Showing posts from June, 2013

A Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge

I hadn't walked across the Brooklyn Bridge since I did it with my friend Ann on a cold and gloomy day.  It was a leg on her farewell tour taking in the sights of NYC before she left for points West.  We spent a couple of weekends tooling around the city -- including a visit to the Noguchi Museum and Socrates Peace Park, both in Long Island City.  That was back in the day when Socrates was just a wide open field where artists would create sculptures out of whatever was lying around.  In terms of memories, that day has always stuck with me and I am sure there are some photos in the paper archives.  I most remember the orderly precision of Noguchi's work space and museum juxtaposed with the happenstance nature of Socrates.  Both beautiful.  Each in its own way.

This latest walk across the Bridge was on a late spring day with my niece Julia.  It started with the obligatory stop to gaze up at the Freedom Tower and some quick iPhone photos of children playing in the fountain that s…

Freedom Tower, #NYCStreetViews

When we moved to our new offices in 2011, I did not realize that I would be able to watch the Freedom Tower rising up above the buildings that surround it.  Lately, I seem to be spending a bit more time at street level which offers a whole new perspective on things. Most of my photos are quick snaps with my iPhone that are sent to Instagram:

Saturday I stopped by the Tower on my way to walk the Brooklyn Bridge with my niece Julia AND my camera.  Now why I chose to do these shots with a wide angle lens escapes me but that's what I did and below is what I got.

Alone in a Crowd: #NYCPianoParty

Sunday was a grand finale party -- a veritable crescendo of color and sound as #88pianos came together on the Josie Robertson Plaza at Lincoln Center before being disbursed to their new homes in schools, community centers, and health organizations.  I am sure they will be loved wherever they may land.  Yesterday, I wrote about the Lift to Begin Piano by James Alicia.  And I've chronicled about Sing for Hope, the nonprofit that puts this extravaganza together, in I am Opus the Octopus, and i love Music (other posts that I've written about the #SFHpianos are For My Grandma and The Loneliest Pianos).

It was busy at Lincoln Center as the spring crafts fair was also in full swing -- lots of traffic coming and going, piano playing, and hourly concerts.  Not to mention the free Chobani yogurt (thank you Chobani) and t-shirts (thank you Sing for Hope) that were available on the plaza.  My niece and I were just finishing up our tour of the pianos and the crafts fair when I spotted this…

Lift to Begin: #NYCPianoParty

Today was the last day of the Sing for Hope piano exhibition that has been gracing the streets of NYC for the last two weeks.  I managed to see eleven of the 88 pianos "in situ" (I am Opus the Octopus, and I Love Music, For My Grandma, and The Loneliest Pianos).  Today brought an opportunity to see them all in one place at Lincoln Center on the Josie Robertson Plaza.  It was quite something to see all 88 ringing the fountain and it will take more than one blog post to present them (if, in fact, I got pictures of all 88).

It's interesting to review my photos as there were some pianos that I was clearly drawn to based on the number of photos and taking into account that my first approach was to follow the concentric circles of pianos with my iPhone.  This was followed by a more haphazard approach with my camera (the very light SP-590 Utz by Olympus which fits into a pocketbook).  I sent a photo of the Lift to Begin piano out on Instagram and James Alicia, the artist, lef…

The Junk Man

I was tooling around Central Park last weekend on the 2nd day of my quest to see the pianos in the 2013 Sing for Hope exhibition (I am Opus the Octopus and i love MusicFor My GrandmaThe Loneliest Pianos).  It was hot and the Play Me Piano was the third stop of the day.  After almost expiring of the heat the day before (figuratively, not literally), I was taking more time to relax and so was sitting on a bench in the shade watching the crowds go by and considering whether to relax with a mani/pedi or soldier on to the next piano on my list. 
Cherry Hill is a bit of a crossroads in the park -- it's a loading point for pedicabs, a stopping point for horse-drawn carriages, and a photo opportunity for tourists on the path from the Imagine circle to the Bow Bridge and Bethesda Fountain.  New Yorkers gather under the ginkgoes that sit atop the hill overlooking the Cherry Hill Fountain and on the benches that surround it.   
It is not the sort of place where one can overlook a homeles…

