Tag Archive | "New York"

Sleeping Around NYC: Archer Hotel

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Guest room view from Archer Hotel, New York City

Guest room view from Archer Hotel, New York City

By Shari Hartford

Photos courtesy of Archer Hotel

What more can you want from an urban hotel? Great location? Check…two doors down from Lord & Taylor, in the shadow of the Empire State Building, excellent proximity to all transportation venues. Cozy without being overly intimate? Check…with 180 rooms, Archer New York is large enough to be able to provide a variety of room choices and amenities but small enough for personalized service. Extras? Check and double-check…the rooftop bar, Spyglass, has indoor/outdoor space with spectacular city views; the lobby restaurant (and the lobby itself) also has an indoor/outdoor space for dining, snacking or just people watching; the locally curated souvenirs are a hoot and actually are objects that you will want to bring home and keep; and finally there’s the Kid in Archer program. This is a free gift box for children containing timeless toys such as Etch-a-Sketch, Pick Up Sticks, Golden Books and more. The selection varies but arriving kids are made to feel as if they were special guests.

Classic Queen guest room at Archer Hotel, New York.

Classic Queen guest room at Archer Hotel, New York.

All this can be yours, and more, when you check in to Archer New York on 38th Street, right off Fifth Avenue in New York City. I did just that a few weeks ago and was in for quite a surprise. Okay, I admit that hotels have started to blend together for me. There is little that distinguishes one from another…they’re usually clean, the staff usually friendly, there’s usually a big television and there’s usually room service. But there’s a uniqueness that separates Archer from the pack. First of all, there’s that bowl of individually wrapped hand sanitizer packets on the reception desk. Not that big a deal, but after getting out of a dirty taxi or an even dirtier subway, these are welcome and I was encouraged to grab a handful for carrying around. My room (number 2108) was beautifully appointed, but smallish, with an exposed brick wall and soothing muted colors. (The other design palettes are Tiffany blue, gray and purple, each one gorgeous and contemporary.) My pet peeves about hotel rooms are a lack of convenient electrical plugs and bad lighting. Here, the plugs were too numerous to count and each one

Lobby of Archer Hotel, New York.

Lobby of Archer Hotel, New York.

was accessible, including several next to the bed for multiple devices. The gleaming white tiled bathroom was bright enough for serious make-up application and there was enough shelving for all kinds of toiletries. Also on the useful and appreciated list were the two free bottles of water waiting in the room (replenished free of charge every few days), the nightly turn down service and the mini bar that was divided in half, with half being a real frig and, finally, the best free WiFi I’ve had in a long time.

Nightfall came and I discovered that although the bathroom lighting was splendid, the room lighting was dull and atmospheric instead of bright and cheery. I fumbled around switching on every switch there was with nary a wattage change. Something for the to-do list, Archer? Room service came from the David Burke lobby restaurant, Fabrick. The limited, yet something-for-everyone, menu items arrive in a to-go bag—Burke in a Box–so I could have conceivably taken this to an office, on a train, a plane or just curled up on the bed (as I did) and munched away.

Bathroom at Archer Hotel, New York.

Bathroom at Archer Hotel, New York.

As a life-long New Yorker I am lulled to sleep by city noise and get antsy in the quiet. So, I was thrilled to discover that the windows in Archer open for the sounds of the city to drift in – even 21 floors up. I hunkered down on one of the most comfortable beds I have ever slept in and fell fast asleep.

When I left Archer the next morning, via taxi summoned by the wonderful front desk personnel, I reminded myself that travel is a joy, a wonder and can also be a trial. We are subjected to pushing, prodding, waiting and the attitudes of some staff that would rather be anywhere but helping you, the traveler. Not so at Archer. That heartfelt, “thank you, safe trip and come again,” makes the journey well worth it. Even if I was only headed back downtown.

Visit Archer Hotel

Shari Hartford is the former managing editor for Diversion magazine, where she wrote about travel in the northeast and cruising. She is currently a freelance writer and editor based in her hometown of New York City.

Shari Hartford is the former managing editor for Diversion magazine, where she wrote about travel in the northeast and cruising. She is currently a freelance writer and editor based in her hometown of New York City.

The New Whitney Museum of American Art

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Sleeping Around NYC: Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park

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RCNYBAT_00104_1280x720

Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park

 

By Shari Hartford

As I’ve stated time and time again, New York City is chock full of hotels: big ones, small ones, luxurious ones, budget ones and practically one of every chain that there is. And, contrary to the wishes of a certain former mayor, there are still those that rent rooms by the hour, no questions asked.

