As someone who lives and walks this city daily…my blog is all about delving a little deeper, seeing what it has to offer, and capturing the true essence of New York City. Whether you live in Gotham, or just visiting…feel free to look around my blog. Bet you might find something new to do!
P.S. As of the end of April 2013 my more personal postings will now be at The Next Few Years.
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Monthly Archives: January 2012
Confetti + Silly String = FUN FUN FUN in Chinatown!
Often ignorance is bliss and last night was one of those times.
Having walked in the rain from the Howard Greenberg Gallery to see the Vivian Maier exhibit, a cozy bar to duck into was in order to cut the chill. Something close to 25 Central Park West as the next stop was to attend the PWP’s opening reception, 22 imaginings. But before I continue, let me tell you a little about both of these events. First, if you aren’t familiar with Vivian Maier’s work, her photography was recently discovered by a young man (John Maloof) in Chicago. He came across thousands of rolls of film, prints and negatives of Vivian’s work at a local auction house. These images were shared with virtually no one in her lifetime. She was a master of self-portraits and concentrated mainly on children, women, the elderly and the indigent. Her photography is just incredible. There’s only a few days left of her exhibit here in the city, so if you’re in the area this is a must see. Now on to the Cuba exhibit. Exhibits at 25CPW are always enjoyable and the images captured by 22 incredible photographers’ journey to Cuba did not disappoint. A great space to showcase photography, but very intimate as well. The talent in this group is mind blowing and I’m so happy to be a member!
OK, now its time to go to the ignorance is bliss part. There’s a small red awning located on West 68th Street with Joanne written on it. A glance through the window revealed a warm cozy atmosphere. Yep, exactly what’s needed to take the chill away. A grey goose on the rocks fit the bill, and Zack our bartender was excellent with his pour(s). While chatting, a woman approaches and introduces herself as Cynthia and offers to give us a tour of the restaurant. Not realizing it upon entry, the restaurant wasn’t officially open yet. Just the bar was “open” and she was so eager to showcase the adorable outside back patio, the chef’s table for private dining, as well as make introductions to the chef and others. Local, small, warm, a good pour at the bar and a wood fired oven in the kitchen immediately told me a return visit was in order.
So imagine my surprise this morning when I checked out their website (which is still in the works) and made the connection. This is the restaurant that is owned by Lady Gaga’s parents. Cynthia is her mother. I am so happy for the ignorance part. It made the introduction so much more exciting AFTER connecting the dots! Absolutely, a return visit is in order and if last night’s experience is any indication as to their future success, I can tell you Lady Gaga herself is NOT needed here. Her parents have it going on! So happy to have this restaurant in the hood here in the Upper West Side. Stay tuned for a future review!
This week I had an epiphany about my photography!
But, let me back up. I mentioned a few posts ago that I’d started an on-line photography class, Susannah Conway’s Photo Meditations. Besides her incredible teaching style (and UK accent!) the fabulous part about this class is sharing photos from our weekly assignments and receiving feedback from other classmates. Every day I carve out time to view and comment on the work of others and since there are so many, one can’t take the time to study them all. So I click on a photo and only if it immediately speaks to me do I comment. (And as mentioned before, receiving comments on your photography in your in-box throughout the day is SO uplifting!)
Well what I’ve found out about my photography is that I’m finally honing in on what I love to photograph and what I love to look at.
Wabi – Sabi.
If you’re familiar with the term then I applaud you. I on the other hand, had never heard of it. The term and short write-up in Catherine Anderson’s book, The Creative Photographer, caught my eye. She explains that wabi-sabi is all about seeing beauty in the old. As she mentions, we often pass right by old things, not noticing the beauty in the color of the patina on an old pipe or the peeling of paint on an old door. She goes on to talk about how society emphasizes the beauty of the young, but often fails to notice the amazing beauty of an elderly person whose experiences are shown in their wrinkles and wise eyes. The page in her book stopped me dead in my tracks. I realized for the first time, I see with wabi-sabi eyes. The beauty in the elderly, the vintage pieces I collect, the photos I love to capture of old wood, rust patterns, and peeling paint. So much beauty comes with age.
