New York Is Planning a Major Reopening Concert, and Other News

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Central Park’s Great Lawn, which hosted the 1981 Simon and Garfunkel reunion concert

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New York is planning a major concert in Central Park to celebrate the city’s reopening.

Now that vestiges of pre-pandemic New York (brunch crowds and packed subways) are returning, many locals are eager to celebrate. Mayor Bill de Blasio has taken note, and is currently planning a large-scale outdoor concert in the green expanse of Central Park’s Great Lawn. He enlisted the music industry magnate Clive Davis to organize an eight-act concert to kick off the city’s “Homecoming Week”—a celebration for residents or those in the region who may not have been able to enjoy the city for some time. De Blasio, who calls the concert a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” is currently planning the event in August. While concerts on the Great Lawn are rare, the site previously hosted musical legends such as Carole King, Elton John, and Diana Ross. “There’s a mental attitude that I think we’re all looking forward to,” Davis tells the New York Times. “That the future is bright and healthy for this country, for the world, and for New York City.”

Art Basel will proceed with its September fair as Switzerland eases Covid-19 restrictions.

In a letter sent to VIPs last week, Art Basel confirmed that its marquee September fair will take place in Basel as Switzerland eases its Covid-19 restrictions. The show, which will be held September 20–26, is still taking precautions: visitors must provide either proof of full vaccination or a recent negative Covid-19 test, and capacity will be capped at less than in the past to limit crowding. “While the situation surrounding the ongoing pandemic remains vastly different from region to region, the last month in Europe was marked by accelerating vaccination programs and loosening restrictions,” the letter reads. The beleaguered art fair may be riding the high of its recent edition of Art Basel Hong Kong, which welcomed 30,000 visitors and even featured nifty “ghost booths” to limit person-to-person contact.

The two Brutalist government buildings under threat in Trenton, New Jersey

Two Brutalist buildings in Trenton, New Jersey, are being demolished for surface parking.

In Trenton, New Jersey, two ‘60s-era Brutalist buildings designed by Alfred Clauss and Jane West Clauss are being dismantled by the state government. Both buildings are part of New Jersey’s capital campus: one houses the Department of Agriculture and Department of Health while the other houses administrative offices. The state government plans to replace the two buildings—marked by raised concrete panels that mimic woven baskets—with surface parking, which has prompted community action against the project’s poor development practices. Demolition, which has already begun on one of the buildings, is being documented by Docomomo.

East London’s Museum of Domestic Life emerges from lockdown after a major makeover.

After six months in lockdown and over three years since it closed for a renovation, Hoxton’s Museum of the Home is finally set to open on June 12. Housing 300-year-old almshouse buildings once used as housing for poor retired ironmongers, the Grade I listed structures became a cultural institution around 100 years ago. Restored to public use by Wright & Wright Architects in a $26.6 million makeover, the updates include: opening up the back garden wall as a second entrance, transforming a corner Victorian into a terraced café, reinstating an upper floor as a collections library, and double the amount of gallery and public space for exhibits showcasing objects ranging from an ornate 17th-century ebony cabinet to an interactive 1990s Nintendo games console.

WeWork’s post-pandemic plan: shame members into returning and hire more architects.

The former co-working giant who expanded into living, education, and other non-core ventures on the way to a $47 billion valuation, before imploding in spectacular fashion, is reportedly gearing up for the After Times. Despite parting ways with high-profile Chief Architect Bjarke Ingles, the company is hiring in-house architects and interior designers with a focus on generating shared offices according to data-driven formulas. Coronavirus has only exasperated WeWork’s downfall as work-from-home culture set off a wave of membership cancelations and paused fees. In May, CEO Sandeep Mathrani attempted to shame people into returning to work, and thus WeWork, saying the “least engaged workers want to stay home.” The company is also now reportedly offering incentives such as first month free.

Frida by Stefan Sagmeister and götti Switzerland

Today’s attractive distractions:

Here’s how Liza Lou created the monumental Kitchen using millions of beads.

Even the Hallmark Channel wants a piece of the burgeoning hard seltzer game.

These Hermès birkin bags are made of asparagus, cabbage, and cucumbers.

Stefan Sagmeister makes a pair of sunglasses inspired by Frida Kahlo’s eyebrows.

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