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Posts Tagged ‘OHNY’

OHNY-17

So, are you interested in some pictures?

Картинки ставить или как?

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The Renwick, Part II

Opened another folder on camera’s memory card – and discovered more pics from the Renwick Hotel.

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IMG_0170

This was my volunteer’ assignment site on Saturday afternoon, and proved to be the best in the last 2-3 years’ batch.

Not only because this witty boutique hotel was just open, everything looked fresh and squeaky-clean and only 3 floors were operational with staying guests; this time the architectural firm responsible for the project (Stonehill&Taylor) sent an interior designer to lead the tours (few years ago, at Hotel Americano, I had to improvise the tour myself, since architects didn’t show up).

And not just any designer – Elaine (not her real name: privacy rules) was part of the designing team, and could answer numerous questions in meticulous detail.

She was even kind enough to give me pages of actual presentation, Renwick/Steinbeck Suite/Lobby , which I linked here, with gratitude.

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IMG_0116You might ask: “you, an atheist – and “temple” of any sort? why, or why?” And I’ll tell you, flashing my lashes over curvy shoulder: Art Deco, baby!

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IMG_0100Open to the public last time before big renovation, TWA terminal in John.F.Kennedy airport was THE destination this past OpenHouse weekend.

The OHNY site description reads:

Architect: Eero Saarinen, 1962; Restoration, Beyer Blinder Belle, 2015

One of the most famous icons of mid-century modernism, the TWA Flight Center, beautifully restored over the last six years, is on the National Register of Historic Places. MCR Development, the firm selected by the Port Authority to celebrate Saarinen’s masterpiece and reopen it to the public, is advancing a privately-funded $265 million plan to rehabilitate the national landmark to its original splendor and deliver the first on-site, world-class airport hotel at JFK International Airport. Through a $65 million investment, MCR Development will preserve the iconic terminal for the public to enjoy. Expected to be complete in 2018, the redevelopment plan will include a museum focusing on New York City as the birthplace of the Jet Age, the storied history of TWA Airlines, and the Midcentury Modern design movement.

Sounds tempting? You bet, for you and me and, apparently, 10,000 more people! (or more – I just ballparked the #)

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OPNY-15, Day 2

Yesterday dragged myself home, exhausted. Memory card filled, battery died – had to buy a pack on the run between two sites. Saw lots of beautiful, amazing things –  promise to load pics later. Didn’t di my weekend chores, house is covered with dust, started laundry at 11pm, went to bed at 1am: happy as a bird. Now came back from Pilates, emptied camera’s memory and leaving again for Day 2.

Stay tuned!

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OHNY-15

Traditional announcement: tomorrow and Sunday Open House NY invites you to hundreds of publicly-accessible sites all around the city.
[And those of you who were lucky enough to register for a tour at Renwick hotel: you’ll meet me wearing volunteer’ T-shirt. See you tomorrow afternoon!]

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OHNY-14: Parks. Part II

Inconvenience of spending 5hrs of my Sunday time on a round trip to/from Inwood (“How tarsome”! – would say a certain E.F. Benson’s personage) was totally compensated by the park itself.
Fort Tryon is the stage of historical events of Revolutionary War, a gorgeous estate bought from original owner (Billing) and developed into park by Rockefeller – and one more example of Olmsted landscape design.

Sunday was my day of volunteering for Open House; I expected very little attendance due to distance. I was pleasantly surprised. My tally-sheet was filling up with visitors, and I had no difficulty to collect people for the tours.

It was a gorgeous day, unexpectedly sunny and warm, and I saw so many happy faces, human and canine, entering the park! One of pleasant experiences of volunteering is how visitors interact with you in your semi-official capacity; it never cease to amuse.

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On Saturday I went to Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, to see new much acclaimed skating rink and public “Center” at the Lakeside.
It was a perfect Fall weather and the park looked majestic. Polychrome foliage, carefully maintained difference in height between layers (very old tall trees and low lawns and shrubs; almost no middle height plants), deliberate, strategically placed follies, benches, statues and promenades – everything is so very grand and classical.
The Park has characteristic Olmsted& Vaux signature – the lawns, artificial lakes, hills and several “drives”, filled with joggers and bikers.
And then I came to my destination

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OHNY-photo competition

TWA Terminal

TWA Terminal, by Steven Malatesta

Do you remember where I was stationed @this year’s OHNY? And what I managed to see besides washing glasses @Morton’s loft? Several new sites I’d love to see had to be left out – but I signed up for Focus competition Flickr group, and now I have a chance to see them through the eyes of others. It is unbelievable how many wonderfully thrifty, artistic, technically advanced photographers contributed to the group.
I sent few of my pictures – but, despite being once a chance winner of an earlier Focus, I know my own limits and have no hopes for this year – especially after browsing the work of others.

Which ones do you like?

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Pics from OHNY

I know you can hardly control yourself, being so patient and all, waiting for my incomparable pictures from this year’ OpenHouse, right? – how can I disappoint you?
Well, now you can see the whole bunch in the usual low right corner of this page, in the Flickr’ window (or you can look directly at the set here). I’ll add a few notes below for explanation.

