In Fashion: Put on That Black Jacket

Beyond Rebellion: Fashioning the Biker Jacket The Museum at FIT
 Beyond Rebellion: Fashioning the Biker Jacket The Museum at FIT
Photo courtesy of The Museum at FIT

Finally – a fashion show stylistas will be able to drag their boyfriends to with no arguments. Instead of the little black dress, the exhibit currently on display at The Museum at FIT in Manhattan is dedicated to none other than the black leather motorcycle jacket.

 

The show, titled “Beyond Rebellion,” traces the history of how this icon of American outfits journeyed form a utilitarian garment designed to protect riders from wind, rain and cold to a subversive statement of non-conformity and finally, a wardrobe staple.

 

Now nearly 90 years old, the bikers’ jacket, originally made of black leather horsehide with chrome snaps, exposed zippers, and a belt, debuted in 1928. Its adoption by outlaw motorcycle clubs – and then Marlon Brando in the 1953 film “The Wild One” – soon cemented the jacket’s image as undeniably cool. Yves Saint Laurent introduced the fashion statement to the runways back in the 1960s, and since then it’s left its mark on everyone from the Sex Pistols to Jean Paul Gaultier, somehow never going out of style.

 

The Beyond Rebellion: Fashioning the Biker Jacket exhibit runs through April 5 at the Museum at FIT in Chelsea.

Art Agenda: The Dragons of Divine

Phoenix: Xu Bing at the Cathedral
 Phoenix: Xu Bing at the Cathedral
Photo courtesy St. John the Devine

 

One of Manhattan’s most beautiful enclaves, The Cathedral of St. John the Divine on the Upper West Side, with majestic rows of stained glass windows, just got a whole lot more visually appealing.

 

The church is now temporarily home to Chinese artist Xu Bing’s massive phoenix sculptures, two colossal colorful birds crafted out of an array of discarded materials found at Chinese construction sites. Measuring over 90 feet long and weighing some 12 tons, the birds, which represent Asian folkloric figures Feng and Huang, dangle from the cathedral’s ceiling, appearing to fly through the house of worship’s giant main hall.

 

Xu, a MacArthur genius grant recipient, splits his time between Brooklyn and Beijing, although this is the first time the acclaimed artist has had an exhibit of this scale shown at such a landmark New York venue. The birds will be on display inside the cathedral throughout the entirety of 2014. The venue is open seven days a week, except Mondays at 1 p.m., when the cathedral’s legendary organists give a divinely-inspired 30-minute performance, is a great time to take in its splendor.

Bike All Five New York City Boroughs

TD Five Borough Bike Tour
TD Five Borough Bike Tour
Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons / Jesper Rautell Balle

One of the city’s signature charity races – and by all accounts one of the most fun ones – is coming up on May 5. The TD Bank Five Boro Bike Tour is a 40-mile, traffic-free cycle through, well, all five boroughs. The path is akin to a reverse route of the NYC Marathon, with a good bit more added on. The race starts in Lower Manhattan and heads north, cutting through Central Park and Harlem before swinging into the Bronx, back down through East Harlem, across the East River into Queens and all the way through Brooklyn, before heading over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and into Staten Island.

 

Along the way riders can stop at scenic rest areas in places like Astoria Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park, or get competitive and cycle all the way through. Whatever kind of rider you are, this is the only chance you’re going to get to two-wheel through this many marquee NYC destinations with no cars in sight, so it’s no surprise some 32,000 bikers join every year. Will you be clipping in with us?

Children News: Flicks for the Whole Family

New York City Children's International Film Festival
New York City Children's International Film Festival
Photo courtesy NYICFF

If you find yourself constantly looking for a movie that your kids will enjoy and that you also don’t mind sitting through, you’ll want to check out the New York International Children’s Film Festival, happening now in NYC. Not to knock on Disney and Pixar, but we all need a change of pace sometimes.

 

The festival, designed to promote intelligent, passionate, provocative cinematic works produced for children ages 3 to18, does a fantastic job of picking little-seen, non-commercial films that engage kids and parents alike.

