Sunday, March 30, 2014

Artsy Queens on a Friday Evening

The end of the week

time to escape from Manhattan 

on the 7 train.

Queens has lots of graffiti

and lots of industrial buildings being 're-purposed'. 

PS1 a mecca for the hip and anyone interested in modern art (a great deal more modern than the actual MoMA.)

At Deniz's apartment I take photos of Lucy who is white

the artsy Hipstamatic filter turns her yellow.

We eat a yummy supper at La Flor under the elevated bit of the subway with a Hopperesque view across the street.

Weather update: After the unrelenting cold, we have torrential rain!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Jury Duty and The Grand Budapest Hotel

Hmm.... jury duty. In my teaching days I used to long to be chosen for a trial. I wanted to be peachy keen and answer all sorts of questions.

So I headed downtown

one rather chilly morning

and entered the CRIMINAL COURTS BUILDING. However, as per usual, no one was the least interested in me. Wasn't selected for anything. Sent home after two days with certificate saying I was good for six years. No mug. No sticker. No nothing.

Then we went to see Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel. Such a super movie for all sorts of reasons. Shot in Saxony near the Polish border. Reminded me of The Monopol Hotel in Breslau/Wroclaw (see below)

 where I stayed when researching Ruth & Gisela - (and where Hitler had stayed in 1937). And I was in Vienna this summer where they had all sorts of cakes as in the movie.

So - we wondered where this splendor was replicated in New York and decided to try The Plaza where I had never been before....and, lo and behold

there were all sorts of minions rushing back and forth

and rather heady cocktails.

I think I will move in to this Gothic extravaganza overlooking it all.

Friday, March 7, 2014

A Cold Walk to The Penumbra Foundation

Brisk weather but clear light.

We set off towards the floor district past the sort of building that has exterior metal fire escapes - as fewer and fewer buildings do.

Too cold for there to be many flowers around

but cold enough for the water leaking from the fire hydrant to form a shiny puddle.

We pass the rectory of The Little Church Round the Corner - rather Dickensian pretty high up on my list of 'places I definitely would like to live in'.

We arrive at The Penumbra Foundation which is utterly fascinating to anyone with the least interest in photography and history. Do hit the link to learn more about it. Geoffrey Berliner showed us everything: the tintype studio, dark rooms, the north light studio

the astounding collection of lenses (here looking a bit like a Dutch still life)

the amazing large old cameras, the dark rooms, the library of books pertaining to the history of photography (including Conan Doyle's "Spirit Photography"  and so on and so on.  It made me realize how utterly ignorant I am about the history of photography and optics. How lazy it is to rely on the wizardry of the iPhone!

A view south from their roof.

The inescapable Empire State Building from a different angle than usual.

Yes, and it's still cold.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Endless Winter

We returned from our wonderful trip to discover

that there is still snow all over the place.

The eggs arrived cracked

the cyclamen is hanging in there in a miserable sort of way. The winter has rendered even the most relentlessly cheerful people borderline grumpy and there is a sort of malaise that afflicts us all - everything seems three times the effort usually required. 

However, we went and hung out at Veselka the Ukranian diner

which has wonderful food (including Obalong Beer)

and lots of necessary desserts.

It was bright but horribly cold walking home via Union Square. What can this man possibly be thinking sitting there?

One evening we went to the King Cole Bar at the St.Regis to see the Maxfield Parrish mural which was wonderfully weird. (The drinks were good too.) 

A rather bad weird photo in a friend's apartment uptown.

Anyway, it is now March and we had a dusting of snow yesterday, so I was forced to buy

a tiny bit of spring.

Keep warm!