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Saturdays and The City

Sat 26th Oct

I look forward to Saturdays. I normally spend the day walking around the city without any particular agenda, a day off college.

Today on 6th Ave, as I walked down towards East Village there was a protest march against police brutality in New York . Being inquisitive, I went to where the protesters were gathering and heard Quinten Tarantino (he’s on the stage in the front of the crowd) speaking in support of the protest.

I did go and see a movie/ documentary recently called ‘Cross The Line’ which highlighted this. I have to say that New York feels a lot safer than when I used to come here in the 70s and 80s.

A statistic I heard recently was that there are now 36,000 police in Manhattan.The crowd was very angry, so I walked on and away towards Tomkins Square Park , East Village .

Here, just 4 streets away , sharply juxtaposed with the protest ,was the Dog’s Halloween Parade.Crazy stuff !! -There must have been a two hundred dogs - I’ve never seen so many bored pooches in my life!

Tuesday 28th

I went down to Chinatown to find a business that my sculpture teacher mentioned called ‘Canal Plastics’.Its a treasure trove of everything to do with acrylic, sheet plastic , mirroring . They will also engineer anything you want for a project. I also went to ‘Complete Sculptor’ on Vandam St .it’s not the cheapest , but a great range of materials and a source of ideas .

It’s Halloween madness here with many kids and adults dressed up in the street and shops full of Halloween stuff.

Fri 30th Oct

I went to the Neue Gallerie - Museum for German and Austrian Art. Here is the home of Gustav Klimpt’s ’Woman in Gold ‘ , every bit as beautiful as in photographs ,and made even more desirable by the interesting provenance of the painting.

This gallery is Uptown beside Central Park and the current show is ‘Berlin Metropolis’ 1918- 1933 covering Art (DaDa – Otto Dix, Grosz, Hoch) , Architecture( Bauhaus) , Film ( Metropolis, Fritz Lang) Between the two world wars Berlin was one of the most decadent and exciting cities in the world and this exhibition explores the decade that was the Weimar Republic.

George Grosz

Otto Dix

After visiting the gallery I walked across the southern part of Central Park, beautiful in the ‘Fall’.

It’s only when you see a map of Manhattan that you can comprehend how large the park is.

Sat 31st Oct

I went on a tour. First stop Philadelphia which was the capital of USA before WashingtonDC .This is where the American Treaty of Independence was signed and where the Liberty Bell is .

Next stop, the Amish Community in Lancaster, Pennsylvannia.

The use of electricity is avoided by Amish because it is a prime connection to the world that could lead to temptations and worldly things detrimental to the community and family life. The clothing reflects the Amish resistance to change, respect for tradition, and their interpretation of the Bible’s instructions against conforming to the ways of the world .There is great emphasis on humility and their rejection of ‘Hochmut’ (pride, arrogance, haughtiness) and the high value they place on ‘Demut’ ‘(humility) and ‘Gelassenheit’ (calmness, composure, placidity). This all translates into a reluctance to be forward, self-promoting, or to assert oneself in any way. Although both Amish folk agreed to be photographed, you will notice that they avert their eyes. I got a lot of information about the Amish – enough to fill two pages – suffice to say, It was a fascinating day.

It was a three hour drive back to Manhattan . We arrived back to the madness of the Halloween Parade through Greenwich Village which was at the end of our street .Talk about contrasts – I saw some of the most flamboyant people I have ever seen ! – it is quite a spectacle and the procession lasts for nearly four hours. People come from Long Island , New Jersey and further to join the parade. Unfortunately my phone battery died so I have only limited images and the crowd was ten deep.

That’s all for now , Happy Halloween!