Signs that the holiday season is upon us abound in New York City. Stores are stocked with holiday treats, the tree has made its way to Rockefeller Center, and the Bryant Park Winter Village has been assembled—complete with the glass enclosed Celsius Restaurant. So naturally, when the tents began to be assembled in Duarte Square (Canal and Sixth Avenue), you were expecting some holiday pop-up shops, an ice skating rink, or perhaps a “mayoral transition community engagement experiment”. If you guessed the latter, you are correct (and uncommonly perceptive!)
Beneath those clear tents is in fact ‘Talking Transition‘—a two week event that aims to transform the period of time between the Mayoral Election and Inauguration Day. By collecting feedback directly from New Yorkers, the event’s founders hope that ‘Talking Transition’ will be able to infuse the policies that are shaped during the mayoral transition period with public input.
For those that were expecting a seasonal attraction, you may need a moment to get your bearings when you venture into the inviting space. As you enter to a sea of iPads mounted to long wood tables, you may wonder, “Have I just walked into an Apple pop-up store?” and “Where can I find the new iPad Air?” Wrong again. But, not to worry, your bewilderment will dissipate soon. You can expect to be courteously greeted by a ‘Talking Transition’ staff member who will quickly bring you up to speed on the purpose of the attraction.
Whether you engage in the discourse or not, there are still a variety of intriguing aspects offered at this event to make your visit worthwhile. Such as the clever use of milk crates. Production Glue, in collaboration with Darren Norris and Greg Cohen, used milk crates as catchy lighted signage. According to Tom Bussey, Principal and Founder of Production Glue, the team was “looking for a playful module to work with; something that riffed on a ‘soapbox’, the notion of a people’s platform, low cost, high re-use (a sustainable product).” Their novel use of this every day functional object imparts energy and whimsy to the event space. After you have finished marveling at the innovative space, treat yourself to samples from local vendors, sounds from the DJ booth, a beverage, and perhaps a lecture.
There are also a number of items on the calendar that are of particular interest to the art community. For starters, Community Mural Painting, sponsored by Groundswell, is scheduled to occur on most days of the initiative. And, on Saturday, November 16, there will be a Town-Hall forum titled, ‘Keeping NYC the Art Capital of the World’ sponsored by the New York Foundation for the Arts. To be informed of scheduling updates, the ‘Talking Transition’ website recommends that you RSVP for these special events.
The exhibit is open to the public and will conclude on Saturday, November 23 in Duarte Square at Canal Street and Sixth Avenue.