September 11, 2001

It was Tuesday then, too. This waterfront park in the Rockaways serves as a tribute to those in the neighborhood who died because of the attacks of September 11. The park is scenic and quiet, a lovely spot for visitors and community members to stop and reflect, and to find peace.

Tribute Park was an empty lot on September 11, 2001. The Twin Towers were visible from the spot, and hundreds of local residents stood here and watched the tragedy unfold. With help from the community, this serene park was built to commemorate the day. It includes a mosaic centerpiece, a cupola, and a granite rock engraved with the names of all 343 firefighters who died on September 11.

From a walk on June 11th, 2017

Love you too, Son…!

This poster on the window of a barber shop in Port Authority Subway, kept poking me; something about his sideways glance, unintentionally funny face and the ”Love, Mother” logo made me smile, every time.

Both the barber shop and the poster are gone now, but not without a trace: a brief search returned an interesting post on ”Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York” website as well as what ”this sideways glance” was all about.

July 2nd, 2017

 

My imaginary wish list

Sometime ago I mentioned how much I enjoy wandering about the period rooms at the Metropolitan, so painstakingly reconstructed by the museum curators that they compete in authenticity and splendour with the original ones. Today, let’s go for another walk to see some of the objects high on my imaginary wish list (and a couple of no-nos).

The pianoforte:Pianoforte, New York City, 1810-15
Patented by John Geib and Son. Case attributed to the workshop of Duncan Phyfe (1768-1844). Mahogany, rosewood, satinwood, ivory, gilded gesso, brass with white pine, maple, ash


The Square Piano (when more is too much – too complicated for my wish list, yet very impressive woodwork): Square Piano
Robert Nunns and John Clark (active 1833-58)
New York City, 1853
Rosewood, mother-of-pearl and tortoiseshell

{Lavish decoration and opulent materials distinguish this extraordinary piano…. Its immense scale and excessive decoration make it quite unlike the small and economical upright pianos that became fixtures of middle-class parlours in the second half of the nineteenth century.}


The Four Seasons cabinet: Cabinet
Herter Brothers (active 1864-1906)
New York City, ca. 1869
Rosewood, maple ebonized wood, porcelain plaques, oil on panel, brass

{This rich and imposing cabinet is from a ten-piece parlour suite made by Herter Brothers in 1869 for Jay Gould’s house on Fifth Avenue. Incorporating a design vocabulary taken from the architecture of the day, it is a tour de force of cabinetmaking, combining sophisticated marquetry, assured carving and delicately modeled ceramic plaques depicting the Four Seasons.}


The Étagère in Rococo Revival style: Alexander Roux (active 1843-86)
New York City, ca. 1855
Rosewood, chestnut, poplar, bird’s-eye maple veneer


A Girl’s best friend (not just diamonds): Necklace with Pendant, ca. 1910
Louis Comfort Tiffany
Tiffany and Company
Moonstones, Montana sapphires, platinum


The Gilded Kennel (with the mark of Marie-Antoinette, no less): Kennel
Gilded beech and pine. Signed by Claude Sené (1724-1792): stamped with the mark of Marie-Antoinette’s garde-meuble. French, ca. 1775-80


The Copper Lamp: Dirk Van Erp (1859-1933)
San Francisco, California, ca. 1912-15
Copper base, mica and copper shade


The dressing room (gown included): Worsham-Rockefeller Dressing Room
New York City, 1881-82
George A. Schastey & Co. (1873-97)

{In 1881, Arabella Worsham then-mistress of railroad magnate Collis P. Huntington, hired the cabinetmaking and decorating Firm George A. Schastey & Co. to create a series of distinctive artistic interiors for her townhouse at 4 West 54th Street. The resulting decor, including that found in this dressing room, was the height of cosmopolitan style in the early 1880s and emblematic of Worsham’s quest to fashion her identity as a wealthy, prominent woman of taste.}


The octagon table:Probably New York City, about 1860
Walnut, marble


The Richard and Gloria Manney Greek Revival Parlour:

The Richard and Gloria Manney John Henry Belter Rococo Revival Parlour:

The Working Girl’s table:Worktable
Salem, Massachusetts, 1800-1810
Mahogany, mahogany veneer, ivory with white pine, maple

{Worktables were one of few gender-specific pieces of furniture used in the home. Women relied on them for storing sewing supplies and for conducting correspondence, as such tables often contained a hinged writing surface in a drawer.}


