We're not quite sure why, but Polaris Images sent us a set of photos of Ana, a Russian immigrant, picking wild boysenberries yesterday in Central Park. So there you have it: There are fresh wild boysenberries, ripe for the picking, waiting for you in Central Park, apparently on the West Side near 106th Street. You know, in case you haven't been feeling enough like a sharecropper lately. (Which is not to say we'd ever say no to a nice cobbler.)
The big yellow-and-pink words "To Do" that turned up Sunday night on the corner of 6th Street and First Avenue are, interestingly enough, just that: to-do lists. The public-art collective Illegal Art installed some 3,744 three-inch-by-three-inch Post-its on two street-level billboards, and passersby are encouraged to write their own to-do lists on the stickies. (Illegal Art collects the lists and replenishes the Post-its each day.) So what do New Yorkers need to do? "E-mail Vinnie." "Eat gummy bears." "Nap." "Samba." And a lot, apparently, need to "Call my mom." —Matthew Fishbane
Not that we'd pretend to understand how Rupert Murdoch thinks, but a question: If you're leaving the board meeting of your global media behemoth at which the board has just voted to approve your deal to buy a company you've aggressively pursued, if you're successfully buying the company after you didn't budge an inch from your initial offer a few months ago while all the people who'd publicly said they hated you eventually came around and sold their family company to you, if you've said for years, even decades, that you wanted to buy this company, and if you've intentionally left the window of your SUV open so that photogs could get a good shot of you reveling in your victory, well, shouldn't you at least try to look excited? Just asking.
So we've actually been a little troubled by this whole electronic-doohickey-thingy they're planning to install in cabs, the one that the cabbies group is threatening to strike over. We're not sure we like the idea of a GPS system tracking us, either, and there's nothing more obnoxious than a cheery video playing in the back of a taxi (didn't they try that a few years ago? To universal disdain?). Either way, it'll really be a bitch if the cabbies go on strike. Then yesterday we hopped in a cab and discovered one of the gizmos already installed. (Apparently there are already something like 700 in use, the TLC told us, and more are going in every day. Which would seem to us to sort of moot a September strike, but what do we know?) And we were pleasantly surprised to discover the things are actually pretty cool.
The front page of yesterday's Times offered a photo of President Bush and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown merrily golf-carting around Camp David. We glanced at the shot, amused by the cowboy president's attempt to do his squinty-eyed tough-guy look while piloting a conveyance most often used on the manicured fairways of Shinnecock or in the retirement communities of Boca. We were about to flip the page when we noticed something: A placard on the front of the vehicle labels it "Golf Cart One." We chuckled to ourselves, and we thought that it's sort of the perfect presidential vehicle for this particular commander-in- chief, for his underpowered golf cart of a presidency. Then we got worried; were we being unfair? Perhaps this isn't Bush obnoxious frat-boy humor ("I'm the president, and it's my golf cart, so it's Golf Cart One. Heh heh heh.") but rather a longstanding tradition. So we asked President Clinton's spokesman. Did that administration, too, call the presidential scooter "Golf Cart One"? The e-mailed reply came late in the day: "Nope." Good.
You know what's wrong with society today? This: Even the dude photographed in Central Park for a New Yorkers–are–relaxing–on–a-sunny–summer–Friday beauty shot is busy working on his cell phone and laptop. Well, that and the Bush administration.
So it turns out the biggest problem with the New York Stock Exchange moving increasingly to electronic trading isn't the end of jobs for specialists, or ruining the Big Board's uniqueness, or any of those other things the traditionalists have argued. It's that on a day when the Dow drops 311.50 points and there are big, worried headlines on all the news site, the classic frenzy-on-the-trading-floor news photo should look a hell of a lot more, well, frenzied than this. Boo.
Remember Dr. Nicholas Bartha, the psychotic Upper East Side doctor who blew up his townhouse with himself in it rather than sell the thing to pay his ex-wife the divorce settlement she was owed? Yeah, well, the Times has a profile today of Janna Bullock, the Russian-born developer who bought the now-empty lot for $8.3 million, plans to build "a Modernist-style house with a green roof and an underground pool" on it, and then, she says, sell the thing, in one to four years, for $30 to $40 million. (A place on East 67th she bought for $10.5 million is now on the market for $35 million.) Our friends at Curbed (we think we're still friends with them, yes?) are moderately in awe of her flipping talents but even more in awe of her publicity-shot locale: Yes, that's her, photographed in the empty lot that was once the Bartha house. Us? We're even more impressed by her photo styling. The dilapidated Arne Jacobsen egg chair she's sitting in? On the dilapidated lot on which she plans to build a modernist icon? Genius.Buy High, Sell Higher [NYT via Curbed]
Did you know there's a 150-year-old, defunct subway tunnel under Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn? It runs from Boerum Place to Hicks Street, was built in seven months around the time of the Civil War, and was lost until 1981, when a dude named Bob Diamond found it. He gives tours of the thing, and the blogger behind McBrooklyn went spelunking with him yesterday. There are some more pics at McBrooklyn, plus a (frankly sort of boring) video. Neat, huh?
