On the way to the baker’s

We were walking down Broome Street looking for Pi, a Greek bakery for a taste of nostalgia (it was approaching Christmas), when this shiny happy-creepy art display caught our attention. There were no accompanying tags, hence the working titles:

Arbitrary working title 1: Money grows wings and flies away
Arbitrary working title 2: Not yet, no, not today
Arbitrary working title 3: She danced the dance of stars and the dance of space. And then she danced the dance of flowers in the wind*

*From ”The Dancer”, a poem by Khalil Gibran

The cookies were good, if I may add. Provided Manhattan prices are not an issue or Astoria seems too far away just for a trip to the baker’s, Pi has your Greek phyllo-pie cravings well covered.

Eden Fine Art, Broome & Greene St.

Pi Bakerie, 512 Broome St.

Soho,
December 23rd, 2016

Taylor made

A surprise announcement popped up on my screen a few days ago, promising a rare Sunday treat. A free performance by Taylor 2 and the Paul Taylor Dance Company.

To meet the dancers for casual, behind-the-scenes chats. To walk into their rehearsal space.

To feel the dancing floor vibrate with energy. To share their youthful exuberance, dancing those springy steps away, in a choreography evoking an array of emotions, ranging from wittingly funny to melancholic, at times frightfully forthcoming and frank, with a touch of loneliness, marked by the shadow of war.

Paul Taylor 2 danced ”Company B” to the songs by the Andrews Sisters, expressing sentiments of Americans during World War II. Paul Taylor Dance Company danced ”Esplanade”, a choreography first performed in 1975 but managed to remain as fresh and relevant today as it was then. Music by Johann Sebastian Bach. 

While, as it transpired, this was actually a fundraising event, the money giving part was served very discreetly and humorously; so much so that most enthused members of the audience rushed to become donors, right after the last applause. And for a very good cause, I might add!

Taylor Studios
551 Grand Street

June 25th, 2017

Made by Google

Google me this, google me that
If you remember life before google
I’d like you to tell me that!

Do you?

In October 2016, Google opened a pop-up shop in downtown Manhattan’s SoHo, to showcase their Pixel and other gadgets. A cool place where one could try out Google Home features, walk into a Daydream VR world or past the ”Pixel Wall”, a board with rotating cubes that changed composing different images. Interestingly, nothing in there was for sale, although staff would help potential buyers find gadgets they fancied on-line. Via google search, of course.

November 19th, 2016 (now closed)

Delmonico’s

~ An institution ~

We skipped the eggs benedict in favour of their signature steaks served by courteous, mostly Croatian staff. That was surprising at first but not a coincidence, considering Delmonico’s current owner is Mr. Dennis Turcinovic, a Croatian himself.

November 7th, 2016

Canstruction

Part of an annual exhibition of structures made by unopened food cans which are later donated to local hunger relief organisations. This was at the Winter Garden, public space of the massive Brookfield Place in Battery Park, but later I learned that exhibitions, events and even design competitions are also held in other U.S. cities and internationally. And visitors can also take part by bringing their own cans for donation.

My favourite was the Guggenheim in front of a wall made out of Greek olive oil tins, but I don’t think it won the competition.

November 7th, 2016

Four little worriers

According to legend, Guatemalan children tell their worries to the Worry dolls, placing them under their pillow when they go to bed at night. By morning the dolls have taken their worries away.

May I introduce you to my lovely little worriers? I found them in the Gallery Store of the National Museum of the American Indian, a quaint little store with colourful handcrafted jewellery, pottery, books and whatnot. Even if they can’t take all my worries away, I know I’m in good company.

November 7th, 2016

Infinity of Nations

Going back to the roots and learning a bit more about Native Americans; peoples, traditions and art that were thriving here before America’s discovery by the Old World.

A sad necessity perhaps but such dedicated museums are the most effective means in rendering these cultures and their history more widely accessible to visitors.

In New York, the  museum is housed in the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, one of the most splendid Beaux Arts buildings in the City with a magnificent rotunda dome.

The rotunda skylight
Inuit Woman’s Inner Parka (amauti) also known as a tuilli. It was made from caribu skin for a mother to carry her infant. It incorporates almost 140.000 beads. It was made between 1890 and 1925 when whaling flourished on the west coast of Hudson Bay and the Inuit obtained glass beads from whalers through trade.

Mississippian effigy jar. 1350-1550 AD, Clay
Mississippian long-nosed god maskettes. 1100-1500 AD, marine shell
Sisitonwan Dakota (Sisseton Sioux) gauntlet gloves. South Dakota, ca. 1880. Deer hide, cotton cloth, glass beads, ribbon. Moccasins associated with Peo Peo T’olikt (Bird Alighting, Nimi’ipuu, 1857-1935). Idaho, ca. 1880. Deer hide, glass beads, cotton thread.

”Shortly after the outbreak of the 1877 war with the United States, Chief Looking Glass declared that he wanted peace and moved his camp to Clear Creek on the 1863 reservation. Peo Peo T’olikt, who was in his twenties, was instructed by the chief to parley with militiamen and soldiers who came to the camp on July 1. The Indian camp raised a white flag, but was attacked and destroyed.

Peo Peo T’olikt was wounded in the leg, but escaped and was involved in all the subsequent battles of 1877. He lost a wife and young son in the war, but his exploits were many. Capturing the cannon at Big Hole, stealing General Howard’s mules and horses at Camas Meadows, and protecting the camp at Bear Paw are just a few.”

Allen Pinkham, Sr. (Ni Mii Puu)
Tribal historian and former National Museum of the American Indian trustee

Chilkat Tlingit canoe prow effigy, Alaska ca. 1825-1875. Cedar wood, human hair, paint, abalone shell, opercula. The Haida decorated their boats with clan designs and insignia. A Tlingit might add a canoe prow figure carved in the form of a shaman who would guide the way and warn of the approach of enemies.
Wedding dress worn by Inshata-Theumba (Susette La Flesche or Bright Eyes, Omaha, 1854-1903). Nebraska, ca. 1881. Wool

”Susette La Flesche descended from Omaha tribal leaders on both sides of her family. As a child she lived in an earth lodge, though she also attended a mission school. La Flesche witnessed the expulsion of the Ponca tribe from their homeland to Indian Territory in 1877, and the subsequent imprisonment of Standing Bear and other Poncas who had attempted to return to Nebraska. These events launched La Flesche’s career as a nationally known activist who argued against the involuntary removal of indigenous people from their homelands and for Indian citizenship rights.

La Flesche found a soulmate in Thomas Tibbles, a newspaper reporter for the Omaha Herald who followed the Ponca case. Schooled in Western and Omaha culture and bilingual, La Flesche chose an elegant cream-colored wool skirt and jacket when she married Tibbles in 1881.”

Brenda J. Child (Red Lake Ojibwe)
Historian, University of Minnesota

Mebêngôkre krokrokti (feather headdress or cape). Brazil, ca. 1990. Macaw feathers, heron feathers, cotton cordage.

Mebêngôkre men and women wear feather headdresses or capes during children’s naming ceremonies and boy’s initiation ceremonies.

National Museum of the American Indian

November 7th, 2016