After apprenticing with master framers in Yorkshire and London, Heba Elbanna opened Tresorie, where she designs custom frames that archive cherished memories and reflect her clients' unique tastes. Drawing on nine years of French matting experience, she carefully applies transparent watercolor washes and hand-inked lines around matted works of art. This technique, which first arose in the late 18th century, was nearly quelled by the Industrial Revolution, a time of great societal change when the rise of precise machinery made hands obsolete. Fortunately, 20th-century artists revived the French matting technique, and today Heba often incorporates the classic designs into the framing of modern art pieces as well as contemporary photographs.
When she isn't painting delicate lines, Heba and her staff source frames from Larsen-Juhl and Roma Moulding, which come in styles ranging from slim and minimalistic to wide and ornate. Staffers can protect photographs and prints with simple, clear glass as well as museum quality, UV-resistant glass that reduces glare from grouchy portraits. In addition to cutting single, double, and multi-windowed mats, Heba also displays three-dimensional pieces—such as antique pipes and fans—inside specially designed frames. Customers can view Heba's handiwork on her online gallery and peruse samples of her French matting.
The Hoboken Historical Museum celebrates the history, culture, architecture, and overall coolness of the Hoboken area, with 2,000 square feet of photos and artifacts located within the former Bethlehem Steel shipyard. Currently, the main gallery exhibit Surveying the World: Keuffel & Esser + Hoboken, 1870–1968, running until December 23, serves up 500 engineering instruments manufactured by the firm Keuffel & Esser from 1870 to 1968. Visitors to the exhibit can interact with a slide rule or telepathically take apart a transit instrument to discover the goblins turning the gears within. The museum also has an upper gallery, which is a venue for local artists to exhibit work about Hoboken and its environs. Previous artists include popular cityscape artist Frank Hanavan, photographer Virginia Parrott, and the fifth-grade class at Wallace Elementary School. Support the Hoboken Historical Museum with a one-year individual or family membership—both membership packages include benefits such as free admission to the museum, discounts on select museum gift-shop items, a subscription to the museum's quarterly newsletter, and free copies of the museum's Oral History Project chapbooks.
There are many ways to look at a city. One can get a view of it while walking down its avenues, flying through its airspace, or gazing from afar at its distinctive skyline, an unmistakable fingerprint. The curators of The Skyscraper Museum, however, view New York through its history, exploring the personalities that shaped the skyline along with the stories of the buildings themselves. Their exhibits delve deep into these stories, examining, for instance, the economic circumstances and technological advances which allowed the Woolworth Building—sometimes called the "Cathedral of Commerce"—to sprout from New York's fertile pavement.
Even the very bones of the museum support its subject, with displays set into stacked cases that rise from floor to ceiling. The stainless steel ceiling and floor extend the verticality, making guests feel as if they're striding through the skyline of a city as giants, caught between the perspective of man and skyscraper. The narrow passageways of the museum feature long strips of lighting, the stacked panels along the walls and streaks of light creating the sensation of driving down a bustling boulevard at night.
Housed in a former speakeasy, the Museum of the American Gangster isn’t obvious on a casual stroll down St. Mark’s Place. If visitors know to look for number 80, though, they pass through a black gate and up a flight of stairs, where a plethora of artifacts and exhibits awaits. The museum focuses on American organized crime through the decades, which includes profiling mob bosses, Prohibition-era gangsters, serial bank robbers, and dastardly Scooby-Doo villains. The New York Times praised co-owner and tour guide Lorcan Otway as "so encyclopedic that touring the rooms takes an hour," as he expounds upon America's unique relationship with hedonism and straight-laced morality. In the Wall Street Journal, correspondent Alexandra Cheney mentions noteworthy finds including the museum's genuine Tommy guns, vintage whiskey bottles, and old copper stills.
Standing at the intersection of contemporary art and design, The Museum of Arts and Design explores the way that artists and designers from around the world translate ideas in masterpieces that range from traditional to bleeding-edge. At its stunning Columbus Circle headquarters, visitors marvel at its glass-and-terracotta exterior before exploring a rotating collection that ranges from jewelry and delicate glass works to ceramics to architectural designs and furniture. This meshing of masterpieces has attracted more than a million visitors to the museum since it opened in 2008. The jewelry collection illustrates the transformation that took place in the world of studio jewelry from post–World War II to today, while woodwork by generations of well-known artists charts the evolution from handcarved pieces to astonishing works of machine-aided art. Other rotating exhibits the museum hosts explore topics such as glassworking, scent, and sculpture.
In its second year, The New Amsterdam Bicycle Show continues to draw inspiration from one of the globe’s most bike-friendly cities, showcasing thousands of road bikes, dutch bikes, and other styles while promoting safe urban cycling. The bike display sprawls across three stories and more than 33,000 square feet, and bike giveaways throughout the weekend arm patrons for stylish riding or perfecting their slow-motion Lance Armstrong impressions. In Bikelandia, the show's seminar portion, authors and experts present on cyclist issues such as New York’s bike lanes, and a fashion show flaunts the trendiest bike outfits and accessories. As they tour the festivities, patrons can sip complimentary pints at the Grolsch Lager beer garden and nosh on mouth-watering eats. The show also benefits Transportation Alternatives, a group that advocates for stronger biking, walking, and public-transit infrastructure.