Archive for the ‘New York City’ Category

Old Tricks in the Design Capital: The Sidewalk-Catwalk

July 16, 2010

Donna Karan's Mannequin sans hat and backpack

There’s a new tribe marching down Broadway in the Fashion District, and no, it’s not Lady Gaga and her dance troupe. It’s a line of Ralph Pucci-designed mannequins strutting their weatherproof wares (wears) between Times and Herald Squares. What is the reason for this stoic entourage? Well, like the fiberglass pigs, horses, and cows that cropped up around the US in previous decades, these hard-bodied silhouettes have been installed to build awareness and support for the fashion industry in New York City.

So, are they doing this job well?



The Number 7 Lights Up

March 23, 2009

img_0594The new indicator lights on the NYC Subway’s 7 Train are a godsend. Previously the 7 Train, which runs local and express on weekdays, often had an identity crisis. The only signage difference was the purple shape surrounding the number 7 (local was a purple circle and express, a purple diamond), but they were never correct.


Fully Baked

March 19, 2009


Letters proud enough to stand tall and cast a shadow of their own bring as much drama to the printed page as they do to the 3-D world. Yesterday our D-Crit class was treated to a walking tour of found street typography, led by Paul Shaw. We were en route to the Humanities Branch of the New York Public Library to learn research methods needed to delve deep into the treasures of the stacks.

This fabulous dimensional building number sign at left (I believe it was on 28th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues) directly relates to these two ads I found at the library in a 1935 issue of Baker’s Helper, a magazine for the baking profession. (Whatelse?)

Reminiscent of the title sequences to black and white MGM movies, the typography delivers a much-appreciated dash of old Hollywood glamour to the humble world of pies and a mundane Manhattan block.

Mystery Train, Mystery Phone

March 15, 2009



Today my flashlight and I (and a group of 50 other people) ventured through an open manhole in the middle of a Kings County intersection to view an abandoned 19th century railroad tunnel underneath Atlantic Avenue. Brooklynite Bob Diamond, who discovered the tunnel in 1979 after years of research (he prevailed after being told repeatedly it didn’t exist) leads tours into the subterranean tunnel built by Cornelius Vanderbilt for the Long Island Rail Road around the time of the Civil War. But I really found myself wondering: where did the phone come from? (more…)

And Now…Working Out Of A Cardboard Box

March 10, 2009
David Stark's West Elm Cacti for a Cause   

David Stark's West Elm Cacti for a Cause

For real. I have found myself in the alternate universe of cardboard lifestyle, and this planet keeps expanding.

Today I saw (virtually) the handsome cardboard cacti concocted by David Stark that made an appearance at West Elm. It seems Stark assembled many items, from the cacti to tissue boxes and clocks, for the opening of the newest West Elm in Manhattan and an auction benefiting the Cooper-Hewitt Museum. All of the materials used to make the items were recycled West Elm packing materials.


Sleepless In Broadway

March 5, 2009


It was bad enough when the announcement hit the interweb that Dirty Dancing would be the next film adaptation to make it to a Broadway stage. It’s only gotten worse from there. Julie Taymor is directing working on a Spiderman musical while a whole group of crazies are writing an Addams Family musical. Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse (emphasize with jazz hands), it has. A musical adaptation of Sleepless in Seattle will soon be on Broadway.


Where the Streets Have No____(Insert Pun Here)

March 4, 2009

U2 Way

Mayor Bloomberg must be really bored these days. This morning, the Mayor renamed a section of West 53rd Street “U2 Way,” resulting in a photo opportunity featuring each member of the band holding street signs. It is truly curious how someone is always coming up with new ways to keep U2 relevant.