Archive for NY News

Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi” Breaks Auction Sale Record

A Leonardo Da Vinci painting has just broken the record for a work of art sold at an auction, at a final price of $450.3 million with fees.

The painting, “Salvator Mundi”, surpassed the 2015 sale of Picasso’s “Women of Algiers” for $179.4 million, which also took place at Christie’ Rockefeller Center HQ. The crowd was shocked by the 19-minute duel, and the winning buyer was not disclosed immediately.

Christie’s had been actively marketing the works from this year’s auction, having hired an external agency to advertise for the first time in the auction house’s history.

“It’s been a brilliant marketing campaign,” said Pyms Gallery director Alan Hobart. “This is going to be the future.”

Others are more critical of the way this campaign played out.

“This was a thumping epic triumph of branding and desire over connoisseurship and reality,” New York art adviser Todd Levin said.

The New York Times shared footage of the last moments of the bidding war:

 

NYC Introducing New Transit Payment System

New York City is replacing the MetroCard in an effort to modernize the transit system and minimize waits at ticket lines.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority committee recently approved a $573 million contract to install a new payment system at more than 500 subway turnstiles and 600 buses throughout the city, some of which will be ready for use as soon as next year. The entire city will be switched over the the new system by 2020.

Chairman of the transit authority Joseph J. Lhota explained: “It’s the next step in bringing us into the 21st century, which we need to do. It’s going to be transformative.”

“The millennial generation, those who are more prone to new technology, will be our greatest users in the early stages,” he continuing, adding that card users will surely “want to be a part of it when they realize that 5.8 to 6 million people in NYC are getting on the subway every day.”

Riders Alliance executive director John Raskin said: “First things first: moving to a modern fare system is a convenience for riders. It allows them to benefit from the extraordinary innovations the private sector is undertaking these days.”

 

NYC To Welcome Self-Driving Cars in 2018

New York City is ushering in a new era of cars in collaboration with General Motors. Starting in 2018, a number of self-driving Chevy Bolts will take to the streets within a 5-mile section of NYC. The city has previously opposed the inclusion of automated cars in the city traffic, but recent developments in GM’s Cruise Automation technology has turned the tables.

According to Governor Andrew Cuomo, the testing will take place in a designated area under the direct supervision of engineers. There will also be a police escort for cars on the road, as well as several other rules to ensure safe transportation.

Cruise Automation CEO Kyle Vogt explained: “Testing in New York will accelerate the timeline to deploying self-driving cars at scale.” Manhattan is a place which offers “new opportunities to expose our software to unusual situations, which means we can improve our software at a much faster rate,” he said.

NYC traffic conditions will certainly pose a challenge for the software, but testing and further development will better prepare the cars for an urban environment.

Instagrammable Locations the New Thing in NYC Tourism

If you’re visiting NYC, you’re surely planning trips to popular spots such as the Statue of Liberty, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and of course a Broadway show.

But have you heard of the pink doors of Sel Rrose restaurant on the Lower East Side? Or Metrograph, a small cinema and restaurant in Manhattan? Or While We Were Young in the West Village? Maybe not, but some people are traveling to New York just to snap photos as these “grammable” locations.

A new trend is sweeping through the streets of NY as Instagram users hop around the city visiting photo-shoot worthy locations, choosing settings that offer vibrant backdrops or moody, romantic atmosphere for their Insta accounts.

New York local Kate Lumpkin says the new insta-culture has both benefits and drawbacks. While some tourists don’t get an in-depth experience of the city, others use Instagram trends to explore and enjoy some of the lesser-known spots throughout NY.

Sel Rrose owner Kristin Vincent agrees, and says she painted the restaurant doors with social media in mind. “It’s a New Yorker’s way of seeing the city. It’s not just the pink doors,” she explained.

NYC’s Solar Eclipse

On August 21st 2017, New Yorkers flooded the streets armed with special glasses, smartphones and cameras to experience the first solar eclipse visible from NYC since 1979.

Experience the New York eclipse with Time.com:

 

Cookies and Good Deeds Collide in New NYC Bakery

A tiny new bakery has opened on Wall Street, in a space barely larger than a closet. What’s even more interesting, though, is that this space is actually a significant step up for the Feed Your Soul Café, a boutique cookie shop which grew from infancy in a small studio apartment.

Fast forward 10 years and it’s now a popular online retailer for baked goods and cookie dough with a philanthropic twist: for each order that is placed, a freshly baked cookie is donated to The Coalition of the Homeless. These cookies play a significant role in their everyday milestones and special events like birthday parties.

Owner Mya Zoracki has said that while the brand has big dreams for the future, it will never lose sight of its primary goal: “to inspire and help everyone it can along the way.” The new Manhattan location is the first Feed Your Soul Cafe, and serves babkas, brownies, sticky buns and cookies.