 

This year’s selection ranges from “Anina,” a beautifully animated fantasy tale out of Uruguay, to the impossibly cute baby capuchin monkey star of “Amazonia 3-D.” The films are shown at several venues around downtown Manhattan, including Tribeca Cinemas, Village East Cinema and the IFC Center.

 

Plus, if your creative little ones get inspired, NYCIFF also runs filmmaking camps during school breaks, teaching kids moviemaking, stop-motion pixilation and more. The festival runs now through March 30.

Architectural Digest Home Design Show 2014 Recap

Architectural Digest Home and Design Show 2014 Trends
Photos by Briams Beltran and Rosana Vidal

Last weekend, we had a colorful time at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show. Top designers, tastemakers and creators gathered at Pier 94 to explore a world of inspiration from more than 300 brands during the 13th annual celebration of design. As the only two real estate brokers in attendance, Christian Benites and Ivan Picc of TOWN SoHo, put their design backgrounds to good use as they connected with creative minds from across America.

TOWN SoHo Representatives Ivan Picc and Christian Benites
TOWN SoHo Representatives Ivan Picc and Christian Benites

Christian brings a multicultural perspective to his clients and his business, garnered from his collective years spent in Brazil, while maintaining a knowledgeable background that comes from being a native New Yorker.

 

Ivan spent 20 years as an investor, developer and interior designer for his company, D3, which he founded and still owns.  He offers his clients a wealth of exclusive design-based services, from renovating raw spaces to staging and showcasing finished homes.  Ivan is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Croatia, once again promoting an international vision for real estate.

 

This dynamic duo brought their discerning palettes to the three-day architectural affair to pick and choose the top trends to keep an eye on this year.

 

ADHDS 2014 Top Trends
Photo by Briams Beltran

What’s old is new again: Furniture designs composed of reclaimed and refurbished hardwood pieces get a modern touch with the addition of new materials like glass and metal. These pieces manage to maintain the original rustic-chic character of traditional furniture, but elevate the aesthetic with high-end flair and attention to detail. We especially loved Brooklyn designer’s Asher Israelow‘s gleaming brass and gold accents.

 

TopBrewer Espresso Machine ADHDS 2014
Photo courtesy Briams Beltran, Scanomat

Your virtual barista: There’s a new in-house app for your daily caffeine fix, the TopBrewer from Scanomat. This espresso and coffee maker is shaped like a faucet and syncs up with your iPhone or iPad to customize your morning jolt with the push of a button.

 

Stuv Rotating Fireplace AHDS 2014
Photo courtesy Stuv

Necessary luxury: A new rotating wood and metal fireplace in from Stuv, a Canadian design house dedicated to this feature, will do wonders for small homes needing an efficient heat source. These innovative engineering feats are as attractive as they are functional with three rotating doors, clean lines and subtle curves.

 

bertazzoni stove adhds2014
Photo courtesy Eastern Marketing

Cooking under the Tuscan sun: The latest kitchens to arrive from Italy supply chefs with endless culinary inspiration. Bertazzoni was showing off top-of-the-line appliances in brightly saturated terracotta colors for a unique statement piece in the kitchen.

 

Which of these home trends will you be incorporating into your spring renovation plans? Let us know in the comments!

Swimming in the Subways

OXO Architect's Ghost Stations Swimming Pool Renderings
OXO Architect's Ghost Stations Swimming Pool Renderings
(Images: Manal Rachdi OXO Architects / Nicolas Laisne Architect)

If you thought the High Line was the world’s coolest reclaimed urban space, you may need to reconsider. Once again, Paris is poised to give NYC a run for its money in the realm of repurposed spaces. The City of Lights’ so-called “Ghost Stations” – abounded Metro train tunnels that have sat unused since before World War I – have long been an object of fascination for urban infrastructure aficionados. Like New York, Paris is rapidly running out of undeveloped land aboveground, so the mysterious tunnels may soon become an integral part of the city’s urban landscape.

