Annual Summer Rooftop Extravaganza

met-rooftop-2014

Every year we checkout the annual art installation on the Met Rooftop. This year, we went with good friends of ours after a long work week, and watched the sunset while sipping martini’s over Central Park.  This year’s exhibit, by Dan Graham, felt like a continuation of the city’s green forest below. 

Advertisements

A Spanish Love Affair on Point

metropolitan-opera-house-curtain

For those equally intrigued by observing movement, there isn’t a better place to spend an evening in New York then at the Metropolitan Opera House watching the American Ballet Theater company perform.  I recently saw Don Quixote a playful and engaging ballet accompanied by a tremendous display of athletic talent from the dancers.

chandelier-met-opera-house

The opera house is something else.  We sat on the Dress Circle level, which had reasonably priced seats for such an event.  We were C121 and C123, and found the view to still be spectacular.  We had a great birds eye view of the Orchestra as well.

abt-opera-house

As far as dress atire at the ballet, it can really range.  We saw men in tuxes and ladies in ball gowns, but we figured they were distinguished donors or of that sort.  We also saw tourists in jeans and shirts, seemingly just off the street.  I suggest comfortable, yet business casual attire.  If you’re on the Dress Circle level, most of your fellow spectators will be in dresses and button down shirts, but nothing too fancy.

wine-and-roses

Lincoln Center has recently remodeled the entire entrance to the main opera house, and it just looks spectacular.  Get there early for photos before sunset.  It is New York’s most beautiful open plaza, by far.

lincoln-center

 

Absolute Tension

new-museum-2014

I recently spent a rainy Saturday at the New Museum on the Bowery in lower Manhattan. The New Museum is just a train ride across the Williamsburg bridge from me. Had it been a sunny day, I would have walked.

rainy-day

The New Museum is a Contemporary Art Museum showcasing global contemporary works.  Each floor features a different exhibit, peaking with city-spanning views from the Sky Room. The building, designed by Tokyo-based architects, stands-out quite dramatically on the Bowery, positioned as a fresh geometric force against the traditional brick buildings of New York.

bag-pipe

Inside the floors feel clean, airy and spacious.  It may be one of the few museums in the city that feels comfortable mid-day on a Saturday.  You won’t find excited groups of tourists snapping photos at every piece in the room.  But, if you go soon, you will be able to contribute to the massive Whose Terms exhibit, which I found to be a fantastic rainy-day activity.

whose-terms

I was intrigued by the exhibit on the first floor, where I came across the phase, “absolute tension (perfect equilibrium)”.  It sounded like something I had learned in University, but I couldn’t remember what.  In Laure Prouvost’s, “For Forgetting” she explores memories and possessions.  I had to look up the meaning behind absolute tension, and it appears to be related to Buckminster Fuller’s theory on Vector Equilibrium, or synergetics.  Synergetics studies systems in transformation. I suppose the parallel Laure is trying to draw is between the constant motion of the body and the mind, and the constant transformation that we as humans endure. We somehow manage to achieve a steady-state equilibrium  that is the act of “living”, born of the absolute tension that is the essence of existence & life itself.

 

 

 

Snow Falls in February

mrsnowman

February. I’ve never been a fan of February. Aside from it being an odd calendar month, it is the coldest, darkest and least interesting time of the year. This year, February has already left its mark. Snow storms, thunder storms, ice storms… and the central park penis.

I usually leave the city in February, for at least a long weekend. This year I stayed put. It has been a testament to my limits.  Dark days, cold walks and treacherous commutes.  I miss sunshine, and I miss my bike.  Then again, at least I brought mine inside…

hibernating-bike

But at the end of the day, I love a challenge.  This February, my challenge has been to remain inspired by this city, amidst all of this snow.  I’ve discovered that the worst approach to this challenge is to remain inside and that the best approach often involves hours spent inside a random museum.

I’ve discovered that the city has a world of warm underground luxuries, like Sakagura, a delicious Japanese tapas restaurant in the basement of a random building in the East 40’s.

sakagura

New York, I love you, but can you please warm up soon?

Winter Sundays at the Met

american-wing

Find yourself feeling blue lately?  Spend Sunday at The Met!  The great thing about New York in January is that tourism dips, and the museums actually become ours!

americanwing

The Metropolitan  Museum of Art feels perpetually new.  This past visit, I made sure to find the open-airy wings that simulated an “outdoors” experience, such as what you find in their American Wing.

medievalart

I wasn’t expecting to find myself in the middle of Medieval Art, but I did.  And it was fantastic.   The Met has an incredible collection of  cross-generation, cross-culture armour.

Entrance

So take a Sunday this winter, and spend it at the Met…

The Great Comet at Kazino

Last night I saw one of the most riveting pieces of immersive theater at the pop-up shop, known as the Kazino Theater.  The Kazino lies at the end of W 13th Street, in the heat of the Meatpacking district, below the towering Standard Hotel.

standard nycWe got the area early to watch the sunset on the High Line Park, and then strolled into 19th Century Russia…

kazinoI recommend reading the NY Times review, or the 5-star Time Out review for a more captivating summary of the show than I will be able to give, but definitely make time to visit to this cabaret-style evening of entertainment.

photo 4photo 2

From the moment you walk in to the temporary structure, you are struck by the intricate decor throughout.  The intimate setting immediately transports you to another time, another place, another self.  We were a group of 2 only, so being seated at a table for 4 in the “hot zone” meant both getting to know our table-mates, as well as feeling almost part of the show.  The actors walked around us, sat at our table, brushed our shoulders, ran their fingers through our hair — all in a very tasteful and inviting way.  This is not a cheesy murder-mystery dinner show, I promise you.  This is an artistically beautiful night out at a very modern theater.

A light meal is served throughout the night.  I should stress the light part — because if you are a big eater, you best come well-stuffed.  Let’s put it this way, the flights of vodka shots we did were not nearly absorbed by the mere meal we were served.  They do offer a pricey a-la-carte menu for those interested in the addon costs. The show starts at 9:30.  We arrived by 9:00 to be seated, which allowed time for a small russian appetizer and a cocktail.

photo 3

The food, although small in quantity, was decent in quality.  It is NOT the star of the show, however, and rightly so.  Delicious and abundant food would have made following the story challenging, and taken away from the experience itself. The show is based on a section of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, and set in 1812 in Moscow.  The music was perhaps what pleased me the most.  It was phenomenal.   I was expecting a more traditional Russian repertoire, but got a bit of everything — modern Russian folk, electronica, operetta, and definitely bouts of classical.

The first half runs 1.5 hours, and a light meal is served at intermission.  The second half runs about an hour, making the entire evening run until almost midnight.  Worth every moment.

It is only running through September 1st, 2013 — so go see it!