Sunday, January 27, 2013

Column Head

I love to look at the cherubs, pretty ladies, animals and gargoyles that embellish so many older buildings. But columns like this are not so plentiful. Perhaps he is kin of Gimli the dwarf. There is an air of Middle Earth about him, aided by the paint job and the moss.  His colorful visage is startling but historians tell us that the ancient Greeks painted their statues in similarly realistic tones. No tasteful white marble for them. Imagine how our cities would look if the stone ladies wore blue gowns, the carved ivy was green and the cherubs had blond hair. What a magnificently colorful world it would be.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Roof, Victoria and Albert Museum

The top floor of the V & A is devoted to ceramics. Even on gray days the galleries are bright, thanks to the recently refurbished roof. There are places where you can look out over the roof. Hundreds of glass panes form a new topography of mountains and valleys. buttes and plains. This section first made me think of a race track, then one of those water parks with churned-up rapids in a faux stream. My mind wandered. The reflection of the museum's dome and greenery became rippling waves. I could almost see happy, wet people ensconced in inner tubes coming round the bend. Now that would be a sight, up on the roof of the V & A.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Balloon Guys

Stepping off the subway at 79th Street, a disembodied mass of balloons floated towards me. No, wait---there was a set of legs, and then another set. Two guys holding many dozens of balloons came towards me. 138, to be exact. I asked. They had been in the last car. I wondered they got on before the doors closed on the balloons. They planned to sell the balloons over by the Natural History Museum. They posed for me, happy and full of the promise of the money they would make. "But how will you even get out of the station?" I asked. They laughed and said their was a "secret exit" at the far end.  I wished them luck but did not follow. It was just another day on the subway in New York City. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Kaleidoscopic Mirrors

Mirrors are the shiniest of all objects. Their reflections and the way they bounce light can be controlled by their shape and position. One of Bergdorf Goodman's holiday windows made spectacular use of mirrors. "Grand Finale" featured feather-headdressed showgirls posed before a background of slowly revolving shapes created from hundreds of mirrored segments. Set at a multitude of angles, the mirrors reflected constantly changing bits of the scene, like a giant kaleidoscope. As it rotated, it summoned up thoughts of stars, snowflakes, disco balls and grand chandeliers. It was mesmerizing.