RA MA New York: A Great Experience

If you haven’t heard of RA MA New York, you may want to listen up. This is a Kundalini yoga studio led by Guru Jagat. So what is Kundalini? It’s a yoga style that focuses on mantra-based meditations and percussive breathwork. She started her flagship Venice location a number of years ago and only recently opened in New York.

The New York space includes morning and evening classes and she is currently piloting an idea called yogic coworking. Between 12 and 5pm, members can pull up a cushion to a low-Japanese style table and enjoy various opportunities. While people work they can enjoy a 7 minute hypnotherapy session or a quick brain-refresh.

And, of course, in addition to enjoying yoga in this space, people can enjoy shopping. You’ll find Moon Juice snacks by Amanda Chantal Bacon, skin care by Inne and Shiva Rose, clothing by Myrah Penaloza and so much more.


If you live in New York, or want to relax and decompress while visiting, this is the place to be:

RA MA New York, 125 Stanton Street; ramayogainstitute.com

6th Annual LUNGS Harvest Arts Festival

If you’ve never been part of the LUNGS Harvest Arts Festival, now is your chance. This is a great weekend of local entertainment and craftsmanship that is spread out across Lower Manhattan at more than 50 community gardens. There will be fairy tale puppetry by the Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre, the viewing of the film “FILM TOMORROW” by Cyril Dion and Melanie Laurent, dance performances, poetry readings and more.

It’s a lovely opportunity to see the area and to engage with your fellow New Yorkers. It takes place this weekend, September 23 and 24th and the full schedule of events is here.

 

London’s Bluebird Coming to Manhattan

Bluebird, a D&D London restaurant, is coming to Manhattan next spring. The NYC venue will be the brand’s first international branch, finding its home in the prime Time Warner Centre in Columbus Circle. Expected to open in 2018, NYC’s Bluebird will be joined by a second D&D London restaurant in the Hudson Yards development in 2019.

Des Gunewardena, CEO and chairman of the brand, explained that the new Manhattan location is part of the company’s plans to “expand the Bluebird brand and further strengthen D&D’s overseas presence.”

“I am incredibly excited about us opening Bluebird in New York- we could not have picked a more prime location. The Time Warner Centre at Columbus Circle, with its views over Central Park, is about as good as it gets for a Midtown Manhattan restaurant venue. We think that Bluebird encapsulates much of the buzz and glamour of the London restaurant scene today and will also bring to New York the quintessential style of London’s Chelsea. We hope New Yorkers like it!”

The New York chef has not yet been announced, but Yannis Stanisiere will head the business efforts in the US as the new D&D USA operations director.

 

Marble Art Exhibition Open in NYC

Summer is the time to explore local exhibits, and art and antiquities have been taking center stage this year. Phoenix Ancient Art’s Marble Mania exhibition is currently open in the collector’s NYC gallery, and features a range of fascinating pieces from Rome and Greece as well as from the Early Bronze Age.

Hicham Aboutaam, co-founder of Phoenix Ancient Art, explains: “The supremacy of marble is fabulously evidenced throughout ancient history, from the Sarcophagus of Alexander in Istanbul, to the Venus of Milos at the Louvre, to the statue of Augustus Prima Porta at the Vatican.”

From July 5th through August 25th, the exhibition will showcase 60 marble pieces including depictions of Zeus, Aphrodite, Commodus and other Roman figures.

Ali Aboutaam, co-founder of Phoenix Ancient Art, shared some previews of marble art on Twitter:

Marble Mania will be open to the public from July 5 th – August 25th at 47 East 66th street, NYC.

Putting a Cute Face on Financial Markets

Tamogotchi by Tomasz Sienicki

Opened in 2012 in Montreal, Canada by art collectors Pierre and Anne-Marie Trahan, Arsenal Contemporary now has a branch in the Bowery.

