May 24, 2019

If you’re not paying attention, you’ll miss it. Tucked onto a little triangle of land where Broadway crosses Fifth Avenue in NoMad, there stands a 51-foot obelisk, marking a little-known landmark called Worth Square. Between the lush trees of Madison Square Park, the towering Flatiron Building and the surges of traffic at Broadway and Fifth Avenue, there’s a lot these days to distract the eye away from this nearly forgotten piece of New York history. But it is a part of our history, and an interesting bit of history, at that. Let’s explore a few fascinating facts about this NoMad landmark.

 

Worth Square is an actual grave.

Beneath the obelisk monument of Worth Square lie the remains of General William Jenkins Worth (1794-1849), a decorated war hero recognized for his exploits in the War of 1812, Second Seminole War, and Mexican–American War. (His name is better remembered by his namesake city, Fort Worth, Texas.) His is only one of three private graves on the Isle of Manhattan. The second, and most famous, is Grant’s Tomb in Riverside Park. The third private grave—and the oldest—belongs to a five-year-old boy named St. Claire Pollack who died in 1797. His grave, enclosed by a fence, lies not far from Grant’s Tomb and has somehow survived the city’s ongoing evolution around it.

 

Worth Square is the second oldest monument in New York City.

The Worth Square monument was erected in 1857. The only older monument is the George Washington equestrian monument, created a year earlier, which sits in Union Square Park.

 

Worth Square used to dominate the landscape.

When the monument was first erected, the surrounding area was peaceful and serene, and the 51-foot obelisk the tallest object in the near vicinity. Now, thanks to “monumental” growth and development of the city around it, Worth’s grave sits at the busy intersection of two of the world’s most famous streets, and the monument itself is dwarfed by the buildings surrounding it.

 

No one really knows why General Worth’s grave is here.

Worth was born in Hudson, New York, but he had no notable connection to NYC. Worth was originally buried in Brooklyn, but his body was moved here and the monument dedicated with great fanfare, with many considering the dedication one of the most grand funerals in New York City history. The reasons why he was singled out to be honored with a memorial in the heart of Manhattan, especially when many other war heroes had greater ties to the city, remains a matter of conjecture. One theory is that it was a political favor from Zachary Taylor, who had been Worth’s superior during the Mexican-American War and was President at the time of his death.

 

General Worth’s legacy is not squeaky clean.

Worth was considered a brilliant war strategist, and some of his tactics are still taught at West Point, where he served as Commandant of the Corps of Cadets.

But he also pioneered some practices that the Geneva Convention would frown upon today, including the deliberate targeting of civilians and the use of starvation as a tool of war.

Whether or not you’re a history buff or war history enthusiast, Worth Square remains today as part of New York’s “hidden history”—one of many little gems tucked into the mosaic of our ever-changing neighborhood. If you’re out and about, perhaps getting ready to enjoy a picnic lunch in Madison Square Park, stop by Worth Square on your way there and take a look.

May 17, 2019

It’s time again for New York Design Week 2019 (aka NYCxDESIGN)—one of the best times of year for NYC creatives in the design space. Between May 10th and May 22nd, the city will see hundreds of exciting and informative design-related events across all five boroughs. Obviously, there are too many events to attend them all, and it’s easy to get lost among all the choices—so we’ve rounded up a few top picks that our Kew tenant designers might enjoy.

 

NoMad Design District Night

May 17th, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m., various NoMad locations

As Friday, May 17th has been designated “NoMad Design District Night,” you’ll find a variety of celebrations that evening across the neighborhood, starting with a special free cocktail party and conversation at 277 Fifth Avenue from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. After a round of champagne and sweets, enjoy a conversation with architect Jeffrey Beers and Brittany Chevalier, Editor of Luxe Interiors + Design, followed by a tour of the model residences inside 277 Fifth Avenue. Be sure to stop by Arlo NoMad, WANT Apothecary and Luxury Living while you’re out and about that evening. 

 

SoHo Design District Celebrates NYCxDESIGN

May 18th, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., various SoHo showrooms

After enjoying the events in our own NoMad neighborhood on Friday, head south on Saturday to the SoHo District to see the unveilings of new designs in the area’s many showrooms. A map of participating showrooms is available here. Events are free, but some showrooms require an RSVP.

 

WantedDesign

May 18th – 21st, 269 11th Avenue, Manhattan
May 16th – 20th, 274 36th Street, Brooklyn, NY

WantedDesign, a platform dedicated to promoting design and fostering the international creative community, is hosting marquis events during NYCxDESIGN at its Terminal Location at Hudson Yards and in its Industry City Brooklyn location. Enjoy installations, pop-up stores and interactive experiences, and make meaningful connections with other creatives. Free for trade registrations; online registration available through their website.

 

Design Week Store Tours

May 10th – 22nd, various design district neighborhoods

For an insider’s look at some of the top galleries, showrooms and hotels in the city, sign up for one or more of the Design Week Store Tours. Curated by noted connoisseurs and design stars, these personalized tours will help immerse you in leading trends in design to spark your inspiration. Tours are scheduled twice a day for Madison Avenue, Greene Street, Flatiron District and SoHo Design District, at a cost of $85 per tour. Limited availability. Sign up for a tour via their website.

