An afternoon walk, New York

From the faraway, nearby”. Georgia O’Keefe, 1937. Met. Born in 1887, she was fifty when she started experimenting with those paintings. I didn’t realize she’d lived until she was almost a hundred, she died in 1986. Sadly, she lost most of her eyesight in the 70’s which must be a curse for an artist. She did leave us unique art. Thank you ma’am…

“Lower east side.” I have said it often: I believe street art is today’s most powerful form of Art. A total reinvention. The names? Look them up. Major figures of the New York scene.

Just a simple New York winter sky. (November 2021)

Oedipus and the Sphinx, by Gustave Moreau, 1864. At the Met. Moreau is one of my favourite painters of the 19th century. His old house in Paris has been converted into a museum. A must-go in Paris. Moreau’s style and choice of subjects was very influenced by mythology. He was probably fluent in Latin and Greek…

Getting ready for Ukraine. A few yards away from the Strand. A unique bookshop in New York. (Sadly I’m not sure it will resist modern times.)

D-Day, June 6, 1944, “Omaha Beach”, Normandy. The men who jumped from the barge that day were almost certain to die. Robert Capa (1913-1954) the photographer who jumped with them into the water ran the same risk. 4,400 soldiers died that day. But they took the beaches. And established points where the Allies could land more troops and equipment and eventually win the war. Capa took 79 pictures in the first hours of D-Day. Later the lab assistant blotched all but 9 shots when developing… (I wonder whether court martial was considered in his case). Robert Capa followed the Civil War in Spain, WWII and later conflicts without a scratch. He was killed by a landmine in 1954, during the “French” Vietnam war. (That expo was at the Met. I think)

At a café on Broadway. A sort of NGO coffee shop selling only fair practice coffee. (Forgot the name of the Café)

Greenwich. Black & white is for New York, folks. As I walked there I was thinking of those young folks, 20 then, now pushing 80, who thought they would change the world… Nice try guys.

“Oh Brad!”. Street art à la Lichtenstein in Little Italy …

The High Line. One of the best initiatives of any City Hall I’ve seen anywhere in recent years. An old abandoned elevated train line transformed in a pedestrian walk and park from 34th St to the Hudson yards. Even in the bl..dy cold of November it was a very fine walk.

Catarina. Somewhere in New York. November 2021. (As most of this post)

A view from Brooklyn. (c)courtesy Gini. (October 22)

The “new Mount Rushmore”. Along the High Line. Warhol. Frida, Keith Haring (no idea who that is) and Bastiquiat. Mural by Eduardo Kobra on 10th avenue. Kobra is good. Very good. Seen a few works of his on that trip.

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.” We’ll put them on a bus… Sorry for the bad joke on Emma Lazarus’ wonderful words. Freedom is more than ever at stake.

Mural at Hudson Yards by street artist “Elle” (means ‘She’ in French) a wonderful young American artist based in Brooklyn. See more of her work here:

Well folks, the night is falling on the Hudson river, this post is almost over. Over? Not quite. (Noy Joysey across the river)

Bistro “Les amis” (friends) in Soho. Travellers Umpteen and Umpteen plus One have just downloaded the new App “Faites-vous des amis.” (‘Make new friends’ if you don’t speak Frog.)

Now that’s it my friends. Until next time.

Free Ukraine. 🇺🇦

144 thoughts on “An afternoon walk, New York

  1. “I believe street art is today’s most powerful form of Art.” Agreed! I’ve fallen more and more in love with urban murals, seeking them in whichever space I explore. Here it’s all about the art and not the artist.

    • Pottery. I didn’t know that. A good idea. “replacing” eyes with hands. I guess if I lost my eyesight and could not read anymore, I’d go back to the piano… 🎹
      (A very nice shot by my youngest daughter. She recently did a flat swap and spent a month in Brooklyn.)

  2. Pingback: An afternoon walk, New York — Equinoxio | Rethinking Life

  3. I’m 100% with you on street art — my favourite form of art these days. I’m a huge fan of Banksy, but that one by Elle is absolutely stunning … breathtaking. Glad you could visit NYC and you got some great shots here. Nothing looks the same as it did when I lived there some 60 years ago.

    Health situation is mostly the same. One attempt last week at the cardioversion was halted because of low potassium levels … again. And now I have another infection. However, I’m hanging in and keep repeating my mantra: Mind over matter. Next scheduled cardioversion is March … hopefully time to get potassium levels up and infection gone.

    • Hi Jill. yes, Elle is a talented young woman. 60 years ago? Hmmm. I lived in NY for a few months in 1979. That’s 40+. Things have changed but NY will always be NY…
      I was wondering about your health… Hmmm. Does anybody know why the low potassium? Hopefully march will be ok. 🤞🏻

      • Yeah, I was what I call a “bi-coastal kid” … never lived in the middle of the country, but bounced back and forth between New York and California. I lived in NYC 3-4 times during my youth, and California about the same. Yes, it will always be New York, but somehow it doesn’t have quite the appeal for me that it once had. I think … even though I did not live there when the Twin Towers were built … they were still part of New York for me. I’ve not been back there since shortly before 9/11 and I’m not sure I could go back now. That was … very personal for me.

