Day: December 2nd, 2007

On Rivington Street

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007 | All Things, Eats, Friends

Three birthday celebrations in one week! This time SC was the honoree, and our destination was the Lower East Side. I learned later that day that in our trek through the New Museum galleries earlier this morning, we had somehow completely missed out on the drawers of candy up for grabs on the top floor during the opening; that’s what we get for bypassing the crowded bright green elevators, in favor of the stairs. (J & J, who were more thorough in their museum tour, brought me a souvenir bag later that evening, crammed with Jolly Ranchers, jawbreakers and other treats, so I was not deprived.)

Had we known about the candy-fest on the Bowery, we probably would not have felt compelled to stop in at Economy Candy on Rivington en route to meeting the rest of our friends down the block. This well-loved family-owned candy shop has been a neighborhood fixture since 1937. The shelves are crammed with almost every type of candy imaginable: a staggering variety of old-time favorites, European sweets and hand-dipped chocolate confections. Gummy brains. Wax lips. Candy cigarettes. Nerds. Pop rocks!

Economy Candy

This was intended as a brief stop, but we each ended up laden with packages on the way to brunch. (The dark chocolate-covered pretzels proved irresistible to me this afternoon.) We did manage not to dip into our stash – for the most part – saving our appetites for Essex and its amazing $16 brunch deal, which includes 3(!) bloody marys, screwdrivers or mimosas. But who’s counting?

B ordered “The Southern” (biscuits, sausage patties & eggs with sausage gravy), which reminded me of the summer’s road trip breakfasts:

Essex brunch

I went for the seared diver scallops, topped with potato pancake and poached eggs. Scallops again! Hmm, maybe this is how rumors get started?

Essex brunch

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New Museum opening

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007 | All Things, Arts, Events

New Museum opening

Technically, the first snow of the season arrived on November 19, but that ephemeral dusting was so slight as to hardly register. The snowfall on Sunday morning December 2 was more substantial, and seemed to inaugurate the true start of winter.

Since its founding by the late Marcia Tucker in 1977, The New Museum has demonstrated a commitment to showing visionary, daring work by living artists. Over the next three decades, the museum would be housed in a series of roving spaces: a staff of three began with an office in the TriBeCa Fine Arts Building on Hudson Street, hosting exhibitions offsite at donated galleries at the New School, later working out of spaces on Broadway, and more recently occupying temporary quarters at the Chelsea Art Museum.

For its first permanent home, the museum commissioned a building with a relatively modest budget of $50 million by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of Tokyo-based firm SANAA (an acronym for Sejima and Nishizawa and Associates). Prior to their hiring in 2002, SANAA had not yet built outside of Japan, which made the firm an unusual choice in this era of starchitects.

The results have been well-received: a seven-story stack of shimmering two-ply silvery grey boxes each teetering slightly off center, with three floors of exhibition space, levels for educational and administrative purposes, and a top floor offering open, spectacular views of downtown.

New Museum

New Museum

To commemorate the grand reopening of the New Museum, beginning at midnight on December 1, the museum was open to the public for 30 consecutive hours. We registered for tickets on Sunday morning, and at 10:00AM, we made our way through the falling snow to the Bowery to tour the new space.

New Museum

The museum’s inaugural exhibition concentrates on works that are purposefully Unmonumental, the kick-off to a three part, five month long exhibition that explores sculpture, audio, and collage by some of the most prolific and relevant international artists today. Not particularly my taste: sculptures made from a bundled pillar of old clothes and stuffed animals (“Bale Variant Number 001”) by New Yorker Shinique Smith, a plywood box through which was threaded flea market belts (“Split Endz (wig mix)“) by Glasgow-based Jim Lambie, an arched sculptural stack of broken wooden chairs (“Myth Monolith (Liberation Movement)”) by Marc André Robinson… well, actually I did think that last one pretty cool, if precarious-looking.

The stark white galleries, hallways, skylights, and hidden stairways were a destination unto themselves, though: a marvel to be contained within the museum’s 71’ by 112’ footprint.

The view out through the metal mesh:

New Museum

New Museum staircase:

New Museum

For those who missed the grand opening in December (and who wish to bypass the usual $12 admission fee), the New Museum still offers free hours on Thursdays from 7:00-10:00PM.

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