Sunday, September 17, 2017

New Happenings in Midtown

There are some new eateries opening up in Midtown Manhattan.  Although it already has three branches in NYC, Joe’s Pizza is now available on Times Square, at 1435 Broadway. The iconic store originally opened back in 1975 in Greenwich Village.

Next up is Luke’s Lobster which opened its 12th NYC location in Midtown Manhattan.  Located between West 38th and 39th Streets, to mark the occasion of its new place, the first customers to frequent the store received a free lobster roll. 

And for something completely different a plant-based “fast-food” joint just opened in Midtown also.  Run by Craig Cohran (co-founder of a plant-based fast food café that already exists in Manhattan), he opened P.S. Kitchen in Times Square as a way to give back and make a difference. The idea is to make giving more fun by creating a nice restaurant that would give profits to charity; enjoy a cocktail and a meal and at the same time support a worthy cause. The menu is completely plant-based and many of the employees come from underprivileged backgrounds.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Silent Parade

A century ago (last month) on July 28, 1917, around 10,000 black (kids, men and women) marched in silence down Fifth Avenue to protest against racial violence in the United States. This was one of the first mass protests of anti-black violence in America.  It was entitled Silent Parade.

To mark this, Google honored the centenary with a Google Doodle, “honor[ing] those whose silence resonates a century later.”

Organized by W.E.B Du Bois and James Weldon Johnson (NAACP leaders), it was put together as a reaction to the 1917 East St. Louis Riots during which a slew of blacks were killed and thousands displaced. The non-speaking march from Fifth Avenue to Madison Square symbolically represented an anti-violence stance by participants who marched with signs like: “We march because we deem it a crime to be silent in the face of such barbaric acts,” and “We march because we want our children to live in a better land," etc.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Midtown’s Restaurant Week

The summer’s Restaurant Week starts next week.  Between July 24 to August 18, restaurant goers in Midtown will be able to pay a fraction of the price at some of the region’s most upscale eateries. Offering three-course fixed priced menus for both lunch and dinner, around 400 restaurants are participating in the week long event, open to all for registration.

this year there are many more restaurants participating – 33 to be exact – they include: Bar & Cabaret, Benjamin Steakhouse Prime, Bob’s Steak & Chop House, Boucherie, Bâtard, Cut by Wolfgang Puck, Farmer & The Fish, Feast, Fifty Restaurant, Flinders Lane, Fowler & Wells. 

For lunch the cost will be $29 and for dinner, $42.  Program sponsor is OpenTable.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Getting Outdoors in Midtown

Summer is upon us and Manhattan is a great place to do something fun.  In this article we look at some of the fun things happening in the area and suggest places to cool down as well.

First, there is MoMa in New York which is spending $450 million on an expansion project.  The first phase has already been completed and the public is invited to check out the 15,000 square feet of “reconfigured galleries, a new, second gift shop, a redesigned cafe and espresso bar and, facing the sculpture garden, two lounges graced with black marble quarried in France.” Ultimately the expansion will provide more room for the 200,000 pieces to be displayed as well as 25 percent additional space for visitors to relax.

Then there is BevNET Live Summer 2017 – the “leading conference for the beverage industry,” with its networking opportunities, discussions on moving the industry forward and bringing your products to the limelight.

And while you’re out strolling the neighborhood in the evenings, don’t forget to enjoy one of the many fabulous rooftop bars in the area.  Check out: the PHD Terrace at Dream Midtown, Empire Rooftop, Roof at Park South and St. Cloud Social atop The Knickerbocker if you want to fully appreciate some of the great summer happenings in the area this year.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Midtown Manhattan and its Admirable Architecture

Midtown Manhattan has long been known for its spectacular architecture.  Being home to some of the city’s most iconic buildings (including the Chrysler, Empire State, and UN HQ), as well as the world’s largest central business district, it perhaps should not come as much of a surprise that there is often talk of buildings that were, constructions that are and architectural designs that are in process.  In this article, we take a closer look at some of them.

