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T+L File: New York

Culture

After more than 28 years exhibiting such heavy-hitting artists as Bruce Nauman and Susan Rothenberg, Sperone Westwater (415 W. 13th St.; 212/999-7337) has made the move north from SoHo to the burgeoning meatpacking district. Meanwhile, Rove--an itinerant gallery on the downtown scene for more than a decade--has settled into ConTEMPorary (14 Charles Lane; 212/807-6669). The 1,200-square-foot space is a transitional home for Kenny Schachter, a curator-artist-impresario with a knack for spotting rising talents, including Janine Antoni, Andrea Zittel, and Christian Schumann. To discover as-yet-unsung artists, head to storefront galleries on the Lower East Side, like Rivington Arms (102 Rivington St.; 646/654-3213). Since January, recent college grads Mirabelle Marden (daughter of art star Brice Marden) and Melissa Bent have mounted an ambitious series of group exhibitions; this October, they kick off some solo shows with graphite-on-felt still lifes by Jonah Koppel. Another welcome addition to the Lower East Side is the Sunshine Cinema (143 E. Houston St.; 212/358-7709), which joins Film Forum and the Angelika to complete Houston Street's axis of art-house multiplexes. Five screens were carved out of a live theater that was once part of the "Yiddish White Way." Opening September 3, "Looking In" (50 Murray St.; 212/219-9401) will use vacant storefronts near Ground Zero for 20 installations and performances organized by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. In Battery Park City, sculptor Brian Tolle's Irish Hunger Memorial (212/417-2000) honors those who died in the potato famine with a quarter-acre replica of the Irish countryside that includes a fieldstone cottage and indigenous wildflowers.

Thoroughly Modern Borough

While the Museum of Modern Art's 53rd Street home undergoes renovation, the museum has decamped to a former stapler factory in Long Island City, christened MoMA QNS. The soaring space--designed by Frank Gehry protegé Michael Maltzan and Scott Newman of Cooper, Robertson & Partners--with its concrete floors and exposed ducts puts classics such as Les Demoiselles d'Avignon and Starry Night in a new light. MoMA QNS will also have special shows, including "Matisse Picasso," arriving from Paris in February 2003 (45-20 33rd St.; 212/708-9400).

Hot in the City

At Meet (71-73 Gansevoort St.; 212/242-0990), a stylish crowd drinks Meet-itos (the restaurant's play on New York's drink du jour) around a diamond-shaped onyx bar as DJ's spin house music late into the night. West (425 West St.; 212/242-4375), a minimalist, slate-lined lounge on the Hudson River, is poised to become the hangout of choice for Calvin Klein and any other celebs who move into the much-anticipated Richard Meier buildings nearby. Rise (2 West St.; 212/344-0800) is an apt name for the 14th-floor bar in the new Ritz-Carlton, just blocks from Ground Zero. The kiwi martini is a popular choice here, for watching the sun set over the Statue of Liberty. And at Happy Ending (302 Broome St.; 212/334-9676), a former Chinatown massage parlor--mood lighting, red velvet walls--a hip clientele dances to deep house, nu jazz, and hip-hop. Saunas-turned-candlelit booths make this New York's steamiest watering hole.

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