Looking to escape from the hustle and bustle for a day? Book a car through ReachNow and head over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge for a daycation on Staten Island, the most bucolic of New York City’s five boroughs! It may lack palm trees, but this island has more than enough serene spots and architectural wonders to make you feel as if you’re worlds away from the rest of the city. To maximize your “island getaway” experience, we’ve put together an itinerary featuring sea breezes, quiet retreats, and local brews (don’t forget to draw straws for designated driver in advance).

 

11am: Battery Weed

No island getaway is complete without a visit to an historic fort! Right at the foot of the Verrazanno-Narrows Bridge on the Staten Island side, you’ll find one of the city’s most striking ruins. On the 11am tour, National Park Service rangers will take you and your friends through Battery Weed, where you’ll learn all about the network of forts that defended New York harbor for centuries. (Saturday only!)

 

12pm: Alice Austen House

After the fort, head up the shore to the neighborhood of Rosebank, where you can tour the historic home of trailblazing photographer Alice Austen. Relax on Austen’s Victorian Gothic porch, then take a stroll around the picturesque grounds and do some daydreaming about what it’d be like to have your own country estate with a trillion-dollar view of the Manhattan skyline in the misty distance.

 

1pm: Our Lady of Mount Carmel Grotto

We know a thing or two about New York’s hidden gems, so believe us when we say that there’s nothing in the city quite like this hidden grotto. Tucked away in the middle of a block a short walk from the Alice Austen House, this remarkable work of communal folk art has been built and expanded in stages for almost a century using local materials. Pop in and speak with the caretakers; it’s a site you won’t soon forget.

 

2pm: Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art

Next, head toward the center of the island, where you’ll find a museum built to resemble a Himalayan monastery. Marchais designed her museum to create a “retreat-like setting”—perfect for island-getaway-style enjoyment. Meditation Expert Jackie Hawken will give a talk at 2pm, while the kids can make their own prayer flags!

 

 

4pm: Flagship Brewing Company

If you’re feeling thirsty after a full day of exploration, head up to the Flagship Brewing Company and catch the 4pm brewery tour, then kick back in their on-site Tasting Room with some locally brewed drinks! What better way to end your relaxing island getaway?

 

About ReachNow
Open House New York is partnering with ReachNow to give you the easiest way to reach all your OHNY Weekend destinations. Based in Brooklyn, ReachNow has over 250 MINI and BMW vehicles available to rent by the minute, by the hour, or by the day! Make the most of your OHNY Weekend with ReachNow. Sign up with OHNY for $15 in driving credit, free. Download the app (iOS or Android) and enter OHNY17NOW in the promos section.

Use dsgnfix to find your way during OHNY Weekend. dsgnfix is a free media site and location-based app for the entire creative community. During OHNY Weekend, all Open Access sites that can be visited free of charge and without reservations will be listed on dsgnfix with addresses, times, and a corresponding map. It’s a great tool to find where to go next and discover sites that are closest to you based on your location.

You can also use dsgnfix to explore and share great architecture and design destinations. Post templates help you share what you discover along the way and how a building, park, streetscape, view, restaurant, shop, or architectural detail inspires you. Invite your friends to follow you, comment, and share your posts.

dsgnfix is global. After OHNY Weekend, continue to use dsgnfix to explore where you live or wherever you travel. You’re in good company. All dsgnfix stories and posts are curated by leaders in architecture and design, or members of the dsgnfix community who share your passion for navigating the world through the lens of design.

To start planning your OHNY Weekend visit dsgnfix.com and select the blue “Featured Curator” tab for OHNY Weekend. To access the map view, select the pin icon on the top right corner.

While the majority of sites open during OHNY Weekend are Open Access and can be visited free of charge and without reservations on a first-come-first-served basis on October 14 and 15, some sites and tours require Advance Reservations due to space or security restrictions. Information about all sites and tours can be viewed at ohny.org starting on October 4. Advance Reservations begin on Thursday, October 5 at 11 am.

In 2016, more than 12,000 reservation slots went live on Reservation Day, and 10,000 were booked within the first hour. If you’re a seasoned OHNY Weekend participant, you know it’s an intense day for everyone regardless of how successful you might have been in getting the tours you wanted. What Adele and Beyonce are to concerts or Hamilton is to Broadway musicals, OHNY Weekend is to buildings, and Reservation Day generates a range of emotions that run from exhilaration to frustration. 

