Spots of Urban Stillness: Guggenheim’s Stillspotting, April/May weekends
The Guggenheim presents:
stillspotting nyc: queens
See my post on last fall’s stillspotting:nyc
via Urban Omnibus:
…The two-hour self-guided walking tour that SO-IL design is punctuated by informal gatherings at different “stillspots” between Roosevelt Avenue and Northern Boulevard where original works of prose and poetry commissioned by SO-IL are read by volunteers and discussed by all. The architects have selected a group of Queens-affiliated artists worthy of attention, including renowned poets Roger Sedarat and Maria Terrone; Chaplain William Alan Briceland; writers Erik Baard, Premilla Nadasen, René Georg Vasicek, and Nicole Steinberg; and rappers of the group Das Racist, Ashok Kondabolu and Himanshu Suri (who is also a community organizer with Seva NY).
…The sites are as gratifyingly diverse and surprising as the texts with which they have been paired: the roof of the Jackson Heights Jewish Center, a quiet living room on the first floor of a residential midrise, upstairs next to the elevated stage at Terraza 7 Cafe, the garden at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, and at least as many more that I was unable to visit. All of these residential, commercial and public spaces are tied together by SO-IL’s elegant and subtle design intervention: a set of blue foam core stools arranged for stillspotters to gather. The furniture does not create or frame its site so much as merely mark it — encouraging physical restfulness, but also perceptual alertness to one’s surroundings. In the garden at St. Mark’s, a massive cherry blossom tree offered sanctuary enough from the bustle of the street while shedding thousands of its pale pink petals with every gust of wind. Here, on a carpet of discarded leaves, a volunteer read Maria Terrone’s reflection on the therapeutic and transformative effects of learning to cook Indian food from her neighbor, experimenting with a whole new set of ingredients than those tried and tested by her Italian upbringing. The resulting sensory experience was profoundly beautiful and peaceful, and it certainly offered stillness amid what Maria Terrone describes as the “choreographed chaos” of the street nearby.
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