Tuesday, August 31, 2010

moments of zen

On the beach, Ft. Adams State Park, Newport, RI

Things I (re)learned at the Folk Festival: turn the ISO down in broad sunlight, dingbat. The picture above has been adjusted to compensate for my obliviousness, so it looks kind of unreal. But I still like it. The one below I think is largely untouched, though I may have darkened it slightly, I can't remember now. That one I like because I think the mussel shell looks like a heart.

Detail from the beach at Ft. Adams State Park, Newport, RI

Monday, August 30, 2010

flowers on the high line

The High Line is one of my favorite places in the city. These were taken earlier this summer:





Sunday, August 29, 2010

lost worlds: Tavern on the Green

Tavern on the Green ( Wikipedia entry ) as one of those places I had always heard about, as a fancy Place to Go in the city. I was sort of absent-mindedly curious about it, but not enough to actually go there. It was expensive, after all, and also, as best I could tell, full of tourists, thus making it the dining equivalent of Times Square. Then last summer the news came out that it was going to close, at which point I decided I had better go if I was going.

I was glad I did. I stopped in for tea on a weekend afternoon -- one of the less pricey options, and no reservations required -- and it was gloriously ridiculous, in the best over-the-top New York LOOK WE GLITTER kind of way. It was also a little bit like having tea in a faerie garden.

As of right now, talks to re-open a restaurant on the site have collapsed (again), but foodtrucks will be parked across the street.

Here are some examples of what it used to look like:

Lanterns on an inside wall

I always think of this picture when contemplating why people would fall in love with this restaurant. For some reason it makes me think of Cinderella and coaches that turn into pumpkins at midnight.

Lights and flowers outside

The Tavern is right on the edge of Central Park; Sheep Meadow, a huge expanse of green grass, is just beyond it. Here is where the dirty grimy noisy seething city can start to fade away.

Tiffany chandelier inside

There were an ENTIRE HALLWAY full of these things. Also a cabinet full of glittery statuary. It was stunning, in the sense that I felt like I'd been bonked in the head with a glitter stick. Also, I totally loved it.

Lanterns in the trees in the inner courtyard

It took some finagling to get seated (there is, or was, a strict hierarchy of tablecloths!) but when I finally did: it was fabulous.

The dining room, facing the courtyard

I experienced a pang that I would never be able to attend (or hold) a function in this dining room, and be able to see it all lit up at night.

The furnishings that made the Tavern what it was were sold; this particular iteration of the Tavern will never be again. Hopefully the new one, if there is one, will shine just as brightly.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

a few of my favorite rooms: Showtime/Metropolitan Design House 2009

Metropolitan Design, the magazine, has sadly folded, but the Showtime Design House soldiers onwards, opening this year on Sept. 2. I'm excited as I was very fond of the concept: rooms decorated to reflect the themes of different TV shows from Showtime. A lot of other people seem to like it too -- after my pictures of Pete Wentz and Brendon Urie, this set gets the most traffic. This is partially because they're in a pool that's featured on Showtime's website, but I think they get a good bit of search traffic as well.

Anyway! On to the fancy design shenanigans:

A sconce, possibly from Dexter's dining room.

Bathroom, inspired by Weeds.

Yes, that's astroturf on the floor. ASTROTURF. That is the best bathroom carpet idea EVER.

Dexter's family room, complete with cradle!

The Dexter rooms were actually kind of the creepiest. Fitting, I suppose, given the show.

Henry VIII's sexy bondage chair, in The Tudors living room

This was the one Tudor room that wasn't really, really boring. The dining room was particularly minimalist and disappointing and mostly full of pictures of Henry Tudor.

A detail from Nurse Jackie's bedroom door

And, finally, Calinfornicatin' on the roofdeck:


Friday, August 27, 2010

Ptown: Cemetery No. 2

And now, some pictures I love but have filed under "awkward presents" because, well, they're of graves. Kind of weird thing to give to someone for their birthday/Christmas/special occasion. And, you know, a tombstone, not the best way to say "congratulations!" or "I love you!"

Today I bring you some pictures of Cemetery #2 in Provincetown, Massachusetts, which has a wealth of historic graves that reflect the colonial and maritime history of the place.

