Manhattan Modernism

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Manhattan Modernism

Postby khummer » Fri Nov 11, 2005 3:50 pm

NYC - not Manhattan Beach, CA modernism, any must see's! I'll be there all next week. Honestly, L.A. modernism is the best!

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Postby Tony » Fri Nov 11, 2005 4:22 pm

You might want to pick up this guidebook: AIA Guide to New York City (Paperback) by Norval White, Elliot Willensk

Available from Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0812931076/002-5067560-9052824?v=glance&n=283155&%5Fencoding=UTF8&me=ATVPDKIKX0DER&no=283155&st=books

Make sure to have lunch or a drink at the Four Seasons in the Seagrams Building!

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Postby ch » Fri Nov 11, 2005 5:29 pm

Hmm, obviously Manhattan doesn't have the type of residential architecture found in LA so you are talking about skyscapers and towers, both commercial and residential. Hard to put together a list on the quick as it's pretty subjective. But here are some of my personal favs.

    Guggenheim Museum / Frank Lloyd Wright
    2 Columbus Circle / Edward Durrell Stone (catch it while you can) http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3583
    Chrysler Building / Van Alen (take a walk through and check out the elevator doors)
    Radio City Music Hall and Rockefeller Center / Raymond Hood
    Lever House / Gordon Bunshaft
    Seagram Building / Mies van der Rohe
    Whitney Museum / Marcel Breuer
    New School for Social Research / Joseph Urban - http://www.nyc-architecture.com/GV/GV01 ... earch..htm
    United Nations Building / Le Corbusier, Wallace K. Harrison, Oscar Niemeyer, et al.
    McGraw Hill Building / Raymond Hood (the old one on 42nd Street, that is)

To name a few off the top of my head.

Check out: www.nyc-architecture.com to find some of your own. You also might want to visit the Skyscaper Museum at www.skyscraper.org both on line and in person.

Lived in NY for 15 years and loved (mostly) every minute of it. Can't speak too much of the current architectural scene but if you have questions about anything up to say 2000 I'd be happy to give you my 2 cents.

Have fun.

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NYC Sights

Postby lasvegaslynn » Fri Nov 11, 2005 8:59 pm

Just returned from there myself (first trip ever).

Radio City offers a Backstage Tour that is well worth the price. The men's smoking lounge and one of the women's bathroom with jade sinks are heavenly. We loved the tour.

The Observation Deck at the Top of the Rock is now open and much better than the one on the Empire State Building. Lots of Art Deco between RCMH and the Top of the Rock.

Lots of vintage neon in Times Square as well.
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Postby pvanmeter » Sun Nov 13, 2005 7:36 am

It is and aint midcentury, but don't miss Tanaguchi's MOMA. It's way MODERN!
Lapidus on Lexington at 51st. In the Seagram, have at least a drink at the Four Seasons and something to eat at the Brasserrie. The UN complex is amazing.

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Postby SDR » Sun Nov 13, 2005 7:48 am

The above-mentioned guide should have listings for such classic mid-century structures as Lever House. . .and the Ford Foundation building is a unique take on the type.

And, Ed Stone, Philip Johnson, and Paul Rudolf all designed residences in Manhattan, which are in notable contrast to their row-house neighbors. While hardly the last of such infill surprises, these examples were among the first.

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Postby MODCEPHALIC » Sun Nov 13, 2005 7:00 pm

Don't forget the Chanin Building

Also that church in Long Island City (Church of the Precious Blood? I forget. Its been a bloody long time!). Its worth the sidetrip.

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Postby SDR » Sun Nov 13, 2005 9:30 pm

What's with the church -- can you describe it, or. . .?

