Month: May 2014

reflecting on the ride

One of my favorite things to do is to find a quiet corner on the Staten Island Ferry and wait.  The large windows and bright light make a perfect nighttime reflective screen and the results are pretty cool, at least to me.  

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So, next time then…

 

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a little scott joplin…

A small neighborhood gathering with really good music, free food and beer thrown in and a chance encounter with a Rock Star.  That is how I spent a day this holiday weekend. 

The Event: the annual Scott Joplin Concert and BBQ at St. Michaels Cemetery in East Elmhurst, Queens.

 The Band: The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra.

The Rock Star:  that part comes later and down below.

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Local Queens Council Member, Costa Constantinides chatting up the press before the start of the show.

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The line for the BBQ (hamburgers and hotdogs).

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Yup,  that’s him…..

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Rock Stars eat hotdogs, at least Ric Ocasek does.  

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And yes,  that is his wife, Paulina Porizkova.  

The orchestra was brilliant and the skies held off just long enough,

The view from Astoria Blvd on the way home.

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Just in the knick of time.

So, next time then…

 

sphinxing on the sweet side…

So, there is this exhibit at the Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn that everyone is buzzing about.  It has been in all the art blogs, written up in the New York Times, etc… lots of press.  I read a few of them and still really didn’t know what to expect or how I would react.  I told the son it was likely, given what I had seen, that I would spend the entire time in fits of giggles.  What would be laughable? Well, a humongous sugar sphinx that somehow resembles a topless Aunt Jemima for starters.  Of course I realize there really is deep meaning in the work and how it addresses the horrible injustices done by the sugar industry but…  How do I put this simply,  I am hopelessly immature in most instances, probably another side effect of chasing rabbits and everything else that moves.

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The line stretched a long ways along the construction wall in front of the factory, so the first thought was not again,  an overcrowded over long wait.  But luckily it moved quickly and before you know it we were at the front and headed down the path.  I thought immediately of Willy Wonka and the magical gates opening for Charlie,  golden ticket in tow.

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The first view inside of the Sphinx in the distance. The size alone made me immediately rethink any thought of a giggle, scraping my jaw off the floor and resisting the urge to skip around the space took immediate precedence.  And then there was the space, oh the space, cavernous, empty and still thick with the smell of years and years of molasses cooked in its giant furnaces.  

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Another surprise, the sugar babies, statues made of resin and then coated with molasses and brown sugar.  Melting into puddles at their base each carried a basket full of molasses jewels.

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Unlike so many other “happenings” in NYC this one never felt crowded, largely due to the enormity of the venue.

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And there she was, looming over the crowd in all her glory…

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I came away profoundly glad I went.  She was beautiful and awe inspiring.  I also came away sad, sad that we are losing another one of those irreplaceable spaces in the name of high-priced housing and the quick buck for developers.  It is a disgrace that the factory is being demolished.  I am all for progress, but I am also a firm believer that our history grounds us and is essential to a positive evolution as a society.  When we lose spaces like this, we lose a piece of who we are.  

For more about the artist, Kara E. Walker and the Sugar Sphinx:

http://creativetime.org/projects/karawalker/

For more about the Domino Sugar Factory:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domino_Sugar_Refinery_(Brooklyn)

So, next time then…

 

the random files – somewhere in and around the lower east side and some

The Street Art Series continues.  Took a walk through the normal haunts the other day to see what might be new. The wonderful thing about street art is how it continues to change and evolve.  We will start on Houston around Bowery.  The Bowery wall is for the well established artist, the big names.  Rag and Bone while a much smaller wall is also starting to attract some great work, both change regularly.

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Just a month or so ago a tribute to Phillip Seymour Hoffman graced the side of the container below,  Now it is part of a project honoring women from the Lower East Side.  The ever-changing aspect is a huge part of the allure.  It means I can walk the same neighborhood and see something entirely different each time.  For those with extreme ADHD that is about as close to Nirvana as one can get.

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After a few brushes with Delancey Street we end up back around in Little Italy another part of the ephemeral NYC palette. 

