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A Weekend in New York City

April 3, 2011

The view downtown from the top of Rockefeller Center, NYC. Photo by Jamie Kapitain, 2011.

At the end of March, my wife and I spent four days in New York City and the city did not disappoint. There were countless highlights, here are just three:

The High Line, New York City. Photo by Jamie Kapitain, 2011.

The High Line is a remarkable reclamation project where the community stopped the demolition of a raised rail line and turned it into a linear green space. Having studied landscape architecture in university, I was eager to visit this urban park to experience the great views across the river and out over the city. It was a sunny Saturday morning when we walked the High Line and it was packed with people eager to welcome spring.

'Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts' presented by the American Folk Art Museum. Photo by Jamie Kapitain, 2011.

Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts was an exhibition of 650 red and white quilts hung high above the ground in swirling formations at the Park Avenue Armory’s 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall. The quilts belong to Joanna S. Rose and the exhibition was a gift from her to New York on her 80th birthday. I liked how these “ordinary” quilts, many of which were bought from 1950’s flea markets for “five to ten dollars”, became breathtaking because of their quantity, variety and presentation. This exhibition will probably be the most memorable of the weekend.

100 11th Avenue, New York City. Photo by Jamie Kapitain, 2011.

100 11th Avenue Residencies by Pritzker Prize winning architect Jean Nouvel was an unexpected surprise. Last year, I did a quick sketch of Nouvel and his impressive building after listening to an interview by Charlie Rose. When I’m inspired, I often sketch as a way of recording the source. Walking through Chelsea, I saw the building and knew instantly that I had sketched it before. I couldn’t remember the name of the structure or who designed so when I arrived back at my studio, I found the sketch I had done seven months earlier.

Sketch of architect Jean Nouvel (2010) by Jamie Kapitain. Ink and watercolor.

The only problem with New York City is that there is so much to see that I didn’t get any time to stop and sketch. Maybe next time.

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