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.

Luxury Watches Available in Soho

enjoy a fine watch

Watches of Switzerland, a major UK watch dealer, opened its flagship American store in Soho, New York last month. The store offers Rolex, Patek Philippe, Breitling, IWC, Cartier, Hublot, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Girard-Perregaux, and Ulysse Nardin.

However, Watches of Switzerland is no ordinary store. The Soho store stretches over  80,000 square feet and includes 2 floors. The entrance level is divided into sections by watch brand so that if you know what brand you want, you can go directly to that section of the store.

The bottom floor has a relaxing and enjoyable ambience. There is a cocktail bar which is hosted by the famous cocktail lounge Death & Co. You can also browse the bookshop and library with its biographies and coffee table books. In addition, famous artists’ works are displayed on the walls and if you see something that you like you can buy it and make it your own.

Watches of Switzerland understands that an upscale store is going to attract upscale clients – and that those buyers will want to be treated in a certain way. It’s a treat to visit and to shop there.  

An Amazing Museum

An Artist’s Tools Are The Entire Universe

The Donald Judd Museum is an amazing museum. It’s not like other museums that mainly display wall paintings, sculptures, and artifacts in plexiglass encased booths. The museum, which is housed in Donald Judd’s 5 story home here in Soho, explores his architecture, his use of space in interior design, furniture design, paintings, sculptures as well as his collection of other famous artists’ works.

Although Judd’s home, a five floor cast iron building, was recently renovated at a cost of  23 million dollars, the layout of the furniture and artworks is almost exactly the same as when Judd lived there.

Judd felt that, not only do the artworks need to be seen, but that the spacing around them contributes to the artworks’ sense of presence and to the viewers’ appreciation. He arranged each floor for a specific use and the design of the space between objects was very important to him. The second floor of his home was the eating area, the third flood was his work area, the fourth floor was his living room area and the fifth floor was his sleeping area.

Donald Judd was considered one of the most important and innovative artists of his time, living from 1928 to 1994.

I would recommend reading up on Donald Judd before going. It will give you a better insight into this great artist’s mind. The museum is located at 101 Spring Street in Soho and the tours are given by practicing artists.

I was simply fascinated by this museum. It increased my appreciation for artistic potential in the simple things of everyday life. I hope that you enjoy the experience.

Mediterranean Dining And Atmosphere In New York City?



If you love Mediterranean cuisine and atmosphere, then you will really enjoy Pera Soho restaurant. Pera Soho’s culinary style includes both Mediterranean cooking and Middle Eastern cuisine. The food is always tasty. My favorite dish is the baby lamb chops and my wife loves the stuffed eggplant and the Mediterranean atmosphere.

Pera Soho is one of those restaurants which successfully combine Eastern Mediterranean flavors and atmosphere with New York City dining customs and expectations. The restaurant has an unique design layout including indoor and outdoor garden dining which I particularly like. In addition, there is a winter terrace so that you can enjoy the outdoors whatever the weather. In season, there is open rooftop dining with a 180-degree view of the Manhattan skyline. There are also separate dining areas for private groups.

Pera Soho’s atmosphere is one of celebrations, large and small, warm, comfortable and lively, just like the Mediterranean itself.

Upcoming events include a sumptuous, 3 course, Christmas Eve dinner and New Year’s Eve celebrations on December 31st. What a good way to start the New year!


A New Haven for Book Lovers

Wow, while Gucci might have an ulterior motive in creating the Gucci Wooster Bookstore at 375 West Broadway, we aren’t sure that we care. Can you imagine if all of the hottest clothing stores, electronic stores and other locations started to highlight books? And had an inviting nook where you could shed your coat (hopefully your phone too) and curl up with a real book?

The Gucci Wooster Bookstore has just opened, curated by Dashwood Books, and it’s certainly a place to see. It’s inside the Wooster store and it’s a cozy, intimate reading nook where you’re actually supposed to curl up and…read!  They plan to have book signings and cultural events too. They actually brought in Dashwood Books founder, David Strettell, to curate the 2000 titles.

Don’t know about you – but we plan to be spending a lot of time in this haven for book lovers in the coming months!