Posts Tagged ‘Staten Island’

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

Countdown to the End of Summer – New York City Beaches Are Still Open

With the 2020 beach season almost over, time is running out to show off your post-quarantine bathing suit and to come together (apart) for some beach social distancing. NYC beaches are still officially open with lifeguards on duty from 10am-6pm. Concessions stands may be closed so you might have to bring your own picnics this time around. Please click on the website for each beach to determine rules, openings and closings. Note, however, that beaches can be visited any time of the year but swimming is prohibited when lifeguards are not present due to the possibility of riptides and strong waves. Subway and bus transportation makes having a car unnecessary, although parking lots are provided. Check the relevant subway and bus lines listed beneath each beach to determine current schedules and any relevant changes.

Coney Island Beach

Coney Island Beach, Brooklyn

For a distinctive beach experience, Coney Island is still New York City’s beach of choice. The beach is three miles long with courts for basketball, handball and beach volleyball as well as multiple playgrounds. There’s also plenty of non-beach fun for those who get antsy sitting on the sand. You’ll likely have to wait until next year to get your thrills on the Cyclone rollercoaster and amusements at Luna Park or watch the quirky Mermaid Parade, but the fishing pier is open along with the Boardwalk. The Coney Island Boardwalk has a variety of food options for a perfect takeout picnic, but beach-goers swear by Nathan’s Famous hot dogs for a delicious, cheap lunch. Stay tuned for the beach’s acclaimed puppet shows coming up in September and October. Puppets Come Home! is a series designed to celebrate Coney Island’s 150-year legacy of puppetry and provide a platform for contemporary cutting-edge puppeteers.

You can keep current with the upcoming Coney Island events at http://www.coneyisland.com/. Free on-street parking is available.  For more beach info, and updates to bus and subway service, visit http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/coneyisland.

BUS: B36, B64, B68, B74, B82, X28, X29, X38.

SUBWAY: D, F, N, Q to Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue; F, Q to West 8th Street-NY Aquarium; Q to Ocean Parkway.

Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn

Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn

For a relaxing afternoon of sun, surf and beach volleyball, go to Manhattan Beach on the southern tip of Brooklyn. It’s a smaller version of Brighton Beach and less crowded than Coney Island with fewer visitors. Nearby Manhattan Beach Park also has two baseball diamonds as well as handball, basketball, tennis and volleyball areas. Concession stands offer reasonable meal choices, and parking is available at Exit 8 off of Belt Parkway. For more information, visit http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/manhattanbeachpark.

BUS: B1 from Brighton Beach

SUBWAY: Take Q Train to Sheepshead Bay Road. B49 to Cheapside to Oriental and Hastings Street.

Rockaway Beach, Queens

Rockaway Beach, Queens

Rockaway Beach is an ideal outdoorsy retreat for both families and individuals. Its 10-mile long boardwalk is perfect for an afternoon stroll, and kids will enjoy the area’s seven playgrounds. Teens and adults can skate or play volleyball. The beach is the only one near NYC to allow surfing: go to the designated zones between 67-69 streets and between 87-92 Streets (visit http://www.nycgovparks.org/facilities/beaches for more information about surf beaches). Rockaway Beach has also become a testament to New York’s resilience and a model for sustainable rebuilding following the extreme damage inflicted by Hurricane Sandy. The beach offers free street parking, as well as free parking lots at B. 11th-B. 15th St. and B. 95th St. For further information, visit http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/rockawaybeach.

BUS: Q22 from bus terminal on Archer Avenue.

SUBWAY: A to Broad Channel then shuttle train.

Orchard Beach, the Bronx

Orchard Beach, the Bronx

Located at the end of a long, winding path in an area with lush vegetation, Orchard Beach is harder to get to, meaning that it tends to be less crowded than other New York choices although it is very popular among local residents. The Bronx’s sole public beach, Orchard Beach was proclaimed “The Riviera of New York” when it was created in the 1930s. The 115-acre, 1.1-mile-long beach has a hexagonal-block promenade, a central pavilion, snack bars, food and souvenir carts, two playgrounds, two picnic areas, a large parking lot, and 26 courts for basketball, volleyball, and handball. This summer’s Tribeca Drive-in Film Festival at Orchard Beach was a huge hit – we hope it will continue next year as well.

