Monday, October 29, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
NYC/ Queens/ L.I. Tour #4- Some Trees Grow in Manhattan
My artsy hommage to NYC architecture, its intersection with public art and "nature." Photo taken while eating lunch at this place near Rockefeller Center, on my way to MoMA.
(Glad you're enjoying the tour, Robbie!)
Going in chronological order. Coming up: Painting & Sculpture, Confluence, Cooper Union, Queens...
Saturday, October 27, 2007
NYC/ Queens/ L.I. Tour #3: New York Songlines
On the first day of my trip I was able to head into Manhattan, as my stepmother had prior plans. This is the first photo I took-- after stepping out onto the teeming sidewalks in the middle of morning rush hour, around 8:45am. (I was trying to get to the Metropolitan Museum right when it opened at 9:30am). Being on NY streets after about six years away was stressful. 'Frisco is a much smaller town with fewer people. I could barely get across the masses to get out of an exit at Penn Station.
I thought this was a very cool sculpture (click on it to see details). For a split second I thought it was a live dude, bronzed up to look like a sculpture; there are street performers who do that. (Whoa! Maybe that's how I can make some extra $$$!!!) I was so dazed when I took the photo that I didn't write down the title or artist's name-- however, thanks to the miracle of the Internets, I've been able to look it up off of this great website I found called New York Songlines, which describes itself as having virtual walking tours of Manhattan streets-- check it out!
Here's some info on the sculpture, it's in front of the following hotel on 34th Street:
150: Hotel built 1986 as the Dumont Plaza; includes the Spafumerie and Le Petit Spa. The statue of the artist out front is The Right Light, by J. Seward Johnson Jr.; he's painting a copy of the mural across the plaza, which was put up by Lillian Kennedy in 1988.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
NYC/ Queens/ Long Island Tour #2
Mom's gravesite, near Riverhead, Long Island.
Not sure why she doesn't get her last name on the marker, although it's a Military cemetery (my Dad served in the Navy) so maybe that's why. It's a pretty damned depressing marker, in my humble opinion. I guess that's the Military for you.
My parents are buried miles and miles away from each other-- kind of symbolic of their marriage. My stepmother entered the picture after Mom died and had no interest in having my father buried all the way out in Riverhead, so they chose a Jewish cemetery closer to Queens.
My stepmother was kind enough to drive me to visit both cemeteries on the only rainy day of my visit (the weather was very appropriate for this: gloomy).
I think I want my ashes scattered at sea.
NYC/ Queens/ Long Island Tour #1
I'm baacckkk! Home Sweet Home. Emotional/Sensory overload! Yesterday morning I was roaming the sidewalks of my childhood neighborhood in Flushing, NY, and this morning I am back in my adult home in 'Frisco, thanks to the modern miracle of airplane travel. (Spaceship travel coming: when?)
This trip was mostly about Dad, Stepmom and Mom, so I start off with a photo of Dad's grave...
Still workin' out issues of file size with Blogger. Original shot is in good focus; I'm not sure how this reduced version will look. I need to explore some photo-sharing options.
Monday, October 22, 2007
"I Love A Piano"
Yesterday was spent in Queens and Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. I wonder why it's called Sheepshead Bay? It probably looks like a Sheep's Head. Note to Self: look at it on a map. I've never been to that part of Brooklyn before.
My stepmother and a lady friend of hers were going to see a Sunday Matinee performance of a show comprised of Irving Berlin songs over at Brooklyn College and so I came along.
The show was like very good dinner theater. Not the kind of performing I'm used to: heavily miked, occasional hamminess and a few rough patches of singing. Wait a minute, I watch American Idol, what am I talking about-- of couse I'm used to that kind of performing! There was one performer I thought was excellent, he reminded me of a young Fred Astaire: Mark Baratelli. I immediately got an itsy-bitsy crush on him. I'm kind of desperate here out in No-Gay Mans'-Land! The average age of the audience at Brooklyn College was 65-70 or so. I thought: this is my future (if I'm lucky). Except I'll be going to see some musical based on the songs of Donna Summer or somebody.
My stepmother's friend Anita was a character, but then so are we all. She was very sweet. I met her kitties Lucia and Marcello and she showed me some amazing snapshots of her from when she was young-- there was one where she looked like she was right out of "Valley of the Dolls." We spent around an hour in the first part of the day in a beauty salon while she was finishing getting her hair done. Oy Oy Oy!
Today is more fun in Queens and Nassau County. We are going to see the film "Into The Wild," which I am looking forward to. Ellie and I are getting along very well, which I am extremely grateful for.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Cash and Vaudeville
Seems like a good name for this visit! Cash: because it's costing me a small fortune. Vaudeville: because family stuff is always like vaudeville.
Thanks for the recent comments, guys-- and Phinney, so sorry you couldn't meet up yesterday, but hopefully another time.
So the activities of yesterday: Midday, I met Aunt Nub at Grand Central Station, at the world-famous clock in the middle of the Concourse. Aunt Nub is an old pal from AOL Journals and we've stayed in touch through snail-mail, deco-books and care packages of Glinka confetti and stickers that she has so generously sent me over the years.
