Happy Monday everyone! I am happy to report that I have gotten some user submissions and I will be featuring them this week. The first one comes from Jeff in Astoria, Queens (my home borough!) and it is set in Athens Square Park. The park was originally a playground which the city acquired in 1963. In 1990 a $1 million dollar reconstruction of the space, funded by the city, motivated the neighbors to make the playground a public park space for the community. A community group under the name ‘Athens Square, Inc.’ planned the reconstruction and decided on a design that resembled Athens itself. Why you ask? As many New Yorkers know, Astoria is predominantly a Greek community. The new park was to be comprised of three parts:
Through the 1990s, the group slowly built what is the Astoria Square Park we see today. Fun fact, one of the sculptures in the park is an actual gift from the mayor of Athens in 1998! The recording itself is from an Italian Festival that occurred in the park over the weekend. I hope this cover of Cascada’s “Every Time We Touch” will bring a smile to your face on the start of your work week. I know I smiled and maybe giggled a little.
First off I’d like to take the time to take some time out to say hello to all of the new followers! I take it you guys like what you’re seeing and are looking forward to more. Also if you joined from SoundCloud thanks again, I got over 100 followers overnight so it’s a pretty awesome accomplishment. I’ll be posting a personal recording thanking everyone on my SoundCloud page very soon. So let’s get on with today’s recording!
Today I’m taking you guys to the East Village. Located just south of 14th St, this neighborhood is known for its relatively cheap eats, St. Mark’s, and the abundance of NYU students (myself included) that run around at night. This recording is also a double header of sorts. It features the “Alamo”, a black cube in the middle of Astor Place which can be spun on its axis. It’s a bit of ritual to push the cube once you’ve moved to New York. Originally installed in 1967 the sculpture was meant to be temporary but residents of the area petitioned for it to become a permanent fixture. The second artwork is a temporary piece commissioned by the city itself. A couple of lampposts throughout the East Village have been tagged with fluorescent cables by the Animus Art Collective. Commissioned by the Department of Transportation it is being used as markers for the city’s fourth annual “Summer Streets” program.
Finally, I have decided that I will be going to Philly, Boston, and Montreal to capture some sounds for the project. If any of you guys are from these cities I would love some tips on where to look for some cool street art as well as some submissions from you guys! Remember you can find all the information you need under the Participate page. That’s all for now, ciao!
Today’s sounds takes us on the border of SoHo and NoLita, on Kenmare St & Centre St. As I mentioned earlier this week I lived in area, specifically on Broome & Centre. My bedroom window looked out onto Kenmare St. & Centre St. and I would always look at these odd line designs on the side of a building. I always wondered if it was some type of mural or art project because i never saw this said “Storefront” in action. That changed one afternoon when I looked out and saw that the designs came to life and jutted out into the streets, much like the picture above. Swarms of people weaved in and out of the space as they watched videos and looked at images for an exhibition that was on. This specific space made me realize just how versatile public art and exhibition spaces could be. I mean, when can you say simple line designs move to open up an entire gallery space! The space is known as the Storefront for Art and Design, and the organization’s mission is to be involved in the advancement of innovative work in art, architecture, and design. As their mission statement says:
Our program of exhibitions, artists talks, film screenings, conferences and publications is intended to generate dialogue and collaboration across geographic, ideological and disciplinary boundaries. As a public forum for emerging voices, Storefront explores vital issues in art and architecture with the intent of increasing awareness of and interest in contemporary design.
The whole point of the Without Walls Project is to exhibit sounds around public art forums and I thought why not record around the very space that I credit with opening up my eyes on what public art forums can be. With this recording you’ll hear how the space sounds like on a day with no exhibitions and the line designs integrated themselves into the brick walls that surround them. I would love to go back and record when there is an exhibition on. Or maybe one of you guys could help me? Anyways expect a map recap for the week very soon.
First off, apologies on the lack of posts last week! Close to no internet access and prep for a job interview will do such a thing, but I’m back and with a couple of sounds for you. Today I’ll take you down to the quaint neighborhood of NoLita. The neighborhood is wedged right in between SoHo, Little Italy, and the Lower East Side and has a lot of great restaurants you can dine in. I used to live in this area my junior year of college and the food choices were awesome. One of my favorite restaurants was a pizzeria called L’asso. At this pizzeria there are new creations weekly and the best part? The seasonal craft beer they have on tap. Not only are they delicious but from local breweries. On the side of restaurant there is an awesome mural by Dima, entitled “The Ace” and this is where our sound recording today will take us.
Photo Courtesy of: Laughing Squid
The restaurant in on a street where, in addition to other delicious eats, there are also a bit of industrial spaces as well. In other words, it might be a bit of a loud recording so keep the volume at low.
A very late but welcome hello to everyone from a sweltering New York City. Although there looks like there won’t be a shower in sight for the week it would probably be a welcome sight. It should be close to 100 degrees by the end of the week! Of course what do I do in this heat? Go out and record. Now the heat is hindering my stamina a bit but I’m powering through and making sure to hit up some of the bigger public art spots in the city. One of the first places I went to was Union Square, the temporary home for Rob Pruitt’s tribute to Andy Warhol. To say Mr. Warhol is a major influence of pop culture would be an understatement. From his early graphic design work to his infamous Campbell Soup Cans we see references to Warhol in our everyday lives.
(Photo Credit: James Ewing)
The monument Pruitt erected depicts Warhol in the manner in which many saw him and still see him. The slick and silver Warhol is clutching a Bloomingdale’s bag as he’s wearing his wayfarer glasses and is slinging around his Polaroid camera. The monument can be found on the busy intersection of 17th St. and Broadway. In a way its an ode to how much the artist loved New York and the surface value of the city. Since its Summer the city has placed numerous seats and tables on a plaza right behind the sculpture where you can sit and lunch as the majestic Warhol overlooks the city below you. The sounds around Warhol capture the essence of New York on a summer afternoon. Go ahead and take a listen.
After I had a lunch with a friend I decided to take a stroll up to Madison Square Park, home of the scrumptious Shake Shack. The awesome thing about New York is that the city finds ways to incorporate art into everyday life. At Madison Square I found Jaume Plensa’s “Echo”.
(Photo Credit: James Ewing)
I’m not going to lie to you when I say the sculpture is kind of trippy. The young woman’s head is elongated which makes for a double take. The sounds around the sculpture are very different from those around Mr. Warhol. The city fades away as nature and people themselves become clearer.
That was the scavenging I did yesterday in the city, that is before the sun won and I had to run and take cover. Next up I’ll be posting my finds in the Meatpacking District and the always amazing High Line. Ciao!