the photography, music and ramblings of Matt Lipstein

Open House NY Rundown

It's Wednesday and I think I may still be tired from this past weekend! It was the 5th annual Open House New York festival and we did it up big. As in big-time. OHNY is a yearly event that opens the doors of some 200 sites that are normally closed to New Yorkers. The locations have an Architecture or Design bent to them, and almost all offer something interesting.

We saw 10 sites over two days, and traversed just as many neighborhoods. I won't go into all the details here, I'll let the photo set on this page do the talking. However I will indulge with a few highlights:

• We started the weekend by volunteering at a site. Not only does it feel good to give back for a change, it also feels good to get a pin that lets you cut the line at all the other locations! We were switched at the last minute to the Target Community Garden that just opened in Bed-Stuy (do-or-die, Biggie Smalls baby-baby! Uh.) The neighborhood folk were really excited about this beautiful place taking over what had been a lot "filled with crap" as one local explained to me. Nice.

• The Forbes Galleries were the biggest surprise of the weekend. Housed in the Forbes building just below 14th street, these galleries are the private collection of Malcolm Forbes' childhood relics. I have never seen so many odd things in such numbers! There were easily 5,000 toy soldiers alone, each one more mint than the last. The design of the galleries are as unique as the collection. highly recommended.

• Not a stop you'll find in the Open House event guide, but we couldn't pass up a few sesame pancake sandwiches from the Dumpling House on Eldridge. Perfect when on the go, and quite a bargain at 75 cents each!

• The last stop of the weekend was also the most impressive. We rode the tram to Roosevelt Island (see video below) for a special public art project setup on the normally off-limits south side of the island. Yes, this is the area that houses the small pox hospital that burned down. The exhibit was top-notch and the experience was thrilling.

Don't forget to check the full photo set here!


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