Eavesdrop> Breakfast in Peril: This enormous mirror comes crashing down on the Soho brunch set

East, Eavesdroplet, Interiors
Thursday, March 5, 2015
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The collapsed mirror at Balthazar restaurant. (@lizeswein / Twitter)

The collapsed mirror at Balthazar restaurant. (@lizeswein / Twitter)

 

One doesn’t expect to be in danger when noshing on a croissant and sipping some coffee at a swanky Soho Brasserie—maybe a spilt Bloody Mary at worst. But, one morning in February, at Keith McNally’s Balthazar, the preeminent power breakfast spot in Soho, customers got quite the fright when an enormous mirror, mounted to a wall, came crashing down on them.

Continue reading after the jump.

MTA Off Track: Record ridership just one of the problems facing New York City transit

City Terrain, East, Transportation
Thursday, March 5, 2015
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A crowded subway platform in New York City. (Ianqui Doodle / Flickr)

A crowded subway platform in New York City. (Ianqui Doodle / Flickr)

Overcrowding on New York City subway trains is becoming a major problem for commuters. According to new data from the MTA, there were 14,843 weekday delays caused by overcrowding in December alone. The New York Post found that the number is up 113 percent from the same period a year ago. Fixing the overcrowding will not be easy for the MTA as it is trying to accommodate record ridership and still dealing with damage from Superstorm Sandy.

Imma let you finish, but Kanye West had the best minimalist Manhattan bachelor pad of all time

(Courtesy Claudio Silvestrin Architects)

(Courtesy Claudio Silvestrin Architects)

The utilitarian Manhattan loft formerly owned by rap mogul Kanye West bespeaks deep pockets and a distaste for cluttering decor. The 1,585 square foot bachelor pad, which West sold in 2013 for $4.5 million, is an ultra-minimalist expanse of French limestone and pear wood—and not much else.

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Review> Poking at Power: New Parsons Exhibition Ridicules Dictators

(Helga Taxler)

(Helga Taxler)

At the Aronson Galleries at the New School, a wall of pickle jars taped with black-and-white cutout portraits of twenty dictators lines the windowsill. A standard 8 ½ x 11 paper sign invites visitors to Pick Your Own Dick by placing a poker chip in a jar. Chairman Mao, a world-class “dick” whose Cultural Revolution starved and murdered millions of Chinese, and Turkish President Erdogan, an elected Muslim fundamentalist morphing into a military strongman, handily won opening night.

Romancing True Power: D20, the mischievous exhibition designed by Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss of NAO and conceived by Nina Khrushcheva, associate dean and professor at the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy at the New School, cheekily invites public debate about the nature of and difference between types of dictatorship, taking special glee in thumbing its nose at ostentatious symbols of power. The exhibit was accompanied by a journal compiled by Khrushcheva with Yiqing Wang-Holborn and by a book of graphic novellas designed as a result of Weiss’s seminar on new ideologies at Columbia GSAPP, both profiling selected dictators and their trappings.

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As New York City builds its first micro-units, Portlandia expertly mocks the trend

Architecture, Development, East, Urbanism
Thursday, February 26, 2015
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My Micro NY. (Courtesy nARCHITECTS)

My Micro NY. (Courtesy nARCHITECTS)

The concept of micro-living is really having a moment right now. For starters, there is a TV shaw called Tiny House Nation that celebrates the trend of packing fully functioning homes into bite-sized spaces where all redundancies are removed and functionality is king. Beds become couches, kitchen counters become desks, bathtubs become second bedrooms, and so on and so forth.

Continue reading after the jump.

Penthouse in Philip Johnson’s Pomo masterpiece to be listed at $150 million

The penthouse could be yours for just $150 million. (Flickr / Joe Shlabotnik)

The penthouse could be yours for just $150 million. (Flickr / Joe Shlabotnik)

Hey, one percenters, listen up (or pay someone to do it for you) because we’ve got some exciting news that might pique your interest. All the rest of you non-global-elite types can amscray. That’s right, you heard us, get out of here. It’s for your own good.

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On View> Catch “Times Square, 1984: The Postmodern Moment” before February 15

Architecture, East, Newsletter, On View, Skyscrapers
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
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Courtesy Skyscraper Museum

Courtesy Skyscraper Museum

Times Square, 1984: The Postmodern Moment
The Skyscraper Museum
39 Battery Place, New York
Through February 15

Once a seedy, crime-ridden corridor, Times Square has since been transformed into a vibrant and safe, neon-lit entertainment hub for theatergoers. But in 1984, the future of The Great White Way was uncertain.

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Pictorial> Facade rising at Bjarke Ingels’ Manhattan “courtscraper”

(Courtesy Field Condition)

(Courtesy Field Condition)

One of the most interesting buildings to ever rise in New York City is getting closer and closer to the finish line. We are of course talking about W57Bjarke Ingels‘ pyramid, or rather, “courtscraper,” on Manhattan‘s Far West Side.

Take a look at construction progress after the jump.

Letter to the Editor> A Bright Future for the Frick

RUSSELL PAGE'S GARDEN AT THE FRICK COLLECTION. (WALLY GOBETZ / FLICKR)

RUSSELL PAGE’S GARDEN AT THE FRICK COLLECTION. (WALLY GOBETZ / FLICKR)

[Editor’s Note: Opinions expressed in letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the opinions or sentiments of the newspaper. AN welcomes reader letters, which could appear in our regional print editions. To share your opinion, please email editor@archpaper.com]

I am delighted with the recent Crit’s praise for the beautifully renovated Cooper Hewitt (AN 01_01.14.2015), but I am puzzled by the inconsistency with regard to the Frick Collection’s expansion plans.

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Eavesdrop> Portzamparc’s splashy record-breaking penthouse

(Dennis / Flickr)

(Dennis / Flickr)

One57, the Christian de Portzamparc–designed 90-story skyscraper on Manhattan‘s 57th Street, has just closed its third blockbuster sale.

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Video> James Carpenter’s glassy Meatpacking office tower on the High Line gets newly rendered

860 Washington. (Courtesy James Carpenter Design Associates)

860 Washington. (Courtesy James Carpenter Design Associates)

Last week, AN took a walk along the High Line to check in on all the new development happening right alongside New York City’s popular park. One of the structures we saw steadily rising was 860 Washington Street, a 10-story glass office building by James Carpenter Design Associates.

Watch the video after the jump.

Calatrava on the state of NYC architecture & his own controversial World Trade projects

The World Trade Center site. (Courtesy Port Authority)

The World Trade Center site. (Courtesy Port Authority)

The Real Deal recently scored an interview with Santiago Calatrava, the so-called “symphonist of steel” behind the upcoming (and wildly over budget) World Trade Center Transit Hub, and the nearby Saint Nicholas Church. In the interview, Calatrava explained how New York City’s building code impacted the two projects’ designs, offers his thoughts on the World Trade Center master plan, and comments on the construction quality of the Transit Hub. Overall, the controversial architect lavishes praise on just about everyone—from Daniel Libeskind to Larry Silverstein to the Port Authority.

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