Wednesday, September 30, 2009
After Monday’s unfortunate rain out of opening night, Bargemusic took the stage at Fall Festival yesterday. A lively combination of classical and jazz music was performed by musicians who regularly play on the barge, the NEOS String Quartet, pianist, Steven Beck, the Voxare String Quartet, and the Fireworks Ensemble. Concert highlights included the Fireworks Ensemble’s expertly executed excerpts from jazz pieces commonly heard in old Looney Tunes cartoons.
Be sure to visit the park tonight at 6pm, when the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players take the stage to perform selections from musical theater classics like Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado, Ruddigore, I’ve Got A Little Twist, and more.
Visit BryantParkFallFestival.org for the complete Fall Festival line-up because there’s still opera, dance, and more jazz and classical music to come!
For frequent updates, special offers, and prize giveaways (like WNET Thirteen’s Fall Festival VIP Giveaway Contest), become a fan of Fall Festival on Facebook or follow Bryant Park on Twitter.
Monday, September 28, 2009
To make its Bryant Park performance extra special, Bargemusic is offering the following:
- Post “I’m coming to see Bargemusic at Bryant Park Fall Festival!” on the Fall Festival Facebook Page and enter to win a free tote bag with goodies and two boarding passes to a Bargemusic concert. Entries will be accepted until 5pm tomorrow (9/29).
- Visit the Fall Festival pop-up information kiosk on the park’s Upper Terrace during the show to take advantage of a $5 discount on boarding passes to concerts on the barge (not valid for Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve performances).
- For a small contribution you can enter a raffle to win unlimited passes to all Bargemusic concerts for an entire year! $2 gives you the chance to win one unlimited pass, and $4 entries will have the chance to win two unlimited passes. Visit the Fall Festival pop-up information kiosk on the Upper Terrace during the show to enter.
Wait, there’s more!
WNET Thirteen, a generous media sponsor of Fall Festival, wants you and your friends to be Fall Festival VIPs.
Anyone who has visited the Southwest Porch at Bryant Park can attest that Southwest Airlines’ reputation for hospitality and service is well-earned. The airline has assiduously cultivated this reputation so that people who may not even fly know that Southwest means quality service.
For those interested in such effective brand-building, Southwest Airlines and Bryant Park invite you to the Southwest Porch at 12:30-1:30pm, Wednesday, September 30, for lunch with Kevin Krone, Southwest’s Vice President for Marketing Sales and Distribution. Mr. Krone will discuss the power of building a strong brand with simplicity.
Seats are limited, so please RSVP to: Whitney Eichinger at email@example.com, or call her at 214-792-6604.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Bryant Park Fall Festival presented by Bank of America brings a taste of New York’s upcoming cultural season to the heart of midtown Manhattan. This week’s schedule of FREE after-work performances in the park includes classical music, musical theater, and opera, from some of the city’s most celebrated performing arts institutions.
The Festival stage is located in front of the Bryant Monument on the Upper Terrace where there are hundreds of chairs available. Upper Terrace seating opens at 5:00pm. Tables, chairs, and blankets are also welcome on the lawn.
Bryant Park Fall Festival
Monday – Friday
September 28 – October 2
6:00pm – 7:30pm
Monday, September 28: St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble
Tuesday, September 29: Bargemusic
Wednesday, September 30: New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players
Thursday, October 1: Young Artists from the Metropolitan Opera
Friday, October 2: Carnegie Hall featuring Ensemble ACJW
Thursday, September 24, 2009
St. Luke’s tickets are never sold at this price, so visit the Fall Festival pop up information booth on the park’s Upper Terrace from 6pm to 7:30pm on Monday, September 28, to take advantage of the special offer.
Additionally, St. Luke’s is giving away a free pair of tickets to one of its chamber music series concerts, to a lucky Fall Festival attendee. Text message your review of St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble’s Fall Festival performance during or after the show in the park and you’ll be entered to win.
The number to text will be released at the Fall Festival performance, along with all the contest details. St. Luke’s will post all audience reviews, and the winner of the tickets, on its Facebook page the day after the show.
