New York Summer

Farewell to summer 2013: Continue reading “New York Summer”

In Pictures: Novotel Times Square’s “Electric Reveal”

The Novotel Times Square had its grand reopening party last night, after an $85 million redesign. There were neon cocktails, arialists, and an insane laser show.

IMG_2997IMG_2999

IMG_3009

IMG_3023

IMG_3034IMG_3039IMG_3052IMG_3063

 

Hotel Spy: The Melrose Georgetown, Washington D.C

How you know you’re in the nation’s capital: there’s a copy of the Constitution on the wall.

hotel, Melrose, Washington DC
Photo by author.

When I stayed there: September 2013

Location: Georgetown, two blocks from the Foggy Bottom – GWU Metro station

Number of Rooms: 240

Eating and Drinking: A lobby bar and restaurant named Jardenea

WiFi: Free

Keywords: Design, Business,

Station to Station

IMG_4250

.. Is the title not only of one of my favourite Bowie albums, but also a Nomadic Art Happening taking place across the United States this month — kicking off in Brooklyn last night.

Multimedia artist, Doug Aitken somehow convinced Amtrak to loan him a train that, adorned with multi-coloured LED panels and loaded with artists, will travel cross-country. From Pittsburgh tomorrow night and on to Chicago, Minneapolis, Santa Fe, Winslow, Barstow, Los Angeles, and finishing up in Oakland on September 28th.

At each stop along the way, an event is hosted inside old train stations, and a in a vintage drive-in movie theatre in Barstow. The multi disciplinary events will feature performances from the likes of Patti Smith, Thurston Moore, Beck, Cat Power, Savages and Eleanor Friedberger, as well as art by Kenneth Anger, Urs Fischer, Ernesto Neto, and Carsten Höller.

Last night’s event at the Riverfront Studios in Williamsburg began with multi-coloured smoke bombs bursting from an  Olaf Breuning installation and then a drum line and a popping of pink and grey pom-poms and silver sequins: The Kansas City Marching Cobras.

Olaf Bruening, Station to Station
Olaf Bruening. Photo by author.

While guests (the show was sold out but not crowded) explored the installations, including a yellow Ernesto Neto yurt, and Liz Glynn explained the theory of relativity in her black yurt; No Age, Free-Kitten member, Yoshimio, Hisham Akira Bharoocha and Ryan Sawyer; and Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti played on the stage in front of a bold film backdrop running shorts from the likes of Yayoi Kusama and Nicolas Provost, whose spliced up film of endless cinematic kisses was my favourite.

The night ended loudly: Suicide. A band that, given the singer, Alan Vega, is 75 years old, I never thought I’d see live. Vega stumbled on, cane in one hand, drink in the other and screamed into the mic; Martin Rev, in shiny vinyl trousers, palmed and hammered the synth. Pretty damn delightful.

Suicide. Photo by author.
Suicide. Photo by author.
Suicide. Photo by author.
Suicide. Photo by author.

Here’s an interesting comment from Aitken to the Washington Post:

“The train system runs across the American landscape like untapped arteries,” Aitken wrote in an email. “Much of our journeys have been replaced by interstates and highways. I was interested in using the train to become a nomadic broadcast tower, broadcasting new and experimental culture while tapping into unknown and amazing creators from the locations in which the train stops.”

A Weekend in New Hampshire

Dartmouth Green
Dartmouth Green

The small college town of Hanover, NH, famous for the violent fraternities of Dartmouth College and the inspiration for Animal House, was my destination earlier this summer for a quiet weekend getaway.

I stayed at the Hanover Inn, a centuries old hotel that has recently reopened after a $41 million renovation that included the addition of PINE restaurant, created by James Beard award-winning chef, Michael Schlow. The hotel, which overlooks Dartmouth Green (site of commencement ceremonies, including this one by Conan O’Brien) is decorated in a style that befits its college owners — lots of green, a splash of plaid, and beds draped with cable-knit cardigan-style throws.

Hanover Inn
Hanover Inn
Hanover Inn
Hanover Inn

Across the green, in the college’s Baker library, is the Epic of American Civilization, one of the three grand frescos by José Clemente Orozco in the United States (the others are in California and New York City.)

The Epic of American Civilization
The Epic of American Civilization
The Epic of American Civilization
The Epic of American Civilization

Between huge meals and craft cocktails at PINE, I kayaked the Connecticut River.

Connecticut River
Connecticut River

With these guys:

Kayakers
Kayakers

Note: I was a guest of the Hanover Inn: More here and here.

created by James Beard-award winning chef Michael Schlow. The Hanover Inn is connected to the contemporary Hood Arts Museum, where interning students help to curate the exhibits. – See more at: http://blog.shermanstravel.com/2013/08/20/five-of-the-best-college-campus-hotels/#sthash.SlpXGLxZ.dpuf
created by James Beard-award winning chef Michael Schlow. The Hanover Inn is connected to the contemporary Hood Arts Museum, where interning students help to curate the exhibits. – See more at: http://blog.shermanstravel.com/2013/08/20/five-of-the-best-college-campus-hotels/#sthash.SlpXGLxZ.dpuf
created by James Beard-award winning chef Michael Schlow. The Hanover Inn is connected to the contemporary Hood Arts Museum, where interning students help to curate the exhibits. – See more at: http://blog.shermanstravel.com/2013/08/20/five-of-the-best-college-campus-hotels/#sthash.SlpXGLxZ.dpuf
created by James Beard-award winning chef Michael Schlow. The Hanover Inn is connected to the contemporary Hood Arts Museum, where interning students help to curate the exhibits. – See more at: http://blog.shermanstravel.com/2013/08/20/five-of-the-best-college-campus-hotels/#sthash.SlpXGLxZ.dpuf

Photos From Two Months in New York

Already two months have passed since I moved here. I love my new home. Here are a few images from June and July.

Ft. Washington Park
Ft. Washington Park
Ft. Washington Bridge.
Ft. Washington Bridge.
Little Red Lighthouse
Little Red Lighthouse
4th of July Fireworks
4th of July Fireworks
14th St. Station
14th St. Station
Street Coffee.
Street Coffee.
NYC Pride
NYC Pride
NYC Pride
NYC Pride
Brighton Beach
Brighton Beach
Coney Island.
Coney Island.
Cyclone
Cyclone
The Daily Show.
The Daily Show.
Bushwick Pride.
Bushwick Pride.

A Brief Trip to the Electric Room

Remember when MTV used to play music? I do. Maybe I am a lot older than you.

I never had MTV, growing up, we couldn’t afford it, so I used to get my penpal in Berkshire to mail me videotapes of my favourite music promos and shows. The newest clips from the Breeders; recordings of Hole guest-hosting a show I’ve long forgotten the name of … I’ll never forget PJ Harvey’s video for Down by the Water. I’d watch it, rewind the tape, watch it again, sick on lipgloss and fake eyelashes, and sinking deeper into the dark thoughts that bloomed around the ages of 15, 16 … but I digress.

The internet and music video channel, VEVO has recently entered into a partnership with Dream Downtown to bring its 24-hour music channel to the hotel’s guestrooms. They had a launch party earlier this week and I was lucky enough to be invited: very lucky because it’s usually a serious mission to get into Dream Downtown’s velvet-roped-off Electric Room basement club. Sceney, obviously, but it was fun; here’s some pictures.

Dream Downtown exterior
Dream Downtown exterior
Passage leading to Electric Room
Passage leading to Electric Room
IMG_2686
Electric Room art
Electric Room art
Electric Room art
They had a DJ while playing music videos ...
They had a DJ while playing music videos …
The scene.
The scene.