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Postby scowsa » Mon Nov 14, 2005 9:25 am

Some additional NY architecure to check out

Scandinavia House -- Cool building, shop and cafe
The Nordic Center in America
58 Park Avenue
(between 37th and 38th Streets)

http://www.folkartmuseum.org/default.asp?id=873
45 West 53rd Street
Another cool building, next to new MOCA

Rose Center -- Amazing building, especially late evening or at night!
81st Street just off of Central Park West
On Fridays it remains open until 8:45pm.
http://www.ny.com/museums/rosecenter.html

Austrian Cultural Forum Tower
11 East 52nd Street

LVMH Louis Vuitton-Moët Hennessy Tower
19 E57, between Madison and Fifth
http://www.nyc-architecture.com/MID/MID036.htm

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Postby sky » Mon Nov 14, 2005 10:44 am

Lincoln Center – especially at night when there’s an activity there. (Like those who pretend they are Rocky Balboa on the steps in Philadelphia, some may reenact Max Bialistock and Leo Bloom on the fountains in front of Lincoln Center.)

Not MCM or even architecture, but here are some eating opportunities for you: 1) The International Soup Kitchen (aka Soup Nazi’s), 2) Second Avenue Deli or Katz’s Deli – Katz’s is more famous because of Harry Met Sally, but I remember liking the Second Avenue Deli better. I don’t know if Uncle Tai’s is still in New York – I did a search for it, but only found it elsewhere – but it’s been a long time and maybe I’m misspelling it or something.

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New York needs to clean up it's act.

Postby greenbot » Mon Nov 14, 2005 1:25 pm

Image

In today's N.Y. Times:

November 14, 2005
Turning Up the Heat on a Landmarks Agency
By NICOLAI OUROUSSOFF

Someone has stolen one of my buildings! That was the panicked reaction of Beverly Moss Spatt, then the chairwoman of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, after the cast-iron facades of a building by James Bogardus were spirited away from a downtown lot in 1974. The 1849 facades, supposedly protected by official landmark status, had been disassembled and stored for eventual relocation at another site. But thieves broke into the lot and sold most of them off as scrap metal.

Three decades later, Ms. Spatt, now retired, is one of the people fighting to save 2 Columbus Circle, a 1965 building by Edward Durell Stone, in one of the biggest preservation uproars in a generation. But this time it is the commission itself that seems to have been hijacked.

Once considered the most powerful agency of its kind, the commission has lost the confidence of many mainstream preservationists by repeatedly refusing to hold a public hearing on the building's fate. At the urging of those preservation advocates, a city councilman, Bill Perkins, has introduced a bill that could force the commission to hold public hearings on potential landmarks. The implication is that the commission cannot always be trusted to protect the public interest.

The bill, which is to come before a City Council subcommittee that meets at 11 this morning, would require a public hearing on any building that has been determined eligible for listing on the state register of historic places. It would also allow the City Council to demand such a public hearing in a majority vote.

The bill probably comes too late to save 2 Columbus Circle, where scaffolding began to rise this month. (The building has been sold to the Museum of Arts and Design, which plans to remake the interior and clad its white marble Venetian-style façade in terra-cotta tiles.) The aim is rather to ensure that similar debacles can be averted in the future.

But the bill does not specifically address the sad reality that the commission no longer seems willing to fulfill its role as a defender of the city's architectural legacy. This is not solely the fault of its chairman, Robert B. Tierney, on whom much of the controversy has focused. It has to do with a subtle but crucial shift in how the commission does business. Founded in 1965 in response to the tragic razing of Penn Station two years earlier, the Landmarks Preservation Commission has traditionally been made up of independent voices with deep roots in the preservation community.

The commission's power to protect a building in virtual perpetuity - and its willingness to use that power - made it the most powerful such agency in the United States. Its chairmen were often willing to stand up to the mayor when they felt a principle was at stake.

The gradual shift away from those convictions had its seeds in the fiscal crisis of the mid-1970's, which spurred the rise of public-private partnerships with developers. Developers gained increasing power over how the city was shaped. Playing on the public's fear, many politicians argued that the only alternative was a descent into blight and crime.

That attitude reached its apogee during the Giuliani administration, which often appointed commission members more for their political ties than for their records as advocates for architecture. Jennifer Raab, the commission's chairwoman from 1994 to 2001, was a real estate lawyer who had worked as a campaign aide on Rudolph W. Giuliani's staff. Mr. Tierney, a appointment by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, is a former lobbyist with deeper political ties than preservation experience.

