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We went to the Brooklyn Museum on a sunny, chilly fall day. I hadn’t been there in twenty years. It was like visiting old friends. I’m going to indulge my taste and share with you a few of my favorite paintings and a new discovery, the Choctaw/ Cherokee artist, Jeffrey Gibson. Gibson has an entire room dedicated to his work. I had hoped to reproduce a gigantic sculpture that resembles a vulture clothed in bright, sharp materials. The photo can’t be reproduced for security reasons. HUH?

SPEAK TO ME IN YOUR WAY SO THAT I CAN HEAR YOU is composed of driftwood, wool, canvas, glass beads, quartz crystal, glazed ceramic. Run do not walk to the museum before the exhibit closes, please.

This is A Storm in the Rocky Mountains. The artist is Albert Bierstadt. I apologize for trimming it.

The Mellow Pad by Stuart Davis

I love Davis’ work. Is it because it’s jazzy? Mellow Pad is jazz talk for a cool place.

The Virgin by Joseph Stella

I’ve always associated Stella with his painting of the Brooklyn Bridge so was touched by this gentle portrait of the Virgin, surrounded by flowers and fruits and with the Bay of Naples in the background.

It’s a wonderful museum and I can’t wait until they remove the name Sackler from the name of one of their wings.

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 NYMysteries  Nov. 13,  2020

Bob Thomason died at home the night of Tuesday, Nov. 10. He was 92. Bob was a  member of Judson Memorial Church. He loved to talk about the books he’d read, sing Moon River at church, in the hall and in taxis. He cycled all over the world. Judsonites in China looked off their balcony and saw Bob on his trusty bike. He had a wonderful family: Jane, an Ohio girl who kept her courteous midwestern manners with a keen and amused eye on NYC; his two daughters, Caroline and Katherine. He and Jane married in 1960 and were married for sixty years.  Jane’s and his daughters’ devotion to him was unstinting. These words conjure up Bob: Moon River, dancing, moving into a Black-American neighborhood and talking about it during weekly Concerns at Judson, love of life, love of people.

Both Bob and Jane exemplify Amos 5:18-24: But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

Bob rarin’ to go. Photo is courtesy of a Judson parishioner.
Members of the Thomson family. Courtesy of Sharon Woolums

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NYMysteries  Nov. 7, 2020

Good News Elections:

 In 2018, the first Muslim women were elected to Congress, Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.); as were the first Native American women, Reps. Sharice Davids (D-Kan.) and Deb Haaland (D-N.M.); and the youngest congresswoman ever, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). All won reelection on Tuesday. As of Tuesday, Mondaire Jones will be the nation’s first openly gay Black congressman. Ritchie Torres will be the first openly gay Black and Latino congressman, and Cori Bush will be Missouri’s first Black congresswoman. And a record number of Native candidates are headed to Congress. Thank you, Huffpost.

The current president’s temper tantrums are: embarrassing, curious, pathetic, scary (I prefer this to the grownup word, frightening.) I am practicing former Vice President Biden’s dictum: Be patient. Nerve wracking.

They know how to do Halloween in Brooklyn

I like this boozy history voting link an unsteady walk through past NYC.


Welcome to Brooklyn!

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I’m voting for Biden for obvious reasons. I’m not a fan of the two major parties and was relieved that I can vote Biden/Harris on the Working Families Party Line.( Row D in NYC.)

St. Anthony of Padua

Our governor does not support third parties. In 2018 Cynthia Nixon ran for governor on the Working Families Party Line. She lost but Governor Cuomo never forgot.

I’ll be distributing Working Families flyers at St. Anthony of Padua in Soho. It’s an 1859 church established to serve the Italian community. Did you know that the official saint of Italy is St. Francis Assisi? The most popular saint is St. Anthony of Padua. The next time you’re in Venice or Padua go to his church. In Venice the devoted had left gifts on the altar: a wedding dress, a tire. 

Just in time for Halloween

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A busy week. I feel uncomfortable about not supporting the Green Party candidates but am voting for Biden for obvious reasons. I’m not a fan of the two major parties and was relieved that I can vote Biden/Harris on the Working Families Party Line.( Row D in NYC.)

Adm. William McRaven endorsed Biden. 

Adm. McRaven: “I am a pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, small-government, strong-defense and a national-anthem-standing conservative … But, I also believe that black lives matter, that the Dreamers deserve a path to citizenship, that diversity and inclusion are essential to our national success, that education is the great equalizer, that climate change is real.”

I’d like to shake his hand across several aisles.

On to a glorious photo by Molly Heron.

Molly Heron’s Central Park photo

A friend and I went to the Museum of the City of New York. Aside from two other people we were the only guests. Recently, we have also been to other quasi-deserted museums. Imagine being alone with THE blue whale at the American Museum of Natural History. 

The Museum of the City of New York photos document the city’s beginnings from 1609 to the present. The museum asks, What makes NYC NYC? The answer: money, diversity, density, creativity. We went from exhibit to exhibit, from the opulent, genteel Stettheimer dollhouse to the Activist New York exhibit that explores racial issues of today.



