Tag Archives: new york

“I want to go to New York for Christmas.”

I am loving this song – “Christmas In New York” by Clara Barker.

I’ve probably been swayed because I’ve met the singer Clara (rhymes-with-Sarah) Barker and she’s pretty awesome all on her own, but her voice and this song are gorgeous.

The first verse mentions frozen hot chocolate from Serendipity, the restaurant where Marilyn Monroe and Andy Warhol used to hang out.

It’s got that “Fairytale In New York” vibe but without sounding like the kind of argument you pretend to ignore when you’re shopping for last minute presents on Christmas Eve.

It’s got the sweet, whimsical, “wouldn’t it be nice if…” feeling that you get imagining you’re walking home on a city street, bundled up in a cute yet appropriately expensive coat as the street lamps twinkle through the snow.

What more do you need?

There’s currently a Facebook campaign to get Clara to number 1 in the UK charts and you know deep down you don’t want the X Factor to churn out another auto-tuned droid to mindwipe the nation while we’re all distracted with the Dr Who Christmas Special.

Join now! We need YOU!

You can buy the “Christmas In New York” single for a very civilsed £0.79 on iTunes (or find your way to her 2 full-to-bursting-with-amazingness albums) so there’s no excuse not to join the revolution.

Save the cheerleader singer, save the world!


High Line Park, NY

High Line Park has been created in an old, unused railway bed that runs about 30 feet above street level in Manhattan and it’s absolutely beautiful. Not just because of what it looks like, but because of where it is and how it was created.

After forming  “Friends of the High Line” in 1999 without a concrete idea of what to use the tracks for, but the knowledge that they wanted to retain the High Line as part of the city rather than let it rust away and be torn down, Joshua David & Robert Hammond held an open design competition in 2003 which attracted hundreds of ideas.

Considering Manhattan is always seen as the bustling metropolis – all traffic lights and taxi cabs and rushing commuters – to have this contemporary / countryside path running along above that makes it seem like an entirely different place.

“I tend to think of it like a musical composition, that there’s one theme that is continuous…and it changes like the plants as it moves into different areas.” – Ricardo Scoffidio (co-designer)

The design elements are incredible, everything from the benches integrated into the pinstriped paths and the wooden reclining seats on wheels resting on the original tracks to the bleachers facing onto huge plate glass windows overlooking 10th Avenue.

You can find out more about the Park at www.TheHighLine.org (all the photos included in this post are from their site).

The video below is an interview with Richard Lacayo from Time Magazine and shows not only the Park as it currently stands but a little background on the High Line and the design process.

red ribbon

Today I learnt about the origins of the red ribbon worn to show support for people living with Aids/HIV. It was funded by an arts foundation called Visual Aids to raise awareness of the disease, but the idea actually came from 12 artists sitting in an old classroom in New York in 1991. They were looking for a symbol that was simple to produce, could be easily replicated and would draw attention.

Volunteers made the ribbons and a box of 3,000 was sent to the Tony awards with an explanation of what it meant. Just a few weeks after the idea was finalised, Jeremy Irons was on TV giving out an award and wearing one of the hand-made red ribbons. After that, Hollywood caught on and demand skyrocketed.

The design was never copyrighted which meant that it could be replicated without permission and promoted all over the world. Because of the simplicity and impact of the ribbons, they have also been used to promote support and awareness of other causes – pink for breast cancer, orange for self-harm, yellow for suicide prevention, purple for Spirit Day, the list goes on.

It’s an incredible achievement for that group of 12 artists that the ribbons are now immediately recognised, and seems especially beautiful as it wasn’t designed to make a profit but just as a way for people to show support for those going through something painful and frightening. It’s a symbol of hope and of courage.

“Red was something bold and visible.

It symbolised passion, a heart, love.”