I dragged her all through the East Village, showed her the apartment I used to live in on East 12th Street, visited my alma mater Cooper Union and haunted the halls and studios on the painting floor, feeling hugely envious of the beautiful, light-drenched workspaces of the painting students. Aunt Nub was a patient companion for all this. We also had some pizza on St. Mark's Place and made an appearance at Trash and Vaudeville, this store that's been around forever, where you can now buy any item of clothing or accessories with a skull on it, which I think is incredibly corny, but whatever. We were the two oldest and squarest people in the store. Aunt Nub bought matching pairs of striped fingerless gloves for her and her hubby. How sweet! The salespeople at the counter were a trip-- a forty-something Keith Richards clone who was pickled from too much sex/ drugs/ rock & roll, emaciated, tattooed and scary, and a little punky girl who I thought was rather cute.
Then I rushed off to meet my old friend Val and her daughter Ivy, adopted from Cambodia around 5 years ago: I'd never met her. We had a fun but rushed visit in Central Park. Ivy and I rode the world-famous carousel! Ivy ate these lime-green pop-rock ices with artificial coloring which made health-concious Mom Val upset. Val's husband John met up with us briefly, and watched as Ivy ran around a big playground, trying to get lost but not succeeding.
I hadn't squeezed enough socializing in, so the last event of the day was having dinner with my Uncle and Aunt and my Aunt's brother and his partner... it was an amazing catch-up, very civilized with a lot of new information about my father and grandfather shared by my Uncle that I am just now beginning to process.
I was friggin' fried by the end of the day! I did too much. I wish I knew how to pace myself better, but I have limited time and a lot I want to do, people to visit...
Friday, October 19, 2007
Wow, intense trip. Photos to come, I haven't figured out how to download them from a remote location yet. I was able to visit both the Metropolitan Museum of Art (there to see a Rembrandt show) and MoMA yesterday-- the new MoMA building was wonderful-- so large and modern and full of great spaces to showcase the artwork. I could have spent all day there. Seeing some of the famous paintings brought me to tears. A Picasso: Les Demoiselles D'Avignon-- something like that-- so shocking and sexy and wrong and right all at the same time. (Kind of like this trip.)
Eating out in restaurants in Queens is a challenge; the portions are gigantic.
People yell at each other here a lot. It's weird. There's a guy yelling at his wife right now in the parking lot, as I type. No wonder my childhood was so f***ed!
Thursday, October 18, 2007
A Queen in Queens
Eeeks, I'm here. About to rush off into city to hit two museums and assorted other goals. Currently typing this out in the Floral Park Motor Lodge "Business Center."
Virgin America flight was pretty cool. Touchtone screen with good music. Crappy TV. Could've paid $8 for a movie but I am trying to scrimp where I can. Smaller plane, fewer lines. I liked it.
You haven't tasted fine cuisine until you've dined at a Queens Diner...
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
I'm trying to plan the perfect vacation/trip, which is impossible, especially when visiting family is involved! It's like trying to plan the perfect Thanksgiving or Christmas. A surefire recipe for stress.
I used to create these artsy grids on my old AOL journal; there were some simple graphic capabilities I'd figured out back then that I've never taken the time to duplicate over here. Just thought I'd resurrect one today.
I need some calming Glinka-Buddha energy!
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Today's Blogging Action
It is taking place just a click away over at GlinkArt4Sale.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Monday, October 08, 2007
St. Francis Update
The press conference where my artwork appeared was held last Thursday. Unfortunately, our charismatic and pro-big business mayor Gavin Newsom, who has never spent a day in his life wondering how he was going to pay for his next meal, decided to hold a competing press conference at a location away from City Hall and drew all the major media away with him! He was making headlines all last week regarding his plans to make police sweeps of a tourist neighborhood downtown and hand out more citations against the homeless, while throwing out some misleading statistics about how he's helping to get these people off the streets.
Dirty politics, to be sure.
I have liked Newsom because of his outspoken support of Gay Marriage, but I had turned a blind eye to other policies of his that clearly do not favor the underpriviledged and disenfranchised. I am torn now about how I feel about him. He's up for re-election (hence, another crackdown on a convenient scapegoat: homeless people). I want to vote for someone else.
Two other liberal city supervisors did come to our press conference and spoke with passion about the work of Sister Bernie (seen in photo standing next to St. Francis) and her colleagues.
Anyway, the display looked great and my art looked great-- a flaw or two bugged me, but overall it was a very successful project. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to do it and to meet these folks.
There were several inspiring speakers at the event and in the end Religious Witness With Homeless People got enough media coverage to make it all worthwhile. They got their message out: that criminalizing homelessness and spending tax dollars on citations and arrests is an ineffective and non-compassionate response to this problem.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
It looks like I'm going to be revving up my Art Blog again-- GlinkArt4Sale. The complicated reason: I had some cheapo business cards printed up yesterday that I can take to the St. Francis press conference, and in an effort to keep some uniformity with my chosen name, Grove Wiley- the name I'm also using to sign my artwork, I had to go with the "GlinkArt' blogsite rather than the "Albert's World" blogsite.
This main blog will continue on, but I'll promote my artwork on the GlinkArt site as well-- that is, until I get one website that incorporates all my names (somehow!).
I used a B&W reduction of "The Sad Abstract Expressionist Clown Reaches Out to Grasp a Flower" on the business cards. It translated surprisingly well. The young woman behind the counter at Kinko's said that she would hang it on her wall. :-) Unfortunately, I don't think that anyone living on a Kinko's salary can really afford an original oil painting of mine, even at the bargain rate I'm currently selling them for, but still it was nice to hear.