Saturday, February 28, 2009

Any trip, unless one is driving, from the Cape to New York involves Boston. There is a Bonanza bus that leaves Hyannis and meanders through Rhode Island then invariably gets caught in rush hour traffic in Connecticut which is almost unbearable. I like the train that runs down the coast; the harbor in New London and the Long Island Sound are so pretty, day or night. This is the park on the Back Bay side of the Charles River. Says Boston all over, at least to me.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Taken from the end of the boardwalk that transverses the moors, the remains of a previous one crossing the last of the marsh before the cove becomes the bay, there is no better place to watch the sun set in Yarmouthport. In fact, it is quite the popular destination; the evening I took this, snapping away and ignoring the little crowd on the deck with me, I was interrupted by one of the residents who asked if I'd like him to take my picture in front of the sunset for me. I was appalled, I didn't say so but I was, the very idea, my face in front of this, no way. 

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Now I ask you, who wouldn't want to live here? The last time I was in Yarmouthport, a bad Nor'Easter had blown through two days before and flooded the cove. These docks were visible under the water and there was soggy seaweed fifteen feet up the beach. The boardwalk over the moors was missing planks that the rising water had knocked out. Dramatic, but with the sun shining, it was still as beautiful as ever.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Outside a Gorey House window, and guarded by dense, wasp filled, lilac bushes, is a cluster of little tombstones for the characters in the Gasklycrumb Tinies. ("A is for Amy who fell down the stairs, B is for Basil assaulted by bears"...) Too hard to shoot, I simply admired them, and later shot this ancient cemetery, on a suitably gloomy Sunday, beside the road to Grey's Beach, instead.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Edward Gorey House is in Yarmouthport; once his home, it is now a museum. They have his famous fur coat on display, the one he wore in The Unstrung Harp, as did a skeleton on the cover page of The Vinegar Works, among other books. I acquired a pair of his little etchings there, one is of a dead tree with several eerie birds. Perhaps it was one of these two trees. Maybe not, but they are uncannily similar.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I'm not ready to go back to New York; let's take a little vacation, shall we? 
This is Grey's Beach in Yarmouthport on Cape Cod, we will be visiting here for the next few days because it is so lovely. 
One of my dearest friends, a former born and raised New Yorker, lives here now and I go as often as I can. Most of the people she knows on the Cape are former New Yorkers as well. How I wish I could be there as a former New Yorker myself. These two shots are actually the same spot; in the duskier one, I'm closer to the rocks. You can swim in this cove, although it's surrounded by moors that have a murky smell of muddy as opposed to sandy beaches. Beautiful though, perfect for walking and sunbathing. And photography. It's all about the light on the Cape, as you can see.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Not New York, obviously, this is Martha's Vineyard. After several months of negotiating with a gallery for a job there and finding an apartment through the internet that I adored, I went up for a few frigid days and had my heart set on living in Edgartown. What? You thought I'd never leave Manhattan? Get real. But, as fate would have it, because of crisis in the gallery owner's family life, the deal crashed and burned. I can not begin to tell you how disappointed I was, am, and today is the first anniversary of having that dream crushed. So, in memory, here are two visions from that fantasy; now, let's move on.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Speaking of birds and the Houston Street pier, here is a gaggle of geese shot from the side of the pier which faces north. 
That's the Christopher Street promenade in front of the glassed-in high rises on Perry Street with the Empire State Building in the background.
The same geese, a few minutes later, having followed them around the corner and  facing west along the backside of the Houston Street pier with the wide old benches where the homeless like to take their afternoon naps, as they paddle onward gazing at the ever changing but always fabulous spectacle of the harbor and beyond.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I like things with wings. My other blog is about the angels I paint, and I'll get a butterfly for my next tattoo, once I figure out where to put it. I also like birds, and have had many parakeets, such happy creatures, but oh so fragile. Now I'm down to just one parrot, Pacino, my funny Senegal, whose Cockatiel companion, Dante, died a week after 9/11 because his cage was too close to the window that was open that terrible day.
This tern, with his sweet scarlet feet and beak, sat with me on the Houston Street pier, close enough for me to touch him, for almost an hour. He occasionally took a spin with his friends, dipping and screaming, but always came back to join me. No begging, a little eye contact; just keeping my company.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

