Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Expedition Keith Haring

Crack is Wack Playground, Keith Haring, 1986, public art, new york city
The Approach


Crack is Wack!, by Keith Haring, sits in the shadow of the Triboro Bridge. On a sunny Memorial Day morning, the site was quite deserted, a far cry from the busy street corners and plazas that usually "host" public art in New York City. There was only a young teen bouncing a basketball and a homeless man sitting near the art, shopping cart close at hand. Across the street, a car dealership and down the block a MTA bus transit center. There is something special about art that sits exactly where the artist created it. Particularly true for a piece like this that is as much social message as it is art. RIP Keith Haring RIP.


Crack is Wack, Snake Side, Keith Haring, New York City
Crack is Wack! - Snake Side


Crack is Wack!, Close Up, keith Haring, Public Art, New York city
Crack is Wack! - Close Up

Crack is Wack, Skeleton Side, Keith Haring, Public Art, New York City
Crack is Wack! - Skeleton Side


Triboro (RFK) On Ramp

Homeless in NYC, Crack is Wack Playground, NYC
Homeless in NYC

Art. Sofa. Rope.

Madison Square Park is hosting a site-specific art installation, Red, Yellow, Blue, by NY-based artist Orly Genger this summer.  It's worth a visit and, although no climbing is allowed (apparently you can inch up on your back as demonstrated by the second photo below), one can sit (or lie) quite comfortably in the valleys of each of the three undulating rope sculptures.  Depending on who is doing the talking, the piece is art, a great place to sit, or enough rope to cover the island of Manhattan.  It's a wonderful addition to the park and I, for one, will be sad to see it go come early September.

Red, Yellow, Blue, a site-specific installation by Orly Genger, Madison Square Park, NYC
Art

Red, Yellow, Blue, a site-specific installation by Orly Genger, Madison Square Park, NYC
Sofa

Red, Yellow, Blue, a site-specific installation by Orly Genger, Madison Square Park, NYC
Rope

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day 2013

Remembering our soldiers.


American Flag, Times Square, New York City
American Flag, Times Square

May those who gave their lives in service of their country rest in peace.  May we do a better job of supporting our veterans now and in the future.

Festiva Maxima Peony, Conservatory Garden, New York City
A Peony for My Grandmother


Sunday, May 19, 2013

All About the Rain Drops

Raindrops, Central Park, NYC
Just Hanging
There were some photos that did not involve flowers during my walk in Central Park today (Rainy Day Garden).  They allow for a bit more focus on the rain drops themselves.

Raindrop Reflections of Central Park, NYC
Reflections in a Drop
Branch Bedecked with Raindrops, Central Park, NYC
Bedecked in Raindrops
Leaves bedecked with raindrops, Central Park, NYC
Bedecked in Rain Drops II

Rainy Day Garden

Iris, Rainy Day, Conservatory Garden, Central Park, NYC
Rainy Day Iris
I took a walk in Central Park today.  My feet got sopping wet and my umbrella was too small but the park is SO peaceful on a rainy day that getting a little (while, a lot) wet was totally worth it. 

I was reminded, as I always am on cloudy damp days, that the sensor in my camera is too small.  Don't get me wrong, I love my Olympus -- it's just that it does not do so well in low light.  The little bit of research I've done to date suggests that I should switch brands when I upgrade my camera.  I'm in no hurry because for most of what I do, my trusty Olympus works just fine.  For sure I'll need to upgrade if I ever set out on another trip to see the northern lights!

Most of these were shot with my macro lens (a Zuiko) -- it was the only one that I had a reasonable chance of keeping dry under the umbrella (the too small umbrella to be exact).  Since I am a little bored with iPhoto (not many bells and whistles when it comes to editing options), all photos here were edited in Snapseed.  
Spirea, Rainy Day, Conservatory Garden, Central Park, NYC
Spirea on a Rainy Day
Spirea, Rainy Day, Conservatory Garden, Central Park, NYC
Rainy Day Spirea from Behind
Rain Drops on Flowers, Conservatory Garden, Central Park, NYC
Seemingly Encased by Rain Drops
Tulip, Rainy Day, Conservatory Garden, Central Park, NYC
Rainy Day Tulip
Rain Drops, Conservatory Garden, Central Park, NYC
Seemingly Encased by Raindrops II

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

South Street Seaport, May 2013

SouthStreetSeaport, Six Months after Super Storm Sandy, NYC

It's been over six months since Super Storm Sandy blew through the Northeast (After the Storm) -- causing untold damage to the East Coast.  In downtown New York, where I work, the sounds of construction still abound.  And although our office building is fully back online with the restoration of Verizon service to the neighborhood, the retail space on the ground floor remains unrented.  Sadly, this is not so unusual in downtown Manhattan these days.

