Wednesday, July 28, 2010

2010 "Feast" Poster

Here’s the poster for the 2010 “The Feast.” Earlier this week I posted about the signs going up on Newark Ave for “The Feast.” Follow this link to coverage last year about this annual Jersey

Monday, July 26, 2010

Perspective String

This is a mural in Progress. Thomas John Carlton, of J.C. Art School fame is painting the mural on the side of what I think is called the Power House Art District Lounge. It is down there on Marin Boulevard. The place is supposed to open before fall. Thomas will be doing an interior mural for the establishment as well, which he said will be more expressionistic. The exterior mural replicates the skyline of this downtown nook of abandoned factories and warehouses. He estimates it’s about 60 percent done. I happened to be walking by in the early evening on Saturday. Thomas said he couldn’t work in the afternoon sun for very long, not just because of the brutal heat but the building’s exterior wouldn’t hold the paint correctly when the temperatures go to the recent Heat Wave levels. He was using a “perspective string,” affixed to the far corners of the mural. He told me this is used to size in proper perspective the mural images from the center of the painting to the vanishing points at its periphery. All the buildings are sized to scale, not just to the scale of the exact expanse of the side of the building, but the perspective of an imagined viewer, recreating the buildings to the size they would appear at throughout a sightline that begins atop the buildings depicted in the foreground. Actually, the sightline begins outside the frame of picture, on top of the non-depicted parts of those buildings where the imagined viewer would be looking from. This mural renders not just something actual—the specific buildings and streets—but how those things appear from a specific point. Look at it long enough, you realize that the specific point of initial observation is imagined as well—the viewer is really observing both the buildings recreated in the mural and the perspective that viewer of the mural. In fact, you see that perspective no matter from what exact spot you view the mural. The size and position of the buildings create the feel of reality, a faux reality. I love the rail tracks and cobblestones. He was adding black lines of varying thicknesses to create the cobblestone. Heard somewhere these cobble stones are the last authentic cobblestone roads in Jersey City. Don’t know if that is true or not, but in the mural they serve to enhance the 3-D effect.

Feast Signs

They went up on Saturday, the banners across Newark Avenue announcing The Feast, aka La Festa Italiana, on Sixth Street at Holy Rosary, from Wednesday, August 11th to Sunday, August 15th. This year is sure to be extra special, it marks the 125th anniversary of the church as the first Italian parish in the state of New Jersey. You must go just for the famous Rice Balls, an annual ritual we're lucky to call our own.

I had a good old time blogging about the event last year, here’s one on the history of the festival, and here’s a report from last year's Feast.

We can now see the signs, we know it’s coming.

Here's an official website

Jersey City Art School Reception

I later found out that it was Make My City week, a city-wide promotion to encourage folks to buy in Jersey City. I didn’t know I needed such a promotion to support local products until I found out that bodega-made sandwiches didn’t count. Regardless, I saw that Jersey City Art School was hosting a cocktail reception and art show featuring the work of the schools instructors and contributors, including Thomas John Carlson, Keith Van Pelt, Christi Harrington, Kiva Ford and Joanne Simmons. I decided to stop by. I’ve been having a good old time attending the schools J.C. Film Forum, its Sunday evening cineaste society meetings and film screenings/discussions, here and here.

The J.C. Arts School is on Fifth street, a wonderful space. The vibe is friendly and without pretension; there’s a feel of productivity. Just as the workshop space is turned into a screening room for the Film Forum gatherings, I enjoyed the make-shift gallery invention in that same space. Sometimes art can seem so removed from the work of creating it. The workshop aspect of the school, so apparent in the corners and perimeters of the space turned into a gallery for the reception, erased that distance.

