This giant Pink Cherry Blossom glass tile mosaic is located at the 77th Street 6 Train subway station, on the mezzanine walls above the stairs leading to the train platfrom. It is part of a larger wall mural, by artist Robert Kushner, entitled 4 Seasons Seasoned, commissioned for the station in 2004. For the mosaics in this mural, Kushner created bouquets of flowers – from every season – that reflect such influences as Dutch flower paintings and Japanese screens. Most neighborhoods have flower shops, but they are especially abundant on the Upper East Side, and have associations with many of the city’s finest hospitals, parks, and museums located there. A painter, sculptor and printmaker, Kushner has always been fascinated by organic motifs. A key figure of the Pattern and Decoration Movement, he continues to feature vegetal motifs in his works, often along with geometric patterns and architectural shapes. At 77th Street, he gives the community a blazing bouquet to brighten the day (and night)!
On New Year’s Eve Day, I posted this photo with the heading, “Someone Lost a Shoe in The Subway,” and it got about 100 likes overnight — more than most of my photos and certainly way more than the majority of my blog posts that I share on that page. So, I thought that maybe, if re-purposed as a Pink Thing, the photo could work its viral magic on my blog traffic! A girl can dream. Here’s the back story on this photo:
I was out that day with my friend Naomi and I spotted this shoe laying on the sidewalk at around 99th Street and Lexington Avenue, so I snatched it up. Because: Pink Barbie Shoe. When I got into the subway I “staged” it on a remote stairway used only by the subway crew, et voila!
While I am often traveling through the 6 Train station at Bleecker Street, I am almost never originating or concluding a ride at that stop. That is my excuse for taking four years to write about one of the coolest — if not the coolest – piece of art in the entire NYC subway system, which is called Hive (Bleecker Street).
Artist Leo Villareal created the LED art, currently installed at the Bleecker Street subway station, in 2012. Made of LED tubes, custom software, electrical hardware, aluminum and stainless steel, the LED sculpture takes the form of a honeycomb, above the stairs that mark the transfer point connecting the IRT and IND subway lines.
Bright colors, outlining each hexagonal honeycomb shape, move across the sculpture. Villareal created an unprecedented art experience for transit riders who use the station with the installations use of technology and LEDs. Hive (Bleecker Street) has a playful aspect in its reference to games. Riders will be able to identify individual elements within a larger context, and track this movement.
The work explores the compulsion to recognize patterns and the brain’s hard-coded desire to understand and make meaning. The patterns also take inspiration from the research of the mathematician John Conway, who invented the Game of Life, the best-known cellular automata program. Hive (Bleecker Street) speaks to a diverse audience – it is abstract and evocative, and can have many different meanings.
Through changing patterns presented in randomized progression, Hive creates an experience for riders . Overall, the piece resonates with the activity of the station, transportation network and the city itself. The work was fabricated by Parallel Development.
The best photos of Hive (Bleecker Street) are taken from the stairs or escalator below the installation, but I was waiting for a train late at night and did not want to miss it, so took these photos and video from the platform. If I get better photos in the future, I will add them to this post!
The Cutting Room is a somewhat upscale, intimate music venue here in Manhattan that features a foodie-friendly menu, a bar shaped like a guitar neck and interior décor not entirely dissimilar to that of a Hard Rock Café. At some point in the past couple of years, The Cutting Room, which originally had a vibe much closer to a British Pub than a hip Rock Club, moved from West 24th Street (now home to many excellent restaurants) to 44 East 32nd Street and Park Avenue. You can now literally crawl, if necessary, to or from the club and the 33rd Street stop on the number 6 train. So, convenient!
One of the things I like about the inside of The Cutting Room is all of the bitchen original art they have. Right near the front door hangs a group of Black & White painted portraits of The Beatles that would knock your socks off, and inside the room where the bands play they have a half a dozen or so paintings by Mark Kostabi, who is one of my favorite contemporary artists. What will grab your eye while you are still on the street, however, is the oversize Guitar Sculpture displayed in the front window, which was painted by Kostabi as well. It is totally awesome.
Find out more about The Cutting Room’s Happy Hour, take a Video Tour of the place and see what shows they have coming up at This Link.