Times Square

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Art, Art nerd ny, Events, Features

Justin bettman setinthestreets

In a city where hundreds of interesting happenings occur each week, it can be hard to pick and choose your way to a fulfilling life. Art Nerd‘s philosophy is a combination of observation, participation, education and of course a dance party to create the ultimate well-rounded week. Jump ahead for ArtNerd founder Lori Zimmer’s top picks for 6sqft readers, beginning this “Thirsty Thursday” evening.

This week, I suggest rediscovering Times Square, by participating in an incredible installation by Justin Bettman, and experiencing a screen-takeover with a short film by Peggy Ahwesh. Then observe and educate with a visit the Jewish Museum, or hit up Lincoln Center for a special art film program, an art exhibition that deconstructs notions of beauty, or an epic art fair catered toward photography. But if you’re looking to shake it up and strike up a conversation with someone new, visit Salon Demimonde, a resurrection of the 17th century salons of the past where creatives and intellectuals can mix and mingle. You can also get your dance on at Aperture’s Spring Party!

All the best events here

Architecture, Construction Update, Midtown West, New Developments

719 Seventh Avenue, Times Square, Midtown West, SL Greene, LED Screen 2

Image courtesy of Akueous Design

Here’s our first look at what commercial heavyweights SL Green have in mind for a small Times Square corner at 719 Seventh Avenue and West 48th Street. Building permits filed earlier this month call for a four-story, 9,000 square-foot retail building designed by TPG Architecture. Demolition permits were filed back in December and the doomed three-story structure is already shrouded in construction netting and scaffolding. The site also shares its Seventh Avenue block-front with Witkoff’s upcoming 40-story Marriott Edition Hotel that will flash one of the largest LED displays in the city.

Find out more on the project here

History, Midtown, Video

terminal bar historic

Although Times Square has transformed into a commercial beast filled to the brim with advertising, its very sordid and seedy past is certainly not lost on us. One man who found himself in the midst of the area when it was considered the worst block in town was Sheldon Nadelman.

From 1972 to 1980, Nadelman worked at Terminal Bar—the city’s “roughest bar” by many accounts—directly across from the Port Authority. Between pouring drinks, Nadelman found himself snapping photos of the folks who passed through. Over his decade-long stint, he accumulated a collection of more than 1,500 photos. His subjects were diverse ranging from actors to cooks to business people to tourists to, of course, the pimps and prostitutes that roamed the surrounding streets.

Watch the video here

Landscape Architecture, Midtown

42nd street with no cars, Alfred Peter, Charles Bove, Karen Listowsky

While beloved by tourists, Times Square is easily the most hated destination for those who actually live in New York City. And it’s no wonder: Shoulder to shoulder traffic, blinding lights, costumed (and un-costumed) characters, honking cars, and not a tree in sight—Times Square is pretty much your worst nightmare come to life. But could this congested consumerist hellscape one day become a place “Real New Yorkers” want to visit?

Last year, the Institute for Rational Urban Mobility and vision42 held a competition asking designers and architects to rethink 42nd Street—from the East River to the Hudson River—as a “pedestrian-friendly, auto-free, sustainable boulevard.” 200 submissions were received, and the institute has just announced the four finalists.

See the four finalists here

Art, Midtown

Sebastian Errazuriz, Times Square, public art

And not out of boredom. Sebastian Errazuriz has created a new public art piece for Times Square that is the antithesis of the high-energy, fast-paced neighborhood. It’s a close-up, black-and-white, three-minute video of the artist looking around and yawning that plays on 50 digital billboards throughout Times Square, which triggers a domino effect of sleepy, open mouthed gaping, since we all know yawns are contagious.

Errazuriz’s idea was to instill “a pause in the city that never goes to sleep,” which informs the title of the work. The yawn-athon takes place every night through January 17th at 11:47pm from 42nd to 47th Streets between Broadway and 7th Avenue.

More (yawn) details ahead

Architecture, Midtown West, New Developments, Urban Design

Herald Square, Herald Square H&M, LED billboards

Billboard signs along Times Square, and now Herald Square, are growing ever bigger and brighter as LED displays become the top choice for developers of new supersigns. Projects such as the upcoming Mariott Edition, Vornado‘s Marriott Marquis renovation, and the revamping of the Herald Center all include LED displays that will be among the largest in the world.

Though more expensive to install than the standard illuminated billboard, the light-emitting diode canvasses have the primary advantage of being eco-friendly by using less electricity and lasting 25 times longer than their incandescent alternatives. Their cost depends on size, complexity, and resolution; and may run upward of $1000 a square foot. But new technology in the past decade has cut the average price in half allowing for a brighter and more prolific future in the city.

See videos and images these eye-popping supersigns


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