Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Art Cart Community Scroll is On A Roll

Cartoon characters, personal messages, patterns, and more have appeared on the Library Terrace as part of the Art Cart's Community Scroll. The Scroll is a collaborative work, in which dozens of square feet of butcher paper are rolled out for the public to draw on. In this community mural you can draw your own work, or embellish someone else's. The Community Scroll will remain in the park until Friday, so make sure you stop by and add your own flair to the piece. Below are some photographs of contributions made by the public thus far.

The Community Scroll is available during the Art Cart hours, Mondays 12pm to 4pm, and Tuesdays through Thursdays 12pm to 6pm.

Plenty of supplies are at the ready for you to add your own special touch to the collaborative work.

By the end of the day, personal messages from our global visitors adorn the Community Scroll.

Some people draw what is in front of them, specifically other people drawing on the Community Scroll!

Other people tend toward the more abstract, creating beautiful patterns. 

Here is a side-by-side look at two Community Scrolls at the end of the day. Each scroll takes on its own personality, depending on the contributors! 

To check out more pieces created at the Art Cart, read our past blog posts on the topic.

Art Cart Community Scroll 
Mondays, 12pm - 4pm
Tuesdays through Fridays, 12pm - 6pm
Through Friday, September 5

Friday, August 29, 2014

Signs of Fall in Bryant Park

In addition to the first fallen leaves we've found on the lawn, there are other tell-tale signs that summer is coming to a close. As you enjoy the end of our summer programs like yoga and knitting, rest assured that there are still fun events and programs in the upcoming season. Keep an eye on our online calendar for scheduling and more details, or stay updated with our Facebook and Twitter.
One of the more obvious signs of fall in the park is the disassembling of the Film Festival big screen, which we bid farewell to earlier last week. Throughout the summer it has become a backdrop for many of our summer events and programs and, of course, it has served dutifully as the screen for all 10 of our films screened this summer.

The beautiful Fountain Terrace without the HBO screen
Although the Film Festival has come to a close for the season, we have lots of other fun activities and events to look forward to. One of our biggest events of the year, Square Dance, is returning on September 19th, 20th, and 21st. What better way to celebrate the beginning of fall than putting on some cowboy shoes, eating some lip-smacking BBQ, and square dancing right on the Bryant Park lawn?

Square Dancers gather 'round during last year's event.
Photo by Angelito Jusay Photography
The onset of fall means the return of many of our favorite programs. Free fencing classes will again be held on the Library Terrace each Friday from September 5th to October 10th at 1-2pm. The Manhattan Fencing Center has sent the best of the best to teach you the basics and all equipment is provided! Call 212-382-2255 to pre-register or take a chance and drop by.

A group practices in the shade of the Library Terrace along Fifth Avenue.
Our Birding Tours are also back in action for the upcoming cooler months, picking up again on September 25th. With the help of New York City Audubon, spot some of our feathered friends in Bryant Park's hundreds of trees. Grab some binoculars and join us each Thursday at 8-9am from September 25th to October 23rd.

Of course everyone loves summer, but fall deserves some love too. Bryant Park isn't slowing down just because of a few falling leaves or chillier breezes - and neither should you!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bryant Park Painter in Residence Program Kicks Off With Simon Levenson

If you have found yourself in the park recently, you may have noticed an exciting addition. Throughout August and September, we commissioned four different painters for our Painter in Residence program. We started the program in order to create representational imagery of the park, hoping to have the beauty of Bryant Park captured on canvas in unique ways. These works can be added to our always growing visual record of Bryant Park.

Our first artist of the season, Simon Levenson started the program from August 4-15. A drawing instructor at The National Arts Club and the Museum of the City of New York, Mr. Levenson has displayed his work in many distinguished galleries, including the Cavalier Galleries and the permanent collection of the MTA Arts for Transit Commission's Permanent Gallery.