While I enjoy quirky and hip as much as the next person, sometimes I crave old-school formality where guests are “ladies and gentlemen” rather than “you guys.” So, with that in mind, off I once-again went to the 298 room Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park…that bastion of elegance and class in lower Manhattan on the banks of the Hudson River.

Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park

Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park

When I visited the Ritz several years ago for this column, downtown was in transition. The September 11th Memorial and subsequent museum, as well as WTC1 were not open and the flood of tourists had yet to arrive. Not so anymore. The tourists have arrived and are happily mingling with the masters (and mistresses) of the universe who go about their business in the financial district. But, happily, the Ritz has not caved to the masses and remains a force to be reckoned with.

Entering the Ritz I encountered not one or two lone doormen, but several, each seeking the opportunity, no, the pleasure, of helping me with my tiny overnight bag. On that bitterly cold and windy day, they were bundled up and waiting outside, rather than peering at arrivals from the warm inside.

I took a moment to peel off hat, gloves and scarf and feast my eyes on the magnificent floral arrangements and decorative blown glass objects that grace the lobby area. In fact, fresh flowers abound in just about every nook and cranny of the hotel…and not a dropped petal to be found.

My king room on the Club floor produced an instant ahhh. The traditional furnishings – renovated to perfection a few years ago – and glorious view of the Statue of Liberty made this hotel room an oasis amidst the ice and snow littering the sidewalks. All river view rooms come complete with a telescope for snooping on the Staten Island Ferry riders or just getting up close and personal with Lady Liberty. If possible, spring for a room on the Club Floor. The choices in the Club Lounge (continental breakfast, snacks, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and cordials and desserts) are a cut above and the chocolate buffet in the evening was spectacular.

I can go on and on and wax poetic about the comfort of my bed, linens and pillows. You get the idea. I snuggled and watched my huge television while the outside temperature kept dipping lower and lower. The temptation to just stay put until the daffodils bloomed seemed like a perfectly logical idea.

But I would have to eat, right? Room service at the Ritz comes from the excellent 2West Restaurant in the lobby. My dinner was promptly delivered on a wheeled cart that was placed just so. I could certainly get used to this.

Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park

Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park

The Ritz is damn near perfect, except that there was no bedside electrical outlet for my phone. Doesn’t seem like a big deal, but in this age of being connected, I really didn’t want to walk across the room every time I hear a beep. Come on Ritz, this is a very easy fix!

My reality check came in the morning when my fantasy evening came to an end. I regret not visiting the small but luxurious spa or splurging for an in-room massage. Nor did I use the fitness center with its sweeping views of the Hudson. I’ll save those experiences for next time. But it was now time to bundle up again, wave good bye to the smiling doormen (how can you actually smile in this weather?) and head on out. I’ll be back Ritz…I’ll always come back.

 

 

Shari Hartford is the former managing editor for Diversion magazine, where she wrote about travel in the northeast and cruising. She is currently a freelance writer and editor based in her hometown of New York City.

Shari Hartford is the former managing editor for Diversion magazine, where she wrote about travel in the northeast and cruising. She is currently a freelance writer and editor based in her hometown of New York City.

Eating East: Sotta Sopra

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Sotto Sopra, Amagansett

Sotto Sopra, Amagansett

Shari Hartford

There was a time, in a former millennium, where dining in the Hamptons presented limited options. Sure there were the stalwarts like the Palm, Nick and Toni’s and the late lamented Della Femina, but as you drove further east along 27 the options diminished. That has certainly changed. Now, a plethora of restaurants greet you at every stop light. Even once sleepy Montauk is a growing culinary force. However, Amagansett has not completely jumped on this bandwagon.

In April 2012 a new face joined the neighborhood. Sotto Sopra, best described by managing partner, Rose Evangelista, as not exactly Italian and not exactly Continental, continues to pack in the hip and the well-scrubbed, in a restaurant environment that is as fickle as the summer weather.

Since I was already at my summer vacation haunt in Montauk, I thought I would take a drive west to Amagansett and sample what Sotto Sopra had to offer.

We arrived on a Tuesday night and found the crowd two deep in the front open-air bar and dining room. We were escorted through to our table in the back garden, where just days before Bill Clinton had celebrated his birthday. (I’m always a few days too late to see anyone who is anyone.) It was a lovely evening but there were heat lamps at the ready just in case.