Parking is available. Visit http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_your_park/vt_pelham_bay_park/vt_pelham_08.html for more information.

BUS: Bx12, Bx29, Bx5, Bx52, and Westchester Line number 45 serve the park. During the summer, take Bx5 and Bx12 to Orchard Beach. During the winter, take the Bx29 to the City Island Circle and walk to the beach.

SUBWAY: Take the 6 to Pelham Bay Park. Connect to bus (see above).

Wolfe’s Pond Beach, Staten Island

Wolfe’s Pond Beach, Staten Island

Wolfe’s Pond Beach is an oasis far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the city that the only trace of Manhattan is a distant view. Adjacent to Wolfe’s Pond Park, the manicured beach offers several fun attractions for the whole family. Two tennis courts, a roller hockey rink, basketball courts and a playground will keep the kids busy all day long. Wolfe’s Pond Beach also has dog-friendly amenities, including an enclosed dog-only area. If you’ve had enough beach time, Wolfe’s Pond Park is also a plant and wildlife preserve with several trails running through the beach and park. There are BBQ areas as well as a free parking lot on-site. Visit https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/wolfes-pond-park for additional information.

BUS: #78 to Tottenville. Get off at Cornelia and Highland Blvd, walk up Cornelia. SUBWAY: Take Staten Island Transit to Huguenot Avenue, then walk toward Highland Boulevard.

Quiet New York City: Where to Go to Get Your Zen

We’ve had the Pope, the GA, Coldplay and Beyonce and their fans in Central Park. Road closures, subway shutdowns, and incessant helicopters.  Sometimes you just want some peace and quiet. Here’s where you can go to find some serenity in the city.

Arthur Ross Pinetum in Central Park

Immerse yourself in nature at the Arthur Ross Pinetum in Central Park. Located between 84th and 86th streets, this area of Central Park has 400 pine trees of 15 various species worldwide. Clear your mind at the Contemplation Circle and do some bird watching while gazing at the buds on the trees. Long-eared and northern saw-whet owls are known to sleep in the surrounding pines during the day, making the Pinetum a prime location for bird watchers.

(212) 310-6600, centralparknyc.org

Jacques-Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art

To truly take a step away from New York City, hop on the Staten Island Ferry for free and get a breath of fresh air as you sail away to the serenity of the Jacques-Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art. Admire the largest collection of Tibetan art in the West, located inside of the only Himalayan-temple-style building in the United States. Afterwards, take some time to wander around the beautiful meditation gardens outside. If you fall in love with the Tibetan culture by the end of your visit, then make sure to venture back to the museum in October for the annual Tibetan festival.  If you’re lucky, you’ll get to hear the monks ring the bells to break your silent reverie.

The museum is open Thursday through Sunday from 1pm-5pm.

Admission:

Adults- $6

Seniors/Students- $4

(718) 987-3500,  338 Lighthouse Ave., Staten Island,   http://www.tibetanmuseum.org/index.htm

YeloSpa

For the ultimate power nap, visit YeloSpain Manhattan and try out a YeloCabTM. After a nap in one of these cocoon-like cabins, you will feel rejuvenated and ready to get back to work in no time. Choose from a traditional massage while napping or a reclining YeloChair TM to sleep in for a weightless feeling. Customize the lighting and music in the YeloCab to your liking, and fill the cabin with your favorite aromatherapy scent. Snuggle up with a soft cashmere blanket and sleep that stress away at YeloSpa.

(212) 245.8235,  315 West 57th St., http://www.yelonyc.com/spa/

Zen Buddhist Temple

Awaken your heart and mind with a public meditation service at the Zen Buddhist Temple on the Upper East Side. Join other people looking to find their Zen and learn techniques that will help you let go of the stresses of living in New York City. The temple’s public meditation service is a great way to prepare for the work week ahead, as it is offered on Sundays at 10:30 am. The session lasts one and a half hours and is completely donation-based. The suggested contribution is $10 per visit.

