught beers and snacks.

Vinatería, 2211 Frederick Douglass Blvd., Harlem; www.vinaterianyc.com

At this beloved Harlem neighborhood restaurant, market-driven and vibrant dishes celebrate the rich culinary traditions of Italy and Spain. Cult favorites like spicy veal meatballs with creamy parmigiano polenta, or fresh rosemary pappardelle with lamb ragu attract a clientele of both locals and visitors. Vinateria’s expansive wine list is chosen from small producers and is full of surprising yet accessible finds, while the artisan cocktail program uses house-made tinctures, seasonal produce and fresh-grown herbs from the restaurant’s own garden. A large outside patio wraps around the restaurant (a corner building), seating 40.

Tavern on the Green, Outdoor Courtyard, Upper West Side; www.tavernonthegreen.com

Tavern on the Green’s outdoor courtyard is the perfect Central Park location for brunch, lunch, and dinner under the soft glow of string lights. Seasonal dishes from Chef Bill Peet include seared yellowfin tuna nicoise salad, miso marinated glazed marrow bone, wild mushroom toast on brioche, and smoked salmon tartine, with trout caviar. The bar at the top of the courtyard offers a separate setting for beer, wine, and cocktails such as white peach sangria, and the refreshing Hot as a Cucumber craft cocktail made with vodka, jalapeño, fennel, and cucumber. Enjoy a wonderful walk in the park to get here – the restaurant is located off Central Park West at West 67th Street or via the interior roadway encircling the park.

SummerStage Brings Free Concerts to New York City

SummerStage is a largely free outdoor concert and performing arts series scheduled in 18 parks throughout New York City during the five summer months (through September).

The end of August shows are particularly exciting and will have you on your feet with rhythms, dance, and music befitting the hot “dog days” of summer.

The week of August 21 scheduling includes a screening of “Mr. Gaga,” the story of choreographer Ohad Naharin and his signature movement language developed during his tenure as artistic director of contemporary dance powerhouse Batsheva Dance Company. Starting this film-oriented evening on August 22 will be a performance by GALLIM, whose artistic director, Andrea Miller, was a Batsheva company member and is now forging her own path with her Brooklyn-based company. The program begins at 6pm and is free. Central Park, Rumsey Playfield, enter at 72nd Street.  For more information, visit https://cityparksfoundation.org/summerstage/.

Eddie Palmieri

On Sunday night, August 26, the tempo kicks up salsa-style with a free concert from salsero Tony Vega and Grammy Award-winning Latin jazz band leader Eddie Palmieri, who will be performing with his band La Perfecta. While bleacher seating is available at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park (enter on 72nd Street, off Fifth Avenue), you’ll want to be on your feet closer to the stage to dance to the rhythms of this amazing musical group. The show starts at 6pm. Refreshments are available.

One of the most anticipated events in New York City also happens this week, the 26th edition of the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, which runs from August 24 through August 26, with free concerts, panel discussions and workshops. There will be live performances in Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park, near where Parker worked, and in Tompkins Square Park, near where Parker lived. (Note the house near East 10th Street with the Charlie Parker plaque on it). This year’s highlights include a celebration of Charles Tolliver’s Paper Man with Jack DeJohnetteGary BartzBuster WilliamsMonty Alexander and the Harlem Kingston Express; and a special commission with trumpeter Adam O’FarrillImmanuel Wilkins, and Joel Ross.  Shows in Marcus Garvey Park are scheduled for Friday August 24 at 7pm, Saturday August 25 at 3pm, and Sunday August 26 at 3pm.  All concerts are free.

Many of the shows are benefits and the City Parks Foundation depends on contributions to keep this wonderful free series alive for all to enjoy.

https://cityparksfoundation.org/summerstage/

Say Goodbye to 2016 at Good Riddance Day on December 28

I’ve only done the “watch the ball drop” thing once in person, and I’ll never be that crazy again (although I do love the fireworks celebration in Central Park and the Midnight Run which leaves from Rumsey Playfield). But, if you’re determined to include Times Square in your New Year’s itinerary and you’re not just thinking about going to a Broadway show, Good Riddance Day and the Times Square Wishing Wall are two unique celebrations to consider.

On December 28, it will be out with the old, in with the new in Times Square as visitors shred their worst memories from 2016 by disposing of them in a giant shredder. After letting go of 2016 and the less-than-jolly news of this year, guests can record a wish for 2017 on a piece of paper that will be added to the confetti that accompanies the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop. Think Wishfetti!  Just stop by Duffy Square (47th Street and 7th Avenue, Manhattan) between 11am and 8pm to post your wish on the wall. You can also contribute online to the Virtual Wishing Wall. All online wishes will be turned into confetti as well.  Use the hashtag #confettiwish if you’re writing your wishes on Twitter or Instagram.

Feel free to toast early with a nice glass of bubbly or a hot apple cider (spiked with rum)!

October Events for a Good Cause: Peace, Music, and Parks

The city kicks off its October event schedule with three programs for good causes: peace, music, and parks.

On October 6, Yoko Ono, founder of Imagine Peace, invites you to help her create the world’s largest human peace sign in honor of John Lennon’s birthday on October 9 (he would have been 75). Near Strawberry Fields in Central Park, the attempt at the Guinness world record will happen in the East Meadow. Expect anywhere from 6000 to 10,000 people and wear your best rock ‘n roll colors. Be there by 12 Noon (you can register onsite, too) as the photo will be shot overhead at 12:30pm. The event is free, but donations will go to the John Lennon Education Tour Bus, a non-profit mobile Pro Audio and HD video recording facility that provides hands-on experiences for students. You can sign up online at Eventbrite.

Also, on October 6, the Bulgarian Concert Evenings program in New York has its Opening Night Gala at 7:30pm at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Tickets are $40, $30, and $20 and support the development of young and upcoming musicians as well as fund the ongoing free concert program at the library of the Bulgarian Consulate General. This year’s gala features a program of music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Dobrinka Tabakova, and Franz Schubert played on violin, viola, cello, double bass and piano.  For information and tickets, visit www.bceny.org.

Two days later, you can show your support for the city’s parks at a benefit supporting the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy’s miraculous transformation of the abandoned Dumbo waterfront into a beautiful park. It’s a Brooklyn-style “black tie” affair taking place on Pier 2, called, not surprisingly, the Brooklyn Black Tie Ball and After Party. The October 8 event is filled with great food, dancing, and music, all with an amazing view of Manhattan’s skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge. I can’t think of a more wonderful way to thank these folks for all they do like bringing us the Movies with a View series, Pilates classes in the park, and Kayak Camp. The honoree at the event is former mayor Michael Bloomberg who was the driving force in the creation of the park. Cocktails and dinners are 6-9, with the After Party from 9-11. Separate tickets are required for each. Information at http://www.brooklynbridgepark.org/events/bkblacktie .

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