The menu presented options that ranged from pizza made in a wood-burning oven to pastas and full-on entrees. We chose wine over the signature cocktail called the Sotto 75 (gin, Germain, Champagne, blueberry and lime juice). Curiously, the restaurant was out of the wine of the summer, Rosé. I guess the trendy folks got there before us. We began with the ubiquitous fried calamari and it was one of the best…nice and crispy and not a hint of grease. The huge appetizer portion was more than enough for two to share. We chose the arugula, radicchio, endive, pistachio and pomegranate salad with lemon balsamic dressing. The sweet pomegranate was a perfect foil to the tangy arugula. I will certainly try to duplicate this great salad at home.

Sotto Sopra, Amagansett

Sotto Sopra, Amagansett

Next up was the grilled and herb-rubbed salmon that we requested to be cooked through. And it was. We also ordered the risotto with mushrooms, hold the pancetta please. Again, request complied. Since it was summer, the pan roasted fresh corn sounded yummy. This unusual side was straight off the cob and still juicy and flavorful.

As we finished our wine and enjoyed the summer evening, we were anticipating dessert and coffee. Although the lemon tart we ordered was just fine, we expected more extensive and imaginative offerings. I felt sorry for the wait staff that had to tell us the coffee machine had been out of order for two days and therefore there was no coffee available. That omission seems hard to take during busy summer dinner service. Mr. Coffee machine from Costco, anyone?

Fall is a wonderful time of year to take a drive east. Enjoy off-season overnight rates and certainly visit Sotto Sopra. It’s a wonderful dining addition to the East End. While not open all year round, the restaurant stays open later than most (closing in December) and opening again in the spring.

For more information, contact sottosoprahamptons.com.

 

Shari Hartford is the former managing editor for Diversion magazine, where she wrote about travel in the northeast and cruising. She is currently a freelance writer and editor based in her hometown of New York City.

Shari Hartford is the former managing editor for Diversion magazine, where she wrote about travel in the northeast and cruising. She is currently a freelance writer and editor based in her hometown of New York City.

Steve Jermanok’s Active Travels: Adventures on Lake George

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The "Mohican" on Lake George, in New York's Adirondacks

The Mohican on Lake George, in New York’s Adirondacks

“Towards you, towards you, pull it towards you,” my father yells to my mom, referring to the tiller that sits on her lap. We’re aboard my dad’s 22-foot Catalina, sailing at a good 10-knot clip across the cobalt waters of Lake George on our way back to his dock. Mom’s steering, dad’s barking orders, and I’m on the bow of the boat, ready to jump onto terra firma, but first I have to listen to my parent’s banter, a routine I’ve witnessed far too many times.

“What the hell are you doing? Aim for the house,” my dad bellows, pointing to a small white house that stands on the hillside above our dock. My father’s voice always seems to rise a notch or two in volume every time he steps foot into his sailboat. That’s usually what happens to former Lieutenants in the Navy. They resign their commission in the military, buy a small boat of their own, and quickly ascend to the rank of Admiral.  Nevertheless, my mom always remains as cool as the water in this lake, easily gliding the boat into the dock without a scratch. Once the lines are tied, she stands up, and ends with the tag line, “not bad for a Bronx girl.” “Yeah, not bad,” my father mutters back, forgetting that Mom also taught him how to drive.

Those two paragraphs are the first words I ever wrote on Lake George, for a magazine called Endless Vacation back in 1996. Both my parents are gone, but I have incredible memories of our family sailing, paddling, and boating this 32-mile gem in the Adirondacks. And I continue to create new memories. This week, I’m traveling with my brother Jim as we kayak around the Sagamore, boat with Ron Miller aboard his 1971 Lyman, and take a paddlewheeler cruise aboard The Mohican.

I’ve been sailing the waters of Lake George before I learned to walk, or so I’m told.  Growing up in these sylvan surroundings, I took its beauty for granted; the verdant mountainside that slopes to the lake’s edge on either side, the pine-studded islands that provide perfect anchorages for boaters, the narrow width that’s easily mistaken for a long rambling river. Working as a travel writer, I’ve had the good fortune to visit many of the world’s most famous lakes—Tahoe, Como in Italy, Taupo in New Zealand, Lucerne in Switzerland, but given the choice, I’ll take Lake George on a weekday (on summer weekends, the influx of motorboats and jet skies makes the lake seem a lot smaller). It’s the reason why “Sailing Lake George” topped my list of “5 Family Adventures Not Soon Forgotten,” my most recent article on the lake in a March issue of The Boston Globe.

