Video Clip of The Week: Celebration, “Rolling On”

What I love most about the visual aspect of this week’s clip, “Rolling On” from progressive-pop (a genre description that I just coined right this minute) trio, Celebration, is that it feels like you’re watching the video catalog of an extremely cool art installation. And I see a ton of art, as you may know, so I think that’s a valid assessment. And if this video were just here to serve as an introduction to an art exhibit that was coming soon to a gallery near me, you can bet I would be there in a heartbeat. Also, the song, which was described in a press release as “a flurry of soulful vocals, bass swagger and organ-driven sassiness” is exceptionally cool.  Win Win!

As a video created in the cut-out animation style, “Rolling On”  hangs together with a series of  cohesive and compelling imagery,  conveying a message of enlightenment, transformation and rebirth (pay attention to the cocoon) that pays off big time. Celebration vocalist Katrina Ford (who directed the video) offers that the wheel was a theme that “represents never ending change, rolling with the punches until a favorable wind, ever morphing, life.” Ford’s bandmates in Celebration are her husband (multi-instrumentalist and organist) Sean Antanaitis and drummer David Bergander. “Rolling On” can be found on Celebration’s latest album Wounded Healer, which is out now via through Bella Union. Enjoy!

Celebration Band

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Pink Thing of The Day: To Be Titled By Lynda Benglis

Linda Benglis Pink Untitled
Photos By Gail

The 2017 edition of the annual Frieze Art Fair on New York’s Randall’s Island Park was a huge disappointment compared to previous years, or even to the Context Art Fair at the pier just one day earlier. The weather was the suck and most of the art was complete garbage. That said, I did get to see a handful of artworks  that moved me. One of those is this large, egg shaped and wall-mounted cast polyurethane sculpture, To Be Titled (2017) by legendary artist Lynda Benglis.

Linda Benglis Pink To Be Titled

It makes a pretty cool Pink Thing of The Day!

Cone Fixing Cylinder By Tom Otterness

Cone Fixing Cylander
Photos By Gail

Do these guys look familiar to you? If you’ve ever spent any time in the subway station at 14th Street and Eighth Avenue, you will recognize them as being creations of Tom Otterness, the artist behind the Life Underground installation found in that popular transit hub.

While an adjacent plaque identifies the artwork as Cone Fixing Cylinder (2014), and references its home as the Marlborough Gallery, located at 40 West 57th Street, 2nd Floor, the sculpture is actually tucked away in an access passageway between two adjacent buildings, connecting 57th Street with 56th Street just east of Sixth Avenue. The corridor is home to perhaps a half dozen other sculptures from various aritist. Check it out when you are in the neighborhood!

Cone Fixing Cylander
“Let Me Help You With That…”

Eye On Design: Piet Hein Eek’s Past and Future Found Glass Chandeliers!

Eek Chandeliers
All Photos By Gail

We saw these gorgeous light fixtures at ICFF and just fell in love with their Rococo look! Not only are they beautiful to look at, but the story behind them is also fantastic! Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek’s work embodies the concepts of transformation and reinvention. Spanning furniture design, architecture and fine art, Eek elevates discarded, quotidian and unorthodox materials into pieces that make a strong case for the Design-as-Art conversation. This is likely why Eek was presented by Paris-based glass lighting manufacturer Veronese with a dream job: to give a second life to their found glass pieces.

Eek Chandelier

The project began when Veronese’s creative director Ruben Jochimek came across a forgotten stockpile of spare glass pieces — all hand blown by skilled Italian artisans of Murano — in the basement of their Parisian showroom. Comprised of over one-thousand pieces, the collection had been building up since 1931. These ornate glass pieces — stored on dusty shelves for nearly a century — included crafted cups, drops, rings and flowers.

Past and Future Collection Signage

Piet Hein Eek took  Veronese’s found glass objects and came up with the Past and Future collection of chandeliers! An eclectic feast of styles and colors, the resulting product blends glass parts from different collections, giving a second life to Veronese’s long-forgotten glass pieces. Upcycling at its finest!

Eek Table Lamp

The lamps are made of 40cm glass tubes, equipped with LED lighting into which the spare parts can be slotted.  Each model is 40cm high and 25/30cm in diameter, creating a suspension composed of three modules. The tubes can also be assembled to create longer chandeliers. Visit Veronese online at This Link!

Eek Chandelier
Photographed at the ICFF 2017 at the Javits Center, NYC

Final Week to See Jeff Koons’ Seated Ballerina in Rockefeller Center

Jeff Koons Seated Ballerina
All Photos By Gail

Jeff Koons‘ 45-foot tall inflatable nylon sculpture, Seated Ballerina, went up in Rockefeller Center Plaza on May 12th, 2017 and was originally due to be up only through June 2nd. But the sculpture’s tenure was extended by three weeks due to popular demand, which means you still have until this Friday, June 23rd, to make your pilgrimage to Midtown!