The online promo piece promised: “sip a little wine, nosh on some crudites, meet the artists, and then stroll on back and relax in the garden.” I’m not sure what a crudite is, some form of raw vegetables for snacking apparently. There were sliced tomatoes and Italian bread, no crud in site. We’re in the peak of Summer and Friday night was just one of those humid heat wave jersey evenings, where you had to get out and about, even though in less than five minutes perspiration drenches your shirt. Even the best air conditioning falls short. Items were for sale and I even saw a transaction or two being made but it seemed that for the time I was here, it was really just an informal out-reach to the community. It was a low-key party, artists and art appreciators gabbing. I had fun. In fact, the conversations were so interesting I forgot to take representational photographs of the event, I didn’t talk to all of the artists. You want full coverage of an event I suggest you go to... All right, I don’t have a suggestion. The local press has been pretty good promoting before hand. Follow up coverage & reviews, not so much. I guess you have to supply your own context and you have to be there to do that and if you’re not there you don’t really know what you missed.

"Silver and Photography, I work in those two mediums and those two mediums are enough, Joanne Simmons told me. I met her here, another gallery show where her photographs were exhibited. This is her jewelry.

Kiva Ford calls himself an Artisan Glassblower. Some really remarkable work, objects de art. I love the glass animals encased in glass. By the way, he told me that Kiva was his Russian grandfather’s name, a derivation of Kiev. His website is cool .
“…then stroll on back and relax in the garden,” read the invite. I came back here when it was still a work in progress.

I angled this shot to include the pile of bricks and the plastic flamingos, which seemed to suggest a meaningful juxtaposition, pragmatic and artifice. Flamingos always remind you Florida, and the birds seemed right at home on this sultry Friday Night. At noon, sun blazing down, humidity is pretty much torture. But after work is done, the weekend in front of you and the sun close to setting, even New Jersey humidity can seem exotic, even sensuous. Everyone seemed a little giddy, commenting how you don’t feel like you’re in Jersey City back here. It’s right alongside the embankment, and you could walk through the shed-like structure in the very back of the yard and go into the alleyway and the south wall of these industrial era railroad trellises, ivy shrouds draped on the stones. The Artisan Glassblower in residence at Jersey City Art School noticed a rope about half way up and could resist attempting scaling the wall. He didn’t make it to the top. There’s an opening to the embankment, but that’s a couple of blocks away, on the Sixth Street Side.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Green Pre-Market

Across the street, the marquee of the closed for the summer Loew’s announces the coming of the green market to this inner city neighborhood. There are several of these movable vegetable stand flea markets around town, but Journal Square has a dearth of produce bodegas. Had a rare visit to Journal Square in the morning. A little after 9. Summer. The vegetables for soon to be on sale are fresh, in season, local. People were going to work, I had some where else to be, but pausing to watch the set up felt good. Just like the marquee promised.

Dry Cement Pond

See, I don’t only complain. I may not offer that many solutions, but I always acknowledge an improvement or at least step in the right direction. With the wave after wave of heat wave so far, I anticipate that August will bring on droves and droves of the Mosquito. I have posted about the Downtown Mosquito Factory in the winter HERE, and if you follow the links in that story you will see some of the earlier posts, one of which is my first post. I guess I’m running out of ideas. Or maybe it’s you! Passed by this long abandoned work project today and breathed a sigh of relief. Somebody drained the dang thing, a cement pond as dry as a drought and not the fetid mosquito birthing paradise of last year. Some sources indicated a 300 percent increase in the Hudson County mosquito population. I can’t verify that figure, but I withhold my right to spread hysteria.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Double Traffic Lights

One tries to be a consistent and astute observer. Ever since I noticed the whole traffic light situation here—the widening of the street meant a street light isolated from the corner sidewalk—I wondered what would transpire. Well, not only have our tax dollars paid for the widening of the sidewalk, we get to foot the bill for a new traffic light. I guess our tax dollars have to pay for something. I reckon that they will remove the old light in the street at some point. What I like about this image is that for now, we have the rare two traffic light corners at Columbus & Varick.

