Jay- Z. Salt-N-Pepa. De La Soul. Busta Rhymes.
Girls. Sex and the City. Gossip Girl.
MOMA. Guggenheim. The Met.
A significant number of my favourite things in life are from New York City.
When I was studying in Boston, I used to catch the $10 ‘Lucky Star’ bus to NYC (it picked you up from Boston Chinatown & dropped you off at NYC Chinatown – with a very dodgy stop off at some chinese restaurant along the way) I did this many times and loved how each visit to the Big Apple was so different. One of my favourite visits was just before christmas when my whole family including my grandparents (Aaji & Papaji).
My Aaji (grandmother) suffered from severe leg pains, however I will NEVER forget how she RAN up a flight of stairs (wearing her sneakers & hitching up her sari) in the back streets of NYC Chinatown to check out the illegal fake leather handbags. It was like someone had given her a shot of adrenalin. It is one of my favourite (and last) memories of her.
NYC pulsates. Inescapable vibrations.Sensory overload.
New York city is just one big conversation. Pauses. Interjections. Banter. Once immersed you have no other choice than to become a part of it.
I love the way people walk in NYC. The swagger, the confidence, the strut, the hurried shuffle. It is all about the walk.
The BEST part is that…I am going back there….in a couple of weeks. YEEWWW.
With all this energy, chaos and noise it is no wonder that NYC is a global design hub. Here are some inspirational design ideas that have emerged on the city streets of NYC…
Rap Songs into Street Signs…
in the site-specific street art project ‘rap quotes’, new york-based artist Jay Shells installed over thirty street signs with lyrical references to hip-hop songs and their appropriate NYC location. Eg, the intersection of broadway and myrtle avenue in brooklyn receives a mos def sign featuring the line: ‘I’m blacker than midnight at broadway and myrtle.’ ‘new york city is the birthplace of hip-hop and if any place deserve this historical map of sorts, it’s new york’.
How cute is this little ‘free library’?!
Founded by venezuelan architects marcelo ertorteguy and sara valente, designed the installation at st. patrick’s old cathedral school in nolita. The concept creates an ‘inhabitable’ environment, where users can immerse themselves into the space, taking the time to browse through books and borrow or exchange them. the structure is built out of an inversed plastic tank and a wooden frame.
The project is called Recalling 1993 and it’s part of an exhibit at New York’s New Museum called “NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star.” Starting this month, the public can access any one of 5,000 public phones in Manhattan and call a special toll-free number (855-FOR-1993) to hear stories about life in 1993, specific to the area in which the phone is located.