Monday, July 30, 2012

Richard Willett's "Tiny Bubbles"

The Baad Lamb and I attended this play and recommend it. The theater advance would make you think it is a "gay" play, but it is not. The two lead characters happen to be gay but their sexuality is almost incidental. The play is about the impact of change in a relationship and also about the sort of "truth or illusion/Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?"thing. With nary a misstep, it kept me awake and engaged. (I know that sounds like faint praise, but I fall asleep easily during most bad plays.) Jay Alvarez in the lead role is excellent and holds it all together. Here's the NYTimes review.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Nile Rodgers and Chic at Lincoln Center

Great performance. At one point, Nile Rodgers pointed out the building on West 62nd Street in which he had written most of Chic's hits.

After the jump, video of Chic doing Le Freak earlier tonight.

Third Section of High Line Acquired. Design Presentation On Monday.


CSX Donates Rail Yards Section of the Elevated Railway to the City of New York, Clearing the Way to Start Construction Later This Year
Big news regarding the High Line Park.

There will be a design presentation on Monday July 30, 6:30-8:30PM, 14th Street passage.

Check out the extensive QNY coverage of the saving and reconstruction of the high line, including:

Phase 2 Is Open

What  A Difference A Year Made

Clever High Line Benches

summer streets

summer streets, the annual weekend closing of a major stretch of urban roadway to cars, is coming in august.   revel in the the quiet and experience your city from a new viewpoint.  click on the above link....

Friday, July 20, 2012

Editta Sherman's Portraits Are Breathing At 25 CPW Gallery

And so is Editta!

I was delighted to pass by the corner gallery at 25 Central Park West and find it open and graced by the presence of Editta Sherman who was graciously willing to talk about the celebrities she has photographed over a span of 50 years (1940-1990)

First, I toured the 75 portraits in the exhibit, and as is always the case, excellent prints sized extravagantly are what make going to a photo show worth the trip. These celebrity portraits really seem to breathe. Portrait photographers each bring a distinctive style to their depictions. Editta doesn't seem to ask the subject for anything and she doesn't do much set-up. Her approach carefully captures all the details of the subject's face with an infused radiance that is missing from current photographic processes. She works like a map maker. In the room was the gigantic wooden camera she used. A digital camera that fits in a shirt pocket will simply never do what that behemoth can do, and I doubt the disposable Nan Goldin would find much here to appreciate.

I asked Editta to tell me about Frank Morgan (The Wizard of Oz.) She said, "He was a gracious and wonderful man. My husband and I had just set up shop in Martha's Vineyard when we heard he had arrived on someone's yacht. That is why he is dressed like that in the portrait. My husband hurried down to the dock and asked him if I could photograph him and he agreed. His wife said, 'If there's a camera in the room, Frank will go for it.' Later we all went out to dinner and had a great time."

When I remarked about a more recent  celebrity among the vintage stars, Tilda Swinton, Editta said,"When she came to my studio she looked at this dress I had on a hanger and she liked it and asked to try it on. That's what she is wearing in the picture. When we were done, she asked if she could buy the dress from me. I had just purchased it. I didn't know what to say. She offered me $500 and I said okay."

When we discussed Photoshop and the need to produce portraits that flattered the client, she mumbled something about Mary Martin demanding an extreme amount of retouching. That portrait looks like something from Madame Tussaud's.

when I told Editta that I wished she were still working, she said that she has plans to photograph Mario Testino who is himself a famous celebrity photographer. Editta is 100 years old.

The gallery is located at 25 Central Park West and 62nd Street. On July 24th, they will screen the documentary movie Lost Bohemia directed by Josef Astor about the eviction of the  residents of the Carnegie Hall apartments.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The High Cost Of Marriage Inequality - Read It And Weep

I know something about this. Having my husband added to my health insurance is a taxable benefit in the eyes of the IRS. You would not believe the tax hit we get because of this. 

After the break, you'll find a clear depiction of the overall pain.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Central Park Summertime Sky

by baad lamb

Though summer storm clouds threaten, they provide a dramatic backdrop as the late afternoon sun illuminates the Beresford on high and the bike boys below.

I snapped this on June 25th from the newly restored Cherry Hill, looking northwest. Embiggens nicely.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Summer News

Via the West Side Rag.

I want to protest the fact that a couple got arrested for dancing on a subway platform on their way home from Mid Summer Night Swing. Honestly, officer.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Tony Wants Company on Brooklyn Waterfront Tour

by baad lamb

Last May, I jumped at the chance to take a Working Harbor tour deep into the heart of the Newtown Creek. It was easily one of the most fascinating and informative 3 hours I've ever spent. Those 600+ photos deserve a post of their own, but, alas... ( damn that full-time job!)

Since I'll have to miss this Tuesday's Working Harbor opportunity to tour the Brooklyn waterfront, I've "suggested" Tony go for me (and bring extra camera batteries). But he wants some company. So if you've got this Tuesday evening open, there's no better value for your $30. If an evening on the harbor on a yacht exploring the history and future of the working Brooklyn waterfront isn't its own incentive, whats wrong with you just think of those cool ocean breezes as a way to temporarily forget this heatwave.

Here's the details from the Working Harbor website:
Brooklyn Waterfront Tour featuring Brooklyn's Maritime Heritage and Future- This tour starts by going up the East River to the former Brooklyn Navy Yard, passing under the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. The Navy Yard has three large graving docks and an active shipyard, as well as the home port of FDNY's fireboat division. We then travel south along the Brooklyn waterfront, passing the new Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Red Hook Container Terminal, Atlantic Basin, and Erie Basin, home of Hughes Brothers Barges and Reinauer Tugs. We continue into Gowanus Bay and along the Sunset Park waterfront, home of the former large Bush Terminals. We then cross over to the Statue of Liberty at sunset and pause for a moment to allow passengers to take photos before returning to Pier 16.