        Yes, please do keep your fingers crossed for March … I’m getting so tired of this hassle … I get my hopes up, then dashed. I’m nearly ready to say “to heck with it”, but I want to get some strength back and it isn’t happening now. Sigh. No, apparently I just don’t eat enough bananas and broccoli!!!

      • I understand the personal thing. Last time we went, we did go to Ground zero. Very moving.
        Let’s keep hour hopes up for March. Have you tried a fixed bicycle?

      • I haven’t tried one, primarily because I don’t have one, and don’t have room for one, even if I could afford it, but I do try to do the 15 stairs several times a day … hopefully that helps.

      • They’re not very expensive. And the room they take is minimal. Stairs are good. But the advantage of the stationary bicycle is that it’s aerobic without forcing. Ask your doctor what s/he thinks

      • My pleasure Jill. I think Medicine has progressed a lot, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to find a solution. This stuff has limited you. Too early for that. 😉
        Take care.

  4. An excellent tour, Brian, in many places I walked last November. I love your eye for interesting subjects and your love of art shines through. Keith Haring’s pop art used to grace subway walls and museums alike. Thanks for the memories!

    • Thank you Jane. Coming from an expert EYE like you I’m honoured…
      Glad we walked some of the same places.
      As I grow older, I find that Art /which has always interested me) is probably one of the 2-3 highest achievements of humankind…
      Take care.

    • PS. About art. The ancient Greeks (who pretty much invented everything) had developed 3 concepts: Beauty, Truth, and Good. Nothing could hold together if all three were not united. Truth without Beauty is not Good. Good can only be achieved through beauty Truth, etc. Art pretty much sums up all three. Hence my interest.
      Your art, your photography also pretty much checks on all three.
      Take care Jane. (I heard there were floods in California?)

      • So beautifully stated, Brian. Thank you so much.
        We were drenched for many days – we got almost six inches in one day. We just hunkered down and were fine, but I feel terrible for those in the flooded areas. Devastating. Appreciate your concern!

  5. Another great collection and thank you for the share! And yes, street art around the world is typically politically charged. You can get a good sense of where the country is at – a real insight.

    Spent several days in Normandy (I have a couple of posts) in 2016. What an experience! It’s such a confronting region.

    Oh and I resigned this week. Started booking flights on the weekend. So, fly from Brisbane for 4 nights in Singapore, then fly to Osaka and spend 6 weeks (or so) in Japan before heading to Stockholm and heading 6 hours north to visit my partner’s eldest. Then stick around Scandinavia only until before we go broke, then off to the UK.
    Hope to do Glastonbury Festival in late June if we’re invited back as volunteers, then it’s off to Italy. Towards the end of this year, we hope to volunteer in Ukraine if the country’s situation has settled. After that, not sure but we’ll be away from Oz for a couple of years. Watch this space!

  6. I get such a thrill whenever I see a new blog post of yours in my feed, because of the unique art pieces they always contain, Brian. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

    • You’re only too sweet Aiva. I’m fortunate to be able to travel long distances. Which is where the art is. The Met – and MOMA – in New York are favourite places of mine. Because of the variety of art they have. Now, London is not that far from you and also has lots of good stuff.
      Though with a new home and a new baby, you might want to take it easy for a coupla years.
      Take care. 🤗💕

  7. I love these magical tours. So much to take away from the images and words. There’s much talent and beauty in this world. Thank you for taking the time to compile, describe, and share your own thoughts with us, Brian. I lived in New York city as a very young child. Don’t remember much of it. But visited a few times when I was older. It’s quite a city. 🙂

    • There is – still – much talent and beauty everywhere. A bit under attack sometimes, but it may be the only thing that will save us… 😉
      You lived there until you were 8 or so?
      Hard to remember, but later trips fuel the memory. It is a fascinating city… 👍🏻

  8. I like the Greenwich sign and the High Line photo. Looks like a train will drive right off the side. I think they were just building the Highline last time I was in NY. Either that or I just didn’t make it. I am pretty sure they were just building. Great batch of photos. Seems almost like normal travel once again. Cheers to you from a very wet California.

  9. I’ve yet to visit the Moreau Museum. Thanks for the reminder. You don’t know Keith Haring? I wouldn’t say he’s as talented as the others (especially Basquiat) but he definitely made a mark.

    • Do. Moreau. It is a bit of a mess, but is THE largest Moreau museum.
      I missed out on Keith Haring. Just looked him up. Judging bu his style he did influence a number of people.

      • Oui
        Une semaine à New York, il y a 8 ans et tois semaines dans l’est américain, il y a trois ans.
        Mais j’y retournerai 🙂

      • il ya trois ans, juste avant le COVUD n’est-ce pas? Retourne-z-y. Je pense aller aux US et Canada cet été. Plus près que Paris. Pas décidé encore…

      • J’ai passé trois semaines en Norvège et j’ai beaucoup aimé. (Le froid ne me fait pas peur 😃)
        Je testerais bien une balade en scooter au milieu des immensités neigeuses 🙂

      • C’est vrai que tu as passé du temps en R*ussie. Près d’un an, je crois? Et tu aimes bien la montagne. (J’aimais bien aussi, mais avec l’âge, on devient frileux… Haha!)
        Et le scooter doit être sympa. Comme le jet ski dans la neige. (Faudra demander à l’autre, à Brégançon…)

  10. I agree with your comment about street art being an important modern form of art. It is very insightful into the mindset of communities and modern societal issues. I did not know Robert Capa. Horrible to die due to a landline.

