A little garbage picking in Dumbo last night. A welcome return after being in the country for a long time. I missed the random visuals of the urban landscape.
When I was young (3-6 yrs. old) and living in the suburbs of Philadelphia, there was an abandoned house next door to ours. Actually, I think it was a garage with an apartment upstairs. But because I was little, it seemed huge. And scary. In part because Mrs. O’Brien, an ogre of a woman who lived in the main house, was meaner than mean. I believe she once hit my father with a rolled up newspaper, or an umbrella, because she was angry about our barking dog. She may have had a point. Anyway, my parents, heeding the laws and perhaps some hidden dangers, forbid us to go inside. But try squelching the curiosity of two small children eager to defy the rules. When we did finally sneak our way in, we found boxes and letters and lots of broken glass (the danger part!) scattered among three-legged chairs and the mustiest air imaginable. Sorry, I digress. I just found a few photos from a little jaunt my husband and I made over to Governors Island a year or so ago. The city decided to open up some of the buildings — the fancy officers houses and the red brick dormitories — to the public. It was truly amazing. Peeling paint, everything fallen into decrepitude, and many many closed doors. It brought back that crazy childhood impulse to trespass in a big way. The photographs don’t even begin to do it justice. So, this summer, if you have a chance, hop on one of the ferries, take the seven minute ride, and go! Read about the history of the island here.
Barry Rosenthal is a precise photographer and a scavenger. Of the very best kind. This series of images portrays found objects, for the most part culled from the mass of detritus in and around the waterways and beaches of New York and New Jersey. I hate to think that garbage is beautiful, but here it is, in all its glory. It’s a sad commentary that there is this much waste that it can be organized by kind and hue. It should come as no surprise that I first stumbled across Mr. Rosenthal’s work on Things Organized Neatly.
The good folks over at Flavorwire put up a post today about Fulton Ryder’s tumblr collection of unusual and intriguing photographs consisting mostly of book covers, with additional images of cultural ephemera. This Robert Frank volume, whose genesis was an ad campaign in 1959 for the New York Times, brought back memories of art school photography class. Back then, The Americans, Frank’s most famous body of work, made a big impression on me.
Never say never, but it’s highly unlikely that you will ever see me sporting a purple and green sweater. But when it comes to plants, my tastes take a decidedly different turn. If you spend time in Dumbo, you probably walk by these ornamental cabbages/kale on a semi-regular basis. They are on Front Street in wooden planters outside of a bar and restaurant called Superfine. I always forget that they are there, and always always stop and look at them when I pass. I figured yesterday’s blackout warranted some extra color today. By the way, did you know these are edible?