The Park Avenue Armory carnival

Article: The Park Avenue Armory carnival

More pictures after the jump.
While waiting in line to buy tickets for the Park Avenue Armory’s carnival this past weekend, an elderly woman behind me shouted up to her friend in a thick, British accent, “This place isn’t in very good condition, is it?” She was referring to the Armory’s entrance hall, built in Renaissance Revival style between 1887 and 1881 by “the elite” Seventh Regiment. The sixteen period rooms on the first and second floor feature original gas lights and gothic chandeliers, intricate wood and iron work and even Rembrandt’s portrait of George Washington. The charm of the rooms’ peeling paint may be lost on old ladies, but it has managed to attract a number of artists and in recent years, most notably as the off-site location for the 2008 Whitney Biennial.
The main attraction is the 55,000 square-foot drilling room, which is where the carnival that kicked off the 2010-2011 season was held. Tall enough to accommodate a full-size ferris wheel, the drill room will play host to a full calendar of exhibitions and events over the next year, including Peter Greenaway’s vision of Leonardo’s “Last Supper” (Dec. 3, 2010 – Jan. 6, 2011), the Royal Shakespeare Company (July 6 – August 14, 2011) and Merce Cunningham’s Dance Company (Dec. 29 – 31, 2011).

Come to “Big Top”: New York’s Hottest New Party

Article: Come to “Big Top”: New York’s Hottest New Party

Photo credit: Wilsonmodels

With the extravagantly colorful crowd it attracts, “Amanda’s Big Top” doesn’t even need a carnival décor. It’s already a three-ring extravaganza, with club kids, muscle bears, wandering tourists, and a guy with masking tape on his mouth all convening every Wednesday to put the carnal back in carnival.

But even if it seems a bit redundant, the physical setting is YouTube-perfect, making this the de rigueur event of the week for those on the edge and not afraid to dangle there. Held on the “Carnival” level of Bowlmor on University Place, the bash (promoted by Kenny Kenny and Joey Israel) is set under a pseudo tent in a post-modern amusement arcade lined with Coney Island-style games to work out your aggressions on. Throw a ping pong ball in a goldfish bowl or knock down a clown doll with a softball and you win an assortment of aptly esoteric prizes like paisley dolphin dolls and neon anal beads.