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А …

  • знали ли вы, что “trepan” – это ловушка или человек, который загоняет в ловушку других? чего только не пригонит программка с dictionary-dot-com Word of the Day.
  • вот что пришло мне сегодня в голову в полусне: что заведя детей, утверждаешься в своей способности контролировать хаос жизни. и пребываешь в этой уверенности вплоть до того, как дети вырастают…и вот ты не только не можешь устроить их жизнь, ты и в своей оказываешься потерявшим квалификацию устроителя.
  • как на меня действует хороший дизайн или умные арх. решения: организм решает, что настал праздник, надо радоваться и веселиться, эндорфины скачут, рука тянется к кошельку (порадовать себя, любимую, ради праздничка), и возвращаешься из 6-часовых брожений по манхеттену с букетом георгин, горшком цикламенов, пакетом с патиссонами и заполненной под завязку memory card в камере. сейчас сгружу, чтоб освободить место, и пойду опять – но выкладывать пока нет сил и времени.
  • вот что ещё вспомнила – как я могла забыть? – проснулась в 4 ночи (или утра, кому как) от нездешнего синеватого света прямо в лицо. оказалось, на полке рядом с изголовьем вдруг сам по себе засветился невключеный киндл. у кого-то так бывало? загадочно и как-то не по себе. вот оно там подчиняется каким-то невидимым лучам и командам, а тебя, госпожу на бумаге, игнорирует!

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On mark, set…start!

You do remember that today is the OHNY weekend? Naturally, all worthy registration-required tours are filled, even though this year $5 required at registration. The OHNY site now tells me even the yesterday launch party ($75 an advance ticket – unlike modest $free in the years I remember) was sold out, too.
But there are still plenty of interesting sites not requiring registration.
Oh, and due to govmint shutdown you’ll have no chance of hearing me tomorrow showing you around Al. Hamilton US Customs’ house, aka Museum of American Indian – which is a blushing shame, since it belongs to us, you and me and the rest of 260 millions, not a bunch of cunning bureaucrats in DC  – and as the building is magnificent and you should see that vault in the cellar…OK, I’ll shut up now.
Instead, my station will be at the crafty&thrifty Morton Loft in the extreme West Village; come over on Sunday, 2-5pm. Address: 130 Barrow St, #415 Manhattan.

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OHNY Guide

The program for 11th OHNY is available as of this morning on the site. Hurry up and register at the venues where they require advance reservations. Now you can plan ahead.

I have been assigned, again, to Standard Hotel above the Highline, for 4hrs on Saturday*. Come over, enjoy great design and take pictures!

Correction: I’ll be happy to show you Al. Hamilton Custom House (=Museum of American Indian) in downtown on Sunday, Oct 13 from 1:30 to 4:30. That is, if by that time Dems will stop to show off    their blackmailing scheme of government shutdown.

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The time is near: Open House NY is almost here.
This year it will happen on October 12 and 13; read more @the official blog.
The 2013 OHNY Weekend Event Guide will be publicly available as an insert in the October 3rd issue of Time Out New York, as well as at information kiosks and other locations throughout the five boroughs to be announced. Want to receive an advance copy? Become an OHNY member or purchase an OHNY Weekend Passport by Friday, September 20 to have a copy of the printed event guide mailed to you.

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Yesterday I had a busy day.

Went to a walk in downtown, organized by OHNY, visiting 10 architectural studios and 2 engineering. This one was a paid event. I treated it as business expense as I armed myself with stack of cards and proceeded with little trade spiel at the end of each presentation. Tell you straight away: I’d be surprised if it’ll ever land me any leads. All, but all of the architects I talked to categorically said they are not only not hiring but, in fact, have not enough new projects coming in and are continuing to cut their staff – despite what the media and official statistic tell you. The guide at SOM, for instance, explained that the office used to occupy 6 floors in their current Wall St location; now they live on two – and down to 300 employees (he framed it, bravely, “we fluctuate with the market”…) Some of the visitors, naturally, were in the trade too; spoke to a few. One told me he is a partner in a firm that used to have two offices – now they are down to one and moved to a small town in NJ. Another said he doesn’t have an official American office anymore; he hires freelancers from all over the map, communicating long-distance and all his projects are overseas, mostly in Asia.

But that’s all shop talk; I’ll give you glimpses of more amusing stuff.

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OHNY’12

This is a traditional announcement post: 10th OpenHouseNewYork will be celebrated next weekend, with over 200 sites open to the public in all 5 boroughs of the city. It will be my 8th  as participant and 4th as volunteer (once I even won the Focus photo competition!) This time I will be stationed at the Standard Hotel on HighLine. Not only the park is one of my favorite NY places, the assignment came as a delightful surprise  (volunteers do not get to choose the site) and as a chance to investigate personally the Mystery of the Restroom Windows.

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My volunteering assignment was on Saturday the 15th at Hotel Americano on “extreme” West side, right above the Highline stretch on 27th street.

