Friday, August 28, 2015

Fencing Returns Friday, September 4

Fencing fans have only one week to wait for our Bryant Park Fencing classes to resume. Instructors from Manhattan Fencing Center, some of whom are Olympians and Olympic coaches, will teach you the basics of fencing, also called "physical chess."
Returning fencers will notice one change in the program: the classes take place on the south side of the Fifth Avenue Terrace, as opposed to the north side, where they were previously. The location has changed so that fencers can take advantage of the turf on the south side, which you may recognize as a holdover from the temporary NYPL Outdoor Reading Room from earlier this summer. 
En garde!
Read this post from Julia Geltman of Manhattan Fencing Center to learn more about the class.

Bryant Park Fencing Lessons
Fridays, September 4 - October 9
1:30 - 2:30pm
Fifth Avenue Terrace

Thursday, August 27, 2015

August Putting Tournament Concludes

After three competitive qualifying rounds, the August Putting Tournament concluded in a championship round this afternoon. There are no more putting tournaments scheduled for this year, but on the flip side, you have a whole year to practice your shot. Will you be ready for the August 2016 tournament? 

At the first hole, competitors faced an obstructed hole and a surprising break to the right.

This competitor makes some decisions at the fourth hole. 

These competitors enjoyed the spoils of victory: a driver and gift certificates donated by Golfsmith

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Genesis and Evolution of Kubb in Bryant Park

At Bryant Park, we pride ourselves on always pushing our park offerings to be the best they can be. From adding yoga workshops to our extraordinarily popular yoga classes, to expanding the Square Dance each year to make it even more fun, to making incremental improvements to our activity areas, we're always looking to challenge ourselves to give the best park experience possible.

Some of our inspiration for improvements and additions come from the outside world. For example, the idea for our Kubb area was conceived when our Executive Director, Dan Biederman, went on vacation with his family in Scandinavia and saw the game being played.

Kubb is not well-known outside of Scandinavia (or areas of the United States, like the Midwest, that were settled by Scandinavians). Many park guests look curiously at the intriguing lawn game, which resembles a combination of bowling, chess, and pool. We answer the question "What is Kubb, anyway?" in this blog post.

Dan Biederman took this photo, documenting the unusual new game he thought would be a great addition to the park. 
Kubb in the park started with a low-to-the-ground experiment--just because we thought it was a good idea didn't necessarily mean the public would agree! We purchased several Kubb sets and set up Kubb fields on the lawn during select times. Though many people passing by the game were not familiar with it, the rules were easy enough and the game enjoyable enough that many stayed, played, and wanted more.

Kubb's existence in the park was formalized when The Green opened in 2013, hosting a Putting Green on one side and a Kubb field on the other, The Green was Kubb's permanent home. In 2014, the first-ever Bryant Park Kubb tournament was held on the lawn, and this summer we've scheduled three tournaments to meet the growing demand for friendly competition. The final tournament of the season is on September 30; register here.

The Green
Daily, 11am - 7pm
April - October

Monday, August 24, 2015

Reading Room Cliffs Notes: Week of August 24

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

Flashback to Daniel Lubetzky, Founder & CEO of KIND
Catherine Clifford and Daniel Lubetzky chat about his new book Do the Kind Thing
Last week Daniel Lubetzky stopped by the Bryant Park Reading Room to talk about his new book and what inspired him to create one of America's favorite snacks, KIND bars. Unhappy with the snacking options, Lubetzky launched KIND, snack bars that consist of whole foods and no preservatives. He wanted something that was "KIND" to your body, taste buds, and world. KIND has become more than just a delicious snack, is is an entire movement to spread and celebrate kindness. The kind movement donates money to community projects each month and allows the public to vote on which project they want to fund. Join the movement here!

Foreshadowing for the Week of August 24

12:30am: Reel Talks- Rock Music in Film 
Lively and entertaining commentary on Rock Music in Film.
With resident film expert Scott Adlerberg and Wall Street Journal Writer and Author Jim Fusilli

Don DoyleThe Cause of All Nations
Produced in partnership with New-York Historical Society

7pm: Word for Word Writers Write-In
Facilitated by Melissa Petro
Gotham Writers' Workshop invites you to let go of your literary anxiety and pick up a pen. You’ll get three short writing prompts, a few minutes to write, and the chance to tell your story. Gotham instructor Melissa Petro leads this exercise for your writer brain—no pressure, no angst, just freewheeling creativity.