And, we have instructions now for the light. As any pedestrian in our fair city can attest to, most of the time when you cross the wider boulevards, such as the old Railroad Avenue, there is rarely enough time to get from side to the other. Luckily we now have instructions. Note the Time Remaining to Finish Crossing line item. Why is it 8? Does that mean 8 seconds and you’re still safe? Is the 8 just arbitrary? N.J. Law states that pedestrians have the right of way. I guess that right has only an 8 second window. I cross here a lot. There should be instructions for the drivers, most of whom are breaking the speed limit as they leave the turnpike for the supposed short cut to the Holland Tunnel. Maybe some law enforcement? The widening of this street encourages more traffic. More traffic means more safe and considerate drivers, not just fewer trees or less sidewalk space, right? Right?


Empty DVD shelves. Had the inevitable come, like it had to CDs? Everything is downloaded, the brick and mortar days of looking through titles and contemplating a purchases as gone as the time spent looking for a good blacksmith? No, the clerk at FYE told me, we’re moving elsewhere in the mall. Century 21 has bought this whole floor? Or is that Forever 21? Big retail changes at FYE. Believe it or not, there was still a CD section there, although it is not conducive to my tastes. I think I bought some music there when it was another store and there were many other record stores and that store had a buy ten get one free deal of some kind. Now it’s just JR, the last record store left, except for the blessed hold outs in the village like Bleeker Bob and Rebel Records. The thing I like about FYE is that they sell used DVDs. I have a buddy who when he needs some dough goes there and trades in. The selection is okay. I’ve been studying the western and found some good deals there to further this pursuit. Big changes on level two at Newport.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Act of Genius

I loved High Art and Laurel Canyon. I eagerly anticipated The Kids Are All Right. It is an incredible movie, a masterpiece. I would declare it a classic film, but that sort of recognition takes time to earn so check back in a year or so, after I’ve seen it a few more times, to see whether it is a classic or just one of the greatest films in recent memory. The fact is though, Lisa Cholodenko is a great director. She is as talented and original as François Truffaut, Éric Rohmer, and Woody Allen. She deserves to be mentioned with those masters. I suspect in time that will not sound so outlandish. Her films have real characters in compelling situations that illuminate aspects of the human condition that are universal.

This film is not only original, and funny, it features three of the greatest actors of our time, Annette Bening, Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo. All three are superb. This movie had some of the best film acting that I’ve seen in a long time.

I’m a film buff but I rarely write or blog about it. This film was so extraordinary that my love of art compelled me to comment.

Now, whenever you get greats together in an endeavor, inevitably you have to judge who is best. It's like the World Series. I know art is not a competition. The roles as written generally dictate a performance. Still, it’s human nature. Just like Marlon Brando, without doubt was the greatest actor in the crew of The Godfather—remember, he was alongside Caan, Duvall, Pacino and Keaton—the winner here, Annette Bening. Her performance as this middle aged lesbian mother is some of finest acting ever committed to film!

Here is why I am so enthusiastic. Now, I suppose contemporary net-etiquette requires me to say spoiler alert. I feel retarded doing so. Plus, this film has gotten so much publicity you already know the story and I’m not revealing any plot. Besides, it’s about character, not plot.

Anyway, Annette Bening is Luke Skywalker’s father. Okay, only kidding. Spock isn’t really dead.

Okay, okay, I couldn’t resist. So, as you know, Moore and Bening a lesbian couple, both of whom are moms and Ruffallo was the sperm donor. The children are older teenagers, the oldest going off to college, and they contact the donor. Moore and Ruffallo have some trysts. Bening, the more responsible of the two, is a physician. She distrusts Ruffallo, who is kind of a hippie at first. But the kids and Moore like her. So in spite of her misgivings and an argument she has with him, she decides to make peace. Now, remember, Ruffallo is having an affair with her partner and she doesn’t know it.

So, there is a dinner with the two women and the kids. Bening gushes over the meal he prepared. We’ve all been there, where we have to make friends with somebody we don’t like and maybe even mistrust and you do things like overly compliment them. The other element in this scene is that Bening and the kids are ignorant of the sexual deception going on. The lesbian vs. heterosexual thing comes to play slightly several scenes later, but seriously, the gay aspect is remarkably incidental to the storyline.

