Catch an Expeditious App and Put It In Your Pocket!

Geolocation is integrated into Fodor's City Guide apps.

Six cities have updated wanderlusting apps from Fodor’s Travel, who has announced the re-launch of their City Guide apps for iPhone and iPad (Nook and Android versions are in the works). The free apps now integrate partner functionality from Expedia, OpenTable and Ticketmaster, and are available for New York City, Paris, London, Rome, Barcelona and San Francisco. They offer geolocation features and interactive offline maps, which are powered by developer Red Foundry’s new Fusion Platform, the world’s first network uniting app developers and publishers with service providers.

Travelers can book hotels through the Expedia Affiliate Network, make dinner plans with OpenTable, and buy show and concert tickets through TicketsNow, Ticketmaster’s resale marketplace. The geolocation features allow sojourners to see what is nearby by interest—categories include what to see, what to eat, shopping, nightlife/arts, and where to stay.

Arthur Avenue in the Bronx is a trendsetter's alternative to Little Italy in Manhattan. Photo by Paul Clemence.

I decided to take the New York City app for a test drive on my iPad, and it nailed my location quickly. I agreed with many of the “what to see” listings it put up, several of which I would recommend for tourists visiting NYC who want more than the usual suspects of places to see. One of which was Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, which my pal and architectural photographer Paul Clemence has photographed so eloquently, as the above photo proves.

Fodor's City Guide Apps Offer OpenTable Reservations.

The “what to eat” suggestions were a bit all over the place but I did ask for the best recommendations in New York City without determining a culinary style, and the fact that they could narrow it down as tightly as they did impressed me! Shopping brought up everything from Betsey Johnson in SoHo to Beads of Paradise in the Flatiron District and the Bedford Cheese Shop in Brooklyn, which I have frequented (and give the app a high five for referencing).

The oh-so-edgy tiki bar Painkiller wasn’t listed under “Nightlife & the Arts” (though I’ll admit, it would probably cause anyone who is less than an intrepid traveler to freak out when standing on the street in front of the bar’s address and see no discernable sign of a party until someone entering or exiting opened the graffiti panel serving as the venue’s door)-steamy! Pegu Club is there—excellent sourcing by featuring this mixology-driven venue, Fodor’s.

The Lower East Side has its own version of a hip, Parisian cafe for writers and filmmakers to hang.

Kudos to the travel experts for listing the Pink Pony on the Lower East Side. Any café with a mural of Arthur Rimbaud on the wall and a tagline like “Café Littéraire & Ciné Club” is high on my “kicky and quirky venues” list, which we locals pride ourselves in compiling for those times we want something out-of-the-ordinary. The Field Notes section is great—the perfect place for accumulating the lists you’d like to share with friends who will be visitng the same city or for resourcing your highlights the next time Hērmēs, the god of travel, wings you to the same town.

Sax in the City has only one request of the developers: I would like to have seen an easier search function for places by name. Those of us who travel frequently, especially travel journalists who are writing about cities, often go armed with recommendations for venues to experience. This app only allows search by previously determined categories unless it’s not obvious and if it’s not obvious to me someone using this level of technology for the first time wouldn’t likely find it. That said, these apps are definitely well worth the time it takes to download them. Off I go to Paris (if only)!


A Few New York Moments…

NYC Street Scenes

Man with Hammer versus the Empire State Building!

Sax in the City here: it’s been awhile since I thought about sharing little vignettes like I used to do. Love coming upon little street scenes that express the Metropolis so succinctly (always makes me think of Frank O’Hara)! Anyone who lives in the city knows there are endless opportunities each day to capture how life unfolds. Who else has shots to share? Tweet or Instgram them and put them in a comment so I can share them?

Brooklyn Festooned in an Arc of Water Vapor Kissed by Sunlight!

