Archive for the ‘New York’ tag
As I hiked through Saxon Woods Park, I found a small, abandoned building to the side of the trail. It consisted of three small rooms. All were empty, except for one, which had a sofa at one end. I did not sit on it.
I love to visit the Storm King Art Center. I have visited it throughout the seasons, I have visited it alone and with friends, I have visited it when I have been happy and at times of stress. After every visit I am re-centered and filled with joy..
Here are some images I took during visits to Storm King in 2012-13:
Menashe Kadishman, Suspended (1977)
Alice Aycock, Threefold Manifestation II (1987, refabricated 2006)
Anish Kapoor, Untitled (1997)
Richard Serra, Schunnemunk Fork (1990-91)
Alyson Shotz, Mirror Fence (2003)
Mark di Suvero, Pyramidian (1987/1998)
Port Chester is a small coastal town(1) just on the New York side of the NY-CT border. It was founded by settlers from nearby Greenwich, Connecticut in 1660.
As we walk through the town and discover its history together, I’d like to share with you some photographs I took. At the top of this post, that’s a sign advertising Fresh Meat from a grocery store on Main Street. Mmm, delicious! Here’s “Enchanted Home” (side view), on Highland Street, the car is registered in Florida:
The original settlers bought the land from the Mohegan Indians. A short while later, the Mohegans found themselves landless and eventually lost their tribal status.(2) In 1994, after decades of petitioning, the Mohegans gained federal recognition and now have a reservation in east-central Connecticut. In 2003, the Mohegans became the first Native American tribe to purchase a professional sports team, the WNBA team Connecticut Sun.(3)
Here’s the view through a window of a hardware store on North Main Street:
In 1683, the town of Sawpit (as Port Chester was originally known) was given to the New York Colony. Connecticut was not pleased and they contested this for over a hundred years.
On June 30th, 1974, Peter J. Leonard broke into a bowling alley where he probably burglarized(4) some cigarette machines. Before he left, he set fire to the place in order to cover up his tracks. The fire spread to Gulliver’s, the nightclub next door. Twenty-four people died. One of the survivors was Eric Carr(5) who later went on to join KISS as drummer. Carr died on the same day as Freddie Mercury, November 24th, 1991.
This is Los Chuzos de Juancho, a Columbian Restaurant on South Main. The store on the second floor offers “Facial Waxing”:
Today, Port Chester is famous for its restaurants.
1) Legally speaking it’s a village within the Town of Rye. The Town of Rye consists of the Villages of Rye Brook and Port Chester as well as a chunk of Mamaroneck. Rye itself is not part of the Town of Rye, instead it is an independent City. Although only a part of the Town of Rye, Port Chester has a population of 29,000 which is almost double the City of Rye’s 16,000. I’m not going to pretend to understand why this is so.
2) I’m not sure how this works exactly. Mental note to dig deeper into this.
3) Previously known as Orlando Miracle they were based down in Florida. A big change in climate, then.
4) Or burgled, if you’re from the UK. I’ll never get used to the verb “burglarize.” It has one too many vowels for a word so urgent.
5) Real name: Paul Caravello.
I’m guessing—and this is only a guess—that this is one of the earlier Mail Pouch Tobacco signs. When the Bloch Brothers Tobacco Company started making chewing tobacco in the late nineteenth century, they advertised primarily on the sides of buildings. It was only later they became famous for their advertisements on the sides of barns.
This one, on the corner of Leonard and E Main in Beacon, NY, is also distinctive because it doesn’t contain the standard Mail Pouch slogan: “Treat Yourself to the Best”. Instead, in the lower left it says
This is the first time I’ve seen smoking tobacco advertised on the same sign as Mail Pouch Chewing Tobacco. There’s a first time for everything.
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, New York City is full of little surprises. It is scattered with remnants of the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs. I wasn’t expecting, for instance, to find a lonely antique column just off the pathway, trees growing around it.
Back when I was working on my PhD, one of my favourite Greek philosophers was Nicomachus. Born in Gerasa in what’s now Jordan, he’s a key source for later Platonic thought. I hadn’t given him a thought in years, but seeing the sign saying this column was originally from Gerasa, brought it all back. Sitting in that darkening library, a few pages into Nicomachus’ Introduction to Arithmetic looking up yet another word in The Great Scott. Whenever I puzzled my way through one more of his crazy theories, a new light bulb flickered on inside me.
Nicomachus died circa AD 120, right at the time this column was built as part of the Temple of Artemis.
In 1964, the King of Jordan pulled the column from the ruins of Gerasa and gave it to New York City. It stood in front of the Jordanian Pavilion—the rather magnificent Jordanian Pavilion—at the World’s Fair.
Now it stands alone, undiscovered and in the wrong place.
I miss my friend, Nicomachus.
This is one in a series of linked posts on the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs. Follow this link to see the others.
The Unisphere, centrepiece of the 1964-65 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, in New York City. The Unisphere, world’s largest globe, made of stainless steel, weighing 700,000lbs, 120ft in diameter, dedicated to “man’s aspirations toward Peace through mutual understanding”, ushering in The Space Age.
While the Space Age came and went, the Unisphere is still there in Queens, a rare survivor of the 1964 New York World’s Fair.
I miss the sea whenever I’m far from it, so I planned my big road trip this summer around bodies of water. I started by driving to here (Lake Erie from Evangola State Park, NY on a very rainy day. I was the only one in the park):
And then driving hundreds of circuitous miles to here (the Atlantic Ocean from Acadia National Park, ME):
On my wanderings I saw Niagara Falls:
A ruined building on Fishkill Creek in Beacon, NY:
Lake Ontario from Olcott, NY:
Lake Champlain (on the New York-Vermont Border with Quebec in the background):
A swimming pool in Swanton, Vermont on a stormy day (note: this is not a natural body of water):
Lake Memphremagog from Vermont, looking up at Quebec:
As you can tell, I hardly saw any sun. Which is a shame as I love the sun and the heat. The only bright day was when I visited Acadia National Park, ME:
I even saw a man in a hat. Or rather, I just saw his hat (there’s no water in this photo, FYI):
But it was back to heavy rain a little while later for my last view of the sea. Portland, ME: