Wordless Wednesday: El Corner Deli de NY

The Corner Deli is also called La Esquina. Loved the neon sign. Photo CB2012.

They sell Tortas, Tacos, Cerveza and Jarritos at the Corner Deli/ La Esquina in NY. Photo by yours truly.

Walking the High Line in NYC

Spring is almost here, and I’m still thinking about a wonderful park where I left my heart a few weeks ago.

Anyone who is visiting New York City soon should take note of the wonderful and recently opened space called the “High Line.” It is a an elevated park built over the old railroad tracks in the Meat Packing District.  It has revitalized the area and made it the most energetic and cool part of town at the moment. Es el lugar mas padre, en mi humble opinion. A true re-invention of unused resources transformed into a city park. Recycling…What a genius idea!

On a cold day in late February when we visited, the views and the sunshine/lighting around the city were absolutely beautiful. Had we had a bit more time and the weather would’ve permitted, it would have been a lovely spot for lounging in one of their benches and reading a book, or just sitting and enjoying the view, which is what I suspect New Yorkers like to do when the weather turns nice and when they want a little escape. How lucky are they?

As if it were an act of serendipity, or maybe because I can’t stop thinking about it y luego ya ven como the Law of Attracion works, el latest issue de Architectural Digest tiene un articulo de Diane Von Furstenberg, who helped fund the High Line along with her husband Barry Diller with a nice donation of 35 million dollars. The article shows her new digs and store right at the entrance of the High Line. She has incredible taste of course, and she is such an icon of New York City that when you see what she’s done in the area, you can’t help but be grateful to her. I love you Diane. Muchas Gracias DVF!

You can see a few of the images of DVF residence headquarters at the Architectural Digest website by clicking here and on the image below.

From the Architectural Digest issue, February 2012. Diane Von Furstenberg's residence by the High Line. Click on the image for a photo gallery from the magazine.

You can get more information about the High Line here. (Open from 7am to 7pm. Free. No Smoking please!)

And below are some of images of my visit. Enjoy!

The DVF building right by the entrance to the High Line at Gansevoort Street and Washington Street in the Meat Packing District.

The stair entrance to the High Line is just past the Diane Von Furstenberg store.

A street view from one of the many observation decks along the line.

Nice little bridge. Photo by CB.

The "street cinema" steps are meant for admiring the city views. What a concept!

This is the view from the benches.

Another view, now looking north, towards the modern landscapes and residential high rises.

A close up of the new modern façades along the High Line.

Keep walking, you'll be amazed at the fusion between old and new.

This set of buildings is amazing, It is just so grand, so immense. ¿Cuánto tiempo tendrá ahi, cuánta gente vivirá en ese espacio?

The new skyline: postmodern, mixed and matched, and very sexy.

Walking towards the end of the line.

MOMA Store moments

The MOMA store is a unique place for gifts.

Art Books galore. Love at first sight.

Something for everybody.

Robot toys for the kiddies and not so kiddies.

Art books para los chiquitos include Chagall and Frida.

Cool postcard. "New Yorker"

Un florero muy moderno.

Sal y Pimienta. Little shaker hugs.

MOMA Companion book, en español.

MOMA Design store across the street.

Design lovers are always happy here.

All sorts of clocks.

 

Mexicanos en el MOMA: Diego Rivera

Visit the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and you will be inspired by the most amazing creative and artistic minds of the 20th and 21st Century.

Please forgive me if I exaggerate a little bit when I say this: A recent trip to the MOMA was almost like a spiritual retreat. Add to the fact that we encountered several artistas mexicanos y latinos in the mix, and it was just like heaven.

Da muchísimo gusto ver que uno (o varios) de los nuestros es reconocido en uno de los most important museums in the world. And that they have their own special placement and exhibit going on at the moment.

Diego Rivera: Murals for The Museum of Modern Art is one of the current exhibitions and stays till May 14th, 2012. Click on the link to go to the website. It is a wonderful exhibition that recounts Rivera’s famous exhibit in 1931 for the MOMA in New York, and how he produced five murals at the museum, inside the museum (at the previous building) so they didn’t have to complicate the transportation.

Back when it opened, the exhibit “set new attendance records in its 5 week run from December 22, 1931 to January 27, 1932” according to MOMA, and even today, 80 years later, this new exhibit is still drawing the crowds in. On the Monday morning we visited, the place was packed and you had to make sure you could get a nice angle for you to fully appreciate each of the works.