Dan Wiley is a Community Coordinator for the Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez in southwest Brooklyn, NY. He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University in the Urban Design Studio. Working in the Congressional office since 2000, he has coordinated planning projects and initiatives spanning waterfront communities from the Brooklyn Navy Yard and downtown Brooklyn southwest to Red Hook, Gowanus and Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Dan will talk about the changing face of the Brooklyn waterfront, the proposed plans for the future and take questions from the audience.

Do it! Ticket Link

I'm looking forward to Tony's pics, but I do still have a ton of photos I took over the years from various water taxis, trips to Governors Island, Open House New York, or aimless wandering on the land and street side of things:

Old cranes "cross swords" at Brooklyn Navy Yard (left)
Navy Yard, from Newtown Creek tour last year (right)

Preview a whole lot more after the jump...

Young Dancers Enjoy Midsummer Night Swing

by baad lamb
At this Saturday Night's rendition of Midsummer Night Swing, with JD McPherson providing his distinctive retro-contempo swing, an enthusiastic group of youngsters show off their collective dance moves outside the paying walls. Although the steps they were all practicing look like a Broadway chorus line routine, it's clear they are trained in classical ballet. Perhaps they're summer term students at the School of American Ballet?
Since I'm not a regular ballet attendee, maybe a few of them will defect to the contemporary dance scene, and with luck, I'll be applauding one or two of them in a few years down at the Joyce.

I'm pretty sure that is the dance instructor Adam Lee, Lindy-Hopping with a partner in between views of the kids.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Canoeing on the Gowanus Canal

by baad lamb

Back in May, on a beautiful sunny Saturday, my aimless wandering of New York's industrial fringe found me in Gowanus, at the dead end where 2nd Street meets the Gowanus Canal. The two gentlemen sitting in folding chairs off to the side were not immediately visible as I contemplated the posters displayed in the upright old dinghy. Before I could read beyond "BROOKLYN'S COOLEST SUPERFUND SITE", one of the men approached. Would I like to canoe the canal? Hell yes!

Paddling a canoe alone on the canal while trying to take pictures and video can be challenging, especially with the constant breeze wanting to spin the boat in circles anytime I put the paddle down and picked up the camera. Adding to the fun, occasional forceful discharges from invisible pipes would spew questionable liquids, creating a sudden current on what was, not long ago, largely a stationary cauldron of chemicals and waste-water (reactivating and upgrading the pumping station has begun to change that). I didn't have enough time to explore as deeply as I wanted; the area south of the Smith and 9th Street F & G trains viaduct still beckons. Can't wait to go back, but I'll bring the reluctant "why-are-you-taking-us-to-another-industrial-area?" husband, so one can navigate while the other films.

In the video above, note the car that backs up on the 3rd Street Bridge; we exchanged waves, although they are too far away in this video to see the arm come out the window; I guess they could not believe they just saw someone leisurely exploring this NYC waterway!

The Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club sponsors public canoeing on Saturdays, from March to October, 1PM to 5PM, and Wednesday evenings, 6PM to 8PM, May to August. The canoeing is free, but your much appreciated donation will be be put to good use (you can even become a member).

Check out ten more photos after the jump...

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

If You're The Top

of the real estate market or you're the bottom, your news is good:

Prices and sales volume for Manhattan real estate continued to hold relatively steady in the second quarter of 2012, because of a continued decline in inventory, low interest rates and increased foreign investment.

Relatively good, that is, but the effect of foreign investment may be bad in the long run. Even so, let's have no pity for the folks of East Hampton who need help:

When one thinks of the Hamptons, what jumps to mind are masters of the universe and their mansions by the sea. But a strong, steady stream of immigrants has been flowing to the area for years, drawn by a service economy that demands hedges be trimmed and houses be cleaned. In the Springs, a hamlet in the town of East Hampton, where most of the houses are small and the year-round population is relatively large, the Hispanic population has tripled in the past 10 years — and tension has emerged.

Some longtime residents of the Springs and similar areas complain that homes are being illegally crowded, that houses with half a dozen cars parked outside are a blight on the street, and that the many children living inside are overwhelming the local schools and causing property taxes to rise.

The Russians may be here to spend money, but the Guatemalans are here to work, and that is how and why the Irish and the Italians got here a century ago.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Spain vs. Italy

by baad lamb
Watching yesterday's Euro 2012 final, it was clear Italy never had a chance. Spain dominated the ball from the beginning, and the Azzurri looked tired chasing it around the field. But a few hours before the first kick, I staged a more shallow competition to familiarize myself with all the players: Which team was prettier? As I compared my top three from each team, La Roja barely edged ahead and won this game too, but it was much closer and perhaps more exciting than their easy 4-0 victory in Kiev. (All pics by others, from google image search; click links on NAMES below to bring up all their images and decide for yourself.)

                                       Raul Alboil                                  Gerard Piqué                      Victor Valdés

                                 Andrea Barzagli                            Antonio Nocerino               Sebastian Giovinco

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Harlem Kiki Reincarnated Today

UPDATE: Just got word ( kiki heads) that they have changed the date to July 15.

 If you are in the city this evening, 6-11PM, have a kiki!