Executive Director of AIA New York State, Georgi Ann Bailey believes there are 25 must-see buildings in New York.  Two of these are in the Midtown Manhattan area.  One is the main branch of the New York Public Library.  Designed by architects John Merven Carrère and Thomas Hastings, this is the entity’s flagship building and a “prominent historic landmark” in the midtown area.  It is also a very old building (opening its doors in 1911) and today its 646,680 square feet boasts a 52 foot high ceiling in its famous Rose Main Reading Room, filled with thousands of reference materials on open shelves, furnished with brass lamps, comfy chairs and sturdy wood tables. Of course the grand chandeliers add to the grandiose nature of the building as well.

The other one included in that list in the area was designed by architects Edward Durell Stone and Philip L. Goodwin, with a remodel by Philip Johnson, and Yoshio Taniguchi. New York’s
Museum of Modern Art, can be found on 53rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues.   It has been hailed as being one of the world’s largest and most influential modern art museums.

Then there are the upcoming constructions. Amy Plitt in an article in NYCurbed  took a look at the construction on Jean Nouvel’s Midtown supertall (already in progress for a year now) which is finally taking shape.  Noting its distinctive diagrid, this is quite an exciting time for midtown’s architecture.
Another one to watch is New York’s Only If Architecture which designed a mirror-filled space to be used by three companies in a very minimalist style.  With 18,000 square feet at its disposal, this will feature both open and closed work areas as well as a showroom made out of modular rolling elements.  In addition, surfaces will be in black and white and have a very organized feel.
So, there is a lot of interesting building in midtown Manhattan of note today.

Pastimes in the Park

There’s nothing like the beginning of summer to start enjoying the outdoors.  And midtown Manhattan is great for that, especially when it comes to parks, given the Parks and Rec organization.

Last month, Bryant Park had its official annual summer opening ceremony.  Those present were able to tromp over the freshly grown grass, crushing it with picnic blankets.  This is because, every year, the lawn there is torn out and regrown in spring for those to enjoy in the summer.  With the new lawn open, the city has put together a calendar of events, such as outdoor theater, meditation and dance classes and nighttime yoga.

In other park-related news in the region, Manhattaners should take advantage of the green space that surrounds the American Museum of Natural History. At the Theodore Roosevelt Park, an initiative from Parks Without Borders is seeking approval to progress in this project.  Director of Long Range Policy and Planning of the Institute, Sarah Nielsen said the aim is to “make parks more open and welcoming and beautiful by improving entrances, edge and park-adjacent spaces.” As co-manager of the Theodore Roosevelt Park Project, she will lead a study on how the space is used and to determine what improvements might be viable.  The idea is to really investigate – and improve on – the current status of the neighborhood.

Meanwhile, in June and July, there will be a variety of family-based activities including: circus arts, children’s rapper and Beatles tribute band, all free for residents.  The Manhattan Parks and Rec organization (mentioned above) has been putting these concerts on for the last four decades.  They will all be held at the Larry Norvell Band Shell (City Park) and commence at 8pm.  

Monday, April 17, 2017

What’s “Up” in Midtown Manhattan?

It’s possible that soon enough a 4,000-foot length skyscraper will appear in midtown Manhttan. The proposed “silly straw supertall structure” designed by Ioannis Oikonomou believes his design features New York’s “hidden layers,” and thus tells the tale of how we perceive the city. It would connect the two towers over Calvary Baptist Church. As Oikonomou pointed out:
“[New York] architecture no longer operates as formation of buildings and streets. It is a cluster of catalysts to memories and emotions which inhabit our minds.”
Right now the area is quite crowded. It is filled with a seven-story prewar building and a 77-floor condo. Should the building go ahead, it would take up 2,000 feet (in height). Of course there is some opposition to the plan. Most notably from Chair of Community Board 5’s Sunshine Task Force, Layla Law-Gisiko who referred to the design as “silly and out of touch.”