Photo by Angelito Jusay Photography
Mr. Levenson focuses on translating his subject "as effortlessly as possible." He aims to give his viewers a feeling of "deep satisfaction" through this simplistic approach. The process of painting, he says, involves practicing and studying drawing, color theory and composition. This all came through in his time spent at Bryant Park; he produced a wildly exciting and beautiful oil painting of the Upper Terrace Steps.

Photo by Angelito Jusay Photography
You can view all of Simon Levenson's work on his website. Make sure to stop by the park in the coming weeks to take a peek at the current Painter in Residence! The three painters to follow are sure to produce beautiful Bryant Park imagery as well.

The 2014 Painters in Residence (from left to right): Simon Levenson, Anne Kullaf, Dorrie Rifkin, and Peter Salwen
Photo by Angelito Jusay Photography
August 4 - August 15: Simon Levenson
August 18 - August 29: Peter Salwen
September 1 - September 12: Dorrie Rifkin
September 15 - September 26: Anne Kullaf

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Third Annual Square Dance Do-Si-Dos Onto the Lawn

After many enthusiastic questions from the public about its return, we are thrilled to announce that the Third Annual Bryant Park Square Dance will be held on the lawn from September 19 - 21.

Bryant Park Square Dance devotees may notice that, in contrast to previous years, the square dance dates are consecutive. The evenings of September 19 and 20 will be great for kicking back after a long week, or spending time with that special someone; the Sunday afternoon square dance will be geared to families. Of course, we'd love to see you on each of the three dates! Like all park programs, entrance to the Square Dance is completely free and no ticket or registration is required; the only element of the event that requires a wallet is the food and beverages.

We're mixing up the Square Dance in other ways, too. We've got a mechanical bull coming on the Friday and Saturday dates, so bring your balance and hang on tight. The Sunday date will have kid-friendly dances and square dance-themed crafts, which we've not offered in previous years. Hester Street Fair, which brought its offerings to each evening of the HBO Film Festival, will be on hand all three days to fuel your dancing. We'll have expanded trick roping, with more ropes and instructors to show you the way.

Photo: Angelito Jusay Photography
These upgrades are balanced with the return of some of the signature elements of the event. Dave Harvey, who has participated in the square dance since the first year, is back to call the dances for all three evenings. Corn hole and raffles are back to entertain the non-dancers in the crowd, or those who are taking a break from the do-si-dos. 'wichcraft is back to provide the beer and wine selection. We have thousands of hats to give away to participants, courtesy Southwest Airlines. And just like last year, we encourage you to use the #BPSquareDance hashtag on your Instagrams, Tweets, and Facebook posts so your friends know you're at a Midtown hoedown unlike any other!

We say it every year, but this year's festival atmosphere and consecutive dates ensures that this will be the best Bryant Park Square Dance we've seen yet! Stay tuned for more information and details. 

Photo: Angelito Jusay Photography

Bryant Park Square Dance
Friday and Saturday, September 19 and 20
6pm - 9pm

Sunday, September 21
1pm - 4pm

The Lawn

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

34th Street Update: New Programming at One Penn Plaza

You may not be aware that we here at Bryant Park manage public spaces in other parts of the city. Our sister district, the 34th Street Partnership, covers the area between Park and 10th Avenues and 31st and 35th Streets. 

Blog readers who live and work near Penn Station may be pleased to know that we've teamed up with Vornado Realty Trust, a property owner in our 34th Street Partnership district, to enliven the plazas surrounding One Penn Plaza. The three plazas, located between 7th and 8th Avenues and 33rd and 34th Streets, surround one of the largest office buildings in the area on top of the busiest commuter hub in the city. 

The collaboration between Vornado and 34th Street Partnership means that we're bringing the activities you love further south. Just like the activities at Bryant Park and Broadway Boulevard, the events are completely free and open to the public. They are aimed at helping the hundreds of thousands of office workers in the area enrich their days with fitness classes and breaks during the workday that enhance productivity and increase mental focus.  

Strengthen your body with twice-weekly vinyasa-style yoga classes with Studio Anya on Tuesdays and Thursdays, at 7:30am. Some mats are provided, but bringing your own is encouraged. Gain mental stability with meditation classes in partnership with Ziva Meditation, every Thursday at 3pm. You'll recharge your mind during the 3pm, post-lunch slump and remain energized for the remainder of the day. 

