Category: New York

“Lost in Another Space” at Plus 81 Gallery

Posted on Oct 15th 2015

“Lost in Another Space” is a two-person exhibition featuring female artists that I learned about from a co-worker, Shoko Tagaya, who co-curated it. The two artists had completely different styles. Esther Stocker manipulates intuitive and basic geometry into complicated disorientation. Sayaka Maruyama draws on the notion of beauty. The printed on cloth series, called Sakura, incorporated the cherry blossoms with images of a woman creating dreamy portraits.

The exhibit will be open at the Plus 81 Gallery until Nov 15, 2015.

Sakura series by Sayaka Maruyama at the Plus 81 Gallery

One of prints by Sayaka Maruyama

Plus 81 Gallery exhibit reception

Guests looking at the geometry by Esther Stocker

Esther Stocker at the Plus 81 Gallery

Esther Stocker manipulates basic geometry

Sayaka Maruyama at the Plus 81 Gallery

Sayaka Maruyama cloth print in the window

Walking on the Tracks

Posted on Apr 21st 2015

Today I took a walk on the newly renovated High Line on the West side of Manhattan. I noticed it the other week while walking around getting my step count and decided to make time to check it out the following weekend. The second level walking linear park stretches for 1.45 miles connecting Gansevoort Street to 34th.

High Line in New Yrok Map

High Line in New Yrok Street View

High Line stairs up

People walking on High Line

Tracks on High Line

A few interesting historical facts I learned from reading the posters along the way. The High Line was build between 1929 and 1934 to eliminate street level train crossing and to allow for efficient deliveries of products and produce into the warehouses and factories up and down the West Side. The decline of manufacturing in 1950s and 60s decreased the train traffic and the High Line fell into a state of disuse.

The last train rolled down in 1980. After that for nearly two decades it sat unused until in 2002 the commitment was made to convert the High Line into a public park. Between 2009 and 2014 the different phases were completed and open to the public.

As I have learned the other day during the Walking Workshop, the re-development of High Line led to $900MM of real estate investment in the neighborhood displacing a large portion of the population. However, the developers have realized that and have been trying to introduce new public programming to engage local lower income residents.

Hight Line near 10th Ave

Hight Line

Hight Line

Signs at High Line

Tracks at Hight Line

People walking High Line

Watching station at High Line

High Line path

Traffic watching at High Line

Public Space and Sphere of Williamsburg

Posted on Apr 19th 2015

One day sitting in a coffee shop my attention was caught by a pile of flyers at the end of the bar. One of them was advertising a Walking Workshop around Williamsburg. It seemed like it would be a great way to learn more about the neighborhood I’ve have enjoyed living in for the past year.

Williamsburg Walking Workshop

Julia Borowicz and Larissa Begault

Williamsburg Walking Workshop

Julia Borowicz and Larissa Begault

Domino Williamsburg Walking Workshop

As it turned out the Walking Workshops were a limited time series, organized by Julia Borowicz and Larissa Begault as part of their graduate thesis. The duo are students at the Parsons Urban Practice Graduate Program and have partnered up to work together.

Starting at the Williamsburg waterfront the 2 hour tour had 10 stops on the way, including Bushwick Inlet, Entertainment District, McCarren Park, Domino Site and Grand Street Ferry Park. At each site Julia and Larissa talked about the past and present uses of the space, and future plans, outlining how the changes due to re-zoning and re-development had impacted the social and economic dynamic of the neighbourhood.

It was interesting to learn that the transformation of the public space would result in a negative impact on the existing population, where the resulting increase in land prices would displace the local residents that can no longer afford it. It was also interesting that those who have contributed to the authenticity of the space making it appealing and popular, such as artists who first moved to Williamsburg, were the first ones to be displaced.