 

Labors of Love: Great Designers on Creating Books that Showcase Their Finest Work

May 22nd, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m., D&D Building, Matteo Gennari Showroom, 979 3rd Avenue #333, Manhattan

Join design book producer Jill Cohen in a conversation with four of today’s leading design talents on the joy, drama and thrill of working with her to create books that give their work a fresh and meaningful presence. Free admission.

 

ICFF 2019

May 19th – 22nd, Javits Center, 655 West 34th Street

ICFF is an exciting trade event showcasing the latest trends in luxury interiors held during Design Week. Over 900 exhibitors from across the globe showcase the newest frontier of what’s best and what’s next for luxury interior design. A must for interior designers. Registration and pricing available here.

 

NYCxDESIGN Awards and ICFF Party

May 20th, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m., Pier 17, 89 South Street

A premier event of Design Week, the NYCxDESIGN Awards Ceremony takes place between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., followed by a blow-out gala on the pier with live music, an open bar, hors d’oeuvres and chef carving stations of Steak, Italian and Mediterranean Fare. Tickets are $100-$150 and can be purchased here.

 

NYCxDESIGN is just one of the many reasons so many designers flock to NYC, and it’s one of the great benefits of living and working in the NoMad neighborhood. Be sure to take advantage of the many opportunities to explore, connect and be inspired.

May 14, 2019
Via Google by Tom Fortunato

We know how it goes. You’re working away in your office, perhaps losing track of the time. You glance up at the clock. It’s 12:15, you’ve got a 1 p.m. appointment and your stomach is growling. How can you squeeze in a quick lunch and still make it in time for the next thing on your to-do-list?

Thankfully, we have you covered. We’ve compiled a quick list below of where to grab a sandwich in walking distance of West 25th/26th Streets and Broadway, so you can get what you need and get back to business as quickly as possible.

 

Num Pang Kitchen

Conveniently nestled between the Townsend and St. James Buildings on Broadway, Num Pang, a southeast Asian eatery, offers a menu that is a far cry from the run-of-the-mill sandwich. Choose from tantalizing tastes like Peppercorn Catfish, Coconut Tiger Shrimp, Roasted Cauliflower or Five-Spice Glazed Pork Belly. If salads and bowls are more your speed, Num Pang has those, too. But since num pang is Cambodian for “sandwich,”—just try the sandwiches.

Num Pang Kitchen
1129 Broadway
New York, NY 10010
(212) 647-8889

www.numpangkitchen.com

Hours:
Monday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.

 

Hill Country Chicken

Yes, this is a fried chicken joint, but don’t just assume you have to order by the piece (or bucket) and get your hands greasy. Hill Country also has a convenient selection of grilled or fried chicken sandwiches prepared in a variety of styles (and spice levels), so you can grab-and-go at will. Hill Country Chicken also has great sides and country dessert pies. Pop into the shop at Broadway and 25th Street and check them out.

Hill Country Chicken
1133 Broadway
New York, NY 10010
(212) 257-6446

www.hillcountrychicken.com

Hours:
11 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily

Via Google

 

Luke’s Lobster

Craving lobster, shrimp or crab? Walk just around the corner to 5 West 25th Street and satisfy your craving sandwich-style. Luke’s is known across the city for its fantastic lobster, shrimp and crab rolls, and its NoMad location is remarkably convenient. Eat at the high-top tables, take lunch back to your office, or walk across the street to Madison Square Park and make a picnic of it.

Luke’s Lobster NoMad
5 West 25th Street
New York, NY 10010
(646) 657-0747

www.lukeslobster.com

Hours:
Sunday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Via Luke’s Lobster

 

Melt Shop

A quick walk down West 26th Street toward Sixth Avenue brings you to the Melt Shop, which tastes as good as it sounds. It offers almost any kind of “melt” you can think of—and some you haven’t—from burger, turkey and chicken melts to veggie melts to gourmet grilled cheese. Add some specialty tater tots and a shake, and you’ve just reached your calorie count for the day—but hey, this comfort food is worth it.

Melt Shop NoMad
55 West 26th Street
New York, NY 10010
(212) 447-6358

www.meltshop.com

Hours:
11 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily

Via Melt Shop

 

Shake Shack

After all—a burger is a sandwich. We just happen to have the original Shake Shack steps from our office doors, in the heart of Madison Square Park, offering some of the best tasting quick burgers you can find, along with hot dogs, crinkle cut fries, shakes and frozen custard. Only one caveat: This location can get crowded in a hurry, so if you’re pressed for time, check their online “Shack Cam” before heading over, or better yet, download their app and pre-order your lunch.

Shake Shack
Southeast corner of Madison Square Park
(near Madison Avenue & East 23rd Street)
(212) 889-6600

www.shakeshack.com

Hours:
9 a.m. – 11 p.m. daily

Via Shake Shack
May 8, 2019

On May 9th, help tenant Deborah Koenigsberger celebrate 30 years of fashion at her store Noir et Blanc and 25 years of giving back to the community by her charity Hearts of Gold.

Deborah is celebrating with a benefit fashion show — #55 Philanthropy in Style.  The event will transform Noir et Blanc into a French salon for the day. You’ll get to see the latest Spring and Summer 2019 fashions from the runways of Paris at an elegant fashion show, featuring:

  • White carpet, photo ops;
  • Bites and specialty drinks;
  • Beautiful items to purchase;
  • AGL Trunk Show; and more…

All of the proceeds from the benefit will go toward providing homeless children with fully loaded backpacks to prepare them for the 2019-2020 school year.