Pre-registration required.

Produced in partnership with Gotham Writers' Workshop

Friday, August 21, 2015

Behind The Scenes: The Things They Carried

Monday's film, Back to the Future, is the final installment of the HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival presented by Bank of America. That means on Monday we'll witness the final running of the lawn until next summer. Here's a little mixed-media collage by a member of the Bryant Park staff. Look, they're even following our guidelines for what can be brought onto the lawn!

If only we could go back and start the summer again. Does anyone know a mad scientist with a DeLorean?
Michael J. Fox is a teen in 1985 who time travels to 1955 and gets caught up in the courtship of his then teenaged parents-to-be to save his own existence. Christopher Lloyd is the mad scientist who makes the impossible possible with a DeLorean. Directed by Robert Zemeckis with Huey Lewis' song The Power of Love Oscar-nominated. (1985) 116 min. (PG) Universal

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Scarves that are "Found But Not Lost"

Join New York City's only beginner outdoor knitting class for the final two sessions of the season. Today and next Tuesday, stop by the Upper Terrace Gravel from 1:30pm - 3pm to enjoy free needles, wool, and instruction from Knitty City.

You'll learn to knit scarves, either starting your own or continuing work started by a fellow knitter. The end product of this community knitting effort is scarves for both adults and children that will be used in our "Found But Not Lost" initiative hosted with Knitty City. Scarves will be placed around Bryant Park during the cold winter months for a person in need to take. The goal is to create at least 70 scarves by the time winter rolls around.

This tag will be affixed to completed scarves in the Found But Not Lost program.
Though it is difficult to imagine cooler temperatures now, people will be very grateful for your gift when winter inevitably returns!

Bryant Park Knits
Through August 25
Tuesdays, 1:30 - 3pm
Upper Terrace Gravel, across from BP Cafe

Monday, August 17, 2015

Reading Room Cliffs Notes: Week of August 17

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 to Weather Forecaster, TV Personality and Author Al Roker
Over 100 people gathered in the Reading Room Wednesday to hear Al Roker talk about his new book. 
Al Roker made a grand entrance last week in the Bryant Park Reading Room, becoming the first author to arrive on his fold-able bike. Roker, host and weatherman of the Today Show, discussed his new book The Storm of the Century, which recounts the Great Hurricane of 1900, the worst natural disaster to hit the United States to date. If you missed Roker's talk we still have one more author left in our Word for Word series.

Foreshadowing for the Week of August 17

12:30am: Reel Talks- Marathon Man 
Lively and entertaining commentary on Marathon Man
With resident film expert Scott Adlerberg and Author Wallace Stroby

12:30pm: HSBC Sustainability
Doing the KIND Thing
Daniel Lubetzy, Do the KIND Thing: Think Boundlessly, Work Purposefully, Live Passionately

Hosted by Catherine Clifford, Senior Writer,

7pm: Word for Word Poetry welcomes Red Hen Press
Featuring the Poets of Red Hen Press:
Mark Doty
Dean Kostos
J.D. McClatchy
Celeste Gainey

12:30pm: Word for Word Author
Dr. Ruth Westheimer, The Doctor is In: Dr. Ruth on Love, Life and Joie de Vivre

America’s most loved therapist with tips on living life to its fullest, at any age.
The first person to say "The Doctor is in" to the Reading Room Coordinator at the event will win a free copy of the book.

7pm: Word for Word Non-Fiction presents Eric Burns, 1920: The Year That Made the Decade Roar 
Eric Burns, 1920: The Year That Made the Decade Roar
Produced in partnership with New-York Historical Society

7pm: Word for Word Writers Short Story 4.0
Pen your own short story at this writers workshop guaranteed to improve and perfect.
Facilitated by Miranda McLeod, MFA, NYU

12:00pm: Word for Word Kids
Clifford the Big Red Dog

Produced in partnership with Scholastic