Portraits from a Sunny Day in June


The Loneliest Pianos - #NYCPianoParty

In my hunt for the pianos that comprise the 2013 Sing for Hope piano exhibition (see I am Opus the Octopus, and i love Music for more on the exhibition), I've pretty much been able to catch people playing the piano.  Of the adults, some folks played well and one even played and sang his own compositions (I'll chronicle those on another day).  The kids have been the most fun -- particularly the little ones who just can't seem to get enough of the piano keys even when they probably haven't gotten past their first piano lesson.  Both of these pianos are worth a visit and I suspect that there are times of day where they are not the loneliest pianos in the five boroughs.

In my journey's, there have been two pianos with nary a pianist in sight for the time I was visiting with them.  I had trouble finding the first one.  Hot and tired after a trek down from Rockefeller Center (see For My Grandma), I had actually sat for a while near the permanent piano that graces Bryan…

Before the #SFHPianos there was.....

...the #LEGO barrel organ in Times Square.

Featuring scenes from Star Wars, the hand-cranked organ weighs 800 lbs and plays -- what else? -- the theme from Star Wars.  It was not the star of the show but it still drew quite a crowd on a rainy Saturday in Times Square.

Always fun to see a photo of mine tweeted:
Did we just play a hand in finding the next Billy Joel? For more:…
— Chobani (@Chobani) June 8, 2013 Thank you @Chobani!  See the full post at I am Opus the Octopus and i love Music.

For My Grandma - #NYCPianoParty

I am currently on the hunt for the pianos that comprise the 2013 version of Sing for Hope's 88 piano installation that has taken over New York city.  In  I am Opus the Octopus and I Love Music, I chronicled my visit to the piano that is located outside the Dairy in Central Park.  Today's post is about the piano in Times Square.

A small confession -- I typically don't love to visit Times Square as it is usually packed and, for the most part, it's the out-of-town visitors who are thronging the area.  I've been twice in the past month -- the first time to see the Star Wars fighter (biggest Lego model EVER) and the second time to see the piano.  The fighter was a little easier to find -- occupying as it did a prime place near the stairs that serve as a gathering place for folks who want to get above the fray.  The piano, on the other hand, was tucked off to the side -- right next to the Rickshaw Dumplings kiosk if you want a good hint as to how to find it.   When I d…

I am Opus the Octopus and I Love Music - #NYCPianoParty

New York city has more than its share of public art -- both permanent and ephemeral -- and a couple of weeks ago I decided that I would get out and see as much of it as I could this summer.  I chronicled my first expedition in Art. Sofa. Rope. (a temporary installation in Madison Square Park) and Expedition Keith Haring (a permanent piece of Haring's work up at 128th & 2nd Avenue).

Those excursions sandwiched a detour to see the Duke Ellington Memorial (nice, but why are there naked women (er caryatids) holding up the Duke and his grand piano?) and a quick dip into the Conservatory Garden to escape the city heat and visit my beloved gardens.

This past weekend saw me out and about looking for the artistic creations that comprise the 2013 version of the Sing for Hope pianos.  The mission of Sing for Hope is simple -- to make art accessible to all (#artforall).  Once the exhibition is over, each of the pianos will find a home in a school, community center, or health care institu…

Peonies in Bloom

I have a vase from my grandmother that she would use for peonies every spring.  It's bronze with gold accents and it reminds me of her.  I can see it sitting on a dark mahogany table in the entry way of their house in Brooklyn.  A house filled with lace doilies and red velvet clad furniture, and come spring, the scent of peonies.  I don't know if my grandmother ever visited the Conservatory Garden in Central Park -- I do know she would have loved the way it comes alive in spring time.  She would have loved the peonies.