Not a gallery, Arsenal is more correctly understood as a showcase for the Trahan’s private collection. The couple does also run a commercial gallery plus an artist residence program, as well as an additional Arsenal space in Toronto which they opened in 2014. Loreta Lamargese and Isabelle Kowal are co-directors of the Bowery branch, which opened in February 2017.

“Arsenal is not a gallery, so it gets to be a bit more experimental,” Lamargese said. She stated her wish to a collaborate with curators and local galleries on future programming. “We really want it to be an arts center where there’s always something happening.”

What’s happening now is a display of the latest art project from Ed Fornieles, digital creatures reminiscent of the cute Tamogotchi entities children were crazy for in the 90’s and beyond. At the Bowery’s Arsenal visitors will see three LED screens showing off the cute, blobby cartoon creatures Fornieles has dubbed Finiliar. The creatures change their expressions in concert with the rise and fall of a particular currency. For instance, when the British pound goes up, its very own Finiliar, whose name is Dunop, exudes happiness: he celebrates the pound’s success by raising up a champagne flute in pure joy. But if the pound should putter, as it mostly has since Brexit, we see little Dunop shaking and looking like he is about to burst into tears.

An interesting way to keep track of your favorite currencies.

What might seem a bit trivial, and even silly at first glance is actually an interesting social experiment to see if people might respond more empathetically to the troubles or successes of large financial systems if the fate of the currencies are portrayed by cute cartoons. The crash of a currency could actually lead to the death of a Finiliar. If that would happen, would be people care more?

Fornieles wants to see if giving this abstract financial concept a face in the form of a cute, round animated creature in the style of Japanese anime, will create an added incentive for the world to stand up and take notice of the continued health of things like currencies or companies.

Intrigued? Go check it out at the Bowery’s Arsenal Contemporary, from February 22 to April 23, 2017.

Weegee’s Bowery on Display in Jersey City

Rubber stamp used by the photographer Weegee (Arthur Fellig) for signing his pictures.

Rubber stamp used by the photographer Weegee (Arthur Fellig) for signing his pictures.

If you hurry you can still catch an exhibit well worth your time. Until August 5th Jersey City’s Mana Contemporary will be showing the work of Usher Fellig, better known as Weegee, depicting the Bowery when it was deep in its “Skid Row” phase.

Usher Fellig, born in what is now Ukraine in 1899, was an ‘infamous’ New York City press photographer. Usher was changed to Arthur upon his arrival to US shores, but he became Weegee somewhere along the way because of his uncanny ability to arrive at crime scenes within minutes of their occurrence. (Weegee is a misspelling of Ouija, as in the board that connects this world to the “other world.”)

His black and white renderings of urban life are shocking statements about the harsh realities of life in New York during the 30s and 40s of the 20th century.

The exhibit, Weegee’s New York,  focus on the down and out population that gathered in the Bowery, living in the shadow of the Third Avenue El, on the street, in flea-bag hotels, and flop houses which could be had for only 25 cents/night.

The International Center for Photography in New York City was given Weegee’s estate in 1997. In 2015 ICP opened a branch at Mana in Jersey City in 2015 as an expansion of it Manhattan campus. The exhibit, which closes on August 5th, was organized by ICP in honor of the opening of a new branch in the Bowery.

ICP at Mana is open only by advanced appointment. To make an appointment contact: [email protected]
Hours Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturdays, noon-6 p.m. Admission is free.

A Café Idea Which May Cat(ch) On!

This coming weekend, from Thursday, April 24 to Sunday, April 27, cat lovers can share a latte with their feline friends. Be sure to bring your favorite cat on over to 168 Bowery where the country’s first ever cat coffee shop will be open for business. Sponsored by Purina

Purina sponsoring cat cafe on the Bowery this weekend

Purina sponsoring cat cafe on the Bowery this weekend

, a giant US pet food manufacturer, the café will be of the ‘pop-up’ variety.

The ambiance takes its cue from a phenomenon that is common in Japan. Due to the Japanese cultural love of cats combined with strict bans on owning them in apartment buildings, or simply because of the lack of space in crowded Japanese cities, a compromise developed in which customers can enjoy the cats which are allowed to wander freely in an otherwise ordinary a coffee shop.