(212) 888-6262,  206 East 63rd St.,  http://zenbuddhisttemple.org/locations/newyork/index.html

Free Things to Do This Summer

If you think everything in New York costs too much, well, you’re right—almost. In fact, the city has tons of free attractions and activities; here are some summer faves.

Brooklyn BridgeWalk across the Brooklyn Bridge (or part of it) for a spectacular view of the Financial District and One World Trade Center, Brooklyn, the seaport, and Manhattan. If you’re still energized, you can visit Brooklyn Bridge Park, a beautiful setting blessed with unobstructed city views.

Grab a distinctively different park experience by hiking the High Line. Where else but in New York could you smell the flowers, admire art and score some superb people watching along a former railroad track? If you happen to be there on Friday between 7 and 9:30pm, stop by the new Whitney Museum. Admission is free (you can pay what you wish).

Ride the Staten Island ferry (and back) to see the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the southern tip of Manhattan from the water.

Catch a free outdoor movie screening in Soundview Park (Bronx), Bryant Park (Manhattan), on Pier 1 in Riverside Park (Manhattan), Brooklyn Bridge Park, Sunset Park (Brooklyn), Willowbrook Park (Staten Island), Simeone Park (Queens) or at the Socrates Sculpture Garden (Queens). Schedules are posted weekly.

FishingGo catch-and-release fishing at Harlem Meer with free poles and bait to borrow from the Dana Discovery Center.

Wander Battery Park City’s waterfront promenade. The breeze, occasional concerts, fun parks and playgrounds, and passing boats will make you forget you’re in the gritty city, although the view of the Statue of Liberty will remind you that you couldn’t be anywhere but New York.

TrapeseWatch wannabe trapeze artists swing and soar at the New York Trapeze School along the Hudson River at Pier 40 in Manhattan, or at 3029 Stillwell Ave. in Coney Island

Island Hop to Governors Island by ferry. In this historic and expansive park setting you can bike, take a tram ride, and absorb the great views of the city.

Taste the treats at the Union Square greenmarket (Mon., Wed., Fri., Sat.), where farmers offer samples of organically grown produce, hand-pressed juices, artisanal cheeses, and fresh bread.

Stroll the Coney Island boardwalk and play on the beach for some old-school kitsch. Although the outrageous Mermaid Parade and the gluttonous Fourth of July hot-dog-eating contest have passed, there’s plenty to see to keep you entertained.

Check out the street performers around New York’s parks: break-dancers in Union Square and by Central Park’s Bethesda Fountain, nutty unicyclists in Washington Square, and Statue of Liberty clones in Battery Park and Times Square along the pedestrian-only Broadway promenade. The entertainers situated near the subway (or in the subway – enter for only $2.75) are better than you’d expect—to perform, they must first be vetted by committee.

Conservatory GardensStroll among the paths in the Central Park Conservatory Garden for gorgeous, gorgeous flowers, and idyllic formal gardens.

Attend a storytelling hour or author talk at Barnes & Noble. You can check schedules and store locations online.

Visit a museum. Many, many of New York City’s best collections offer hours, days, or nights when admission is free for all. You can view the complete schedule here.

Summer and Spring Cruises around Manhattan Return via Classic Harbor Line

You may not afford a yacht in NYC but Classic Harbor Line can let you spend this spring and summer cruising around the islands of NYC on gorgeous, wooden Gatsby-era motor and sailing yachts, built in Albany, New York  with 100% all made-in-America materials. Classic Harbor Line — designer, builder and operator of classically inspired yachts — offers year-round tours, sails and cruises in New York Harbor. You can make a full day of it, too, starting your evening experience with a day visit to the High Line, a bite at Chelsea Market, or some time at the new Whitney Museum. http://www.sail-nyc.com/

