There are lots of reasons to push for improvements in your city but one of them is it can have a cascading effect elsewhere. Case in point is New York’s High Line.
As this article Manhattan makeover for London with floating green walkway plan | London | The Guardian), shows:
New York was revitalised by the High Line, a ribbon of parkland floating above Manhattan on a disused elevated railway that has become one of the city’s biggest tourist attractions. Now the High Line’s designer hopes to give London its own green thread, after being chosen to create the Camden Highline.
James Corner was picked last week as the lead landscape architect for the structure, a linear park on three-quarters of a mile of railway viaducts running from Camden to Kings Cross, which he believes will give London a similar boost after the trials of Covid and Brexit.
For more on the Camden highline, go here. More on the New York version here.
Here are a number of pieces on two great downtown Manhattan restaurants: Florent and Odeon. Florent has been closed for a number of years. But Odeon lives on, happily. What I love about both restaurants is how the embodied that era and how they both set a stage. You can see that in the pieces below about them. Florent in particular was a radical place that was like no other, right down to their menus and promotional material (like the one above).
When they both opened the lower part of Manhattan had nothing like them. There was no gentrification down there like there is now. They were an oasis of good food, good design, and good times.
To really get a sense of that, read Restaurant Florent Takes Its Final Bows – The New York Times.
For more on the design ideas around Florent, see: Restaurant Florent | Restaurant Design in New York, NY — Memo Productions
A short history of the space Florent occupied is written about here: What remains of a Gansevoort Street restaurant | Ephemeral New York
Lastly, here is it’s Wikipedia write-up: Florent (restaurant). It’s a good source of other links on the place.
Before I forget, this is a fun piece on The Odeon: A Retro Haven That Defined New York 1980s Nightlife | Vanity Fair.
Also worth reading. Now go and eat at The Odeon.
Posted in cool, culture, newyork
Tagged dining, essays, favourites, food, Manhattan, newyork, nyc, restaurants, restoslovedandlost
Here on my blog I like to write about one of my favourite places (NYC) and my favorite eras (the 80s). So I am happy to highlight this piece on an exhibit on the music of New York at time: New York, New Music: how the city became a hotbed for music in the 80s | Music | The Guardian.
New York then was a hotbed not only for music, but for art. After almost dying in the 60s and 70s, it started it’s Phoenix rebirth in the 80s. I was happy to be a part of it, and I often like to highlight it. That Guardian piece does a good job of capturing the place and the time.
(Photo by Bryan G. on Unsplash. I don’t think it is of the 80s, but it is a photo of the Lower East Side and it is reminiscent of it.)
I am always fascinated by very small apartments. NYC is the king / queen of them. While I have seen some small ones before, this 72 square foot one may be the smallest of all. You have to see it to believe it. It even has a kitchen (sort of) and it’s own bathroom (mainly). What it does have going for it is two amazing things: location and price.
If I was young, I would love living there. For a few years, it would be a great adventure. And like I said, you can’t beat that location at that price.
(Image via the article).
Assuming these will still be around post pandemic, here’s 12 beautiful hotels to consider staying at in New York, starting with the TWA hotel which has been wonderfully remade. I have seen a number of New Yorkers staying there and posting pictures on social media because….why not. While the other hotels don’t have the benefit of being put in a building designed by Eero Saarinen, they are still great. You can see them all here.
All cities have vestiges, things that once made sense but over time became obsolete, yet still remain. In my former house I had a small door and nook near the main door where milkmen would once leave milk. Across Toronto you can still see coal doors at basement level, where coal delivery people would shovel in the coal for the coal furnaces.
Elsewhere, here is a great story about taxi signs across New York City that were once used to hail a cab if you needed one. In the days of Uber and Lyft apps, these seem quaint. Just like those apps will seem years from now. Great story, though.
I love the blog that story comes from. It’s full of odd bits of New York, written with love. Well worth diving into.
Posted in newyork
Tagged newyork, nyc, taxis
Predictions are hard. Predictions about New York City especially so. This one was written a few years ago, and talks about how gentrification is killing NY: The Death of a Once Great City | Harper’s Magazine.
Now in the midst of the pandemic, that economic costs of that will take a bite out of gentrification, which will be nothing compared to the closures that will occur as this disease hangs over the city and the rest of the world.
Whatever happens to New York, be it 9/11 or gentrification or the pandemic, I think the best and safest prediction is to never count it out. Perhaps some far off day New York will no longer be one of the world’s great cities. Perhaps some day it will die off, like many other great cities have. I think we can predict that day is far away still.
