Out-worn heart, in a time out-worn,
Come clear of the nets of wrong and right;
Laugh, heart, again in the grey twilight,
Sigh, heart, again in the dew of the morn
-William Butler Yeats
New York City was recently hit by hurricane Sandy. A record storm surge brought flooding, downed tree’s, spread debris, caused fires and power outages on a scale the area has never before experienced. The death toll in NYC is at 37 and rising. Many area’s throughout the city suffered great loss & extensive damage, none so devastating or as close to my heart as the Rockaway peninsula.
Storm surge from both the bay and ocean sides of the peninsula overwhelmed the area completely washing away many sections of the boardwalk, tearing up roads and flooding many homes. A large fire decimated the neighborhood of Breezy Point destroying over 110 homes there. My thoughts are with those who lost everything in this terrible disaster and those who are now living there without power, food and many basic necessities. Anyone wishing to help can contact me and I will put you in touch with the proper people or organizations.
I first heard of the Rockaways as a child when my father would tell me stories of driving from there from Staten Island to visit his cousins. Growing up in CT it was hard to fathom somewhere like New York City, most frequently pictured with its skyscrapers, large crowds and traffic, could also have a beautiful beachfront landscapes.
My first 10 years in New York City I lived close to the Rockaways and frequently took the train there for day trips and walks along the boardwalk. The subway ride getting there is one of the most unique in all of the city as it stretches over the water, across Jamaica Bay, through Broad Channel and into the Rockaway peninsula. Through my trips there I discovered the Rockaways as both a place of beauty and contradiction. It is a place that embodies New York City’s greatest extremes like no other I have experienced. There are beautiful parks and homes. There are some less beautiful, grittier places. All which are set against the backdrop of breathtaking beaches.
Over the years I made many trips to the Rockaways. I would sit on the jetty’s and listen to the sound of the waves crashing in, while pondering some of my life’s biggest decisions, or just reflecting. The Rockaways became a special place I could go within the city, to escape the everyday places and things that defined my life in the city.
In recent weeks I had even recently given serious consideration to moving there for a while and had spent time online looking at apartments. A consideration I will more than certainly have to re-examine.
Residents of the Rockaways, like all NY’ers are strong and I have no doubts that in the face of this adversity, they will rebuild their community, stronger and even safer. I am confident the Rockaways will once again be a place special and close to my heart.
Sunrise over the Rockaways 10/8/2012
This looks great! Several organizations, Men Can Stop Rape, A Call to Men, and Men Stopping Violence are coming together for a first ever national dialogue on healthy masculinity this October 17 – 19 in Washington, DC.
The Summit is the beginning of the Healthy Masculinity Action Project, a two-year national project that will build the capacity of diverse communities across the country to spread the message of healthy, non-violent masculinity.
More information can be found here
I have spent a lot of time looking at the works of Edward Degas. The Metropolitan Museum of Art here in NYC at one time had 2 whole rooms of his work. The rooms have unfortunately since changed. I remember the first time I walked into those rooms. I was enthralled by, and in awe of, the energy and passion with which Degas so eloquently captured the figure. I was just 16 and I made a decision at that point that I wanted nothing else in life if not to spend it with such energy, passion and enthusiasm for drawing & painting the figure.
I recently had the incredible pleasure of viewing the ‘Degas & the Nude’ exhibit at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts’. Now on display at the Musee d’Orsay in France. It was simply one of the best, and my very favorite exhibits I have seen in my lifetime. Of course being a figurative artist and Degas being one of my most liked artists, makes me a little, ok a lot biased!
It was the single greatest collection of his work I had ever seen in one place. Everything from his preparatory drawings, to his prints and finished pastels.
I am intrigued at how as I grow older viewing a particular artists work in person time and time again different things stand out to me at different times in my life even when viewing the same works. While I noticed many things on this particular visit mostly I noted and studied Degas use of different papers, materials and methods. Degas at times combined printmaking and pastel with beautiful elegance. He worked on many different types of paper and with many mediums. He often layered his materials to achieve complex, beautiful effects. His proficiency over materials is absolutely stunning. Degas mastered the flow of passion and energy to paper. He communicates his feelings with the precision of a linguist who effortlessly commands words. Something I tirelessly strive for.
Did some more work today for “Olive & Ida’s Summer Barbecue”. I Moved Olive to better paper and cleaned her up some. Still a few tweaks before she’s ready for the finished piece but she’s coming along nicely.
A study for “Betsy Ross”