Steve Jermanok Working as a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, contributing editor at Budget Travel, and regular contributor for The Boston Globe, Men’s Journal, and Yankee Magazine, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1500 articles on 80 countries. He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. With his wife, Lisa Leavitt, Steve launched a boutique travel agency, ActiveTravels.com, in May 2012. His clientele includes many people in the travel business, including Steve Kaufer, founder of TripAdvisor (designed his honeymoon to Turkey), and Mark Snider, owner of The Winnetu Resort on Martha’s Vineyard and The Nantucket Hotel on Nantucket. You can follow him @ActiveTravels

Steve Jermanok Working as a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, contributing editor at Budget Travel, and regular contributor for The Boston Globe, Men’s Journal, and Yankee Magazine, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1500 articles on 80 countries. He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. With his wife, Lisa Leavitt, Steve launched a boutique travel agency, ActiveTravels.com, in May 2012. His clientele includes many people in the travel business, including Steve Kaufer, founder of TripAdvisor (designed his honeymoon to Turkey), and Mark Snider, owner of The Winnetu Resort on Martha’s Vineyard and The Nantucket Hotel on Nantucket. You can follow him @ActiveTravels

 

Steve Jermanok’s Active Travels: Adventures on Lake George

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Plying the waters of Lake George in New York's Adirondacks.

Plying the waters of Lake George in New York’s Adirondacks.

“Towards you, towards you, pull it towards you,” my father yells to my mom, referring to the tiller that sits on her lap. We’re aboard my dad’s 22-foot Catalina, sailing at a good 10-knot clip across the cobalt waters of Lake George on our way back to his dock. Mom’s steering, dad’s barking orders, and I’m on the bow of the boat, ready to jump onto terra firma, but first I have to listen to my parent’s banter, a routine I’ve witnessed far too many times.

“What the hell are you doing? Aim for the house,” my dad bellows, pointing to a small white house that stands on the hillside above our dock. My father’s voice always seems to rise a notch or two in volume every time he steps foot into his sailboat. That’s usually what happens to former Lieutenants in the Navy. They resign their commission in the military, buy a small boat of their own, and quickly ascend to the rank of Admiral.  Nevertheless, my mom always remains as cool as the water in this lake, easily gliding the boat into the dock without a scratch. Once the lines are tied, she stands up, and ends with the tag line, “not bad for a Bronx girl.” “Yeah, not bad,” my father mutters back, forgetting that Mom also taught him how to drive.

Those two paragraphs are the first words I ever wrote on Lake George, for a magazine called Endless Vacation back in 1996. Both my parents are gone, but I have incredible memories of our family sailing, paddling, and boating this 32-mile gem in the Adirondacks. And I continue to create new memories. This week, I’m traveling with my brother Jim as we kayak around the Sagamore, boat with Ron Miller aboard his 1971 Lyman, and take a paddlewheeler cruise aboard The Mohican.

I’ve been sailing the waters of Lake George before I learned to walk, or so I’m told.  Growing up in these sylvan surroundings, I took its beauty for granted; the verdant mountainside that slopes to the lake’s edge on either side, the pine-studded islands that provide perfect anchorages for boaters, the narrow width that’s easily mistaken for a long rambling river. Working as a travel writer, I’ve had the good fortune to visit many of the world’s most famous lakes—Tahoe, Como in Italy, Taupo in New Zealand, Lucerne in Switzerland, but given the choice, I’ll take Lake George on a weekday (on summer weekends, the influx of motorboats and jet skies makes the lake seem a lot smaller). It’s the reason why “Sailing Lake George” topped my list of “5 Family Adventures Not Soon Forgotten,” my most recent article on the lake in a March issue of The Boston Globe.

 

steve   Steve Jermanok As a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, adventure travel expert at Budget Travel, and regular contributor on outdoor recreation for OutsideMen’s JournalHealth, and Sierra, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1,000 articles on the outdoors.He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. His latest book is Go Now! Put Your Life on Pause and See the World. He’s currently an adventure travel expert at Away.com and blogs daily at  Active Travels.

Visiting The National September 11 Memorial Museum

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By Shari Hartford

On the morning of September 11, 2001, I found myself at the very wrong place, at the very wrong time. At 8:46 a.m. I was walking through the shopping plaza in the World Trade Center on my way to the subway that would take me, as it did every single day, to my office uptown. I lived (and still do) across the street from those massive towers and spent the better part of each day walking through them, around them and gazing up at them.