 

Where New Yorkers were on Memorial Day

Marked as a Federal Holiday since 1971, Memorial Day is historically a very somber occasion throughout America, commemorating the US servicemen and women who were killed.  New York is centrifugal to this so in this article we look at some of the ways in which the day was marked last week.

Perhaps the most quintessential of parades is the one that takes place annually at Bay Ride.  This year marked the Kings County’s 150th anniversary.  Marchers started their route at 11am from Third Avenue and 78th Street and made their way up Fourth Avenue.  They finished at John Paul Jones Park where a ceremony was held.  The goal of the parade is to “educate a diverse audience that includes Veteran groups, civic organizations, business leaders, educational institutions
and the general public on the importance of Memorial Day.”

Then there is the Queens Memorial Day parade.  Viewed as America’s largest parade for the day, it starts at 2pm from North Boulevard and Jayson Avenue (Little Neck).  Marchers make their way to The Divine Wisdom School parking lot.

Additional parades in New York included:

May 28

  1. the Forest Hills Memorial Day Parade (hosted by Forest Hills Kiwanis Club and Continental Post 1424)
  2. 33rd annual Memorial Day Parade in Maspeth (marking the USO’s 7th Anniversary)
  3. College Point (from 26th Avenue and College Point Boulevard, ending at MacNeil Park for a ceremony)

May 29

  1. Laurelton’s 28th annual Memorial Day Parade (starting at Francis Lewis and Merrick Boulevards, heading toward 225th Street and North Conduit Avenue for a ceremony at the Veterans Memorial Triangle)
  2. Glendale/Ridgewood Memorial Day Parade (starting at the Myrtle and Cooper avenue intersections Plaza) marching to Glendale Memorial Triangle for a ceremony.
  3. Howard Beach Memorial Day Parade (from Colemans Square, stopping at the Vietnam War Memorial, the World War II Memorial at Assembly of God Church and St. Barnabas Church).
  4. Rosedale Memorial Day Parade (meeting at the corner of 243rd Street and Mayda Road with grand marshals Lee E. Blackmon, a retired sergeant with the U.S. Marine Corps, and Samuel Elliott of the Rosedale Civic Association).
  5. Woodside/Sunnyside (at John Vincent Daniels Square, meeting at Roosevelt Avenue and 51st Street, hosted by the John V. Daniels VFW Post 2813).
  6. Whitestone Memorial Day Parade (sponsored by the Whitestone Veterans Memorial Association meeting at Whitestone Memorial Park).
  7. Possibly the country’s largest Memorial Day Parade is the Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade (starting at Northern Boulevard and Jayson Avenue and ending at The Divine Wisdom school parking lot with grand marshal Terrance C. Holliday).

Successful Women in Manhattan

women-execThroughout its century plus of existence, only three women have been appointed to Manhattan’s Board of Trustees. Now, after 130 years in total, 38-year old Erin McDonough puts that figure up to four. She was appointed by Mayor Jamie Doyle and will be replacing Mike Adriensen. It is thought that having a women’s perspective on the board will be positive.

As well as being a woman, Doyle said that she actually represents a demographic that has not been covered until now – that of younger people with families.

Women are definitely becoming increasingly significant in the workforce in Manhattan and throughout New York. Indeed, 79 honorees were just named by The New York Business Journal in its 2016 class of Women of Influence. It forms part of an attempt by American City Business Journals to celebrate these people who build business environments that will ultimately lead to even more successful women in the workplace for the future. Those recognized earned the honor for being innovative, successful and people who ‘pay it forward.’ They included startup investors, chief revenue officers, CEOs, founders and more.

A complete list can be found here.

Pope Francis in Central Park

PopeThose in the New York area may be able to see Pope Francis later this month. Well, actually the citizens of the state, not tourists. The Pope will be appearing in a papal processing in Central Park later this month and a lottery giving out tens of thousands of tickets is being organized by the city together with the New York Archdiocese.

Actually the draw has already been conducted and the winners are being announced today!

Papal procession is scheduled for September 25 and will go along Central Park West Drive. Those with tickets will be able to see the pope in his Popemobile.

Is Manhattan Bidding Bye-Bye to Homework?

homeworkHistorically, homework has been a burden on parents as much as children. But now, if a school in Manhattan has anything to do with it, “homework” will take on a whole new meaning and become something both kids and parents enjoy and may even take benefit from.

PS 116 Elementary in Kips Bay is creating new homework options for its kids that include reading and family time. One parent says she thinks it’s “a great idea.” Others have said that it’s difficult for kids to study for eight hours at school and then come home to do homework for three more. This sentiment was echoed by Principal Jane Hsu who explained that this policy was:

creating opportunities for students and their families to engage in activities that research has proven to benefit academics and social-emotional success.

The only concern is that kids won’t be able to do this. One parent for example explained that her kids are so hooked on video games, getting them to read or engage in family time, just wouldn’t be realistic.

Still, it’s a nice idea.