Neon and New York City had their ups and downs over the 20th century, from the glowing signage being an innovative advertisement in the 1920s and ’30s to already telegraphing seediness with its flickering in the 1940s and ’50s.
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.
Osama Bin Laden is dead, but that doesn’t mean the vestiges of 9/11’s impact on New York City are completely healed. With an infographic, the New York Times checks up on the most visible reminder of the event, the remains of Ground Zero and the construction of new World Trade Center buildings.
At only 40 years old, Japan Society’s low-slung modernist headquarters at 333 East 47th Street has just been named New York’s youngest landmark building by the state’s Landmark Preservation Commission. The structure, designed by Junzo Yoshimura and George G. Shimamoto and first completed in 1971, translates traditional Japanese architectural forms into a modernist idiom, bowing to neither but combining the two languages in an innovative and complex way. I spoke with Japan Society vice president Joe Earle about the landmark designation and his experience of the building itself.