  11. Hi Brian, it’s nice to find you in NY 😊. I agree about the wall art revolution. Thank you for the exiting artwork. I too am a fan of the often surreal art of Moreau. Have a lovely dear!

  12. Wonderful street art. Every one tells a story, a powerful, unique story. Sometimes the story behind the street art and artist would even surprise you, as with the Georgia O’Keefe painting. Some works of art speak of wider issues, and others more personal. That’s the beauty of art – there’s much intention behind every piece. Nice skylines too. Enjoy the year ahead.

      • Always enjoy visiting. It’s like coming around to catch up and see where we are at. New year, yes. Also not forgetting any day can be a new beginning 😊

      • I find it fascinating. Like the variations between Romance languages, derived from Latin. Door in French is ‘porte’. ‘Puerta’ in Spanish. ‘Porta’ in Portuguese.
        And I’m sure local accents are different too. I’ve heard ‘xie xie’ pronounced ‘shi shie’ and ‘si sie’.
        Thanks for the tip Peng Yu. 🙏🏻

      • That is great observation. Very interesting to know about the other languages having difference in tonality too. It’s definitely the case with Mandarin and the other dialects – similar words with variations in terms of spelling and pronunciation. And when you know one well, you tend to know a bit of the other 😊

      • There are differences in spelling and pronunciation. Also on where the stress is out on a word. For instance in French stress is almost always on the last syllable. In Spanish, it can be on the last, the middle syllable.
        Not sure about tonality. I have heard enough Hokkien (or Mandarin) to distinguish the tones. Are those like notes? C, D, E, F, G? Like on a piano?

      • Yes, it would be something like that, to distinguish tones and also yes, not to forget different emphasis on each syllable. Learning languages or just learning to speak a language casually can be so fun.

  13. O, you make me homesick for another visit to NYC! Not that it’s ever been my home but I’ve always felt at home there. I love the street art (especially the piece by Elle) and the monochrome shot in Greenwich. The Robert Capa photo too. We saw an interesting exhibition called Requiem in the War Remnants Museum in HCMC about photographers from both sides who were killed in the Vietnam War (only there they call it the American War!) and he was featured. He was apparently the first US correspondent killed in the conflict.

    • I lived there a few months after Grad school. NY is a place you never get over. One has to go back and back.
      Yes, Capa was the first. During the French Indochina war… Sad.

  14. I never knew that was how Capa died, you learn something new every day, as they say! I came across a big Keith Haring street art piece when we were in Pisa a couple of years ago. Not really my favourite style, but big in NY back in the day. Great trip around NY, Brian.

    • Agreed. I do learn every day and on every post as I do research. I knew about Cap’s death, but had forgotten where…
      Haring is not my cup of tea either, but he did bring something to the “table” of Art…

  15. So sorry I am ridiculously late to this wonderful and eclectic ode to New York. You manage to see so many things others don’t. Wonderful.
    Vraiment merveilleux, Brieuc!

  16. I’m just argumentative by nature. 🙂 Wonderful photography! And a reply to every comment. Seriously, how is one to “know” their own self without some “knowledge” of others? From this post alone I image that you travel to know the world.

    • To each his/her own…
      I do try to reply to every comment. It’s a matter of courtesy. You visit and comment? You deserve an answer… From the Americas to Down under and a lot of places in between. And one does learn a lot from those exchanges…
      Thank you for the “wonderful photography”. 80% Iphone, 20% Photoshop.
      Travel? I was born “travelling” in a way. “Abroad”, wherever that may be. Learnt other langauges before mine. Forgot some. Learnt others…
      Travelling is a matter of feeling. Eyes. Ears. Situations. People.
      Knowing the world? A bit too vast. One gets a glimpse. Which is fine.
      Be good.

  17. You have quite a following.

    The pictures are lovely, and I so adore the Met luckily living 5 minutes from it. During the height of Covid 19 I went faithfully every Friday to sit with Degas and Renoir who soothed my troubles and fears.

    The Greenwich Village black and white is pretty great. Reminds me of Patti Smith and Allen Ginsburg, when she sang, I’ll Be Lonesome Tonight at his memorial at Saint Marks Church. I happen to like photographs since they inspire and evoke.

    • Not sure about the word “follow”. Maybe I prefer the word “Fellow”. The Fellowship of the Equinox… 😉
      They’re great people. Like you.
      I am green with envy that you live 5mns away form the Met… (I’d probably go there once a week too.) Last time I was in NY, less than a week. I “chained” the MOMA, the Met. I could probably go twice…
      I liked that picture too. and B&W suits it. Patti Smith. Ginsburg… Memories… In one of my walks I passed by the Village Voice building… Very moving. Yes photos evoke…
      Thanks for visiting…

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