Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Glass House Part II

I was at the topping off party for the Urban Glass House, Philip Johnson's very last building. (The Urban Glass House, a discreet, twelve-story glass and steel structure, is being built at 330 Spring Street at Washington. It will have 40 residences designed to evoke his famous “pared-down but modernist luxury” Glass House in New Canaan, CT.). According to the sales office, 25 percent of the building is in contract after only two weeks. Because the building isn't heavily loaded with amenities that no one will ever use, the price per square foot is less than other starchitect designed luxury condo buildings (about $1500/square foot). Read more about the Urban Glass House here. Apologies for the pics below, taken with my camera phone.

Back On Top

I've wrapped up the book proposal and am back in the saddle here at Polis. I'd like to get restarted with a fun story I did for the Times today about the old New Yorker Hotel that is about to undertake a major renovation, starting with the relighting of its historic sign. The letters on top of the building are 20 feet high and are visible from the west side of Manhattan during the day, but will be lighted later this month and visible at night for the first time since 1967. The hotel itself is just chock full of great history, collected by the building's facilities manager Joe Kinney. One of my favorite stories is about a fully grown bellhop at the hotel named Johnny Roventini, who lived in Brooklyn and stood less than five feet tall. He became something of a minor celebrity and a spokeman for Philip Morris. If he were around today, he would have become a recuring character on Seinfeld. (Read the Johnny Roventini story here.) As part of the hotel's renovation, it is also going to bring back the original logo design of a doorman (see below). The above photo provided by Joe Kinney.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Beautiful Fall Morning at Tompkins Square Park

I went for a quick walk in the park yesterday morning (Nov. 3) and then immediately ran back home to grab my camera when I saw how gorgeous the light was. The diversity and beauty of this park on a random fall morning is just amazing. It's hard to believe this was the epicenter of anti-gentrification riots fifteen years ago.

P.S. I didn't realize I was shooting in black and white until I dropped the film off to be developed, and what a pleasant surprise, especially since I thought I was capturing beautiful fall colors.

For the slide show, click here.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

32nd Annual Village Halloween Parade

I haven't been posting here on Polis because I've (ostensibly) been working on a book proposal. But I just had to put up a slide show from last night's Halloween parade. It was led by a ten year old trumpet player from New Orleans, and I marched with a group called The Hungry March Band (and they were damn good!). Our theme was a mock funeral for New Orleans Jazz. Despite the depressing theme, it was a total blast. Check out the slide show here. I will put a permanent link under My Photo Essays shortly.