Day: October 11th, 2007

Open Space Studios

Thursday, October 11th, 2007 | All Things, Arts

Swing Space is a space grant program, matching artists and arts organizations with temporarily vacant commercial space throughout downtown. The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council program offers short-term occupancies (typically for two to four months) for studio, rehearsal, office, and exhibition spaces. Artists apply for stipends and raw space to develop, create and present their work.

Silverstein Properties has participated in the program since its inception, donating unused portions of my office building the past few years; currently, eight temporary studios sit high up on the 29th floor with its dazzling, unobstructed views over downtown Manhattan. Every few months, the studios are open, and the public is invited to tour through and meet the artists.

Open Space Studios

Open Space Studios

Open Space Studios

This season, the visual artists hail from three continents. Williamsburg-based Erik Guzman uses computer programs to cut and shape pieces of metal to create sculptures with light. Christian Croft’s work harnesses public data flows, filtering their contents to reveal changes in how people communicate. His Swing Space installation is entitled “the ‘is our machines learning?’ machine” — so inspired by a George W. Bush malapropism. Danish-born Lars Mathisen’s video installations were disorienting and oddly compelling.

Open Space Studios

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Wall Street, You Rule

Thursday, October 11th, 2007 | All Things

Strolling through the financial district this afternoon, I found Wall Street buzzing with even more activity than usual. Yesterday, the street was awash in Tiffany blue. Today, we saw this giant red banner draped over the pillars of the New York Stock Exchange — I can’t resist these ads! — and the street in front lined with regal red carpet leading up to a giant LCD screen, broadcasting Virgin Mobile promos on continuous loop.

Wall Street You Rule

All this pomp was to commemorate the cellphone services company’s initial public offering. In honor of the occasion, Virgin Group Founder and Chairman Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Mobile USA CEO Dan Schulman rang the market’s opening bell. (The company’s shares, trading under the “VM” ticker symbol, closed at $15.75 — up 5.5% for the day.)

Also thrown into the celebratory mix, a quartet of nubile angels, cheerfully handing out bottles of Virgin-branded water and causing more than one trader’s head to swivel. The girls, though, remained strictly hands-off, unlike their naughty animated Canadian counterparts.

Wall Street angels

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