The Richmond Room, 1810-11:

The yellow chairs and the sleek Federal era sofa:Side Chairs
Attributed to the workshop of John Finlay (1777-1851) and Hugh Finlay (1781-1830)
Baltimore, ca. 1815-25
Maple with painted and gilded decoration

{Originally part of a large set, these brilliantly conceived and handsomely executed chairs derive their broad, deeply curved crest tablets and sweeping rear stiles from the ancient Greek klismos form.}

Center Table
Labeled by Anthony G. Quervelle (1789-1856)
Philadelphia, ca. 1830
Mahogany, marble and brass with painted decoration

The Art Nouveau mantelpiece: Attributed to Jean-Désiré Muller (French, 1877–1952)
Glazed stoneware, ca. 1900

The Minimal-Tidy-Closet-I-will-Never-Have-But-Always-Dream-Of:  Sara Berman’s Closet

{The meticulously organized, modest closet in which Sara Berman (1920–2004)—an immigrant who traveled from Belarus to Palestine to New York—kept her all-white apparel and accessories both contained her life and revealed it. Inspired by the beauty and meaning of Berman’s closet, the artists Maira and Alex Kalman (who are also Berman’s daughter and grandson) have recreated the closet and its contents as an art installation.

This exhibition represents Berman’s life from 1982 to 2004, when she lived by herself in a small apartment in Greenwich Village. In her closet Berman lovingly organized her shoes, clothes, linens, beauty products, luggage, and other necessities. Although the clothing is of various tints—including cream, ivory, and ecru—it gives the impression of being all white.}

And, finally, his made-to-order Little Red Hood’s cloak:Child’s cloak
American, 180s
Wool and silk

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

July 2nd, 2017

The saddest little girl

“Look at her”, said my companion, “this must be the saddest little girl in the world!”
“He is right”
, I thought, captivated by the palette, contrasting colours, their facial expressions and composition of the painting.

Until I read the description on the wall and, for a moment there, it was I who seemed to be the saddest little girl in the world…

Unknown Artist
A Family Group, ca. 1850
Oil on canvas

{”This painting of an unidentified family bears the hallmarks of high-style portraits produced in New York during the antebellum era: saturated colours; attentiveness to details of costume, coiffure and jewellery; accurate facial depictions. The setting is a richly appointed Rococo Revival parlour. Seen through the window is a castellated Gothic Revival villa, possibly the family’s home, perched on a cliff overlooking the Hudson River. While it is similar to many designed by architects such as Alexander Jackson Davis during the period, it may be the home they aspired to, rather than their actual house. Details suggest that the child is deceased: the woman wears a cameo brooch carved with Orheus holding his lyre, a reference to the myth of Orpheus’ attempt to rescue his beloved Eurydice from the underworld; the possibly phantom house (a castle in the sky?); and the adults are wearing sombre black clothing.”}

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

July 2nd, 2017

Staten Island Ferry

For those of us who live and work in Manhattan and don’t have to commute, a boat trip to Staten Island is one of those short cruises one usually reserves for visiting family or friends: it is free, runs on a 24/7 basis, offers dreamy vistas of Manhattan, New York harbour and the Statue of Liberty – and is totally fun!

The ferry departs from Whitehall Terminal at the southernmost tip of Manhattan and the crossing to Staten Island takes about 25 minutes. If you do not plan to explore Staten Island itself, you can just line up for the next ferry back and continue on foot along the Battery Park Esplanade for even more gorgeous views.

July 1st, 2017

Cityscapes || Dancing in the streets

1/Two Bridges
Sculpture: “5 in 1”, 1973-74, Tony Rosenthal. On permanent display at One Police Plaza, it consists of five interlocking discs which represent the interconnectedness of the City’s Five Boroughs, Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island.

2-3-4-5-6/Financial district
Sculpture: ”Untitled, (Two Dancing Figures)”, 1989, Keith Haring. On display in 17 State St.

July 1st, 2017

Defiant

”Fearless Girl” by Kristen Visbal.

After facing Wall Street’s ”Charging Bull” for about a year, it was decided that she be moved to her permanent spot, facing the New York Stock Exchange. Actually, the ”Charging Bull” was also supposed to have been moved with her, but I haven’t been in the area in a while to see what happened.

July 1st, 2017