Valerie Texting

Valerie texted with both thumbs and a forefinger, her long fingers with ethereal pink nails, furrowing her brows, curling the corner of her mouth, her feet splayed out sideways, her knees pressed in. Valerie TextingShe looked almost a caricature of herself, everything exaggerated and intense, tight inside herself, not even there, aware of nothing but her screen.

Overlooked NY: Downtown Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber of Commerce Building, at 65 Liberty Street, is one of many buildings in downtown Manhattan with doric columns.Overlooked NY: Downtown Chamber of CommerceBuilt in 1900-01 to house New York State’s Chamber of Commerce, it was vacated eighty years later. The building was restored in 1990-91 and now houses a pair of banks: The Megabank of New York and Bank of China, Taipei. 20151203_163218Overlooked NY: Downtown Chamber of Commerce

In contrast to the heavy finance going on inside, the front of the building is consistently lined with rows of bikes for a local food delivery service.

“Try to Stay Positive!”

I trailed after my wife, navigating around a cluster of pink bedecked girls dancing to electro-pop beats during “ Open Studio Weekend; the place looked like a Hollywood set.Try to Stay Positive“Even the graffiti looks fake.”

A scruffy juggler in white tights called over, “Try to stay positive!”

I glared back. “Stay focused on yourself.”

“It’s okay, man.” He dropped his pins. “It’s all good.”

Plumbing Artist: Cristian Daniel Torres

Cristian Daniel Torres is a plumber and an artist.Plumbing Artist: Cristian Daniel TorresHis creations are enigmatic, evoking child-like wonderPlumbing Artist: Cristian Daniel TorresSome are mechanical, even functional. (Click the image below to see him demonstrate a computer desk.)Plumbing Artist: Cristian Daniel TorresAll of the work can be seen at Mr. Torres’ studio at Local Project in Long Island City, Queens.

“Fish in the Dark” & The Critics Love to Hate

The critics have spoken on Larry David’s Fish in the Dark.

The New York Times: …set postures, lines and deliveries, while throwaway humor has been exaggerated in ways that perversely shrink its impact.

The New Yorker: …sour-voiced schtick…a cynical manipulation of sentimentality and humor.DarkfishThe Wall Street Journal: (Larry David’s) playwriting debut, a poor and embarrassing excuse for the kind of Jewish humor that went out of fashion with Gertrude Berg, (is) bursting at the moldy seams with embalming fluid.

It’s not as if Larry David made any highfalutin’ claims. “I saw Nora Ephron’s play, Lucky Guy. I just thought, ‘That must be a really interesting thing to do.”54c16d2f10516d590a7b15ac_fish-in-the-dark-larry-david-broadway-vf02

The hate from New York’s papers is perhaps best summed up by the theater critic in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s BirdmanI’m gonna turn in the worst review anyone has ever read and I’m gonna close your play. Birdman-Michael-Keaton-Underwear-Times-Square-NYC-Film-Locations-43rd-Street-Times-Square-St.-James-Theatre-Hotel-Edison-Rum-House-3Would you like to know why? Because I hate you and everyone you represent. Entitled, selfish, spoiled children. Blissfully untrained, unversed and unprepared to even attempt real art. Handing each other awards for cartoons and pornography.

Luckily, the real-life critics aren’t having so much luck. Larry David’s play has broken box office records and been greeted by constant laughs and ovations every night. article-davidweb-0203Fish in the Dark, as Mr. David is not ashamed to say himself, is “pre-tty, pre-tty good.”

Overlooked Manhattan: Dubuffet’s “Group of Four Trees”

Chase Plaza, between William and Broad Streets in Downtown Manhattan, offers that rare trifecta: light, space and art. Overlooked Manhattan: Dubuffet's "Group of Four Trees"Jean Dubuffet’s Group of Four Trees dominates the space. Overlooked Manhattan: Dubuffet's "Group of Four Trees"Made of fiberglass, aluminum and steel, Jean Dubeffet’s work was erected in 1972 and stands four stories tall.Overlooked Manhattan: Dubuffet's "Group of Four Trees" Overlooked Manhattan: Dubuffet's "Group of Four Trees" Overlooked Manhattan: Dubuffet's "Group of Four Trees"The sculpture is one of the 14,000 works in Chase Manhattan’s private collection.*Overlooked Manhattan: Dubuffet's "Group of Four Trees"This being one of the few that the public can see.

(*According to Manhattan’s Downtown Alliance)

Overlooked New York: Federal Hall National Memorial

Popular tourist destinations in Downtown Manhattan include the 911 Memorial, City Hall and Wall Street. Overlooked New York: Federal Hall National MemorialEven though many tourists stand in front of Federal Hall National Memorial, and take pictures of the statue of Washington on the steps, only a few actually go inside the historic site.TOverlooked New York: Federal Hall National Memorialhis is odd because it’s not only free, but also quite warm.Overlooked New York: Federal Hall National Memorial

Overlooked New York: Federal Hall National MemorialThere’s interesting things to learn. Overlooked New York: Federal Hall National Memorial Overlooked New York: Federal Hall National Memorial Overlooked New York: Federal Hall National MemorialAnd best of all – no guns are allowed.Overlooked New York: Federal Hall National Memorial