 #55 Philanthropy in Style
May 9th at Noir et Blanc
7 West 25th Street

Two seatings:  12–2 PM and 6–8 PM
VIP tickets $150—Reserved Front Row Seating and Favor Bag
General Seating Tickets $100— General Seating and Memento
All but $25 of your donations will be fully tax deductible.
Please call:  212-627-1750
E-mail Karen at dk@noiretblancnyc.com.

Read more about Noir et Blanc and Hearts of Gold.

May 1, 2019

On May 11, 2019, the 58th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia opens in Venice and runs through November 24th. The 2019 U.S. Pavilion will feature Martin Puryear: Liberty/Martin Puryear: LibertàThe artist is being presented by Madison Square Park Conservancy, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.  It mark’s the first time that a public art institution has been chosen for this honor.   It is a testament to the ongoing work of the Conservancy in all areas, particularly in its endeavor to bring significant artworks into all of our daily lives.

The International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia is considered the preeminent exhibit of art in the world.  Begun in 1895 and held every two years, La Biennale unveils  dynamic new art to hundreds of thousands of visitors. This year’s Exhibition carries the theme “May You Live in Interesting Times.”

Martin Puryear is a noted American sculptor known for the subtlety and power in his form and the inherent symbolism in his art.  His work has been displayed in special exhibits and permanent collections in some of the world’s most prestigious museums. Many visitors to Madison Square Park will remember Puryear’s art installation Big Bling, which was on public display in 2016.

Martin Puryear’s Big Bling, Madison Sq. Park, 2016; Via the Madison Square Park Conservancy
Freespace, Via La Biennale di Venezia
Via La Biennale di Venezia

The Biennale opens officially on May 11th, but friends of the Conservancy will be in Venice next week for a preview of the U.S. Pavilion Exhibit and other celebrations.  We will keep you up on the news of the event, which will surely bring the park and our neighborhood into the international spotlight.  Please check back at this site for more news as we receive it.

La Biennale di Venezia
May You Live In Interesting Times

May 11, 2019 – November 24, 2019
For more information: www.labiennale.org

April 29, 2019

Now and Then is a series of articles appearing regularly on our blog to make tenants aware of the rich and colorful history that occurred on the streets of our Manhattan neighborhood.  Once the center of New York social life and national political life, our neighborhood witnessed some of the epic events, firsts, building projects, and celebrities that signaled the beginning of U.S. power and influence.

 

The beautiful Met Clock Tower was inspired by the Campanile in St. Mark’s Square, Venice.  It has been a skyline landmark for 100 years that has seen little change.  One of the last mass clocks in New York City, it makes a huge impression on all of us as we go about our everyday business in NoMad, and nothing could seem less fictional than this monumental steadfast stone obelisk.

Interestingly, artists see things differently, especially when they happen to encounter something out of the ordinary.  That’s what happened one afternoon when Murray Leinster looked out of the window of his office in the Flatiron Building early in the 20th Century.  He noticed the hands of the mass clock on the new Met Tower going counterclockwise, as though time were going in reverse. Workman in the tower were simply resetting the clocks.  We might have not even noticed.  Leinster, however, was inspired by this simple event to make the Met Clock Tower the protagonist in a science fiction thriller.

In “The Runaway Skyscraper” a seismic event causes The Met Life Tower (called Metropolitan Tower in his story) to crash back through several thousands of years. Suddenly, the inhabitants of the 20th Century building find themselves surrounded by a wooded, pre-Colombian Manhattan inhabited by Native Americans.

The story traces the trip back in time, the long-lost world the modern’s find surrounding them, and, the attempts to get the building to return to the present day.  The engineer Arthur Chamberlain is not only the hero who propels the tower back to the modern era, but he is the main love interest of the story, who wins his girl by his achievement.

The writing might not be classic, but the description of the tower’s trip through time is ingenious and there are some wonderful ideas and beautiful passages, such as this one:

“A bright moon shone overhead and silvered the white sides of the tower, while the brightly-lighted windows of the offices within glittered like jewels set into the shining shaft. From his position on the ground he (Arthur) looked into the dimness of the forest on all sides. Black obscurity had gathered beneath the dark masses of moonlit foliage. The tiny birch-bark teepees of the now deserted Indian village glowed palely. Above, the stars looked calmly down at the accusing finger of the tower pointing upward, as if in reproach at their indifference to the savagery that reigned over the whole earth.”

That is undeniably a description of our clock tower.  Passing the tower some night as it rises from the park, we may very well experience this image and its poetic symbolism firsthand.

“The Runaway Skyscraper” first appeared in the February 22, 1919 issue of Argosy, America’s first pulp magazine published from 1882 through 1978. It’s really worth a read in its entirety at Project Gutenberg.

April 24, 2019
Via Finery

Finery is a great example of the type of innovative, bold, energetic spirit we see in so many Kew tenants. 

Growing out of personal need, Finery is the brainchild of Whitney Casey and Brooklyn Decker.  Faced with a real issue that they knew affected many women — assembling looks from their closets, they resourcefully found the app technologies to solve the problem.  That wasn’t enough for them; they moved on to expand their product offering to allow users of the app to catalog their closet easily, get suggested combinations, and to find new clothes from retailers online to augment what they have.