At this time last year, on a night like tonight, South Street Seaport would have been bustling with tourists, office workers, and residents all enjoying the soft spring air.  The basic clean up has been done and there are hopeful signs that rebuilding is underway but the Seaport is, for all intents and purposes, a ghost town these days.  It's hard to know when it will be back.  For now, stores and restaurants (with a few lonely exceptions) remain abandoned -- mere shadows of their former selves.  It's still a stop on the ubiquitous city bus tours perhaps for storm tourism or perhaps because it still has some of the most commanding views of the East River.  Dog walkers abound -- heading to and fro the river but there is a lot of empty space where crowds used to hustle and bustle.

Come with me on a short stroll around the Seaport and its environs.  It's a lonely place, I could use the company.

SouthStreetSeaport, Six Months after Super Storm Sandy, NYC

SouthStreetSeaport, Six Months after Super Storm Sandy, NYC

SouthStreetSeaport, Six Months after Super Storm Sandy, NYC

SouthStreetSeaport, Six Months after Super Storm Sandy, NYC

SouthStreetSeaport, Six Months after Super Storm Sandy, NYC

SouthStreetSeaport, Six Months after Super Storm Sandy, NYC

SouthStreetSeaport, Six Months after Super Storm Sandy, NYC

SouthStreetSeaport, Six Months after Super Storm Sandy, NYC

SouthStreetSeaport, Six Months after Super Storm Sandy, NYC

SouthStreetSeaport, Six Months after Super Storm Sandy, NYC

SouthStreetSeaport, Six Months after Super Storm Sandy, NYC

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Just a Mannequin Sporting a Mohawk

Just a Mannequin Sporting a Mohawk, #BGWindows, Bergdorf Goodmen, NYC
Just a Mannequin Sporting a Mohawk I
It would appear that #theMannequins that star in the Bergdorf Goodman windows (#BGWindows) are easily transformed.  Seems like just last week they were appearing in the #BGWindows Follies.  And, wasn't it only yesterday that they served as simple foils for the fashions of Dior?  Now playing?  A homage to the Punk:  Chaos to Couture show at the Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute.

Just a Mannequin Sporting a Mohawk II, #BGWindows, Bergdorf Goodman, NYC
Just a Mannequin Sporting a Mohawk II
The punk #BGwindows are staged better than the Costume Institute show although, in a move unusual for Bergdorf's, a bit of merchandising has crept into the mix.  Each window features a helpful little list of the clothing on display and where a particular piece can be found in the store (if they are on sale that is -- some pieces are not).  It's a tangible reminder that Bergdorf's is a department store -- a purveyor of fine goods as it were -- and that the windows are just another merchandising vehicle.  

I spent a bit of time loitering outside Bergdorf's with my camera last Saturday.   The mannequin clad in #GarethPugh was a particular draw for the crowds walking by.  Even though if she was only just a mannequin sporting a Mohawk....

Just a Mannequin Sporting a Mohawk III, #BGwindows, Bergdorf Goodman, NYC
Just a Mannequin Sporting a Mohawk III
....yet she had a growing fan base and paparazzi to boot.....

Fans of Just a Mannequin Sporting a Mohawk, #BGWindows, #NYC
Fans of Just a Mannequin Sporting a Mohawk
A Singular Fan of Just a Mannequin Sporting a Mohawk, #BGWindows, #NYC
A Singular Fan (Stalker?) of Just a Mannequin Sporting a Mohawk II
Fans of Just a Mannequin Sporting a Mohawk II, #BGWindows, Bergdorf Goodman, NYC
Some Don't Slow Down & Some Stop and Stare
Just a Mannequin Sporting a Mohawk Causes Some Double Takes, #BGWindows, Bergdorf Goodman, NYC
Just a Mannequin Sporting a Mohawk Causes Some Double Takes
Paparazzi Stalking Just a Mannequin Sporting a Mohawk, #BGWindows, Bergdorf Goodman, NYC
Paparazzi Stalking Just a Mannequin Sporting a Mohawk
Mom, Grams, I Want to Grow up to be Just Like Her! #BGWindows, Bergdorf Goodman, NYC
Mom, Grams, I want to Grow up to be Just Like Her!

