This Nostalgia-inducing clock hangs on the wall behind the bar at The Odeon Bistro on West Broadway, SOHO NYC. They have great steak frites there!
To have experienced The Back Door, Martin Creed’s interactive art exhibit installed throughout the Park Avenue Armory, was like walking into and exploring an authentically disquieting dreamscape version of Disney’s Haunted Mansion for adults who dig weird art.
As the most mainstream-accessible part of The Back Door, two collections of small-canvas paintings can be found in the Armory’s first floor Board of Officers Room. It got much less-safe from there.
Crossing all media including painting, drawing, music, dance, theater, film, sculpture, fashion, and more, Martin Creed’s practice considers our everyday existence and the visible and invisible structures that shape our lives. Creed continues his ongoing exploration into rhythm, scale and order in The Back Door; the artist’s largest installation in the US to date, which is a survey of his work from its most minimal moments to extravagant, larger-than-life installations.
Utilizing both the Wade Thompson Drill Hall and the historic interiors of the building, Creed re-imagines the space with opening and closing doors and curtains, a slamming piano, and a room full of balloons, among other new works made for this exhibition. These materials and situations, when grouped together, create a playful spectacle within a framework that provides the viewer with a fascinating way to counter our visually overloaded, choice-saturated culture.
The most popular work in the exhibit is called Half the Air in a Given Space, which is a room filled half-way to the ceiling with large, inflated white latex balloons.
It was recommended that you queue up for this room as soon as you arrived, as there might be a wait of 10 minutes or more. They only let six or so people enter the room at one time. This is why:
Once you squeeze your way into the room, the balloons, which are about 17″ in diameter, will be over your head, and you will need to gently bounce them upward and away from you in order to navigate your way to an exit on the other side of the room, which is marked by a red Exit sign. I wouldn’t recommended this experience to anyone who is prone to panic attacks or who has claustrophobia, or for a small child, but otherwise it is quite fun and there is no need to freak out.
As you can see, I was able to get these fun photos while submerged in a sea of Balloons! When would you ever have the chance to do this again? There were assistants at the room’s exit door, to help you get out.
In the above video, I am in a room called The Parlor, in which the overhead lights flash on and off at one-second intervals for a piece called The Lights Going On and Off. The door on the other side of the room opens automatically, so it is impossible to be trapped in there. Again, no need to panic!
Next, I entered the Wade Thompson Drill Hall, which is a massive room the size of an airplane hangar. There is a screen suspended from the ceiling about midway into the room, which shows nearly static film clips of people doing mundane things like sitting and staring.
This is a woman sitting in a room.
This is the room she is sitting in. There are six short films ranging in length from 1 minute 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
Across that room to the right, you will see the above sign with an arrow. Follow it to an open door and enter an entirely new space.
You are now in a long corridor that extends the length of the building, which is divided into 9 small kiosks, each showing a different short film. The first one shows different people crossing the same street, one at a time, while demonstrating a “funny walk,” as the famous Monty Python sketch would call it.
Another film is this naked man standing in a room with occasional close-ups of his ass.
This video clip is from a film that shows a numerical countdown.
This one is called Fuck Off. Either there was no video, or it just wasn’t working, for this audio-only clip of someone using the F Word, a lot. (Warning: NSFW)
I didn’t stick around long enough to find out why she was squatting.
When you see this sign, you are about to watch a video of a penis going from flaccid to erect, and back again. Hashtag-trying-too-hard.
These Roving Musicians are fun to stop and listen to as they wander through the various rooms. Those curtains they are seen walking through open and close by themselves, and constitute a separate artwork called A Curtain Opening and Closing.
In the Field and Staff Room, you will see chairs stacked on top of other chairs and tables stacked on other tables, a row of small cactus plants in front of a mirror (lower right in the above photo) and a video installation.
I felt like I was back in the ’60s.
Even if art is not your thing, you would probably have enjoyed its distractions as you explore an amazing historical building and imagine what types of ghosts must inhabit this obviously haunted space.
Find out more about Martin Creed’s The Back Door, which has now closed at This Link!