But I needed to learn more. So this week time was spent on the internet to research wabi-sabi to better understand the term and to make absolutely sure it’s a word that will apply to my photography.
Now let me back up even more. My love has always been for old stuff; vintage, worn, used, rustic, primitive, handcrafted. I’ve collected so many items from my parents and grandparents; quilts, dinnerware, knitted sweaters, hats, and many household items too numerous to mention. Several years ago after spending a long time visiting an elderly man, his daughter gave me his black leather chair when he passed away. Every time I look at that chair I think of my 96 year old friend sitting and reading his New York Times. There’s no trading any of these items for the world. The list goes on and on.
But I hadn’t connected my love of old stuff with my photography until this class. You see wabi-sabi is the ancient Japanese art of finding beauty in things that are imperfect, old and worn. Salvaged materials, handcrafted, vintage. There’s a subtle spiritual side to it as well, as its roots lie in Zen Buddhism. (Can it get any more perfect?) In Robyn Griggs Lawrence’s books (writer and speaker on topics ranging from green building to spiritual design to organic gardening) it’s all about “appreciating the simple and letting go of the superficial – the perfect antidote for a society in recovery from a decades-long consumerist binge.”
Now let me go a step further. How nicely this fits in with my desire to help with Alzheimer’s through reminiscence photo therapy. Ahhh…it’s all coming together!
So much to say, so much to learn, so much to do with this new found direction! Now it’s off to spend a day at the New York City Public Library to learn all about wabi-sabi because there’s nothing better than turning the page of a real book! Stay tuned!
Wabi suggests freshness and simplicity. Sabi describes a beauty that is burnished by age…It’s a zen notion, a fleeting, imperfect accidental beauty – unpretentious, simple and intimate. Wabi-sabi is akin to the inherent beauty within, something you can’t put your finger on…to open your senses to every detail, every glimmer, every breath of the breeze. That is all part of wabi-sabi. Daisuke Utagawa
Love, sex, adolescence, Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin…need I say more?
Just finished Joyce Maynard’s novel, Labor Day. Taking place in a small town in New Hampshire, at the beginning of Labor Day weekend, the story is told through the eyes of a young teenager. His divorced, emotionally fragile mother is his only company and life changes drastically when a mysterious man asks for help. Over the course of a long weekend, some of life’s most valuable lessons are learned.
How exciting to learn that her novel is currently being developed as a motion picture that Paramount Pictures will distribute, directed by Jason Reitman and starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin. Production is scheduled to begin this summer in Massachusetts.
Oh, and what do apples have to do with it? Well you’ll just need to read the novel or wait for the movie to find out! A great read!
Mister Lincoln, Bing Crosby, Nancy Reagan, along with Double Delight, Raspberry Swirl, and Peace were just a few of their names. There were so many others. Every spring, new family members, always looking bare and homeless, would arrive. But in no time, after care and support from my parents, the new additions would be as beautiful as all the others.
The rose garden produced many gifts over the years. My dad loved giving roses to everyone; family, friends and strangers. I was spoiled with roses while living on the farm, and after I moved to Arizona yellow roses would always be waiting for my return visits. Yellow would aways bring to mind feelings of warmth and happiness. Over time, without even realizing it, yellow roses became a symbol of love between my father and me. No words were ever needed.
One day I looked up the meaning of the yellow rose. No surprise. “One of the things that make the yellow rose so special is that it indicates a true friend and a true friend is a rare and wonderful gift. There is perhaps no other flower that’s able to bring out a smile quite the way a yellow rose can. Joy, gladness, friendship and ‘I care‘ are several words that routinely describe the yellow rose.”
So there’s also no surprise that the only rose in my Arizona backyard is a yellow one. And after all these years, it continues to flourish and produce the most beautiful roses.
So turning the tables, guess what showed up on the farm along with lemons from the backyard?
No words needed.