After gushing over the steak, she makes somewhat uncomfortable conversation about his record collection. It’s typical 70s stuff (a lot like mine, then and now!) and she can’t believe a straight guy likes Joni Mitchell. They bond over Blue and then she starts singing a song from Blue. Now, the kids are uncomfortable because you know, it’s their parents and they’re old. But we’re comfortable too, because we see Bening making herself vulnerable because she believes she is with people she trusts. It’s a famous song, and one I love (but I can’t seem to recall the exact title this second) and Bening sings it like an amateur, even when she does the famous falsetto high note Joni sings. Ruffalo sings along with some of it. The others at the table giggle. But Bening is sincere. She is having a moment, because she is remembering listening to this record, a touchstone for a woman her age. But she sings it believable as a doctor, a regular person. You know, most of the time, when a character sings in a movie—not in a musical or a musician bio-film—it’s like I love Lucy. You know how she is the unprofessional and always wants to perform with the other unprofessional, Fred & Ethel, but when they do sing it is all slick and professionals (and of course, nauseating). This is not like that. She sings this as a real person. You are in the moment entirely, feeling for her putting herself on the line, knowing what she doesn’t, that her partner of twenty years is having sex with somebody else and that somebody else is the person you are making an effort to befriend—and part of that effort, is sharing something very personal. She named her daughter Joni.

Bening excuses herself to go to the bathroom. She is the one who suggested the dinner. She seems satisfied that she accomplished what she wanted. They’re friends now, she thinks.

In the bathroom, she notices some hair in the drain (a subtle reference to Backstreets, another Joni Mitchell song). The same hair is the brush. Moore has long red hair in this film. Earlier in the movie there is a line of dialog about her hair. Bening goes into the bedroom, she finds more hair on the pillow.

She goes back to the table. You see the hurt of the realization, you see her processing it, and you also see her suppressing it. She can’t reveal all this in front of the kids. She has to wait to confront her partner before she mentions it to anyone else. The rest of the movie, the third act if you will, is about that confrontation and the fall out from the trysts. For now, all we see is Bening, acting with slivers of expression, a squint as she sits down at the table and picks up her wine glass. The way she handles the glass, sips the wine. Every fraction of movement of her face and body is deliberate, planned and absoluely believable. This sequence of scenes is remarkable. She is gushing with forced ebullience, then silent with the realization that the person closest to her is playing her for a fool. She has to keep up that silence until they’re home. I saw the film yesterday and it’s been all I’ve thought about, well just about. I’ll never forget it.

When you witness something like this, you are witnessing the craft of acting at its highest level.

She’s always good, Bening. Being Julia, the Grifters, even American Beauty, a weak film but she is remarkable in that too. But this The Kids Are All Right has some of the best acting you will see in a film this year. Bening pushes her talent into a realm that can only be described as sheer genius. To watch her act under Cholodenko's direction is an awe-inspiring thrill.

Ghost Bike Copy Edit

Ghost Bikes in New York maybe removed sometime soon. They’re also called Memorial Bikes, because they memorialize a spot where a bike rider was killed in traffic. I don’t know about this one though, if there was an individual victim. This one’s by the recently defunct Saint Vincent’s Hospital and seems to intend a political statement. I agree with the statement, I think. It’s a might confusing. It requires some math to fully grasp. The closing of this hospital was just another step of Bloomberg New York disenfranchising the poor and middle class of New York. But I’m not commenting about that here. I liked the editorial correction. Copy editors are sticklers, no matter the cause. I saw that and was like, shoot, I make that fewer vs. less regarding amount mistake all the time.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Matisse: Radical Invention: 1913–1917