Fast forward to this past week, when I got to tour the National September 11 Memorial Museum. Not yet open to the public, these were preview days set aside for family members, rescue workers, survivors and community residents (among others). My friend and fellow neighbor, Gale, and I got the passes and, with much trepidation, and pockets full of tissues, walked past the outdoor reflecting pools set in the footprints of the North and South towers and entered the museum.

Nothing could have prepared us for the massive, vast and overwhelming scale of the interior. Upon entering, you descend…first down a ramp which leads to the original foundation level of the Twin Towers and further down long escalators until we were at the level of the slurry wall, built to keep the Hudson River from flooding the original site.

There are so many memorable, and haunting, images and artifacts. For those of us who were there and lived through that fateful day and have been living through the rebuilding, some were extremely difficult to process and others just left us in awe. A piece of the radio and television antenna that stood on the North Tower, an elevator motor, a crushed fire truck left us in awe. I had never seen The Today Show broadcast as they tried, in a live broadcast, to explain what was happening in New York City. There are many tapes of actual broadcasts made that day. I finally saw them at the museum.

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“Trying to Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning,” a 40-foot high soaring piece of art by Spencer Finch was devastating. Composed of 2,983 squares of Italian paper, each one hand-painted a different shade of blue and each in memory of an individual soul lost on September 11 and in the 1983 bombing. This, for me, sums up the museum’s experience. In its simplicity, the art speaks to the poignancy of the museum. If you visit and retain only one thing, let it be this. Stand and gaze at this wall and without needing words, the magnitude of the events of both days will crash into your heart and mind and will stay there for a very long time.

For more information, see 911memorial.org.

 

shari-1  Shari Hartford is the former managing editor for Diversion magazine, where she wrote about travel in the northeast and cruising. She is currently a freelance writer and editor based in her hometown of New York City.

 

The Artful Traveler: What Hitler Hated – and Loved

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Paul Klee (1879-1940) The Angler, 1921 Watercolor, transfer drawing and ink on paper 18 7/8 x 12 3/8 in. (50.5 x 31.8 cm) The Museum of Modern Art, New York. John S. Newberry Collection Digital Image © 2014 The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/ Art Resource, NY © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Paul Klee (1879-1940)
The Angler, 1921
Watercolor, transfer drawing and ink on paper
18 7/8 x 12 3/8 in. (50.5 x 31.8 cm)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. John S. Newberry Collection; Digital Image © 2014 The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/ Art Resource, NY
© 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

By Bobbie Leigh

“Degenerate Art: The Attack on Modern Art in Nazi Germany, 1937” is one of the most compelling and timely presentations the Neue Galerie has mounted since it opened in  2001. It is as much about politics and culture as mid-century art. According to Hitler, modern art demonstrated  the cultural decay threatening the German public.

Just two days after Hitler’s new government was sworn in in February 1933, a Nazi newspaper  published  an article about an “art swamp in Germany.”  Its purpose was to draw attention to the “Jewish domination” of  the Dusseldorf Academy. From then on, the campaign against modernist art  became more widespread.

The chilling story of using art to instill a new political order in Germany culminated in “Entartete Kunst,” or degenerate art, an exhibition the Nazis mounted in Munich in 1937 which after its opening traveled to German and Austrian cities until  1941. Through meticulous research the Neue has managed to borrow about 50 paintings and sculptures, 30 works on paper which were in the original 1937 show.

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938) A Group of Artists (The Painters of the Brücke), 1925-26 Oil on canvas 66 1/8 x 49 5/8 in. (168 x 126 cm) Museum Ludwig, Cologne Photo: © Rheinisches Bildarchiv Cologne

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938)
A Group of Artists (The Painters of the Brücke), 1925-26
Oil on canvas 66 1/8 x 49 5/8 in. (168 x 126 cm)
Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Photo: © Rheinisches Bildarchiv Cologne

As  curator Dr. Olaf Peters explains in the must-read catalog: “Modernism… was depicted here as a pathological undertaking that had been strategically pushed through by a small, Jewish clique at the cost of German art.”  Hitler called  modern art “monstrosities of madness.” The art he admired was inspired by the past, by  classical Greece and the Italian Renaissance.  In contrast, Hitler  referred  to the works of   such artists as George Grosz, Paul Klee, Oskar Kokoschka among many others on view at the Neue show  as degenerate, “subhuman” or “insane.”

It is estimated that from  about 1935 the Nazis  purged  German and Austrian museums of  some 20,000 works many of which ended up in the 1937  Munich Degenerate Art show.  Roughly one-third of those works were sold at auction and elsewhere to generate funds for the Nazi government. Others were destroyed in a Berlin bonfire, and the rest have for the moment, disappeared.

