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New York’s Best Outdoor Art Installations

Roy Sadler | August 10, 2015 in Art | Comments (0)

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"Labyrinth of Failure" by Kim Navarre from Brooklyn, NY - Labyrinth of Failure by Chris Hackett and Eleanor LovinskyUploaded by McGeddon. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Labyrinth_of_Failure.jpg#/media/File:Labyrinth_of_Failure.jpg

“Labyrinth of Failure” by Kim Navarre from Brooklyn, NY – Labyrinth of Failure by Chris Hackett and Eleanor LovinskyUploaded by McGeddon. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons

Seeing art outdoors is a wonderful experience. When the installation becomes a part of the environment, something is added which is impossible to replicate within the four walls of a building, no matter how innovative that building might be.

Check out some, or all, of these delightful, creative, even wondrous works of art, proudly exhibited in the great outdoors of New York City.

•    Here’s a great excuse to go visit Governor’s IslandThe Interactive Sculpture Garden at the parade grounds.  This delightful playland contains a real, working tree house, lots of shade, and even an artistic mini-golf course. And you get a trip on the ferry, too.
•    On the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art visitors will encounter a huge fish tank containing an eye-popping lava rock which beckons to the various lampreys and tadpole shrimp swimming inside. There is also a rather large boulder of the thing that made Manhattan great; Manhattan schist- the material New York’s skyscrapers, which can be seen in the distance, are made.
•    At Brooklyn Bridge Park, until April 17, 2016, three installations incorporate the view of Manhattan’s skyline into the works. One is a group of mirrors, which literally “mirrors” the skyline seen in the distance; Bright red benches twist and turn in unlikely shapes, encouraging children to join in the fun; and a water sculpture brings welcome relief from the humid heat of a typical New York summer. Stroll through the fountain and notice that wherever you walk within, that is where the water stops gushing.

Go Visit the Levain Bakery:Right Now!

Roy Sadler | July 8, 2015 in Restaurants | Comments (0)

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What?! You haven’t been to the Levain Bakery yet?! Well lets fix that problem right now. First of all, this bakery has grown its reputation since its founding in 1994 purely on the amazing taste of its products. However, that great taste does not arise from nowhere.

All the baked goods for sale are baked fresh right on site in their Upper West Side headquarters. All ingredients are the freshest and most nutritious possible, and to top it all off, whatever delicious bakery products are left at the end of the day go to help feed those less fortunate. This act of giving has been part of the Levain business plan from its inception.

The shop was founded by two friends, Connie McDonald and Pam Weekes. Although one was in banking and the other in the fashion industry, the two were competitive swimmers. While training together for the Ironman competition, they dreamed of starting a business that could soothe even the hungriest athletes. They took their passion, and swam with it-creating a wonderful bakery that is known worldwide for its artisanal breads and six-ounce incredible chocolate chip cookies.

This is one New York landmark not to be missed. Now that you know: GO!

A Night Out with a Difference

Roy Sadler | June 9, 2015 in Entertainment,Night Life,Restaurants | Comments (0)

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There's always room for a beer. Photo by Michael Fajardo

There’s always room for a beer. Photo by Michael Fajardo

Here are a few bars with something unique to offer along with a pint or a lovely glass of wine.

Frying Pan: This unusual  bar & grill was built in 1929 as a floating lightship to guard a place called Frying Pan Shoals 30 miles off the coast of Cape Fear, North Carolina. At some point in the boats history she was abandoned for ten years, and then sank. After three years submerged, she was salvaged and then bought by today’s owners. In 1989 the boat, with a new engine and completely refurbished, sailed to New York City. Today Frying Pan is docked at Pier 66a in the Hudson River Park at West 26th Avenue. The owners chose to restore the outside of the boat to her original look, but the inside maintains a barnacle covered, sunken ship motif.

Floyd, NY: Owners Pam and Jim Carden took a liquor store and recreated a rural tavern the likes of which can be found in Pam’s hometown of Floyd, Iowa. To create such an atmosphere the Cardens added a jukebox with great Hank Williams tunes and songs from the Bad Liver. The premises sport tin ceilings, a rescued 1870s era bar, and even polite bartenders. Even more impressive is the indoor bocce game, sand and all.

Gallow Green: Talk about street theater- this luscious green rooftop bar features actors who never leave character, chatting up the patrons in a decidedly historical manner. Located on top of the McKittrick Hotel which houses the immersive theater extravaganza “Sleep No More,” a night out at this bar is sure to create lasting memories, and make you smile.

