The Union Jack flies at half mast over City Hall Plaza as Boston mourns victims of the terrorist bombing at the Manchester Arena. A couple of quick iPhone shots a couple of days after the bombing. #iPhoneography #ManchesterBombing
A second and final set of photos from a recent trip to New York City. The first set featured black and white images, while this set showcases NYC in all its many colors. Featured here, as before, are shots from a walk to and from Penn Station to the West Village via the High Line, and another post-brunch, Sunday walk through the Meatpacking District and Chelsea.
This framing isolating scary takes the piece of public art out of context, but I like the message (and composition) of the photo. Here’s the full piece of art on the High Line, shot last August:
The High Line, which I’ve shot a couple of times before, is an urban greenway—-a former elevated freight rail line transformed into a park and trail that runs from the West Village and Meatpacking District through Chelsea, ending beyond Penn Station.
The full set may be seen here, on Flickr.
A second set of shots, this time featuring only color photos, from a walk through Boston’s South End on a glorious October day with my soon to be retired, five+ year-old Olympus E-P3 (in favor of a recently ordered Pen F.) Part one, featuring only black and white photos, may be seen here. The full set of photos may be seen here, on Flickr.
And here is a selection of a few South End neighborhood favorites, featuring the petit robert bistro, the South End Buttery cafe and restaurant, and Cafe Madeleine, a French patisserie and cafe with the best Pain au Chocolat in Boston—conveniently located just a few blocks from my house.
I took a stroll on the High Line on a cloudy August day after a week on Fire Island. The High Line is an urban greenway — a former elevated freight rail line transformed into a park and trail that runs from the West Village and Meatpacking District through Chelsea, ending beyond Penn Station.
Note the funky sculpture in front of a newish apartment building on the High Line, juxtaposed with some old school graffiti and a dramatic piece political art (more on that below). Funky Chelsea buts heads with the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood and new construction along the High Line. (Or, perhaps more accurately: new, high end gentrification on top of and alongside previous, lower rent (relatively speaking) Chelsea gentrification).
“Blind Idealism is . . .” by renowned artist Barbara Kruger, commissioned by Friends of the High Line.
Kruger is an American artist known for “insistently addressing the issues of power, property, money, race, and sexuality. Over the past three decades her work has ranged from the photographic merging of image and text, to immersive video installations, to room-wrapping textual exhibitions, to large-scale outdoor displays of words and images. Two of her best-known works – Your body is a battleground and I shop therefore I am – also showcase the feminist overtones of her artworks, and her concentration on women as a lucrative site for advertising and consumerism.
The original quote — “Blind idealism is reactionary” — came from Afro-Caribbean philosopher and postcolonial revolutionary thinker Frantz Fanon (1925–61), whom Kruger describes as “prescient in some ways.”
We had this memorial bench for my dad installed in the Tree Peony Garden within Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha’s 100+ acre botanical garden and center. Lauritzen Gardens is an “urban oasis of beauty and tranquility” and a “living museum of unique four-season plant displays maintained to the highest standards consistent with environmental stewardship.” It also boasts the fairly new 17,500 square foot Daugherty Conservatory. Some shots of the Gardens and Conservatory may be seen in this set on Flickr.
The inscription on the bench reads “whoever loves and understands a garden will find contentment within.” This Chinese proverb is a fitting sentiment for the Tree Peony Garden (the Tree Peony is the national flower of China). It’s also a fitting inscription for my father, and leapt out at us when we were considering appropriate quotations last year.
The stone bench was designed to to complement the three large Kaneko ceramic sculptures that surround the Tree Peony Garden. Jun Kaneko is a renown ceramic and set design artist based in Omaha. As Kaneko says in this 5 minute CBS Sunday Morning news piece on his art, “I call it the spiritual scale. I am trying to make some piece strong enough to pull viewer into it. Then the physical scale is not the issue. You become one with it.”
Full set may be seen here on Flickr.