In addition to the murals, which all have the essential Diego Rivera elements like the class struggle, the vibrant and muted colors, the inequalities in life and the broad scale of each work, there is also a bit of Diego’s history on view. You’ll find newspaper clippings on his NY residency (even Frida is in the pictures!) and fabulous Moleskin notebook sketches in watercolor from a trip he made to Moscow in his early years, cuando se hizo rojillo y le pico el asunto del socialismo y la revolución. It was like having a picture diary from Moscow in the 1920’s with great historical references, and you can see how he was influenced by the socialist doctrine.

On that note, I have to say that for a socialist, Diego Rivera was pretty upscale. Como que le gustaban the finer things in life. En sus murales se ve la actitud de protesta, la lucha, y el reflejo de la realidad y pobreza que nos cuesta trabajo aceptar. Pero luego lees sus vivencias y sus experiencias, y se nota que era de una clase privilegiada. He was traveling around the world, adopting his point of view, learning from the masters, living in New York, then working for capitalist millionaires, like the Rockefellers, and being promoted and admired by all the art benefactors in the first world.

Para ser socialista, a mi se me hace que Diego Rivera era mas bien del jet-set. He was embraced by the cultural and economic elite in New York City at the time of the Great Depression. Imagine that. He was even given his own space at the MOMA to produce the work!  So I’m sure he appreciated the perks. This is of course mi muy humilde opinión, ok? Luego no quiero ofender a ningún socialista, nor do I want to offend any art purist who will surely debate this.

Of course, there is the matter of his mural being rejected for Rockefeller Center in midtown Manhattan, which is also explained in the exhibit. (Lo contrató Nelson Rockefeller y después le rechazaron el mural porque pintó a Lenin en un lugar prominente. Y pues como que el ícono del socialismo no iba muy bien con las ideas del capitalismo ni con el Sr. Rockefeller, quien le pidió que lo quitara, pero Rivera se negó. Así que no hubo mural de Diego en el Rockefeller Center.)

Here are a few snapshots from the exhibition, and please forgive my angles and weird composition. The MOMA did not allow photography in this exhibit, but being the rebel that I am, and considering my Life in Spanglish readers, me puse a tomar fotos a escondidas. Shooting from the hip, I tell you. Totally undercover, á la James Bond – hidden camera style. Ahi disculpen si no se ven muy bien, and if you’re from the MOMA, I’m sorry! pero la exhibición estuvo tan bonita que tenía que compartirla. I just had to share.

(You can take pictures at the other areas of the MOMA, where photography is allowed. There are a few of them below.)

For more information about the exhibit and visiting the museum, visit the MOMA website. Es visita obligada si estan en NY.

The Museum of Modern Art, MOMA. Entrance on 11 West 53rd Street, NY, NY. 10019. Open from 10am to 5:30pm, Friday 10 am to 8pm. Closed on Tuesdays. Entrance is $25.

The entrance for the Diego Rivera exhibition on the 3rd floor.

Entrance to the viewing area. There is a huge image of Diego as he worked. He was given a workspace inside the MOMA for a few weeks back in 1931 so he could produce the murals within the museum and not complicate transportation.

The crowd at the Diego Rivera exhibit.

Admiring “Frozen Assets” which was the most impressive one of the murals, in my opinion.

Please forgive the composition. Photos were not allowed, but I shot from the hip. This is “Frozen Assets” which merges Diego’s capitalism views with the vertical landscape of New York. Very stark and humbling. No white lily of the valley nor “flores de alcatraces” here.

A view of “The Uprising” by Diego Rivera. Again, my images are off because I was not looking through the viewfinder of the camera.

Commemorative poster of the Diego Rivera exhibition sold at the MOMA Gift Shop on the first floor.

The companion book to the Diego Rivera retrospective is beautiful. Sold at the MOMA Gift Shop.

The book illustrates Rivera’s time in New York City in the early 1930’s, and includes points of interest and inspiration. He loved the NY skyline.

Más mexicanos en el MOMA:

In exploring the MOMA floors, I was delighted to find some of the best Mexican artists among the most fabulous art in the world. Dignos representantes del arte mexicano:

David Alfaro Siqueiros “The Sob” 1939, at the MOMA.

José Clemente Orozco “Dive Bomber and Tank” 1940, at the MOMA.

Frida, of course! Frida Kahlo “Self Portrait with Cropped Hair” 1940. Her sadness resonates. It reads “Mira que si te quise, fue por el pelo. Ahora que estás pelona, ya no te quiero.”

Letter to N.Y. y mis momentos Kodak

Time flies and it’s already March. Where does the time go?

I’m feeling nostalgic about N.Y and I’m still not done sorting through the many photos I took this time around. It’s just a fabulous place to take your camera and explore.

