Monday, June 30, 2008

I was in Times Square the other night

I love the collage elements that make up Times Square, the people, the signs, the buildings, the traffic. I love it all and I guess that is why I will never leave the city, though I am having a bit of withdrawal pangs living up here in nosebleed land above the GWB.

I used to say I got a nosebleed if I went above 42nd Street. Now, living off 181st Street, I find it is still within commuting distance to the lower 42 and beyond.

Anyway, this is what was going on in Times Square by the US Army Recruiting Booth the other night. The Booth, by the way, has been repaired since the bicycle bomb and was redesigned back in 1999. It fits in with the rest of the area a lot better with all the neon and sparkle and I guess it is now a destination for photo shoots.

The Times Square-ness of it all is also in the mix of passers-by and gawkers who feel totally at ease inserting themselves into the scene as it unfolds.


and of course, the fact that even the photographers leave the models alone sometimes and take pictures of the passing parade.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

the half-used journal stack

This is my stack of half-used journals. As you can see, I experimented with a lot of different bindings, different sizes, different papers.

When I moved I gathered these all in one place when I put my "studio" together, and there they sit. Now I am going to stare at them for a bit and figure out what I want in a studio journal. I know it can't be "precious" or I will NOT use it. I have proved that already.

I want something I can carry around with me. So that will limit the size somewhat. If I don't carry it around then I will start splitting things up again, and have one in my purse and one at home and they will never sync up.

I think I don't want a ring binding, since they take up space in my bag. The one that is the closest to full and has a lot of things I like in it is the biggest one near the bottom. I left that on my desk and glued things in it that grabbed my interest. That is what I want this journal to do. But I want it to be with me when I see those things, so half that size would probably work.

I am going to go stare at the assembled multitudes of journals in the studio. Something is going to work.

I forgot to do some links on that last post, and things are starting to heat up around here in ways that certainly include the temperature..

Lomo Dianas are here. The new Diana, in addition to having a removable lens so you can use it as a pinhole, also has a FISHEYE lens that you can add, and a flash. I am sure that one is somewhere in my future.. but up here above the GWB options for developing the film are rather thin on the ground. sigh... but CIVILIZATION does not just depend on shops that process 120 film. Look! you can see the Empire State Building from my backyard looking under one of the arches of the GWB.

Also, because my art focus has been fairly invisible or maybe that should be diffuse lately, I am trying an online course from Sharon B through I have been reading her blog for years even though I don't do much textiles focused art I am interested in it. So.. she is teaching a class called Studio Journals: A Designer's Workhorse and the description spoke to me. I did email and tell her that I was not a crazy stitcher but I wanted to incorporate a journal in what I do and she said go ahead and see what happens.....or words more polite to that effect. So here we go.

I have probably 20 "journals" that I have started over the years. I will stick a photo in here later.. but none of them got integrated into my life and served as what Sharon calls a "compost heap". I WANT a compost heap. I'll let you know how it all works out.

Now, just so there won't be an almost pictureless post, a pretty to end with. This was the first picture I ever sold, at the first show I ever entered. It is a collage of my photos and a painting and I had NO idea what I was doing.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I was saving this til I had the photos developed

but then I decided that might be months at the rate I am going, so...
B & H had a free seminar sponsored by the new Diana Cameras which have been re-created by Lomo.

There were free try-out cameras and free 120 Fuji film for all participants.

Needless to say, that caused a bit of a feeding frenzy, but at the end there was plenty of everything to go around and we all walked out with our cameras to try them out.

Some of the sponsor representatives had a bit of overkill or maybe it was over bling... but they were showing off their wares and it was fun!

Since the film was free, we shot everything that didn't move, at the Midtown Post Office where the steps and all the people on them were great fun, to the Chelsea pier area where we had boats and bikers and skaters and golfers to try this out on.

There were even a couple of vintage Dianas... isn't that an oxymoron?

Cute, though, isn't it? On the new Diana you can screw off the lens and it becomes a pinhole camera. You shoot 120 film and can set it up to shoot either 12 or 16 frames per roll. I have 3 rolls to get developed. I plan to get them in this week or ELSE! Color, slide and black and white, I tried them all, so you will eventually see what I get.

Friday, June 20, 2008

miles of garter stitch is done

This is the wedding present, the wedding is tomorrow, so I made it, even if it won't get to them til after the honeymoon. I LOVE it, I hope they do too!
This shows the edges, which are attached I-cord. Took almost 2 balls of yarn just for the edging, but it looks wonderful and gives it a nice support. I was tempted to leave the edges off, but seeing Jared's much bigger and heavier version convinced me it needed an edge.
This is it draped over the edge of the bed. I didn't double the yarn, so it is not way heavy and it is about 4.5 feet by 6 feet. An unusual size, I guess but it is what it is, and I think it is big enough for the living room sofa.

I think this is my favorite picture, you can see how the garter stitch going in different directions gives it an interesting texture.
HOORAY!!! the edging took a whole day, but it is all worth it right now.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tuesday...Alternate side of the street parking rules

If you don't live in New York, this car arrangement may look really odd.....

