Month: June, 2007

P.S. 1 Warm Up

Saturday, June 30th, 2007 | All Things, Arts, Friends

The first P.S. 1 Warm Up of the 2007 season drew the entire hipster population of Brooklyn, along with some brand new iPhones, and quite a few European expats, into Long Island City. As if to prove the point, while on line for beer tickets, I actually ran into a couple I met at MC’s birthday party at Williamsburg’s Soft Spot a couple of weeks ago.

This afternoon was our first glimpse at the winning installation of this year’s MoMA/P.S.1 Young Architects Program: “Liquid Sky” by Los Angeles-based Ball-Nogues, which three of us had seen as a work in progress over Memorial Day weekend.

Warm Up line

Warm Up crowd

Warm Up bartenders

The crowds were crushing on this sweltering summer afternoon, and underneath the kaleidoscopic crimson canopies, a few skirmishes were inevitable. While on the endless queue with our Brits for Magic Hats, a couple of bold weasels attempted to take advantage of our cheerful distraction to squeeze in line ahead of us. We all noticed their encroaching movements at the same moment; I felt my dander rise, but before I could call them out on it, TH stepped in with a quick smile and a sly remark that completely disarmed the would-be infiltrators. Within seconds, they were chuckling ruefully and apologizing — actually apologizing! – to us for the “misunderstanding.” I stood by agog during the round of good-natured backslaps and handshakes — we’re all friends now?! — after which they cheerfully left us to take their rightful places at the back of the line.

Despite having witnessed the entire exchange firsthand, I could hardly believe that this potentially explosive situation played out the way it did. Mr. Charming, indeed!

Warm Up crowds

Warm Up crowds

For more, check out my full PS1 Warm Up 2007 flickr set — which includes photos of our subsequent (less insanely crowded) visit.

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Friday, June 29th, 2007 | All Things, Arts

At the Hammerstein Ballroom tonight to see AntiGravity, New York City’s only aerial performance dance and acrobatic company, created by Christopher Harrison in 1990. This was to be the troupe’s hometown stop of their national tour: a variety show of gymnasts, modern dancers, circus acrobats and stunt artists, set to a blaring, pounding soundtrack of techno, dance and Top 40.






The show was billed as “New York’s answer to Cirque de Soleil,” – which in its best moments, might be apt. Not all of the sets were as successful, though: the Argentine “Lombard Twins” were far more entertaining when they forewent the awkward, flirty audience banter to show off their synchronized pop-and-lock dance moves. Several segments felt too gimmicky: the “TechnoRiders on Cruise Control” set piece, featuring performers on Segways and roller-skates, felt wildly chaotic (not in a good way); others, like the “X-dream” trampoline wall and the AntiGravity boots set, made better and more whimsical use of the stage props. Most impressive, from a sheer physical standpoint, were the Acroduet “Strength Bruts” (reminiscent of the Aussie English gents from last year’s “Absinthe” show at the Seaport) and of course, AntiGravity’s signature aerial acrobatic stunts: dangling and twirling in hammocks, harnesses, bungee cords, and neon-lit hoops.

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Excellent dumplings

Thursday, June 28th, 2007 | All Things, Eats

We chose this spot for Thursday’s lunch primarily for its proximity to the Canal Street subway station. The name of this unassuming restaurant on Lafayette is Excellent Dumpling House, though the neon signage in the front window modestly indicates just “Dumpling House. ”

Excellent Dumpling House

The restaurant specializes in classic — some would say: humble — Cantonese dishes. And of course: dumplings. (Yes, they’re pretty excellent.)

EDH dumplings

And in other news: some not-so-excellent dumplings.

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