Sunday, August 28, 2022

Subway Tiles

 Most subway stations in New York still have at least some of their original tiles. Craftsmen carefully laid out letters, numbers and, in some stations, fancy medallions. Dark backgrounds are a mix of two or three colors that also vary in texture. Edging bands read as one color but are actually composed of several. Even after years of pollution and wear, the tiles have a painterly quality. Waiting on the platform is my opportunity to really look at and enjoy the colors and patterns, until a whoosh of underground wind announces the arrival of the next train.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

The Land of Fair Food

 It's been a while since I've been to the county fair. The faded and shabby concession stands that used to share space with the games and rides have now been replaced with shiny new ones offering cotton candy and funnel cakes. My favorite is this one, a veritable temple to fair food, a Corn Dog Castle. The banners flap in the fried-food-scented breeze. Children shriek as the kiddie rides go round and round. Go ahead, have a corn dog. And maybe a lemonade.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

In Among the Teasels

 A fire hydrant is a necessary and therefore immoveable object. This homeowner has chosen to grow her garden around it. Sometimes it's almost invisible, just a splash of yellow among the teasels that glow in the morning light. The hydrant is accessible, but partly camouflaged. In high summer, it seems to be doing its best impression of  Birnam Wood and is, possibly, dreaming of Shakespeare.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Hummel Figurines

 As an artistic child promise growing up in Bavaria, could Berta Hummel ever have known that her art would become a worldwide sensation? After she joined the convent and became Sister Maria Innocentia, her paintings were reproduced as postcards. In 1935, the first Hummel figurines appeared. For many years, two of them sat on my grandmother's mirrored shelf, safely away from the hands of small grandchildren. Flea markets now do a brisk trade in Hummels. Whether you think they are charming or too kitschy, they hearken back to a happy vision of a gentler time.