David was out of town so Monica asked me to go to a “Members Preview” at the Museum of Modern Art of “Matisse: Radical Invention, 1913–1917.” This exhibit explores a period of transition in the artist’s life, showing most of the oil paintings he created during this phase as well as the graphite sketches, ink drawings and sculptures that he worked out as he pursued his vision, which essentially meant the journey from impressionism (or is that post-impressionism) to cubism. He was both visionary and meticulous. The core of this exhibit are the series of “Bather” paintings. Based on a Cezanne painting—Three Bathers—in fact, the Cezanne painting, which apparently was owned by Matisse, begins the show. Then, as you walk through the exhibit, you see the artist’s obsessive pursuit. There are dozens of pen and ink sketches of women, their thighs and backs. You see his sketch pads. The same image repeated, rendered with one or two strokes. He did sculptures, plastic and bronze casts, trying to capture the essence of this human form. When it finally came to making a canvass, he would work on some for years. The culmination is the painting Bathers by the River, completed after World War I. This exhibit will get a lot of media attention because, in addition to borrowing work from collections worldwide, digital technology is used to trace the evolution of the painting, analyzing versions of the painting as well as photographs of Matisse and the work in progress taken during this period by an American photographer. What you see is how art informs art, how we went from impressionism (or is Cezanne post-impressionism) to cubism. His first “Bathers” were in a watercolor, soft and naturalistic. A middle work is “Bathers with a Turtle,” a finished oil painting. The colors are lush. The emotions are naturalistic and romantic, like a memory of idealized times. Naked humanity, a gentle turtle… the simple pleasures and splendor of the natural world. And then, Cubism is born. The images feature hard lines, industrial age. The green in the earlier versions is soft, the foliage a blend of wilderness. The last version, look at those sharp, angular blades of grass. The pastoral romance is gone, no longer relevant or even remembered. We enter an era of alienation. He painted this during World War I. The 20th Century is in full swing. The colors while still vivid look brightly artificial, not as romantically pastoral. Made me sad realizing Matisse was realizing in art the new world of a more violent and de-humanized century. He moved ahead step by step, finding his vision. The works he is most famous for came after this period. He wasn’t looking back, something this exhibit luckily allows us to do.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Random & Temporary

Construction is a constant. The endless thirst for condos. A work-site, permits issued, others pending, pay offs made. It’s dirty and looks not really all that safe. But the permit’s been issued. The drawing, the quick sketch, on the plywood. Art. Random & Temporary. Just like life.

Saint Anthony Festival

I was in a more insightful and erudite mood for last year’s edition of Saint Anthony’s Festival. So click here to that story.

I wandered down there on Sunday night, just to have a pierogie and a potato pancake. Not exactly on my cardiologist list of food items, but dang, they were good. I came between the bands, looked at the crowd. It was very nice and pleasant. It’s a funny thing about the blog, I think it’s just a reason to have a little photographic fun. Saint Anthony is the patron saint of miracles, and I loved the dollars taped to the statue. Bring back the indulgences. The funny thing about the blog is that like I said, I wrote this up last year and I hate to repeat myself and while these festivals are special, and always fun, one thing that makes them special and fun is that they are the same year in and year out. I don’t have anything fresh to say about this year.

Power House Art District’s 5th Annual Barbeque & Street Fair

Even though the prediction of Summer Rain on Saturday on our beloved Isthmus proved false, the Power House Art District’s 5th Annual Barbeque & Street Fair Street Fair was moved to Sunday. I’ve been having some aggravating stuff going on in my non-blog life and I thought I wasn’t in the mood to dig on a street fair. I was in that Ramone’s song state of mind—I don’t like summer or spring, I don’t like anything—but the fact is I do like Summer. My problems could wait until Monday. I took a walk in the afternoon, just in time for the rain. That would be irony. Our life, our weather.

I went after lunch, I wasn’t in the mood for fatty foods or boozing but there was indeed a barbeque going on. I saw the smoke. I saw the packages of buns. I know the signs. There was some face painting. For a moment I thought it was a revival of CATS, but the young woman informed me she was adorned with a puppy face. She was drinking a beer and smoking a cigarette. She told me she was a Vegan. I guess it’s about balance. I was impressed with the 3-D effect the face painting achieved with the eye glasses. They looked so real. Turns out, they were real and not part of the face art. They provide vision correction, genuine optical devices.