Recently they gave us an insight into this exciting concept.

 

We use our smartphones for nearly everything these days—from ordering clothes to ordering takeout; from monitoring our body fat to monitoring our pets when we’re away; from adjusting our thermostats to chasing down little cartoon monsters in Central Park. It seems we should be able to use our phones to organize the messiest space in most people’s homes—the closet.

Now, there’s an app for that—Finery.

“Finery is a digital wardrobe,” explains Whitney Casey, one of the company’s co-founders. “We like to say it’s like your closet in your pocket.”

Finery is an app that helps users:

  • Keep track of the clothes in their closet;
  • Create looks and styles from those items based on how others are wearing them;
  • Fill in styling gaps with recommendations and wish-list picks; and
  • Connect seamlessly with their favorite online sources to buy those new items.

 

How this Exciting Business was Born and Evolved

Whitney says the seed idea for the company came out of personal experience. “My best friend Brooklyn Decker and I used to send each other pretty much all of the items in our closets,” she says. “She would take a screenshot of something she just bought, and be like ‘Do you think I should wear this?’ And pretty soon, I started having so many images from her closet and she had so many from mine that we thought, ‘This is so crazy that we don’t have our closets on our phone. How is that possible?’ We both shop mainly online, so we looked into what kind of technologies exist that are not in this space but are used in other spaces.

“At the time, I was using an app called TripIt, which basically organizes all your travel plans in one place using your confirmation e-mails. So, we thought, if that could exist, then something like it could be made for retail.”

“After starting small, Finery evolved quickly over the next few years. “The look of it has completely changed,” Whitney says. “When we first had no money, Brooklyn and I were just drawing it ourselves, and we would have one graphic designer take what we were imagining and make it. After we raised some money, we hired a professional team and we built our team to 19 people. The functionality of the app is a lot better, too. At first, it took eight minutes to upload your closet. And now it takes 30 seconds. I imagine, will be even faster as we scale.”

“One of the greatest advantages of the company’s growth,” Whitney says, “is that we could move Finery out of the coworking space into our own permanent offices as a Kew tenant. “Once you make it out of a coworking space, you feel like a real company,” she says. “You have a real home, this is a real lease. We graduated. When you go to a coworking space, you try to have your brand-new company, but you’re really in their culture. It feels like our culture is here now. That’s what’s so cool about being here. We have our own little mini-fiefdom in here.”

 

Simplifying the Process of Cataloging Your Closet

While there are other fashion and wardrobe apps out there, Whitney says one of the key differentiators of Finery is the technology they developed to help users populate their digital closet in seconds using e-mail receipts, rather than painstakingly, entering one item at a time.

“It’s great to think of having your closet on your phone,” she says, “but if you have to take a picture of everything in your closet, and then write what it is, and where you got it, and what the price was, and what size it is, it is overwhelming.   We knew there had to be a better solution.

Three years ago, we started working on this, and we got a patent on how we actually get the data into your closet via e-receipts and merging your store accounts. You sign up with Finery using whatever e-mail you shop with, and within 15 seconds, everything you’ve ever purchased online from that e-mail address gets populated into your closet. And you can add multiple e-mails.”

 

Via Finery

Helping You Choose Styles and Suggesting Additions to Better Use What You Have

Whitney points out that Finery not only manages your wardrobe, but it helps you make style choices using the clothes you own—a function that is set to expand greatly in the next few months with a new feature called “Unlimited Styling.”

“We basically took every feature that you would possibly use on a bunch of different products and put them into one,” she says. “So not only do we get all of your items into the digital closet, we also let you style them, and then we style them for you.

“The new product that we’re about to release, which is really cool, is Unlimited Styling. So, if I buy a sweater online, it immediately is put into my closet. I can use our styler to create outfits from it on myself.  I can also see how influencers wear the sweater. But with Unlimited Styling, we will take this sweater and put it with all combinations in your closet and with items that you could potentially own or you could buy. It’s really great to be able to see this sweater and have unlimited ideas on how to wear it.”

How does the app “know” how to create styles at this level? Whitney says it’s a combination of human experience and an advanced algorithm.

“For the past three years, we’ve looked at 2.8 million outfits that were made by humans on our platform,” she says. We’ve been basically trying to figure out how you put items together, and what patterns go best together, and essentially, how women decide what to wear. One, we look at the weather. Two, we look at what are we doing that day. Three, we look at comfort. Four, we look at how we’re feeling that day. Figuring all that out at first seems daunting, but we spent all this time gathering that data from women using the platform. So, humans built it, and now an algorithm will take it and scale it.”

 

An Idea that Women Needed to Conceive and Make Happen

Whitney feels one of the best things about Finery is its universal appeal, especially for women on the go. “A lot of people think apps like this are for really fashionable people, but our drive was to build something that everyone can use,” she says. “Every woman gets dressed, and the average woman will spend eight years of her life shopping, and two years deciding what to wear. Two years! And that’s even if you don’t care that much. If you do care, it’s so much more. Your closet should be on your phone.”