If this is your first Reservation Day, we recommend taking a few points into consideration as you get ready for the big day. Above all, keep in mind that tens of thousands of people compete for limited spots. In 2017 we had upwards of 37,000 users on our website on Reservation Day, who viewed more than 340,000 pages…in one day! While OHNY staff makes every effort to work with site hosts to facilitate as much access as possible, some sites have very limited capacity, and tours can be booked seconds after reservations open. If it seemed like all of the tours sold out immediately, it is because in large part they did. If there are 100 slots at a site and 2,000 people are trying to reserve tickets, it can literally come down to a difference of milliseconds!

Where to Go
OHNY uses Eventbrite to manage all reservations for OHNY Weekend. Each Advanced Reservation tour has its own web listing at ohny.org and a corresponding reservation page on Eventbrite. Reservation links to Eventbrite will go live on each site’s webpage on ohny.org at 11 AM EST on Thursday, October 5. A list of all Advance Reservation tours with links to each Eventbrite page will also be posted on ohny.org/weekend/reservations at that time, as well as on OHNY’s Facebook page and the OHNY blog.

How it Works
There is a $5 fee, per guest, for each reservation, and you will be able to reserve up to two spots at a time. If you are reserving for more than two people on a tour, you will need to go through the reservation process multiple times. This is done to ensure that no one guest is able to book large numbers of spots on any one tour. Once you begin a reservation, Eventbrite gives you eight minutes to complete your reservation, so have your payment information ready before you begin. Note that Eventbrite only allows you to have one active registration at a time so you will not get an edge by trying to register for multiple tours at once. 

Speed it Up
You do not need an Eventbrite account to make reservations for OHNY Weekend tours, but having one can help speed up the reservation process, as Eventbrite will save your name, address, and credit card info (if you grant it permission to do so). This cuts down on the time each reservation will take to complete.

Know your Priorities
The more excited you are about a tour, the better the chances that lots of other people are excited about it, too. Try your top choice first, but also have a backup ready. Because it comes down to milliseconds, Reservation Day is a lot like a lottery – if you’re lucky, you’ll hit the reserve now button a millisecond faster than someone else. If not, there are more than 140 Open Access sites that don’t require reservations. 

Open What?
The majority of sites participating in OHNY Weekend can be visited on a first-come-first-served basis without reservations on October 14 and 15. These sites are Open Access because they don’t have the same space and security issues as Advance Reservation sites do. If you can’t get a reservation for a tour, there are still many beautiful, fascinating, and wonderful places to explore during OHNY Weekend. We’ve heard plenty of people say “all of the best sites require reservations,” but we can say that this is emphatically not true. All of our most visited sites, from the Brooklyn Army Terminal to New York City Hall, require no reservations at all!

Open House New York invites you to kick off the 15th Anniversary Open House New York Weekend Launch Party and celebrate the start of New York’s favorite weekend of architecture and design. A 15th anniversary celebration needs an especially festive location, which is why Open House New York is taking over Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park for the night on Thursday, October 12, from 7:00 to 10:00 pm, for an evening of drinks, light fare and unlimited free carousel rides.

Jane’s Carousel was built in the heyday of the American carousels in 1922 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company for Idora Park, a theme park in Youngstown, Ohio. The carousel is composed of 48 carved horses arrayed in three rows, with thirty “jumpers,” eighteen “standers,” and two chariots, attributed to John Zalar and Frank Carretta, among the most well known carousel carvers of their day. Following the park’s closure in 1984, the carousel was put up for auction, with the expectation that it would be broken up and sold as individual pieces. But Jane and David Walentas purchased the entire carousel as the centerpiece of a 1980s proposal for a marina and shopping complex in Brooklyn, which later evolved into what is now Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Following a painstaking restoration by Jane Walentas that returned every component to its original glory, the carousel opened in Brooklyn Bridge Park in 2011 in a transparent jewel box designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel. “The waterfront site was very spectacular,” Jane Walentas was quoted saying in an article about the opening of the carousel pavilion in The New York Times. “I felt we needed something very exciting and elegant,” and “we just couldn’t do a typical nostalgic carousel building of the amusement park genre.” The Paris-based Nouvel–who also designed 40 Mercer in Soho, 100 Eleventh Avenue in Chelsea, and 53 West 53rd Street (otherwise known as the MoMA tower, now under construction in Midtown)–designed a 72’ x 72’ x 27’ box that sits on a 6’ high concrete cellar to raise the carousel above the floodline. Sheathed in 4 1/2 inch thick acrylic panels, the North and South walls slide open to frame dramatic views of the East River and Lower Manhattan, and allow for unimpeded access to the promenade and the park. At night, the pavilion glows like a lantern to light this section of the park.