What you are looking at is two rows of cars double parked as far as the eye can see down the hill.

And as far as the eye can see UP the hill. They are all sitting there empty. Nobody in the driver's seat, just 2 neat rows of cars double parked .

It is around 11:45 on a Tuesday morning, and the other side of the street is totally empty waiting for the street sweeper to come by.

Once the sweeper is gone, as long as it is close to 12:30, everyone saunters out and moves their car to the other side of the road and the double line of parked cars goes away.

There are the occasional hitches, but if, as in this instance there are doormen around, they seem to be able to juggle cars if someone on the inner row wants to get out.
The real hitch occurs when someone comes along and parks in a spot while someone else is across the street in the double rank and then there is not enough space. That can get exciting.

And on Thursday, the people on the other side of the street get their turn to play.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Did you know it was Flag Day?

According to The Port Authority Website:

"The George Washington Bridge is home to the world's largest free-flying American flag. The flag, which is located under the upper arch of the New Jersey tower, drapes vertically for 90 feet and flies freely, responding to breezes from the Hudson River or Palisades. The flag's stripes are approximately 5 feet wide and the stars measure about 4 feet in diameter. Weather permitting, the flag is flown on the following eight holidays: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, and Veterans Day."

So today is Flag Day, although I will admit I didn't know that. There were also speedboat races on the Hudson. I didn't know about them, either, so I missed the big race upriver, though I got to the window in time to see probably 50 speedboats going upriver and to hear them too. I did get my camera out in time to see some of them come back down..

The hardest thing about living in New York City is that there is NEVER a way to know everything that is going on in the city on any day. It seems impossible to get a real handle on everything, and that is sad, because if I had known about the boat race I might well have taken Sienna down to the river and gotten better pictures. Aren't the boats great looking? The huge clump of them going North at the same time was amazing. I think if you live in other places if you make it your business to know what is happening you can do it. Here... no way dammit!!

However, it is raining downtown, not here, we just got some thunder and that was it. Some things you can miss easily!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I had a semi senior moment on Sunday

I mixed up the day of a class I was taking at B&H.. it is next Sunday ...sigh..

BUT, because I got all the way to 34th Street and 9th Avenue before I realized what was up, I got to spend some unscheduled money and time at B&H so I bought some Polaroid film for my Holgaroid before it all goes away, though they SAY the black and white Fuji fits in the small Polaroid back. We shall see, but I will be shooting a little bit of real Polaroid first.


I got to spend time at the A train station at 8th Avenue, which is right there at Madison Square Garden, the home of the circus.

The station has some wonderful murals and I stood there a long time watching people walk past them without really looking.

This guy is both interesting and a bit spooky, no?

"She" I think is spinning above the crowd. There are a lot of images in the tile here, zebras, no giraffes alas, clowns, monkeys, a fire eater, and some other acts, but what was interesting to me -because I am always looking for a story in these kinds of murals - was over on another wall.

This man with the hat and the briefcase looking at the little dog who was doing a trick.

Then, over on the Circus wall, you get this lit-from-the-front image of a man with a hat and a briefcase tossing off the briefcase and entering the big top.

Has he joined the circus, given up being a salary man and entered the center ring? I found myself hoping for that one.
Of course, the fact that I am re-reading Water for Elephants for book club probably helped me get to that interpretation, but it sure is fun to see that briefcase flying away and his arms in the air as he walks into the light .

Friday, June 6, 2008

tag, you're it .. well, sort of.

I'm supposed to list 6 unimportant things about me. I'm changing the game to make it 6 heretofore-generally-unknown-to-all things about me.

I am a Yankees fan. I watch almost every game, know all the "last year's" players by their numbers (if you are a Yankee fan you have to do that, since their names are not on their shirts. It is kind of like the subways in NY, a secret society that you have to know the password to be part of.) I miss Joe Torre and am having fits over this year's insanity. So there it is.

When flush toilets go, I want to be right behind them. I am NOT the person you want to take camping in the wilds of the world. I can stare at trees for a while, then I want them to DO something. I am a city kid. Always will be one which is why living beside the river but still in the city is the best of all possible worlds.

Barefoot. No shoes indoors, not ever, even in the dead of winter when the wind is blowing off the Hudson at 50 knots.

Would be the new Collyer Brother if left to my own devices. I am always seeing stuff on the street that I think might make great jewelry, great assemblage, etc, especially if it is run over by a truck. Forever tearing things out of magazines and newspapers to send to people who I think will appreciate them. I DO get a lot of them sent, also. Organization-R-Not-Us however.

I'm glue. Once you are in my list you are there forever. Ten years from now you can somehow expect to open an envelope and see something I found in the paper that made me think of you or get an email on your birthday because I save those too.

I am trying to make more art, do less work for hire. The last part is working out REALLY well, the first, not so much. I can find a million reasons to sit and look at things in the studio, and 2 million not to USE them.