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I have photographed Audrey before,  she has become rather iconic.  Something about the energy with these people seemed to fit, so for now this is my Audrey capture.

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Gotta love Buff Monster, one of my favorites.  

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Walk on dude,  walk on…  always on the hunt for the next fix…

 

the way back…

I had read that they would be running a special nostalgia “train of many colors” out to the 50th World’s Fair Celebration on Sunday. So we set off determined to find the train.  I love when the universe is in on the plan, because we had no more than stepped off of the N at Queensboro Plaza when it pulled in.  Reactions were mixed.  I was like a kid in a candy store because I didn’t grow up in NYC.  I don’t remember cars with handles instead of bars. My husband has been riding the subway way too long so the shine is off the apple for him, he wasn’t nearly as thrilled.  

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Some of the funnier moments:  The man who complained to the Conductor about having to ride an old car. The Conductor told him a newer one would be along next if he wanted to step off and wait.  The British couple who went on and on about how London was so progressive and NYC was backward and these subway cars were proof.  The train geek who chewed the ear off of the Conductor for stop after stop in a voice that could fill Shea Stadium… who then complained about the annoying kids asking the Conductor questions.

And to the people who got on and off as part of their every day existence who didn’t even lift their heads from their phones to notice they had taken a step back in time,  I hope you take the time to savor the small moments some day.  They are what make life worth living, they fill in the picture with all the colors, sounds, smells and sparks that make it complete.

 

64 again..

Big doings in Flushing Meadows Park today, another one of those anniversaries.  If you remember last month the son and I spent a day waiting in line with masses of our NY neighbors trying to get a peak inside the NY State Pavilion at the 1964 World’s Fair.  If you missed it, here is a link:  https://bytegirlphotography.com/2014/04/22/it-was-50-years-ago-today

Today the masses were once again in attendance at the Fair Ground celebrating 50 years since Opening Day.  I love walking through events like this and taking photographs,  but as always I come away thinking there are way too many people in NYC.  

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And just how did we get to the park today?  Come back tomorrow for the pictures and story.

it’s all greek to me…

Time in Astoria for the 40th Anniversary of the Greek Festival put on by the Hellenic Orthodox Community.  Astoria, Queens is known for many things always something new to discover around ever corner.  Within a few blocks you can travel the world in culture and cuisine.  A continual mainstay has been its strong Greek Community, one of the largest in the United States.  

Friday night was a soggy, drenched mess. The downpours put a damper on the festivities.  But last night the weather was perfect, slight breeze, crisp spring air. 

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St. Demetrios Cathedral boasts that they have the largest Greek Orthodox School in the United States.

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So many great things going on,  stay tuned for a visit with a sweet sphinx and maybe a trip back in time or two…

 

hood hoppin’

Just a few shots from around the neighborhood.  Cab driver took a different route the other day on the way from the airport, passed a few things I hadn’t seen before, so of course I had to investigate.

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One of the busiest corners in Astoria, even in the cold and rain people stand in line for their Souvlaki.  The Son prefers a different cart up near Steinway Street. So many choices 🙂

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This is the wall that intrigued me from the cab window.  It started to sprinkle and the sky grew scary so we had to hurry on.  Definitely want to go back and investigate more.

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Busy weekend ahead.  Hope everyone has something fun and interesting planned.

the random files – street art on the move

Tomorrow is a travel day, heading back to NYC for a couple of weeks.  Gotta see those nice young sailors during fleet week if nothing else.  So what better for the theme of travel than a collection of NYC street art that is always on the move? 

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Back at you soon from NYC and as always if you know any of the artists please let me know who they are so I can tag appropriately.

just another saturday in santa fe…

The Plaza is the heart of Santa Fe.  Even though it is surrounded by stores way too expensive for the average Santa Fe resident to even consider shopping in, there is still a sense of belonging and ownership when it comes to the Plaza.  Santa Feans have been gathering on the Plaza for generations.  Today was no exception,  beautiful spring weather, a jamming band and even a politician or two.  

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Another Saturday come and gone…