If you’re old enough to remember advertising in the late 1980’s, you might recall there was a well known campaign by Kodak Mexicana, and the slogan was “recordar es volver a vivir.” So here are a few of my memory snapshots along with a favorite poem that reflects my state of mind… a “NY State of Mind,” with my respects to Billy Joel.

The poem is Letter to N.Y. by Elizabeth Bishop (for Louise Crane)

 

In your next letter I wish you’d say

where you are going and what you are doing;

how are the plays, and after the plays

what other pleasures you’re pursuing:

 

taking cabs in the middle of the night,

driving as if to save your soul

where the road goes round and round the park

and the meter glares like a moral owl

 

and the trees look so queer and green

standing alone in big black caves

and suddenly you’re in a different place

where everything seems to happen in waves,

 

and most of the jokes you just can’t catch,

like dirty words rubbed off a slate,

and the songs are loud but somehow dim

and it gets so terribly late,

 

and coming out of the brownstone house

to the gray sidewalk, the watered street,

one side of the buildings rises with the sun

like glistening field of wheat.

 

-Wheat, not oats, dear. I’m afraid

if it’s wheat it’s none of your sowing,

nevertheless I’d like to know

what you are doing and where you are going.

There's something about this place: New York City.

NY City Bites, or how I ate my way around Manhattan

“If this town is just an Apple, then let me take a bite.” – Michael Jackson, Human Nature

What is it about New York City that makes its food so delicious and unique? Is it the water?

I was  there last week celebrating my birthday with two of the most important women in my life (Mi Mamá y Mi Tia)  and in retrospect, it seemed our mantra was let’s “Eat, Drink and Be Merry.”

According to one of the city’s tourist gurus, there are 31 thousand restaurants in New York City (Manhattan) alone. THIRTY ONE THOUSAND!

Here are a few photos of recently discovered and eternal favorites. This was my 7th trip to New York and it was wonderful. (Gracias Mama y Tia!!)

PS: Full disclosure: I took all the photos except for one, and I am happy to share as long as you give me credit for them.

Balthazar SoHo:

Balthazar from its interior. A French Bistro that feels like heaven.

It was 10 am and the place was already busting at the seams. We needed a reservation for breakfast.

Still one of my favorites after all these years. Balthazar on Spring street in SoHo never disappoints.

Prune, Lower East Side:

We went on the recommendation of my beloved Anthony Bourdain, from a  few seasons ago on “No Reservations.” And I don’t say this lightly, but it was one of the best meals I have ever had in my life. We ordered several things, but for my dinner I chose the short ribs over the Yorkshire bread and every bite was a delight. This is a tiny tiny restaurant with a French feel. We absolutely loved everything about it, even the price.

Bone Marrow dish with salt and toast, a glass of wine, and radishes with butter and salt. Simply Amazing. No le pide nada a los taquitos de tuétano que nos comemos en familia.

Tiny place on the Lower East Side. Prune is frequented by stylish New Yorkers who love good food.

Make a reservation in advance. Prune is located on 1st street between 1st and 2nd Avenue in New York City.

Waverly Restaurant (around the Village)

Here’s a great place for breakfast, which I initially confused with the “Restaurant” from the Seinfeld show. Nos estabamos muriendo de hambre when we walked in, and we were delighted with all the options, it has the look and feel of a coffee shop, but has a full scale menu.The price is nice too.

The Waverly Retsaurant is a full scale restaurant with a coffee shop feel. Inexpensive and a really great spot for breakfast on a Sunday morning.

When I saw the sign I initally thought it was the original "Restaurant" from the Seinfeld show, but that is another restaurant altogether. The sign is pretty great though.

Tiny coffee shop/restaurant with all the typical breakfast noshing your heart desires, and then some. They have a huge menu to choose from.

You can also eat at the tiny bar, which resembles a diner. Cash only, please.

PizzArte, at 56th Street. Midtown

A modern, elegant, artsy place with great pizza napolitana, salads and pastas. Very cool setting and we also loved the food. As a bonus, they had a great soundtrack. Owners are ITALIANOS. Can’t go wrong with this place.

Entrance of Pizza Arte at 56th Street.

Margherita Pizza and Linguini al Vongole at Pizza Arte. MUUUY RICO.

Hot dog stand in front of the MOMA museum:

Need I say more?

You can't miss them, they're all over the place.

No guts no glory: Le pedi a este chavo tomarme una foto con el. Nunca habia visto un vendedor tan guapo. Nice guy too with a great smile.

Bar at the St. Regis Hotel:

A very swanky and posh place to have a drink. Elegant, rich, old school, and hits the spot after a long day. “Sip it slowly.”

Lovely place for a drink or two.

One martini, Two Martinii, Threee Martiniii...