I cry at every animal story on the news, every blasted ad for dogs and cats in shelters, every photo on a blog and am as big a supporter as I can be for A Place to Bark . (Bernie's blog doesn't seem to be working right now, but try again because her stories are worth the effort). Add sheep and goats to this list and you can see why Susan tagged me to start with.. Take a look at Truman and Ike, they will make you smile.

That's 7, but who's counting besides me?

Who to tag?

Gill, because she has nothing else to do (HA!) and is showing me up by accomplishing so much in the time that she has.

Grace because she was posting for a while and has slipped away from it, and her photos are interesting.

Clockwatcher because she needs to post more and maybe this will spur her to do it, though I think she is on vacation and no one should post on vacation.

as a side note, when you type that word, vacation, do you find yourself typing it in the rhythm of the song that spells it out? I do -- v - a - c - a -tion.

I would tag Nicki, Joey, Aaron, Ann W, Ann P, Harry, the list is endless.... but they are all blogless, so I guess that doesn't count.

Pauline because I love the printing she is doing now that her press is set up, and everyone should take a look.

Dee so she can stay busy since her dissertation is done,

Nadine who needs to find some artsy friends in San Francisco.

What the people I tagged are "supposed" to do:
The rules of the game are as follows:
1. Link back to the person that tagged you
2. Post these rules on your blog.
3. Share six unimportant things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your entry.

There, It is Finito! Enjoy.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

In the meantime..

I am still thinking about what to post for "unimportant things", in the meantime there is this.

When you enter my building you see a long hallway with the elevators at the end. They aren't always mopping the floor, though they are really good about keeping this place shiny.

When you are leaving the elevator you see the hall from the other end. See those windows? They look out on what I am calling the "prisoner exercise yard". Either side, a concrete slab with plants and trees cut off from any possible visitation by chain mail fences.

I KNOW it isn't chain mail but doesn't it perform the same function? ANYWAY.. there they are, empty. They are always empty. I go by them at least 3 times a day and I have only seen people out there twice in the past 6 months.
I guess they forgot to bring the prisoners out for their exercise.
If I were going to go to the annual coop meeting I would be forced to ask about them, but I am not going. I will send them my proxy, don't worry, but I did 11 years at the last place and I am giving myself a year off from worrying about the ubermanagement of the building I live in. Needless to say, I have some ideas, but 1 year is a full year.
So let the prisoner releases begin!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

miles of garter stitch second report

Miles and miles of garter stitch is piling up here above the GWB. You can see the occasional unwoven in end hanging off this pile of garter stitch, but it does look pretty all stacked up there, doesn't it?

I love the yarn - Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky in the color they call charcoal, but is a bit more purple than truly grey. I better love this color, I have a ton of it since I re-ordered in a fit of panic twice!

I had this nervous breakdown that I was not going to have enough, so I went back to the well and now I think I will have about 6 skeins left over. It's ok, I really do like the yarn, so something will happen with it, though I am generally not a chunky yarn knitter.

This is miss Clementine peeking out from behind the stack to give you some perspective. It is tall.

The afghan is an Elizabeth Zimmerman creation from the Opinionated Knitter and it is actually more interesting to knit than I thought it would be. Aside from the garter stitch, the corners are fun to knit and cleverly done and the edge is beautiful. I could add knit on I-cord, but the edge just as EZ designed it is really good looking..

This is more purple that the yarn really is, but doesn't that edge look fine!

It is a tossup for me about I-cord, but maybe I should do it anyway. This edge might catch on things and I guess the I-cord will protect it.

This last photo lets you see how the corners are formed with short rows. The stitching that forms is decorative.

Anyway, I hope she loves it and I HOPE I get it done in time to have it there by the end of the honeymoon. I think I am going to miss the wedding date....but she is a bride for a year, right?

AND, I got tagged for the 6 unimportant things about myself by Susan at Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm. Well, I am pondering, and will post that one tomorrow, I just can't sift out the unimportant at the moment, since unusual would probably have been more fun, but we shall see. Besides, there are people who don't "get" my knitting obsession, those who just looking at Clem on the screen makes them sneeze, those who are sure I am crazy for the telectroscope obsession and keep trying to tell me it isn't REAL, and those who are bored with that big old bridge in my backyard... So they would all have different definitions of "unimportant" so I will ponder some more.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Telectroscope again

The fantasy wrapping the Telectroscope is wonderful on its face. The idea of a tunnel under the Atlantic and a "telectroscope" that allows us to see each other is an interesting thing to ponder.

Even better though, is watching strangers on two continents waving and making faces and writing notes to each other. People who would never see each other in the "normal" world writing notes telling the person at the other end to "jump!" or "touch your nose". The skeptic behind me who kept saying "it's way later over would already be dark" laughing when people waved back at him.

It's not riveting theatre, it is interesting real life. Go, hang out a while. You will get hooked and you might make friends who will let you surf their couch the next time you visit.
You might even see a wedding party making interesting photos. This was my second trip to the Telectroscope and my second wedding party.