Can anyone ever be truly comfortable in New York? I’ve lived here my whole life and still feel the daily stresses of subway rides, traffic, overcrowding and of course insanely high prices (tickets to MoMA cost $25 now?). These Manhattan blues are part of the reason I was both intrigued and skeptical of the BMW Guggenheim Lab, a pop-up event space in the East Village that will present a series of lectures, film screenings and interactive programs all based around the idea of confronting comfort in our cities and urban development. With corporate sponsoring shoved right into its very title, I wondered if the Lab would stick to a privileged, glossy view of urbanization or actually offer legitimate “solutions for city life,” as the program’s website states. Even the word “comfort” suggested to me that these solutions would be targeted only towards a particular social class who has the resources to take advantage of them.
The High Line Section 2 is New York City’s latest stab at utopia, so it only makes sense that people love it. But maybe they love it a little too much? Gothamist publishes a photo essay of couples canoodling on the High Line lawn, and all of a sudden, the lawn gets closed for cleaning. Cleaning of what, exactly?
At the end of the newly opened Section 2 of the High Line is a psychedelic amusement park filled with inflatable creatures, googly-eyed, cartoony and basically irresistible. This playground, designed by artist collective Friends With You, was host to Aol’s party celebrating the High Line opening last Wednesday.
Section 2 of the High Line, an elevated railway running down Manhattan’s Tenth Avenue renovated by architectural firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro that has quickly become an urban design icon, opens to the public today. But visitors to the park yesterday were greeted with a soft-opening preview, complete with popsicle vendors, public art projects and plenty of opportunities to lounge in the grass. The new section may not cause as much stir as the launch of the first, but the 10-block stretch from 20th to 30th street is full of subtle surprises, from flyover walkways to hidden forests.
Eli Broad’s much anticipated museum finally unveiled the design by Diller Scofidio + Renfro to the public today. First of all, I have a very difficult time taking firms that use a plus sign instead of an ampersand or just the word “and” seriously because, really? Anywho, back to the design. Bluntly put it’s a rhombus looking cube with a concrete (concrete!?) honeycomb skin that makes a “flirtatious gesture in the direction of Disney Hall,” Christopher Hawthorne’s words, not mine. The honeycomb of the skin is elongated in such a way towards the highest “flirtatious” point, it actually just looks like it is being sucked into a vortex, and not a good one.