The Omnibus Roundup – rooftop, High Line, Reef, Bronx River, insects & traffic,

Image by Flickr user mercurialn

First off, a reminder of our two rain dates: we were looking to be washed out for our Bronx walk-and-talk last week so we have rescheduled for Tuesday June 16 – please join us for a gentle perambulation down the historic Grand Concourse with Bronx bastion of knowledge Sam Goodman and the Design Trust’s Deborah Marton, and then stay for the potluck picnic. And unfortunately we have also had to postpone our quick-n-dirty Superfund symposium; we don’t have a new date set, but stay tuned, we’ll let you know as soon as we can.

The skies weren’t the only thing opening this week, so did the High Line. With undampened enthusiasm, Mayor Bloomberg, Borough President Stringer, Congressman Nadler and of course many proud New Yorkers were there for the kick-off. We haven’t managed to make it across yet, but hope to spend at least some of the sunny weekend ahead hanging out at the city’s most significant new ‘place’, so many years in the making. Have you gone? Share your pics with us on Flickr – just tag them “urbanomnibus.”

Across town, Storefront Gallery opened their new show on Tuesday also; Reef is a kinetic installation by Rob Ley and Joshua G Stein, exploring issues of response, privacy and porosity in structure. It was especially nice to see this work at Storefront, which really blossoms in the summer as its famous fold-out facade interacts with the street life.

For those who missed the big Bronx River Crossing launch yesterday, the team already has photos up on their Facebook page: a campout, canoes, and a well-deserved celebration of all their hard work.

Our feature on the future of urban transit alternatives might point the way for how we’re going to use cars in years to come, but tonight the World Science Festival will explore what we can learn in terms of mass transit from marching ants, herding buffaloes and schooling fish. Robert Krulwich will lead a great panel on ecology, architecture, and urban operations to see what lessons we can learn from nature.

There is plenty more opportunity to walk on the wild side this weekend; Safari 7 continues on Sunday afternoon, so charge your iPods, don your khakis and head up to the 7 train. The weekend also sees the close of a fortnight of frenetic fun courtesy of the Queens Art Express Festival, and they are partying on til the end: on Saturday catch the Jackson Heights Historic Garden tour, an a-capella and Carribean music fiesta at Langston Hughes Library and a “sub-festival” under the train tracks at 103rd St in Corona.

Lastly, a huge thank you to all those who came to shake their stuff with us at the Architectural League’s Beaux Arts Ball last Saturday. The Old American Can Factory – home to the mighty Omnibus – played host and flung open the doors of many studio inhabitants. The screenprinters, filmmakers, activists, artists, sculptors, butchers, bakers and candlestick makers who make up the Can Factory rainbow showed off their works and wares, before diving into a bangin’ courtyard party. The space looked stunning, as did many of you – check back next week for photos.

Speaking of home base, the Can Factory is gearing up for another balmy cultural evening this Saturday: Rooftop Films’ Underground Films Outdoors season has kicked off, with a bunch of fantastic films al fresco. This Saturday they will be screening Persona Non Grata, a visceral documentary about a singular Belgian missionary working for social justice in the slums of Venezuela; check their website for more locations and screenings throughout the summer.


The Roundup keeps you up to date with topics we’ve featured and other things we think are worth knowing about.

The views expressed here are those of the authors only and do not reflect the position of The Architectural League of New York.