Since the challenge of choosing what to wear is so universal, the question is why no one has utilized technology to solve the problem before now. “It’s most likely because there are hardly any women in tech,” Whitney surmises. “If you are a man in tech, chances are you don’t necessarily really care about your closet. So, it really takes that kind of magical moment where a woman, maybe who isn’t in tech, decides that there is a pain point and a problem that women really need solved, and then finds people who can solve it. And that’s what we did.

The next concert in Rizzoli’s adventurous Aperitivo Music Series, Musette Explosion will bring the traditional French Musette genre to new places through virtuosic improvisation and original pieces, sonic surprises and adventurous playing, shot through with a sense of fun and emotional depth.

The concert on Sunday, April 28th, 2019, will be at 5:00 p.m. in Rizzoli’s marvelous performance space at 1133 Broadway, between 25th and 26th Streets.

Musette is a wonderful French music tradition originating in Paris’s cafés and bars during the 19th Century, where atrons danced the bourrée to the accompaniment of the cabrette (a bellows-blown bagpipe locally called a “musette”) and often the vielle à roue (hurdy-gurdy). Italians playing the accordian, joined the Parisians and introduced accordian versions of the music.

Because the Musette dance forms did not require a large hall and people were drawn to easier, faster and more sensual dance steps, Musette became popular. So popular in fact that by 1945, the bal-musette became the most popular style of dance in France, and its biggest stars were widely known across the country. While its popularity declined in the last half of the 20th Century, a revival of bals has begun, especially in larger cities, and a modern form of the musette is establishing itself.

It will be interesting to hear where The Musette Explosion takes this form this coming Sunday.

The Musette Explosion

Will Holshouser (accordion) performs all over the world as an accordionist, improviser and composer. Will has played for many years with violinist Regina Carter and appears on her last two albums. He has played with Martha Wainwright, Loudon Wainwright III, NYC Ballet, NYC Opera, Brooklyn Philharmonic, and others.

Matt Munisteri (guitarist/banjoist) Matt’s debut CD Love Story wound up on several critics’ “Best of” lists, and garnered the second spot on Amazon’s Top Ten Jazz CDs of The Year (2003). Matt was a key player on Loudon Wainwright’s 2010 Grammy-winning CD High Wide and Handsome. He is credited on over 70 CDs, including new releases by trombonist Wycliffe Gordon and guitarist Howard Alden.

Marcus Rojas (tuba) is internationally recognized as one of the most accomplished and unique voices on his instrument. He has worked with artists ranging from David Byrne and Paul Simon to the Metropolitan Opera, downtown luminaries such as John Zorn and Marc Ribot, reggae stars Sly & Robbie, and jazz legends Lionel Hampton and Lester Bowie.

To listen to highlights from the discography of the trio and the countless projects of its individual players, please go here.

To purchase tickets: Please RSVP to mhuston@rizzoliusa.com. Tickets may be purchased at the door for $20 and include complimentary Prosecco. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 24 hours it means your RSVP has not been received, so please write again.

Rizzoli Music Aperitivo is sponsored by Mionetto Prosecco and curated by Mondo Jazz, the weekly Radio Free Brooklyn show dedicated to international jazz.

April 19, 2019
The Grand Tetons, Wyoming

From its beginnings in 1970 when 20,000 Americans marched for the environment, “Earth Day,” now in its 49th year, has mushroomed into a worldwide movement. Now, nearly 200 nations dedicate each April 22nd to raising awareness of the need for environmental protection for the planet and sustainability of resources. As the effects of global warming have become more pronounced in recent years—and with scientists worldwide sounding the alarms about the need for fundamental changes in our behaviors, Earth Day is a greater reminder of our responsibilities than ever before.

The good news is that everyone can take positive steps toward environmental friendliness, a lowered carbon footprint, and a “greener” lifestyle. It’s not just the job of industry and big business, it starts with each of us. In observation of Earth Day 2019, here are a few things we can all begin doing today to protect the planet.

 

Take Steps to Become as “Paperless” as Possible

Perhaps easiest and most widely accepted is paper conservation. Trees remove carbon dioxide from the air and replace it with needed fresh oxygen. We can save trees and prevent the plundering of huge forests by reducing paper usage. Almost every bill or invoice can now be processed, sent and paid online—both bills you pay and bills you send. Also, by going paperless, you save the chemicals and energy needed for processing paper and printing it, as well as the fuel it takes to deliver a paper bill to our mailboxes.

 

Reduce Our Use of Plastics

Society is either not as mindful of plastics or unaware of the lasting damage plastic waste has on the planet’s environment. Plastic waste is one of Earth’s most significant pollutants, mainly because it is not biodegradable. The oceans are filling up with about nineteen million pounds of plastic per year. This waste not only presents a biohazard for sea life, but also making its way into the bodies of the fish that we eventually ingest.

We can help turn the tide by avoiding the use of disposable plastics whenever possible. If everyone avoided using plastic straws, cups, plates, bottles, and plastic bags a tremendous difference could be made in a short time. (Soon, NYC will be doing its part by outlawing plastic bags throughout the city.) One of the greatest challenges in this area is the exploding use of plastic in water bottles; water lovers should consider getting a water filter as an alternative to bottled water and other drinks.

When using plastic items, we should remember to put it in the recycle bin when finished, rather than throwing it in the trash.

