Tag Archive | Grand Central Station

Subway Art By Daniel Sinclair: Fast Track and Speedwheels

Daniel Sinclair Fast Track 1991
Fast Track, 1991 (All Photos By Gail)

Once each week, I have an appointment in the vicitiny of 45th Street and Madison Avenue. which gives me the opportunity to walk the length of the long passageway between the S shuttle to Times Square and 4, 5, and 6 lines, under Grand Central Terminal: an excellent shortcut I love to use to avoid excess time on the congested streets of this heavily foot-trafficked neighborhood.

Fast Track Detail
Fast Track, Detail

It is at either end of this passageway that you will find Dan Sinclair’s Fast Track and Speedwheels; two mixed-media wall-mounted assemblages crafted from bright metallic sections that include wavy aluminum sheets, steel wheels, brass disks, copper springs and wires. Fast Track, see in the two photos above, is installed closest to the S shuttle to Times Square platform, adjacent to the tracks.

Fast Track Detail
Fast Track, Detail (Above and Below)

Fast Track Detail

Speedwheels
Speedwheels

Mounted high overheard on the wall at the end of the passageway that’s closest to the 4, 5, and 6 lines, you will find the expansive Speedwheels installation. It’s a bit challenging to photograph in full, because there is a support beam about ten feet in front of it

Speedwheels By Daniel Sinclair
Speedwheels, Left Side Detail

The art-deco shapes and various turning wheels, spinning gears and pistons interpret the speed, energy and train travel imagery into this relief sculpture, and add to the aura of the location, below one of America’s premiere rail stations.

Speedwheels By Daniel Sinclair
Speedwheels, Right Side Detail

Sinclair explains, “I want my sculpture to make people think of the power of the engines that drive the trains, the speed and efficiency of them. The sculptures also reflect the architectural elements of Times Square and the Art Deco glamour of Radio City Music Hall.”

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Coiled Met Life Building By Alexandre Arrechea

Coiled Met Life Building By Alexandre Arrechea 1
Photographed By Gail Near the Flatiron Building

This amazing and fun sculpture of an elongated and coiled Met Life Building is part of No Limits, a series of similar sculptures, each one re-imagining a famous NYC Landmark Towers, all conceived and executed by artist Alexandre Arrechea. These sculpture were just relocated from the Park Avenue Plaza, which divides the two-way traffic on Park Avenue above Grand Central Station, where they were stationed until June 9th. I had the pleasure of discovering this one just adjacent to the Flatiron Building, on 23rd Street where 5th Avenue crosses Broadway. You could have fun looking for them around the city. Keep your camera ready!

Coiled Met Life Building

Zengo Raises The Bar on ‘Chino Latino’ Fusion Cuisine

Diners at Zengo
Photos By Gail Worley and Anne Raso

It’s charmingly nostalgic to recall back when an early mainstreaming of Asian and Latin cuisine fusion here in Manhattan was represented by the string of Chino Latino walk-in diners that once populated a stretch of Eight Avenue in Chelsea. Serving hearty favorites of both Chinese and Cuban dishes, these places were always packed. As they caught on in popularity, the idea of an Asian-Latin fusion of flavors evolved and expanded. Today, chef and restaurateur Richard Sandoval is working it big time with his concept of the next generation of Asian-Latin cuisine in his midtown east eatery, Zengo.

In addition to its standard menu of favorites, Zengo’s rotating Test Kitchen creates an entirely new experience for diners every three months by pairing the foods of one Asian country with the foods of a distinct Latin region. In this way, Test Kitchen is Zengo’s version of a seasonal menu. Through the end of March, Zengo’s menu highlights “The Marriage of Argentina and The Philippines” – making it the first restaurant of its kind to bring these two countries together in one menu. Previously, Zengo has paired the flavors of Shanghai-Sao Paulo, Hanoi-Havana and Korea-Mexico. Very innovative!

Zengo Chandelier

Zengo whets the appetite for adventure upon entering its inviting, seductive atmosphere. Signature architectural touches inside the cavernous but cozy space include chain-suspended wooden beams, (which give the restaurant a pleasing Pirate Ship feel), iron gating re-purposed as window treatments and engaging custom lighting such as this chandelier you see above.

Zengo Window Gates

All Test Kitchen items are noted at the front of their menu description with the letters “TK” for easy identification. The wait staff has a thorough knowledge of the menu and is extremely helpful with recommendations and any questions you might have about preparation or ingredients (noteworthy: all meat and vegetables are organic!)

What we ate:

Guava Mate Cocktail

We started off with a refreshing Guava Mate ($13) one of three Test Kitchen cocktails featured on the current menu. Made with gin, guava, yerba mate and sour mix, it is very fruity with a floral essence and nice heady kick. Two of these would certainly put you in an altered state (we stuck with just the one).

Thai Chicken Empanadas

From the Dim Sum & Antojitos selection we chose the trio of Thai Chicken Empanadas ($12). Each golden, crunchy Empanada, stuffed with juicy diced chicken, chile poblano and Oaxaca cheese sits on a tiny puddle of curried ginger sauce (perfect for dipping) and is topped with fresh mango salsa. Be sure you can trust your dining partner to remain sufficiently diplomatic and split that third empanada with you.

Vegetariano Sushi Roll

Another recommended appetizer (especially for any vegetarian) is the Vegetariano Sushi Roll ($10), wrapped in soy paper and featuring fragrant jasmine rice stuffed with asparagus-scallion tempura, which contrasts nicely with creamy avocado. The roll is topped with a drizzle of slightly spicy, luscious sambal aioli, which added to the layer of complimentary flavors.