The shift toward political expediency has been aggravated by soaring real estate prices in almost every corner of the city. Significant but little-noticed works of architecture that are now standing on valuable land, making them that much more vulnerable to demolition. Among the buildings preservationists are worried most about these days are the 1964 New York State Pavilion, designed by Philip Johnson, in Queens, and the Domino Sugar plant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, from the 1890's. Neither building has yet to receive a hearing by the Landmarks Commission.

If passed, the Perkins bill would shift the balance of power somewhat. Requiring the commission to hold a public hearing on any building that is being considered for the state historical register would at least prevent travesties like the commission's stonewalling on 2 Columbus Circle. And it would add a dose of transparency to the commission's decision-making process.

But in the long run, what is needed is a ruthless analysis of the landmark designation process. The commission's research staff has been cut in half over the last decade because of budget reductions. This makes it difficult for the commission to identify buildings that deserve consideration. And if the bill succeeds, the commission's workload is certain to expand.

Of course, more City Council input would not necessarily help the preservationist cause. The council has its own political agenda. It recently overturned the commission's decision to grant landmark status to the 1969 Jamaica Savings Bank in Queens, and preservationists fear that it intends to do the same to the Austin, Nichols & Co. Warehouse, a 1915 building in Williamsburg, designed by Cass Gilbert, in a council vote scheduled for Nov. 22. The vast structure, admired for its Egyptian Revival motifs, stands on the site of a proposed residential waterfront development; the local city councilman, David Yassky, has already declared that the building doesn't merit landmark protection.

The only hope to be derived from this struggle is that the fate of 2 Columbus Circle will harden the resolve of a younger generation of preservation advocates who are less willing to accept the status quo. The drive to save 2 Columbus Circle, after all, was led by Landmark West, founded in 1985 and led by Kate Wood, rather than more established institutions like the Municipal Art Society, which opposes the Perkins bill.

This new generation of advocates seems eager to discuss what parts of our city's heritage deserve protection, and they have clearly not hesitated to lead the charge against an inexorable political process, filing one legal appeal after another to save Edward Durell Stone's building. Vanquished on that front as the scaffolding went up this month at Columbus Circle, Landmark West set up a streaming Webcast of the building titled "Shame Cam" (landmarkwest.org/webcam/javlw.html).

Not everyone, it seems, is satisfied with business as usual.

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Postby Futura Girl » Mon Nov 14, 2005 2:51 pm

do MOMA on a friday night if you can... Admission is free for all visitors during Target Free Friday Nights, sponsored by Target, every Friday evening, 4:00–8:00 p.m. Tickets for Target Free Friday Nights are not available in advance. alot of newyorkers come out for this and it's a scene, plus sometimes they have free live jazz.
(and bring a well bankrolled credit card for the gift shop)

also - if you hit the met - there are lots of great mastworks of modern art including a Frank Lloyd Wright living room from the Francis W. Little House in Wayzata, Minnesota (1915).

i second the notion on the 2nd street deli - a great place to eat when you're in that area...

there is a free backstage tour of lincoln center which i think you'd really enjoy as well.
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Postby babyblue65bird » Mon Nov 14, 2005 9:38 pm

If you're there in the next week or so, watch out for the placing of the giant Xmas tree in Rockefeller center - I saw them do that a couple of years ago, and as corny as it seems, it was really fun to watch.

Not modernist at all, but definitely worth exploring, is the Old Town Bar, 45 E. 18th St. (Flatiron/Gramercy/Union Square). Ancient, pre-prohibition bar. Remember the old Late Night With David Letterman show opening where the steadicam shot went through a bar? This is the place. Check out what are rumored to be the first urinals installed in the city!

There are so many incredible buildings in Manhattan that you can literally pick any corner, walk 4 blocks, and take enough pictures to fill up a roll of film.
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Manhattan - I am here!

Postby khummer » Tue Nov 15, 2005 4:40 am

Well, on my free day, I went to 2 museums, well, I didn't know that both were closed. The architecture was 80's - Ukrainian Museum and Whitney Museum of American Art. On Friday, I hope to make it to the Four Seasons, and I am still reading for ideas. Thanks for all the contributions.