"Me & Me" by David Drebin at Contessa Gallery

Armed and Dangerous: The Armory Show

"Me & Me" by David Drebin at Contessa Gallery

The Armory Show hit NYC last weekend and the art-haute crowd was milling around the Piers breathing in some pretty rarified air. Rich and I made our way around the Modern show seeing the work of some of the most iconic names in art history hanging on the provisional walls. New York-based Jonathan O’Hara Gallery had a booth filled with transfer drawings by Robert Rauschenberg, and I had just about given up on my game of “looking for Julian Opie” (haven’t been to an art show in years during which I wasn’t seeing his effulgent figures incessantly stepping or swaying) when we spotted a series of his works in London town’s The Alan Cristea Gallery booth (no prancing portraits this time, but an interesting series of fashionable figures).

One of my favorite galleries was in attendance, Cleveland, Ohio-based Contessa Gallery, bringing what I have come to regard as their normal high standards to the show. Chuck Close was front and center in their booth and they had a handful of excellent Andy’s (Warhol, that is). I especially liked the Pop-maestro’s graphite on hand-made paper piece depicting kicky Halston heels. A mere $450,000.00 would have allowed you to take the #FashionFriday statement home!

Contessa brought David Drebin to the fair. He’s been getting ample buzz of late and we’re betting he’s one to watch. So agrees ARTnews and the New York Daily News (just in case our word’s not enough!). Our pick from the nearly sold-out Drebin offerings? “Me & Me.” At $3,400.00, it was a steal next to the Close portrait ($120,000.00) and a 1951 oil-on-canvas Jean Dubuffet ($450,000.00). Our take on that: get him while you can! If the crew at Contessa is as right as it has been in the past (and who can argue with Close, Dubuffet and Warhol), his prices will rise with his fame. Rich will be reviewing a Vermont-based artist that caught his eye soon. In the meantime, happy Roaming art lovers everywhere!

@SarahFrazier @SaxonHenry and @concretedetail at #TheArthurShow tweetup @Moss_Online

What a Day for a Tweetup!

@SarahFrazier @SaxonHenry and @concretedetail at #TheArthurShow tweetup @Moss_Online

Roaming by Design has been on the road a bit lately (uh, I guess that’s what we’re supposed to be doing when we promise roaming, huh?)! We’ve been around town (and across the pond, actually) gathering tweeps around us for some excellent partying. Recently, we had a highly successful tweetup at Moss Gallery in Soho during their #TheArthurShow, joined there by @abcddesigns @StudioBrinson @williambrinson @goodwithstyle @RMManhattanEd @sarahfrazier @concretedetail @RodRuizPhoto @MelissaCantor @DESIGNCOMMOTION and (yours truly) @SaxonHenry to name a few.

At the sexy rooftop lounge at the Gansevoort Park Avenue recently, we gathered a good group of tweeps around us to celebrate #PlungeWeekend. Keeping it cool that night were @Joeod3 @SusanWilber @concretedetail @GansevoortPark and @SaxonHenry. Where are we next? Well, Vegas, baby–we’ll be cozying up to @Paul_Anater and a long list of tweeps he’ll be gathering at the #Coverings2011 show (which includes the divine @jolocktov)! And at the #ADshow2011 in NYC late next week, there will be a large gathering of twitterati (a little birdie tells us @Modenus @AndieDay @SabrinaInc @troynyc @Tim_ModenusUK and @gwphoto38 will be there!). If you want a twitvite, leave a comment and we’ll make sure you are in the know! Happy Tweeting everyone!

Plunge at the Gansevoort Park Avenue


The Art of Travel

I’m in the British Airways lounge at JFK on my way to the UK to visit two properties in the Dorchester Collection. I’m really impressed with the art collection here. Such a nice Basquiat!
I’m always curious to know my readers’ favorite museums: Metropolitan Museum of Art? Museum of Art and Design? Museum of Modern Art? Brooklyn Museum of Art?
Laurie Anderson is one with the violin

How Deluded Can You Be?

