Saturday, May 4, 2013

let’s not make this


But let's make this. :-)

Friday, May 3, 2013

duck under the 3rd Avenue Bridge

Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman feels the disconnect of our modern, digital culture and wants to offer a remedy.

A gigantic, inflatable duck. 

The biggest floating duck in the world.

“Passers-by stop in front of them and enter into conversation with other spectators.” says the artist. “People are making contact with each other again."
At 54 feet tall, this duck could sit on Lincoln Avenue and look right into our roof garden.

After floating around in the harbors of Sidney, Osaka and Sao Paolo, the duck arrived in Hong Kong yesterday.

Let’s hope the Harlem River is next!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

chip off the old block

Have a thing for skulls?

Do you like frogs?

Or Doves?

How do you feel about serpents and fish?

Or suggestive, formal poses?

If so, the Heinrich Heine Memorial Fountain is for you.

Just up the hill from Yankee Stadium and across from the Bronx Courthouse...

...both Heine and his memorial have a long, strange history.

He was a German poet and essayist, but with a sarcastic, critical bent and the kind of national pride that compelled him to actually live in France while lobbing bitter bombshells back across the border.

Understandably, he had his detractors. 
But he had supporters, too.

When his admirers commissioned this memorial for his birthplace in Dusseldorf, the city defiantly refused it.

REALLY?! That's hilarious. 
Let's bring it to New York! 

Carved in white Tyrolean marble depicting an oceanic scene around Lorelei, the NYC Parks Department in 1895 rejected it again, calling it “dry, weak and conventional”, and “a two-penny affair.”

Hm. Not exactly stirring words. 
So where did it wind up in 1898? 

The Bronx, naturally.

No less than the American Architect magazine said WHY NOT?

In the Bronx, nothing could be uglier than “the mass of wooden tenements and crazy beer-shops to which the territory now seems exclusively devoted.”

Gee thanks. 
Our ClockTower had already been around for a dozen years by then. But I digress. 

I’d like to tell you it was happily ever after. It wasn’t.

Vandals armed with ice axes chopped the mermaids arms off in 1900.

And in 1905 a nearby demolition knocked off a head.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

it’s a gas-gas gas
Hey ladies, if second class treatment is your cup of tea, Saudi Arabia is home for you, Darjeeling.

It’s not just the oil there that’s crude:
Women are treated as minors.
You are forbidden to travel.
You may not work without permission from your male guardian.

Saudi Arabia ranks 131st out of 135 in the world in opportunities for women.

World Economic Forum's 2012 Global Gender Gap Report
Woman are segregated by sex.
Women must wear a niqab, too.

Angry yet?
Good. King Khalid is coming to your rescue.

His foundation has sponsored a provocative ad campaign highlighting Saudi domestic violence.

HotLine phone numbers are published on his web page.
Refinement comes slowly.