New Gallery Opening

Yesterday a new gallery opened.  Situated at 19 Monroe Street, the A.D. gallery is taking the space formerly occupied by the Bible gallery.  It is the brainchild of three co-owner artists:  Philip Hinge, Nick Irzyk and Nicholas Sullivan.

The opening group show, Daisy Chain will have presentations from a variety of artists including: Mitchell Algus, Ennst Yohji Jäger, Maggie Lee, Clair Morey, and Nikholis Planck.  the idea behind the gallery is combination of quirkiness and tradition.  as Irzyk explained:

“Me and Phil’s spaces are on the quirkier side, so we’re looking forward to doing shows that fit in a more traditional space…Phil is tapped into an international network of sorts, so we’re interested in bringing people from outside New York to do shows alongside local artists. For us, this is a totally new venue.”

Interactive Off-Broadway Show

When she found that there wasn’t that much going on for kids and their parents in the entertainment sector in her neighborhood, Rania Ajami – along with her brother Rami Ajami – decided to take action. The result was ‘Pip’s Island’ an interactive show that is opening later this month at the Pod Hotel theater, 400 W. 42nd Street.

It took six years to make this happen. And it cost $20 million and a 10 year lease with hotelier Richard Born who has now partnered with the show that he “instantly fell in love with the concept and the enthusiasm of the principles behind it.”  It is for kids aged 4-10 and features music, puppets, video and animation.  The story is based on a boy and his friends who rescue a magical island from the evil clutches of Joules Volter and his allies.  The idea is for members of the audience to participate in the challenge, earn “sparks” on their light-up wristband and more. 

While right now it’ll just be the play, it is hoped by Ajami and partners that it will later extend to books, games, merchandise and a series.  The story, featured characters and sets fluctuate so it’s more than a one-time event. Tickets are $39 each.

Books Below 14

Tomorrow is independent bookstore day, and booklovers in Manhattan are celebrating along with the rest of the nation. True it’s very easy to get a new book delivered to your door without leaving your home, but there are still many true literary lovers who absolutely thrive on spending an entire day engaged in “an independent bookstore crawl.”

A few years ago Manhattan had a beautiful independent bookstore right on 57th Street.  The Rizzoli store was a six-story townhouse that dated back to the early 1900s, featuring wooden ceilings and chandeliers.  Although it closed in 2014 the Rizzoli store reopened in Madison Square Park, Manhattan and is still full of character.

And then there’s The Dusty Bookshelf which just re-opened (after its closure 2 years ago) in Manhattan. Offering live music and  hot coffee, opening day began with shelves being filled with books and the store making the new space its home.  Until it’s all complete true literary lovers are welcome to go through the boxes to see what might delight them. Open from 9am to 8pm every day, both new and used books are for sale.

Manhattan Guide: Take a Virtual Tour

Alex Hunter from Attaché (the show that gets you in, out, and around some of the world’s greatest cities in under 20 minutes), humorously takes a look at transportation options from New York airports. There are three of these which are all equally bad – but thankfully they are also all slated for major redevelopment in the next decade.  Here we get a review of the various options of getting from the airports to town.  Really good cab system.  The airporter is another option, flat fee $17 each way, free wifi, drops off at Penn Station.

East Village: Infrastructure and Transportation Updates

It seems that there is always construction in New York, in the hope of improving transportation and updating crucial infrastructure.  Finally though – at least along East 14th Street – things are calming down and construction work is due to at least be reduced from 16 to 12 hours according to a recent MTA announcement. This will somewhat ease the noise, dust and inconvenience of work being undertaken on East 14th Street from Ave. B to First Ave where endeavors are being taken to add an L train, elevators and new substation.

In related news, the MTA has been approached by lawmakers to pause work on proposed M14A/D Select Bus Service (SBS) changes.  The request is being made in an effort to connect express service to a supplemental local route.  The idea is to make the bus lines ahead of the L train’s partial shutdown faster.  The way this would be done would be by removing every other one of the M14A/D stops.  According to Carlina Rivera, city council member:

 “The proposed SBS stop spacing is a clear compromise between a local route and a typical SBS route—meaning that an M14 SBS will not have the ‘express’ travel times that other routes have. In fact, there is a successful model for this kind of plan just a few avenues away, where the M15 SBS runs parallel to an M15 local route. The MTA must pursue a similar strategy for the M14 route.”

The Color Factory

The Color Factory in NY is a pop-up art exhibit that explores and displays each color. Housed in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City, this exhibit features 16 participatory installations.

Visitors enjoy this multi-sensory experience which includes playing in an enormous ball pit. The Color Factory explores color in a vivid and creative way that’s fun for all ages. They museum has garnered criticism for being an “Instagram museum,” a museum geared towards millennials who visit museums to photograph themselves and share pictures on social media.

Co-founder Jordan Ferney has refuted these claims, stating that her goal “had always been to make something that was beautiful to experience, not photograph.”

The museum also created the Manhattan Color Walk, a unique map of colorful landmarks within Manhattan. The Manhattan Color Walk allowed visitors to explore neighborhoods through its creation of a colorful portrait of this diverse city.

The High Line

The High Line is a unique public park that expresses the vitality, ingenuity and resilience of New Yorkers.

The High Line is a public park built on a 1.45-mile-long elevated rail structure. It was founded in 1999 by neighborhood residents who didn’t want the rail track to be demolished.

According to their website, “The High Line has transformed into a public space where every New Yorker and visitor is welcome and can experience the intersection of nature, art, and design.”

The High Line offers a variety of events and is wheelchair-accessible. Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed in the park.

The 9/11 Museum

The 9/11 museum is a worthwhile destination. The museum’s 110,000 square feet of exhibition space tell the story of 9/11, including the events leading to 9/11 and its aftermath.

The museum, which opened in 2014, is dedicated to telling visitors about the tragic attack. It commemorates the victims and includes multimedia displays, artifacts and narratives. The museum experience usually takes two hours to complete and is recommended for children over the age of ten.

School groups are invited to visit, and a grant from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation allows NYC students to visit the museum at no charge.

NYC Fire Museum

Interested in learning more about firefighting? This museum is the place to visit.

The New York City Fire Museum is a museum that’s housed in a renovated 1904 firehouse. The museum is located at 278 Spring Street and receives over 40,000 visitors each year.

The museum contains more than 10,000 objects including photographs and other memorabilia. A special memorial to the 343 members of the FDNY who died on September 11 is on permanent display at the museum.

The museum showcases items dating back to the mid-18th century. Displays trace the evolution of firefighting, from bucket brigades and volunteers to firetrucks and salaried firefighters.

In addition to sharing this slice of history, the museum offers rentable space for events and birthday parties. They also offer interactive exhibits for students as well as sessions on fire safety.

The New York Earth Room

If you’re looking for an unusual destination, stop by The New York Earth Room at 141 Wooster Street.

Created by American artist Walter De Maria back in 1977, the exhibit is composed of a 3,600 square foot gallery that contains 22 inches of dirt. The dirt weighs approximately 280,000 pounds.

Interestingly, the exhibit is valued at around a million dollars. The dirt itself requires regular maintenance by a caretaker, who both rakes and waters the dirt.

The gallery is free to visit, and is open from Wednesday to Sunday, 12-6.