Friday, 31 July 2009

Movies in the park

I was a big fan of movies in the park while in New York. The big one is in Bryant park and you literally have to get there 3 hours before hand to save a space. But everyone sits around and has a picnic. There is a smaller event at Hudson River Park, which is mostly showing kids movies but we didn't find it too overrun with little people. And we saw some cool movies there like Wizard of Oz and Ghostbusters, which was amazing because you never get the chance to see them on the big screen. And the plus side with Hudson River Park is the sunsets and the river. God damn them for having such good weather!

Thursday, 16 July 2009


I'm not just in New York to sightsee! We came out here to do an internship and also to complete a research project which has been funded by CETLD at Brighton University. This involves interviewing working professionals in the field of graphic design and illustration as well as teachers and students at design schools. The website and blog will explain it better. 
So far we have met some extraordinary people. Yesterday we had the opportunity to speak to Michael Beruit at Pentagram, have lunch with the staff and then listening to a presentation of some of the things they have been working on recently. 
I found the experience inspiring and informative and I have certainly come away with a lot. The project has really made me think more about myself and my education and my future as a designer, and it's made me excited and impatient to go back to University and do some good work. 

Sea Port

We went to the bodies exhibition today in Sea Port. I wasn't as impressed as I'd hoped I'd be. There was a really interesting section on blood where they had managed to show the circulatory system complete - without muscles or bones. And there was a slightly disturbing room on babies and fetuses... I think I left feeling more uneasy than enlightened.
Sea Port on the other hand was amazing. It looked like a little toy Victorian town just plonked under all these skyscrapers. All the red brick houses and decking and painted signs looked nice but a little contrived. We found an amazing stationers called Browne & Co which had a letterpress studio in the back of the shop and made the most gorgeous stationary. I dont even want to think about how much I spent...

The Highline

On Sunday we went to the opening of a new park called the highline. It's a section of disused railway line that runs above street level. It runs through Chelsea and the Meatpacking district's old industrial areas. I absolutley loved it! It runs above ground, through buildings and at one point there is a section cut away so you can look down on the cars below. Lots of original features were still there, including the old lines. The plants and concrete tied in well with the feel of the place, it seemed like a  well constructed version of an over grown railway line! Anyway, I would recommend it to anyone in the area! The pictures don't really do it justice at all. It has to be seen to be appreciated. 

More Coney Island

Some more examples of garish and tacky type from Coney Island. 

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Ellis Island

After visiting Steven Heller, we decided to go on a trip to Liberty Island and Ellis Island. Ellis Island made a big impression on me, I could write about it all day! I thought that it was really significant to have this monument to racial diversity of America, and in particular New York. One statistic stated that when immigration was at its peak during the later 1800s up to 70% of the New York population was made of immigrants or the children of immigrants. There was a whole area dedicated to the statistical history of immigration and the impact this has had on today's population. 100 million people in the USA can trace back an ancestor that traveled through Ellis Island. Among all the sad and fascinating stories were rooms full of amazing artifacts and personal items. The above photos detail some of the tests that immigrants would have had to pass in order to enter the country.
From top:
1. Mental ability was tested via a series of logic and aptitude tests. The top photo shows children's drawings of diamonds, copied off a diagram. For some children it would have been the first time they had held a pencil.
2. Medical records. Immigrants could be sent home if they had chronic or infectious diseases. Many patients spent weeks in the large hospital on Ellis Island recovering before being able to join their families, who were also detained on the Island.
3. Literacy tests. As many immigrants could not speak or read English, literacy tests had to be carried out via an interpreter.
4. The standard eye test adapted for people who could not read, or whose native language did not contain the standard English/European alphabet (eg Arabic, Chinese etc)

Monday, 13 July 2009

Coney Island!

So I have been awful at keeping up with the blog while I've been away. But I will attempt to put it right! I have posts of some gorgeous and garish hand painted signs on my other blog (Daily Miscellany), these are somewhat second rate unfortunately. So I went to Coney Island at the weekend which was great. I've been doing a lot of sightseeing, been going to a lot of exhibitions and other fun activities like outdoor movies and seeing family and friends. I will have to work backwards now to get the highlights up here. But I've been here 2 weeks, I have 2 1/2 weeks to go and I am already out of film and my digital camera has died :( Sad times. 

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Natural History Museum

We've done so much that I haven't left myself time to blog about it. These are photos from the Natural history museum, which has the most amazing dinosaur exhibition that I've ever seen. We've also been all over the city and done a trip to Long island beach, and I've also been visiting my family in New Jersey. 

Monday, 6 July 2009

New York New York!

Well I have been too busy to post for a week! Arrived in NY on monday, and was rained in for 3days. No one told me it was monsoon season! We don't start work til tuesday so we've just spent the week doing work for our research project, as well as sightseeing, mooching and meeting people. We've been to the Natural history museum, long beach, central park, soho, july 4th fireworks and many other adventuresI had a lovely post july 4th BBQ with my sister and her family yesterday.
Now the weather is back on top form, and I'm looking forward to getting down to business!