Posts tagged with "Central Park":
Properly understood, the opening of Le Pain Quotidien, deep in the heart of Central Park, represents one of the most momentous changes to the park in half a century. This highly respected Belgian purveyor of fine breads, salads and soups now has 21 stores in the city, but none of them is as delightful as its newest, on the northern edge of Sheep Meadow. [...] Once it had been far otherwise. For the structure you see today is really a replacement for a lovely Moorish pavilion designed by Jacob Wrey Mould in the 1860s. Known as the Mineral Springs Pavilion, it offered up a variety of salubrious waters to the thirsty citizenry. But with his habitual philistinism, Robert Moses, the once all-powerful parks commissioner, demolished Mould's vision and in its place he erected the unprepossessing structure you see today. For more than half a century it presented itself to the world as nothing more than a narrow concession area looking east, its vague interior filled with storage space for the park department's sundry fences and gardening paraphernalia. The revelation of the new Pain Quotidien starts with the fact that it fully occupies and opens to the public the interior spaces of the pavilion, which turn out to be far vaster than one ever imagined. Like most of this brand's interiors throughout the city, and indeed the world, the present space is adorned with pale woods in the French provincial style, a fully stocked bakery and a long, communal table, as well as individual tables.For it's true, nothing improves the taste of a fresh tartine, or most things in life, like being at the park.
“Don’t panic, don’t wander off…. Open my bag, as they say in French…” Thus begins the audio-tour of the Chanel pop-up architecture pavilion designed by Zaha Hadid and launched this morning in Central Park (Fifth Avenue and 69th Street). The throaty dominatrix on the tape could have been Zaha herself, but is actually the ageless actress Jean Moreau.
The installation is a fine example of the collapse between art and commerce that architecture feeds into so well. Zaha’s billowing pod with entrances stapled into the base offers an almost too inner-uterine experience as visitors glide around slick white fiberglass folds detailed in padded black leather and across scarlet, maroon, purple, and aqua glass tiles blooming into high-kitsch floral patterns. “Don’t go up the stairs,” the voice commands.
In another unfolding folded space, art works—that is, installations inspired by “an iconic accessory”—are on display, including a gigantic purse with a fur-lined interior and an open compact (pace Meret Oppenheim). Other works show erupting pearls, ingested gold watches, and perhaps inevitably swings suspended from the gold roping handle of the famed Chanel quilted bag.
The pavilion itself is by far the most accomplished interpretation of Chanel’s power to be seductive, and temptingly threatening at the same time. And do go up those stairs.