Seated Ballerina Right with People

Sunday was so very hot and summery here in the City, and I decided to train it uptown, where I visited a street fair, ate ice cream, and walked all around the Seated Ballerina sculpture, taking shots of her from every angle.

Seated Ballerina Distance With Prometheus

The famous golden statue of Prometheus is just in front of her.

Seated Ballerina Distance

And here’s a shot without Prometheus.

Seated Ballerina Left Close Up

I like that she’s up high enough that you can crop tourists out of your pics, or leave them in for life-size-scale comparison.

Seated Ballerina Left With People

Seated Ballerina

This one was taken with my iPhone as opposed to my regular camera. The difference in quality is amazing.

Seated Ballerina Skirt

Here’s a detailed look at the back of her skirt.

Seated Ballerina Through the Trees

Here she is as seen through the trees from across 50th street!

Seated Ballerina Left

Jeff Koons Seated Ballerina can be found in Rockefeller Center Plaza, bordered by Fifth Avenue to the East, Sixth Avenue to the West, 49th Street to the South and 50th Street to the North.

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Graffiti Truck By Cern, Financial District

Graffiti Truck Cern
Photos By Gail

I was on my way to snag a bargain at TJ Maxx when I spotted this rad graffiti truck parked on Pine Street in the Financial District. The abstract design looks like street art Picasso to me! I Googled the tag, “Cernesto” (visible at the top left corner of the truck) and discovered that the artist none other than Cern, a native of New York City currently based in Brooklyn.

Cern got his start writing graffiti in the early nineties. Continuing to develope as a visual artist and musician, Cern creates murals and exhibits works throughout South America, Europe and South Africa. Cern’s work has also been featured at the San Diego Museum of Art, Museu Brasileiro De Escultura in Sao Paulo, and MOCA, in Los Angeles.

Follow Cern on Instagram @cernesto!

Graffiti Truck Cern Detail
Graffiti Truck Detail

Brasserie 8 1/2 Scores a 10 For Fine Dining in NYC!

View of Atrium Lounge from Dining Room
All Photos By Gail

A commitment to enjoying life in Manhattan means taking advantage of the many finer things that New York City has to offer. One of those fine things is visiting unique restaurants where you can linger over a delicious meal in a relaxed and beautiful setting, with gracious service that elevates you from the daily grind, and creates a memorable experience. Because you only live once! Recently, the Worley Gig was invited to dine at Brassiere 8/12, a true hidden gem in the heart of midtown: and when we say hidden, we mean it, as the restaurant is tucked away just below street level in the famous Solow Building on West 57th Street (you know, the one with the big red 9 out front)!

Brasserie 8 1/1 View from Street

Just enter through the revolving door and follow the spiral steps down the your destination, where a lovely evening awaits you!

View Down to Lounge

While our visit to Brasserie 8 /12 was all about tasting the excellent French cuisine of Chef Franck Deletrain, my dinner date and I were instantly charmed by the restaurant’s classy-cool décor.  The Solow Building was built in the mid-70s and the décor pays homage to that distinctive era of design . If Mad Men had taken place in the ’70s, you might have seen this place used for more than a few 3-Martini-Lunch location shoots! Please enjoy our many interior shots, along with highlights of the food we enjoyed on or visit!

Front Bar

Whether you’re enjoying a cocktail while waiting for your party to arrive, or  having after-work drinks, there’s lots of room in the spacious cocktail lounge/bar area to sip or sup. Take a seat at the bar, grab a small table or sit back and relax on a plush leather sofa. You won’t be waiting long before a friendly waitress arrives to take your drink order, and they also have an appetizing bar food menu with items to please a range of palates. Happy Hour, which includes a $1.00 Oyster Special, runs weeknights from 4:30 to 7:30 PM.

View of Dining Room from Front

Extending naturally from the circular, atrium-like anterior lounge area, the dining room maintains an  expansive feel, and the open stairway design adds light and warmth to the space. Already a popular spot for a midtown Business Lunch, Brasserie 8 1/2 is an absolutely ideal date destination.

Booth View

Along with well-spaced, round tables (for ease of conversation)  the many large booths are luxuriously comfortable and spacious enough for party of four to enjoy lots of elbow room. The  booths also offer more privacy for business discussions or cozy encounters, but a mirror mounted high on the wall adds a sense of openness.

And now to the food!