OXO Architect's Ghost Stations Swimming Pool Renderings
(Images: Manal Rachdi OXO Architects / Nicolas Laisne Architect)

Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, a former environment minister currently running for mayor of Paris, has unveiled an ambitious proposal to turn the subway tunnels into a series of sleek underground hotspots. The innovative mayoral candidate enlisted OXO Architects, a future-focused Parisian firm, to design a series of renderings depicting what the ghost stations would look like when re-imagined as art galleries, restaurants, clubs, concert halls, swimming pools and even underground parks a la the proposed “Low Line” on New York’s Lower East Side. The dreamy designs, with leafy green expanses, imitation sunlight, and, yes – lots of white subway tile, have stirred up attention around the world and caused many a Parisian design-lover to give Kosciusko-Morizet’s candidacy a second look.

 

It remains to be seen whether Parisians will really abandon their en plein air ambiance and breezy cafes for subterranean settings, but if OXO can produce real-life venues that match their eye-catching designs, you’d have to imagine they’ll be a hit.

The Spring Countdown: NYC Festivals

Big Apple BBQ

Our spring countdown continues with a quick preview of the upcoming festivals we can’t wait to attend. From the delicious offerings of Big Apple Barbecue to a colorful Holi celebration we’ll be ushering in a season of plenty to do in New York City.

 

Madison Square Eats in Madison Square Park
via @madsquareparknyc

 

1) Every year Madison Square Eats brings together New York City’s most popular restaurants and chefs for a semi-annual outdoor market in the heart of Madison Square Park. We can’t wait for the return of this beloved dining destination with dishes from Roberta’s Pizza, Momofuku MilkBar, Asia Dog, Mexicue and Melt Bakery

 

Tribeca Film Festival
via @sherylgreyes

 

2) Catch the rising stars of cinema at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, taking place April 16-27. Keep this complete guide of films showing throughout the festival handy.

 

Holi Festival in NYC
via @beautifulfire

 

3) Spring in NYC means an explosion of colors at the annual Holi Festival taking place May 3rd. The Festival of Colors brings together people all over the world to celebrate the coming of spring, fruitful harvests, unity and joy.

 

Fleet Week NYC
via @aliveinnyc

 

4) Fleet Week is docking ship along Manhattan’s shores from May 21-27 this year. This week long event draws Sailors, Marines and Coast Guards to the city for an annual celebration of the sea services. Keep your eye open for their official schedule of events.

 

Bike New York's 5 Boro Tour
via @chased240

 

4) There’s no better way to experience the breadth of New York City than from behind your handle bars. Clip in with Bike New York’s annual TD Five Boro Bike Tour for an epic 40-mile ride from Lower Manhattan all the way to Staten Island. Individual registration is closed but there is still an opportunity to ride for your favorite charity.

 

Frieze Art Fair NYC
via @friezeartfair

 

5) Now that you’ve warmed up your senses at the annual Armory Art Show, it’s time for Frieze Week. Our favorite part of the week-long celebration of contemporary art is the outdoor exhibition space taking over Randall’s Island May 9-12.

 

Big Apple BBQ
via @anthonyquintano

6) There couldn’t be a better pairing than BBQ and warm weather. The Big Apple BBQ festival brings the nation’s best pitmasters together for the biggest block party you’ll ever attend.

 

 

Armory Art Show 2014 Recap

Yutaka Sone Little Manhattan David Zwirner Armory Art Show
Armory Art Show 2014
Photo courtesy The Armory Art Show

 

 

Last weekend, we joined thousands of art critics, collectors and aficionados at The Armory Art Show. The weekend long festival featured over 3,000 works of art from 200 galleries across the world. Piers 92 and 94 were transformed into collections of Modern and Contemporary works respectively showcasing veteran exhibitors like the David Zwirner, Lisson Gallery, James Goodman Gallery and Marlborough Gallery alongside welcomed newcomers Lehmann Maupin, Edwynn Houk Gallery and Moeller Fine Art. Here is a look back at our favorite pieces from the whirlwind event.

 

We found our very own #ArmoryDreamPiece at the very end of a long Day 2 while passing David Zwirner’s booth. Yutaka Sone’s “Little Manhattan” is the perfect marble replica of our beloved island. His work revolves around a balance of meticulous precious, attention to detail and realism.