Brooklyn Spelunking: Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tours Return [McBrooklyn]
This is what we came home last night to find waiting with our doorman. (We have never, for the record, mentioned our name to the Tea & Sympathy people, nor said exactly where we live.) It was tasty, we were charmed, and now, we confess, we think we've reached acceptance. We're Daily Intel, and we live in Little Britain. God save the queen!
Earlier:Daily Intel's coverage of Little Britain
Marie Claire threw a party at Milk Gallery in Chelsea last night in honor of supermodel- cum-photographer Helena Christensen's photo spread in the mag's August issue. Christensen's photographs of "Super Role Models" (supermodels who are role models, get it? Ha!) were silently auctioned for charity to the hipper-than-thou crowd, which seemed more into the free booze and their accessories than the art. Oh, and breasts. They were also into breasts: Christensen's shot of a breast-baring Naomi Campbell (you could see her nipple!) was the night's star attraction. How does a model feel when her nip slips out? Naomi wasn't there for us to ask — and we might not have asked her such a probing question, either, at least not without taking away her cell phone first — but up-and-coming young model Chanel Iman was, and she recalled her own breast's inadvertent runway debut. "I saw the video," she recalled of a fashion show two years ago, "and I saw my nipple just jiggling, and I was like, 'Oh, my God.' And at the time I was really young, you know, so I wasn't that mature." Now a worldly 16-year-old, she got over such petty humiliations long ago. "It's just a breast," she said, sagely. We hope Campbell feels likewise. —Haven ThompsonFind out what Helena Christensen, Amy Sacco, Rachel Roy, and others had to say in our Interactive Party Lines.
Last night's explosion was an impressive display in itself. But equally impressive was the way it tied up seemingly the entire East Side, with trains not running and people everywhere gawking. This is our favorite picture of the gawkers — the crowd massed in front of the iconic Public Library building, all stopped and looking in the same direction. If this were a still from some fifties-era cheesy sci-fi film, that's exactly what everyone would look like as they watched the flying saucers land.
Earlier:Grand Central Explosion Kills One, Wounds 30, Inconveniences Thousands
We have no idea why people would line up outside a grocery store — in the rain! — to buy a fancy shopping bag. (Which, mind you, back in our day used to be something you got for free, in your choice of paper or plastic.) But people did, inexplicably. And, just so you know, this is what the things look like.
Related:Welcome to Whole Foods Market Bowery [WholeFoodsMarket.com]
Idly flipping though Flickr photos of New York this afternoon, we happened across this one in Zlatko Unger's photostream, and it made us smile. It's a mashup of icons: B&H Photo, clearly, as if shot by Andreas Gursky.
We have no idea why Getty Images decided this was the right weekend to mark Astroland's final summer with a package of wistful photos of Coney Island. But we're not complaining: They're pretty. A few more after the jump.
If it's not quite summer for you without a little bit of Wagner to go with your fruity cocktails and pastel shirts, you're in luck. Lincoln Center Festival and the Met are presenting the Ring Cycle, performed by the Kirov Opera. It kicks off at 8 p.m. tonight, and — though we know virtually nothing about opera — we can assure you the performance includes a singing women inside what looks like an oversize spun-sugar dessert. At least yesterday's dress rehearsal did.
Kirov Ring Cycle 2007 [MetOpera.org]
Patrick McMullan, the city's best-known photog-about-town, provides a pictorial record of just about every New York party worth mentioning. (In what might shock those who've followed his career since the days of Studio 54, McMullan himself isn't omnipresent; he long ago set up a stable of young men — they're all young men — who help him make a showing at all those events each night.) Usually, the photos end up on his Website, PatrickMcMullan.com, and in all sorts of magazines, including New York. But now they're being displayed in a gallery-ish exhibition. Over the past few weeks, he and curator Gavin Brown have picked photos from the PatrickMcMullan.com archives and dry-mounted them on the walls of the Chelsea bar Passerby, which loses its lease in September. That the whole enterprise may soon be torn down makes the whole thing even more artistic to McMullan, who — in great meta form — snapped photos of people looking at photos through the opening party the other night. Between snaps, he told us the secrets to his success.
One advantage of that flooding that's bound to overtake New York? Deeper waters will presumably make it all the more difficult for oil tankers to run aground off Coney Island, as this one, the White Sea, did this morning. (Reportedly no oil was spilled.) See, a benefit to global warming: It'll make it easier to import oil. Perfect!
Oil Tanker Runs Aground Off Coney Island [AP via Crain's]