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The Insider's Connection

Art & Culture

The Roy Lichtenstein Mural in Times Square Subway Station

When visiting a city, where do you go to look for art? How does an artist’s view of their home shift the narrative the place tells about itself? How many of the 500,000 commuters that pass through the Times Square Subway Station every day miss the opportunity to see a world-renowned artist’s original mural simply…

Norfolk Building Transformation: Synagogue to Art Foundation

How do buildings reflect changing times? What saves an abandoned building from demolition in a rapidly-gentrifying city? Was it sacrilege or a saving grace to turn the oldest standing synagogue in New York City into an exclusive event space? The building at 172 Norfolk Street was built in 1849, commissioned by Jewish organization Anshe Chesed…

The Jar of Pickled Ears at the Hole In The Wall Saloon

What makes a bar a “hole in the wall”? What did 19th century pirates look for in a watering hole? What did a bar brawl feel like in 1870s New York? The Hole In The Wall saloon at 279 Water Street was built in 1794 and rose to notoriety by the mid-19th century. Between 1850s…

Battle of the Cakes: the Brooklyn Blackout Cake

Dessert-lovers across the world recognize the Brooklyn Blackout Cake, its decadent chocolate layers symbolic of a specific moment in history. But how many people know the story of that moment, or of Catherine and George Ebinger’s family business?  The Ebingers opened the famous Ebinger’s Bakery, between 4th and 5th Avenues on 86th Street in Bay…

New York’s Floating Sidewalk Subway Map

How does art become part of a city’s fabric? For a piece to be appreciated, does the original intention have to be clear? What happens when the context shifts but the piece remains the same? In 1985, SoHo would’ve been dark and run-down, home to artists’ lofts, workspaces, and vacant buildings lining streets that were…

The Glamour and The Despair, The Barbizon Hotel

How do images from popular culture imbue legacy onto a structure? If a building is landmarked, does that mean its story will continue being told? How do we use grand narratives to remain comfortable and avoid looking into the hidden histories of people and places? The Barbizon Hotel operated from 1927-1981 as a women-only residence….

Lost Pieces of the Berlin Wall in New York City

Where are pieces of history hidden in plain sight? The Berlin Wall was built in 1961 to divide the communist East side from the democratic West side. The massive concrete border was 12 feet tall and over 100 miles long, a harrowing reminder of extreme political unrest, ideological differences, and a nation at war. In…

Nothing is Too Small: Alex Kalman’s Mmuseumm

How are big stories told in small spaces? How do small stories get lost in big spaces? Take a walk down Cortlandt Alley in TriBeCa and if you’re staring at your phone, you’ll miss a tiny room that contains huge significance. Mmuseumm at 3 Cortlandt Alley (between White and Franklin Streets) is 36 square feet–6…