Friday, June 24, 2016

Discovering Resilience in the City with Walking Meditation

This post comes from Qalvy Grainzvolt of the Shinnyo Center for Meditation and Well-Being, our partner for Wednesday morning Walking Meditation.   

“Roadside grass is often trampled upon yet retains the spirit to endure and grow.”
–Master Shinjo Ito, Shinnyo-en
The Buddhist master and founder of the Shinnyo lineage, Shinjo Ito, often explored the profound lessons Mother Nature teaches us about a different sort of nature: the human kind.
The natural landscape of Bryant Park is a special backdrop in mid-town Manhattan. The beauty of the park reminds us that even in an urban environment, there are pockets of calm amidst the bustling streets, high-rises and tourist attractions.

In fact, the “roadside grass” is a source of inspiration during our walking meditations in Bryant Park. While taking the slow turns around the gravel paths of the park, we observe the lush green lawn.

Some mornings, the blades of grass are heavy with dew. The city’s wildlife scampers across the grounds, searching for seeds and crumbs. Footprint impressions are left behind by morning commuters taking a shortcut across the park.

But the trampled grass will eventually stand upright – demonstrating the remarkable resilience that all living things possess.

This is true with human nature, too. We overcome challenges and bounce back to life with time and contemplation – whether it is a walk in the park, guided meditation, time spent with family and friends, or participating in other restorative activities. It is in these small moments where we discover the resilience found in human nature – and the spirit to endure and grow.

Practice resilience before work, and you'll have a much better day at the office.

Walking Meditation
with the Shinnyo Center for Meditation and Well-Being
April 27 - September 28
Wednesdays, 8:30am - 9am
Upper Terrace Gravel, across from the Bryant Park Cafe

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Stop and Smell the Roses with Lord &Taylor

You may have noticed a beautiful, recent addition to the park's horticulture. On the eastern edge of the gravel that surrounds the lawn, two dramatic planters have been installed thanks to park neighbor Lord & Taylor. They are overflowing with a stunning array of roses in peachy hues, adding a pop of color in an area that lacked it. 

Stop and smell the roses. 

Lush plantings overflow from the new planters.

Lord & Taylor also added a pop of color at this week's HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival, distributing roses and lollipops to film fest goers. You can catch them for the rest of the season at the Film Fest with other treats and giveaways.

Thanks for the dash of style!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Sink Your Teeth into Food Trucks on Fifth

Did you know that the Fifth Avenue side of the park is Midtown's food truck mecca? Our Food Trucks on Fifth program is back for its second year, with a lineup of food for purchase sure to please even the most discerning palates. Enjoy classic Philly cheesesteaks, Maine lobster rolls, acclaimed vegan donuts, and Vendy-award winning New American food (that just so happens to be a job training program for recently incarcerated youth). Check out the schedule and try not to drool all over your screen.

Nothing screams summer quite like a classic Maine lobster roll. 
Mondays: Phil's Steaks
NYC’s first authentic Philly cheesesteak truck jawn

Tuesdays: Snowday
A vehicle for social justice, serving farm-to-truck fare
*no truck on June 14th 

Wednesdays: Red Hook Lobster Pound
Lobster rolls and seafood straight from the Maine coast

Thursdays: TBA

Fridays: Cinnamon Snail
Serving up vegan organic specialties, supreme bliss, and zany antics

Donuts from Cinnamon Snail look good behind glass, but even better in your hand!
Food Trucks on Fifth
Fifth Avenue Terrace, south side
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
through September 2
11am - 3pm

Monday, June 20, 2016

2016 Film Festival FAQs

The HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival presented by Bank of America returns to the lawn with Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986), which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Here is everything you'll need to know for this upcoming Monday evening (and nine Mondays thereafter).

1. What movies are showing?
See the full list and descriptions here.

2. When should I get there?
The lawn is closed all day on Mondays so the grass can rest, in preparation for the thousands of guests who come for the film. (Read more on our grass maintenance philosophy here.) The gravel around the lawn opens at 4pm, and the lawn opens at 5pm sharp. The rush of people onto the lawn at 5pm is a sight to behold.

3. What is the capacity of the lawn and how quickly does it fill up?
How quickly the lawn fills up depends on the evening's movie and the weather, but we can fit a LOT of people on the lawn – thousands! If you’re worried about getting a spot, we recommend getting there early, within an hour of the lawn’s opening at 5pm.
It gets crowded, but there's room for everyone!
4. What time do the movies start?
Every week at the Film Fest, we wait for the sun to set so that the movies are visible. The show starts 30 minutes after sunset. Our first film begins on the longest day of the year when the sun sets later. This means June movies may not begin until 9pm, while August movies begin a little after 8pm.

5. How do I access the lawn?
There are multiple entrances around the lawn’s perimeter. The lawn is wheelchair accessible via several entrance ramps to the park.There is also a fantastic unobstructed view from the Upper Terrace.

6. What can I bring to the Film Fest?
Food, friends, and a blanket to sit on! Some people bring board games, books, and knitting projects to entertain themselves as they wait for the films to start.

7. What shouldn’t I bring to the Film Fest?
Lawn chairs from home aren’t allowed on the lawn, as they block the view of those behind you. Plastic tarps and pets are both prohibited on the lawn, as they damage the grass. Alcohol and smoking are banned from all NYC parks. For the safety of film fest attendees, all bags are subject to search upon entry.

