If you’ve walked along lower Fifth Avenue, then the Museum of Sex most certainly has caught your eye; maybe you’ve even visited it and seen a few of the exhibits curated by Sarah Forbes.
Sarah is the museum’s sole curator, which means it’s her job to conceive and oversee exhibitions on a myriad of topics related to sex. Her goal is the same as the museum’s goal: to expand visitors’ horizons and to dispel myths and misconceptions that are out there. Beyond educating the public through its oftentimes provocative exhibits, the Museum of Sex is dedicated to sharing information and artwork through its permanent collection of over 15,000 artifacts as well as its research library and media archive.
With Valentine’s Day approaching, we couldn’t think of a better time to chat with Sarah to find out more about New York’s relationship with sex, how the museum helps the city understand it differently, and why it’s the perfect spot to celebrate the holiday.
Read on for our interview with Sarah
In honor of Friday the 13th, The Atlantic took a look at the number 13—and namely how obsessively superstitious some individuals can be when it comes to certain digits and our inclination to apply a deeper meaning to them. 18, for instance, is chai in Hebrew, which means life; while number 2 represents balance and cooperation in Chinese; and of course we’re all familiar with the divine and oh-so-lucky number 7. But then there’s 13, a number generally looked upon as especially sinister, particularly in Western culture. In fact, 13 is so suspect that there’s even a scientific name for the fear of the number: triskaidekaphobia (a fear of Friday the 13th the date is called paraskevidekatriaphobia, by the way).
But here’s the funnest bit in the piece that really grabbed our attention: Taking a closer look at New York’s residential buildings with the help of CityRealty, they found that of the 629 buildings with 13 or more floors, only 55 had labeled the 13th floor as the 13th floor—that’s only 9 percent of the total. Common placeholders they found were 14, 12B, 14A, M (the 13th letter in the alphabet) or simply “Penthouse” if the top unit sat on the 13th floor.
More from the 13th Floor here
Single building lovers, have no fear. Hudson Yards is happy to be your Valentine. As a marketing tactic, the entire project, along with all five of its towers, got profiles on the fake dating site Building Mingle.
15 Hudson Yards, the residential tower designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, has a celeb crush on the Guggenheim and its great curves and describes his type as “Anyone who works with concrete and steel. I’m looking for stability.”; 10 Hudson Yards enjoys “When Harry Met Sally” (It’s a classic romantic comedy!); and 30 Hudson Yards is a little shallow and is looking for someone tall and slender who isn’t afraid of heights.
See all the profiles here
Expect conditions to be a little more, um, icy. Photo courtesy of Green-Wood Cemetery
What could be more romantic than a cozy mid-winter afternoon trolley ride through one of NYC’s most interesting national historic landmarks, Green-Wood Cemetery? Celebrate this most romantic of holidays with a bit of a gothic twist: Expert guide Ruth Edebohls will lead a tour highlighting historic power couples, romantic monuments and tales of love everlasting, both triumphant and grim.
You can also view Civil War love letters from the Brooklyn Historical Society’s historic archives on display in the Historic Chapel and have some coffee, tea or hot chocolate before the trolley tour begins. The event is on February 14, 1-3 PM; $20 for Green-Wood and BHS members/$25 for nonmembers.
Find out more and buy tickets here: Love Set in Stone: A Valentine’s Trolley Tour.
If you need a few days out of the city to disconnect from the world and reconnect with nature, we can recommend a gorgeous spot in the most magical of pine-scented locales. Situated right in the heart of the Adirondacks and immersed in a forest of majestic trees, the White Pine Camp is a lovingly restored, historic accommodation built by the rich and powerful of the Gilded Age. Featuring a number of cozy cabins and cottages for rent, this rustically grandiose retreat also once served as the secret summer house of President Calvin Coolidge.
Learn more about this pine-scented spot in the Adirondacks
One of the most festive holiday activities doesn’t end at New Year’s, but rather lasts through the winter. Ice skating in NYC is a hot activity, with lines easily wrapping around the block at the Bryant Park Winter Village and Rockefeller Center’s ice rink. But this isn’t a new trend. Ice skating has long been a popular social pastime for New Yorkers, whether on a frozen pond in Central Park or at the Biltmore Ice Garden at the Biltmore Hotel. Plenty of historic photographs exist, documenting the transformation of the New York ice skater; so we’ve put together a timeline of this winter activity.
All the photos ahead
One of the holiday windows at Saks, via Google Maps
We’re starting to think Google wants us to never leave our apartments again. Not only can we tour the elite Gramercy Park without a key and explore NYC in 3D, but now we can even check out the department store holiday window displays with Google Maps, welcome news for those of us who want to get in the holiday spirit without battling the crowds.
The Observer reports that the feature is available in London and New York, the latter showcasing those windows at Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, and Bloomingdale’s. It’s part of Google Maps’ new Business View feature, which makes it possible to virtually go inside businesses and provides special offerings like a 360-degree tour of the Colbert Report set.
Take a look at this year’s holiday windows
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
© Juan Martinez Gonzalez
Giving and getting holiday cards is always fun, but every so often you’ll receive one that really gets you giggling. This year, be the person handing off clever cards to your friends and family. ArchDaily has just announced their 2014 Holiday Card Contest winners, and for all of you design-minded folks and architecture nerds, they’ve got plenty of punny—and just downright cool—cards to choose from.
get the cards here