 

Conserve Electricity at Home and at Work

If we can stand to turn the thermostat up a couple of degrees in summer—and down a couple of degrees in winter—we’ll not only save on energy bills, but we’ll be reducing the use of fossil fuels. Also, switching from incandescent to LED lights, turning lights off when leaving a room, and turning off electronics at the end of the day can make a huge cumulative difference.

 

Bike, Walk or Use Public Transportation

NYC is one of the few places in the nation where people don’t have to have a motor vehicle to get around. We can use this to our advantage by walking or biking short distances, and by using public transportation whenever possible to reduce our carbon footprint.

There’s plenty more we can all do to help the environment. Earthday.org has a list of 46 additional helpful tips, all of which are practical and fairly painless to implement. Check them out.

Obviously, each of us alone can’t save the planet by being environmentally conscious only one day a year—it must become a lifestyle for all of us. However, let’s allow Earth Day to renew our awareness of our planet’s greatest needs and renew our own resolve to do our part, in our daily lives and in the political sphere, to help advance the campaign for a healthier Earth.

April 11, 2019

Guided by her philosophy “A room should awaken the senses,” Galli’s goal is to cast a spell with her interior designs. In her new book Magical Rooms: Elements of Interior Design, Brooklyn-based designer Fawn Galli, known for her witty and whimsical interiors with a bohemian flair, shows how to create magical rooms without breaking the bank.

Using twelve very different interiors—from a Brooklyn townhouse to a Tribeca loft to a Greenwich Village apartment to an Upper West Side penthouse, Galli illustrates how she has achieved the finished look for each and breaks down her design principles into instructive teachings on scale, structure, balance, and color, which readers can apply to their own interiors.

Magical Rooms is being featured in Rizzoli’s windows, and the new 240-page book, published on March 19th in hardcover, is currently available for purchase for $45.00.

Fawn Galli, who has been a tenant in 1133 for the past eight years, has had her work featured in Elle Décor, Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Lonny Magazine, Domino, New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal, among other outlets.

April 8, 2019
Via AKC, Photo © Jaime Rojo

If you arrive in NoMad via the F or M trains at the newly renovated 23rd Street Station, you’ve no doubt noticed some new additions to the walls—specifically, an 11-mural mosaic installation by Chelsea-based artist William Wegman. What you might not know is that the installation itself was executed by a Kew tenant, architectural glass/mosaic studio Franz Mayer of Munich.

The MTA commissioned Walter Wegman, a photographic artist celebrated for his portraits of his Weimaraner dogs, to create the 23rd Street art installation. Collectively named “Stationary Figures,” the murals depict Wegman’s Weimaraners, Flo and Topper, in a quirky set of poses, including wearing human clothes as though they were commuters waiting for the train. “I wanted to create portraits of individual characters, people who you might see next to you on the platform,” explained Wegman in a statement.

Via CityLab © Patrick J. Cashin/MTA
Via CityLab © Patrick J. Cashin/MTA

Franz Mayer of Munich, which has its New York office in 1123 Broadway since 2014,  was asked to convert the photographs into mosaic form and install them in the subway station. The entire process took two years from start to finish, including about six months to fabricate the glass pieces.

Via 6sqft
Via 6sqft

“Stationary Figures” is only the most recent MTA mosaic project of Mayer, whose handiwork can be found in Vic Muniz’s art installation at the new 72nd Street “Q” Station and in the inspired installation “Under Bryant Park” designed by Samm Kunce in the crossover from the 6th Avenue line to the No. 7 train station at Fifth Avenue. Mayer has created a number of other art works in the subway system as well.

Left: Ellsworth Kelly Chapel; Right: North trancept of Covington’s Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption

Franz Mayer of Munich is celebrated globally for its mosaic and stained glass work.  Since its founding 150 years ago, the company has designed and installed stained glass in over 100 churches.  Additionally, Mayer has created works of art for private venues, corporate headquarters and public spaces around the world such as  Kazakhstan’s Pyramid of Peace to New York City’s own Staten Island Ferry Terminal to the Ellsworth Kelly Chapel. The firm’s art creations range from traditional work to technically challenging, modern projects. So esteemed is the company that it has even been called on to restore the mosaics at Pompeii.

Clifford Ross Austin Wall in U.S. Federal Courthouse, Austin.

Our congratulations and thanks to Walter Wegman and Franz Mayer for making the 23rd Street Station a marvelous place to wait for a train.

April 2, 2019

Kew is happy to announce that a new Business Center website has been launched as part of the Kew website. As with all other key tenant tools and information, simply go to the Tenant Center to find out about Business Center services and conference rooms.

Click on Business Center and you will link to:

Services

Containing information and pricing on:
Printing Services
Scanning and Shredding
Notary Services
Lamination
Messenger Services
Shipping
Mail Receiving

. . . as well as forms you may need.

Conference Rooms

Contains information on:
Assistance in Setting Up Meetings
The Madison Room – For Large Meetings
The Worth Room — For Small Conferences

You will find pictures of the rooms and possible audience layouts . . .  as well as forms you may need.

Your Business Center

Remember that the Business Center is convenient located right here in Room 221 of 1133 Broadway.  And the staff is here to help you in whatever way it can.  If you have a special need or your own staff is overburdened, the Business Center  will do all it can to help.  Please contact the Client Lead – Aurelio Ceccacci by phone at (212) 243-3600 or via e-mail at center@kewmanagement.com. 

The Business Center . . .

Extending your capabilities.
Making your job easier.
Helping your company succeed.