Downward dogs take over Park East at One Penn Plaza. 
Those who want a more intense workout should check out the following classes. Punk Rope, which brings high-intensity cardio and jump roping together, meets every Monday at 12:30pm and is a great way to raise your heart rate during your lunch hour. Boot Camp with Warrior Fitness Boot Camp, which meets Fridays at 7am, is a calisthenics-style workout led by two former Marines that will get you ready for the weekend.

For other mental breaks during the workday, you might join the Bryant Park jugglers, who migrate south each day during the business week, from 2 to 4pm. Learn to juggle in the plaza, and you might juggle the tasks better at your desk. Each Tuesday from 3 to 4pm, learn the ancient and calming art of origami. You'll de-stress as you impose order on the crisp folds of paper before you. 

Brightly colored origami paper brings people together every Tuesday at 3pm. 
Every Wednesday, the Penn Plaza French Market brings a variety of fresh produce, prepared foods for a scrumptious lunch, and handmade crafts and jewelry that are perfect for a quick browse on the way back to the office. Fans of the Broadway French Market will notice the markets are similar; they are both produced by Bensidoun USA.

Enjoy nature's bounty every Wednesday at the One Penn Plaza French Market. 

Unwind after a busy work day with jubilant brass band performances. The performances are three times weekly, starting at 5:30; check our website for the week's performers and dates. 

Joyous brass brightens up the end of the workday. 
Stay tuned as we add other events, programs, and classes to the lineup.

Events at One Penn Plaza
Between 7th and 8th Avenues, and 33rd and 34th Streets
Daily, check the online schedule   

Monday, August 25, 2014

Reading Room Cliffs Notes: Week of August 25

Reading Room Cliffs Notes is the essential guide to what's going on in the Reading Room for the upcoming week. The "Flashback" section captures a highlight from last week, while "Foreshadowing" gives a full list of the upcoming week's events. Make a visit to the Bryant Park Reading Room presented by HSBC a plot point in your week!  

Flashback of the Week: Danielle Allen, Our Declaration
Photo: Angelito Jusay Photography.
Last week we hosted the final program in our Non-Fiction series with an audience of 237 guests. Danielle Allen, author of Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality, engaged the audience with her discussion on the role of equality in the declaration. 

Foreshadowing for the Week of August 25
John Hope Bryant, Entrepreneur and Founder of Operation HOPE, discusses his book How the Poor Can Save Capitalism: Rebuilding the Path to the Middle Class. The Solution for the 100%. John is known as one of the foremost authorities on poverty eradication, and has been an adviser to the last four sitting U.S. Presidents, a thought leader, motivational speaker, and an innovator in the business of empowerment. 
Hosted by Dan Hanson, Sustainability Investments Expert, Partner and Head of U.S. Equities at Jarislowsky Fraser USA.
Rain information: In case of rain, events are held under a tent at the Reading Room. In case of severe weather, please check bryantpark.org for the indoor location.

Peter Gizzi, Dorothea Lasky, Amber Atiya, and Cathy Park Hong read original works. Produced in partnership with Tim Donnelly. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Southwest Porch Hosts US Open Watch Parties

The US Open returns to Flushing, New York on August 25, which means that viewing parties are returning to the Southwest Porch. Join us from August 25 through September 8, when the Porch wheels out its trusty 55 inch television to show the matches. Don't miss a single serve or point from Serena, Djokovic, or Federer. The games will be shown weather permitting, and with he games will be shown with sound depending on other park events scheduled for that day.

During the viewings, 'wichcraft offers a food and drink special. Purchase any entree with a beer or wine for $17.

Enjoy gorgeous weather and excellent tennis playing. 

The US Open Viewing Parties are a fantastic way to spend a lunch break!

US Open Viewing Parties
August 25 - September 4, 11am and 7pm
September 5 and 6, 11am only
September 7, 12pm
September 8, 5pm
Southwest Porch