One of my favorites of their cruises is the annual Architecture Tour, a natural in a city with a skyline like New York City’s. This year’s tour will include sneak previews of Staten Island’s Freshkills Park, the world’s largest sustainable park project and the city’s most exciting land reclamation project. Vegetation, wildlife and pristine wandering waterways now fill this once-active landfill area. http://www.nycgovparks.org/park-features/freshkills-park
A foodie lover cruise, Chef Morimoto’s Sushi and Sake Cruise happens on Monday nights.  Eat and drink with a fantastic menu from the master chef, all with a beautiful backdrop of the Statue of Liberty, Manhattan, and New Jersey (yes, New Jersey is growing up!).  http://www.morimotonyc.com
For families, the “Around Manhattan” brunch cruises run every Saturday and Sunday morning on the luxury yacht Manhattan. Food options happily include gluten-free choices, complimentary brunch cocktails, and selections for even the youngest guests.
Full-day cruises to Bear Mountain are a great way to escape the city and get physical as well. The program combines a stunning cruise up the Hudson River with hiking and exploring (or relaxing) in beautiful Bear Mountain Park and a cruise back to the city on a luxury yacht.  Breakfast is included on the outbound trip, with a picnic lunch on the return.
Specific dates for all cruises are listed online at  http://www.sail-nyc.com/

Foodie Events for Labor Day and the Weeks After

Labor Day weekend and the weeks beyond means all sort of fun foodie events in New York City.  Here is a compilation of some that you might want to sample:

Pig IslandPig Island, September 6, 11:30am-4:30pm; Showcasing the best of New York State local farmers, chefs, brewers and vintners all dedicated to bringing home the bacon, Pig Island returns to the Red Hook waterfront, a.k.a. home to exclusive beer provider, Sixpoint Craft Ales.

Pig Island pairs NY State hogs with NYC chefs to bring the best of New York State to NewYork City. http://www.eventbrite.com/e/pig-island-2014-tickets-11423697587 , Waterfront at Erie Basin Park, 1 Beard Street, Brooklyn

TASTE Williamsburg GreenpointTaste Williamsburg Greenpoint, September 7, 1pm-5pm,; TASTE Williamsburg Greenpoint is an outdoor celebration of North Brooklyn’s local flavor. Featuring more than 40 of the neighborhood’s best restaurants, bars, breweries and wineries, along with live music and more all with beautiful views of the Manhattan skyline as the backdrop. http://tastewg.com/ , East River State Park, Brooklyn

Vendy Awards, September 13, 12:39pm-5pm; The Vendy Awards presents the 10th annual Vendy Awards at Governors Island. Cheer on and sample from New York City’s best food trucks. http://www.vendyawards.streetvendor.org/newyorkcity

Beer for Beasts, September 13, The 4th annual Beer for Beasts charity event hosted by BeerAdvocate and Sixpoint Brewery will take place at the Bell House in Brooklyn, NY. The celebration will feature dozens of exclusive beers, some of New York City’s best food vendors, and creative entertainment to promote compassion toward animals. All net proceeds go to the Humane Society of New York. A day session and a night session are offered.  http://www.beeradvocate.com/b4b/ 149 7th Street, Brooklyn

Exploring Latin American Jewish Cuisine, September 14, 2:30pm-5pm; Latin American Jewish cuisine is heating up restaurants and kitchens throughout the Americas. Hear a lively and mouthwatering conversation about the cuisine’s journey from early Sephardic influences to the Jewish food landscape of today. Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, https://webformsrig01bo3.blackbaudhosting.com/898a/tickets?tab=2&txobjid=a5870498-401e-4ac7-a135-287ffbe9eb16

Nordic Hot Dog ChampionshipsNordic Hot Dog Championship (part of the North Food Festival), September 15, 6pm-10pm; This is your chance to have some of the best chefs in the world cook up delicious Hot Dogs for you in the comfort of the bar at Brooklyn Brewery. At this first ever Nordic Hot Dog Championships, Chefs battle it out for the prestigious title of Nordic Hot Dog Champion.

Wash down the delicious dogs with equally delicious craft beer courtesy of Brooklyn Brewery and their Swedish sister brewery Nya Carnegiebryggeriet – and vote for your favorite creation. May the most creative, delicious and exciting dog prevail! 1 Brewer’s Row, 79 N 11th St., Brooklyn, http://www.eventbrite.com/e/north-festival-hot-dog-championships-at-brooklyn-brewery-tickets-12434009457 Tickets include sampling of all participating hot dogs and open beer bar.

Planning a trip to NYC?