Poster House – East 23rd Street

The Poster House located on 119 W 23rd Street is a small museum that 0ften has some unique poster exhibitions. It is just a few blocks west of the Flatiron building and Madison Square Park. Nearby is the Leggo store and Eataly( eating place) and many stores.

This months exhibition highlights austrian graphics artist julius klinger. He was a leader in commercial visual designs. I really had no interest in his work but, for free, I enjoyed the visit.

This is one of the places in NYC that you should know exists. However, you should check their web site first to see if the current exhibition is something you would like. . The normal entrance fee is 12 dollars but during the year they have “free days”.

So, put this one in your Flatiron or Madison Square Park folder.

I just remembered that the Harry Potter store is now open near the flatiron building Read this article here to get needed information.

little guardians of nature – Apple Heads

Many of you who follow this blog have read my experiences on finding new and different objects within NYC. Yesterday, I discovered some very unusual objects on fence posts at a park I visit every day.

Joanne Howard, artist

I was surprised to find them but more surprised to find out that they were probably there for the past five months.

So, with a little research, here is the story:

Last March, more than 40 scrunched-up apples carved into distinctive human faces and cast in bronze were placed in a small NYC park- Carl Schurz Park.

The exhibition consisted of carving human faces into apples and letting them dry out, causing them to resemble wizened elders, with seemingly unique, human-like personalities.

They were then cast in bronze and screwed into fenceposts along East End Avenue near the park’s main entrance, as well as along “Cherry Alley,” which leads to the park’s central garden.

Difficult to spot

The artist, Joanne Howard wrote that the three-inch-tall heads are “subtle,” and will likely go unnoticed by many park visitors. I think of them as little guardians of nature, protectors of the trees,” Howard said. “I think there’s something whimsical about them.”

No matter how boring a walk can be, along the same path, there is always hope in finding something new.

NYC – Flowers an Inspiration

A limited series that first appeared on Facebook and Instagram

Taking a little break from the streets of NYC to highlight the flowers that help make our visual world so interesting.

click for larger image

NYC – Winter Walk-Give it a try!

During this unique time and being careful of keeping distances and not going stir crazy, I suggest the following:

Find a few places to walk where there are not a lot of people in groups. Getting outside into the Crisp winter air emphasizes the beauty of luminous clouds, maybe eerie fog and mist, and (if an early bird) capture that special light only a sunrise can provide.  If not sure this is your thing then, you should start out taking short jaunts from your vehicle or apartment; no big hikes.

The city affords you to notice the changing colors and shadows along tree lined streets. City parks can provide you the beauty of a rural nature.

The main concern is to wear comfortable layered clothing. Do not bundle up too much! Believe me, the main concern is staying dry – little sweating – and being able to add or remove layers as needed to adjust to the temperature.

When I walk in the city, I wear a light knapsack. [When in a park or the woods, where there is snow, I do the same but sometimes drag a plastic sled behind me – good to store extra layers or maybe camera stuff or a snack. (don’t overdo the weight).]

My camera equipment, for the most part, will function as normal as I keep the battery warm as possible. I have a spare battery in my inside pocket. My Iphone stays in my pocket until needed.[Cold weather takes its toll on batteries]

With the right clothing, planning, and dependable equipment, nature provides us with some magnificent material! Give it a try if you haven’t yet.

I convinced myself to go for a walk in the neighborhood. Some of these photos will show you the vibrant colors that can be captured during of a winter walk. {You don’t need a camera to enjoy the walk!]

Elizabeth Street (Little Italy) – delightful garden

Updated from 2015

There is a small park – Elizabeth Street Gardens – on Elizabeth Street , between Prince & Spring streets (Little Italy) that is very unusual. While not open all the time it is a great place to have lunch (bring your own) or picnic or sit in the shade. You will be surrounded by statuary of all kinds. Oh by the way, it is free. Check here for when open.

