Little Nothings || Good Deeds

A trip to Pennsylvania. Two stops on the way to Farmington. First, Intercourse. I’m sure it was not done on purpose, but the name still makes me laugh. Kitchen Kettle is a a village of shops with locally-made goodies and eateries – touristy but great for lunch and snacks.

Early evening in Gettysburg. One could learn everything about the American Civil War by walking the streets of this lovely town. Or just take home a little nothing for fun. Until recently, I thought one could meet Greeks everywhere; now I realize that it is Poles who hold this record. No matter where we go, all kinds of Polish shops keep popping up.

The building you see above, is the Gettysburg Lincoln Railroad Station where President Lincoln arrived the evening before he delivered the Gettysburg Address at the dedication of the Gettysburg Soldiers’ National Cemetery.

It was November 19, 1863, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg. It is one of the best-known speeches in American history.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Abraham Lincoln

September 1st, 2018

 

Rockaway! 2018 || Narcissus Garden by Yayoi Kusama

Fort Tilden

”Comprised of 1,500 mirrored stainless steel spheres, Narcissus Garden landed in a former train garage that dates to the time when Fort Tilden was an active US military base. The mirrored metal surfaces reflect the industrial surroundings of the now-abandoned building, drawing attention to Fort Tilden’s history as well as the devastating damage inflicted on many buildings in the area by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Narcissus Garden was first presented in 1966, when Kusama staged an unofficial installation and performance at the 33rd Venice Biennale. The silver spheres, originally made from plastic, were installed on the lawn in front of the Italian Pavilion, reflecting the landscape of the exhibition grounds. Kusama herself stood among them, barefoot and dressed in a gold kimono, alongside yard signs inscribed with the words “Narcissus Garden, Kusama” and “Your Narcissism for Sale.” Throughout the opening day of the exhibition, Kusama remained in the installation, tossing the spheres in the air and offering to sell them to visitors for 1,200 lire (approximately $2) each. The action, which was viewed both as self-promotion and a critique on the commercialization of contemporary art, would later be seen as a pivotal moment in Kusama’s career as she transitioned from installation toward the radical, politically charged public performances that would be the focus of her work in the late 1960s in New York City.”

The installation was presented by MoMA PS1, free to those whose way brought them over to the faraway Rockaway.

August 25th, 2018

City Views || Tudor City

Sitting on a cliff between 40th and 43rd Streets, overlooking First Avenue and the United Nations Headquarters, Tudor City is a red brick apartment complex with wonderful stonework, that took its name from its architectural style: Tudor Revival. A massive – yet far from oppressive – enclave, a heaven of tranquility amidst one of noisiest, busiest parts of the City.

Midtown Manhattan East

August 25th, 2018

The Bittersweet Past of Domino Park

The Dancing Cranes and Disappearing Act you saw yesterday and the day before, are some of the historic features that render a walk along the Domino Park all the more fun.

The 80-foot tall Gantry Cranes were used to unload bulk sugarcane from freight ships for storage at the Raw Sugar Warehouse, 21 columns of which stand in their original place along the Elevated Walkway (not pictured).

The bridge with the misters performing the Disappearing Act, stands in front of the Syrup Tanks, four of the fourteen large-scale tanks that were used to collect high volumes of liquid sweetener generated in sugar processing, dating back to the 1950s.

And the magnificent industrial brick giant you see below is none other than the Domino Sugar Refinery, closed in 2004 after 150 years production of the white sweet crystals we now love to hate. The entire building is undergoing renovation, with the facade being preserved in its entirety and the interior converted into ”creative office space”.

The Domino Park website shows many of the park’s features today next to black & white photos of their original use accompanied by historical notes, from where the following  excerpt:

“Because of its ease of access by larger shipping vessels, Frederick C Havemeyer Jr. selected this area in 1856 to establish the F. C. Havemeyer & Company refinery, which would eventually become known as the Domino Sugar Refinery. At its peak in 1919, the Domino Sugar Refinery employed approximately 4,500 workers from a wide range of backgrounds and ethnicities.

Immigrants from Germany, Poland, Ireland and other European countries — and in its later years — Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, and other people of Caribbean descent as well as African Americans all endured difficult working conditions at the Refinery in search of opportunity and prosperity. While the Refinery figured prominently in the explosive growth of Williamsburg’s industry and economy, it is the diversity of community surrounding this site that has become its lasting legacy.”

August 21st, 2018

The Disappearing Act

”Spanning a collection of historic timber piles, one look underneath the bridge reveals that most of Domino Park is actually situated over water, on a pier once supported by nearly 1,200 of these wood piles. A set of misters surrounding the bridge emit a gentle cloud of fog that envelop passersby in the shoreline’s wind patterns.” [@DominoPark]

PS: The fog is lit up at night.

August 21st, 2018