Every year, the New York Botanical Garden‘s Holiday Train Show gives visitors the chance to marvel at iconic New York landmarks and model trains. Now in its 23rd year, the show features more than 20 locomotives traveling on almost a quarter mile of tracks, which are laid out amongst the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Radio City Music Hall, and more than 150 other replicas made from bark, pine cones, pistachio shells, and other plant materials.
Like any train, the Holiday Train Show requires a team of conductors to guide it, and Karen Daubmann is on board as the Associate Vice President of Exhibitions and Public Engagement, responsible for overseeing a wide range of current and future exhibitions. For this show, Karen works closely with Applied Imagination, the visionaries and builders behind these structures, to ensure the show runs smoothly and on time. We recently visited the show and spoke with Karen–standing near the Brooklyn Bridge and Yankee Stadium–to learn more about this annual production.
Read our full interview here
DRUMROLL PLEASE… You came, you voted, and now we’re pleased to announce the winner of our first-ever Building of the Year competition! Congratulations to the Kohn Pedersen Fox-designed, Continuum Company-developed 45 East 22nd Street tower which won the hearts of 29 percent of over 3,500 readers who came to cast a vote. We’re not sure if it was the champagne flute-like design that sold you, or if it was the ambitious cantilever that captured your gaze, but there’s no question that this incredible 777-foot construction pushes the envelope—not only in size, but in the design of bigger, better and more luxurious living spaces. Demolition to make way for the supertall started this summer and construction will commence early next year. Once this 65-story glass beauty is complete in 2016, expect to see it tower over the Flatiron District!
If you’re looking for more of 2014’s news-making and record-setting highlights, be sure to check out our year-end market report. Find out how the super-luxury buildings also in the running, and a few others, fared on the market this year. Get the report here (opens to a pdf) >>
HS2 Architecture‘s name may not ring all that familiar, but you’ve certainly come across their projects before—and we’re not just talking on 6sqft. HS2’s power pair, Tom Hut and Jane Sachs, have been working together since 1994, enduring the ups and downs of the NYC market and putting some spectacular and very recognizable designs out there while at it. Does the Gramercy Park Hotel ring a bell? Maybe the Palazzo Chupi? Or maybe you’ve shopped at the Ralph Lauren Store on Madison and 72nd. Easily one of the most underrated architecture firms working today, HS2 is really a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the built environment.
In celebration of their 20th anniversary, we recently sat down with founders Tom and Jane to talk about their studio, their work, and the roller coaster ride that has been New York City architecture over the past two decades.
Read the interview with HS2’s principals here
There is no shortage of towers on the rise in Manhattan, but amongst these glass and stone beauties are a handful that stand head and shoulders (and several hundred feet) above the rest. A red hot real estate market and cutting edge building technology have paved the way for towers of both unprecedented heights and prices. But worthy of equal credit are the visionary developers and architects who dare to change the NYC skyline.
Here we’ve handpicked 12 of the most newsworthy buildings of 2014; these towers boast groundbreaking designs and record-breaking (or soon to be record-breaking) prices. But we ask you: Out of the dozen, which deserves the title “Building of the Year?” Cast a vote above to help us decide which is 2014’s most important tower!
Extended by popular demand… Voting ends
TODAY, December 12th at 11:59 PM WEDNESDAY, December 17th at 11:59 PM and we’ll reveal the winner on Friday, December 19th. And if you’re still torn between two (or all), jump ahead for the low-down on each, from height to 2014 news highlights.
More on each of the buildings here
The holiday season is synonymous with gift-giving and sharing with others who may be less fortunate than you. This act of kindness can take on many forms; one might volunteer to serve hot food in a soup kitchen, another might donate warm clothing or kids’ toys. Whatever your preferred mode of giving, there are ample opportunities in and around the city to share your holiday spirit with others. We’ve searched around and put together this list of the standard holiday do-gooding plus some other opportunities that could be considered a little more out-of-the-box.