Oh my, I do love a Pink Room. This corridor will take you to the staircase that leads to second floor location of Meet on Chrystie, a corporate meeting space whose décor could only have been done by an artist. It’s pretty groovy.
I loved how the aesthetics kick in before you even enter Meet, with its bright pink corridor and pink-painted stairs and railing.
The pink accents stop before you continue on to the third floor, so you know there was a bit of branding going in the decision to create these colorful flourishes.
It just makes you feel happy and welcome, as you bask in the glow of the pink.
I’ll be back.
We passed by the Balloon Saloon — which dominates the northeast corner of West Broadway and Duane Streets in Tribeca — on the way to dine at The Odeon Bistro, and just had to stop and take a few photos. Balloon Saloon, which sells all kinds of inflatables, and also delivers every configuration of balloon clusters that you can imagine, was evidently voted The Most Fun Store in NYC; and you don’t even have to enter the store to see why. Because look at all of these Balloon-type Things that they have right out front!
They have kiddie wading pools as well! Get yours now before summer is over!
Also, you need this Pink Flamingo to float around your pool on! (Cocktails not included)
Balloon Saloon is Located at 133 West Broadway, at the Corner of Duane Street, in Tribeca, New York City. Visit Them Online at This Link!
Hello, and welcome to our second installation of Let’s Go: a fun, informative and photo-heavy column in which I tell you Where To Go…in NYC, for summer sun and fun! This week, we are taking an early evening walk on the NYC High Line, a public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. The High Line runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, and snakes along between 10th and 12th Avenues.
Geoffrey and I can often be seen travelling to and from the Chelsea Galleries via the High Line because, while it is usually way crowded at this time of year, it is still less congested than walking at street level, where you have to stop for traffic lights and look out for cars and idiots playing Pokemon Go.
This walk took place on a Saturday night in June, at around 7 PM. Please enjoy!
First of all, would not even believe the variety of gorgeous flowers, and flowering trees and plants, that you will see sprouting up just everywhere. It is like a botanical garden of urban delights.
This tree looks like it has dandelion puffs all up in its branches. Dandelion Tree!
What kind of plant has pods like this? I want to know. To me they look like gnocchi.
As I walk along, I enjoy taking artsy fartsy photos of the tops of buildings. You may recognize the tall silver one.
It is cool to test the zoom capability of your camera’s lens by taking spy photos into the windows of luxury high rise buildings that border the path. Super fun.
This is an elevation shot of the HL 23 Building, which you can also see just left of center in this post’s top photo.
This curved residential building — soon to be full of multi-million dollar condominiums — was designed by the late architect Zaha Hadid. You can read more about the building at This Link.
I don’t know what these are, but they sure do smell good.
You may feel like you are in the country, but you’re not. You’re in the jungle, baby!
Sometimes you can find interesting graffiti; sometimes, not so much. These little dudes that look like dancing bulls; I see them everywhere.
You can also see many different kinds of legitimate Public Art on, or from, the High Line, most of which was commissioned specifically for the park.
If you walk all the way to the end of the High Line, close to Javits Center it is a good place to watch the sunset over the Hudson River.
This not the best photo of a sunset ever taken, but you get the idea.
While it is still summer, you should take a walk on the High Line.
The French Cheese Board opened its first US concept store in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood in Mid-May, and we attended the opening party; because, free cheese! At this boutique storefront, which is located at 41 Spring Street, Certified Cheese Masters will showcase their knowledge of flavor chemistry and cheese and beverage pairings. The flagship location will also serve as a customizable venue for cuisine, art, lifestyle, education, and more. The FCB plans to leverage its partnerships with industry and pop culture influencers to create private events in year-long programming.
They also try to make the cheese displays look like art, or sweets, which is fun. However, you can tell by the way it smells in there, that they are selling cheese. Just giving you a head’s up on that.
The mission of the FCB, the umbrella organization for French dairy products, is to create awareness about the variety of cheeses from France available on the U.S. market. The organization also provides a platform for information, communication and exchange of ideas between French cheesemakers, researchers of the French dairy sector, artists, designers and chefs.