On Sunday with keen interest we were watching the party that took place a few hours before announcing the most popular music industry names at 60th Grammy Awards ceremony at Madison Square Garden. At Grand Central Terminal at the pop-up stage the musicians were performing. They were chosen from over 100 local talents that participated in the casting at the beginning of the month.
The concert was broadcast all over the city with the help of Live.Me app. The folk singer Natalie Gelman from West Village received the main prize – tickets for the Grammy Awards ceremony on Sunday and $20,000.
Wyclef Jean, the host of the event, really likes performances by New York underground talents and he has often said that such performances inspire him for new creative ideas. Such events are a great opportunity for young talents to be recognized by wide audience.
3 WTC, NYC’s fifth tallest tower, will debut next week
On Monday, June 11, the World Trade Center complex will tick off another major accomplishment: the official completion of 3 World Trade Center. The opening of the supertall on Monday will mark the completion of four of the five buildings that will make up the new World Trade Center complex.
At 1,079 feet, 3 WTC is the second tallest building in the WTC complex, and the fifth tallest building in New York City. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Rogers of Rogers Stirk Harbor + Partners, the massive glass-clad structure measures 2.5 million square feet.
So far, 38 percent of the Silverstein Properties-developed building has been leased out, and GroupM is the tenant with the largest space—700,000 square feet spread out over nine floors. Other notable tenants include McKinsey, and IEX.
Some of the notable features of the building include the column-free floorplates that range in size between 30,000 to 70,000 square feet. The 80-story tower has ceiling heights that range from a little more than 13 feet to 24 feet. There are also five floors of retail—one on the ground floor, two above that, and two below ground. The building also has three outdoor terraces on the 17th, 60th, and 76th floors—Curbed had a chance to see what the views from that height will be like when it toured the construction site in 2016.
Meet SPOT, New York’s latest piece of artwork, created to make sick children smile
American sculptor Donald Lipski has wowed New York City once again, this time with his creation of SPOT – a 30-foot dalmatian dog balancing a taxi on his snout.
Part of a giant renovation of NYU Langone Hospital, SPOT is based at 34th Street and 1st Avenue and can be seen from the FDR Highway. It’s part of a new NYU pavilion, opening this July.
The artist, who lives in the neighborhood and has visited the NYU Langone Hospital many times, even having surgeries there himself, made the sculpture for children going into the hospital. “It is a stressful time, and I wanted to make something that would delight them; something so astounding it would distract even those arriving for the most serious procedures, and so lovable that young patients coming back again and again with chronic conditions would see it as an old friend,” said Lipski, who believes there is a reparative quality to art. “Art has actual healing power. That’s a fact! I like to think that the parents, the doctors and nurses and staff, the neighbors, will all love this sweet young dog doing the impossible,” he continued.
It wasn’t an easy piece to construct, Lipski worked with engineer Nick Geurts to make it a reality, and after 20 pages of engineering design, they had created something that would withstand a hurricane and flooding worse than Sandy.
After gaining approval from Amtrak (which runs a subway tunnel right underneath), realist sculptor Christopher Collins crafted the dog to a scale model. Toyota offered up the real Prius used for the taxi on the top and then the FAST Corporation in Wisconsin made the full-scale dog ready for installation.
On the day of installation there were storms and winds that shut down the site. “We just got the taxi up the second day when it started to rain,” explained Lipski, “everyone was telling me to look up—the windshield wipers were on! Ryan Emendorf, our electrical genius, had set them up with a rain sensor as a surprise for me.”
Award-winning Lipski, originally from Chicago, has lived in New York since the ‘70s and has a special connection to SPOT, “this is a special piece for me in so many ways. It’s a privilege to be able to do this.”
A few blocks away, at Grand Central Market at Grand Central Terminal, on Lexington Ave, visitors and residents of New York can view another of Lipski’s pieces named Sirshasana; a chandelier in the form of an upside-down olive tree.
New York City’s subway disaster now has its own 8-bit video game
Straphangers who want to experience the rolling nightmare that is New York City’s subway system from the comfort of their own home are in luck. A new video game called “MTA Country,” which debuted this week, takes players on a treacherous ride through graffiti-lined tunnels filled with electrical fires, broken tracks, and stalled subway cars.
Users play as Gregg T., the face of the MTA’s “New Yorkers Keep New York Safe” safety ad campaign, who has since become a bit of a meme. At the start of the game, Gregg T. jumps into a subway car with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Together, the three must leap over track fires and broken-down subway cars full of irritated passengers while dodging pizza rats and passing under graffiti tags that say “Giuliani was here.”
The goal is to collect subway tokens and a series of glowing letters that — spoiler alert — eventually spell out the word “PRIVATIZE.” At that point, the subway car turns into a shimmering hyperloop pod, and Gregg T. disembarks safely in Washington, DC.
The game was created by Everydayarcade, a creative collective of advertising professionals that makes hot-button video games in their spare time. The group has created video games for The New York Times and The Outline. A satirical anti-Trump game, in which players throw stereotyped Mexican characters over an ever-rising border between the US and Mexico, was rejected by Apple’s App Store for being too offensive.
“We’re just three idiots who make topical video games, so we have no idea how to fix the subway,” Mike Lacher, one of the game’s creators, said in an email. “Everybody seems to propose a solution, so we thought it would be funny to play one out to the extreme. Collecting letters to spell out “RAISE FARES OVER FIVE YEARS TO FINANCE SIGNAL IMPROVEMENTS” would take too long, and be kind of a downer.”
(Lacher’s co-creator, Chris Baker, told the New York Post, “We didn’t want to hit anyone over the head with the libertarianism. We wanted it to be a funny joke that does have some merit.”)
Lacher said he and his friends were inspired to make the game by countless hours of being trapped on broken-down trains. “The three of us live in New York, and, like pretty much everyone in New York, have been frustrated by the subways,” he said. “We’ve spent lots of time trapped underground or fighting to get into full trains.”
He continued, “We’ve also been watching the intense debate and arguments around it, and we were amused by what an inescapable mess it seems to be and how no one can possibly take accountability for it. So we decided to poke some fun at the absurdity with an absurd game. We got excited about the connection between the abandoned mine level in Donkey Kong and the declining state of the subway.”
The buck-passing over the subway came into view this week as de Blasio and Cuomo sniped at each other over a $19 billion proposal to overhaul the subway. The money would pay to modernize the subway’s signal system and replace antiquated equipment, but New York’s governor and mayor characteristically couldn’t agree on who should shoulder most of the cost. (The correct answer is Cuomo, who appoints the majority of the MTA’s board members and controls its purse strings.)
I asked Lacher whether he’d prefer to ride a hyperloop, a non-existent technology first conceived by Elon Musk, rather than the subway. “In theory, sure!” he said. “A superfast, brand-new hyperloop would be a lot better than a vomit-caked C train with no air conditioning. Sadly, a one-mile test track under LA doesn’t do us a lot of good. I guess you could say the best thing about the NYC subway is that at least it exists.”
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