They've been renovating the water front for many years, eventually it will be a park running from the Battery up to Columbia, unless Trump gets his way and builds yet another unnecessary  monument to himself in the form of a complex of some magnitude. Can you tell I don't like him? 
But I digress, and I'm rarely that far north anyway, so it doesn't really matter to me. I'm all about the strip below 14th Street, although these two images were taken on the abandoned ruin of a pier in Chelsea. Thirty years ago, they were all like this; in fact, the one that used to be by Christopher Street collapsed late one night with a number of anonymous lovers on it and several of them drowned.
They built over the old moorings, which can't ripped out because of environmental issues, and now it's a big green lawn for the anonymous lovers to loll around on. Each pier has its own personality, this one in Chelsea is almost always empty and would be a good place to jump from if one were so inclined. Easy to climb over barriers and no one to stop you, at least for now. This pier feels bigger than the others, perhaps because it is so desolate, and some day, I'm sure it will be a fabulous addition to the water front renovation project, unless they pave it over as a parking lot, although it's pretty fabulous right now. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Two twilight shots of Jersey City, I love the lights in the windows as they come up at dark. For whatever reason, they make me think of jewelry. Almost too much, like some satin Vienna Waltz party dress, fussy and full of glitter and color. I'm especially fond of that big red clock and the thin line of street lamps that edge the water. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Not just about the river, there are amazing buildings along the waterfront. Old and new, these two are neighbors, across from the pair of piers above Christopher Street.
One represents the Pre-Titanic disaster seafaring era, all those hotels, for both the elegant as well as the steerage, plus the storefronts and warehouses associated to the industry.
The other reflects the burst of a more recent boom of modern day architecture along with that pair of gardened piers above Christopher Street with the grass and trees.
What would Walt Whitman think of this activity, of his, my, city with it's hustlers and gay lovers, mixed up among the mothers with strollers and half naked roller bladers, and the drag queen high schoolers primping and parading and pickpocketing?

Monday, February 16, 2009

No Hudson River Waterfront West Side Highway Story is complete without a Statue of Liberty image. My father was in the US Army, and when I was 12, we came back from living in Germany on a military ocean liner that sailed into the harbor, just like in the movies. It was summer and all the passengers were on deck as we navigated passed the Statue. On the lowest level, hundreds of GIs in uniform danced to Little Eva's "Locomotion" which was on the transitor radios they all had tuned to the Cousin Brucie show. Another time, if not another place; I wonder how many of those boys ended up in Vietnam.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Two shots, same spot, a north side view of the aforementioned Houston Street pier, in different seasons - although probably at the same hour of the day. 

The first shot was taken in late October, or early November, right after Oprah, when once Daylight Savings Time switched, it would be dark before 5PM.

The grey one, while appearing chilly, was in fact, taken in the late spring, almost summer, after one of those short sudden showers of May. There are two party boats docked - one strictly gay and tres disco, the other blasting Latin for blacks and hispanics in samba dresses and business suits - in front of the Con Edison tug, a clear sign of the long, hot summer to come. 

Saturday, February 14, 2009

While I enjoy sunbathing on the Hudson, I especially like the narrow Canal Street pier which is lined with benches and stretches out further than some of the others, I have found that beautiful weather doesn't make a good photograph. Too many shadows, too much glare on the water. Give me a storm over New Jersey, or just clouds, not too thick, to pink up at sunset with that amazing blue the river gets an hour or two before dark.

Friday, February 13, 2009

This is my turning point shot, the one where I saw I might be good at photography. I still have it on my memory stick, like a beloved pet or family member, one of the few I haven't deleted. I bought my camera to shoot my art work; it has a special close-up lens but not much of a pixel count or zoom capacity. So, of course, I'm now all about the landscape, the river scene. Water, distance. I'd love to be able to capture those little ferries pulling into the Erie Lackawanna terminal across the Hudson.

Next time, next camera, a 10X zoom, please.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I've always been a painter, my mother used to put up rolls of brown wrapping paper to protect the walls from my crayons, her lipstick, or whatever else I found handy. But now I'm more interested in the photos I've recently been taking. Here are two, taken on the same stormy afternoon from the Houston Street pier on the Westside Highway, which is one of my favorite places in New York.

The first is of the Empire State Building with all the new construction going on above Christopher Street. The second is, for me, about those water towers above Canal Street. And the clouds of course, those drama queens.