Adolf Ziegler (1892-1959) The Four Elements: Fire (left wing), Earth and Water (center panel), Air (right wing), 1937 Oil on canvas; 66 7/8 x 106 ¼ in. (170 x 270 cm); Pinakothek der Moderne, Bayerische Staatsgemaeldesammlungen, Munich Photo credit: bpk, Berlin/Art Resource, NY

Adolf Ziegler (1892-1959) The Four Elements: Fire (left wing), Earth and Water (center panel),
Air (right wing), 1937 Oil on canvas; 66 7/8 x 106 ¼ in. (170 x 270 cm); Pinakothek der Moderne, Bayerische Staatsgemaeldesammlungen, Munich; Photo credit: bpk, Berlin/Art Resource, NY

What exactly did Hitler hate?  Art tainted with Cubism, Expressionism, Futurism, Dadaism, and Constructivism (but not all of the latter) as well as Bauhaus modern architecture and furniture.  (It was  not made of wood from good German forests, but leather and steel.)   And what did he revere?  The best example of Hitler’s taste in art is  in the Neue show in a gallery juxtaposing  so-called good and bad art.  On one wall is a painting that ended up  above the mantelpiece in Hitler’s  apartment. It is  Adolph Ziegler’s triptych,  The Four Elements, featuring four youthful,  classic blond nudes, personifying the four elements, fire, water, earth, and air. Ziegler was one of Hitler’s favorite artists in  the “Greco-Nordic” tradition.

Max Beckmann (1884-1950) Departure, Frankfurt 1932, Berlin 1933-35 Oil on canvas 84 ¾ x 39 ¼ in. (215.3 x 99.7 cm) The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Given anonymously (by exchange) Digital Image © 2014 The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/ Art Resource, NY © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Max Beckmann (1884-1950)
Departure, Frankfurt 1932, Berlin 1933-35
Oil on canvas 84 ¾ x 39 ¼ in. (215.3 x 99.7 cm)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Given anonymously (by exchange)
Digital Image © 2014 The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/ Art Resource, NY
© 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

In the same gallery hangs Max Beckmann mystifying triptych, Departure, depicting a crowned king and queen in a boat  at sea  flanked by  panels of suffering, tortured prisoners. Beckmann, whom the Nazis fired from his professorship at the University of Frankfurt, called the center panel “The Homecoming.”  According to the artist, the queen carries the “greatest treasure –Freedom as a child in her lap.”  After his exile from Germany, Beckmann said…”Freedom is the one thing that matters—it is the departure, the new start.”

Along with Beckmann, the Nazis drove many artists to exile, suicide and  early death.  According to Hitler, “being German meant being clear.” He demonized modern art and orchestrated a state campaign against distorted or primitive forms, muddy colors, complexity, and ambiguity. Aerial shots of  Dresden before and after the war along with two photo murals sum up the show: On one side of a narrow corridor outside of the galleries we see German people lining up to see the  Degenerate Art  traveling  exhibition when it was in Hamburg from November 11-December 30, 1938.  On the other side,  we see  an equally long line of Jews  arriving at the Auschwitz-Birkenau  railroad station.

The Neue Galerie; www.neuegalerie.org  On view through June 30, 2014.

 

bl Bobbie Leigh has written for many national publications including The Wall Street Journal, Travel & Leisure, and Departures. Currently she is a New York correspondent for Art & Antiques.

5 Pointz: The Institute of Higher Burning

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5Pointz: The Institute of Higher Burning, was a building in Long island City, Queens that was mecca for graffiti artists. In November 2013, the owner whitewashed the building, in anticipation of new condos rising on the site. Julie Maris/Semel shot it before that happened.

Julie Maris/Semel, with camera in hand at age seven, discovered travel photography as a teenager. Following her passions, she worked with Bill Maris, a well-known architectural photographer, and subsequently for editorial clients, that include Traditional Home magazine and Design New England, producing stories about gardens, architecture, and travel. Her sense of adventure turned to the Antarctic, the Arctic, Asia, and Africa while working for Quark Expeditions, TCS Expeditions, and national tourist boards. Her photographs, Images of India, were exhibited at the New India House sponsored by the Consulate General of India. See more photos athttp://www.juliemarissemel.com

Kurt Thometz’s Little Black Bookshop: Film by Oresti Tsonopoulos

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Thanks to filmmaker Oresti Tsonopoulos and Narrative.ly

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