Drifting in Daylight: Explore the Art of Central Park

Roy Sadler | May 5, 2015 in Art,Culture and History | Comments (0)

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Huddlestone Arch

Huddlestone Arch

From May 15 until June 20, 2015, on Friday’s and Saturdays at 12pm, visitors to Central Park can explore the less well-known north end of the park. The non-profit public arts organization known as Creative Time, along with the Central Park Conservancy is sponsoring a tour which will follow a winding pathway to some of Central Park’s more wonderful features.

Participants will visit the Harlem Meer, Great Hill, and the Conservatory Garden. Along the meandering path a wonderful selection of innovative art works will come into view, created specifically for Central Park and its unique landscape.

The tour is free, and is the key event of the Central Park Conservancy’s 35th Anniversary celebration.

Other features of the north end of the park include Huddlestone Arch, the Harlem Meer and the Loch. Many consider the Huddlestone Arch the most surprising of the park’s many arches. Designed in 1866 by Calvery Vaux, it is built without the use of mortar or any other binding material. Only gravity and pressure are holding this arch together.

The Harlem Meer, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Vaux is a man-made lake which memorializes what was the separate village of Harlem.  Fishing in permitted in the lake and visitors can expect to see turtles, waterfowl as well as fish in the thriving habitat created by the Meer, which means ‘lake’ in Dutch.

The Loch, which is the Scottish word for ‘lake,’ winds through the Ravine. It is fed by a natural watercourse and flows under Glen Span and Huddlestone arches and then connects to the Meer. The stream was also designed by Olmsted and Vaux, and has several dams creating three beautiful waterfalls.
If you haven’t been to Central Park recently, or even if you have, it’s always an invigorating experience to explore the many beautiful features of this incredible New York wonder.

Burlesque: Alive and Well in the Slipper Room

Roy Sadler | April 16, 2015 in Entertainment | Comments (0)

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"The High Rollers Extravaganza Co.: The Great Chariot Race in Bend Her." Poster for an American burlesque from 1900.

“The High Rollers Extravaganza Co.: The Great Chariot Race in Bend Her.” Poster for an American burlesque from 1900.

Looking for something a bit different for your date-night? How about trying a little taste of a bygone era when Vaudeville and Burlesque were all the rage?

Founded in 1999 by performer and producer James Habacker, the slipper room is a place where avant-garde performance artists could experiment without fear of being too outrageous, lewd, messy or even illegal. James’ idea was to give performers a space to push themselves as they try out their most fantastic ideas.

It did not take long for the Slipper Room to emerge from relative obscurity to becoming a major player in Manhattan’s downtown theater world and nightlife. Now the show has a reputation as the place to see the most cutting edge performance art; what has become known as New York Burlesque and Variety.

Tickets can be purchased on-line from the Slipper Room’s own website. Shows can be seen 7 days per week, and Variety shows Wednesday through Saturday at 10pm and beyond. The Slipper Room is located at 167 Orchard Street between Rivington and Stanton. The entrance is on Stanton Street.

Flying High Over the Big Apple

Roy Sadler | March 9, 2015 in Entertainment | Comments (0)

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Big Apple Helicopter Tours to see NYC from a new perspective

Big Apple Helicopter Tours to see NYC from a new perspective

Just imagine seeing all of New York in just 15 minutes! All you need to do is fly above the traffic and noise and buildings to see New York like you never have before. Of course for flying you will need a helicopter, which is a thrill in and of itself.

Your amazing helicopter tour begins at the Downtown Heliport, located near Battery Park and Wall Street. Climb aboard and rise above the crowds and see from on high the World Financial Center, the Empire State Building, the famed art-deco Chrysler Building, the Woolworth Building and the Met Life tower. Then turn away from the island and head to Ellis Island, get a close up look at the Statue of Liberty, and then turn right, and follow the great Hudson River up to the George Washington Bridge near the northern end of Manhattan.

For more information on how you can visit New York via helicopter, contact Viator.

Holy Holograms!

Roy Sadler | February 5, 2015 in Culture and History | Comments (0)

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an optical table being used to make a hologram. Photo by Epzcaw

An optical table being used to make a hologram. Photo by Epzcaw

The Holocenter, or otherwise known as the Center for the Holographic Arts, is New York’s showcase for this unique and fascinating art form. Established by respected holographic artists Ana Maria Nicholson and Dan Schweitzer in 1998, the mission of the Holocenter is to “bring virtual understandings into contemporary dialogues around media participation, technology and visual-spatial information.”