I did catch a good set by Shayfer James, a piano man. It’s not that piano playing is a dying art, but it has become mainly a side instrument for about two decades pop music wise. The last piano man to have a hit was Bruce Hornsby and that was in the 80s. The stage was a loading dock of one of the old, I think it was abandoned—or is that as of yet undeveloped—warehouse. I actually worked on the loading dock of a warehouse in my youth. I’m so old I remember when warehouses in New Jersey actually housed wares, and were not just mix-used projects. Wearing a jaunty fedora, vest and poorly tied parson’s tie, James had a carnival sound with some pleasantly surreal lyrics. I was thinking mix of Tom Waits and Queen, and I don’t even like Queen. There was some Billy Joel and Brecht/Weil influences I thought, but with a definite progressive rock edge. Some of the ballads didn’t work so well, but I suspect that was due to the fact the guy had to play on a loading dock. The more rocking tunes achieved a funhouse feel. Really entertaining set, the approach original and refreshing. (visit:

The humidity swelled and sun showers fell. There's that sizzling sound you hear when the drops hit the street.

I can’t quite articulate the difference in art and sensibility that is apparent in the Power House district compared with say the 4th Street Art Fair, some of the other galleries or the weekly creative grove flea market. It’s maybe more “SoHo,” the art more products like nice greeting cards than paintings and such.

I heard somewhere that the streets down here are the last authentic cobblestones in Jersey City. It’s a pretty cool nook of old industrial era buildings in this so called district. Always worthwhile to take a stroll down that way.

Kids were having fun. The piano sounded great. The painted faces made me laugh. My aggravation quickly dissipated. My problems waited until Monday. Summer Rain never lasts long and sunshine always splinters through the clouds. When in doubt, always go to the fair.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Drill Baby Drill

Has it really been two summers since Sara Palin came into our lives? What I find more frightening than her rhetoric—which is immoral, anti-intellectual and reprehensible—is the fact she’s attractive. I’m not saying she is my type or anything like that, but she is pretty and obviously keeps herself well together and has a zest about her that exudes a lusty appetite. That is what scary. I was never enticed by Nancy Reagan or Anne Coulter or any other right wing freak of the female persuasion. Neither of those two examples have the multi-level charisma of Sara Palin. The fact that she came as close as she did to running this country is sobering. Drill Baby Drill. I wonder how many BP disasters there would have been if Obama didn’t win. This example of protest art popped up over the weekend on Jersey Avenue near the Columbus corner. I suspect it will be torn down soon. It’s illegal I reckon, where the sign has been placed, not the message. So, until then, consider the fun and intelligence of this sign, it’s a real zinger. The back of the sign conveys the context, sarcastically but accurately tying corporate greed and malfeasance to the lack of media coverage—especially before a disaster—about these issues. Then the other side of the painting is Sarah, which hits home for me since I admit, I think she’s has an attractiveness. The grotesque face on the exaggerated FHM bikini clad sex goddess exemplifies my dilemma, which I believe is shared by many. The timeless canard: She’s the Devil in disguise. Palin has an appealing life story, who isn’t pro-mother hood or pro-achiever? She’s outdoorsy and has a speaking style that sounds honest. I’m a progressive guy, as most readers have come to realize. I’m a new dealer. My politics are based the songs of Woody Guthrie and the Sermon on the Mount. Besides Lincoln, the two greatest presidents have been FDR & Bill Clinton. There is a fed-up-ness in this land and for some reason, there’s a weird nostalgia for so called Reaganism. When it comes to the Tea Party, I relate to the former and reject the latter. Reagan would be the worst president in our history if it wasn’t for the eight disgraceful years of George W. Bush. The tea party movement, while inflated by media hype, has a sincere but inarticulate outrage. It seems to be getting hijacked by Palin types, who provide no substance to the ideas being implied by the talk, and give celebrity cover to anti-Obama and obstructionist rhetoric, a take back our country, sensationalized sound-bite bull shit. Ideas, God forbid we discuss those and on that front the left is just as guilty as the right. The problem is the left doesn’t have somebody as charismatic as Palin. And, our nation is filled with a television-addled citizenry predisposed to Attention Deficit Disorder. Last year, the epicenter of the N.J. Political bribery scandal was Jersey City, which stifled voter turnout in Hudson County and the result is right wing freak in Trenton. I’ve mentioned this turn of events a few times, but this political protest sign reminded me of that, because if N.J. liberals continue to allow corrupt politicians—not to mention looking the other way when construction, real estate development companies and other corporate entities bribe their way into the skyline—we will have this monster in a bikini in the white house and a poisoned ecology. The oil stains on the skin of the Palin monster in the picture says it all. What else do I like about this sign—it shows solidarity with the people of Gulf Coast—right on!