Ways to give back here
Each December, New York transforms itself into a metropolitan holiday wonderland. From window displays to the Rockefeller Center tree to the Rockettes, the city is brimming with cheer. But there’s one thing missing. Aside from the occasional decorated townhouse, New York lacks the light displays and decked-out front yards that are typically associated with the suburbs. But there is one place where New Yorkers can get their fill of small-town nostalgia, and it’s just a quick trip away in Dyker Heights thanks to Tony Muia’s bus tour of the “undisputed capital of Christmas pageantry.”
Inspired by the hospitality he experienced traveling abroad, Tony started giving guided pizza tours of Brooklyn in 2005. He later expanded A Slice of Brooklyn Bus Tours to include neighborhood tours and his famous Christmas Lights & Cannoli Tour, which was featured in a PBS documentary and on TLC. We recently spoke with Tony, the ultimate Brooklynite, about his passion for the borough, A Slice of Brooklyn Bus Tours, and the magic of Dyker Heights.
Read our full interview with Tony
© NYCDOT via photopin cc
NYC is well on its way to becoming a bike-friendly city. With Citi Bike expanding and designs for bikes of all shapes and sizes growing in popularity, it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing architecture built specifically for cyclists’ use. In his article, “10 Points of a Bicycling Architecture”, originally published on ArchDaily, Steven Fleming explores ten ways major cities, like New York, can make this happen.
A revolution is occurring in street design. New York, arguably the world’s bellwether city, has let everyday citizens cycle for transport. They have done that by designating one lane on most avenues to bicyclists only, with barriers to protect them from traffic. Now hundreds of cities are rejiggering to be bicycle-friendly, while in New York there is a sense that more change is afoot. Many New Yorkers would prefer if their city were more like Copenhagen where 40% of all trips are by bike. But then Copenhagen wants more as well. Where does this stop? If you consider that we are talking about a mode of transport that whips our hearts into shape, funnels many more people down streets than can be funneled in cars, has no pollution, and costs governments and individuals an absolute pittance, you won’t ask where it stops, but how close to 100% the bike modal share can possibly go and what we must do to achieve that.
It’s a beautiful day for a bike ride
Anyone with kids knows that there’s no such thing as too much when it comes to the sensory wonders of the holiday season. We’ve rounded up some Santa-centric events—from lap-climbing photo-ops to full-on wonderland to brunch with the holiday’s most famous man—that aim to satisfy endless appetites for holiday cheer. We’ve even got a couple for your pets!
This way to the North Pole…
New York Stock Exchange Christmas tree via Mille Fiori Favoriti
Last week, we took a look back at the history of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree to mark the annual lighting celebration. Though this is probably the most famous Christmas tree in the world, many of us jaded New Yorkers would rather not deal with the crowds and traffic jams that come with visiting Rock Center. So as an equally festive alternative, we’ve rounded up some of the other huge trees illuminating the city this holiday season.
Dating back to 1685, the quaint nautical community of City Island has fought hard to retain much of the charm that makes it an anomaly in the heart of the bustling Bronx. So perhaps it is fitting that one of the island’s most colorful natives—and once a bit of an anomaly herself—shares her memories of growing up in New York City’s sleepy little fishing village.
Larger-than-life personality and drag queen extraordinaire Coco Peru’s life today couldn’t be much further from her years spent as a child on the quiet streets of City Island. Based in LA and traveling the world to bring her often irreverent but hysterically funny brand of storytelling to the masses, Coco’s tales from her youth often steal the show.
But it’s probably safe to say the majority of Coco Puffs (her beloved fans) have never even heard of this small island in the Bronx—and that most New Yorkers haven’t made the trip over the 113-year old soon-to-be-replaced bridge that represents the only point of access by car or foot. Which is why we are quite excited to bring you this exclusive peek into two of the city’s most unique treasures: City Island and Miss Coco Peru.
Read the interview with Miss Coco here