The Center has an office at Flux Factory in Long Island, and a public gallery on Governors Island at the Holocenter. The staff of the Holocenter work together with artists, helping them to develop concepts and providing several holography studios. The Pulse Laser Studio is located at Ohio State University, and the New York Holgraphic Laboratories is in Manhattan.

Visitors can attend artist talks, workshops, or see the center’s publications to learn more about holography. The center is now located in a late 19th century house on Governor’s Island with limited hours, so check before you visit.

It is Your Civic Duty to: Visit City Hall

Roy Sadler | January 6, 2015 in Culture and History | Comments (0)

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Maybe you can’t fight city hall, but you sure can visit. Located across the street from the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge in City Hall Park, the building has been the seat of the city’s government since 1812. The original building was a marble hall with a cupola, except for the northern side, which was done in brownstone to save money on the construction.

City Hall in 1919.

City Hall in 1919.

In 1917 the domed tower was rebuilt after two fires severely damaged it.  Almost 40 years later, from 1954-1956 the original marble and brownstone facades were replaced with a granite base covered with limestone.  The quality of the restoration inspired critic Ada Louise Huxtable to exclaim that City Hall was now a “symbol of taste, excellence and quality not always matched by the policies inside.”

A tour, which is free, will take you into the space under the soaring rotund which is held up by 10 Corinthian columns. There is a reception space where the mayor visits with important guests, which has 12 paintings of the founding fathers by John Trumbull. With a guided tour offered by the Art Commission of the City of New York, which is also free, you can visit the grand interior of the building. Call first for reservations.

For city hall call: 212 788 6865
For Guided tours call: 311
For more information go to: http://www.nyc.gov/html/artcom/html/home/home.shtml

The 9/11 Memorial: Honor Their Memory with Acts of Compassion

Roy Sadler | December 5, 2014 in Museums | Comments (0)

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Twin Towers Memorial

9/11 Memorial Photo by Svein-Magne Tunli

The sights and sounds of September 11, 2001 will be forever etched in the hearts and minds of all those old enough to have understood the events of that dreadful and fateful day. On that day 2,983 people lost their lives when terrorists with horrifyingly murderous intent smashed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York; the Pentagon in Washington DC; and a thwarted third attack which took the lives of all aboard Flight 93.

In honor of their memory and the loved ones they left behind, a memorial has been established on the site where the Twin Towers once stood. In their place are twin memorial pools with the names of the murdered are stencil-cut into the bronze panels surrounding the reflecting pools. Each pool covers almost an acre in area and are the biggest manmade waterfalls in all of North America.

A few steps away from the actual memorial there is also a museum. Unlike the memorial, which is free to visitors, the museum charges an entrance fee.  The museum tells the story of 9/11 using multi-media displays, archives, narratives and an artifact collection. Guided tours are available, and films, lectures and other special events take place at the museum.

If you can visit the museum, it is highly recommended. But if you can’t, there are still many ways to take the event and create something positive. During this holiday season those at the 9/11 Memorial are asking people to become part of their #2983 Campaign. The goal is to have the community at large help to complete at least 2,983 acts of compassion, gratitude and service as a tribute to each one of those lost in the attacks. If you would like to become part of this worthwhile undertaking, visit the 9/11 Memorial website.

New York Jazz Scene with Beylar Eyubov

Roy Sadler | November 14, 2014 in Culture and History | Comments (0)

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Whether you frequent the New York music scene or you’re just looking for something different, there is always something going on in Westchester and the surrounding area. Here is a rundown of some of the best music happening in the area, as leading musicians like Beylar Eyubov will report. How, you might not catch Beylar Eyubov playing his heart out at any of these locations, but you just never know what you’re in for when you get to these fun events.

Beacon: Get to the Towne Crier Café to watch folk and pop on November 23rd. Christine Lavin and Don White will be performing.

Marlboro: At The Falcon, there will be The Saints of Swing. This is awesome jazz like only great performers like Beylar Eyubov know how to do it. They will be there from 10-2 on November 23rd, followed by Bryan and the Aardvarks from 7 pm. This is jazz and swing at its best.

New Rochelle: Here, at the Alvin & Friends Restaurant, you’ll enjoy the Soul Synergy Orchestra for some great R&B and then the Russell Malone jazz enjoyment. This is on November 22.

Ossining: Finally, you can do something other than read at the public library now. At the Ossining Public Library, Guy Davis and the High Flying Rockets will be playing their hearts out with blues on November 23rd.

Certainly, these are great opportunities to enjoy a night out and to have some fun at almost no cost.