groundhog in the Greenbelt

Weekly Photo Challenge: Treat

While out walking, seeing a wild animal unexpectedly is really a treat.

White Tailed Deer
Ran into a white-tailed deer while walking in Staten Island’s Greenbelt area near Rockland Avenue.


Turtle I unexpectedly came upon in Central Park.
Even more of a treat when a person comes upon a wild animal in the middle of New York City.  Turtle I unexpectedly came upon in Central Park.  Is he looking back at me?  Probably not.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Treat.”

Frank Stella at the Whitney Oct

Senior Citizens Getting it On in the Art World

Seniors in Lisbon meet Street Art

Photo taken from Twitter

Below:  Frank Stella (age 79) Retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art (Oct. 30, 2015-Feb. 7, 2016)

Frank Stella
Photo: Gayle Alstrom
Frank Stella at the Whitney
Photo:  Gayle Alstrom
K37, 2008
Photo:  Gayle Alstrom
Fedallah, 1988, Mixed Media on Aluminum
Fedallah, 1988, Mixed Media on Aluminum
(Photo:  Gayle Alstrom)
[You might want to read my post entitled “The Frank Stella Retrospective at the Whitney,” on my other blog “One American Mind.”]
This is a very short video about Stella that really helps tremendously in understanding his work:
Richard Serra turns 76 on November 2, 2015

Richard Serra, The Matter of Time (2005). Image: Guggenhiem Bilbao Museoa 2015, Richard Serra Arts Rights Society (ARS) New York.
Richard Serra, The Matter of Time (2005).
Image: Guggenhiem Bilbao Museoa 2015, Richard Serra Arts Rights Society (ARS) New York.
Serra’s monumental sculpture, Sequence (2006), is already installed in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s (SFMOMA)  new building.

National Cat Day-October 29, 2015

Sorry, to be a day late with National Cat Day, October 29th, but just found out about it. Below are some of my favorite cat photos. The only one by me is so indicated.

This following video (only a few seconds long) was filmed from The Highline in NYC.

The most famous cat: Grumpy Cat
The most famous cat: Grumpy Cat

The so-called Grumpy Cat reached viral meme status in around 2012, but he’s recently gained new attention from the Commander-in-Chief. White House political director David Simas used the meme to illustrate the Republican primary debate on Wednesday night.

My Own Cat: Fluffy. She was already named that before I got her 6 months ago, when her previous owner had to go to nursing home.
My Own Cat: Fluffy. She was already named that before I got her 6 months ago, when her previous owner had to go to nursing home.  She looks just like the cat in the above video, only a little fatter.  She’s been an indoor cat her entire life.  She’s not the least camera shy.
Norwegian Forest Cat. Photographer Unknown
Norwegian Forest Cat. Photographer Unknown
Beautiful cat. Don't know who photography was.
Beautiful cat. Found on Pinterest.
1025 tarantino

The Bullet Journal

Bullet Journal photo linked to site.on subject.

After reading on the Internet about the bullet journal, I decided to start keeping one.  The bullets are supposedly to help the writer to focus.  It worked for me.  This is my bullet journal entry for yesterday.

October 24, 2015

•       6:00 a.m. Fed the stray cats outside and the birds (saw only  2 cats this morning.)

•      9:00 a.m. #53 bus to YMCA on Broadway in Staten Island, to workout.  (3 years ago, when I turned 70, I decided to always go to the gym and workout on my birthday).

•      Brought canned goods to YMCA for their October food drive.

•      10:00 a.m. From YMCA took #53 bus going south on Broadway to Hylan Blvd and Clove Road.  Transferred to Express #1 bus going into Manhattan, after buying and eating apple turnover at deli.  Exercising makes me hungry.

•      After sitting though a massive traffic jam on 6th Avenue in the West Village, taking up 1/2 hour of my day, I disembarked bus on 14th Street, along with most of the other passengers, who had had just about enough. (Weather cool and cloudy.  Not pleasant).

•      Walked up to Bed Bath & Beyond on 6th and 18th Street to use their restroom.

•      Woman stopped to ask me why the traffic had stopped and so many policemen.  I said I didn’t know for sure, but I thought it was either a demonstration that they were policing, or they were filming a movie.  Someone on the bus said they saw a movie truck, but I didn’t know for sure.  “If it was a movie,” the woman said, “then were all those policemen (maybe 100) real or just actors?”  Who knew?

•      I had seen a large group of what looked like demonstrators holding up signs, but the group (at least 100) seemed too-well organized.  Everyone was holding their sign up about the same height and not moving.  A real demonstration would be more chaotic.  But, what do I know?  (see below:  it really was a demonstration)

•      Ended up spending $15 at Bed Bath & Beyond: Celestial Seasons Chai pumpkin spice tea, a belt rack, and a yogurt that I then stood outside Bed Bath & Beyond on 6th Ave. and devoured.  (If you’re out and about in NYC, Bed Bath & Beyond has great restrooms–no purchase required).