You can read the backstory, acquaint yourself with names of the stakeholders and designers and see the room plans and professional photos at the hotel’s site here; I will add my own  notes.

The brochure description promised a tour of the premises by a designing architect, but it turned out not to be the case. So after arriving 15 minutes before my shift started I quickly questioned the hotel manager on some data, ensured accessibility for two vacant guestrooms (top 2 price choices on their menu of 3) and other hotel spaces and was able to lead the tour myself. It is very gratifying, frankly, to be able to satisfy inquiries and to be thanked by the listeners; now I know why teachers and college instructors love their jobs (well, some of them). So, this is what I told the visitors.

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A teaser

One shot out of 200 I took yesterday during 1st day of OHNY-2011. More to come.

And now I have to wash my face, put on old soft sneakers and run out, to another day of marvels. See’ya!

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OPNY’11 – soon, very soon

The Open House weekend is almost here.

Finally, you can browse the programs and the sites on OHNY website; of course, I totally forgot yesterday and most of the event venues that required reservation are already fully booked. But not to worry – there is plenty left to see and explore.

For those of you out-of-town  – there is still time till the 15th to plan your trek  through NY attractions, hop on that jet and let me know what you particularly interested in. And don’t forget to bring your camera!

You can also visit the site I will manage as a volunteer, Hotel Americano – a recent addition to the latest HighLine curve. It will be spectacular and I am excited.

See me there on Saturday, from 12am to 1pm

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Site-setting

Fall is near, and it means  Open House New York for those of you who love this city as I do and is interested to see unusual/interesting sites it contains. Sites not normally accessible for general public, be it residences, backstage of theaters, public organizations, restaurants, offices and hotels.

If you read my blog long enough you probably know I am enthusiast; I have attended OHNY 6 years in the row and have been a volunteer for 2. You can read about it under a tag “OHNY”. If you want to be a volunteer, the Board is asking for your help – and is willing to give you certain benefits in return for your time. See here.

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Neo reminded me with her post that I wanted to write down an amusing scene  from 3 weeks ago.

One of the (very few) perks of being a volunteer at OHNY is being invited to an after-the event party, where one can chat with the hierarchy and eat quantities of bad cheese. After my 5-hr shift ended, I went to the party, lagging with me attendance sheets and signed pledges. (more…)

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…and I’m exhausted.

За вчерашний день я

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OHNY-10

Is here, again, and promises to be no less spectacular than the previous years’. The listings are on, the reservations, alas, are all in – and the most interesting spots are already filled.
But one man’s “interesting’ is another man’s “boring”, so there is plenty left to enjoy without a reservation. Personally, I decided to skip the city on Saturday and go all the way up to Riverdale where I’ve never been before, to take advantage of the last days of indian summer and enjoy the park and the mansion at Wave Hill

On Sunday I will be volunteering again; this time – manning the site of Congregation Shearith Israel, at 8 W 70th Street/Central Park West, from noon to 4pm. Come to see a neo-classical home of a first-in North America Jewish Congregation; I certainly am excited to be chosen to help behind the scenes.
This time I promise to remember NOT to format my memory card after I filled it with beautiful pictures. You bring your cameras, too – and try your hand at FOCUS competition. It’ll be fun!

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AA Tunnel

I tried to get on that tour since last OHNY, in October (here’s their description of one of the earlier tours), and it is so popular, I couldn’t get a spot even as a OHNY volunteer.

But today I got my chance. Phew! My knees are still wobbly, after getting down and then, in 3 hrs, up that ladder!

You can follow me, from subway station through a downtown Brooklyn streets to the Court St x Atlantic Ave, where the tour started – go to my Flickr window at the lower right margin or directly to photo set here. Start from the bottom (I forgot to shuffle the sequence). The guide, Bob Diamond, the guy who rediscovered the tunnel in 1980, is marvelous, he piles heaps of historical info in a very entertaining form (including story of his communications with various City officials…and history of NY Piracy, criminal gangs, bootleggers, rumors about German and Russian spies -and 5′ rats – hiding in the tunnel [!], tunnel’s association with Lincoln’s killer, crookery of Vanderbilt and Litchfield brothers, description of construction methods, vivid images of 30horsepower [!] locomotives running underground through unlit tunnel from docks in NY Harbor to Columbia Street – in 1843! – and later, adding horse vehicle’ traffic alongside the railroad, as a “public promotion” campaign…) Well, I can’t tell you everything I learned in the short post, better go and explore an excellent site that Bob runs, BHRA . Lots of pictures of engines, steamboats and “ephemera” there, too – the juiciest bit is that the other end of the tunnel, filled in by the last owners at the end of 19th century, might contain a real, intact, locomotive, buried under the dirt and debris-  and that even if Bob will find funding and volunteers for excavating it and lifting to the ground (remember, the tunnel is directly below the busy Atlantic Avenue), the City has no place nor money for upkeep for it- and Bob asks for your suggestions and help.

Proposed renovation: archtitect's rendering

Ugh. I’m tired. Have to take quick shower, change and go see Flamenco concert with friends. Wish you were here with me -what a long, busy and happy day!

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