23.gallery.sphinx1-506x380
The Elizabeth Street Gallery, open to the public in a park like setting, contains a variety of ornamental stonework, some of it depicting mythological figures

IMG_1126

IMG_1136

I walked the length of Elizabeth Street and found most of the people enjoying the day. The restaurants were busy and  those stores that were open had customers.

Most of the buildings in the area are multifamily, or apartment buildings dating from the first decade or two of the 20th Century

Some people think that the boundary between Chinatown and SOHOis mid-block between Kenmare and Spring,  The area to the south is mostly Chinese.

Before  the virus arrived the northern area was home to upscale galleries and shops north of Kenmare.

As of this date,  many shops have closed due to the pandemic. The street is filled mostly with outside dining. and there is a lot of construction going on. However, visiting the garden is still very enjoyable and all along the street people were animated and enjoying their visit. Most wearing masks and other than restaurants and bars, keeping some separation between each other

I am confident that after we solve the health situation  These  two blocks just South of Houston will, again, become quite alive and quite trendy.

47.musket.room_
Carved, painted and lettered shingle signs that hang over the sidewalk are becoming popular in the neighborhoods where the hip people go,

 Photos taken on November 8, 2020

Trivia

IMG_1165

Elizabeth and Hester may be the only intersection in Manhattan where both streets are women’s first names, though Hester isn’t used much anymore. Elizabeth Street is one of the few major streets in Manhattan that begins and ends at a T-shaped intersection.

NYC – The Day of the Dead Celebration during a busy weekend of concerns

Publication delayed due to election.

Day of the Dead statuettes

Over the years of writing this blog, I have tried to include the many  traditions of different cultures. On November 2nd was a celebration called “Dia de Murtos” or The Day of Dead – it  is a time to honor and revere deceased family members and ancestors.
 It is important to pass on to each generation the celebrations that embrace their heritage. In Mexico and other Latin American countries, Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festivities is a time honored celebration.
They believe that the gates of heaven are opened at midnight on October 31, and the spirits of all deceased children (angelitos) are allowed to reunite with their families for 24 hours. On November 2, the spirits of the adults come down to enjoy the festivities that are prepared for them. Celebrations are bright and lively, in belief that the souls of the dead are still alive and can return home annually during this time.  Nov. 1 is the Day of the Innocents to pay tribute to deceased infants.

To celebrate, people built altars, called ofrendas, to the dead. The altars incorporate photos of the deceased, their possessions, sugar skull decorations (see below) and their favorite food and beverages, including pan de muertos (“bread of the dead”). Altars also feature orange marigolds, the Aztec’s flower of the dead. It is used to attract souls to their altar.

img_4248

Skull imagery is central to Día de los Muertos celebrations, with people painting their faces in ornate skulls and buying or making sugar skulls.

The Sugar Skull Tradition
Sugar art was brought to the New World by Italian missionaries in the 17th century. The first Church mention of sugar art was from Palermo at Easter time when little sugar lambs and angels were made to adorn the side altars in the Catholic Church.

facts-about-day-of-the-dead-infographic
Actual Sugar Skull made of sugar

Mexico, abundant in sugar production and too poor to buy fancy imported European church decorations, learned quickly from the friars how to make sugar art for their religious festivals. Clay molded sugar figures of angels, sheep and sugar skulls go back to the Colonial Period 18th century.
Sugar skulls represented a departed soul, had the name written on the forehead and was placed on the home ofrenda or gravestone to honor the return of a particular spirit. Sugar skull art reflects the folk art style of big happy smiles, colorful icing and sparkly tin and glittery adornments.

Sugar skulls are labor intensive and made in very small batches in the homes of sugar skull makers. These wonderful artisans are disappearing as fabricated and imported candy skulls take their place.
 It is more of a cultural holiday than a religious one. It is a wonderful way to celebrate the memories of our loved ones who are now gone… through art, cooking, music, building ofrendas, doing activities with our children, we can recount family stories, fun times and lessons learned… not how the person died, but how they lived.

