PBS/OZY Media’s 'Third Rail with OZY' Live Taping and Premiere

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On Friday night, PBS premiered Third Rail with OZY, a new debate show that explores hot-button issues and philosophical dilemmas of the modern age. Each half-hour episode will bring together a panel of expert and celebrity guests to discuss a single hot topic.

At the live taping of Friday’s premiere episode, it was clear from the introduction of the panelists that the audience was in for a lively debate. The night’s lineup included Roxane Gay, acclaimed writer of Bad Feminist and Hunger; Mo Rocca, humorist and journalist known for his Cooking Channel show, “My Grandmother’s Ravioli” and his role on CBS’ “Sunday Morning”; Seth Weathers, a Georgia-based political consultant and former Trump campaign director; and Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, a New York Times op-ed columnist and former Google data scientist.

To open the dialogue, Third Rail’s host Carlos Watson asked, “Is the truth overrated?” Despite the ambiguity of the question, each panelist had a quick and resolute reply. Roxane and Mo answered no, representing the “pro-truth” end of the spectrum, while the two Seths took the more cynical “anti-truth” approach and answered that yes, the truth is overrated (although Stephens-Davidowitz was quick to distinguish himself from his Republican counterpart by declaring, “I hate Trump”). The debate that ensued was as murky as one would expect given the abstract nature of the subject. The panel never quite arrived at a consensus on what fundamentally characterizes “truth” to begin with. But Roxane Gay lucidly stated, “There are degrees of mendacity, and… some lies matter more than others." Unsurprisingly, the discussion quickly turned political, touching on slavery in textbooks, Trump and the DACA repeal, Hillary’s emails, and Confederate statues. Despite its inconclusiveness, the conversation was engaging and thought-provoking.

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Midway through the show, Malcolm Gladwell was asked to weigh in. Where the panel had struggled to wade through the grayer areas of the debate, the famed writer and journalist was eager to take a more black-and-white approach by analyzing the semantics of the discussion, saying, “I don’t know what… we mean by the word ‘lie’ and ‘truth’ in this context.” He went on to say that while “simple and deliberate misstatements of fact” are incontestably wrong and damaging, more often than not, our disagreements are the result of differences of opinion. According to Gladwell, these differences should be encouraged, as diversity of thought grants more power to individuals and the media and strengthens our society.

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The Third Rail concept is new for PBS, and will likely be a successful one. The setup was intimate, with direct audience participation and feedback. Gladwell’s cherished “diversity of thought” was well-represented by the guests on this episode, and future lineups are equally promising. The questions proposed for later episodes are massive and monstrous but intriguing and very necessary (one question, for example, asks whether it is okay to have a racial preference in dating). But the show promises to provide a great weekly fix for viewers who feel limited by polarized media outlets and want to hear some authentic, cross-platform discussion.

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To see the debate for yourself and to get a taste of what’s in store for PBS this Fall, watch the Third Rail premiere here

Special thanks to Kerri

 

Silver Towers Presents Art Meets Mixology

On the evening of Wednesday, June 21, the “Silver Towers Presents Art Meets Mixology” event offered guests a number of things to celebrate, from art, to real estate, to the evolution of the Hell’s Kitchen area, to mixology. Silver Towers, a breathtaking 60-story Silverstein Property located in Hell’s Kitchen, hosted the party on its gorgeous 7th-floor rooftop level. The party, which celebrated the prosperous Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood and Larry Silverstein’s vision for it, presented mixed media artist Miguel Ovalle’s 3D, eight-foot sculpture entitled “Hell’s Kitchen Rising,” portraying the past, present, and future of the area. The stunning sculpture was showcased with music, and fluorescent lights as guests entered a room before ascending the stairs to the outdoor party.

As guests entered the spacious rooftop level, they were immediately stunned by the breathtaking views. Silver Towers offers a seemingly endless look down 42nd street, with the flashing lights of Times Square clearly visible in the distance. The other side of 42nd offers a gorgeous and serene view of the waterfront.

The rooftop provided guests with a multitude of comfortable couches and tables to sit at and mingle. All of the tables at the party, from the tall drink tables to the bar itself, were lit up by LED lights in various colors. This modern twist on the party was paired with hip hop music as well as a “selfie cam,” which was a hit amongst guests.

In addition to artist Miguel Ovalle, a star of the evening was celebrity mixologist Rob Floyd, who demonstrated his very own “Cocktail Theatre” performance in front of the guests. Floyd interacted with his audience while creating a visual masterpiece through the use of liquid nitrogen. In minutes, he created the perfect “slushy” cocktail with hints of jalapeno and tequila, which he shared with each of the guests.

The bar refreshments were sponsored by 1893 and included Moscow mules and spicy margaritas. Furthermore, guests enjoyed delicious food from some of Hell’s Kitchen very own chefs from 5 Napkin Burger and Le Vela.

Overall, this party was magnificent and undoubtedly delivered the message that Hell’s Kitchen is the place to be in New York City.

