Andrea F

Archive for July, 2009|Monthly archive page

Day 61: NYC Public Art Tour

In NYC, NYC Art, NYC for free, things to do in NYC on July 31, 2009 at 11:42 pm


Without having to pay a dime to get into a museum you can see a day’s worth of art by simply taking a walk in New York. With permanent commissioned work and short-term installations, public art is all around. Everyone knows Wall Street’s Charging Bull, but many others exist too; you just have to know where to look. Listed here: a few interesting pieces to check out.

The Alamo by Tony Rosenthal at Astor Place between Lafayette and 8th Street; Sun Triangle in the plaza at 1221 Avenue of the Americas; Red Cube by Isamu Noguchi in front of 140 Bowery between Liberty and Cedar Streets; Throwback by Tony Smith at 45th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues; Larger than life male and female nudes, Adam and Eve by Fernando Botero in the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle; Group of Four Trees by Jean Dubuffet at Chase Manhattan Plaza; Malcolm Cochran’s 30-foot bronze wine bottle at Pier 96; Three Way Piece: Points by Henry Moore at Columbia University; (Shown here) Wind-Up Hello Kitty by Tom Sachs at Lever House (until September 6).


Day 60: A Walk Through Williamsburg

In Brooklyn, NYC, NYC Bars, NYC Bookstores, NYC Shopping, NYC Vintage Stores, things to do in NYC on July 30, 2009 at 11:56 pm


Most New Yorkers know of Brooklyn’s hip neighborhood Williamsburg, just across the East River, one stop out of Manhattan on the L train. But if you aren’t a resident yourself, you might not know where to go when you get there. For a day of fun soaking up the artistic and ethnic aspects of the this still burgeoning locality, take a look at the cheat sheet below:

Start your day off with an iced coffee, egg and cheese (2 eggs, queso blanco and salsa verde) and a fresh sugar donut from Maribel at La Villita. Next head over to stylish salon/gift shop (dreamlike Japanese boutique) Commune for a haircut by Chi. With new ‘do, head to Spoonbill & Sugartown to peruse the shelves and with favorite paperback  in hand, head to the park right at the water’s edge at Kent and North 8th for a hour’s read. Next walk over to Beacon’s Closet for a tour through endless racks of vintage goodies sure to jazz up your summer wardrobe. After tiring yourself out there, stop for a late-day mojito at Nita Nita and hang out with great jukebox tunes in one of the neighborhood’s best backyards. Stroll back down Bedford in and out of stylish boutiques and make a stop in Uva wine shop where you’ll find some affordable wines without breaking the bank. Head a way’s further south to Bedford Cheese for a Napoli baguette and some marinated olives. Then turn back around and catch the L back to the city. Once on the train, sit back and smile at all your great finds.

Day 59: New York Transit Museum

In NYC, NYC Museums, things to do in NYC on July 29, 2009 at 6:02 pm


What to do on a rainy day? Take the train over to Brooklyn, walk a few blocks and head back downstairs at Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street to the New York Transit Museum, fittingly located underground. Though at first it may appear a place for children, where wanna-be conductors can sit behind the wheel, it’s actually a place for everyone, especially if you happen to be one of the 14.6 million that use New York’s massive transportation system regularly. With shiny new trains rolling along tracks these days, it’s easy to forget that once trolleys carried city folk to and fro. Study early drawings of New York’s bridges and photographs of what goes down in the money train, read the harrowing tales of workers who built the first subways and then weave in and out of preserved trains lined up on tracks yet another floor below. It’s not only a day out of the rain, but maybe the closest thing to traveling back in time to New York in the old days, long before Metrocards ever had a place in our wallets.

Day 58: Gondola Ride in Central Park

In Central Park, NYC, NYC Architecture, NYC Parks, things to do in NYC on July 28, 2009 at 11:51 pm


Everyone knows the Central Park rowboats, but unless you are able to see through them, you might miss the gondola that shares the Lake with them. The best time to go for a ride is actually at the end of the day, once the unskilled rowers are back on land and the lone oarsman is the gondolier. It’s not Venice, but for thirty bucks and not having to buy a transatlantic plane ticket, it’s a lovely second best. Once off the dock at the boathouse, sit back with a glass of wine and relax under the evening sky with breathtaking views of the park and historical Upper West Side architecture, and sweet serenades by the man of the boat. Though it can be just as lovely with a friend, the scene is a perfect recipe for romance, so if that’s a possibility, just be sure you want it. Word on the water is that the gondolier witnesses proposals regularly—only thing is, they don’t always end in yes!

Day 57: Twilight on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade

In Brooklyn, Brooklyn Bridge, NYC, NYC for free, things to do in NYC on July 27, 2009 at 11:50 pm


As charming and picturesque as so much within of Manhattan is, there’s something wonderful about seeing it from afar. The Brooklyn Heights Promenade, which runs above the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway alongside the East River is a perfect place to do just that. The view to the South end of the island is crystal clear and despite the sounds of traffic below, the busyness of the city muted. A famous spot to catch a relaxing hour on a bench, or stroll hand-in-hand with a special someone, the 1/3 mile long walkway welcomes visitors at all hours of the day. Twilight is an especially peaceful time to go—the air slighter cooler and the feeling of a general winding down all around. Lanterns light the path with lush trees and cozy Brooklyn Heights townhouses just beyond. A quick stroll takes no time at all, but in the end, you can’t help feel refreshed.