NYC – Rockefeller Center – Art Deco

A visit to Rockefeller Center––a city within a city––is a must. New York’s most important urban complex of the twentieth century, the Center was built between 1931 and 1939. Rockefeller Center extends from 48th to 51st Street, and from Fifth to Sixth Avenue.

The promenade separating the British and French buildings

The Fifth Avenue frontage is a show case for the cause of international understanding–hence the International Building, the Maison Française, the British Empire Building, the Palazzo d’Italia––and the Channel Gardens (named for the English Channel separating France and England), between the French and British buildings, lined with fall foliage and statuary

Seeds of Good Citizenship
Above Channel Gardens Entrance of La Maison Francaise
Winged Mercury -Above Channel Gardens Entrance of 620 Fifth Avenue

Rockefeller Center epitomizes the Machine Age––building materials like aluminum and stainless steel, parking facilities for cars and trucks, high speed elevators, air cooling, noise silencers and escalators. There is so much to see both inside and outside but I thought it would be nice to feature a few of the works that are on the outside of the buildings.

I placed the street location or reference point on each photo.

PROGRESS
Above 49th Street entrance.
CORNUCOPIA OF PLENTY
10 West 51st Street
THE JOY OF LIFE
Above 48th Street entrance

What is Art Deco?

Although the question seems simple, historians have not been able to agree upon a single, definitive answer. The time period, aesthetic principles, motifs, and just about everything else that typically defines a style or movement, are all open to interpretation when it comes to defining Art Deco.

NEWS
Above 50 Rockefeller Plaza main entrance.
SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI WITH BIRDS
Above 9 West 50th Street entrance of 630 Fifth Avenue

I thought I would include something you might miss when going to or walking past Radio City Music Hall.

Dance, Drama, and Song

These three large stylized decorative plaques, placed high up on the south façade of Radio City Music Hall.

Two of the six playful plaques under the marquee at the front entrance.

A couple of observations as of this publication date.

  • Overall, New York City is less crowded.
  • Check ahead to see if places you want to visit will be open.
  • Public bathrooms are even fewer that usual.
  • There is a bathroom in the main building at Rockefeller center.

How to enjoy a Sunny Day in NYC

Yesterday, I noticed an article about Digital Art Month. What interested me was a their plan to have an art display along 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue. The day was sunny and mild and just waiting for a leisurely walk.

So, off I go!

I decided to begin at 57th Street and 5th Avenue and then head up 5th Ave to east 61st Street and then up along Madison Avenue.

Using their map. I set off on my journey. For whatever reasons, I found only a few of the displays(However, It could have been my inability to recognize them).

Having walked several locks I decided to walk back to where I began. I wondered if I could add something to this walk ? Just to be outside on a pleasant day is good enough.

Mid Town Fashion

I thought this was a little different. In hind sight I would have set the camera to manual focus
East 59th Street
Van Cleef & Arpels Jewelry
Michael Kors

Madison Avenue Art Displays

Central Park

Contemporary Art

Please stay safe. Avoid large crowds, wear your mask, stay outside and keep moving?

NYC – East Harlem – Graffitti

graffitti_Panorama1

Sunday afternoon in NYC – time to capture the  color of our graffiti artists.

Click on photos to enlarge and utilize slideshow

The Graffiti  was photographed between east 102 Street and east 108th Street. Along 3rd Avenue and Park Avenue Updated October 2020.

NYC – Colorful Lower East Side

NYC – Enjoy art while you exercise during the corona outbreak.

Not everything is of-limits in New York City.  Take for instance, a  several-block stretch of the Bowery (street). from 1st street to 7th street. In the lower east side there have been many businesses that cannot open and have covered their windows with plywood. Thankfully, a group of artists decided to create some very interesting and colorful murals.

 

Artist, Sono  Kuwayama decided to start a movement to “freshen up” the neighborhood. There are no restrictions on the subject matter; however, there is some input from the store owners. She hopes that it will be tangible artifact from this epidemic period. 

She hasn’t been the only artist painting more local artists have joined in to help.

to see many more  of the murals click for instagram. here