Friday, June 25, 2010


Most of the street vendors sell the same pictures, same paintings, same fun and funny mementos of the city they represent. Once in a while you would stumble across something unique. SoHo in my opinion has the most diversity in the choice of the artistic expressions. However, just because I live nearby, this is the vendors outside of the Metropolitan Museum of Art that I am the most familiar with. Today, passing by the familiar row of vendors, I saw somebody new. The thing is it was impossible to pass him without stopping. His choice of art that is meant to keep your memories alive about New York, is to paint it on a t-shirt. On the spot he creates what is the most dear to you. You got smitten by the Brooklyn Bridge, fell under the spell of Central Park, got mesmerized by the Guggenheim, or just had a stroll with your love in the Village? You have a chance to take it with you – on your t-shirt.

His name is Soheil Tavakoli. And please do follow the link – you will be amazed by his story. He is an architect and an artist-painter from Tehran, Iran. He’s been living in US for the past several years, not too long in New York. Whenever he has time for this, he enjoys making his drawings on T-shirts on the spot. It is an artistic expression, and an immediate appreciation. And he is really good! The drawings he makes for the t-shirts capture the mood and the pace of the city, giving a snapshot of little details so particular to New York. The one that you see on the picture is made for a lovely young woman from Canada. She was patiently waiting for it to be done – it takes Soheil about 40 minutes to finish one t-shirt. And I have to say – this is very much the Guggenheim I know! And I see it all the time. There were other drawings – including of women with dogs on a NY street (I know, very close to my heart subject; only the dogs were really little, and mine of course is huge).

 Well, I am always curious about the art of the street vendors, but this is the first time I am tempted. I know a number of people who would be happy to get a small present – a t-shirt with their favorite part of our beloved city;). Hm… The possibilities are endless!

Thursday, June 24, 2010


It’s been very hot in New York lately, and especially today! By nighttime it felt like everything went into the slow motion. And moon, almost full, added to the leisurely pace. It was so beautiful, peeking out from behind the lavender clouds!

Monday, June 21, 2010


At first I thought I got lucky – to spot this old-fashioned taxicab is indeed a bit of a miracle. But then I realized there was a reason this rare cab was parked on Mott Street, right outside the church. There was a wedding! I am not sure if the cab was to be the newlyweds’ transportation for the day, but it would make sense – a quintessential New York moment!

Beautiful bride, lovely day, amazing city, the whole life to look forward to… Ah…

Imagine the possibilities!:)

Sunday, June 20, 2010


It’s Father’s Day today! To every man who happens to be somebody’s dad – happy Father’s Day!

Yes, true, there is a big commercial part in this sort of “days”, but it doesn’t take away from the real meaning.

 The subjects of my post today are a father and his two sons doing a weekend shopping. The boys were full of energy and couldn’t stop prancing around carrying their part of grocery bags. Three of them have created a procession, stretching along the street. This shopping trip was obviously a fun thing rather than a boring domestic chore for them. And this, I think, is the art of being a great father – turning a routine into a festive event. At least that’s what my Dad was known for, and immensely loved as a father. He just knew what the joy of life was about. And that without losing a bit in being “all that” – successful, responsible, strong – as society demands.

 I happen to know a number of wonderful dads. For their children they are not only loving, caring and incredibly supportive, but also are fun, silly, playful and great examples of taking life as an adventure. To them and especially to the one who is my kid’s dad - you are the best, darling:) – happy Father’s Day!!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010


I mentioned before that unless you drive a motorcycle, the fastest way to cross Manhattan is subway.

Today I was running really late and had to get to the downtown from the Upper East Side really fast. The wise choice for me was the subway. And so the picture for today’s post is from there.

The dress code for the hot days (it was+30C!) is non-existent in NYC. It is up to your heat tolerance and your social limitations. But I have to say – you will definitely see much more daring approach to fashion on a hot day in NY than let’s say on a hot day in Paris or London … well, maybe not in Rome or Barcelona. But definitely compared to the one in Genève!

Taking a subway ride you should expect parade of bare legs, shoulders and an incredibly confident attitude that puts everything into the right places. And here I will just quote Meg Ryan from “You’ve got mail”:

“Don’t you just LOVE New York?”

Friday, June 18, 2010


This area gets its name from the Gramercy Park - the only private park remaining in Manhattan, which dates back to 1831, and is accessible only to the residents of the 39 buildings surrounding this park. The area is peaceful and slow-paced, and would have a bit old-fashioned charm if it wasn’t for the fact that it is also one of the trendiest and most prized places in Manhattan.

The building number 36 is a stand-out even among the prestigious real estate of Gramercy. It is well-known both for its beauty and history. Interestingly, it was a rental building and just recently got converted into condominium.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


This dog must have a comfortable place next to the window – I stopped by a café across the street and, for about an hour, whenever I looked up he was there, watching life pass by. This is a bull terrier – a breed with a controversial reputation. Many people find them scary. This one looked quite sweet – with expressive face and ears!:) So I found the name of the store right underneath “his” window to be very appropriate: “Naughty and Nice”.

Can you spot the doggy on a street picture? This is in the West Village by the way. 

