high line 2017

05/13/2017

Two separate trips to the high line over the past month. First, in mid-April, some of my long-lost cousins from Israel were in town, so we spent some time together, including a trek on the high line. That was much more about spending time together than getting good photos (and wrangling ten family members on a gorgeous holiday weekend, including toddlers, will throw a wrench in ANY artistic endeavors!). Second was last weekend – the weather was supposed to be wretched, but it ended up not raining (unlike today), so I decided to take advantage of the surprise good weather and spend some time in the open air again.

The two walks were only three weeks apart, but its quite remarkable how much more green there was on the second trip – you can see the distinction from the first few photos, where the trees are barely blooming and the grasses are still mostly brown and barely grown-in, and then the latter photos, where everything is just an absolute explosion of greenery. It’s really no wonder my allergies have been completely haywire for the past few weeks.

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atlas

12/21/2016

I love walking up fifth avenue, particularly during the holidays (and yes, even with the tourists). There’s a great energy, with the people and the lights and the beautiful holiday windows that not only try to top each other, but themselves year-over-year. But I’ve been largely avoiding it this fall due to the security nightmare created by our new (ugh) president-elect, who thinks running a reality show competition for cabinet posts from a building situated on one of the busiest street corners of the world is somehow a good idea and not a sign of abject sociopathic narcissism. But I digress.

Atlas is one of the many Art Deco sculptures forming the campus of Rockefeller center.

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love one another

09/18/2016

Chalk sidewalk art with a fitting message for today. And everyday.

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studio

09/8/2016

another ivy-covered loading dock in chelsea. also the not-so-subtly hidden studio of a fairly well known photographer.

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mechanics association

08/13/2016

Detail on the mechanics association building on 44th street in Manhattan. The society itself was founded in the 1700s and provides free construction trade classes among other things.

The building, according to wikipedia:

Located today at 20 West 44th Street, across from the Harvard Club of New York, the building is the fifth home of the General Society and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Originally designed by Lamb and Rich and constructed as the Berkeley School for Boys, the building was acquired by The General Society in 1899. Member and steel magnate Andrew Carnegie provided the funds to significantly expand the building in 1903. In order to accommodate more students, two wings were added to the rear and three new upper stories replaced an original fourth-floor gymnasium. The expansion was designed by Ralph S. Townsend and blends monumental Beaux Arts classicism with Renaissance elements.

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fortitude

08/4/2016

Guarding his domain – the main branch of the New York Public Library, along with his (not pictured) eternal companion, Patience.

For more information, visit the NYPL page about the lions. Or visit the library!

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nostalgia

07/16/2016

I worked in this building for six years, until, well, all of that stuff happened, and any time I would have to explain where I worked to someone, I would distinguish it from all of the other monolithic grey towers on sixth avenue by describing it as “the one with all the giant headless green statues in front”. Everyone always immediately knew what I was talking about after that.

In actuality, the statues are a piece of art titled “Looking Towards the Avenue” by artist Jim Dine.

NY Times article from after their installation
waymarking post with additional information

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Absence

07/13/2016

I used to work across from this building, and prior to its renovation/takeover by a different corporate owner, the lobby was home/host to a great masterwork of American art, America Today by Thomas Hart Benton. That mural has been donated to the Met, where you now have* to pay extortionate entrance fees to see it.

As a replacement, the public gets to see this bland, anodyne piece of corporate nothingness.

*the Met is a public institution and as such has “suggested” entrance fees, so some people get bold and only pay a penny. Most people do not realize that you can actually do this and take the prices at face value. There was actually a lawsuit over how they worded their signs and “enforced” payment – which the Met lost.

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deco

07/9/2016

taken last month. I can almost never pass by radio city music hall and not take a picture of its signage – to me, this is some of the best in the city. The pinnacle of what beautiful, character-filled, decorative signage can be. The robber barons did a lot of terrible things, but at least they left a few scraps for the masses to enjoy.

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beauty

07/2/2016

public art in union square. From The NYC Parks Department description:

Lionel Smit,MORPHOUS
June 13, 2016 to April 30, 2017
Union Square Park, Manhattan

Description:
MORPHOUS is an exploration of hybrid identity and its ever-changing nature within South Africa’s social landscape. This bronze sculpture, featuring the conjoined heads of two outward-gazing young women, evokes the question of time, of past and future, and a societal commentary without judgment. The “double-vision” portrayed in this work is simultaneously a foretelling of things to come and an acknowledgement of what has already passed. The figures are charged with an emotive and gestural energy, a hallmark of Smit’s evocative work. The spontaneous gestures in his three dimensional figural forms animate the beauty and grace of the faces he sees in the neighborhoods around his studio. The scale of his work invokes both a sense of celebration and power.

This is the South African artist’s first public art installation in the United States, and will be complemented by an exhibition of his work at CYNTHIA-REEVES’ gallery in North Adams, MA in July and August 2016. This exhibition is presented by CYNTHIA-REEVES , Union Square Partnership , and Art New York/Art Miami .

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