Empire State of mind

26.01.11

Last week I found myself Stateside amidst sub-zero temperatures and the concrete mayhem of New York.  As a design researcher in training, it was my first visit to The Big Apple, and so in between work I took every opportunity to soak up the aesthetics of the city.  Here are just a few interesting things I … Continued

Last week I found myself Stateside amidst sub-zero temperatures and the concrete mayhem of New York.  As a design researcher in training, it was my first visit to The Big Apple, and so in between work I took every opportunity to soak up the aesthetics of the city.  Here are just a few interesting things I came across whilst getting snap happy on the streets of Manhattan…

Architecture

Starting off in Midtown, I successfully circumnavigated the shops on Fifth Avenue and made it to the Rockefeller Centre (wallet intact). Despite being built during the Great Depression, the centre is a prime example of Art Deco opulence and comprises 19 buildings altogether, which includes Radio City Music Hall and the NBC studios. I chose to go up to the ‘Top of the Rocks’ observation deck, which offers some of the most jaw dropping views of NYC:

Top of the Rocks...

Heading South, a short stroll afterwards took me to nearby Bryant park, where I witnessed a veritable smörgåsbord of architectural styles…check out that juxtaposition!

Look at that skyline...

 

And finally, all walked-out, I headed to the rather chi-chi Chelsea Market for a pitstop with some posh nosh. Essentially an indoor arcade of boutique bakeries and eateries that span an entire block, the market also offers a visual feast in terms of its interior design. As the former home of the National Biscuit Company (and birthplace of the Oreo), the building features exposed brickwork and piping, plus the remains of an original train shed:

To market, to market...

Spot the subway

Compared with London, entrances to the New York subway suffer from poor standout.  Indeed, the pictures I took below highlight entrances which could be easily missed by those unacquainted with the city. A case of poor design, or an ingenious attempt to rid the underground of pesky tourists?

Anyone fancy a game of hide and seek...?

Designer snowballs

Due to a heavy snowstorm earlier in the week, New York was all about the snow-themed gadgets. And it seems that the must have accessory for central park this season is the rather lethal looking SnowBall Blaster by Arctic Force. It features a snowball press to help you sculpt 3 perfectly round snowballs, and a launching mechanism which blasts your icy ammunition over 100 ft away. If this is the future of the snowball fight – I’ll sit the next one out thanks…

And finally…

For those of you who, like myself, are transfixed by the beauty of NYC, you can now recreate the iconic shapes of the city in miniature form:

This ingenious book allows you to construct the Empire State out of card, and thanks to its immense portability – you really can ‘make it anywhere‘…