TK Oxtail Humitas

Fans of beef should take note of the TK Oxtail Humitas ($14), a deconstructed Argentinean tamal (tamale). The generous portion of shredded oxtail (appropriately both fatty and meaty) is actually topped by sliced, deep fried masa (corn meal) and flanked on one side by a sauce of peanut, tamarind and coconut milk and demi-glace from the meat juices on the other. This is a rich, satisfying dish and ideal for sharing.

Palomilla Lomo Saltado

Narrowing down just a couple of main dishes from the eclectic and tempting menu was not easy but we finally decided on Zengo’s take on Steak Frites. Palomilla Lomo Saltado ($32) is a grass-fed, Colorado beef tenderloin cooked to order, presented sliced and served with a cognac pepper sauce. Accompanying sides are lightly sautéed red peppers and onions and thick cut yuca fries. Yummy!

TK Bacoldo Filipino BBQ Chicken

Our TK selection was the Bacolod Filipino BBQ Chicken ($25), a tower of tastes featuring a barbecued, organic Chicken breast, marinated in a lemongrass and chile based sauce. The succulent chicken rests triumphantly on a bed of mouth-watering coconut rice and is topped with a tangy, pickled tropical fruit slaw (which we initially mistook for pickled carrots). Finally, there is a garnish of red chimichurri – making it a gorgeous and delicious dish that was our standout favorite of the evening. The chicken is cooked to tender and moist perfection and the coconut rice is an outstanding combination of sticky and fragrant, with the pickled fruit slaw adding an unexpected sweet and sour burst of flavor that put this entree over the top. We would return to Zengo for this dish alone.

TK Dulche De Leche

We capped our evening of culinary indulgences with a TK dessert choice recommended by the staff – the Dulce de Leche Brazo Mercedes ($9)! That’s a pretty fancy name for a most unique and delicious dessert of Vanilla cake rolled with dulce de leche filling and frosted with a feather light vanilla buttercream. The cake is accompanied by ‘green mango ceviche’ (very thinly sliced raw mango) and finished off with a delightfully chilled lemon grass granita. While this cake may sound quite rich, is it actually light and not too filling; a perfect end to a very satisfying meal. We hope this item will garner universal praise to earn a spot the standard menu after its run in the Test Kitchen has expired.

Zengo is a fantastic addition to this Grand Central Station-adjacent neighborhood that is ideal for a business dinner, a milestone event celebration, date night or any type of get together where you want great food, atmosphere and service. We can’t wait to see what they do next!

Zengo is located at 622 Third Avenue (at the corner of 40th Street). Dinner is served Monday through Saturday from 5:00 PM onward. Lunch is served Monday – Friday from 11:30 AM -2:30 PM. For reservations, please call 212-808-8110 or visit their website at This Link. The Argentina-Philippines menu is featured through March 31st, 2013 at all Zengo locations including New York City, Denver, Santa Monica and Washington D.C.

Dan Witz: Mosh Pits, Human and Otherwise At Jonathan Levine Gallery


“ABC No Rio” By Dan Witz

Being a veteran of the Orange County punk scene of the late seventies/early eighties, I’ve seen my share of the cultural phenomenon known as the mosh pit. With his background as a musician in New York’s downtown post-punk noise scene of the early 1980s, the paintings of artist Dan Witz will surely strike a chord in the heart of anyone with a similar cache of experiences via his new exhibit, Mosh Pits, Human and Otherwise, up now at the Jonathan Levine Gallery. This vibrant collection features large-scale oil paintings on canvas produced by Witz over the past ten years. The Levine exhibit is his first show at the gallery, and also the first occasion that works in the Mosh Pit series have been exhibited together.  With each painting being very unique, despite their shared subject matter, the mosh pit paintings are titled after the music venues where the concerts took place (such as NYC’s ABC No Rio), rather than the band for which the crowd was moshing. This manner of entitling the works adds an historical perspective for those who’ve been enmeshed in the surrounding culture.


“Lotus Lounge”

Dan Witz’s paintings are striking in their realism. They really do look more like photographs than paintings and they contain fantastic illusions of light, shadow and depth. Dan was present at the exhibit’s opening reception and I got a chance to meet him.  Sporting intricate tattoo sleeves on both arms that, with their dense, interwoven details, also look like mosh pits, he is a super cool and friendly guy. Dan explained that he starts each work from a photo, which is then digitally manipulated before traditional painting techniques are applied.


“Mo”

Additional works in the show represent Witz’s captivating portraiture, depicting isolated female subjects whose faces are illuminated by the screens of their mobile devices, as well as a group of paintings of figures inspired by erotic fetish subcultures. The “Otherwise” reference of the show’s title refers to how Witz expands on the concert crowd theme, including a painting of a herd of suit-wearing businessmen during rush hour in Grand Central Station, as well as non-human subjects such as a pack of fighting dogs and a writhing mass of rats. This is a really fun exhibit that I would recommend to music fans, fans of realist painting and anyone who’s ever personally been in the mosh pit!

Dan Witz: Mosh Pits runs through July 30, 2011 at the Jonathan Levine Gallery, located at 529 West 20th Street, 9th Floor (West of 10th Avenue) in New York. Gallery Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 AM to 6 PM.

“Grand Central Station”