Monday's Miscellany

+Pool, New York

+Pool, New York

Another mashup of quick items. This week, focus New York--on swimming, China in the city, and cowboy boots.

Swimming

+Pool sounds like a far-fetched idea that would take flight and die over beers on a hot summer night: let's build a floating pool in New York's East River, and let's design a filtration system so that the water in the pool comes from the river it's floating in. Only the idea--conjured up last summer by the guys of FAMILY architects and PlayLab--has not only taken flight, it's soaring.

Once hatched, world-class engineering firm Arup (whose Drivers of Change planning tool I wrote about last January) got in on the act and helped complete a feasibility study. Now the +Pool team is crowdsourcing resources for the next step of the process: technical testing. They handily topped their $25,000 funding goal just days after launching their campaign on Kickstarter. But raise $50,000 or $100,000, and they can accomplish more comprehensive testing. You can read a Wall Street Journal article on +Pool here and an interview with the designers here. You can pledge through this Friday, July 15th.

+Pool is slated to open next summer. If you're dying to get in the water outdoors in New York while you're waiting, there are other great options: the olympic-sized, history-rich Hamilton Fish pool on Houston Street is open for laps weekday mornings and evenings now through the end of August--and it's free; the Neptune Foundation's floating pool in the Bronx; or stand-up paddle surfing--in the Hudson, no filtration. I swear this is the summer I'm going to do this.

China

Grand Army Plaza is on Fifth Avenue at 59th Street, between the GM building, the Apple Store, Bergdorf's and the Plaza. I went by last week to see Chinese artist Ai Weiwei's Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads, on display in the Pulitzer Fountain. Loved them--thought of Orwell, Animal Farm. I'm year of the Dragon, which is strong, self-assured and generous--and tactless, demanding and brash. The exhibit leaves New York on Friday, July 15th, goes on to Los Angeles in September and will tour through Houston, Washington DC and Pittsburgh next year.

If you miss Zodiac Heads in New York, there's still an opportunity to learn about Ai Weiwei's background and influences: through August 14th the Asia Society is hosting an exhibit of photographs he took of the city while living here in the 1980's.

And if you register by end of day Wednesday, July 13th--and if there's space remaining--you can join Henry Kissinger next Monday evening in New York as he speaks about his new book, On China, with Steve Orlins, the President of the National Committee on United States-China Relations. I mentioned Orlins' recent C-Span conversation on China last week in my article The Challenge of China.

Cowboy Boots

I have a much-loved pair of Rios of Mercedes cowboy boots that I bought in a strip mall in West Hollywood. Now I don't have to go to LA for my next pair. Tucked on Mulberry Street between Prince and Spring is just-opened Space Cowboy. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but inside is a small, very well-selected assortment of cowboy boots and accessories--men's, women's and kids', new and vintage, boots, belts and hats--Lucchese, Liberty, American Hat Company--all here, great designs.