Laurie Anderson is one with the violin

Sax in the City was out and about last night, trekking with good pals Susan Wilber and Sarah Frazier to the Harvey Theater last night to see Laurie Anderson perform Delusion as part of the Brooklyn Art Museum’s 2010 Next Wave Festival. “What are the last words you say before you turn to dirt?” Anderson intoned during the hour-and-a-half-long meditation on life and language that was originally commissioned by the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad and the Barbican Bite 10 Festival in London.

In her Brooklyn incarnation of the production, Anderson held sway over the audience with her hypnotic voice; explosive visual effects; emotionally charged content and sometimes volatile, sometimes haunting music. The petite performer shepherded everyone through a jostling journey that extended from Kierkegaard’s premise that life is more interesting lived backward to a riff on how women can always get away with playing the “crying card”; something we are due, she remarked, because we are constantly losing our last names. “Marriage, divorce, marriage,” she chanted, noting how the lost last name that once established our identities becomes the ubiquitous password. “When men pull out the crying card, it’s [pause] awkward!” she crooned.

There was an archetypal resonance to the material: “What happens when a man outlives his god?” she asks; and the performance was littered with death. “They say you die three times,” she parries at one point: “when your heart stops; when you’re buried or cremated; and the last time someone says your name.” There were tears in the audience as she careened toward the end of the performance, her last entreaty a question for her mother: “Did you ever really love me?” The visual effects were stunning—dwarfing her as she moved about the stage segueing from voice to violin back to voice. I’ve been a fan of hers since the 1980s and still listen to her album “Strange Angels” so it was a blessing to see her perform in person.

The image is Leonardo Da Vinci's rendition of Leda and the Swan

Swan Song…

Ah, it’s a rainy morning in New York, and though I’d love to be roaming and discovering, deadlines and the drenched weather keep me nestled into my warm, dry digs. So, what’s a writer to do on Writer Wednesday when she’s all hyped up and has nowhere to go? How about a poem inspired by a little incident that happened in Sparta (in Greek Mythology) ions ago and resulted in the birth of the great Helen of Troy? I posted a poem by Richard Aldington on my Facebook Page yesterday and piqued the interest of one of my favorite Tweeps, Richard Holschuh. Aldington was a close friend of Hilda Doolittle (H.D.) and a fellow Imagist poet, which brought to mind H.D.’s poem “Leda,” one of my favorites. I’m also very fond of Dylan Thomas’ nod to one of the most revisited rapes in mythology. Which poem do you prefer?

The image is Leonardo Da Vinci's rendition of Leda and the Swan

The Morning, Space for Leda
by Dylan Thomas
The morning, space for Leda
To stir the water with a buoyant foot,
And interlude for violins
To catch her sailing down the stream—
The phrases on the wood aren’t hers;
A fishing bird has notes of ivory
Alive within his craning throat—
Sees the moon still up,
Bright, well-held head,
And, for a pivot,
The shadows from the glassy sea
To wet the sky with tears,
And daub the unrisen sun with longing.
The swan makes strings of water in her wake;
Between the moon and sun
There’s time to pluck a tune upon the harp,
Moisten the mouth of sleep
To kiss awake
My hand with honey that had closed upon a flower.
Between the rising and the falling
Spring may be green—
Under the cloth of trees no sorrow,
Under her glassy dress no limbs—
And winter follow like an echo,
The summer voice so warm from fruit
That clustered round her shoulders,
And his her uncovered breast.
The morning, too, is tune for love,
When Leda, on a toe of down,
Dances a measure with the swan
Who holds her clasped inside his strong, white wings;
And darkness, hand in hand with light,
Is blind with tears too frail to taste.

Oldies and Goodies: Side by Side

I happened into Olde Good Things today to see what’s in store because there always seems to be something new to see in this shop that sells antiques and “altered antiques.” If you’re a fan of patina, you’ll get a good hit of time-worn lovliness here. They have several locations in Manhattan, two in Los Angeles and a warehouse in Scranton, PA.