8. I hear there's popcorn at the Film Fest. Is it really free?
You betcha! Be on the lookout for our partners on the Fountain Terrace with all sorts of goodies: Bank of America will be giving away popcorn, Peapod is handing out gift bags, and visit Lord & Taylor’s GIF photo booth for jelly beans.
Gordo's will be back with fresh street corn, bacon wrapped hot dogs, and guacamole.
9. Can I buy food in the park?
Yes, delicious food! Hester Street Fair returns to the Film Fest this year, dishing out food from Gordo’s Cantina, Huertas, En Japanese Brasserie, Oconomi, Black Tap Burger, Black Tree, Spur Tree, Mr. Bing's, Mikey Likes It Ice Cream, Clean Shave Ice, and Renegade Lemonade. The fair is open from 4pm until the film begins.
You can also visit our food kiosks: Le Pain QuotidienWafels & DingesBreads BakeryCOFFEED, and Southwest Porch. And, of course, Bryant Park is surrounded by a variety of restaurants and food options.

10. Where are bathrooms?
The award-winning Bryant Park restrooms are located by the Upper Terrace, but these are ladies-only after 7pm. There are porto-san restrooms along 40th Street for the Film Festival.

11. What happens if it rains?
Wear your wetsuit! We try not to cancel unless the downpour is absolutely torrential. For reference, we haven't cancelled a film in nine years.
See you there!
For those who aren't familiar with this week's film, here's a brief description:

Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) has an uncanny skill at cutting classes and getting away with it. Intending to make one last duck-out before graduation, Ferris calls in sick, "borrows" a Ferrari, and embarks on a one-day journey through the streets of Chicago. On Ferris' trail is high school principal Rooney (Jeffrey Jones), determined to catch him in the act. (PG-13) Paramount

HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival presented by Bank of America 
Mondays, June 20 - August 22
Lawn opens at 5pm

Friday, June 17, 2016

You're Invited to Barefoot Ball

Ever wanted to dance under the stars on the Bryant Park Lawn? You'll get your chance on July 20 at Barefoot Ball. Kick off your shoes and enjoy tunes from DJ Questlove, an open bar, and the ceremonial launch of Bryant Park Young Professionals. Tickets for the benefit are available for purchase on Ticketmaster. Shoes off, party's on!

Tickets are on sale now, so snag one before they're gone!

Barefoot Ball
Wednesday, July 20
7:30 - 11pm
The Lawn

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

June's Reading Room Events

Bryant Park’s outdoor Reading Room is open for its 14th summer and the literary lineup is better than ever. This year we welcome back all of our signature series, including Celebrity Author, Non-FictionPoetry, Reel Talks, StoryTime, BookClub, Kids, Writers Workshop, HSBC Business & Finance, as well as the return of the crowd favorite Spelling Bee. We’re excited to introduce two new series, Coffee & Crosswords and Game of Thrones BookClub, and will be hosting our first Crossword Tournament in the park. Over 100 events will take place in the Reading Room this summer, and visitors are always welcome to use of our daily newspapers, magazine, and book carts.

Below are a few of the programs we're looking forward to this month.

Poet Ada Limon doing a reading at May's Reading Room Poetry event.

June 15: Author
CNN’s Tom Foreman will lead a panel discussion about the art of writing a memoir. Featured panelists will include Supermodel Pat Cleveland, the editor of Tin House Magazine, Rob Spillman, and Executive Writer for Men's Health, Eric Spitznagel who will take cues from their own memoirs, Walking With The Muse, All Tomorrow’s Parties, and Old Records Never Die: One Man’s Quest for His Vinyl and his Past, respectively.

June 20: HSBC Business & Finance
Our HSBC series is focusing on the state business and finance in the new economy, with this week's program focusing on start-ups. Evan Baehr and Evan Loomis will discuss finding financing for your ventures and talking about their book Get Backed: Craft Your Story, Build the Perfect Pitch Deck, and Launch the Venture of Your Dreams. Venture Capitalist Patrick J. McGinnis will lead a discussion about following your start-up dream and stability with his book The 10% Entrepreneur: Live Your Startup Dream Without Quitting Your Day Job.

June 21: Poetry
This week's Poetry event is presented in partnership with Kundiman, who curate arts programming where Asian American writers can explore the challenges of a new and ever changing diaspora through art. Featuring poets: Janine Joseph, Patrick Rosal, Jee Leong Koh, Franny Choi.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

New IN/TER\SECT Debuts on June 10

Bryant Park Presents, the performing arts series that brings world-class music, theater, modern dance and more to Manhattan’s Town Square all summer long, opens a new chapter on June 10 with the series debut of IN/TER\SECT.

Produced with Chamber Music America and curated by composer and saxophonist Patrick Zimmerli, IN/TER\SECT brings five ensembles on each of three special evenings to perform cutting-edge jazz and classical music.

The schedule includes appearances by internationally renowned veterans including Chris Potter, Andy Akiho, Dan Tepfer and Ethan Iverson, as well as many of NYC’s most talented and exciting up-and-comers.  Audiences can expect a scintillating mix of standards and new works, including commissions and world premieres.

Hear the intersection of jazz and classical music at IN/TER\SECT starting Friday, June 10.
Outside Sources is the theme for opening night, and the lineup includes Sandbox Percussion, violist Andy Lin and pianist Kelly Lin, Andy Akiho and The Foundry, Jonathan Finlayson & Sicilian Defense, and Chris Potter Underground Orchestra.

The final two installments of IN/TER\SECT are on Fridays, July 15 and August 26. Click here for complete information on each event. All sessions begin at 5pm and continue for five full hours.

In addition to IN/TER\SECT, Bryant Park Presents brings you the best in the performing arts through September, including Modern Dance, Shakespeare, Accordions Around the World, and Emerging Music Festival. We invite everyone to enjoy this fantastic free series all summer long.

This is an excerpt from Bryant Park's weekly newsletter, MidCity Newswritten by Terry Benoit. MidCity News keeps park enthusiasts informed about our events, milestones, operations, and all of the detailed maintenance work that goes into caring for the park. Weekly updates are sent with our sister organization 34th Street Partnership