Bryant Park Fall Festival presented by Bank of America is a free taste of New York’s upcoming cultural season, featuring some of the city’s most celebrated performing arts institutions. For more information, including the complete Fall Festival schedule, visit BryantParkFallFestival.org or become a fan of Fall Festival on Facebook.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
The new grass needs a little time to settle in, but the lawn status message at the top of bryantpark.org will be updated as soon as it’s open to the public. In the meantime, relax at the Southwest Porch, open for business again post-Fashion Week.
For facts about the lawn (and a trip down memory lane) take a look at our very first blog post, when the lawn was opened for the summer season on April 24, 2009.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Saul Leiter photo exhibition, Bryant Park/42nd Street subway station, New York, installation photograph © 2007 John Barnes.
A welcome break from the usual underground commercial advertisements, the MTA Arts for Transit program produces rotating photography exhibits in lightbox panels at several subway stations in the city, including the Bryant Park/42nd Street stop. Look out for the current exhibition next time you hop off the train on your way to the park.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Tomorrow is your last chance to learn how to knit, perl, cast on, and cast off, this summer in the park. Call 212-989-3030 to pre-register, or take a chance and drop by Bryant Park’s final, free beginner’s knitting class, presented by Gotta Knit! Yarn and needles are provided.
Classes may be ending in the park, but you can visit the talented instructors from Gotta Knit! at their store at 14 East 34th St.
Bryant Park Knits
Tuesday, September 22
1:30pm – 3:00pm
Upper Terrace, across from the Bryant Park Grill
For a full calendar of events, visit bryantpark.org.
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Friday, September 18, 2009
The free outdoor concert series premiered in September 2008 as “New York Now in Bryant Park,” and featured some of New York City’s most acclaimed classical music and opera institutions. Renamed and expanded to include a wider variety of performing arts institutions this year, Bryant Park Fall Festival features jazz, musical theater, and dance, as well as classical music and opera.
Ten performances, from 6pm to 7:30pm, will take place on a stage located on Bryant Park’s Upper Terrace. Sit on a Bryant Park chair or have a picnic dinner on the lawn. These are your ten chances to experience free tastes of of the 2009-2010 performing arts season in New York City.
- Monday, September 28: Orchestra of St. Luke’s
- Tuesday, September 29: Bargemusic
- Wednesday, September 30: New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players
- Thursday, October 1: The Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program
- Friday, October 2: Carnegie Hall
- Monday, October 5: The Joyce Theater
- Tuesday, October 6: Ailey II
- Wednesday, October 7: Bargemusic
- Thursday, October 8: The Brooklyn Philharmonic
- Friday, October 9: Jazz at Lincoln Center
Check out all the details at BryantParkFallFestival.org and keep an eye out for more information and special giveaways related to Fall Festival on Bryant Park’s Twitter, the Fall Festival Facebook Fan Page, and right here on the blog.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Those familiar with Project for Public Spaces (PPS), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help people create and sustain public spaces, may have noticed that Bryant Park appears on both the PPS list of “Great Public Spaces” and in its “Hall of Shame”. PPS placed Bryant Park in the latter category for closing the lawn and Fountain Terrace to the public while Fashion Week takes place, even though large amounts of space remain open to the public during the event.
The photo of Bryant Park in the “Hall of Shame” entry is misleading. This video, shot on September 3rd, 2009, during construction of the Fashion Week tents, shows the park buzzing with public activity. Our daily lunchtime count totaled 3,086 people, and a number of free activities occurred that day, including Pétanque lessons, Ping Pong, and Piano in Bryant Park, which were all well attended by park patrons. Other popular activities not impeded by Fashion Week’s presence include bi-weekly Tai Chi classes, Meet the Birds in Bryant Park, knitting lessons, and poetry readings. Le Carrousel also remains open with normal operating hours.
When working with producers who wish to hold events in Bryant Park, our foremost concern is the public. We take measures to ensure that the entire park is never closed to its patrons, and that people can still enjoy their time in the park whether or not they are participating in an event.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
The London Plane trees of Bryant Park celebrated a memorable 75th birthday today. Grandpa Musselman & his Syncopators drew a crowd with their lively, modern ragtime set, which was followed by a poetic tribute to the trees from William Cullen Bryant himself (well okay, a very talented William Cullen Bryant impersonator). The real star of the show, however, was the birthday cake - a gift from the Bryant Park Grill to the septuagenerians.
Below left, Bryant Park Grill’s pastry chef, Anne-Marie Noonan, poses with her creation, and right, William Cullen Bryant, Executive Director of Bryant Park Corporation, Dan Biederman, and Adrian Benepe, Commissioner of NYC's Department of Parks and Recreation, cut the cake. All components of the cake were edible, and the tree itself was made from rice crispy treats.
Wondering why London Plane trees were chosen to be planted in Bryant Park in 1934? According to Maureen Hackett, the park’s Director of Horticulture, London Planes are sturdy enough to handle pollution and root compaction, which enables them to thrive in urban environments. Here’s to another 75 years of beauty and grace in the heart of midtown Manhattan.
Watch NY1’s coverage of the celebration here.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
New York City health commissioner, Dr. Thomas Farley, has proposed a ban on smoking in all city parks as part of “Take Care New York 2012”, a plan to improve the health of NYC residents over the next three years. Bryant Park is one of over 1,700 parks and beaches that would be affected by such a policy.
The proposal is sure to spark heated debates between those on either side of the issue, and raises questions of enforcement, should the ban be implemented. The New York Times article, New York Eyes ‘No Smoking’ Outdoors, Too, quotes Mayor Bloomberg, who stated on Monday, “It may not be logistically possible to enforce a ban across thousands of acres, but there may be areas within parks where restricting smoking can protect health.” Such areas could include playgrounds and outdoor spaces created specifically for children.
As managers of the park, our goal is to maintain a welcoming space for anyone and everyone to enjoy. However, we urge park patrons to be mindful and courteous of those around them when engaging in activities that could negatively impact others, such as smoking or playing loud music.
We’d like to know what you think about the issue. Should smoking be prohibited in New York City parks?
Postscript: Bryant Park’s Reading Room is a designated smoke free area, which is noted on table top signs and enforced by the Reading Room attendant.
Monday, September 14, 2009
It’s a landmark year in the life of Bryant Park’s beautiful London Plane trees. Help us celebrate their 75th birthday at a special lunchtime event, featuring music by Grandpa Musselman & his Syncopators, a photo exhibit of the trees through the years, the poetry of William Cullen Bryant, tips on tree maintenance from Bryant Park Corporation’s Director of Horticulture, Maureen Hackett, and tributes to the trees by Commissioner of NYC’s Department of Parks and Recreation, Adrian Benepe, and Executive Director of Bryant Park Corporation, Dan Biederman.
75 Years of Grace: A Celebration of the Trees of Bryant Park
Wednesday, September 16
12:30pm – 1:45pm
Visit bryantpark.org for a full list of this week’s events in the park.
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Sunday, September 13, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
As mentioned in the Tree Tweet Contest post (have you entered yet?), we’re throwing a birthday party for the London Planes, next Wednesday, September 16, from 12:30pm to 2pm.
Stop by for jazz music by Grandpa Musselman & His Syncopators, a William Cullen Bryant impersonator, and remarks from Commissioner of NYC’s Department of Parks and Recreation, Adrian Benepe, Executive Director of Bryant Park Corporation, Dan Biederman, and Bryant Park Corporation’s Director of Horticulture, Maureen Hackett.
If you can’t make it to the party, take a stroll down the 42nd Street Allee anytime on September 16 for a special one-day-only photo display of the trees over the past 75 years.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
In honor of the majestic Bryant Park London plane trees, who turn a momentous 75 years this month, we’re hosting a little competition. We want you to show your love for the trees. Here’s how it works: Take a picture of yourself with the Bryant Park trees (for you out-of-towners, we’ll even accept a picture of you with the trees in your favorite local park.) And then, tweet your wonderful and creative photos, making sure to include @BryantParkNYC. Please keep in mind that we do not encourage any photo-ops that will get you into trouble with the Bryant Park Security (no stepping in the ivy beds!), but we’re looking forward to some fun shots.
Every good competition has a prize. At Bryant Park, we’ll be celebrating the trees’ 75th with a book. The Tree Tweet Contest winner (chosen by our expert staff) will receive a copy of National Parks: Our American Landscape, a beautiful new book from Earth Aware Editions featuring the photographic work of Ian Shive.
