Thursday, October 25, 2012

Election Night

New York City, 

After walking through Herald Square on election night in 1907, artist John Sloan noted in his diary that the cheerful crowd was “so dense in places that it was impossible to control one’s movement.” The square on Sixth Avenue and 34th Street, then bounded to the east by the elevated train, was one of the traditional places where New Yorkers gathered in the years before radio to hear the election results. Although this was a period of social activism and political reform, the citizenry was mostly out to have a good time. Filling the squares and circles of the city, the large gatherings were generally peaceful, except for the shouting and blaring of horns, and the feather ticklers that the celebrants wiggled under the noses of passers-by. Within a week, Sloan painted the scene he witnessed, masterfully capturing the excitement of urban life.1 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Eleven Madison Park Revisited

New York City, 

Eleven Madison Park is currently ranked as the tenth best restaurant in the world.1 Despite this achievement, it remains a work in progress, restlessly changing its format.2 While maintaining the level of its fine cuisine, distinguished by reductions, foams, and creative combinations, it continues to introduce different themes, taking the narrative in new directions. Perhaps believing that it gets in the way, the restaurant has deconstructed the traditional menu in an experiment yielding mixed results.