Walking the High Line While Looking at the Eclipse

On August 21st, I traveled, from Staten Island into Manhattan, to try to see the Eclipse from the High Line, because I thought that might be an interesting place to see it from.  I walked the High Line from 23rd Street to 14th Street.  Many other people had the same idea as me.  These are a few of the photos I got. The Eclipse wasn’t too great from NYC.  It looks like the moon in the sky, but actually, it is the sun being covered by the moon.

The Best Shot of the Eclipse I got.


New Apartment building as seen along the High Line
Walking along the High Line
People on Street Looking at the Eclipse


NYC Women’s March on 1/21/17

Left home in Staten Island at 8:40 a.m. and arrived at 1st Avenue & 47th Street at 10:30 a.m (see above photo). United Nations building in the background.

Was suppose to meet group there that I signed up with on Internet, but so many people, I couldn’t find them.  People arriving very fast.  Struggled through the crowd.  Bought a couple of pins as souvenirs.  One says “Women’s March” and the other says “Trump Not My President.”  Moved through growing crowd of now thousands of people until I could get to the #6 subway at 51st Street.

Planning to take subway to Grand Central & then the Midtown library before heading home on #10 bus, which I can get right across the street from Midtown library and takes me only a block from my apartment in Staten Island.  Since, I’m 74, my stamina seems to be on the decline.  When I arrived on 42nd St., outside at Grand Central,the crowd consisting of men, women, children and many families, was so big, moving through them was difficult.  There was no way I would ever make it the few blocks to the library, not just because of the crowd, but because streets were blocked off.  Decided to go back into Grand Central Station to catch the #6 train to go downtown where I could also catch the #10 Express Bus home.

When I re-entered Grand Central Station from Vanderbilt Avenue, I couldn’t believe it.  I’ve never seen Grand Central like that. This was actually the highlight of my day. I had my camera with me all this time taking photos.

All & all, one of the most exciting experiences of my life.

I was standing at the Vanderbilt entrance, which is a raised platform, taking photos with a multitude of other camera-happy people.
Marches organizing for April 15th, 2017, to get Trump to show his taxes.  Participate


On 1st Avenue.  Erica Jong liked this photo.  So did I.


Anti-Trump Marches And Rallies Planned For April 15.  Tax Day.

To get Trump to release his taxes. Get involved.



Weekly Photo Challenge: Now

This looks like a man standing on top of the Flatiron building on 23rd St. and Broadway in NYC, but it's actually a statue by Antony Gormley.
This looks like a man standing on top of the Flatiron building on 23rd St. and Broadway in NYC, but it’s actually a statue by Antony Gormley. People on the ground looking up at it thought it was a man about to jump.

Since I live alone–but, I have a cat, who claws up my furniture–in a building for seniors only, in Staten Island, yet, my life may not be too adventurous.  Like many things I say off the top of my head, that’s not true at all.  My life now is more adventurous as it’s ever been.  I’m doing more art now than ever before, and making art is the greatest adventure of all.  Also living in Staten Island, I’m less than an hour’s bus ride from Manhattan, The Big Apple, the greatest city on earth, which I still find as exciting as when I first moved to New York, 31 years ago.  I feel as though I have Manhattan at my feet without having to pay the high prices.  Staten Island is so much less expensive than Manhattan it’s ridiculous, but a person can still partake of all that Manhattan has to offer.

My latest hangout in Manhattan.  The New Whitney Museum of American Art.  Opened 5/1/2015.  Member since 5/1/2015.
My latest hangout in Manhattan. The New Whitney Museum of American Art. Opened 5/1/2015. Member since 5/1/2015.

New York City is so gigantic that I’m still exploring it and finding new places all the time.  I seem to go through different periods, switching from an absorption in nature and the rural part of New York, where there are deer and the like, and the opposite, taking in the big city.  NOW, my fascination is with the urban side of New York City, and especially the art world.  My first attraction to NYC came when a teenager in Los Angeles, when on my lunch hour, I would go to my highschool library and read about the New York Art Scene in the New York Times.

Check this out:  The 50 Coolest Places in New York City Right Now.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Oops!

In response to the Posts Weekly Photo Challenge:  Oops This is supposed to be a photo that was a disaster.  Usually my disasters, I delete immediately, but this one (above)  I kept after the fact.  As soon as I looked at it in my camera, I thought to myself “I think I’ve got a photo to fit the Oops! photo challenge.”

At first, I had no idea what that blurry object is in this photo, but now I can see that a man on a  Citi Bike rode by me just as I snapped the photo, which I took to show Santa Claus walking down the street. Also notice the man sitting inside at Starbucks.  He looks like his legs are cut off at the ankles. Taken in the East Village. NYC (photo is far more interesting if you click on it to enlarge.  You can see the people’s faces.)

Today was SantaCon Day, which occurs every year in NYC around this time.  That’s why there’s a Santa Clause in the above photo.  People dress up in Santa Costumes and go to bars and goof off. This event began a few years back as a much bigger way with venues in either Central Park or the streets of the West Village, but it’s popularity has really dwindled into just people going to  a few bars, that cater to the event, and getting drunk.   The event has gotten a lot of bad publicity in recent years because sometimes fights break out with so many people drinking.  The day keeps the police busy with a lot of stupid things.

Below are three photos that came out a little better.

One of the best dressed women I saw.
One of the best dressed women I saw in the Village.

Santa Con 12/12/15

Young New Yorkers celebrating the annual SantaCon pub crawl 2015, The East Village.  It was so warm today, some people were wearing shorts and tee shirts.  I’ve never seen it like this before so close to Christmas in NYC.

Life is a Caboret on Santa Con.

Life is a Cabaret on the annual SantaCon day on Broadway in the East Village.  K-Mart was selling Santa Hats for $3.00.  

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.”

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.

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.


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.