November 2009
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Archive for November, 2009

City of Complaint: Two Centuries of New Yorkers’ Grievances

museum of compalint letters large

Artist and editor of the new book The New York City Museum of Complaint Matthew Bakkom and Tamara Coombs of MAS take us on a nostalgic, yet grumpy, journey through New York City’s archives looking at letters of complaint to the Mayor from 1751 to 1969.

Ranging in subject from the removal of dead animals to lost baseballs to accusations of corruption, the book’s 132 letters not only chronicle issues affecting New Yorkers through the ages but also the development of their voice as citizens.

Join us on Tuesday, December 1, at 7:00 p.m. when Bakkom will be joined by director of the NYC Municipal Archives Kenneth Cobb and celebrated writer, poet and native New Yorker Philip Lopate who will read from selected letters from the book. Reservations and prepayment are recommended. Purchase tickets online or call 212-935-2075. A reception will follow the program during which signed copies of the book will be available from the MAS bookstore, Urban Center Books.

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Doug and Mike Starn Receive 2009 Brendan Gill Prize

Last Thursday, MAS proudly presented the 22nd Brendan Gill Prize to artists Mike and Doug Starn for See it split, see it change, their site-specific permanent art installation at the South Ferry subway terminal in Lower Manhattan. Commissioned by the MTA Arts for Transit Program, See it split, see it change was completed in December 2008 to wide praise.

The Brendan Gill Prize is named for the long-time MAS trustee, renowned New Yorker theater critic, author, and architectural preservationist. The cash prize, funded by a permanent endowment, is awarded annually to the creator of a work of art, book, sculpture, film, musical composition, or architectural design, accomplished the previous year, that best captures the spirit and energy of New York City. It was established in 1986 by MAS board members Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Helen S. Tucker and Margot Wellington.

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MAS Vice-President to Lead 20th Century Modernism Panel

twa saarinen interior

Frank Sanchis, MAS senior vice-president, will be joined by Nina Rappaport of DOCOMOMO/New York-Tristate and editor of Constructs, Belmont Freeman of Belmont Freeman Architects, Theo Prudeon of DOCOMOMO/US, and moderator Andrew Dolkart for Preserving 20th Century Modernism, a panel discussion at the Museum of the City of New York (MCNY) on Wednesday, December 2 at 6:00 p.m.

The panel will explore the preservation of the 20th century architecture represented by New York-area Eero Saarinen buildings such as the TWA terminal at JFK Airport, which MAS famously fought to preserve in 2003. The discussion is presented in conjunction with Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future, currently on view at MCNY.


The Bronx, A Place That Matters

greetings from bronx sign

Greetings from the Bronx — the birthplace of hip hop, the breathtaking site of the New York Botanical Garden and home base for the 2009 World Series Champions, the Yankees. Now the Bronx has even more to celebrate, as six of the borough’s notable locations will be recognized on December 3rd by Place Matters.

The six honorees are:

52 Park in Longwood is a popular urban oasis run by the NYC Parks Department with the help of 52 People for Progress (52PFP). When the South Bronx experienced its bleakest period in the 1970s, the open space at 52 Park became a danger zone. Since 1980, 52PFP, a volunteer group formed by local residents Al Quiñones, Fred Demera, Eduardo Rivera and Victoria Medina, has committed itself to maintaining a safe and welcoming public park.

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CITI Youth Interns Hit the Ground Running

citi youth interns 2009-2010

In a cramped meeting room in Washington Heights, a high school student scurries to set up a laptop and projector. Searching for a free surface in an already packed room, she makes her best effort to connect cords and load her presentation quickly before the committee chairperson calls to order the community board meeting, the student’s very first. The student, Nicole Lugo, is one of over thirty students who have been selected to work at their community board as part of the MAS Planning Center’s CITI Youth program. Across the city, students like Nicole are attending their local community board meetings—projecting maps and creating presentations that correspond to the items being discussed.

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