•      Visited a couple of other stores that I frequent in that area:  Blicks art supply (spent $16), Michaels (got out without spending any more money.  Don’t know how that happened.)

•      After getting a little more spending money from a Bank of America Kiosk, I walked to Union Square on 14th Street from 6th Avenue and 23rd St.  (about 15 minutes or maybe a mile).

•      Bought a mini tuna salad sandwich, a small bag of store-made tortilla chips and 2 vitamin-enhanced drinks at the Whole Foods Market on 14th. ($8).  Ate sandwich and 1 drink in Whole Foods dining area.  Saved the tortilla chips and 1 drink. Over heard people talking on their cell phones about trying to find jobs, etc.  Just like on the bus.  I find this annoying.  Upon leaving Whole Foods, found discarded paper-back book on Roman Mythology.

•      4.00 p.m. approximately–walked to another Blick’s Art Supply, this one on 13th Street–just around the corner from Whole Foods, and spent $10 more for 3 double-pointed brush markers (black, dark yellow & brown).  Really like them.  I buy art supplies, i.e., markers, and then a month later I find a product I like better than what I had been using, so my art supply collection just keeps growing and taking up more room.

•      Sat down on bench at bus stop on Broadway, between 14th & 15th) to wait for #10 express bus home to Port Richmond, Staten Island.  Starting to feel really tired.  Remember, I had already spent 45 minutes working out before ever coming into the city.  Usually after I work out, I go home, eat, and fall asleep for about a 2-hour nap.  I hate doing that, but I do it anyway. Hoped bus would come fast so I could relax for the 1 to 2 hour trip home, depending on traffic.

•      Sitting and waiting at bus stop, read in Mythology book about Zeus and Hera, his primary wife (he really screwed around a lot).  All those Roman names of Gods, I can’t ever remember.

•      Also sitting on the bench was a very pretty young girl–model type.  She was posing for a woman taking photos of her.  I figured the woman was trying to build a portfolio for her so that maybe she could get modelling work.  When they spoke, it wasn’t English.  Maybe Russian.  Lots of pretty Russian women in NYC.

•      After an hour, the bus had never showed up.  Darkness creeping in.  Really tired now, more from just waiting than anything else.  Pretty girl and woman had left a long time before.

•      Finally, took #1 Express Bus as an alternative.  On trip home, the night overtook the City.

•      Transferred on Hylan Blvd. in Staten Island to the #53 which brought me home faster than I ever expected.  I discovered an alternative route for getting home from the City, which is faster than my usual #10 route.  Made it in an hour once I got on the bus.  It seems that buses play a big part in my life.

•     7:10  p.m. Arrived home at last:  fell asleep after quick dinner.  I had literally shopped until I dropped.

Anyway, if you are still reading this stuff, you get the idea of the bullet journal.  Even though, I had my camera with me yesterday, I didn’t manage to take any photos, but I did do a little doodling on the bus.  Since it’s hard to draw on a moving bus, it’s better for me to keep those doodles private.You will be happy to hear, I’m not going to keep my journal on the internet.


UPDATE:  10/25 — I just heard on the news that there really was a demonstration yesterday in Manhattan–against police brutality.  Many people participated, but the news is mostly about Quentin Tarantino demonstrating, which only shows how much attention a celebrity can bring to an event.  See photos–header and below.


cropped times sq.

My Day in the City

Yesterday, was the first day in two years that I traveled into the City above 23rd Street.  All my current interests seem to have become anchored in lower Manhattan.

The weather was fantastic in NYC .  The primary reason I went in was to go to a stamp show.  Many kids collect stamps but don’t continue once they grow up.  I never stopped.  I was mostly a history major in college, so maybe there is some kind of connection there.  Most of my childhood interests stayed with me throughout my life.

The new Elvis stamp. Sheet made to look like a record album.
The new Elvis stamp. Sheet made to look like a record album.
The Stamp show booklet.
The Stamp show booklet.

After the stamp show at the Midtown Hilton, I walked up to Whole Foods on Columbus Circle and bought a sandwich for $8.00 of turkey, cheddar cheese and avocado on some kind of Artisan bread and spicy dressing.  It was worth the price.

After stuffing my gut, I walked from Columbus Circle down Broadway to 42nd Street.  I was so tired (I turn 73 today)  that I took the express bus home from 5th Avenue.  Following are some of my souvenirs from the day.  I’m thinking of going back today.

The theater on Broadway where Stephen Colbert has his show.
Above:  The theater on Broadway where Stephen Colbert has his show.



Times Square was packed.
Times Square was packed.  Below, are people standing in line to get half price theater tickets which are sold on the day of a show that still has empty seats.


I love the big theater posters. After 30 years in NYC, I still find Times Square exciting.  However, the Broadway theater has out-priced me.
I love the big theater posters. After 30 years in NYC, I still find Times Square   exciting.
Big truck runs around advertising Stephen Colbert.  Nice to see so many people on bikes in NYC.  Beats walking.