Royal Bourgeois Cocktail
Royal Bourgeois Cocktail

The first order of business is the cocktail order, and we started off with the special Cocktail of the Day, the Royal Bourgeois. Made with 2 ounces of run, orange juice, sparkling wine and a little grenadine for color, it tastes as good as it looks: fruity, tropical, and very potent! The bartender creates a different off-menu cocktail each day, so be sure to ask what he has concocted on the day of your visit!

BYOB Lobster Dinner
Click Image to Enlarge for Detail

For Lobster lovers, Brasserie 8  1/2 offers a BYOB Lobster Dinner on Sunday and Monday nights, which includes your choice of appetizer and a main course (each featuring lobster prepared in a unique way way) for just $45 per person. Bring your own bottle of wine and enjoy no corkage fee! Additional sides and desserts are not included in the price, but with the cash you save on drinks, you can afford to splurge!

There is also a regular Prix Fixe menu, which is very reasonably priced at $42, that includes three courses. I liked the look of that, while my dining companion chose to order à la carte from an extensive array of Angus Beef steaks and French specialties.

Mushroom Soup

While we waited for our appetizers, we were served a delightful amuse-bouche of creamy Mushroom Soup!

Asparagus Risotta

My appetizer was a rich Asparagus Risotto with Tomatoes, Black Truffle Essence and a generous shaving of Parmigiano-Reggiano on top. It was excellent.

White Asparagus

My friend chose the White Asparagus appetizer ($17.00) featuring tender steamed white asparagus, Chanterelles Mushrooms, a tiny Fromage Blanc Flan, and a very generous portion of slice Smoked Duck in a flavorful broth. I snagged a slice of the duck, which was perfectly cooked, juicy and tender with a tantalizingly crispy skin! This is a very hearty starter which you might even order to share.

Filet Prix Fixe

It is true that I can never resist a prime cut of meat, so I had to choose the Filet Mignon au Poivre Vert: a Roasted 6-ounce Petit Filet, served with  Bordelaise Sauce, Potato Lyonnaise and possibly the most delicious Green Asparagus I have enjoyed to date. When it comes to scrumptious tenderness, it is hard to go wrong with a filet, but that does not mean that meat quality is to be taken for granted, and Brasserie 8 1/2 serves only prime, grass-fed Angus beef. So good! This entree can be ordered accompanied by a Half Lobster on the prixe fix menu for an additional $12.

10 Ounce Filet

For the serious red meat craving, choose a generous 10-ounce Filet Mignon au Poivre ($45.00) which comes with Pommes Frites and Béarnaise Sauce. Brasserie 8 1/2  is famous for this french fries, which have a reputation as being among the best in New York, but when our waitress overheard my dining companion mention that she was counting calories, she  cheerfully offered the option of  substituting a salad for the fries, which was very accommodating and much appreciated. (I will have to order those fries for myself on a future trip!)

Field Greens with Oranges
A Field Green Salad with Fresh Citrus

Macaroni and Cheese

I also could not resist ordering a side Macaroni & Cheese with Truffle Butter ($8.00), which is a steak house go-to side dish for me.  Served straight for the oven, all golden brown and crunchy on top, tender and creamy inside, this Mac & Cheese is made with small shell pasta, which cradles the creamy sauce for an extra rich flavor. This side is sized to share, but since I was with a calorie counter, I got to take half of it home to be enjoyed the following evening. It was amazing!

Tarte Tatin

For my dessert, I chose the classic French Tarte Tatin, made with generous layers of  tart Granny Smith Apples in a delicate Puff Pastry, a Caramel Drizzle garnish, and Caramel Ice Cream on the side. This dessert manages to be both light and decadent!

Pear Tart

Even though I suspected I would be eating it by myself,  I couldn’t resist ordering a second dessert, which was the Pear Tartelette ($9), baked on an ultra-rich Almond Frangipane filling (so delicious), also drizzled with Caramel and served a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream. If you are fan of any dessert flavored with almonds, this is the choice for you. I did end up enjoying all but two bites of it at home the next night, and I am still thinking about it.

Table Scape with Glass Mural
The Restaurant is Filled with Lots of Cool Art, Including This Glass Mural at the Rear of the Dining Room Depicting Marlon Brando from the film The Wild One

Rear Bar
The Dining Room Has its Own Bar as Well!

We had a wonderful evening at Brasserie  8 1/2 and, while it is not in my neighborhood, I will be adding this plaice to my list of preferred dining destination in the future, for sure. Their Sunday Buffet Brunch is also garnering rave reviews on Yelp, so we may have to plan a return visit to check that out sooner rather than later!

Front of Restaurant

Brasserie 8 1/2 is located downstairs at 9 West 57th St (in the famous Solow Building) between 5th and 6th Avenues in New York City. Phone 212-829-0812 for reservations or visit them on the web at This link!

Table Top with Menu