It’s been more than four years since the first Num Pang opened its rather ramshackle sandwich spot near Union Square, introducing most of us the wonders of Cambodian street food. Sure, we’d all been wolfing down Vietnamese sandwiches for awhile–this was the height of Bahn Mi craze–but Num Pang offered a remarkable variety of explosively flavored Cambodian counterparts. I went to the Union Square Num Pang within a few days of its opening, when lines ran down the block and it was almost impossible to get a seat in the hilariously cramped upstairs dining area, and have been a regular visitor ever since. Because even though the initial hype has subsided, Num Pang remains an excellent cheap-eats option. (more…)
This is exactly the sort of exhibition that the AIGA National Design Center Gallery does so well: 1) enlist dozens of designers, illustrators, and artists, from all walks of life, and all stages of their careers; 2) give each one the exact same assignment; 3) sit back and watch the amazingness roll in. You see this kind of thing on the internet all the time (often it’s a photoshop challenge, or a “mashup movie poster” contest), and it’s always fun to see how many wildly different ideas and solutions people come up with, even with fairly tight constraints. And even better than a virtual exhibition is a live show… like Bordo Bello, currently on view at the often-overlooked AIGA Flatiron District gallery. (more…)
Manhattan’s Lower East Side just won’t stand still. Even by New York City standards, a town where constant change has always been our core characteristic, LES apartment residents have witnessed a wild ride over the past decade or so, as long-established businesses are shuttered and replaced (for better or worse), and vacant spaces developed into shiny new housing options. And, now, joining such long-term public works projects like the Blueway waterfront park and the Low Line underground park–as well as all the usual LES rental apartment construction, new restaurants, art galleries, and retail outlets–comes word that the vast Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA) may finally be beginning its transformation from six acres of parking lots into… something. (more…)
Right off the bat let me say that I am no expert when it comes to Koreatown barbecue restaurants. You know the kinds of spots I’m talking about: they’re loud and lively with grinning, bewildered tourists; after-work partiers, both Korean and non-; and packs of NYC destination eaters with something to celebrate and/or looking for a culinary adventure. There’s usually a grill in the middle of the table at these spots, where you (or your server) cook up platters of meat, and the staff brings out an amusingly overwhelming array of little dishes with your meal, filled with all sorts of spicy and pickled delights. (more…)
Culturally savvy Upper West and Upper East Side residents know how to take advantage of the many amazing exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Because the Met’s admission price is always suggested, the best way to enjoy this massive, world-class wonderland of art and history is to pop in for about an hour, pay five bucks or so, see one or two shows before heading back outside and hitting the park. This way you don’t get art fatigue on any given visit and, because in addition to their vast and amazing permanent collection, the Met is always putting on great new exhibitions, you’re likely to go back many times over the course of a year, so annually you’re shelling out more than your fair share. In that spirit, here’s a quick look at two current exhibitions that I really loved, both squarely American in their subject and sensibility, both grim and powerful in very different ways. (more…)
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