About Michael
Michael was born and raised in Seattle, and has lived in New York since 2009. He’s done graphic and interaction design for Pentagram and Local Projects, and is currently a designer at the Google Creative Lab.
Current city: New York
Michael was born and raised in Seattle, and has lived in New York since 2009. He’s done graphic and interaction design for Pentagram and Local Projects, and is currently a designer at the Google Creative Lab.
I read that the design of Central Park's curving spaces was a Romantic counter to the geometry of Enlightenment-era gardens. I heard this design was influenced by landscape painting, where its foreground, middleground, and background constantly shift as you walk the paths. I find new pockets and features every time I'm there. One of my favorite spots is with the Central Park Dance Skaters, a group that roller skates in circles all day to vintage electro funk. These characters generously lend you the feeling of being in your own 1980's New York film.
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Occasionally I'll look at the Manhattan skyline and wonder what it was like in 1931 when people around the world were saying, "Holy shit, did you hear what they just built in New York?" Just get up there and trip out about humanity. And be sure to keep an eye out for the unmarked locked door guarding a set of stairs leading to a hidden terrace that was originally designed as a fucking docking station for zeppelins.
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Strand is a castle of books. It claims 2.5 million new and used books, across 18 miles of shelves, cared for by 200 employees—so set aside a couple of hours. Plenty of art books and good prices. Get your healthy huff of that old book smell.
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Geek out over the massive menu of Belgian beer at Spuyten Duyvil. Relax in the backyard seating and say, "Ooh, I gotta remember this brew," without realizing you probably won't see it again elsewhere. Then cross the street to Fette Sau, a BBQ experience equally well designed because it's owned by the same couple, the Carrolls. Order from their wide selection of meat cuts, served by the pound on butcher paper. The sides shine too, with the best potato salad and best BBQ beans I've ever had.
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More People in New York 179

Joan Wong is a designer that creates visual responses to narratives. She has designed book covers for Penguin, Random House, Alfred A. Knopf, Farrar Straus and Giroux, New Directions, Simon and Schuster, and Harper Collins. She is also a frequent collaborator with the New York Times, creating spot illustrations for their articles. In 2018, she curated and illustrated a collection of online stories about “lives that could have been” called “Sister Life.”
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Leta Sobierajski is an independent designer and art director based in New York City combining traditional graphic design elements with photography, art, and styling to create utterly unique visuals. Her work is incredibly diverse, ranging from conventional identities to brilliantly bizarre compositions. As of October 2016, Leta began a design studio with her husband and collaborator, Wade Jeffree, in which they focus their unusual eye on projects ranging from branding, art direction, installation, to video. She studied graphic design at Purchase College and has been working independently since 2013. Her client list includes Adobe, Bloomberg Businessweek, D.S. & Durga, Google, Gucci, IBM, The New York Times, Refinery 29, Renault, Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin, Target, Tate Modern, and UNIQLO among many others. She has been recognized as an Art Directors Club Young Guns 15 recipient as well as Print magazine’s New Visual Artist, and has given talks at conferences all over the world including North America, South America, Europe, and Australia.
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Benjamin Critton is an American designer, art director, typographer, publisher, writer, editor and curator. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he makes graphic design from a studio in a neighborhood called Greenpoint. Before moving to New York, he attended the Yale School of Art. Before that, he went to Hamilton College. Before that, he went to William H. Hall High School. Before that, he went to King Philip Middle School. Before that, he went to Morley Elementary School. Before that, he went to Knight Hall Nursery School.
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