Monday, March 21, 2011
The last time world affairs found their way into artist Samuel Mark's work, bed bugs were taking over the city. Mark channeled the collective panic of New Yorkers into a series of works that depicted the critters swarming over mattresses, sofas and other discarded furniture. The series earned the street artist instant notoriety and widespread media coverage.
Friday, March 18, 2011
For a certain segment of the population, the promise to draw every building in town may sound familiar, not unlike Sufjan Stevens' initially audacious, then outlandish and ultimately forgotten bid to make an album about all 50 states (final count: two states).
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Foley Square, Downtown.
Monday, March 14, 2011
The artist Leghead in Soho on March 14, 2011.
Monday, March 07, 2011
Two-by-five foot solar panels have been appearing on telephone poles throughout Hudson and Bergen Counties as a New Jersey-based power company attempts to green its energy sources by installing roughly 200,000 panels in the area.
Friday, February 25, 2011
After the furor over Park 51, many Muslims said they were afraid to profess their faith publicly. Not so, apparently, at this Bangladeshi halal butcher in Jackson Heights, Queens.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Multiply the volubility of this guy by 20, maybe 50 on a crowded day, when the subways are completely wired and everyone's got his or her phones out. Now imagine your normally placid commute being disrupted, daily, by the sound of TMI.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
There is no New York City public official better suited to the spectacle of food -- whom the citizenry wants to see eating -- than Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.
This is not simply an issue of body type, although that certainly factors in. The fact is, Marty exudes a certain jocularity, a game-ness that's very old-school. Have a baby that needs to be held? Give it to Marty! Have a catchphrase that bears repeating, such as "Fuhgeddaboutit!"? Marty'll say it!
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Street art isn't what it used to be. And for a lot of New Yorkers, that's probably a good thing. Gone are the days when entire subway trains were coated in spray paint.
That isn't to say that street art is irrelevant.
Check out "Exit Through the Gift Shop," the documentary that at once celebrates and hilariously sends up the significance (and the very definition) of street art. The movie, directed by the ever-mysterious artist Banksy, is up for an Oscar this year.
So, who are the newest street artists making their mark in (and on) the city?
One of them has been penning "moustache" on the upper lips of various actresses, at least their two-dimensional selves (Reese's moustache here). The penmanship isn't anything to write home about, but still, there's a certain Gallic charm to the enterprise, and an impishness. These days, it's striking just how innocent and inoffensive so much subway graffiti is. Sure, you get the predictable assortment of four-letter words and body parts and all-around disfigurement. But not all that often. To a much greater extent subway posters seem to have been defaced by really happy, well-adjusted people. Whatever became of urban rage?
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Hotel Carter, ranked the No. 4 dirtiest hotel in the U.S., has made the annual survey of the nation's top 10 filthiest hotels for the fifth time in six years, according to TripAdvisor's Dirtiest Hotels 2011.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Losing sleep over the US-China trade deficit? Worried about China taking over the world?
China understands. Or at least its publicists do. After decades of watching American spinmeisters work their magic across the world, they're bringing their game onto U.S. soil.
This promotional video debuted at Times Square. From the WSJ:
"As President Hu Jintao begins his visit to the U.S. this week, China is blitzing America with a flashy television ad that mixes images of ordinary Chinese citizens with celebrities like NBA star Yao Ming, Web tycoon Jack Ma, and a quartet of fashion models. The minute-long video is scheduled to run on CNN and to be shown 300 times a day—once every four minutes during peak periods—on the giant display in New York's Times Square from now until Feb. 14."The ad is part of China's broader push in recent years to use its culture and people to ease international fears about its rise."
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
The fuss over Pale Male may have seemed more like a stealth Upper East Side real estate story than about urban wildlife, but now Lola, the red tailed hawk's famous mate with whom he shared a nest at 927 Fifth Ave., has gone missing and may be dead.
From Bruce Yolton at the Urban Hawks blog: "Lola hasn't been seen since mid-December and is unfortunately presumed dead."