Civil War Monument

I have an abiding interest in Civil War monuments both historical markers, physical evidence that a tremendous conflict occurred, (sometimes) hundreds of miles away from any battlefield, and also as cultural markers. The North, after all, has a very different view of the war than the South, not least because they won. The text on this one is:

"Erected in 1867 by the town of Provincetown in 1867 in gratitude to the memory of the fallen, who sacrificed their lives to save their country during the great rebellion of 1861-1865."

And then there are graves like this one, which contain so many stories:


And now for some atmospheric shots, like this masoleum covered in ivy:


Some flowers stretching towards the sky:


And, finally, the Blessed Mother in a rusty coat:


Thursday, August 26, 2010

in passing: street art (willamsburg and east village)

New York City has a lot of public art. Some of it is formal. Some of it is . . . not. Here's some I've photographed in my travels, mostly on the way to concerts.

East Village brontosaurus, on the way to Webster Hall

I use this one as a landmark. Walk TOWARDS the brontosaurus to get to the show! God forbid they ever paint over it, I'll be totally lost. Also, it's kind of cute.

Williamsburg wall, near the Knitting Factory

And a detail of the alien:


Same neighborhood, amid a bunch of automotive related businesses:


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

We're on our third day of grey, wet weather here. Some brightly colored things as a pick-me-up:


Found these in Brooklyn on my way to a lunch date. It was ungodly hot outside and I was hiding from the daystar in a convenient foyer.


From my local garden, aka Convent Garden. There are all kinds of statues and figurines and bird baths and stuff in this garden, it is like the backyard for the entire neighborhood and everyone has just one thing they want to put out. I just liked the juxtaposition of ivy and Pietà.

A little further uptown, there's the (one of) the gardens at The Cloisters, as of early July:


And finally, some daffodils, found near the train station in Providence, Rhode Island in early August:


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

nyc summer: unexpected palm trees

I felt like I was seeing them everywhere. But maybe just at a few places, like at the pier next to the East River:


And on the beach at Governor's Island:



And then, for flavor, a real palm trees, on a fancy roofdeck:


Monday, August 23, 2010

wayback machine: the gates, 2005

The snowman expresses how I felt today:


That's Christo and Jeanne-Claude's The Gatesin the background there. I was living in New Jersey at the time, and I had to make a special trip in to town to see them. In addition to being snowy, it was raw and cold and slippery, and a goo many pictures from the set are blurry and strange, probably because my hands were shaking.


I really did like the Gates, even though they were kind of ridiculous. Perhaps because they were ridiculous. They were just such a beautiful burst of color in the snow.


After tottering around Central Park I took myself out to lunch at Alice's Tea Cup, which at the time was a significant extravagance. I was already kind of sick, and I think it was after this that I came down with the world's worst case of bronchitis.

It was worth it, though.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

put your make-up on, put your hair up pretty . . .


Atlantic City: sometimes it glitters, sometimes, it's just grim. It's the kind of place where even when you're walking along the boards, sipping a milkshake and humming along to whatever the beach bar bands are singing, part of you is acutely aware that the shadows are deep and sometimes full of terrible things.


Other times it's just beautiful, sunlit, and full of fun, rollercoasters, and deliciously awful food. The boards will always be my favorite place to have icecream for breakfast.


One last one, essentially because fancy elephant + imperious seagull makes me giggle:


. . . meet me tonight in Atlantic City . . .

Friday, August 20, 2010

not gonna be your fall-back crush anymore

View from the Santa Monica Pier, April 2003

After C9 I spent a few days in Los Angeles, the first time I can remember going to California. I had a number of adventures; one of them was That Time I Went To Santa Monica By Accident. Basically, I got on the right bus going the wrong way, and wasn't really sure what had happened until the ocean hove into view. The next day I went back on purpose, to walk on the pier and wade in the Pacific, and hum Watch the World Die to myself.

Walk On L.A. By Carl Cheng, April 2003

This remains one of my favorite pieces of totally random public sculpture in L.A. Do people ever try and move it, to press the patterns into the sand??

Santa Monica in Santa Monica

. . . live beside the ocean, leave the fire behind, swim out past the breakers, watch the world die . . .

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Nathan's, Original and Best, Coney Island, July 3, 2010

Taken on the way to the train, after a baseball game. It was 4th of July weekend, hotter than the surface of the sun, and the sidewalks were packed. Nathan's is one of those places I gravitate towards when I see an outpost on the road, a gustatory touchstone, if you will. Simple. Uncomplicated. Delicious.