_A POSTCARD FROM NEW YORK CITY
In January this year, Collie town planner, James Million, visited New York City. While there were many highlights on the trip James has narrowed it down to just a few.
The Guggenheim was built in 1959 and designed by well renowned American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The building was purpose designed and built to display modern art and is used for this purpose today. From the outside the buildings spiral shape still appears modern and stands out from the more conventional rectangular buildings in its context. Inside the building the artwork is viewed from a ramp that starts at ground level and spirals up to the top floor. From the ground looking up at the ramps on each level remind you of a car park however, once at the top the views downward are quite spectacular.
Madison Square Garden is an amazing indoor entertainment facility that has an event on almost every day of the year. The venue seats just under 20,000 people and with the size of the stadium being quite intimate and the seats well elevated above floor level, there is not a bad seat in the house. The stadium is also incredibly versatile with an ice hockey floor below that can be replaced with a basketball court above. Seeing the New York Knicks play the Houston Rockets was a once in a lifetime experience that I would thoroughly recommend.
The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) is a massive museum that in addition to modern art also displays older art collections. With five levels and multiple galleries on each floor it was not possible see the entire museum in a day so I focused on some of the older works. With rooms full of Picasso, Van Gogh and Monet, just to name a few, you don’t have to know a lot about art to appreciate you’re amongst royalty! My personal favourite was the ‘I and the Village’ (image below) by Marc Chagall .
Times Square is a real touristy part of New York with massive flagship retail stores such as Hershey’s Chocolate and M&M’s, tailored towards tourists purchasing gifts for family and friends. Although Times Square can be a bit tacky during the day, at night the large illuminated advertising signs and digital screens are quite impressive. What is noticeable is how clear the digital screens are compared to back in Melbourne.
The Flatiron Building was built over a hundred years ago on a triangle shaped island site formed by the alignment of Fifth Avenue, Broadway and East 22nd Street. The building bears the name ‘flatiron’ because of the buildings resemblance to a clothes iron. While we have examples of buildings built on triangular parcels of land in Melbourne, the scale of the building was impressive for the time and still is impressive today. When standing in front of the buildings narrowest point from a distance I could really appreciate how tall and narrow the building is.
Ps. On a slightly lighter note, the slices of takeaway pizza in New York are massive. When ordering for the first time the size of the slices must have been deceptive when viewed from the counter. Suffice to say I couldn’t finish the second slice!