New York Will Extend the High Line to Penn Station, and Other News

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New York’s High Line will be extended to join the newly opened Moynihan Train Hall. 

On the heels of Moynihan Train Hall’s long-awaited opening is another ambitious infrastructure proposal. According to New York governor Andrew Cuomo, the neighboring High Line will be extended to the newly opened transit hub to help spur development in the surrounding area and stimulate the city’s pandemic-stricken economy. The $60 million link will provide an alternative way to access the station, which serves Amtrak and the LIRR, and is part of a broader package aimed at improving the experience of taking mass transit. The proposal entails creating a 1,200-foot elevated walkway that connects the existing High Line at 30th Street to a pedestrian path at Manhattan West, a mixed-use development near the transit hub. Further details such as timing have yet to be announced.

Expo Chicago becomes the first global art fair to postpone a physical event in 2021. 

As the second wave of coronavirus continues to restrict in-person gatherings, Expo Chicago has decided to push its 2021 edition, which was already postponed from September 2020, until later this year. “As with everything, like going to a restaurant or an exhibition, if an exhibition is expending the money for an art fair, it has to be safe and it also has to be a viable option for success,” Tony Karman, the fair’s president and director, tells ArtNews. “It was obvious that we had to postpone, recognizing, unfortunately, that things aren’t going the way they should for people to gather safely.” Since it remains unclear when in-person gatherings can safely occur, the fair has yet to announce new dates. He continues: “This postponement has everything to do with being responsible.”

Following social media companies like Facebook, Twitter acquires its first design firm.

Twitter has acquired its first design firm, Ueno, known for its work on apps for Uber and Reuters, and projects like ESPN’s nude Body Issue. Instead of acting as a standalone entity, the current Ueno employees will be embedded across different teams within Twitter’s design and research groups to “accelerate our work and broaden the spectrums of conversations people can have on Twitter.” Some are speculating the move signals the social media giant’s intention to open up the platform for developers to build custom experiences, and possibly the debut of an app store or a suite of Firefox-style plugins. Twitter follows in the footsteps of tech companies like Facebook who through the years has absorbed numerous design firms, including Sofa, Hot Studio, and Teehan+Lax.   

Colosseum in Rome

A retractable floor will be added to Rome’s Colosseum so performances can take place.

New plans developed by the Colosseum Archaeological Park and Italy’s Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism will reinstate the arena’s long-disintegrated floor so performances can be held in the arena. “The goal is to make the surface of the Colosseum arena floor usable again and to identify a compatible and reversible technological solution for covering the underground spaces,” the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism said in a statement. Slated for completion by 2023, the retractable floor will include a series of lifts to connect the underground space with the arena floor and is expected to cost nearly $22.5 million. Italian authorities issued a bid for proposals to build a new version of the retractable floor in place 1,000 years ago; design teams have until February 1 to submit bids.

Zaha Hadid Architects’ staggering “vertical city” wins a Chinese design competition. 

The design competition to build Tower C at Shenzhen Bay Super Headquarters Base in China has been won by Zaha Hadid Architects. The new technology hub will serve as a vital financial center in Shenzhen serving the Greater Bay Area of Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macau. Tower C is designed as a multi-faceted, two-tower vertical city complete with naturally-lit office space, shopping and entertainment amenities, a hotel, convention center, and cultural facilities with exhibition galleries. In addition to water-collection and recycling capabilities,  as well as photovoltaics to harvest solar energy, aquaponics gardens on all terraced levels will biologically filter contaminants from the local environment and low-volatile organic compound materials will be installed to minimize indoor pollutants.

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci hints that theaters and other venues may reopen in the fall.

According to Fauci, theaters and other venues could reopen this fall depending on the dissemination of Covid-19 vaccines. Dr. Fauci, the country’s foremost infectious disease expert, told performing arts professionals at a virtual conference that he believed audiences might be required to wear masks indefinitely. He also tried assuring industry players that the end of their economic turmoil was in sight, emphasizing the timeline determined by reaching an effective level of herd immunity—vaccinating 70 to 85 percent of the population. “If everything goes right, this will occur some time in the fall of 2021,” Dr. Fauci said, “so that by the time we get to the early to mid-fall, you can have people feeling safe performing onstage as well as people in the audience.” 

Painting by Gabi Lamontagne

Today’s attractive distractions:

Gabi Lamontagne paints New York City’s bodegas in vivid watercolors

Fashion legend André Leon Talley has been named the new face of Ugg.

During these uncertain times, psychics are reporting surges in business.

GM becomes the latest auto brand to redesign its logo in the “flat” style.

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