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Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Urban Gadabout: Before can go into shutdown, must report: Open House New York listings finally available (and registration begins) tomorrow morning!

by Ken

This shutdown thing sounded like such a neat idea that I was thinking of having one myself. It's true that my normal performance mode is often indistinguishable to the naked eye from shutdown, but for the sake of principle I was prepared to go the extra mile. Until it hit me that in official shutdown mode you don't get paid, and that extra mile I wasn't so eager to go -- how could I afford to?

Besides, the whole matter could be resolved easily by means of a compromise that is both fair and obvious: giving me everything I want. Anyone who doesn't see this is obviously not interested in finding a solution and is an evil person who should probably be killed.

In any case, however, shutdown isn't possible just yet, as it's necessary to report tonight that tomorrow -- that's right, Tuesday, October 2 -- at long last it will be possible to see the complete listings for Open House New York Weekend, October 12-13. Tomorrow is also the start of registration, so people with advance information will already be clogging the Intertubes to grab their places in the "hot" events.

In case you're not familiar with OHNY, here's what I wrote last year. Earlier today I described it to an out-of-town friend as probably NYC's most important touring weekend of the year.

To celebrate the city's architecture and design, the 11th Annual openhousenewyork Weekend will once again unlock the city, allowing New Yorkers and tourists alike free access hundreds of sites talks, tours, performances and family activities in neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs. From private residences and historic landmarks, to hard hat tours and sustainable skyscrapers, OHNY gives you rare access into the extraordinary architecture that defines New York City, while introducing you to the people who make the city a vibrant and sustainable place to live, work, and play.
If you're not familiar with OHNY, the first thing you need to know is that the events are free. It's really impossible to give a fair idea of either the range or quantity of the offerings, which span all five boroughs and include scads of sites that aren't accessible to the public at any other time of the year, or at least are rarely accessible. The events are so numerous that the guide really deseves several weeks of close study.

Only we don't have several weeks, people! Registration starts tomorrow morning!

I assume that at some point in the morning the online version of the OHNY schedule will be reachable via the OHNY "overview" page.

The print version is once again available bound into the current issue of Time Out New York, and can also be picked up at various locations around the city, which are listed here.

Many events require preregistration, if only to control
the number of participants, but lots of others don't

It's true that a cluster of the offerings will attract high-level interest, and theyre usually not hard to recognize. If, for example, you see that Mayor Bloomberg is hosting a session on "Achievements of the Bloomberg Administration" in his living room, with coffee cake and tea served, assume that it will fill up in seconds of the start of registration (if not sooner). Remember too that these are some pretty sophisticated folks scouring the listings, and the ones that represent truly unusual access to a distinctive site are also going to be heavily subscribed.

At the same time, many events will be offered at multiple times, and in addition there are going to be lots of events that will attract much more limited response. I'm going to go out on a limb and venture that this will include many of the most interesting ones. They just don't have the raw pizzazz of the "hot ticket" events, but they may go a lot farther toward filling in your picture of how the city functions.

There's also OHNY Kids -- "tours and workshops for the whole family." Plus there's bike tours, and "opendialogue" events ("on-site talks and tours led by architects, designers, planners and scholars and a photo competition"). and who knows what all else. Usually I find there are so many offerings I'd love to do that it serves as fodder for my own explorations for the year leading up to the next OHNY.

OHNY has a blog that has been featuring previews
of events planned for this year's OHNY Weekend:

@rtifacts illuminated, General Grant National Memorial, Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, Urban Stargazing at Woodlawn Cemetery (how cool is that?), Little Red Lighthouse, Trinity Church Bell Tower, Jefferson Market Library Tower, Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, TroutHouse, Bronx Library Center, Citi Bike Warehouse (that's in Sunset Park, Brooklyn), Urban Post-Disaster Housing Prototype, PS 41 -- The Greenwich Village School Greenhouse Roof, Kathryn Scott Design Studio Brownstone, Suchi Reddy Apartment, Gwathmey Siegel Architects Apartment, Desai Chia Architecture Loft, Brad Zizmor Residence.

The Citi-Bike Warehouse in Sunset Park

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