Monthly Archives: May 2016

Splish Splash

Along Fifth Avenue at the entrance of Rockefeller Center, sits a very unusual site: a giant swimming pool rising upright from the sidewalk to the height of a four-story building. Unsure of why a pool might be situated along a busy stretch of Fifth Avenue, I discovered that it is not a swimming pool at all but rather a sculpture of a turquoise blue, mid-century, California-style swimming pool. The artists responsible for this sculpture are Michael Elmgreen of Denmark and Ingar Dragset of Norway, whose most well-known sculpture is Prada Marfa, a tiny replica of a Prada Store dropped in the desert 26 miles from the tiny city of Marfa, Texas (population 2000).  

Tishman Speyer, the owners of Rockefeller Center, commissioned this piece in conjunction with Public Art Fund, a non-profit organization that exhibits art in public spaces with the goal of bringing culture to a wide audience without any barriers of entry. The piece, when viewed from behind resembles an ear, so the artists decided to call it Van Gogh’s ear, named for the artist who famously cut off his own ear.

This piece will be on display until June 3, 2016 on Fifth Avenue at 50th Street.

Computer Age Couture


The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art recently opened its 2016 exhibit entitled Manus x Machina, which refers to manmade versus machine made. On exhibit are approximately 200 garments ranging from haute couture pieces that were made by hand utilizing the precise measurements of the client to contemporary pieces made for the current spring season utilizing computer technology and other machine  techniques. Typically haute couture has been identified as being more exclusive and better made than ready-to-wear and machine made garments, but the advancement of computer technology has enabled designers to use new techniques, principally 3D printers, to construct unique, contemporary garments that are every bit as exclusive as haute couture apparel. Handmade and machine-made no longer have to remain mutually exclusive of each other, but can be complementary to one another.  

This exhibit will be on display throughout the summer, so be sure to check out these works of art. 

American Psycho

British artist, Cornelia Parker, recently installed a commissioned piece of art called Transitional Object (PsychoBarn) on the rooftop of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Two American icons inspired this piece: an old red barn and the eerie house featured in Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller, Psycho. The house, which appears to be a full building dropped in place on the rooftop, is actually just a façade like one that might be found on a movie set. Ms. Parker built the house out of reclaimed wood from a one hundred year old barn that was slated for demolition in upstate New York. The juxtaposition of this Victorian-style house against the backdrop of the New York City skyline is highly unexpected. The exhibit runs through the end of October.  

Disclaimer: I don’t know the woman in the picture, but she was wearing  a very theatrical outfit/costume, so I thought she would liven up my photograph.

A Day At The Races

Photos courtesy of the Kentucky Derby

 Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr., who was the grandson of American explorer William Clark of Lewis and Clark fame, founded the Kentucky Derby in 1873 after attending the Epsom Derby in England. He returned to Louisville, KY determined to build a similar venue for thoroughbred horse racing, stateside. He obtained land from his maternal uncles, the Churchill brothers, and built Churchill Downs, which he fashioned after Epsom Downs. The dress code at Churchill Downs is similar to its English counterpart with women and men, smartly and elegantly attired with hats complimenting their ensembles.The tradition of donning elegant millinery has continued to this day, with some women wearing elaborate creations festooned with feathers, ribbons, and/or bows.  

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to the mother-of-all-mothers, my mother! I don’t always acknowledge all of the things that she does for me, which is why this day exists — to remind people like me to celebrate their moms.  My mother provides me with sage advice, unconditional love, and unlimited support.  While she is my greatest cheerleader, she also tells it to me straight.  She doesn’t always tell me that I am right when I am wrong or that I look great when I don’t or that I deserve something that I don’t and I appreciate her for her candor. I love you, Mom!  Happy Mother’s Day!

Derby Day

Photo courtesy of the Associated Press

The Kentucky Derby is not simply a race to determine the fastest three-year old thoroughbred horse in the country. It is an event steeped in tradition and pageantry for both the horses and the spectators. People come dressed to impress, sip Mint Juleps, and wager bets on the outcome of the race. Women wear beautiful dresses complimented by elaborate millinery (hats) and men wear coats, ties, and fedoras. Held in Louisville, Kentucky at the Churchill Downs racetrack since 1875, the Kentucky Derby otherwise known as the Running for the Roses attracts an enormous crowd with over 167,000 spectators in attendance this year and more than 16 million tuning in at home. The track is 1 1/4 miles long or, in horseracing parlance, 10 furlongs.  It may take only 2 minutes to run the race, but for breeders, owners, trainers, jockeys, spectators, and bettors, it is the most exciting couple of minutes of their lives. The winner takes home a purse of $2 million, gets draped in a garland of red roses, and has the chance to win the Triple Crown if it goes on to win the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes in the following weeks. Nyquist, jockeyed by Mario Guiterrez was the horse favored to win, and he did not disappoint. He posted a time of 2:01.31 minutes, which was the 14th fastest time in the race’s 140 year history. Congratulations to Nyquist and good luck to him as he seeks the Triple Crown.

Sweet Sixteen

Photograph Courtesy of The New York Times

The phenomenon known as Hamilton has added another feather in its cap with the unprecedented number of Tony Award nominations that it received.  It was nominated for sixteen awards in all, which no other production has ever received, including Best Musical, Best Book, Best Original Score, Best Direction, etc.   It cannot win as many awards as it was nominated for because there were multiple nominations in the Best Actor and Best Actor in a Featured Role categories and only one person can win. Nevertheless, it was a huge honor for the Hamilton writers, actors, composers, directors and other people associated with the production to receive such widespread recognition for their groundbreaking work. There were a lot of other worthy nominees from productions such as Waitress, Shuffle Along, The Crucible, Noises Off, The Color Purple, The Humans, King Charles III, School of Rock, Blackbird, and many others.  Tune in to the Tony Award Presentation on June12, at 8 PM on CBS to see who won in what categories, but more importantly make a plan to attend a Broadway show soon.  It is immensely gratifying to see great live theater.

What’s the Scoop?

 

I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately because it is May 4th and I am still walking around in a winter coat and I haven’t seen sun in a few weeks. It is a well known fact that the lack of sun (and I would argue cold weather) can cause melancholy*. Since I have no control over the weather, I thought about what could perk me up.  A trip to a tropical island or an amusement park weren’t options, so I decided upon the next best thing: a big, heaping scoop of ice cream.  There is a new ice cream parlor in town called Cool Mess.  It is isn’t a traditional ice cream parlor — you can actually make your own ice cream if you choose to or you can order the typical ice cream options.  I chose the easy route this time and ordered a cone, but if you have the time and the inclination you can make your own ice cream. They have machines on each table and you can choose a base flavor of vanilla or chocolate and then mix in other goodies.  I’ll save that for another time.  Check out Cool Mess on East 62nd Street between Lexington and Park Avenues, 2nd floor.  It’s a happy place!

*The lack of sun can cause seasonal affective disorder , which can lead to depression. If you feel like you have a true psychological or emotional problem that ice cream cannot solve, you must consult a professional. 

First Monday in May

Photos courtesy of Vogue and the Daily News

Every year on the first Monday in May, the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art holds its annual gala. The glitterati, lucky enough to receive invitations, often come dressed according to theme.  This year, the theme was Manus x Machina: Fashion in the Age of Technology, which refers to hand-made couture versus machine made read-to-wear clothing.  Some of the guests wore couture attire that looked high tech in style, while others wore garments made of high tech fabrics. I loved many of the styles on the red carpet, but I included the ones that I thought were especially on point.  I hope to see the exhibit soon and I will report on it once I do.