August 21, 2001

remnants of the Brooklyn Giglio Festival

August 20, 2001

Wayne Thiebaud: A Paintings Retropective Whitney Museum

I like Wayne Thiebaud. I thought this was going to be my summer painting show. But somehow, something in the work did not entirely engage me. He is a beautiful painter, but his style leans toward the academic. With the exception of his mid-sixties food series(which he is still best known for)his subject matter is too reminiscent of others from that era. I saw shades of Jim Dine and lots of Richard Diebenkorn (especially in his San Francisco street landscapes).

I felt a little sad, because I respect his work immensely. I just didn’t have any epiphanies as I did when I saw the Diebenkorn  retrospective a few years ago, or my mild obsession last summer when I saw Alice Neel’s work numerous times. Not really a disappointment, but it somehow just didn’t resonate beyond the door.

Another thing that didn’t make it out the door were photos of the Mies van der Rohe architecture exhibit. Upon entering the Mies chamber, there was a strange feeling of being in a Wings Of Desire sub plot. Lots of low level lighting, immense black and white photos and a strange hush in the room. I was busted almost immediately for trying to take photos. Photos I might add would not have come out anyway with the lighting situation. All the same it put a damper on my evening and I decided to come back and see more of Mies some other time.

*[please note: Thiebaud has a beautiful palette of color that he works with, and the poor reproductions I have put up here really don’t do justice to his work, just thought I would mention that it is my ill handy work, not his].

August 1, 2001

Another Random Dinnertime Parade

Occasionally on our block you can be woken out of the daze you are in by the sound of heralding trumpets and a bugle core,announcing the arrival of another neighborhood parade.

These little events, which last as long as it takes a group of 30 or so people to walk the stretch of Union, Metropolitan and then Lorimor are always police escorted and sure to bring traffic to a dead crawl.

The girl who cuts my hair grew up here. I asked her the secret meaning behind all the shenanigans. “Hell if I know”, she replied.
She said she never really figured it out, and frankly after being around for almost 30 years she was pretty much over them. I guess if you were not Italian American, who could blame you at that point.

All the same, I still get a kick of these occasional displays trumpeting the “Saint of the Day”, breaking the monotony of the rumbling semi-truck traffic and showcasing what a festive bunch live around these here parts.