March 29, 2019

Over the past fifty-five years, Rizzoli Bookstore has become a New York City tradition, not only as a purveyor of fine books, but also as a center for culture and discussion. Since relocating to 1133 Broadway almost four years ago, Rizzoli has consistently enriched the NoMad neighborhood with its schedule of talks, book signings and musical events.

In case Kew tenants were not aware, Rizzoli currently hosts two varieties of ongoing events, which it publicizes on the events page of the Rizzoli website and via the store’s email list.

 

Book Event and Presentation Series

As new books are released, Rizzoli is a favorite stop for authors. They stop by for book signings to do readings, or discuss their latest releases. These events occur four to five times per week, usually in the evenings after work. Among the celebrities that have visited Rizzoli are Manolo Blahnik, Diane von Furstenberg, Steven Holl, Tim Gunn, Michael Bierut, Hilary Knight, Bernadette Peters, and Ruth Reichl to name only a few. Discussion topics range from interior design to cooking to authors’ memoirs. The subject range is as wide as the encyclopedic selection of books Rizzoli has for sale.

Occasionally, an RSVP is requested to hold space.

 

Rizzoli Music Aperitivo

In addition to regular book signings and talks, Rizzoli’s Music Aperitivo series hosts a variety of international jazz artists performing in Rizzoli’s intimate salon. Held one or two Sunday evenings per month, the Music Aperitivo series is offered in partnership with Mondo Jazz and Mionetto Prosecco. It’s a great way to spend a relaxing Sunday evening in NoMad.

RSVPs are requested for these events. Tickets are $20 at the door, and admission includes a complimentary glass of prosecco.

To receive word on the latest upcoming music and book discussion events, Rizzoli invites Kew tenants to sign up for its email list via the Rizzoli website. Don’t miss the opportunities for enrichment and enjoyment available right here at 1133 Broadway.

March 27, 2019

On Sunday, April 7th at 5:00 p.m., Blake and Brass, a one-of-a-kind brass band with a downtown attitude, will be performing at Rizzoli’s beautiful performance space at 1133 Broadway (between 25 and 26th Streets).

Conjuring music from the curbsides and corners of cultures far and wide, Blake and Brass reverberates with the spirit of street music from around the world. Michael Blake’s arrangements reveal a restless adventurer and his all-star band mates know how to spur one another on. Stalwart members of the New York City creative scene, these musicians have collaborated with everyone that matters, from Sonny Rollins to the Lounge Lizards, Robert Altman, Aretha Franklin, Dizzy Gillespie, McCoy Tyner, Bill Frisell, Sting, Prince, Nick Cave, Ray Lamontagne and Natalie Cole and many more.

You can read his reviews at this link, but here is a small sampling:

Red Hook Soul (Blake’s 2016 album) is a rollicking, joyous bounce. The music just cruises like a partying group of friends barreling down a highway in an open convertible on a sunny day.”

—Ralph Miriello, The Huffington Post

 

Fullfillment. Is the “Best of 2016. Saxophonist Michael Blake‘s 2016 release is astonishing, exploding with intricate details and unleashing one grand statement after the other. Everything about this album indicates a sound and vision steps ahead of the music of today.”

— Dave Sumner, Bird is the Word

 

Of his album Kingdom of Champa:  “Blake’s vision bristles with colors, textures and mystery.”

—Neil Tesser, Playboy

 

Of Blake’s offerings on Tiddy Boom:  “this is music unbound in time…perfectly executed.”

—James Hale, DownBeat

 

To listen to highlights of Michael Blake’s discography and some unreleased Blake and Brass music, click here.

To purchase tickets: Please RSVP to mhuston@rizzoliusa.com. Tickets may be purchased at the door for $20 and include complimentary Prosecco. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 24 hours it means your RSVP has not been received, so please write again.

Rizzoli Music Aperitivo is sponsored by Mionetto Prosecco and curated by Mondo Jazz, the weekly Radio Free Brooklyn show dedicated to international jazz.

March 25, 2019

Whether we ease our minds by just looking across the street at it, eat lunch there, or enjoy its latest art installation, Madison Square Park is an indispensable part of our life in NoMad. In fact, it it is hard to imagine how things would be if it were not there. Luckily, our forebears recognized the important respite a green space provides, and caring generations over the past 150 years have delivered this magical place to us.

The park becomes even more rewarding if we are mindful of all that has happened there…and all it caused to happen there. So rich is its history that we can’t cover it in a single article, but let’s look at a few of the more significant highlights.

 

Early Settlement

It’s hard today to imagine NoMad as swampland, but when the Dutch first settled New Amsterdam at the lower tip of Manhattan in the early 1600s, that’s exactly what this area was. The land was undeveloped, with a swampy creek winding through it on its way to the East River.

In 1686, several decades after Britain had taken over the colony and renamed it New York, the Royal Governor of New York designated this area a public hunting ground.

 

A Burial Ground, then Military Parade Grounds (Late 1700s – Early 1800s)

Nearly two decades after the colonies declared their independence from Britain, a yellow fever epidemic swept through the mid-Atlantic region, starting in Philadelphia and making its way to New York City in the mid 1790s, killing thousands in its wake. When Bellevue Hospital needed a “potter’s field” for the dead, the relatively close old hunting grounds became the obvious choice. It is believed that some victims are still buried beneath the park’s soil, although most of the bodies were eventually moved to the Washington Square area.