The Hi Hat, once one of Boston’s premier jazz clubs, is part of the African-American Honor Roll mural by artist Jameel Parker on the Harriet Tubman House in Boston’s South End. As noted in this Boston Magazine article on public art in the South End, Parker “attended Boston Public Schools throughout his adolescence and later attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. ‘Honor Roll’ spans two sides of the Harriet Tubman House and honors various people of color relevant to Boston’s South End. Featuring everyone from musicians to activists, the energetic mural and the faces depicted are vibrant and celebratory.”
The honor roll also includes Harriet Tubman, Sir Duke, Miles, Charlie Parker, and Rosa Parks:
The Harriet Tubman Memorial in Boston’s South End, just a couple blocks from my house. I walked over to Harriet Tubman Park after last month’s announcement that Tubman would replace Andrew Jackson on the twenty-dollar bill.
As noted in this Washington Post article, there is a lot of false or distorted mythology surrounding Tubman and the true story of her heroism and fight to free slaves is even more inspiring than the simplified narrative taught in schools and reduced to historical markers. Tubman made fewer trips and freed fewer slaves through the Underground Railroad than is commonly believed, but those journeys were much more complicated and dangerous than typically depicted. Tubman’s roles as an abolitionist and spy for the Union Army during the Civil War are not well-known, but are a big part of her legacy.
Here’s some more about Tubman’s ties to Boston abolitionist movement and her role in the Civil War from the Boston Globe:
Harriet Tubman’s ties to Massachusetts extend much further than the sculpture in the South End depicting her leading slaves to freedom. Historians say Tubman had strong links to the Boston abolitionist movement and played a large role in uplifting black Union soldiers. Boston is considered one of America’s leading cities for the abolitionist movement. Some homes in Boston were turned into safe havens on the Underground Railroad, including the Lewis and Harriet Hayden House on Phillips Street, according to the Museum of African American History. Lewis Hayden later became a recruiting agent for the famous 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment in the Civil War. Tubman was active with the 54th and other Union forces during the war, after her Underground Railroad days were behind her. She spied on Confederate forces and also worked as a cook and battlefield nurse.
Tubman also became a prominent advocate for women’s suffrage, and spoke at Boston suffragist conventions. And here’s more here about Boston’s African American Meeting House and Museum and the Black Heritage Trail.
The City of Boston contracted with luminARTZ and artist Anthony Bastic (who produced the Vivid Sydney Light Walk and Lights of Christmas projections in Australia) to project a 3-D light show onto the Boston Public Library in Copley Square, with music. Despite the rain, I watched while the Twelve Days of Christmas and the Nutcracker Suite filled Copley Square with music while visions of light danced on the library facade on Saturday, the first of four performance nights. I only had my iPhone but took a few decent shots, including the ones posted here.
More on this holiday show, titled “The Mayor’s Celebration of Lights,” in this Boston Globe article. According to the Globe:
Boston’s light show comes amid a United Nations proclamation declaring 2015 the International Year of Light. The UN is emphasizing the critical role light plays in people’s daily lives and the impact it has on the cutting edge of modern day science.
Happy Holidays #iPhoneography
iPhone shot of a building mural toward the north end of the High Line around 29th Street. The walkway is covered because of new building construction just off the east side.
I took a couple of blustery winter day strolls on the High Line during a recent trip to New York.
The long abandoned giant grain elevators adjacent to Interstate 80 in Omaha are now used as a canvas for urban art. This project resulted from the vision and execution of Emerging Terrain, a non-profit research and design collaborative “working to engage the public about factors shaping the built environment by creating awareness, meaningful experiences, and vibrant places and spaces . . . through innovative design projects and site-specific interventions intended to shift frames of reference.” The silo art in these photos is the second installation: Stored Potential: Transport(ation). The first, Stored Potential: Land Use, Agriculture and Food, a couple years ago included an event showcasing the installation that brought folks together at an 800 foot long table, running the length of the old grain elevator, with food from 110 local chefs and local food producers. Pretty cool.