After deciding not to show landscapes with a bright sun, because I couldn’t find any photos of mine like that, I decided on artificial light. The epitome of artificial light in New York City is Times Square; therefore, here is one of my brightest Times Square photos. I’ve lived in New York City for almost 30 years and I still feel excited whenever I go to Times Square.
When God said “Let there be light,” I don’t think he had foreseen Times Square.
People below are lined up to get half-priced theater tickets which are sold on the night of the performance for shows that still have empty seats.
While looking at other people’s blogs on this subject, I just remembered the most unexpected thing that ever happened to me in my life.
It was just before Christmas of 2010. I took the bus from my apartment in Staten Island into Manhattan without any definite purpose in mind; therefore I felt a little bored and at loose ends. After gulping down a weak and over-priced Cuban Libre at the Boathouse in Central Park, I decided to head for the Whole Foods Market on 14th Street in Union Square: where, after picking up only a couple of items–my social security check was almost gone, and it would be two weeks before my next one–I planned to take the Express Bus back to Staten Island.
I was sitting with one hand in my lap on the “R” subway traveling from Central Park to 14th Street. When the subway came to one of its stops, a well-dressed man stuffed something in my hand and then ran off the subway. The doors shutting quickly behind him. I looked down into my hand and it was a hundred-dollar bill. I spent half of it at Whole Foods.
Subway station at Whitehall Street, which is the stop for the Staten Island Ferry. This station was severely flooded for months after Hurricane Sandy.
One early evening, I came out of my bungalow in Midland Beach, Staten Island, and found a opossum eating out of my cats’ food bowl on my porch. Very nice and very unexpected. After that I started putting food out for this one particular opossum who came every night after that. Sometimes, one of my cats would see it there. They would sit and stare at the opossum a few seconds in apparent bewilderment and then walk away, and the opossum ignored the cats. Opossums love the dry cat food.
Opossum eating out of my cat’s food bowl.
- My bungalow in Midland
Beach, where I lived for 15 years.
Father during WWII
My Father, John T. Alstrom, Jr. (1914-1984), was a professional Army Officer from the beginning of WW II until 1951 when he had to retire because he had his leg blown off in Korea when he stepped on a land mine. He was born in Baltimore, Md., and died in Sun City, Arizona. After he retired from the Army, he and my stepmother lived in Monterey Park, California, where he worked helping disabled veterans.
Father always smoked a pipe.
During WWII, father was first in China then transferred to the Aleutian Islands.
After WWII, father was stationed in Germany where my mother and myself went to live with him for six months. He was a Captain but then was promoted to a Major at the time he was discharged in 1951.
Father in China cerca 1940
Mother, Father with actor Dan Daily at Ciro’s nightclub in Hollywood, California 1951. Father loved drinking and eating excessively, until he got diabetes.
Newspaper clipping of father receiving the Purple Heart. I have retained his Purple Heart. That and a couple of other metals is all I have from him.
He received the Bronze Star for saving the life of a fellow soldier. I knew nothing about this until an historian on-line told me about it. He found this certificate at an estate sale in Tennessee and looked me up on the internet.
I started thinking about habits of nature and nature’s most salient habit, seems to me, to be the four seasons. From the “Big Bang” there has been winter, spring, summer, autumn. Although global warming may be threatening to toy with it, nature still has its most unbreakable habit.
Winter on the FDR Boardwalk in Staten Island
Spring in Staten Island.
Summer in Staten Island, NY
Staten Island’s Greenbelt Autumn 2013
On the front page of the New York Times, October 30, 2013
For you who missed reading the front page of the New York Times this morning, I will reiterate the story that was honored concerning Alexander Calder, whose smallest mobiles sell in the range of $1,000,000. I guess the art world and market interests me to no extent, so it’s a taken that I would write about it on my blog. Why I love Calder is that every time I look at one of his mobiles, I say to myself “I want to make one of those, too.” I think all people like the people who inspire them and want to make them do things they haven’t done before. For me the challenge of mobiles is that there is a slight degree of science involved in that they have to be physically, as well as visually, balanced.
[“A lot of times maturing as an artist is just starting to do the things you like to do.” --John Currin during the 2013 Walter Annenberg Lecture on October 29.]
The long and the short of it is that Calder’s heirs are accusing Calder’s agent of Fraud. They said he sold fake Calder’s and stashed many away for himself. I thought that the juiciest bit of gossip was learning that Calder had a secret Swiss bank account into which his dealer deposited all of his earnings. [for complete story in the Times, click here]
The New York Times, October 30, 2013
This is a photo that I took of a Calder (sorry I didn’t get it all in) that hangs in a stairwell at the Museum of Modern Art. I thought it funny to hang a million dollar art object in a stairwell where hardly anyone ever goes. Most people don’t use the stairs but take elevators or escalators.
A Calder Mobile
“My mother said to me, “If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.” Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso.” by Pablo Picasso
Pablo Ruiz y Picasso (1881-1973), known as Pablo Picasso was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer who spent most of his adult life in France. Picasso spent the War years in Paris under the Nazi occupation. The Nazi’s would come to his studio and hassle him once in a while, but pretty much left him alone.
“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” - Pablo Picasso
This is my favorite photo of Picasso.
“Learn the rules like a pro, so that you can break them like an artist.”...Pablo Picasso.
A young Picasso
“We have always held to the hope, the belief, the conviction that there is a better life, a better world, beyond the horizon.” …Franklin D. Roosevelt
New York City from the Staten Island Ferry as it approaches the city. How many people coming from all over the world have approached the City with this view and imagined their new life laid out for them on the horizon. This view of the island minus all the buildings is what Henry Hudson saw as he sailed into New York Harbor.
Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.
San Francisco Bay. B&W photo is hand-tinted (Marshall’s photo tints).