#silvertowers #artmeetsmixology #eatliveplayhk

 

 

 

Brooklyn Film Festival Filmmakers Party

On the night of Thursday, June 8th, the Brooklyn Film Festival celebrated both its 20th Anniversary and this year’s lineup of films with its exclusive Filmmakers Party. The party was hosted by G-Star and took place at the bright and modern G-Star RAW Store in Williamsburg, offering an intimate atmosphere for both the filmmakers and journalists to cheers to the affair.

At the party, guests enjoyed both endless drinks and appetizers. Stella Artois sponsored the event, transforming the shop into an open bar with cold, refreshing beer and hard cider. The Williamsburg-based American restaurant Midnights provided a trio of bite-sized shrimp cocktails, ricotta crostini with burnt honey, and kobe meatballs.

Conversations regarding the festival films dominated the suave party. Directors and filmmakers passionately chatted about the sources of inspiration for their films with guests. Buzz about cinematographic methods, actors, the filmmaking process, and subject matter created endless discussions. A DJ played electric and techno music as guests discussed the festival and its motion pictures, which included narrative feature films, narrative shorts, documentary feature films, documentary shorts, animation films, and experimental films.

Rodrigo Reyes’ Lupe Under the Sun, Chris Kelly’s A Cambodian Spring, David Bly’s Sweet Parents, Fernando Fraiha’s El Revenge, Stavit Allweis’s Cooking With Connie, Kyle Eaton’s Shut Up Anthony, and Katja Benrath’s Watu Wote: All of Us were only several of the 122 films selected for Brooklyn Film Festival. At the central back wall of the party venue was the focal point of the event, which was a projection screen flashing pairs of images and movie titles from the festival’s lineup.

At the end of the evening, guests were provided with party favors that consisted of a denim RAW tote bag and a signature Stella Artois chalice. On the whole, the Filmmakers Party embodied the very creativity and eagerness that represents Brooklyn Film Festival. Diverse creative minds who all share the same passion for film came together and were given a space to celebrate their progress in the film world as well as their accomplishments in earning a spot in the Brooklyn Film Festival.

Photos courtesy of Yuko Torihara

Publicolor's 2017 Stir, Splatter and Roll

On May 22nd at the MET pavilion, balloons swayed, paint flew and 1.3 million dollars was raised in the name of education. Publicolor’s annual fundraiser: Stir, Splatter and Roll was a resounding success. Publicolor, as the name implies, is a public foundation aimed at bringing art to NYC public school students. Ruth Lande Shuman founded Publicolor in 1996 with the aim to transform the often dilapidated schools into a haven for arts and creative independence. From this initial program numerous others blossomed to provide multi-year continuous learning for students.

This year’s annual Stir, Splatter + Roll Gala let attendees in on the artistic fun as well! With painting stations set up, guests we’re able to paint with some of the city’s most prominent artists and designers. A silent auction went underway in the background as attendees bid over the work of Christo and Mark di Suvero. The interaction between guest, artist and Publicolor student helped create a truly cooperative and vivid atmosphere.

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The hum of the event was light and bubbly. Guests with a penchant for fashion and art could be seen stepping softly to the remixed tunes of the DJ set. Almost everyone, smiled, laughed and talked enthusiastically about Publicolor and the programs they were helping support. As best said by a guest “The atmosphere here is truly and beautifully colorful.”

In the end, Publicolor Stir Splatter + Roll Gala raised nearly 1.3 million dollars for its programs this year. Which means that NYC students will get another wonderful year of creative programs and scholarships.

Photos courtesy of Annie Watt

AS IF Magazine Celebrates Issue No.11

On the night of Tuesday, May 16th, As If Magazine hosted an exhilarating afterparty to celebrate its 11th Issue at The Roxy Hotel in Tribeca. This particular issue honored Mick Rock, the legendary photographer who photographed iconic rock and roll artists throughout the 1970’s. Rock has captured famous images of artists including David Bowie, The Stooges, Queen, Lou Reed, Blondie, and the Sex Pistols. Historically, he is one of the most impactful music photographers of all time, and is often referred to as “The Man Who Shot the Seventies.”

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As If Magazine’s lively party occurred in “The Django,” a cellar club that resides in the downstairs portion of The Roxy. The Django is rustic and charming with brick walls, tables and seating areas, and two bars where bartenders served crafted cocktails inspired by Rock. Although this area was originally created for jazz performances, the guest performance by rock singer Michael Houghton, drummer Marky Ramone, guitarist Derrek Hawkins, and bassist Andy Hilfiger was an ideal staging for the evening. These artists encapsulated the very genre of music that inspired Mick Rock’s epochal work. The Django was undoubtedly the perfect area to host the live music performance that took place in honor of As If Magazine’s 11th Issue Number, and it succeeded in paying tribute to the infamous Mick Rock.

Guests enjoyed delicious hors-d'oeuvres and drinks throughout the night as they watched the performance and mingled. Sponsors of the evening included Tommy Hilfiger, who made an appearance, as well as Moët Hennesy. Overall, the attendees, who consisted of “rock and rollers,” As If Magazine supporters, photographers, and New York socialites, all enjoyed a delightful evening commemorating the great Mick Rock.

Photos courtesy of Sean Zanni and Patrick McMullan via Getty Images