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Postby CapitalMod » Tue Nov 15, 2005 1:55 pm

If you are feeling a bit adventurous, jump in a cab and have the driver take you up and down The Grand Concourse in the Bronx.

The Grand Concourse is the main thoroughfare in the Bronx and beffiting its name, was inspired by the Champs de Elysee in Paris. I believe that with the exception of South Beach, it has the greatest quantity of Art Deco buildings in the world.

Of course, its a bit run down now, but the structures are still incredible. You could even walk a bit of it as long as you did so during the day. During my days of NYC residence, I took many a visitor on it and it was always a smash success. If you need directions, drop me PM.

Also, check out the TWA building at JFK in Queens. Also the chapels at JFK are very MCM.

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Postby MODCEPHALIC » Tue Nov 15, 2005 4:00 pm

SDR wrote:What's with the church -- can you describe it, or. . .?

SDR
I can't remember the name, its definetely in LIC. They have a tour there of churches, but this isn't on it, the tour is of older 1800;s churches. This may be 50's or 60's, pretty sure its Catholic. Its not the similar one in Queens which is 30's. Someone there in NY should know. Lots of modern glass, gold deco, etc.

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I'm home

Postby khummer » Sun Nov 20, 2005 9:40 am

Crashed and burned on my couch yesterday. I saw as much as I could. I'll probably go back, as this experience was better. Still I'll always love L.A. The colors, and the quaint niceness about folks here. My black clothes are going back into hiding.

Loved the new MOMA and it's safety exhibit (my grandmother the safety supervisor would have also loved it) as well as in works design exhibit. very l.a.! We should have that here with all the L.A. stuff in the cases: Bauer pitchers are being installed now!

No hints of Modernism in the decor at SOHO, Brooklyn or anywhere for that matter. Minimalism is just starting to catch on in the high end stores. Very weird! I felt NY was a bit dated - still Victorian (dress, decor and design) while our arena is moving to new experiences. Dark, dreary colors with people and kids visiting or in the city screaming for something colorfully fresh.

Freakin' loved the subways, as it reminded me of Space Mountain at Disneyland. The sounds, lines, flat out eerie tunnels, quietness, and just the darkness. Killer! A $2 thrill of suspense.

The organic, environmental movement is also beginning to show some flavor, but not as much as here. Strangely weird that is. The first GAP store building was way cool modern (a bit dirty, but could be cool) - 34th street across from 7W design mart.

JFK is another sad state of being. I wish that airport some help. There were pigeons in my Delta terminal, and that is just disgusting. Sorry. Even though I can't walk in L.A. I still love it. NYC is cool, but it is slowly missing its reality - a mixture of ethnic flavors. As they are fading out... into a mix of oxblood, chestnut, and black walnut topped off by black.

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Postby moderns-r-us » Mon Nov 21, 2005 5:46 pm

Sorry this is too late for your trip, but I would suggest dinner at China Grill on the first floor of the Saarinen designed CBS building known as Blackrock. Svelt crowd and wonderful food! It is practically across the street from MoMA. American Craft Museum and Folk Art Museum are right there too!

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Postby moderns-r-us » Mon Nov 21, 2005 5:48 pm

For minimalist retail try the Calvin Klein Store on Madison. Very Judd-like furnishings.

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Postby scowsa » Mon Nov 21, 2005 6:00 pm

Kummer, you apparently enjoyed your NY trip so I was surprised to see
No hints of Modernism in the decor at SOHO, Brooklyn or anywhere for that matter. Minimalism is just starting to catch on in the high end stores. Very weird! I felt NY was a bit dated - still Victorian (dress, decor and design) while our arena is moving to new experiences.

Firstly, applying "Victorian" to NY seems strange given when most of Manhattan was built.

