Gallery Mondays: “Catching Lines” by James Yang

james yang catching lines mta subway art

I know what you’re thinking, but don’t worry, they’re all there, even the S!

I saw this MTA subway art card for the first time back in March, and have continued to see it on various trains since then. Called “Catching Lines,” the piece was created by Brooklyn-based artist James Yang.

His inspiration for this piece came from overhearing people giving subway directions, the result sounding to him as a Jetsons-like world of train lines floating above New York City.

I’d totally be okay with having trains fly. Do you know how much faster I’d get to work every morning? I mean, unless the MTA figures out a way to make signal malfunctions a thing in the sky too, it could be pretty awesome.

I just have one question for James Yang: What’s with the R being the only line showing up twice?

See more of Yang’s art at www.jamesyang.com, and you can buy “Catching Lines” here.

Gallery Mondays: #MacysFlowerShow 2017 @ Macy’s Herald Sq

I somehow managed to squeeze some time in after work to navigate the maze that is Macy’s Herald Square in order to see the carnival-themed Macy’s Flower Show 2017.

I wasn’t able to see it last year (for reasons I cannot remember) but this year, I was determined to check it out, and I wasn’t disappointed.

The store’s street level and store windows were filled with floral arrangements, sculptures of carousel horses and clowns, and loads of other carnival-related display items. There were even unicorns!

My favorite was this spotted horse near Louis Vuitton. The flowers really brought its neutral colors to life. I can imagine how torturous it must have been for kids that were in the store with their parents, because even I wanted to hop on this horse for a ride around the carousel.

Learn more about the Macy’s Flower Show 2017, and check it out if you’re in Midtown before it closes on April 9th!

Gallery Mondays: Hung Yi’s Fancy Animal Carnival

Since September, the Garment District in NYC has seen a splash of vibrantly colored animals along Broadway between 36th and 41st Streets.

Created by Taiwanese artist Hung Yi, the installation is called Fancy Animal Carnival. It’s very fitting, especially since these animals, which include pandas, camels, and bulls, are decorated so intricately with carnival-like colors.

My favorite of the installation is this bull with a septum piercing nose ring. He is definitely rocking that ginormous piece of jewelry!

Learn more about Fancy Animal Carnival here, and go check it out before it ends on April 15!

Gallery Mondays: Dali Swirl by Tripp Derrick Barnes

dali swirl tripp derrick barnes

I was on the way to the New York Public Library a few weeks ago when this vibrant mural by South Carolina artist Tripp Derrick Barnes stopped me dead in my tracks.

Called “Dali Swirl,” the mural is painted on the doors of The Bar Downstairs at Andaz 5th Avenue. In it, Salvador Dali’s face, signature mustache included, is painted against a backdrop of rainbow of swirls.

As if Dali’s mustache isn’t wild enough, Barnes painted them to stretch above a set of bushy eyebrows, causing it to look like there are two palm trees on either side of the Spanish artist’s face.

It’s a riot and I love it!

Check out this behind the scenes video on the making of this fun mural.

Gallery Mondays: A Bird’s Life by Elizabeth Grajales

a-birds-life-elizabeth-grajales

Time for some art from New York City’s underground!

On the way to the gym last month, I saw these gorgeous tiled art pieces by Elizabeth Grajales called A Bird’s Life on the platform of the 1 train at Penn Station.

I was drawn to it immediately because of the soft green color. I then noticed the black birds, which, in any other context, would have scared the daylights out of me. For some reason, this depiction of black birds with their young made them seem less frightful.

Learn more about A Bird’s Life here.

Gallery Mondays: ‘Private Passage’

hudson river park pier 96 bottle private passage

I just had a housewarming party on Friday, so I’m out of wine, and this week’s Gallery Mondays is reminding me I have to go by some more!

Anyway, I saw this really cool wine bottle one day while sitting at Pier 96 in NYC. It’s called Private Passage, and it was created by Malcolm Cochran.

I’m kind of upset now, because I just did some research on the bottle and realized the inside of it is a replica of an interior stateroom on the ocean liner Queen Mary. AND I DIDN’T KNOW WHILE I WAS THERE SO I DIDN’T LOOK THROUGH ANY OF THE HOLES TO SEE IT.