In 1807, the U.S. military set up a Parade Grounds of 238.7 acres in the area, on which to practice maneuvers—a function the land served through the War of 1812.

Shortly after the war, in the face of increasing population demands, the public land was reduced from 238.7 acres to 89.2 acres and named Madison Square after President James Madison.

Nearly 20 years later, the old military arsenal on the grounds was converted to serve as the nation’s first home for juvenile delinquents.

 

Public Unveiling and the Gilded Age (Mid-Late 1800s)

In 1844, again in response to NYC’s rapid expansion, Madison Square Park was reduced to 6.2 acres, the park’s current size. Shortly after, park planners officially opened the park as a public city space.

Originally, the park was laid out in street-grid fashion similar to the streets around it, but in the 1870s, park designers Ignatz Pilat and William Grant redesigned the park with winding, curved walkways, deliberately avoiding any direct route across the grounds. This meandering style formed the basis for how the park looks today and is largely responsible for the park’s sense of seclusion from the surrounding city.

During the Gilded Age, Madison Square Park would become the centerpiece of the neighborhood growing around it.  The wealthiest New Yorkers lived in brownstones around the park, and nearby restaurants and hotels became popular hangouts for artists, writers, politicians, and celebrities.

In the early part of the 20th Century the park became the place where the city came together for all sorts of events: to view election results projected on nearby buildings, demonstrate against injustices (including the famous Rocking Chair Riots instigated by a St. James tenant, watch parades honoring national heroes, hear speeches, and even the relish the lighting of the city’s first and largest community Christmas tree (the forerunner of the Rockefeller Center tree).

 

A Failed Parking Lot (1960s)

In the 1960s, the future of the park was briefly threatened when, in an attempt to accommodate increased automobile traffic, a proposal was put forward to build an underground parking garage beneath the park. Fearing that the new garage would damage the roots of the park’s many historic trees, opponents voiced their concerns loudly. The plan to build the parking garage was eventually scrapped. Whew!

 

Decline and Restoration (1970s – Present Day)

In the decades following the Gilded Age, the neighborhood surrounding Madison Square Park began to decline, falling into disrepair, and experiencing higher crime rates. By the 1970s, this neglect had made its way fully into the park itself, and it had become overgrown, dark and dangerous. Fortunately, the park found a Good Samaritan in a former park official named Donald E. Simon, who in 1979 first began making unprecedented appeals for Madison Square Park to be supported through private funds.

Neighborhood corporations the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (Met Life) and New York Life were among the first to answer the call, initiating a 22-year process that would result in a phased restoration of the park, and eventually the formation of the Madison Square Park Conservancy—the nonprofit group that oversaw the completion of the park’s restoration and currently maintains the park through private donations.

Today, residents and workers of the NoMad, Flatiron and Gramercy neighborhoods get to enjoy a well-maintained park offering green space, art installations, concerts, readings, children’s events and more.

The renown of our tiny 6.2 acre gem has spread, because of the hard work of the Conservancy and the support of the committed community around it.  And this work is allowing it to make more noteworthy history.   Madison Square Park has been selected to represent the United States at the 58th Venice Biennale this summer with the work of Martin Puryear, who’s Big Bling the Conservancy presented in the park back in 2016.

It seems the park has a great deal more history to write.

March 22, 2019

Ruth Reichl, legendary food critic and writer is celebrating her new memoir, Save Me The Plums, with a visit to Rizzoli’s Bookstore at 1133 Broadway on Tuesday, April 2nd at 6:00 p.m.  She will be discussing the book with Francis Lam, food writer and host of The Splendid Table, and the discussion will be followed by a book signing.

Ms. Reichl was the food critic for The Los Angeles Times, then The New York Times, and in 1999, became editor of the country’s most lauded food magazine, Gourmet. She has authored over ten books and is recipient of four James Beard Awards, among many other awards.  Some of her major achievements as a critic were: demystifying the world of fine cuisine; her honesty about some of the not-so-fabulous aspects of haute cuisine, highlighting the sexism prevalent toward women in dine-out experiences, and spotlighting the pretentious nature of the ritziest New York restaurants.

As for her latest book, it traces her life from her hippie days in Berkley, through her transformation of  Gourmet and the rise of the farm-to-table movement that changed, forever, the way we eat.   Complete with recipes, Save Me the Plums is a personal journey of a woman coming to terms with being in charge and making a mark, following a passion and holding on to her dreams-even when she ends up in a place she never expected to be.

Reviews garnered for Save Me the Plums so far, include:

“This is the rare case of an amazing writer living an amazing life.”—Ann Patchett , award winning American author.

“No one writes about food like Ruth Reichl. She also happens to be a mesmerizing storyteller. I consider this book essential nourishment.”—Nigella Lawson, English food writer and cooking show host.

“Ruth Reichl is the best sort of storyteller—intimate, wise, frank, and completely engaging. Here she beautifully details her ten years running Gourmet, with all the triumphs and tribulations, and it’s a brilliant tale. Every page is rich and delicious; the book is such a treat!”—Susan Orlean, New York Times bestselling author of The Library Book.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear one of the legends of our time.

To purchase a ticket, please click here. Ticket price includes a copy of the book.