Jane’s Carousel is emblematic of the transformation of the Brooklyn waterfront in the fifteen years since the first OHNY Weekend took place, an area once lined with decaying piers that has been reinvented as a vibrant public space for the 21st century.

Join us at the 15th anniversary OHNY Weekend Launch Party to help keep the majority of Weekend programming entirely free of charge for more than 80,000 visitors and 1,200 volunteers! To learn more about the Launch Party and purchase tickets today, click here

 

Photos of Jane’s Carousel by Julienne Schaer. 

 

Open House New York and Wikimedia NYC invite you to submit your best OHNY Weekend photos to our photo competition on Wikimedia Commons!

More than 1,000 photos taken during OHNY Weekend are submitted to the photo competition each year. Submissions are judged in one of three categories – Interiors, Exteriors, and Details – for a chance to win prizes. All submitted photographs also become part of Wikimedia Commons, the online repository of free-use, public domain images that are used across Wikimedia—including as illustrations for Wikipedia articles. Nearly 200 photos from OHNY Weekend are already being used to illustrate articles across the world, from the entry on “rusty” in Polish, to “light fixture” in Estonian, to “nostalgia” in Bengali!

In addition, submissions to the 2017 competition will also be considered for publication in a forthcoming book of photographs, published by Open House New York in celebration of the 15th anniversary of OHNY Weekend! 

Submissions will be accepted starting on October 14 and through Sunday, October 22 at 11:59pm. 

Read on for the full competition details!

Get Published
Submit your images for this year’s competition, and they will also be considered for publication in Seeing the City: Open House New York Weekend in Photos, a forthcoming book of photographs, published by Open House New York in celebration of the 15th anniversary of OHNY Weekend. A Kickstarter campaign to help cover the cost of design and printing is live now. To see a video about the project and pre-order your copy with a pledge of $35 or more, click here.

Prizes
Prizes will be awarded to the best photos in three categories – Interiors, Exteriors, and Details – one of which will also be named a Grand Prize Winner. Each category winner will receive a $100 gift card for New York City Photo Safari that can be used towards booking any regular Photo Safari. One Grand Prize Winner will also receive an Insta360 Nano or Air – a clip-on thatinstantly turns your phone into a VR camera that records 360-degree high-resolution 3K video – courtesy of New York City Photo Safari.

To Enter
Submit your photo online at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Campaign:OHNY2017. The deadline to submit photos is 11:59 pm on Sunday, October 22. Photos will not be accepted via any other means. Please note that you will be asked to create a Wikimedia Commons account to submit photos, and be sure to include your email address so that you can be contacted if you are selected as a category winner.

Please note: In keeping with the guidelines of Wikimedia Commons, all photos entered into the Wikipedia @ OHNY Weekend Photo Competition will be considered to be freely licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license, permitting free use for any purpose and the creation of derivative works.

Photo submissions should:
• Be taken during OHNY Weekend on Saturday or Sunday, October 14 or 15, 2017 at a participating OHNY Weekend site or tour
• Be properly labeled in the “description” field with the name of the site or tour in which the photo was taken. Photo descriptions that do not name the site will not be eligible
• Highlight architecture and design excellence, and not your fellow explorers including OHNY participants, volunteers, and guides.

Eligibility
• Entrants must be 18 years or older
• The entrant guarantees that (s)he is the copyright holder of the work
• In keeping with the guidelines of Wikimedia Commons, photos will be considered to be freely licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license, permitting free use for any purpose and the creation of derivative works.

By submitting a photo for the Wikimedia @ OHNY Weekend Photo Competition, you agree to all of the above rules and conditions.

Wikimedia NYC Photo Hub
Want to learn more about how Wikimedia photos will be cataloged and used on Wikipedia articles? On Sunday, October 15 Wikimedia NYC will host a multimedia tutorial, workshop, and hackathon about the work processes for cultural multimedia wiki-projects. Stop by the Ace Hotel Board Room at 20 West 29th Street between 4 to 8 pm to participate. 

Questions about the competition? Email us at info@ohny.org.

Wikimedia NYC is an independent 501(c)3 organization that serves as the local Wikimedia chapter for New York City and the metropolitan area. As a community nonprofit, Wikimedia NYC welcomes educational and cultural partnerships with all local institutions interested in the further expansion and diversification of free knowledge.

Open House New York gratefully acknowledges the generous support of New York City Photo Safari for this year’s competition prizes.

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