August 16, 2014

SUMMER in the CITY: here and there, this and that

I hadn't found a compelling, viable at best, topic for another post. Coffee has gotten old, I've said that before, and I need to rethink what this blog is about or let it go once and for all. Sorry, thinking out loud. However, with that lack of focus in mind, I put together this latest post. Mostly its composed of  snapshots taken here and there as I explored my new found leisure (no summer school this semester) with my camera or iPad along, to places I hadn't been, or hadn't been to, in a while. Nothing much happened, as promised, but coffee, or tea, showed up in the course of my wandering, I just had to look. 

The pics below are loosely ordered starting from early summer, July, through mid-August, the most recent. In early July I was called for Jury Duty, at the courthouse on Centre St. Just steps from the courthouse, located in a little sunny plaza, is this MUD coffee kiosk. At the Cathedral of ST John the Divine, on the upper Westside—a magnificent community church with an interesting history—I went to see Xu Bing's 'Phoenix,' a magical installation soaring aloft the Cathedral nave. The local Hungarian Pastry Shop, diagonally across the street, is still there, as it has been for as long as I can remember. In early August, a haircut on the Lower Eastside (I love Melissa!) took me by another MUD kiosk, the hub of a small neighborhood park/playground, First Park really, but locally known as MudPark. Below that is Ollie, my gal-pal, on a day trip we took via the East River Ferry to Brooklyn Bridge Park. Ollie enjoyed the grass (near non existent in our neighborhood) and I had a Pink lemonade-tea. Last week I treated myself to a Fringe Festival one woman performance by an octogenarian actor, Jean Shepard, in her Confessions of an Old Lady #2 (the title taken from a sign that had designated her dressing room door). (Camp, but fun, what else to say.) And, just south of the theater, the C.O.W, on Clinton Street, in front of a funky coffee shop, this great sign appeared, "Coffee that Doesn't Suck." Encore!

Find links and a few related facts below the photos in captions.

MUD. Near the Courthouse, Centre St.
Phoenix:Xu Bing at the Cathedral. 
St John the Divine, Amsterdam Ave @ 112th Street
The Hungarian Pastry Shop, Amsterdam Avenue.
"... customer loyalty has made it possible for the Pastry Shop—known for its bohemian crowd of students, professors, and a few notable authors—to celebrate its 50th anniversary with 50-cent pastries and coffee on April 20. "
MUD again, MudPark. First Park, 1st St. and 1st Ave.
On FB at:
Olivia, and pink lemonade-tea. Brooklyn Bridge Park.
"Coffee That Doesn't Suck" sign. Clinton St. LES.

July 11, 2014


Trekked to Greenpoint Brooklyn on a hot weekend in June to an open-house of a new gallery, DUSK, for a show of works on paper—a favorite medium. Trek might be an odd choice of words considering it's only a short subway ride (albeit via Queens) to the location, but it could have been the end of the world considering I've only visited Brooklyn sporadically since I lived there, in Park Slope, I won't say how many years ago. Greenpoint, like other parts of Brooklyn, has been, or is in the process of becoming, gentrified. It doesn't show all that much here, yet. There is still a preponderance of Polish shops, and old outer-boro homes that have seen better days, but there are trendier shops, restaurants, coffee bars and the like, and the art and handcraft scene that have newly claimed their turf. And, of course, it is young.

Dusk is located in a small space, in an old industrial warehouse. It was started, in January of this year by Ky Anderson, an artist as well. The gallery is dedicated to prints and works on paper. You can read more about the gallery, the artists and their work, at All the art in this show struck me as unique to each artist, in a certain contemporary fashion that is shared by younger artists of the LES, Bushwick and Williamsburg. I'll add, what little I've seen of it, and again refrain from playing critic. I liked what I saw.

There is nothing that makes me happier than combining my favorite things in life, art for one, flowers and gardening, and, of course, a café with good coffee (or tea). Around the corner from Dusk, quite by accident I found 'homecoming' (aka cominghome) a charming, somewhat 'rustic' (the look du jour) wood and light-filled café, retail shop and flower market. You can have a coffee, buy the beans, and 'smell the roses' all under one roof. Visit homecoming at:  Pleasant space, pleasant staff, and a nice cold, caffeine free, iced Hibiscus tea, made my day.

I walked to the Greenpoint ferry dock hoping to take it home to the Eastside of Manhattan, close to where I live, and continue my 'adventure.' Unfortunately the dock is shut down for repair, and as a local told me, it has been for some time. So my trek to Brooklyn ended where it began, with a subway ride. Next time.

Yifat Gat. Untitled (small blue drawings), ink on paper, 12 1/2 x 14 in. Ky Anderson. Untitled, Acrylic on canvas. 

Vicki Sher. Process Pieces, mixed media collage, 24 x 18 in.

Benjamin Gardner. Untitled, works on paper, 20 x 15 in.

Homecoming, café, retail shop and flower market. Franklin Street.

Inside the café. Have a coffee and 'smell the roses.'