Cat lovers can enjoy a great cup of coffee or tea while spending time with their favorite domesticated breed, without the cumbersome burden of actually owning a cat. Here in the US however, where if someone wants to own a cat he/she usually simply does, Purina’s cat café has a distinctly different purpose.

The shop will be full of cats enjoying themselves wandering around the shop, but they will be up for adoption. The staff of the café will be available to answer questions about pet care, and as experts can correctly inform prospective owners about how best to care for a cat.

“We hope our cat cafe is one small step toward a greater focus on cat health,” said Purina brand manager Brian Williams. “Our goal for the Cat Cafe is to create a rich, interactive environment that empowers cat owners to learn more about their cat’s health and nutritional needs.”

British Street Artist Eine Opens Show on the Bowery

Ben Eine Opening on the Bowery

Ben Eine Opening on the Bowery

The Judith Charles Gallery on the Bowery will be the site of street artist Ben Eine’s first solo show. In anticipation of the opening of the show Eine has put up striking murals around town, including on Riker’s Island. Eine’s calling card is his brightly colored typographic writings.

Eine first became interested in graffiti art in 1984, when he was 14 years old. The next 20 years he spent tagging everything he could, and painting walls and trains. This was about the same time that street art was being recognized as a legitimate artistic undertaking, allowing graffiti artists more freedom to leave their marks without fear of imprisonment.

When picking sites for Eine’s murals around New York before his solo show, he looked for locations that were accessible, easy to view, and prominent. His main mural was painted at the former chocolate factory at 325 West Broadway.

Ben Eine’s first solo show, Heartfelt, will be held at the Judith Charles Gallery at 196 Bowery at Spring Street and will run until March 16, 2014.

Learn About the Immigrant History of NY at the Tenement Museum

Learn about the immigrant experience at the Tenement Museum

Learn about the immigrant experience at the Tenement Museum

A visit to the Tenement Museum is a unique experience which will bring the history of the Lower East Side and its surrounding environs to life.

There are three ways of visiting the museum:

•    Visitors can tour the building and explore the restored apartments and businesses of those who lived and worked here at the height of the immigrant experience.

•    Interpreters in costume take on the role of former residents who once inhabited 97 Orchard Street.

•    Get to know the neighborhood up close and personal as you take a walking tour and discover the real Lower East Side and the many ways that immigrants influenced the neighborhood, city and beyond.

A visit to the Tenement Museum will enlighten visitors to the importance and depth of the influence immigrants had on the development of the region and became the foundation of America as we know it today.

The Bowery Revival Has Not Hurt the Area’s Historic Charm

Over the past ten years the Bowery has transformed itself almost unrecognizably from a skid-row, impoverished neighborhood, to a trendy, up-scale destination for artists, tourists and others just exploring the more interesting sites around town.

The Bowery Hotel Today

The Bowery Hotel Today

Just walking down the famed street which the neighborhood takes its name from and pedestrians will see high-brow restaurants, glittery night spots, high-end art galleries, luxury hotels and condos, and the world famous New Museum, all clamoring for your dutiful attention. It is hard to believe, let alone remember, that this street was the home to scores of homeless, alcoholics, addicts and other unfortunates.

Yet, the historic nature of the area has not been lost with the danger and grime. The 18th and 19th century buildings are still standing, lending an aura of authenticity to the surroundings. A poetry club brings to mind the Beat poets who used to gather here, writing love-notes to the neighborhood. A few family-owned businesses, including restaurant supply and lighting shops are still around, reminding us that despite the quick gentrification, the neighborhood still has a soul.

The Bowery of Old

The Bowery of Old

“You feel like you’re in a part of history still,” said real estate agent Larry Carty of Corcoran. “When you step out, you have old-school places along with new institutions. People see the culture and the restaurants as amenities to their spaces.”