Mirror, Mirror

Sunday, October 8th, 2006 | All Things, Arts, Eats, Events, Friends

We were already in the neighborhood, and since SYB had seemed sad about missing out on the Afghani feast a week and a half ago, we decided to take a break from all the architecture tours to enjoy a leisurely tea at Bamiyan.


We ordered what were, in my opinion, the “greatest hits” of that night’s dinner: a steaming, fragrant pot of Shir-Chay (the traditional Afghan tea brewed with milk, sugar, cardamom and rose petals) and two varieties of hot, crispy turnovers: the Kadu (pumpkin) and the Boulanee (scallions), accompanied by the delicious tangy yogurt mint sauce. Perfect.


From the restaurant, we caught a bus uptown, along the route from which we would part: he, home to prepare the food for tonight’s dinner party; me, home… to relax before heading to tonight’s dinner party.

On the M5, we were struck by a sudden inspiration. One of the security guards at the Chrysler Building earlier that afternoon had highly recommended we try to check out the rooftop gardens at Rockefeller Center — one of the rare opportunities to wander the meticulously landscaped oasis atop the British Empire Building, normally closed to the public. The space features a topiary garden, a reflecting pool and dramatic views of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. At the time, we didn’t have any plans to be in that neighborhood, but as our bus crawled its way up Sixth Avenue towards 50th Street, we thought: Why not?

Well, for one: the site was scheduled to close at 4:00PM, and a quick glance at SYB’s watch informed us that it was at that moment, in fact, 4:00PM. We exited the bus, and raced east towards Fifth Avenue along tourist-clogged 50th Street. Or rather: attempted to race, as best we could without resorting to full body-checking of complete strangers. (“Welcome to New York. Now… move!”) By the time we made it to 620 Fifth Avenue, it was 4:10PM. Would the lobby guard let us upstairs, just for a peek? Please?

What do you think? (There’s always next year.)

Since we were already in the plaza, it gave us the chance to check out Sky Mirror, the latest public art installation by internationally renowned British artist Anish Kapoor. The exhibition, unveiled in Rockefeller Center on September 19, was organized by the New York-based nonprofit Public Art Fund and hosted by Tishman Speyer.

The 23-ton, 35-foot-diameter curved seamless mirror was made (in Finland) of highly polished stainless steel; it is a larger version of the one commissioned by the Nottingham Playhouse in 2001. The original cost £900,000 and was to date the most expensive piece of civic art funded by the United Kingdom’s National Lottery. New York’s Sky Mirror stands nearly three stories tall at the Fifth Avenue entrance to the Channel Gardens at Rockefeller Center. The concave side of this circular stainless steel sculpture is angled upward, facing 30 Rockefeller Plaza, reflecting an upside-down image of the skyscraper. The convex side, facing Fifth Avenue, reflects the mostly tourist crowds gathered, posing, snapping photographs or just staring, entranced by the passing streetscape.

Sky Mirror is on view at Rockefeller Center through October 27, 2006.

Sky Mirror

Sky Mirror

Sky Mirror

Sky Mirror

Dinner party went well: I met CS just outside my apartment, so she and I could travel into Queens together. AC, JL and of course, our hosts HYB and SYB, were also assembled, and the six of us shared deeply buttery filet mignons, cheesy baked squash gratin and chunky mashed potatoes with leeks. All organic vegetables, fresh from our farmer. AC, CS and I bonded over dark chocolate-dipped strawberries. The girl talk may have proved too much for JL, who escaped, claiming calculus homework, and HYB, who retired to his room, shortly after the meal.

There are 5 Comments ... Mirror, Mirror

October 15, 2006

They really were buttery. I think I used an entire stick of butter on those suckers.

October 15, 2006

So we each consumed 1/6 a stick of butter with our steaks? That’s not so bad. 🙂

October 16, 2006

Actually more like 1/8 a stick (1 tbsp) each. I made eight steaks that night.

October 18, 2006

I’m sorry! I was just really, really tired with almost no sleep the night before, so I passed out. I suppose that was pretty rude of me. My apologies.

October 19, 2006

I just assumed you were driven out by all the estrogen in the air…

Go for it ...