#NoPhotosPlease, Time for a Change in #theMet Special Exhibition Photo Policy

#punkexhibit #punkchaostocouture #themet #themetropolitanmuseumofart #punk #couture
#punkexhibit #punkchaostocouture #themet #themetropolitanmuseumofart #punk #couture
It's spring time in NY and fashionistas, actresses, and NY glitterati descended on the Metropolitan Museum of Art last week for the annual Costume Institute Gala.  Despite the open invitation to dress punk, not many guests took up the challenge.  Madonna was the most daring in her Givenchy jacket accessorized with a fish net body suit and pink pumps. Sara Jessica Parker sported a Mohawk hat by Philip Treacy.  Most of the other attendees were a bit of a snooze -- choosing pretty (and conventional) red carpet gowns over punk rock style.

Why punk you may be asking?  The gala marked the opening of the Costume Institute's 2013 show -- Punk:  Chaos to Couture -- an examination of punk's influence on couture.  It was an interesting -- not great -- show.   Like ALL Metropolitan special exhibitions, no photographs were permitted.  Given my current obsession with #Instagram (see my feed @nel234), I -- of course -- had to snap some furtive shots.   In the process discovering that the most explosive thing about the exhibit (aside from the recreation of the #CBGB men's room and the #VivenneWestwood t-shirts (too explicit to post here) was the "no photos please!" from the guards. 

#punkchaostocouture branding #themet
#PunkChaostoCouture Branding
Personally, I fail to see the logic of the Met's policy regarding NO photos in its special exhibits -- particularly given that one can snap freely in the permanent galleries.  I can only guess that they are hoping we will all buy the book -- which I was prepared to do.  Until I saw it that is, at which point I settled for a few small tchotchkes (or curios if you want to elevate them to that status).  It just did not channel the exhibition well enough (unlike the glorious Savage Beauty catalogue from the 2011 retrospective of the late Alexander McQueen's work).  

In an era where the for-profit world is paying "big" bucks to figure out how to generate product buzz via social media, it's pretty silly that an institution that is ABOUT visuals doesn't stream much of anything out in its special exhibitions.  Even sillier when you do a little research and realize that the Met has an official @MetGala and an official @MetMuseum feed over on Instagram (Twitter too).  One can find lots of great art on the @Metmuseum feed -- from the permanent collection but nothing that I could see from any special exhibitions.  

Fashion Note:  Since I'm not a fashionista, I can't presume to comment on the fashion that was included in the #Punk exhibit other than to say that I would have liked a bit more context than the Met chose to provide and the staging was a bit stodgy and disjointed.  That's not to say I didn't enjoy it, just that it could have been better.

Street:  If you are going to the Metropolitan to see the Punk Exhibit, make sure to stop into Street -- a video by James Nares that is accompanied by 3,000 objects from the Met's permanent collection (confession:  I've actually not made it past the video to the objects).  The video is nothing short of amazing.  Watch a short clip here.  

#punkexhibit #punkchaostocouture #themet #themetropolitanmuseumofart #punk #couture #CBGB
#punkexhibit #punkchaostocouture #themet #themetropolitanmuseumofart #punk #couture #CBGB

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Practicing My Pop

I have been practicing isolating a single tulip so that it pops out which is not as easy as some photographers make it look.  And, yes, this is another post with not many words (that first sentence sums up the photos quite nicely if you ask me).  If you are on the hunt for a meatier post this week (more prose, less photos) -- check out my musings over on GeriPal -- That Place between Youth and Scattered Ashes.

Tulips, English Garden, Conservatory Garden, Central Park, NYC
Unintentional Isolation
Tulip, Upper Westside Community Garden, NYC
Lots o' Zoom
Tulip, Upper Westside community garden, NYC
Fringe
Tulip, Upper Westside Community Garden, NYC
White on White
Tulip, Upper Westside Community Garden, NYC
Mellow Yellow
Tulips, Upper Westside Community Garden, NYC
Layering