Secondly, given its age and layout, remember that most new buildings start with very defined space and the architect does not have the luxury of the open spaces such as those used in LA for the new Getty or Gehry's Disney Hall. Even the new MOMA had to slot in its existing city block and the prize-winning Folk Art Museum is only 40' wide
http://www.folkartmuseum.org/default.asp?id=873
as is the radical LVMH building
http://www.nyc-architecture.com/MID/MID036.htm

Lastly, as to decor, there are some intriguing, modern interiors hidden inside, such as the Brasserie restaurant in the famous Seagram Building
http://www.arcspace.com/architects/DillerScofidio/Brasserie/

LA and NY are two very different cities, in their layout, their architectural history and how they are lived in. So let's just value them both for what they are.

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Postby classic form » Wed Nov 23, 2005 10:34 am

Thought you might find this interesting...

http://www.archpaper.com/feature_articl ... _town.html

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Barcelona

Postby khummer » Wed Nov 23, 2005 2:57 pm

Killer site listed by CLASSIC FORM on the interesting modern additions to NYC. I felt like I was looking at Barcelona. Tapas anyone?!

Scowsa - I was a bit harsh on NYC, but it is clearly an opinion. With such dark spaces, I would suspect you would want embrace minimalism and bright hues. I am a creature of space, and L.A. still offers the glories of openness. (:

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Postby SDR » Wed Nov 23, 2005 5:16 pm

Nice collection of newer town houses -- thanks, CF.

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Postby classic form » Fri Nov 25, 2005 3:47 am

If you look in the body of the article, third paragraph I think, there is mention of the modernist townhomes from mid-century by Phillip Johnson, George Nelson, Morris Lapidus and others with a few address' thrown in.

http://www.archpaper.com/feature_articl ... _town.html

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Re: I'm home

Postby davidk6 » Fri Nov 25, 2005 11:54 am

khummer wrote: Even though I can't walk in L.A. I still love it.


What are you talking about? LA is one of the world's finest aggregates of (at least) 5 or 6 walking cities!!!


khummer wrote: NYC is cool, but it is slowly missing its reality - a mixture of ethnic flavors. As they are fading out... into a mix of oxblood, chestnut, and black walnut topped off by black.


Which NYC did you visit?...and which ethnic flavors are fading out?

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ethnic world & walking in L.A.

Postby khummer » Mon Nov 28, 2005 3:28 pm

I took to the streets and walked around Pasadena City College. Work off the turkey I guess. I got a heck of a lot of scary stares. Maybe if some fellow walkers were abound rather than folks who continuously talked to themselves or 15 years going Hey Beautiful! It would have been much more pleasant. I tried to even do Fairfax, but we drove up the hill. Lost our steam I guess.

Ethnic worlds that I went to - East Village once Little Ukraine and Little Germany. Didn't make it to what people call Little Italy. Saw Chinatown and felt like the whole Lower Eastside was becoming big Chinatown. And Brooklyn downtown, which is a town outside of Manhattan with its own ethnic vibe with all the brothers and sisters. And the killer pizza. Maybe I'll see more next time. What did I miss or where did it go?

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Re: ethnic world & walking in L.A.

Postby davidk6 » Mon Nov 28, 2005 5:40 pm

khummer wrote:I took to the streets and walked around Pasadena City College. Work off the turkey I guess. I got a heck of a lot of scary stares. Maybe if some fellow walkers were abound rather than folks who continuously talked to themselves or 15 years going Hey Beautiful! It would have been much more pleasant. I tried to even do Fairfax, but we drove up the hill. Lost our steam I guess.


We live in LA 2-3 months a year; when we're there we're near 3rd and Fairfax. We regularly walk to stores on LaBrea, to the Beverly Center and nearby restaurants...and up Fairfax as far as Hollywood Blvd...and across Holywood until at least Vine...and up Highland to Franklin to Beachwood Canyon.

We've spent entire days walking around downtown -- during the day -- from near the Staples Center up to Phillipe's...except for skid row; and from there to Chinatown and up thru Chinatown, and across Cesar Chavez to Sunset and into Echo Park.

...and then there's all around Santa Monica and down to Venice.

...and we've walked Wilshire from Fairfax to Alvarado -- lots of really interesting spots.

...and Wilshire from Fairfax to Beverly Hills, and all around Beverly Hills.

