A Peek At More Not-So-Hidden WPA Art

Greed hanging over sweat shop garment workers, with Castle Garden and recently arrived immigrants in the background.
A friend of mine teaches at the High School of Fashion Industries, so every once in a while I get to peek inside the building, constructed in 1938. Especially fascinating are the WPA murals in the auditorium, painted by Ernest Fiene. Landmarked, they're a wonderful political statement created in a time when workers--in this case garment--were finally earning the respect they deserved.

Enlightenment points to a group symbolizing the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, the 1911 tragedy that changed the industry.

These two panels symbolize the different parts of the trade unionizing, and working together in harmony.

Sign O' The Day: Trippy Bread

I love Amy's Bread, but this sign hurts my brain...


Chic Sunshine

I finally made it to The Standard's roof this weekend (spent the supposed "rapture" time there--I figured I'd go out stylin'...). While the décor up there seems to be a bit of an afterthought, I still say the view is worth the ridiculous drink prices. My out-of-town visitor thought it was absolutely perfect, and agreed that it was a much better deal than entry to the Empire State Building or Rockefeller Center--at least you get a tasty beverage for your money!

So, if you can handle the too-cool-for-school crowd, treat yourself to a visit sometime. Though I'd skip the pool room below...while it's designed to be a nightclub, the black tile just makes it feel trashy, especially compared to the beautifully-designed retro-70s lounge on the top floor's east side.

The Standard Hotel, 848 Washington Street at 13th, over The High Line.


No Weekend Plans? Head To The LIC Arts Open

I zipped across the East River yesterday evening to check out photographer Jesse Winter's latest show, Edible Art LIC: 2011, part of the way-bigger-than I-thought LIC Arts Open--a week-long celebration of Long Island City's creative community. Jesse's show featured his richly-hued, personality-filled images of local chefs and their wares, and to make the opening even more special, some of his subjects had donated some of their fabulous cuisine. The sensory experience was pretty much complete.

And the few of us who stayed long enough discovered, thanks to the folks at M. Wells Diner, that caviar on brioche is a wonderful, wonderful thing!

Jesse's show is open all weekend, so if you're free, head on out to Long Island City, pop into his Ten10 Studios (located in a beautiful old two-story carriage house), then hit some of the numerous open studios and special events dotted around the neighborhood--it all promises to be wonderful!

The LIC Arts Open is scattered throughout Long Island City, Queens. Take the E train, as the 7 isn't running this weekend.


The Edison Steps It Up With The Rum House

As we all know, I'm a fan of New York's old-school restaurants and bars, and am always sad to see them go (which seems to be more often than not these days--see this week's sad news about Elaine's). So when I heard the Edison Hotel's bar was being revamped a few months ago, I was initially very sad...until I heard it was merely getting a refresh by some stellar mixologists! The Rum House officially opened in January, and I finally went last night to have a cocktail before a performance of Arcadia (benefiting The Actors Fund--yay!).

For a bar just off Times Square, it's surprisingly not annoying. Perhaps it's the fact that The Rum House is in the not-so-trendy Edison Hotel (though The Edison's been given a good scrub and refresh since the last time I was in the lobby). Or maybe it's because it was a super-rainy evening. Regardless, the vibe was surprisingly chill and the drinks were great.

I went for The Barrymore (in honor of the theater we were heading to just across the street), which was a bit strong (single malt!), but perfectly old school. With live piano and a retro-vibe, it's definitely worth checking out if you need a place for a pre-theater beverage.

The Rum House is inside The Edison Hotel, 228 West 47th Street just west of Broadway.


Looks Like Rudy's Won The Backyard Battle!

Popped into Rudy's (my favorite Hell's Kitchen dive bar) for the first time in months yesterday, and lo--it looks like they've won the battle to reopen their backyard! It seems like years (and it has been) since we watched the 2008 Vice-Presidential debates in the kind of revamped space (they'd spruced it up just enough to make it seem less rat-prone than it had been...), but not long after, the bar got into a bit of a fight with the city over some construction, etc., and the it's been closed ever since. But according to one regular, as of last week it's pretty much all fixed up and back in action!

A movie-screening wall!

Even the inside seemed a bit cleaner than usual, though it was fairly early in the day...


Ninth Avenue Food Festival 2011 Is On Now!

How could I space and forget this weekend is one of my favorites of the year: The Ninth Avenue Food Festival! While I'm hoping to spend more time there tomorrow (please don't rain!), I just zipped up for a quick lunch while I was out running errands. It's as fun as ever, and since some of the neighborhood's newest restaurants have joined in the fun this year, it's definitely worth braving the gray.

And for those of you who think it's just another street fair, this is why it isn't: While there are (unfortunately) a lot of the typical chain street fair vendors, many of the tents are set up by neighborhood restaurants and organizations. In the photo above is one of the many examples: Bali Nusa Indah, the 45th Street Block Association, and newbies City Sandwich, The Ember Room, and Southern Hospitality.
The 45th Street Block Association set up some hopscotch for the kids.

The folks from longtime neighborhood favorite Poseidon sell their Grecian goodies.


Come On, High Line!

Walking down Tenth yesterday, I spied that things on my end of The High Line are looking close to finished. The website says it's opening in June, but after watching this cute little PSA, I'm thinking it'll be on the early side? Fingers crossed!


Sunny SoHo

On the run yesterday, I just had to stop and appreciate some Broome Street beauty.


Who Knew...

...a sewer cover could be so beautiful?

A Moment of Shameless Self-Promotion--CORRECTED TIME

So, 30 Rock is actually on at 10 tonight, in spite of what NBC's website said yesterday... So, once again, everyone, tune in or set your DVRs!


A Moment of Shameless Self-Promotion

My handiwork makes its network television debut tomorrow night!!! Tune in to the Season 5 finale of 30 Rock on NBC (Thursday, May 5, 2011 @ 10:30 10 Eastern/9:30 9 Central) to see the many, many crazy eyes I made, which were stuck all over Zoë Morsette's fabulously crafted (and insane!) costume. I won't reveal any more, other than I doubt you'll miss it...

I'll post pix after the episode airs!


Pic O' The Day: Snoozing @ Ting's

I love Ting's, the old-school Chinese tchotchke shop on Doyers Street. I remember buying a set of chopsticks there when I was 6 or 7...