City Atlas attended Warm Up at MoMA PS1 to dance, give out our temporary tattoos (designs by Sascha Mombartz), and hang out in a fungi sculpture. Warm Up, an outdoor music series, will take place every Saturday through September 6 in the courtyard of MoMA PS1. The courtyard also features ‘Hy-Fi,’ this year’s winner of the 15th annual Young Architects Program. Designed by the Living, a New York architecture firm, it is built entirely of bricks made of mushroom structures and discarded corn stalks. The bricks are organic and compostable. The Living designed ‘Hy-Fi’ to funnel warm air up through its open top, making it the perfect place to sit and take a break from dancing. If that’s not enough, there’s also a pool.
After wandering through the exhibits in MoMA PS1, we found a spot near ‘Hy-Fi’ to spread out our City Atlas tattoos, talk to attendees about their New York, and take portraits (see below). We met fashion designers, architects, law students, event planners, and one man who thinks that all New York City needs is for the Halal food trucks “to be a little better.” There wasn’t consensus on this though. Another man told us that he loves “everything” about New York, especially its “really good falafel.”
We met a woman who went by “Hongjikita” when she attended Parsons. She now lives in Seoul, but was temporarily in New York, and spoke about the complicated relationship so many have with the city. “There’s no place like this,” she said, “and then you really miss it. You like it more when you’re gone.” She believes that New York can be a lonely place and that it’s important to find resting places, some of hers were Madison Square Park and Washington Square Park, to take a break from the city. But Hongjikita also loves the frenetic variety of New York. The many different kinds of people make it an accepting place, and learning how to live among all those people can lead to personal growth. She said, “I felt like to engage with the city, you needed to engage with yourself first.”
Honjikita also admitted that New York still has something to learn from Korea. She explains that in Korea you recycle even your eggshells, use food scraps to feed animals, and have to pay for plastic bags at the grocery store. She compares this to the U.S., where the plastic forks you get at a deli are strong enough to use forever, but are thrown away after one use.
Another Warm Up attendee, David Preston, shared the hope that New York will become greener. He wants to see more projects like the High Line, and more vertical parks and farms. Preston, who lives in Jersey City, also thinks New York needs electric rails. Several others mentioned that New York should develop better subway access and faster travel.
Yet, Antony, an architect who moved here from Italy, said that, “All of the things I want to see in the future are here.”