So whenever you read about New York dying of one thing or another, take it with a grain of salt.
(Photo via malteesimo)
What’s the eruv of Manhattan? Well according to the article below:
The eruv encircles much of Manhattan, acting as a symbolic boundary that turns the very public streets of the city into a private space, much like one’s own home. This allows people to freely communicate and socialize on the Sabbath—and carry whatever they please—without having to worry about breaking Jewish law.
Here’s a map of it:
You might think that it is hard to believe such a thing could last for long, but as this piece shows, it is diligently maintained.
I found this fascinating. There’s many interesting aspects of New York, but this is one of the better ones. For more on this, read: There’s a Wire Above Manhattan That You’ve Probably Never Noticed
I love and miss New York. So I enjoyed this photo essay: New York in the Snow Photography Series – Fubiz Media.
It’s not a series of photos of great architecture or famous people. It’s simply a sequence of photos of NYC at night covered in snow. It’s wonderful and wistful.
Many many people were blown away by this piece written by Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune fame: My Restaurant Was My Life for 20 Years. Does the World Need It Anymore? in The New York Times.
She’s a great writer, and a great restaurateur, writing about a time of peril for all restaurants.
During the pandemic I’ve thought about it often, as well as the future of restaurants. I don’t know a fraction about the business Hamilton excels in, other than to recognize that even for someone good at it, it’s a hard business. It was a hard business before when places were jammed with hungry eaters. It may well be impossible now.
My hope is that knowing that restaurateurs are smart, hard working and passionate people. They have managed in difficult situations before. They will find a way to make the foods that they love and feed them to us. And we will find a way to get out and support them.
I have had a number of meals at Prune, and they have been some of the finest of times for me. Here’s to it and many more places coming back soon and giving us meals and memories that make life worthwhile.
(Image is a link to the Village Voice.)
Yesterday I showed you how to cry in New York. Today I want to show you how to enjoy New York when the weather is less than ideal. The best way to do that is to be indoors. And the best way to enjoy the indoors in New York is to visit the most beautiful interiors in New York City
P.S. If you are a fan of New York like I am, then ny.curbed.com might be for you too.
Yes, it is an odd list. And yes, you might not find it useful. But read it. Make notes. You will find some wonderful places in NYC as a result. Even if you never plan to cry in public: New York City’s best places to cry in public, mapped
(And if you do plan to cry in public in New York, you are now all set!)
The folks at the Thrillist have a great list, here, including images such as the one above.
It would be great to go to NYC again just to visit some or all of these.
This is great: A Field Guide to New York Workers – People in NYC | Topic.
All the people you typically see in NYC. Well worth a look.
New York City has had skyscrapers for a long time. A new twist on the skyscraper is the super skinny ones popping up all over Manhattan. There’s plenty of reasons for that, and the Guardian well documents that, here: Super-tall, super-skinny, super-expensive: the ‘pencil towers’ of New York’s super-rich | Cities | The Guardian.
I don’t particularly like them, but like all buildings, I am sure they will grow on me over time. They seem too featureless. Their main feature seems to be the thinness. That hardly puts them in the same class as the Chrysler Building or the Empire State Building.
Regardless of your thoughts on them, the article in the Guardian is good.
Bad news for Barneys, the premiere merchant in NYC. On one hand they are getting hit with a huge rent increase, and on the other, people’s shopping habits are changing. Could this be the end? It seems so.
See this for more: Bankruptcy for Barneys? Symbol of New York luxe faces uncertain future | US news | The Guardian
For fans of NY back when, or people just curious about a very different New York then the current one, here’s a bunch of links worth reading:
This is a fascinating story: The famous tea water pumps of 1700s New York | Ephemeral New York.
Hard to imagine now, if you’ve seen NYC, to think of water being drawn this way. Good weekend morning reading!
This is a great read: The Widows of the Plaza Hotel – The New York Times.
If you love New York, hotels, stories of odd balls, and people sticking it to Donald Trump, you will want to read that story. I ate it up! 🙂
This NYTimes.com article is older (2010), but that just means that these places may be easier to get into now: Budget Boutiques in New York City – Interactive Map – NYTimes.com. (It could also mean that some of these places have come and gone.)
Boutique hotels have a feel of the city that you are in: it’s a feeling that large scale hotels rarely have. I’d recommend checking out this list if you are thinking of heading to New York. Any money you save on accommodation can easily be spent elsewhere. 🙂