Monday, June 14, 2010


When I went to the Metropolitan Museum couple of days ago (see the previous post), I took several pictures of the new exhibition on the roof – Big Bambú by Doug and Mike Starn.

For those not familiar with this, the Met’s Roof serves very often as an extension of the museum, providing space for some very interesting shows. This one is really unusual. Instead of sculptures there is a … forest! Densely “growing” bamboo makes you find your way in this hand-made jungle. The cool part is that this whole structure is actually “growing”! It is constantly in the process of development. Every Monday, when museum is closed, the “bamboo” team works on the expansion of the structure. The exhibition has opened at the end of April, and by the time of its closing on October 31st it is going to be a completely different vision.

If you are in NY during this time, don’t miss the Bambú! You can actually climb on top of the structure (see the picture with “stairs”?), but not by yourself. It is a guided tour for which you should reserve a space. No, I didn’t go up yet.

 Let me know if you need more information about the tours and the Big Bambú, and I will be happy to send you all the links.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


A view from the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art - one of the most romantic spots in Manhattan. Come up, have a drink, and enjoy the Central Park skyline, along with the most magnificent sunset (if you come on Friday or Saturday when Met has late hours).  

Friday, June 11, 2010


Wall on Spring Street, next to café Balthazar. Somebody had an urge to express him/herself.

Have an adventurous weekend everybody!

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Chess game on  Union Square.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Graduation for the girls from Spence.

Spence is one of the oldest schools in Manhattan. It is an all-girls school and is known for the rigorous approach to education. It is a well respected institution among the parents and the most demanding universities and colleges. Let’s wish these girls the best of luck in whatever they are doing next!

Monday, June 7, 2010


A little break in the middle of a busy Monday. Midtown is full of office buildings. Truly serious mood reins here on week days, especially on Monday! But if you need to get away, if only for some minutes, there are small islands of serenity in the midst of hectic Manhattan. This one is on 53rd street, between Fifth and Madison Avenue. The sound of waterfall is loud enough to cover the traffic noise. And that is a welcomed change.

Wishing you a lovely week!

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Between two bridges - Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge.

It is a hot day in New York today. I found myself exploring the East River - perfect timing, because the breeze and the water make it just about bearable.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Salon 94 is a contemporary art gallery, which occupies the ground level of a townhouse, where the owner lives with her family.

This is the first furniture exhibition of Paris-based fashion designer Rick Owens. I happened to like his approach to fashion very much, so my interest for his talent, applied elsewhere, is a natural outcome. I also love the concept of a mini-gallery as an extension of a home. The exhibition is really just one room, the bedroom. The Marble Bed (enormous!!!) that you see on the picture was sold for $216,000! Not sure about mink curtains though.

 Salon 94 has a downtown branch – Salon 94 Freeman’s – where the space is generous for large exhibitions. And there is a new addition that is about to be opened in September, the third exhibition space, Salon94 Bowery, also downtown.

This one though, at 12 East 94th Street, is special. In addition to a very interesting choice of exhibits, it has an intimate feel of visiting somebody’s home.

Friday, June 4, 2010


It was such a typical summer day today – sunny, hot and humid. The late afternoon, even though still very warm, came with a bit of relief: a light breeze. Perfect for a family promenade, as we can see.

Wishing everybody a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, June 3, 2010


I just love the subject of my post today!

 For many many months now I am passing by a major construction that is going on in my neighborhood. The site is one of the buildings of Ralph Lauren flagship complex on 72nd and Madison. I saw the old building being demolished and now am witnessing the birth of a new one. When it is finished, it is supposed to compliment in style and beauty the building that is just across Madison Avenue, also a part of Ralph Lauren Boutique, - the magnificent Rhinelander Mansion, a French Renaissance revival.

 I always wondered about the people who are working on something so rare for the New York construction scene. Obviously, they are masters of their trade, so they have probably a vast experience with some interesting examples of architecture. But working on a replica of such a splendor… It must be quite something.

 So, finally, I came to the subject of my post – the hands that build that house:). Please meet Jim, Max, Dario, Mike, Navel and lovely Tanisha. From this day on I will always think of them whenever I see this new building – while it is being born, and when it is finished and unravels itself in its full glory. I am sure the building will have a playful smile, warm heart and pure goodness built into its DNA – coming from these people I wouldn’t expect any different.

 I have to mention – they were sitting just like this, in a perfectly balanced, full of character, group, when I was passing by and made a bee-line backwards to ask permission to take their picture. Tanisha is the most relaxed and feminine girl - the perfect “cherry on top” of this male formation!

Thank you! Looking forward to seeing you all when I pass this place again, and again, and again…

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


The artist of this elaborate chalk painting on the sidewalk outside of Carlyle Hotel counts on the attention of art patrons – a typical crowd at the tony and classy Bar and Café at Carlyle. Although it could be the proximity of an art Gallery that inspired the chalk artist to show his skills. The Helly Nahmad Gallery, that is specializing in Impressionist and Modern Art, including regular representation of Picasso, is just next door.

The chalk painting has a phone number on a side for those with an interest.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Today is the First of month, the Theme Day.

The Theme for today is "Funny Signs". This one is from one of the vendors at Union Square. I suppose the vendor was getting exasperated with never-ending questions from the never-ending flow of never-ending crowd. 

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants