The First Home of the Whitney Museum of American Art


The concept of the Whitney Museum was birthed by a woman by the name of Gertrude Vanderbilt, aunt and adoptive mother of Gloria Vanderbilt who is the mother of Anderson Cooper. She was born into fame on January 9, 1875. With her lavish life, she financially wanted for nothing. But as she grew, she fell in love for the first time; with art. She loved sculptures and began to make her own. But a woman sculpting three-dimensional human figures was a radical concept in that era. Regardless of popular conception she studied at the Art Students League of New York, which was a prominent school for artists, in order to further develop her sculptural technique.

She married her Husband, Harry Whitney, on August 25, 1896. She was only 21 years old at the time. She wanted to marry someone that came from a wealthy family since that was the only way she would be certain that her spouse was not only in the relationship for her money. Harry Whitney was a descendant to Eli Whitney, inventor of the cotton gin. He was also a lawyer, horse-breeder, and heir to his family’s estate. The Whitney’s eventually had three children, biologically, within their time together until he unfortunately died in 1930; he was only 58 years old.

In 1914 the Whitney’s bought a studio which now resides in Greenwich Village. She, along with other artists, worked on their art and lived within those walls. The Rowhouses were built in the year of 1838 and then renovated into one big studio/residence by Auguste L. Noel. They commissioned him to merge three town-homes into one, giving respective spaces to each artist. In 1918 they also commissioned Robert Winthrop Chanler to redesign the interior of the building. He was responsible for a very artistic approach to a studio that had stained glass adorning the windows, a fireplace that was blazoned with bronze wispy flames that crept 20 feet up the wall touching the ceiling which was filled with mystical characters. It was a part of the Greenwich Village Historic District which was established in 1969 and it was later acknowledged as a National Historical Landmark in 1992 which ultimately saved it from being demolished.

The Whitney Museum moved four times in the concept’s lifetime, consecutively outgrowing itself. Tune in next week to see the next home that housed this beautiful and innovative idea of Art.

The ceiling in one of the studios. One can see deer and other creatures in this photograph.

A fireplace sculpted to resemble fire. The twirls and fury of the flames creep all the way up the chimney and extinguishes onto the ceiling.

The art selection is from the later works of artist, Wilbur Niewald.

27th Annual U.S. Pastry Competition

frosting flowers being piped onto a cupcake

Image by: Tony Albanese

New York is where dreams come true where the havens of the concrete jungle bring together the most talented of people from all over America. While there are so many things that this state has to offer that have not fully been appreciated or viewed, I wanted to share a beautiful piece of this city that has been happening for the past twenty-six years. One of the biggest havens in New York that host the latest and modernized innovations is at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. It has hosted the New York Boat Show and the New York International Auto Show but this weekend it is hosting the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York. This is the most prestigious pastry competition in America, it draws in competitors from all over the United States to present their best work to be judged and possibly awarded.

The International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York is a three-day long event in which the best and rising stars in the pastry world to show off their best work to compete for awards and prizes as well as the most coveted title of Pastry Chef of the Year at Paris Gourmet’s U.S. Pastry Competition. One of the oldest and most established chef associations in the world, the board members of the Societe Culinaire Philanthropique, will preside over the judging procedures. Contest awards will total over $10,000.00. The show begins on Sunday, March 5th and concludes on Tuesday, March 7th. The entire Jacob Javits Convention Center is transformed into this confectionary art gallery of the most amazing artists…pastry chefs from all over the United States. The showpieces will be judged from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm, with the awards ceremony at 4:00 pm.

an intricate layering of a napoleon

Image by: k_usinero

Last year’s theme was Magic & Illusions and even hosted The Junior Competition where six finalists were randomly selected from four culinary schools were able to compete alongside the professionals. The 2017 showpiece theme will be “Modern Masters Come to Chocolate”. All of the attendees of the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York are generously invited to view the illustrious showpieces that were created by America’s most talented and leading pastry chefs throughout the duration of the entire Show. The event allows leading pastry chefs to showcase their talents and confectionary abilities by creating advanced dessert and chocolate bonbon recipes that are elevated by sculpting chocolate and utilizing highly technical sugar techniques to formulate the most magnificent showpieces.

Humans Of City Tech

“Performing this research experiment is key in the construction industry. Concrete is the most widely used building material since the Romans have introduced it a couple millennia ago, and is still today the material of choice to use for superstructures of magnitude. Reaching for the sky isn’t only a metaphorical expression, it is a reality. Through research, we have been able to manipulate these existing materials to our own self interests. It is of human nature to improve on existing ideals, ergo, not performing research is blasphemy.  Passion is not to be confused with persistence. Being the kid I was, destruction was inevitable and I would be very lucky if I would get a verbal scolding from my parents. I would be such a handful to my parents, they would send me back to Bulgaria during my summer vacation so they can get a break. Pyromania was of great interest, but the fun dies out like the fire. Unlike the cinders, my passion for destruction does not smolder. I would later move on to dismantling computers, CD players, and toys. Nothing would really last in my house, if it passed through my hands it would be in shambles guaranteed. It is passion to explore that drove me, I never persisted. This passion and persistence was a constant battle in my early educational career, and is still today. In elementary school, I couldn’t burn anything or break anything, so I why would I pay attention? All the school teachers would compulsively harass my mom about my obnoxious behavior and ‘under-performance’. All but the science teacher, who loved me and gave me excellent marks. Imagine that! Passion is a very peculiar trait to harbor, because it is passion that drives not persistence. ”

a young blond man standing in front of his academic posterStanimir karamihaylov

Humans Of City Tech

“Robotic Mannequin: Roboquin (SInce a female robot you can also call it a RoboQueen!!)

It is an interactive robot mannequin initially intended to be used in fashion industry, but later decided on also being used in classrooms especially in a linear algebra course or a computer programming course. The interactive robotic mannequin or Roboquin can be used as a greeter in a shopping mall, can be used to display clothing and jewelry and the customers willing to buy don’t even have to hunt for the price tag or what sizes and colors are available as the Roboquin could be pre-programmed to be able to say all those details as soon as it senses people around it (with the help of motion sensors). This will lead to an enthusiasm among the customers and probably they would go to the stores that  has this mannequin initially just to have a look at it, and perhaps end up buying a lot of stuff from there, which is obviously very much beneficial for the store owner and worth buying $200 Roboquin as opposed to the expensive $3000 available in the Japanese and Korean market.

Since it is made out of materials available off the shelf, it is pretty affordable to have them in several multidisciplinary courses. Once we are able to implement the image recognition feature into Roboquin, it can be placed in the classes and perhaps when Roboquin senses students are not paying attention and dozing off in the back benches it might make some noise to wake them up and explain them how was this amazing Roboquin built and tell them if they pay enough attention to the class, they will be able  to build something of that sort  soon. This will help students to have more interactive classes and infuse a lot of enthusiasm and they will see practical applications of the classes they are taking which might have seemed very abstract and vague to them.”

young woman with glasses and braided hair, standing in front of an academic posterRumana Hassin Syed

The Big Duck: Part One

For a two-week special edition to my historical architecture theme, I decided to deviate from my initial plans of staying within the boundaries of the five boroughs of New York City. Instead, I have made a crucial decision to focus on a landmark housed practically on the tip of Long Island (near the Hamptons) by name of The Big Duck. This monumental building was very important to modern architecture (which years range from the 1800’s to the early 2000’s) since it possibly could have been the beginning of a major style in the 1980’s, called Post-Modernism. Personally when I think of the beginning of Post-Modernism, I think of the infamous married architectural duo, Robert Venturi and Denise Scott-Brown. This couple was like the Mom and Dad of this movement since they practically created it and were the key figures in making it popular.

There’s an architectural philosophy that many modern architects, as well as in many other professions of the design world, strongly applied to their work, “Less is more…” by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. This is a term commonly used in describing modern architecture since it was more common for structures to be honest and functional, leaving elaborate exterior adornments in the past. Venturi later coined his own term, “Less is a bore…” meaning that we should bring back some of the characteristics that we have already parted with; in a dire attempt to reestablish personality in structures since he thought that every building looked identical and they all took the form of boxes.

After Venturi and Scott-Brown traveled in various parts of America they noticed something, a trend. They found that roadside attraction businesses were something to be studied and analyzed. They found them to be the most honest pieces of architecture since they were not hiding what they were selling or what they truly were. They created their chain of analytics by using a structure called the Big Duck. The Big Duck is a 1930’s house that was built to sell duck influenced items to the driving public. People would drive by this oversized duck and want to pull over since they know what they are selling and what they were expected to purchase. From this Long Island distributor is where most people in 1932-1984 bought the infamous Pekin Duck and specialty items like duck eggs. They appreciated the different form of honesty and started basing their other structures on this billboard building. Others started to formulate their work on this philosophy and it soon became a trend. Which gives us buildings like The Longaberger Company building which literally  looks like an oversized basket.

Even if certain parts of these buildings didn’t have any structural or operational reasoning, it was still considered important since it had stylistic necessity.

Tune in next week to see more of the historical side of the Big Duck now that I have explained why I find it so interesting that something so architecturally important is housed in New York.