But Bruce posted this really nice video, so you can get a sense of how a hawk snacks on squirrel (scroll to 1:44). Seriously, at times it's quite beautiful but can be graphic.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Under pressure from my friend, I caught the end of Peter Greenaway's multimedia spectacle at the Park Avenue Armory, The Last Supper, which turned out to be spectacularly underwhelming. So when that same friend told me to come and see his work as well as that of other young South Asian artists in a new group show, I expected a mixed bag.
As it turned out, I was way off the mark: The show, Reprise 2010 (at Aicon Gallery, on Great Jones) is consistently good, at times great, and showcases the vitality of Indian and Pakistani contemporary art in a variety of media. This at a time when the Indian economy is booming, creating a generation of new collectors and galleries. Also figuring into this is the growth of big trade events like the India Art Summit, which takes place this week in New Delhi and includes Aicon artists from New York.
The Reprise show's on through Feb. 5. Take a look.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
There was a period when Mayors Against Illegal Guns made serious waves. The group, formed by Mayors Bloomberg and Thomas Menino, in Boston, grew by leaps and bounds, signing up hundreds of mayors across the country and prompting the NRA to target the group in campaign ads.
However, over the last year or so, that growth has reached a plateau (it still claims to have around 500 members), and the group has had a quieter presence. But the shootings in Arizona have thrust the mayor and his group back into the national spotlight. For a mayor who's been dogged by a snowstorm furor, the issue of gun control appears to present steady ground.
Thursday, January 06, 2011
If you're like me, you may occasionally surprised to discover that things like Pop-Tarts still exist. Mmm, two wafers of hyrolyzed plywood, tightly encasing a layer of synthetic fruitiness. Just pop it in the toaster, take a bite, and find your tongue irreparably burned. But we're being unnecessarily snarky.
Thursday, January 06, 2011
A new viral video entitled "Bloomberg Blamed for Mishandling Snowpocalypse" is making the rounds online in a segment that takes jabs at the city's blizzard response with the help of strangely compelling CGI animation.
Tuesday, January 04, 2011
The blizzard may be long over but the damage and bad PR keeps on coming. Ned Berke at Sheepshead Bites brings to our attention the matter of dozens of gravestones that were toppled in Brooklyn, after a snow-packed cemetery fence gave way. Locals say sanitation workers are to blame.
...Department of Sanitation workers packed load after load of snow and ice against the fence of Washington Cemetery on Bay Parkway, between McDonald Avenue and 57th Street. The metal gates buckled under the weight, toppling approximately 30 gravestone over the weekend.
“[Sanitation workers] were continually dumping snow there for several days,” said Washington Cemetery (5400 Bay Parkway) employee Mike Ciamaga, who added that cemetery officials first noticed the broken gravestones on Sunday morning. ”As of this morning they were still dumping there.”
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Government statisticians may not be born entertainers, but god knows the men and women of the U.S. Census Bureau try. Tuesday's big announcement -- the biggest census event in 10 years -- managed to ramp up the suspense before finally delivering the goods.
How many people live in this country? Which states grew the most? Which states are going to ask for a recount?
Answers forthcoming. But first, a video featuring some of the notables who publicized the Census outreach: Donny Osmond, Dora the Explorer, Karl Rove. They are all America.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
The housing bust may have been at the center of the Great Recession, but the fact that New York state has suffered less on the housing front has, ironically, meant it leads the nation in out-migration. This according to Forbes:
At No.1 on our list, New York is expected to wave goodbye to 49,000 more people than it gains this year. The state has seen a steady loss of residents over the past five years, losing an average of 100,000 people per year. [Economist Nathaniel] Karp explains that, because New York is a large state, it may report greater movement than others, but notes that population size is not the only reason residents are fleeing.
"In order to move, you need to be able to sell your home," says Karp. "The housing market [in New York] has not gone through the meltdown that other states have gone through."
Friday, December 10, 2010
Now and then, people ask me, "Whatever happened to that mosque issue?" As if the subject that dominated the airwaves like no other, over the entire summer, had somehow, mysteriously vanished. As we reported a few weeks ago, Park 51 didn't appear to gain any traction as an issue with voters leading up to the November elections. But now, it seems supporters and opponents alike are mobilizing their troops, ready to battle once again over the public perception.