OMG. Of all the trade shows making their way back after a million billion years of Covid, no return to the land-of-the-living has thrilled me more than that of Five Points Festival — the Mother of All Toy Shows — because Five Pointsjust plain rules! If you failed to make that scene, here’s just a smidgeon of what you missed. Losers.
Clutter Magazine Booth Display (All Photos By Gail / Jamie)
I feel no shame admitting that I had stuffed animals on my bed into my thirties. Despite being a grown adult with a day job, I still love and collect toys, and I especially have a sick fetish for Designer Art Toys. This is why the annual Five Points Festival is my jam. Thanks to this awesome blog, I was able to score press passes once again to this year’s Five Points Fest, which took place the first weekend in June. Since Geoffrey is no longer on-the-scene, so to speak, I brought along my photographer and Partner in Squee, Jamie, and we spent about 5 or 6 hours trawling through hundreds of tiny toys and using the words “Cute” and “Adorable” about one hundred million billion times, each. Just being serious. While many designer toys are limited editions that can sell for hundreds of dollars, it is also possible find dozens of captivating art toys at Five Points Fest that can be yours for as little as $10 each. Please enjoy my photos of some of the toys that we found to be most squee-worthy, and you will see how easy it can be to build an affordable toy collection that adds joy to your life.
If you haven’t yet discovered the coolest hotel in downtown NYC — also know as the citizenM Hotel located at 185 Bowery — then you need to head over there and have a cocktail or three in their immersive, in-house Museum of Street Art (MOSA). Intended as a tribute to the late, great 5 Pointz, 20 artists were commissioned to create the artworks that line the walls of hotel’s lobby/cafe, extending across 21 stories of the 300-room hotel’s stairwell, and even out into the public plaza in the front of the building, which is where I spotted this Hot Pink Mannequin Torso covered with names of famous cosmopolitan cities. I don’t know whose work this is, but maybe he or she will see this post and claim credit for this fun and provocative piece!
Note: The piece was created by Ja’akov for Yab Design
Lynn’s Trapeze Coney Island, 2010 (All Photos By Gail)
Taiwanese artist Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao came to New York at age 18 to study photography, and has been inspired by both city and craft ever since.
Opening Day Barclays Center, Brooklyn, 2013
Liao creates large-scale panoramas by combining multiple exposures of the same location taken over the course of several hours. The resulting composite photographs are fascinating, complex, hyper-real views that no single shot – or the human eye – could capture. His New York: Assembled Realities exhibit, on now at the Museum of the City of New York features more than 40 works by Liao, which delightfully push the boundaries of traditional documentary photography.
Luna Park Coney Island Brooklyn, 2010
I became intrigued by Jeff’s photography from seeing the absolutely stunning photo above exhibited in the building where I work, and after hearing him give a lunchtime talk on how this exhibit came together, I knew I had to see it for myself. I’m so glad I did, because the exhibit is fantastic and not like anything you will see anywhere else. If you are fan of photography and New York, you simply must go.
Here are few of our favorite pieces from the show.
Looking North from Frank Gehry Building, 2012
This streetscape was taken from the uptown perspective of the Frank Gehry Building at Spruce and Fulton Streets in the Financial District. I love how the time lapse effect of the car’s head and tail lights blur together to make it look as if the streets are flowing with hot, glowing lava.
Detail from Above Photo
Cyclone Coney Island, 2010
Here’s another terrific picture of the Cyclone Roller Coaster at Coney Island, with a detail shot below.
42nd Street South Times Square Manhattan, 2011
The above shot of 42nd Street Between 7th and 8th Avenues is a great example of a view that cannot be seen by the naked eye from any vantage point on the street. A couple of details from this photo, which spans about ten feet or so across the wall, are below.
I have eaten at that McDonald’s more times than I will admit.
I saw a movie at that very AMC theater just last month!
5Pointz, Long Island City, Queens, 2004
This stunning photo of the late great 5Pointz is truly heartbreaking when you know that this former Mecca of NYC Street Art has since been razed to make way for new construction. NYC is not very sentimental in the face of the almighty dollar.
How amazing is this shot of the Spiderman and Kermit the Frog balloons as they float down Central Park West crossing the intersection of 72nd Street (that’s the famous Dakota Building on the left)? This photo tells a million stories, but when I heard Jeff give his talk, he told us about how, when he was all set up to do the shoot on this day, he kept getting moved from his location by the force of the crowds. The problem is that, if he moves locations once he starts shooting, his perspective changes such that he must start all over again. After being forced to relocate a couple of times he was afraid he would run out of time and not even get his shot for the day, but finally he moved up against a wall or firetruck or something, where he was able to stay and get his fantastic photo!
This is an exhibit that the entire family will enjoy and you can spend hours just examining and discovering all of the beautiful details in each of these Assembled Realities. The best part is that most of them still exist and you can visit them in real life! A gorgeous, hardcover coffee table book of photos from this show is available in the museum gift shop and also through Amazon.com (much easier to deal with) at This Link.
Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao’s New York: Assembled Realities will be on Exhibit Through March 15th, 2015 at The Museum of the City of New York, Located at 1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street. Visit them online at This Link for more information.