Sakura Matsuri at Brooklyn Botanic Garden



There are few people who can travel to Japan and not be charmed by it.  I can remember my first trip there with uncharacteristic precision, but like so many others, I flirted with its culture and food long before I set foot on a plane.  There is something so intoxicating about how truly unique it is, so it’s no surprise that Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Sakura Matsuri is one of its busiest weekends of the year. Continue reading Sakura Matsuri at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs at the Museum of the City of New York



Before the rise of DC and Marvel superhero blockbusters, with their visual effects extravaganzas, there was the original source material — the under-appreciated, often ridiculed comic books and graphic novels — from which their inspirations were drawn. In fact, prior to bellwether films such as The Dark Knight, Sin City, The Avengers and The Walking Dead, the only examples of this broad medium to garner even a modicum of respect were the iconoclastic satire of MAD Magazine and The New Yorker. And more than any other, the cartoons of The New Yorker epitomized the astonishing breadth of this art form, pushing its boundaries and demonstrating its wealth of profundities. Continue reading Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs at the Museum of the City of New York

Intrude by Amanda Parer at Brookfield Place



“I’m not interested in oversized inflatable rabbits,” I said… never.  

When I heard about Intrude, Amanda Parer’s public art installation at Brookfield Place, I hopped on over as soon as I could (sorry, had to do it!).  The Australian artist first debuted her work at the 2014 Vivid Festival in Sydney (where she’s originally from) and the display has since traveled the world, making its way from London to Sweden to Turkey.  While the large rabbit sculptures — made of nylon, inflated and internally lit — may come off as whimsical over-the-top Easter decorations, like most good art, it actually carries greater significance.

Continue reading Intrude by Amanda Parer at Brookfield Place

Ibrahim El-Salahi: Alhambra at Salon 94



As we’ve established in previous posts, and will likely continue to demonstrate in the future, New York City is home to a staggering number of museums and cultural institutions, and they offer a virtually limitless number of exhibits and installations to appreciate.  While Chelsea has long been the heart of the city’s art scene, art publications like ArtNews and Artsy have been covering the migration of many art galleries to the Lower East Side now that the High Line and the Whitney Museum have ushered in exponential growth, and therefore, rising rents in Chelsea.

Continue reading Ibrahim El-Salahi: Alhambra at Salon 94

Ramones and the Birth of Punk at Queens Museum


“The Ramones all originate from Forest Hills and kids who grew up there either became musicians, degenerates or dentists. The Ramones are a little of each.”
—Tommy Ramone, first press release

Continue reading Ramones and the Birth of Punk at Queens Museum

American Psycho on Broadway



American Psycho the Musical is the latest iteration of Bret Easton Ellis’s 1991 novel about Patrick Bateman, a young Wall Street executive obsessed with appearances, and his murderous activities. The musical follows the successful 2000 movie starring Christian Bale in the lead role, of which, admittedly, I am a big fan.  I enjoyed the commentary about materialism as well as the concept of the villain, though highly exaggerated, who lives among us.  As the tale unfolds, we eventually come to learn that some of the murders didn’t take place, leading us to question if any of them did — the realization that we are dealing with an untrustworthy narrator is a nice plot twist that alludes to the inner workings of a disturbed mind. Continue reading American Psycho on Broadway

The Frick Collection



I’d be hard pressed to name a favorite museum in New York City — it would be like naming a favorite child (if you have over a hundred of them).  But I can assure you that the Frick Collection would be hovering near the top of the list.  It’s such an intimate and warm space, and although many other residences have been converted into museums or galleries, this one still feels like a home. Continue reading The Frick Collection

The Humans on Broadway



Sometimes a play — a really, really good one — gets under your skin and stays there long after the curtain falls. Stephen Karam’s most recent effort, The Humans, is precisely that kind of play. Continue reading The Humans on Broadway

Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival


“I don’t think there is a life in the mundane 9-to-5 hypocrisy. That’s not living. That’s just part of the Matrix. And drag is punk rock, because it is not part of the Matrix. It is not following any rules of societal standards. Boy, girl, black, white, Catholic, Jew, Muslim. It’s none of that. We shape-shift. We can do whatever we want.” – RuPaul

While we’d like to encourage you to be happy with who you are, we’d also like to embolden you to be anyone you want to be. That may involve introspection and ambition, or it may simply involve putting on a costume when the occasion allows it. There’s a boldness to the business of getting dressed up and standing in the spotlight. Some New Yorkers get up and do it every day, while others wait for an instance like the Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival to get their shape-shift on. Continue reading Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival

Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden



If you took an Economics class in college, you might recall discussions around irrational behavior and speculation leading to market bubbles and crashes.  While the dot-com and real estate debacles might be fresher in our memory, one of my favorite examples of this was the boom and bust of tulips in the 1600s. Yes, tulips.  If you’re unfamiliar, the story goes that when the Dutch Republic gained independence from the Spanish crown in the 17th century, it ushered in a Golden Age with growing trade and commerce.  Fortunes flourished and estates grew, and soon the prized tulip — its bold colors unlike that of any other flower at the time — became a status symbol.  As demand multiplied, speculators were drawn to the quick profits and the prices ballooned.  At its height it was said that a single bulb was exchanged for 1000 pounds of cheese.  But in 1637, a default on a contract caused widespread panic and the tulip market abruptly crashed. Continue reading Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden