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NYPL: Edna Barnes Salomon RoomThe LA Times reports and the NYPL confirms the opening of another Wi-Fi hot spot at the library's main building on Fifth Avenue.

Now, visitors with laptops can go online at the Edna Barnes Salomon Room (Room 316), in addition to the Bill Blass Catalog Room (315), the Rose Main Reading Room and the DeWitt Wallace Periodicals Room (108).

What makes this new addition so special?

Read the rest of: "More Wi-Fi Hot Spots at New York Public Library
Renzo Piano (2 buildings)Renzo Piano's name sounds as harmonious and striking as his architectural works. The Italian architect is perhaps best known for his design of the Centre Georges Pompidou, the unmistakable cultural center in the heart of Paris, and thirty years after its construction, Piano uses similar techniques in the new New York Times Building, but to a different end...

Read the rest of: "From Le Marais to Midtown in 30 Years
University Village (IMPei & Associates)Any architecturally curious visitor to Downtown Manhattan would probably remember three buff-colored high-rise towers occupying the southern fringes of Central Greenwich Village, just above Houston Street. They are University Village (also known as Silver Towers) - a residential complex designed by James Ingo Freed (I.M.Pei & Associates) and owned by New York University. And they've just been landmarked, protecting them from future alterations or modifications...

Read the rest of: "I.M.Pei-Designed Apartment Buildings Landmarked
Calatrava: Transit HubRetractable roofs have been architects' idée fixe for decades. Moshe Safdie once wrote up an idea for entire neighborhoods shielded by such roofs during the harsh season and open to the elements when it's nice outside.

The path to these dreams' realization has been fraught with difficulties, from budget overruns to full-blown engineering disasters like Montreal's Olympic Stadium (after a decade of efforts to fix it, the city finally gave up and installed a fixed roof in its place. It won't be moving any time soon).

Nevertheless, projects like that pop up again and again. And so do the difficulties. The latest example is Santiago Calatrava's project for the Lower Manhattan Transportation Hub. Among the project's many innovative features was a retractable roof. But will there be one in the final implementation?

Read the rest of: "Calatrava's Transit Hub Roof Gets Stuck
The writers' strike may be over, but not everything is going well in Hollywood, I read in yesterday's Corriere della Sera (Milan). The latest trend of shows and movies abandoning the city for cheaper locales leaves the film industry capital increasingly isolated. And if things continue down the same path, soon nobody will be filming there (that prediction is courtesy of Carsten Lorenz who made it in an interview with the Financial Times)...

Read the rest of: "Frankie Goes To... New York?
Pedro'sThis past weekend, we're wandering around Dumbo — that neighborhood that takes place between and beneath the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges and seems comprised almost entirely of organic food marts and upscale designer baby clothes boutiques.

I was in the mood for a hot dog and beer, which is only a healthy meal when compared to my previous idea of a meal of ultra-rich chocolate. But there were surprisingly few hot dog vendors about the place, and in stark contrast to my own neighborhood, no guys wandering around offering to sell you a Corona for a buck fifty. However, while walking up Jay Street, I suddenly caught a whiff of…is that…is that taco? Yes it is. And suddenly all I wanted was tacos and beer. Luckily, Pedro's Spanish American Restaurant and Bar was waiting on the corner of Jay and Front Street (73 Jay St., between Front and Water) to give me exactly what I wanted.

Read the rest of: "Pedro's Spanish American Restaurant
Stranded on Broadway
Posted by Slavito in New York + Places on 23/Jan/2008
Strand photo by newyork8080

I have a love and hate relationship with Strand. The "hate" part, for those interested, will be explained at the end of this posting, but let me start with the "love." For a hardcover-loving bibliophile rat I am, Strand is simply a great place - one of the best in the world. It's big, cavernous (they claim to offer "18 miles of books") and full of surprises...

Read the rest of: "Stranded on Broadway
Las Ramblas SignI have not, traditionally, gone out and done very much on St. Patrick's Day. For a while, this was because I stopped drinking (oh, so many days wasted on sobriety). And for a while, this was because I was going through a cranky phase and didn't want to combat drunken masses crammed shoulder-to-shoulder in a New York pub. These are no longer concerns for me. As for temperance, I have returned to my Scotch-Irish roots. And as for drunken crowds crammed into pubs, I have discovered that I actually enjoy the convivial revelry of such a gathering.

So in the year 2007, I decided it was time to go out and have fun on St. Patty's Day, even if my Irish ancestors were Protestants. England shipped my Scottish ancestors to the Americas as slaves, and I still rooted for them during the world Cup, so I'm over things, even if others are still fighting over Cromwell.

But somehow, I ended up celebrating the first half of St. Patty's sitting in tapas bar Las Ramblas. Nothing says Ireland quite like tapas and white berry pomegranate sangria...

Read the rest of: "St. Patty's Spanish Style: Las Ramblas Tapas Bar
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