Nine Circles of Columbia Hell

Artwork by Charlotte Voelkel/Head Spectrum Illustrator, Columbia Daily Spectator, March 30, 2016

Penn Station and the Circles of Hell

“On March 8, 2016, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo compared America’s least-loved train station, Penn Station, to ‘the seven levels of hell.’ Here’s the full quote:

‘It is a disgrace. More people go through Penn Station every day than Newark, Kennedy, and La Guardia airports combined. It’s the most heavily traveled transportation hub in the hemisphere, and imagine what they say when they get off: “This is New York? Looks like the seven levels of hell. I’m in New York?”‘ [. . .]

“Penn Station is so viscerally awful that you can’t help but look for sin in relation to this place as causes for, results of, or simply in association with, its awfulness. So let’s humor the Governor and his imperfect analogy and try to map these different sins to activity occurring in (or near) Penn Station. I’ll be the Virgil to your Dante. Come with me across the River Acheron, or in this case, the stream of vomit and human misery running along West 34th Street.” [. . .]    –Mark Lee, Overthinking It, March 18, 2016.

You can read the full article at Overthinking It.

Dante, Cocktail Bar (NYC)

Under new ownership since 2015, this NYC institution was named #16 of the world’s 50 best bars. Rechristened “Dante” (formerly Caffe Dante), the cocktail bar boasts registered landmark status and 100+ years of serving New York’s cultural elite.

Dante-NYC-Cocktail-Bar-2015From the Dante-NYC website: “Dante has been a beacon for the community of Greenwich Village since it opened its doors in 1915. Now a registered New York City landmark, this modest meeting house has always attracted people from all walks of life: famous actors, writers and musicians to the down at heel of the beatnik generation, all of whom have found solace in its relaxed & unpretentious environs. A place where a cup of espresso, a warm smile or a friendly embrace epitomized life’s simple pleasures.

“Now in its latest incarnation as Dante, its new owners, all lifelong industry professionals and old friends, have breathed new life into this iconic space. Its historical integrity and sense of community remain firmly in tact but now complemented by an elevated selection of modern Italian cuisine, world class cocktails and an award winning bar program. Welcome to Dante 2017, where everything old is new again.” Read the rest of the story here.

Caffe Dante had previously appeared on the Dante Today website. The original post is here.

Their “Dante”-branded ice-cube appeared on the site in 2016.

Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho (1991)

The novel opens with “Abandon all hope ye who enter here.”

(Contributed by Antonio Barrenechea)

Weegee : King of the Nighttime Streets


Weegee (Ascher Fellig, 1899-1968), a New York City photographer, “was the Dante of New York’s nighttime demimonde. His photos, of swells and speakeasies, crime and crowds, or perps and play, are a singular record of New York City in the 1930s and ’40s.”    -David Gonzalez, The New York Times, September 28, 2017

Eataly, NYC

Contributed by Susan Chen (Yale, 2020)

Midtown NY Election Party Hell

“The Crossroads of the World will be turned into the Seventh Circle of Hell on election night when Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump host dueling ‘victory’ parties about 20 blocks from each other.

“He’ll spend the last night of this ugly campaign at the Hilton on Sixth Ave. She’ll be at the Javits Center. You’ll be stuck at the corner of W. 46th and Deliverance.

“Even under the best circumstances, Midtown Manhattan is New York’s no-fly zone, the place where no real person goes unless he has tickets to a play or somehow ended up leading out-of-town relatives through the biggest tourist trap this side of Patpong Road.” [. . .]    –Gersh Kuntzman, New York Daily News, November 4, 2016

Michael Counts, Paradiso: Chapter I, immersive theater (2016)

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[…]  “Illusion is a staple in all kinds of theater, but it is doubly vital to Paradiso, a suspense thriller that is also a game. Using a structure that borrows from Dante’s Divine Comedy, it has a vibe that, in Mr. Counts’s telling, owes something to Ridley Scott’s futuristic classic Blade Runner and the TV drama Mr. Robot.

“With a plot that involves a conspiracy, it’s a narrative-driven twist on the increasingly popular escape-room genre of participatory entertainment. According to convention, a group of people is closed in a room, or sequence of rooms, with a single collective aim: to solve a series of puzzles in under an hour. Their prize is liberty — which, it’s true, will come at the end of the hour either way.” […]    –Laura Collins-Hughes, The New York Times, July 7, 2016

“PARADISO: Chapter 1 drops audience members (10 at a time) into a noir-ish nightmare that combines the surreal mystery of Stanley Kubrik with the stylized futuristic terror of Blade Runner into a one hour immersive theatrical Escape Room experience set in and inspired by the heart of New York’s Korea Town. Featuring a cast of dozens, highly designed sets with state-of-the-art special effects and the next generation of puzzles and mind-bending challenges, this immersive attraction is unlike anything audiences have ever seen or experienced.”    –from the Paradiso: Chapter I FAQs

Paradiso: Chapter 1 website

Contributed by Emma Pyle (Bowdoin, ’12)

Dante: Restaurant-Bar and Ice Cube

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[…] “Preserved in ice. Gaze down at the huge ice cube floating in your old-fashioned at Dante, the Italian-style aperitif bar in Greenwich Village, and you’ll have no doubt about where you’re drinking. Cut into the side of the frozen block is the bar’s poetic name.” […]   –Robert Simonson, New York Times, May 15, 2015

Read more about Dante’s award-winning success here.

Dante: 79-81 Macdougal Street, NY, NY 10012

 

Valentino Dress at the Met Gala 2016

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Rachel McAdams in a gold-beaded Valentino dress with lines from Dante’s Divine Comedy.    —US Magazine, May 2, 2016

Contributed by Donatella Stocchi-Perucchio