Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Thoughts on New York and Hurricane Sandy

No paintings to post today. Have not been able to get to my studio due to the lack of subway service and lack of power in my neighborhood.

Yep, things are kind of crazy around here. No power south of 34th Street. A Con Ed station on 14th Street was flooded and housed many of the transformers to various parts of the city. It was built to withstand 11 ft. of storm surge, but this time the surge exceeded 12 ft. Who said there is no such thing as global warming?

I've stocked up with canned goods as power might not be back for 3-4 days - I hope it WILL be back by then!!!

NO subway service. A lot of flooding, especially in the tunnels under the river. Not sure when I will see my studio again :-(. The stock exchange was closed for 2 days, but reopened today.

It really is a tale of two cities. Once you head north, things seem almost normal. Lights, traffic signals, stores are open, etc. I don't think people in the unaffected areas realize how widespread this really is. Really scary and sad stuff happening in my old stomping grounds of the Rockaways and the shoreline. The Jersey Shore was decimated, my thoughts are with my Jersey friends. As with my friends living on Long Island.

All the young folk are lined up around Starbucks trying to get cell signals. Phone service has been problematical. I kept my landline and have been able to get and make phone calls. Have a battery powered radio, so at least I can keep up with the news.

So many stories will be told about this Hurricane.

I hiked up to my friend Martha's today, on the Upper West Side, about 60 blocks or so, for a hot shower and to recharge my phone. Bus service is back and was free today. But, I made better time walking, as you can imagine if you've ever taken a NYC bus.

Let's hope things are back to normal sooooooon.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Lower Eastside Shul

"LES #1"
Oil on canvas panel
6x6 inches

Continuing to work on small studies for future paintings. This painting depicts what I suspect was a former shul on the Lower Eastside, judging from the architectural details. The head of a rabbi perhaps with Mogen David's below, carved in stone.

I have many memories of visiting on Sundays when I was a child, to shop and eat in this old tenement neighborhood of New York. My Dad was born on Allen Street and he used to love to take us to Katz's for lunch and then of course my mom enjoyed finding bargains while shopping on Orchard Street. We came home with pickles, halavah, clothes for camp, winter coats and assorted tchotkes.

The area has been greatly gentrified since I was a kid, with lots of hipsters and high-rents changing what had been one of New York's first "shopping malls". Such is the pattern of this ever-changing city.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Reflections on 14th Street

"Reflections of DSW" (study)
Oil in panel
6x6 inches

A new small study of the south side of 14th Street. Nice reflections on the facade of the building facing Union Square Park, now home to DSW's aisles of shoes. Back in the 1970's, this was the site of the old May's Department Store, yet another of the city's grand shopping destinations that are no longer around. I fondly remember other lost shopping venues - Gertz, Klein's, Abraham and Straus, Korvette's, Altman's, Alexander's... the list goes on. So happy that Macy's is still around as I've spent many happy hours shopping there with friends, enjoying some much needed retail therapy.