I’ll probably go back soon because clearly I have some unfinished business with that wine bottle.

Learn more about the sculpture here.

Welcome to New York, Tom Duke

Part of a series on young professionals moving to New York City.

Name: Tom Duke
Age: 23
Hometown: Northampton, MA
Date Moved to NYC: May 1, 2016
Current Residence: Brooklyn, NY
Profession: Actor
Day Job: Expert at Uber (Independent Contractor)
College: Drew University in Madison, New Jersey
Major: Theatre Arts (Bachelor of Arts)
Class Year: 2015
Ethnic Background: Caucasian (Irish, Scottish, English, Polish, German, Spanish, and a bit of Native American)
Relationship Status: Single

welcome to ny tom duke

Me: How did you get into acting?
Tom Duke: When I was in 6th grade I did my first play, which was Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” and I loved that so I kept doing the play and the musical every fall and spring.

Me: Why did you pick Drew University?
TD: Well, for several reasons. It’s a small, liberal arts school that was far enough away from home but also not too far. It’s in a forest, which I really loved. There’s squirrels and deer and all that. They also have the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, which is on campus, so that was the draw, and the great theater program in general.

Me: What made you fall in love with Shakespeare?
TD: Like I said, my first play was “Twelfth Night,” but I think the real first work of Shakespeare that I fell in love with was “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” when I did that in 8th grade. I was one of the clowns, Rude Mechanicals, and it was just so much fun that I fell in love with it.

Me: Tell me a bit about your experience as a director. What aspect of performing is most exciting for you?
TD: I directed two scenes in my Acting and Directing class at Drew. One was a “Nonsense Scene,” which is a fairly meaningless dialogue that gains meaning through acting and directing choices, and the other was a scene from a play called “The Children’s Hour” by Lillian Hellman. My only other directing experience was of a staged reading of a student-written play, one of our department’s weekly “Plays in Process” series. I am most excited by language in performances, which is why I am so drawn to Shakespeare. I find great words and phrases delicious especially when they convey the passions of characters in turmoil or ecstasy.

Me: Tell me about “Tape.”
TD: That was for my Acting on Camera class and I recorded that last spring [2015]. Each thing I do is sort of challenging in its own way, and that particular challenge was playing the character as he didn’t believe that he’d raped the girl, but his friend had. It turned from what was a friendly hanging out to being accused of raping someone.

Me: What was it like reading through the script for the “Tape” scene?
TD: It was very conversational, very natural, but obviously a very dramatic situation. In my Acting on Camera class we were really focusing on the difference between on-camera acting and stage acting. On-camera acting is a lot more subdued. It’s a lot less projecting and more gestures so I was working on that for the scene too.

Me: What was it like transitioning from Massachusetts to New Jersey and then New York City?
TD: It was really different. Well, Massachusetts to New Jersey was not that different because they’re both kind of rural-ish, kind of a small town sort of thing with nature, but New York City is totally different. It’s so big. I’ve been here before and I’ve seen shows here but living here is just a lot. It’s also really good because there’s a lot of opportunities that I don’t have in other places like theater and also job opportunities.

actor tom duke times square

Actor Tom Duke in Times Square in July 2016.

Me: When you first moved to NYC you lived in Astoria, Queens. Why did you move to Brooklyn?
TD: I moved because I saw an apartment that looked nice and I liked the idea of living in Brooklyn.

Me: Tell me about your time as a legal courier.
TD: I had to go to mostly Manhattan, but a couple of times Brooklyn or Queens. Once I went into Bronxville.

Me: Oh?! So they just gave you the package and sent you all the way up there?
TD: Yeah, but it was only one time, though.

Me: What’s your preferred method of travel?
TD: The subway.

Me: Tell me your favorite line of Shakespeare.
TD: “Now is the winter of our discontent, made glorious summer by this sun of York […]” – “Richard III”

Catch Tom Duke as Brutus in “Julius Caesar” at Narrows Botanical Garden on August 13, 14, 20, and 21, 2016.