25 September 2011

Feast of San Gennaro - New York

Normally I steer clear of the parades, marches and festivals in New York to avoid pedestrian overload but I was talked into checking out the 85th Annual Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy this year. Originating in 1926 to honor the Patron Saint of Naples, San Gennaro has expanded from a "one day street festival to 11 day gala" that takes over Mulberry Street from Canal to Houston, to Grand and Hester Street between Mott and Baxter. Merchants and residents fought to rid the festival this year (due to unwanted traffic and blame to loss of sales), however it was overturned in March when Mayor Bloomberg granted a permit to keep the festival in tow.

Starting on September 15-25, sausage, torrone and pizza filled the streets alongside cornicellos and Jersey Shore slang t-shirts that hung from vendor stands.  The current festival has somewhat left behind the authenticity of Italian culture where fried oreos were sold and Winnie the Pooh dressed as Rastas were carnival prizes throughout the overcrowded streets.  I was even convinced into taking a ride on the relatively safe ferris wheel that landed in the middle of Grand Street.  Who knows if I'll be attending anymore of these festivals this year, but I just think of what a New Yorker passing by had said to me, "there's nothing wrong with acting like a tourist"... at least for a day.

23 September 2011

Little Manhattan by Yutaka Sone - New York

 The current exhibition "Yutaka Sone: ISLAND" at the David Zwirner gallery is a sight to see, specifically the two-and-a-half-ton marble sculpture Little Manhattan (2007-2009).  Japanese artist Sone who is originally a trained arhchitect, recreates an intricately carved model of the island of Manhattan to scale.  He bases his model off of reproductions of photographs, Google Earth images and several helicopter rides over the cityscape.  The 3D replica of Manhattan has accurate reproduction of all avenues, blocks, skyscrapers, bridges and even paths within Central Park.  The natural coloring of the marble helps to create depth and shadowing of the city grid.  One can't help but stare at the craftsmanship and precise carvings displayed in the marble.   Go see it for yourself, the exhibition runs from September 20-October 29 at David Zwirner (525 West 19th Street). If I were to describe Little Manhattan in two words, that'd be easy...
simply marble-ous.  (Yes, pun intended).

20 September 2011

Big Yellow C - New York

I know I wasn't the only person in New York City walking around in bewilderment wondering about the Big Yellow C statues that were placed around the city that started on September 13.  From afar it looked as if the piece of art could be part of a designers typography exhibit.  It was revealed on September 20 by BigYellowC.com that the C's were to promote and educate awareness about the disease and provide information about testing to New Yorkers about Hepatitis C.  The statues were found anywhere from Times Square, Bryant Park, Penn Station, Union Square, Harlem, Battery Park, DUMBO and Fulton Street.  I was lucky enough to stumble upon three in one day, a new one at Bryant Park placed the following week and even later spotted a mural.

The public art/marketing piece drew me in completely before the announcement as I had anxiously searched online for what the possible meaning could be.  Text was eventually placed upon the pieces and also displayed a QR reader for smart phones allowing pedestrians to interact while learning facts about the disease.  More information on the disease can be found on FindHepC.  I hope to see more campaigns throughout the city that will allow tourists and city dwellers to learn about issues via statement pieces such as these, presenting issues which normally are often ignored.  It gives you something to think about and gives the city something to talk about.  Check out the photos I snapped during my commute.  Public awareness, I'm totally into you.
126th and Amsterdam
42nd Street - Bryant Park
Lenox Ave - Harlem
14th Street - Union Square
42nd Street - Times Square

16 September 2011

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week S/S 2012 - New York

Yes, there's been a big hiatus, but what better way to return than during New York Fashion Week.  I wanted to make another return as well - to the street - and grab a few shots of the hangers-on surrounding the shows at Lincoln Center.  As the evening wore on, I noticed I was more attracted to the writers, photographers, editors, doormen, etc. instead of the expected models and Illuminati.  Maybe because they were in a rush and didn't have practiced poses like some others.  I enjoy the real and spontaneous way people hold themselves, well sometimes.