Monday, July 5, 2010

A Fountain to Watch While Basking

Summer. The sunshine on Saturday blazed, temps entrenched in the 90s. In Hamilton Park, I noticed the fountain was working. It hadn’t been since the park reopened, at least I hadn’t seen any water activity in it. I just like fountains. I like seeing water gurgle into the air, flow from one basin down to another. I like how water glistens with sunlight. It’s a wonderful fountain, a new addition that accompanied the renovation. They say it is based on an original fixture in the park way back in the century before the last. On the grass in view of the fountain were Luis & Kelly, basking in the sun on a blanket and sipping mimosas. They looked liked summer, they looked like July 3rd 2010, a young couple on a lawn newly liberated from unleashed dogs and their selfish owners. Behind them is a dog run. Until now, you were not able to sunbathe so freely on the lawns in this park. Now we can bask and have a fountain to watch while we do so.

Bathtub Flowers

Just being out of place can be funny and even momentarily uplifting. Flowers in a Bathtub, a bathtub on a sidewalk, out of the bathroom, surrealism can be just suggested to work. It’s in front a florist and garden store so I guess it’s their doing. Those old bathtubs were good for making gin and now make good planters. I love daisies, always have. Seeing daisies makes me happy.

Fire in the Sky

What is that burning, I asked the Fireman.

Transformer, he replied.

Just an electrical fire, I asked and he nodded.

Saturday Morning, late in the morning. The firemen had closed the block off, and they waited for it to go out. The fire was contained to the transformer canister. I hadn’t heard of any power outages or other disruptions due to this fire in the sky, above Grove Street, near Newark

Stain Glass Illumination

That’s Saint Matthew; it’s near the ceiling, high above the altar in the Northwest portion of Saint Michael on ninth street. It’s worth checking out this time of year, anytime after twelve on a sunny day in the summer as the sun begins to set. The four other gospel writers (Mark, Luke, John), also have their own stain glass window in this upper section of the church, but I think the construction that followed the late 19th century building of this particular house of worship now blocks the light. They don’t shine like old St. Mat here. If you go into this church at the right of day, especially on a Sunny Summer afternoon, you will see this remarkable effect, especially if the lights in the church are off. The amber robes glowing. This picture was the best I could do and it doesn’t do the stain glass icon justice.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Street Light Base

What are you doing.
New street light. Please step away from the truck.
I guess they are going to avoid what went on here for now. It’s a street light base, apply cement, wait for pole.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Mural This Morning

The back of Lady Liberty’s head. We’re looking just behind her, birds eye view. Does the river appear yellow because that is how it looks from there when the sun makes it glisten. I love the hint of the bridge in the horizon. The mural has been there for a while, it’s easy not to notice. Heck, I usually don’t. But this morning I was out and about early and walking down Wayne Street and I saw the mural, in the morning light, across the semi-empty lot. I love summer light, especially summer morning light. I noticed this mural again for the first time, just this portion of it, which is the only portion the lot makes visible. The sense of awe was brief, but it was present and felt just fine. Try it sometime.