Yutaka Sone Little Manhattan David Zwirner Armory Art Show

 

Here are a few of our favorite moments from Pier 94:

Armory Art Show Patrick Jacobs 2014
Peering into Patrick Jacob’s dreamscape at the Armory Art Show
Patrick Jacobs Armory Art Show 2014
Patrick Jacobs, Yellow Fly Agaric with Brackets (Image courtesy of Artsy)

 

tracey emin lehmann maupin gallery armory art show 2014
Tracey Emin works at Lehmann Maupin’s Armory booth
Tracey Emin Wanting You Armory Art Show 2014
Tracey Emin and selected works at Galleria Lorcan O’Neill’s Armory booth
Bovey Lee Armory Art Show
Bovey Lee “Vase-Re(possession)” from the Gavlak Gallery
IÑIGO MANGLANO-OVALLE Cloud Prototype No. 2
Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle “Cloud Prototype No. 2”

Introducing 732 West End Avenue

732 West End Avenue View

 

Experience the grand tradition of the Upper West Side at 732 West End Avenue. This limited collection of 12 private full-floor residences, a penthouse and triplex maisonette is the newest addition to TOWN’s New Development portfolio. Thoughtfully designed floor plans feature formal entry foyers, living and dining rooms with city and park views, chef-caliber kitchens, and multiple en-suite bedrooms.

 

Set between the abundant natural beauty of Riverside and Central Parks, 732 West End Avenue is poised to offer the rare privilege of privacy of the Upper West Side. Surrounded by fine dining establishments like Ouest and Ocean Grill, top name retail stores, cultural institutions like the Lincoln Center and Beacon Theatre, the legacy of the Upper West Side awaits you.

732 West End Avenue Town Residential New De

 

The Spring Countdown: NYC Parks

Union Square Park

We’re eagerly anticipating the official start of spring and the end of polar vortex’s grip on Manhattan. This week, we’ve rounded up our favorite open spaces around New York City to spend underneath clear skies and greenery.

Central Park NYC Sheep Meadow
via @mcalkins

Tucked away inside the luscious interior of Central Park is a 15-acre oasis dubbed “Sheep Meadow,” originally named for the herd of sheep it housed from 1864 until 1934. Now thousands of Manhattanites flock to this field to escape the city hustle and relax amidst the backdrop of iconic skyscrapers and lush trees.

Chelsea Piers Soccer
via @socialmediameg

Grab your colleagues and friends for an impromptu game of soccer or join one of the social sports leagues to enjoy some heated after-hours competition in Chelsea.

Highline Park
via @highlinenyc

You never know what you’ll run into on the High Line. Built on 1.5 miles of elevated railway tracks on the west side, the High Line stretches from Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street. Along the restored rails, you’ll find a quirky rotation of public art and beautiful seasonal blooms. The highly anticipated third section of the park is scheduled to open this year.

Governor's Island Fete Paradiso
via @cval13

Located off the southern tip of Manhattan in New York Bay is Governors Island. The 172-acre isle was originally used as a military outpost and closed to the public for over 200 years. Now the former fort opens seasonally and hosts an eclectic program of outdoor events from concerts to decades-inspired festivals to French carnivals.

Brooklyn Bridge Park Community Yoga
via @brooklynbridgepark

Brooklyn Bridge Park is getting a major facelift this year. Be on the look out for recurring programs like community yoga and outdoor movies as well as the opening of Pier 2, a roller rink, old-school games, new fitness equipment, basketball courts and picnic tables.

Manhattan Sailing School
via @ci356206

Experience the Hudson River in a completely new way with a few lessons at Manhattan Sailing School.

Union Square Park
via @unionsquareny

Union Square is a bustling meeting ground year round, but in the spring we especially love to spend our afternoons perusing the Greenmarket, listening to live music and admiring the public art that pops up on a daily basis.

Check back for next week’s guide highlighting the our favorite New York City spring festivals!

Keep up with us on Instagram to preview the spring countdown ahead of time.