The Stetthelmer Dollhouse
A Constant Cry

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 We went to the Guggenheim on a very wet, chilly Friday. The current exhibit is a long winded account of the effects of city and country life. The exhibits range from banal to almost interesting to amusing. The art is tucked away in the permanent collections. Once you’ve gazed at Pollack’s Muse, looking at wheat production in several countries in the sixties loses its appeal.I think the most beautiful part of the Guggenheim is the building. Would Frank Lloyd Wright be hired today? I doubt it. I give the owners and administrators full marks for repeatedly repairing major structural defects. Its cylindrical shape dominates the east eighties. The ramp that sweeps from the ground floor to the top floor is a stroke of genius. 

The atrium’s floor is sprinkled with various images
Guggenheim Atrium Floor
Guggenheim Atrium Floor
Jackson Pollack’s Mural, Guggenheim Museum

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 NY Mysteries,  October 9, 2020

Micah Bucey writes tiny prayers. I found this prayer solace after learning about the Michigan governor’s narrow escape, our president’s support of right wing vigilante groups and about cars used as weapons against peace rallies.

Nargis Cafe: mixed spread platter

Today’s Tiny Prayer (for those who fear that their vote won’t count):

May you stay vigilant about voter suppression, outreach, registration, and turnout, but while you wait and worry about the numbers, may you also think of your own vote as a sacred spiritual offering, not simply one tiny piece within a vast system, but a love-filled representation of the vastness of your own heart, a prayerful symbol of your continuing commitment to nudging this country into transformation, a hope-fueled vessel for the change you wish to see in the world, and as you cast your own vision into the sea of visions, may it open you up to an invigorating understanding of just how necessary your participation always is.

Amen

To lift our spirits I’m recalling a recent trip to Coney Island. We went on a weekday. I think it was a Friday. Coney Island by C. I. standards was deserted. Rides were shut down, permanently (?) but we managed to eat a hot dog, take a brisk boardwalk walk and then have an enormous lunch at Nargis Cafe. We were three people. One of us isn’t afraid or self -conscious about ordering everything on the menu. We had Spring salad with Feta cheese, home-made white bread, mixed spread platter, potato dumplings, deep-fried beef dumplings, chicken kebab, lamb kebab. For dessert we had assorted Baklava. The food friendly friend ordered take-out for all the food we had just eaten. We then  walked down the street to an enormous supermarket filled with cooked food. The foodie bought a few dozen items. Then we went home to Manhattan.


On the boardwalk
On the boardwalk
Coney Island
See what I mean?

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MOMA is my second home. Since childhood I’ve visited art works that have become old friends. Picasso’s Three Musicians, Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie Woogie , the helicopter hanging precariously for many years come to mind. Not to mention the movies or as we say at MOMA the films. This was my first visit since March. Few people, attentive staff and the wonderful, big art work I associate with NYC.

In the afternoon a friend and I went to the Morgan’s jazz from 3 to 5. It’s a casual affair. The BeBimBop Trio played soothing music. People drifted in and out. At the break we went to the David Hockney exhibit. Am I glad we did. Before yesterday I had not appreciated Hockney. That’s changed. His portraits of himself and of friends are revealing. He’s accomplished an enormous amount of work. There’s a video of him leafing through notebook after notebook.

MOMA Haegue Yang: Handles
MOMA exhibit
MOMA Paul Signac
MOMA Alexander Calder
Jazz at the Morgan. Barefoot drummer
The David Hockney Exhibit at the Morgan
At the Morgan: David Hockney’s An Image of Gregory, 1984
At the Morgan: a video of Hockey showing his artwork

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 NY Mysteries September 25, 2020

We hiked around the American Museum of Natural History. Most New Yorkers know about the controversy surrounding the Teddy Roosevelt Statue. He’s on a horse and is flanked by a Native American and an African American. The museum has mounted a terrific exhibit explaining the three figures background and the thoughts of many different ethnic groups. Ever since George Floyd’s savage murder, I have been coming to grips with my white privilege. The museum is staggering in its complexity. The dark rooms add to the mystery of the exhibits. If you take the subway and get off at 81 Street and Central Park West, you can feast on the charming wall figures.

81 Street Subway stop
Elephants, obviously
The Whale
Speaking of Masks…

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  NY Mysteries September 19, 2020

We went to the Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park. Who knew Bus #4’s route ends and begins in front of the Cloisters? Instead, we took the A to the Dyckman Street station following the directions posted on the Cloisters website. Image yourself in a forest searching for a castle. Also imagine a forest in which there are no signs and kindly people who give you conflicting directions. Once there, it was glorious; a crisp fall day, a few people,  historical, lush gardens and the medieval masterpieces of three monasteries Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa, Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, Trie-sur-Baise. The Cloisters was funded by Rockefeller and opened to the public in 1938.

The Cloisters
n saint of gardeners
The Cloisters in 1938. I borrowed this photo from the Cloisters website.