Wednesday, November 20, 2013

New York Stories - The Final Chapter

In my final chapter of my New York Stories, I recap some of the things about the city, and in particular, the area known as Chelsea, that makes it my my favourite place to visit.

New Yorkers love their dogs.  In Chelsea there are many residential apartments and in the mornings, every other person that you pass is walking a dog.  It took me forever to get places because I was always stopping to say hello to yet another adorable canine.  I ran into these two dog walkers and was impressed by how well-behaved their charges were.

New Yorkers love Halloween!  This year was New York's 40th Annual Village Halloween Parade (last year's was cancelled because of Hurricane Sandy).  The parade attracts approximately two million spectators and fifty thousand participants.  New Yorkers also love decorating their homes for the event.  These "skeleton flamingos" were the coolest decorations I saw while I was there.  I don't know if the person who put them out painted them, or purchased them like that. There was a store on every block that was dedicated entirely to Halloween-related items.

The residents of this apartment building went all out in the spirit of the holiday. 

Every block has a interesting building.  Clockwise from upper right - The Chelsea Modern, where one bedroom units sell for about $2 million (yep, you read that right...);  The Dream Downtown Boutique Hotel; Walker Tower, built in 1929 by architect Ralph Walker and currently being restored.

This parking lot on 10th Avenue always has the coolest billboards

 Inspiration on the wall of the Chelsea Brooklyn Industries

Independently-owned stores like Eye Candy, which had a carefully curated selection of vintage and contemporary accessories and a few choice items of clothing made for wonderful browsing when out for a walk.  I visited this store twice while I was in New York as it was two blocks from my hotel, and each time had an enjoyable conversation about vintage shopping with owner Ron Caldwell. 

You can find yourself a superhero even if you're not a damsel in distress

And then there's the Art....

Chelsea is home to more than 300 art galleries.  On my list for this visit was the Jonathan Levine Gallery, where work was on view by three artists, two of whom I had read about in Juxtapoz magazine.   Above is one of Tara McPherson's ghostly, illuminated, women from her "Wandering Luminations" series.   I especially loved the colour palette in this particular painting. McPherson's work includes poster art, for which she is well known, toys, comics, and advertising illustrations.  

Japanese artist Masakatsu Sashie created large paintings featuring structures formed of man-made objects hovering over landscapes that look like dumpsites, piled high with glowing television screens and other electronic detrius.  It was cool to examine them up close to see the objects that make up the orb in this painting, including vending machines, fans, air conditioners, and gasoline pumps.

  Tentacle candelabra by Adam Wallacavage

I had heard about Adam Wallacavage from a link sent to me by a friend to a virtual tour of his fantastical apartment.   When I heard he had an exhibit of his art, including his signature "octopus chandeliers", at a gallery in New York when I was there, I had to see it.  His work is as cool in real life as it is in the video and photographs.  You can see more of his gorgeous chandeliers on his website.

One of Yoko Ono's Wish Tree installations was in the courtyard of Jim Kempner Fine Art.  I read some of the wishes that others had tied to the tree, and then left my own.  Many of the wishes were for world peace, but some were quite personal, such as the two above.  I think at one time we all wished we would lose our virginity to our soulmate, if we believed in such things.  I wish that Flora will be happy too!

 And then there's the people

I had seen photos of Christina Viera on Advanced Style, and fell in love with her sculptural, eclectic style.  A fan of Japanese clothing design, in particular,  Comme des Garcons, she mixes strong shapes with statement accessories, including hats that she has made herself.  I contacted her when I knew I was going to New York to see if she would be willing to meet for a coffee.  She was, and we spent a very enjoyable couple of hours together that included a visit to the Chelsea Market.

The Chelsea Market is an indoor food market with over 35 vendors selling literally everything from soup to nuts.  I will definitely have to visit again the next time I'm in New York.

My supremely stylish and wonderfully entertaining New York partners in crime, The Idiosyncratic Fashionistas.  Jean, left and Valerie - Thank you for upping the fun quotient every time I visit.

Farewell New York, my home away from home, til next time....


  1. I watched an amazing show about Tara McPherson on the HiFi channel a few months back - I love the surreal quality of her work!

    Gah, I am so insanely jealous of your trip to NY! So many wonderful places and people! Thank you so much for sharing it, Shelley!

  2. What a great post , love all the photos !

  3. Dead jealous, you look so cool chilling in NYC with Batman & The Fashionistas. My knees went a biot wobbly at the Walker Tower, man , it's bastard massive! x

  4. Fabulous photos! I love the one of you and Batman, natch. Looking good, both of you. xo

  5. Oh, your post took my breath away! I'd never visited NYC until The Costume Technician moved there, and now it's become my fave place on earth. I'm absolutely content to walk and look - and eat :)

  6. Y'know, I've never wanted to go to New York, I've always been scared of the huge city-ness, the vast amount of people...but just recently, I saw an article about the vibrant culture, and finally, finally, I am getting the desire to go. You have just clinched it!!!!
    That candelabra is amazing, I want to go shopping, people watch, eat and drink and hang out there!!!
    Right. When I do get to go, you are coming to be my tour guide, darling!!!

  7. Ha! I love the Batman photo.

    The art you showed was stunning. I need to visit more smaller galleries the next time I go.


  8. dear lady, so much art, so many delightful people, so much fabulousness, so great that you've enjoyed them and shared with us!!,

  9. You make me want to visit New York. (: I love that you seem to have wrung every possible wonderful thing and treasure from it. Oh, and I am swooning over Christina's coat! Do you happen to know if she made it or if it is Comme des Garcons?

    1. I think I remember her saying her coat was Junya Watanabe - isn't it amazing?

  10. Thanks for sharing Chelsea with us!! FABULOUS!!

  11. JEALOUS! I so want to go back, my visit to NYC 15 years ago was wonderful, but not enough!
    I love the folks, the dogs, the art, Yoko's trees, the buildings, and the clothes! How lovely that you got to meet up with friends, old and new. So - international blogger meet up in New York, yes? Wouldn't that be amazing?! Xxxxxx

  12. Thank you so much for the amazing photos of New York. I have only been there once, and was stunned by how friendly and hospitalable New Yorkers are. Not at all what I expected.

    The visuals of the stores, the window dressing, the signs, the people, --- all wow. A real feast for the eyes. Wish I could nip over for a few hours or a weekend without it being a major trek. Still, living in England has multiple compensations.

    Cheers from ex-Vancouverite, now a Brit,
    Rosemary from

  13. Your tales of adventure make me yearn for NYC. You are an amazing story teller and your photos portray exactly why this city is heaven on earth. Creating a perfect trip takes talent, and you have plenty of that.

  14. Hi Shelley! How are you doing? So you got lots of snow? There some forecasted here but i think it will change to rain, then it will be fun, pure shit i tell you!

    Now your post - I have seen Christina often on Advanced style -i love her style too - I wonder where she shops, that jacket she is wearing is awesome, did she make that herself, i know she modifies clothing as well -

    Chelsea is a nice area, maybe we will go in that area next time we go -



  15. On this looks like my kind of trip, I love NYC! You have everything here art and interesting people. Looks like you had a great time.

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