Humans Of City Tech

“I have been wanting to do a research project with the department of Construction Management since the start of my sophomore year back in Fall of 2015, but with work, school and family the amount of time I had would not allow me to be fully dedicated to my research. This year the opportunity to work with Professor Anne Marie Sowder head of the construction manager presented itself, and I took it. The most interesting part about conducting my research was putting together my results after finalizing the review of literature phase for my research project. This took a lot of brainstorming and work from me and my mentors part. We finally came up with the creation of calendars that would project number of days available to pour concrete for the future. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the City University of Technology and its CUNY Research Scholars Program, and Professor Anne Marie Sowder for the time and dedication that was put into giving me this opportunity and allowing me to execute it.”

a young man with dark hair and glasses in front of an academic posterKevin Saquicela

Dia: Beacon

Beacon, New York is one of my favorite places in the country. It’s a little town that quietly lives within the array of mountains that surround the Hudson River. It’s filled with nice artistic pieces, good-tasting food and great people. The Dia: Beacon art museum is a gallery that is home to some of the best contemporary art that dates back to  the 1960s and 1970s. None of the art here is traditional, they all physically use space and light as  subjects of creativity. The architecture of the building and lighting of the rooms are just as important as the artworks themselves, it’s what makes the work unique. For any readers who want to take a trip to Beacon and visit this museum, just take the Metro-North train from Grand Central Terminal up to Beacon, New York. It’s an hour and a half train ride. A round-trip ticket is just over $30, a Dia ticket is $15 ($12 for students), and the experience is priceless.

cars parked on a town street

A street view from Beacon, NY.

silver circles and squares on a hardwood floor

“The Equal Area Series” by Walter De Maria


a glowing light stick in an empty room corner



Glowing light sculpture made of circles in an empty room corner

The two light sculptures are untitled works from an artist named Dan Flavin.

Humans Of City Tech

Who would have thought a girl from Brooklyn, NY will grow to be a woman who is on her way to become a hospital CEO at twenty-three years old. Being successful in this world has always been imprinted in my head by my parents. If it was one thing I learned from my parents I would have to say it was never give up on what you believe is yours, learn from failures, use it and build it to what you want to achieve in life. With my family’s support and encouragement of never giving up I managed to transfer colleges and receive two degrees from New York City College of Technology. My Bachelors in Health Service Administration will be completed this fall 2016 term. During my two years at City Tech I was able to be a part of a wonderful team called Student Government Association, the Ohana Slate. I joined because as a student first I always enjoy great leadership and being a voice for my colleagues for any thought, issues, or feelings they may experience. It feels great to give students the opportunity to approach me and ask me questions where I can help direct them to what they would need to do. The most interesting part of being the voice for City Tech students I would have to say is hosting events or students to become a unity and giving them the opportunity to learn from each other and also hearing opinions or ideas they may have to help us as their student body. Being in SGA has helped me in many ways, dealing with now 18 members with 18 different personalities helps me grow even more as a person in my professional field of working. We really are a family and we encourage each other to do things we never thought we could do. The last thing I will say is that I am ready for my future and gods plan because I see great things coming my way in healthcare.”

a smiling woman in jeans and a white T-shirtAshley Frazier

Beauties of the Hudson River Valley

The Hudson River Valley is home to some of the most beautiful scenery that New York has to offer, especially during the fall season. Before I came to City Tech, I used to go to college in Upstate New York. Never taking a moment for granted, I always appreciated my time there. Being in a rural town amongst the mountains was a nice change from being in an urban city amongst giant skyscrapers. The air, colors, mountains, flora, and atmosphere are all quite the opposite of everything we see down in the city. It’s a beautiful area, but personally it’s the friendships and memories that call for my occasional return to the Hudson River Valley. Here’s what I had the pleasure of seeing during my last trip.


a mountain top on a foggy day

orange mountains lit in sunlight

fuchsia and green leaves, up-close

a sun-lit fieldorange and dark purple leaves, close-up

Humans of City Tech

“One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself” My name is Robin Koiner, I am majoring in Chemical Technology at NYCCT. I love to create, I like art, doing makeup, and learning new aspects related to sciences. School has allowed many great opportunities for me to grow as a whole, and for that I am grateful. I believe self-discipline and self-management are the essence of hard work, and essential when expanding the mind’s capacity. I want to always be able to express myself and preserve my discoveries while understanding the optimal circumstances for knowledge production and creation. In my quest for mastery over oneself, the ability to recognize, understand and manage the different aspects of my personality, will allow me to create a higher quality of life experience. Keep mastery in mind, always.”

a young woman with long dreadlocks, in a fur-trimmed coatRobin Koiner