Our parkside fête for the trees takes place next Wednesday, September 16, at 12:30pm with an historic look at the trees, music, and more, but we’ll give you until the end of next week to submit your photos. So get out there and Tree Tweet It Up… You could be the winner!
Don’t try this at home: A professional tree pruner’s favorite photo with the Bryant Park trees.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Sunbathers in Bryant Park. Summer, 1925. Some things never change.
Photograph courtesy of the New York Public Library.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Cave Canem Poetry
Friday, September 11
12:30pm – 1:45pm
Visit bryantpark.org for a calendar of events in the park.
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Friday, September 4, 2009
Photo from WWD.com
WWD recently titled an article “Fashion’s Night Out Gains Steam,” but that might by now be a bit of an understatement. Retailers all over the city are embracing the event, and our Bryant Park shops are no different. Here’s a listing of participating retailers and their happenings next Thursday, September 10th (most events will take place from 6pm-11pm):
alice + olivia, 80 W. 40th St. between 5th & 6th. Modeling hopefuls: Compete for one of the coveted spots in the designer’s Fashion Week presentation. Click on the link for more information.
BCBG Max Azria, 461 Fifth Ave. @ E. 40th St. The runway show presented just hours before in the tents at Bryant Park is recreated in-store. Meet the designers Max and Lubov Azria, get styled in fall fashions, and go home at the end of the evening with a coveted gift bag. Click on the link for more information.
H&M, 505 Fifth Ave. @ E. 42nd St.
Lord & Taylor, 424 Fifth Avenue @ 39th St. Events galore! Meet photographer Patrick McMullan, NYC’s Bravest from the 2010 NYC Firefighters Calendar, or get a key that unlocks lockboxes throughout the store filled with amazing prizes. First 200 to RSVP and check in receive a free Fashion’s Night Out T-shirt. Click on the link for more information, or visit the Lord & Taylor website.
Payless, 437 Fifth Avenue @ 39th St. Meet designer Lela Rose and enjoy special offers from 6pm-11pm. Be sure to pick up a limited edition tote with the FNO graphic. Click on thelink for more info.
Sean John, 475 Fifth Avenue @ 41st St. Live entertainment and contest.
Zara, 500 Fifth Avenue @ 42nd St. Sip champagne, buy limited edition pieces, and enjoy indie tunes from 6pm-11pm. Click on the link for more info.
Be sure to visit Fashion’s Night Out website, Facebook page, and Twitter for full information and updates. And don’t forget the Fashion’s Night Out T-shirt. Retailers selling the T will donate 40% of proceeds to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. From the many FNO T-shirt appeals on the Facebook page, it looks like they are going to be hot items, especially the long-sleeved version ($35, $30 for the short-sleeved). Get them in Bryant Park from alice + olivia, BCBG Max Azria, Lord & Taylor, and Zara. Or get that limited edition tote from Payless.
There’s also a related clothing drive happening on the same evening. Donate new or gently used clothing to participating stores on Thursday the 10th from 6pm-11pm. BCBG & Sean John are Bryant Park’s drop-off locations.
Whew! Are you ready to shop?!
Shop Bryant Park is written by Fashion Herald, our retail blogger.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Created two years ago by Amit Gupta and Susan Buck of Photojojo on Vimeo, they saved pictures taken every ten minutes by our old webcam, beginning with the construction of the September 2006 Fashion Week tents. Along with the changing seasons, you can see a number of major park activities such as The Pond and The Holiday Shops, the resodding of the lawn, and snippets of classic summer events like the Film Festival and Broadway in Bryant Park.
Just for fun, see if you can spot the temporary sculpture exhibition we hosted in 2007, of works by artist Manolo Valdés.
Photojojo's Time Lapse Video of Bryant Park from Photojojo loves you on Vimeo.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
The beautiful paint work shown in the video is just one component of a larger carousel renovation project, which began in 2008. Upgrades have also been made to the ticket booth, carousel floor boards, internal mechanisms, and ground surface surrounding the entire structure. So far, the results have been phenomenal, and much appreciated by both the riders and operators of Le Carrousel.