The Spirit of Andalusia Pervades a New Manhattan Dining Room, and Other News

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Casa Dani. Photography by Nikolas Koenig

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The Spirit of Andalusia Pervades a New Manhattan Dining Room

Housed inside the Citizens food hall in Manhattan West, the Rockwell Group–designed Casa Dani evokes the feeling of a traditional Andalusian courtyard with hanging plants, olive trees, and lantern-style table lights decorating the 160-seat mezzanine space. Details like walnut parquet flooring and terracotta tiles reinforce the European villa tone. 

The design language reflects the heritage of Michelin–grade chef Dani Garcia, celebrated for his progressive takes on Spanish cuisine. He returns to New York after a seven-year hiatus with a less-fussy menu that balances homestyle classics (jamón ibérico croquetas; salt cod) with artfully prepared dishes (ink-sauce baby squid; noodlefish with fried eggs and roasted peppers). In partnership with Sam Nazarian’s hospitality group Sbe, sherry-focused cocktails are on offer in the dining room, as well as an 11-seat bar and lounge area.

Venice Biennale 2019

Activists are protesting the Venice Biennale’s plans to expand in the historic Arensale.

Last week, demonstrators gathered in Venice to protest the Venice Biennale’s plans to occupy more space in the city’s historic Arsenale. Members of the Forum Futuro Arsenale (FFA) have outlined an alternative vision, which prioritizes residents over tourists by proposing the space be revitalized as a site for boat maintenance, a Maritime Museum, and studios for local artists. “Since ownership of the Arsenale complex was transferred to Venice municipality from the State in 2012, the FFA has identified regeneration of this area as possibly the last chance to forge a healthy future for Venice as a city,” their proposal reads. “So far, isolated from the negative effects of mass tourism that are manifest throughout the rest of Venice, the Arsenale is a large enough area to significantly influence the socioeconomic development of the city and yet sufficiently self-contained to be administered with a unified and integrated vision.”

Curators are speaking out against Instagram’s rumored “movable grid” feature.

Last month, app developer Alessandro Paluzzi may have unearthed Instagram’s next big feature: allowing users to rearrange posts on their own Instagram grid, which has long been chronological. Though re-upping old content has its benefits, curators are skeptical about the prospect. “It’s misleading and unauthentic,” the curator Noura Abla tells the Art Newspaper, noting that Instagram has been an effective way to keep track of real-time events. Others, such as curator and collector Huma Kabuki, said the new feature would simply be “another way to make people procrastinate.” 

Parisians may soon be able to travel through the city on a system of aerial gondolas.

Residents of the Parisian suburb Creteil may soon be able to soar through the city on public transit gondolas. The aerial tramway, which recently cleared pre-construction feasibility studies, will link several neighborhoods in Paris’s southeastern suburbs to the terminus of Metro line 8. Gondolas are being considered instead of more conventional public transit options because the area is hilly and bisected by highways, a high-speed rail line, and tracks leading to a rail freight depot. By contrast, gondolas can sail above the obstacles and will be electric-powered to minimize emissions. 

Affirmation Tower by Adjaye Associates

Plans for David Adjaye’s stacked skyscraper in Manhattan are called into question. 

In October, Adjaye Associates revealed visuals for Affirmation Tower, a cantilevering supertall located across from the Jacob K. Javits Center in Manhattan. If built, the skyscraper would top out at 1,663 feet to become the Western Hemisphere’s tallest building and the city’s first majority Black developed, designed, and built projects. Despite these milestones, the two-million-square-foot tower may be getting shelved because of its programming. Developers originally planned for the tower to include offices, hotels, a skating rink, observation deck, and new headquarters for the NAACP’s Mid-Manhattan branch. Locals raised concerns over the lack of affordable housing, which caused officials to rescind the request for proposal to develop the site in late December. 

Beijing went to enormous lengths to create artificial snow for the Winter Olympics.

In order to host the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, officials went to great lengths to create enough artificial snow, which included flooding a dried riverbed and diverting water from a reservoir that supplies China’s water-scarce capital. The mountains around the city of Zhangjiakou, located 100 miles northwest of Beijing, also stopped irrigating thousands of acres of farmland to conserve groundwater and resettled farmers in high-rise apartments. Chinese officials were also tasked with delivering 35 million cubic feet of water—enough to fill 400 Olympic swimming pools—to the mountains through pumping stations in order to create artificial enough snow for the events. Fabian Wolfsperger, a researcher in Switzerland, told the New York Times that “it’s definitely not environmentally friendly” to build a ski hub near a water-scarce locale like Beijing. “But winter sports have never been that in general.”

Today’s attractive distractions:

This AI bot is working nine to five drawing people’s dream jobs on Twitter.

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