Seen & Heard: The Roots, Drive-By Truckers, and Valerie June

••• Ryan Fitzpatrick took a neat photo from inside 56 Leonard.

56 Leonard by jryanfitzp••• From the Battery Park City Authority:

The Lowdown Hudson Music Fest returns to the Brookfield Place Waterfront Plaza on the Hudson River July 12 & July 13. Opening the July 12 show is Brooklyn-based Afrobeat band Antibalas, whose music is inspired by the funky diasporic protest sounds of Fela Kuti and Eddie Palmieri. The Roots formed in 1987 in Philadelphia by Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter and Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, are known for their jazzy approach to hip-hop. On July 13, Nashville singer-songwriter Rayland Baxter brings his storytelling acoustics to the Lowdown stage, followed by self-taught multi-instrumentalist and country blues singer-songwriter Valerie June’s mix of folk, bluegrass, gospel, soul, country and blues. Closing out the festival is headliner Drive-By Truckers, the Southern alt-rock band that fuses solid musicianship with lyrics that weave through history, politics and real life stories. Free to attend, no tickets required. Standing room only. [More info here.]

••• The Tribeca Blu Hotel at the southeast corner of Canal and Broadway has a new name: Soho Garden Hotel. It’s 33% accurate.

Soho Garden Hotel••• Friends of Washington Market Park’s free tennis clinics for kids start this week.

Friends of Washington Market Park••• A little weekend inspiration from the folks at Balloon Saloon.



  1. Ver funny re Soho Garden Hotel.

  2. My relationship with 56 Leonard goes back to years before it was built, having to do with my work. And I have to admit I was inclined to love it on concept alone. I appreciate your having been a champion of the building (with certain qualifications) from the start. It has many detractors, whose criticisms I generally find lacking, though I’ve found areas for criticism as well – often to have these vaporize as the parts come together and the whole more into view. The satisfying thing, and Mr. Fitzpatrick’s photograph bears this out, is that the building continues to reveal surprises. Perhaps this validates the designers’ talents, and puts a lot of the criticism in perspective. All day long I see people stop and stare, smile, shoot photographs. When a building inspires that kind of response it may just be the aspect of spectacle, or it might be the sort of magic great architects set out to achieve. Time will tell. Good catch on that image!

  3. It’s tall for the neighborhood which some don’t like. I get that but when you walk east down chambers street from the west side highway and look up you can see the art.