Day 56: Sunday Dim Sum

In Chinatown, NYC, NYC Restaurants, things to do in NYC on July 26, 2009 at 11:06 pm

dim sum1

For a new spin on Sunday brunch, do like the Chinese and go for dim sum. Restaurants dotting Chinatown cater to weekend crowds who wait in long lines to sit down for the traditional Chinese breakfast ritual that includes small dishes served with tea. Like typical of dim sum in Hong Kong, it’s common to find servers pushing carts (or carrying trays) through the maze of dining room tables until patrons wave to take something. Menus are available with pictures and descriptions, but since the flow of food into the dining room can be rather sporadic, it’s easier just to take things as they come, and at least give them a try. From common steamed dumplings and spareribs, to not so familiar rice wrapped in Lotus leaves, savory Chinese ‘donuts’ and sweet cream buns, dim sum is the perfect time to sample a little of everything. Just be sure to go with an empty stomach and an open mind!

Day 55: Coney Island Afternoon

In Coney Island, NYC, things to do in NYC on July 25, 2009 at 11:58 pm


It’s a 50-minute subway ride from downtown, but it feels like a world away—funnel cakes, bearded ladies and a giant Ferris wheel overlooking a beach on the Atlantic Ocean. Coney Island has been a landmark wonderland since the end of the 19th century. Today it’s more a mix of strange and fantastic than it is a place of charming amusements, but well worth a day trip, for the sake at least, of some local color. Skip sunbathing in the sand, unless your idea of relaxing is sharing towels with strangers. (The beach is uncomfortably crowded). Whether it be a hot dog or a game of skee-ball, most of what’s at your fingertips at Coney Island will inevitably make you smile. It’s an easy escape from reality, with oddities on every corner, but even better, it’s a trip back in time, when fortune teller booths and cotton candy were what we lived for.

Day 54: Free Fridays at MoMA

In NYC, NYC Architecture, NYC for free, NYC Museums, things to do in NYC on July 24, 2009 at 11:53 pm


There’s a stretch of 53rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues that’s taken up by an architectural masterpiece. It’s New York City’s Museum of Modern Art, or like the bold black letters spell, MoMA. The striking glass façade of Yoshio Taniguchi’s 630,000 square foot museum alone can take your breath away, but inside, it only gets better. Around every corner over the six floors of exhibition space there’s a view to somewhere else—of art, or of footsteps passing by—via open throughways and narrow windows cut out of blank white walls. At one moment there’s frenzy, the very next calm, standing face to face with a Seurat. Regular admission is a hefty twenty bucks but thanks to sponsorship by Target stores, Fridays are free from 4-8pm. Take a walk through and then chill for a while outside in the sculpture garden. If you can handle the overwhelming swarms of people, it’s worth it.

Day 53: Pianos Happy Hour

In Lower East Side, NYC, NYC Bars, things to do in NYC on July 23, 2009 at 11:53 pm


Once darkness falls, the sidewalk outside is crowded with people waiting to get in and beyond the entry door it’s a challenge to move. A now longtime Lower East Side hot spot, Pianos is a favorite of rockers, hipsters and your run-of-the-mill bar hoppers, with a ground floor bar, an upstairs lounge and a show space playing live music every night. Though no one needs to spread the word about this place, what many don’t know about is the daily 3-7pm Happy Hour where thirsty patrons can order up $3 beers and well drinks and $4 wines. Don’t forget to check out the food menu, that by the way beats most in the ‘hood with tasty cheap eats for six bucks and under. Head over and pull up a seat at the bar for a post-work unwinding or a pre-show dinner and drinks with a cool crowd, in an even cooler setting that’s just the right mix of dive and swank. A word of caution: Watch out for the frozen margaritas. Sip ‘em too fast and you might have trouble leaving.

Day 52: International Center of Photography

In NYC, NYC Museums, things to do in NYC on July 22, 2009 at 7:52 pm


On a busy block of Sixth Avenue, just east of Times Square’s frenzy, a glass façade displaying oversized iconic images lures passers-by. It is one of the world’s most-admired collections of historical and contemporary photographic work—the International Center of Photography. Founded in 1974 by Cornell Capa as ‘an institution to keep the legacy of “Informed Photography” alive’, the center has, in the decades since its opening, held more than 500 exhibitions, sharing the work of over 3000 photographers with students, professionals and art enthusiasts of the general public. ICP’s mission is to promote an understanding and appreciation for photography while encouraging ‘advancement in the knowledge of the medium’. Clean lined open spaces, white walls and pale wood floors characterize the 17,000 square foot museum, designed by legendary architecture firm Gwathmey Seigel & Associates. Come for a visit, not only to muse, but for a trip though history; to relive or simply understand events of a time before—events luckily captured on film, for those of us living today to see and feel. Now through September 20: Avedon Fashion 1944-2000, which features more than 200 works by the famed photog. For lovers of fashion, it’s definitely a show not to be missed.