Not all parts of LA are interesting to walk, but there are quite a few large chunks that are.

khummer wrote: Ethnic worlds that I went to - East Village once Little Ukraine and Little Germany. Didn't make it to what people call Little Italy. Saw Chinatown and felt like the whole Lower Eastside was becoming big Chinatown. And Brooklyn downtown, which is a town outside of Manhattan with its own ethnic vibe with all the brothers and sisters. And the killer pizza. Maybe I'll see more next time. What did I miss or where did it go?


Chinatown still has lots of Chinese; Little Italy is no longer Italian; there's a large (orthodox) Jewish neighborhood on the upper west side, one in Crown Heights in Brooklyn, and one in Borough Park in Brooklyn. There's a small Italian community in the middle of Harlem -- with not a few great restaurants -- and lots of Italian neighborhoods in the outer boroughs. There are more ethnic communities in Astoria Queens than you can count, and there's a Russian community, with lots of Russian store signs in Brighton Beach in Brooklyn. The number of different Hispanic and Islander communities is uncountable.

LA's ethic neighborhoods change too. Almost all the Jews were in Boyle Heights before 1950, and Little Tokyo currently has Japanese stores but not many Japanese residents. Koreatown is probably more Hispanic than Korean...but there's a (relatively) new Persian community not far from Cedars Sinai and into Beverly Hills, with stores mainly on Pico..

...and a relatively new Israeli neighborhood in Encino.

etc., etc., etc.

...and we don't even really know The Valley.

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Postby Futura Girl » Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:02 am

Let's revive this fabulous thread!

I can't believe that Flushing Meadows and the World's Fair grounds are not included in this thread. If you have enough time to leave the city - this is one of the best places on planet earth. Yes, there's the Unisphere, but there is so much more including the exhibits dedicated to the 1964-1965 worlds fairs AND the 1939-1940 fair. My favorite... the world's largest scale model of the 5 boroughs of NYC at the Queens Museum
http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_your_par ... ng_08.html

also, some little known Mid Century mosaics: http://www.flushingmeadowscoronapark.co ... guide.html
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Postby davidk6 » Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:17 am

Futura Girl wrote:Let's revive this fabulous thread!

I can't believe that Flushing Meadows and the World's Fair grounds are not included in this thread. If you have enough time to leave the city - this is one of the best places on planet earth. Yes, there's the Unisphere, but there is so much more including the exhibits dedicated to the 1964-1965 worlds fairs AND the 1939-1940 fair. My favorite... the world's largest scale model of the 5 boroughs of NYC at the Queens Museum
http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_your_par ... ng_08.html

also, some little known Mid Century mosaics: http://www.flushingmeadowscoronapark.co ... guide.html


The World's Fair grounds are one of tens or hundreds of sites to visit outside of Manhattan. There's Louis Armstrong's house/museum, Osamo Noguchi's house/museum, The (formerly) Dime Savings Bank -- art deco masterpiece, lots of low art deco in the Bronx ..................................................................................................
..................................................................................................

As for ethnic neighborhoods, I guess we don't spend enough time in NYC during our 9 or so months away from LA each year -- we live in the suburbs and have three grandchildren nearby -- but we were recently told that there's a relatively new Indian neighborhood there, as well as not a few other relatively new ethnic neighborhoods. Old ones die, or fade away so that only the restaurants are left, and new ones are born...just as it works in LA and in every other major city.
Marxist Philosophy: "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend; inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."

davidk6
Special Secret Modern Agent
Posts: 597
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2003 12:33 pm
Location: LA one month in winter and one month in summer; NJ suburbs of NYC the rest of the year

Postby davidk6 » Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:21 am

pvanmeter wrote:It is and aint midcentury, but don't miss Tanaguchi's MOMA. It's way MODERN!
Lapidus on Lexington at 51st. In the Seagram, have at least a drink at the Four Seasons and something to eat at the Brasserrie. The UN complex is amazing.


You want Lapidus: Go to the Shaare Zion synagogue on Ocean Parkway near Ave S or T in Brooklyn.
Marxist Philosophy: "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend; inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."


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