Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Walk in Palisades Interstate Park

Good morning everyone!

Yesterday I wrote about the showing of Mark Wiener's art at 1133 and 1155 Sixth Avenue - I hope you all make plans to go and see those two lobbies.  It is a terrific showing of great art.

And, I also want you to know that there is art not far from us - yet, across the river - that may be worth another sort of visit.

Earlier yesterday my friend Philippe and I went for a jaunt across the George Washington Bridge - and up the Palisades about 5 miles in Palisades Interstate Park to explore the nature of nature just across the great North River (as it's still called on some nautical charts).

The views are magnificent

Our walk was in the best weather: not too cool, not too warm, and sunny all the time.  I have never done this whole walk before.  Last time was just to Palisades Avenue, and then down through Englewood Cliffs, Englewood, and ending in Tenafly at the Cafe Angelique - with the bus back to Port Authority just a short walk away.

But this time that was less than half-way along the park's path.  We walked all the way to the Gate to the Greenbrook Sanctuary.  (If I can manage a membership there, well, that should be interesting!  Please check their website.)
Philippe takes a look across the river from the Rockefeller Lookout.
Then we crossed route 9W, and extended our walk into the Lost Brook Preserve, part of the 380 acres of the Tenafly Nature Center, onto the Little Chism Trail and trudged north to Hudson Avenue.  Yes, trudged!  The path was meandering, and although I knew by the map that it would get us where we wanted to go, Philippe's protestations that "we're going East!" were somewhat vexing; after all, this was new to me too!  

But, you see, I grew up in Tenafly and "knew" the place - sort of!  I hadn't gone on that path ever before.  And I still can't make out exactly why it's got that name: the Chisholm Trail was in Kansas where cattle were driven in the 19th century - but this didn't seem to be at all amenable to any sort of cattle!  

So, we got to the gravel section of Hudson Avenue, and making a left turn soon discovered (at least Philippe discovered it, I knew it was there) the Lambeer Mansion, which is a fine example of the French 2nd Empire style popular in the mid 19th Century.  The home was built in the 1860's, and is still a private home.  (Sorry!  No picture here - yet.)

But I am planning on offering you all a walk along these paths - promising much to discover! - in October, so stay tuned! 

Watch this blog - and check my website - for the announcement for this walk! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Mark Wiener Retrospective at 1133 and 1155 Avenue of the Americas

In the lobbies of two buildings on Sixth Avenue (or The Avenue of the Americas, if you insist) is a showing of the work of the late artist, and friend of mine, Mark Wiener (8/24/51 - 9/29/12), who passed away suddenly last year.  Having seen him create many pieces, and having brought people to see him and his wife, Linda, in their studio at 551 W. 21st Street, I feel a real sense of loss when I visited 1155 this evening for the opening of this show.

The lobby seemed a perfect venue for these exclamatory works.

The event was very populated with other artists and admirers, some of whom had come miles to see this.  Linda was the first person I recognized there - 

She was quite active - making sure people were welcomed, and enjoying their presence at what is more than just a show. 

But I looked at the paintings.  I admired their ability to capture my attention in different ways, each being from a different phase of his life and development.

He had said that the black and white paintings are reflections, in a way, of his impressions as he walked across town to his studio; his face like so many of ours looking down on the street, the sidewalk, the pavement sketched already with random and not-so-random markings, he was moved.  So, he called these works Street Markings. A wonderful conceit for this oeuvre.  His work leapt up - or, rather, out - at me: 

Often, when I dropped in on him and Linda at their studio I saw him working on one or more of these paintings.  But, he always had time for me, for visitors; he also always had time for all the other artists in the building too.  He is missed.  

I must go back - his paintings will be there and at 1133 through October; I must see and feel them again.

People are talking ....

Monday, September 16, 2013

The New Neighborhoods - are they Really New?

Oh, yes, New York City is more than full of neighborhoods - it's populated  with characters inhabiting them, and features of landscape unknown in nature.  One must walk and discover!

For example:
We always have the Empire State Building, right?  But New York is different at different times, places, and really, from different perspectives.  Where do you think I am to take this picture? 

And then there's geography that's been modified - and boy, how are city has been altered in these last twelve years: 

After walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, a friend an I discovered this bridge to - Pier One in Brooklyn Bridge Park!

Yes, this was quite an interesting bridge for Philippe, a structural engineer who simply loves bridges.  But so was where we ended up: 
In the woods on the - pier?

You have to get out more often!  That's all - see what's up, new, and what it's all about!  Walk!