When you’re from someplace as ordinary as Kentucky and go someplace as documented New York City, I’ve found, you’ve got to take photos that reveal if not the quirky side of Manhattan, at least the quirky side of you.
The Statue of Liberty, as you can see, does this not at all. Everyone has seen photos of it. Now, it’s a tiny bit awesome to see it for the first time yourself, but looking at the photos, I can’t help but think, yeah, yeah, that’s her.
This one was taken from the Staten Island Ferry. While we floated by, our guide recited, from memory, the entire poem inscribed on the statue’s base; you know the one — it ends with something about tired poor huddled masses.
Kind of like I felt there on the ferry, huddled together with commuters, tourists and surly natives, the kind which made me fear for my very life. In particular, one skinny redheaded teenage girl who could have effortlessly ground me to a pulp with her accent alone. I would have loved to have taken HER picture, except I was trying to avoid the grinding to a pulp part. I couldn’t help but be amused, though, listening to her give her boyfriend down the road about taking her out onto the deck and exposing her translucently pale skin to the glaring harbor sun. “You ain’t takin’me out here t’get sunburnt, BOIEEEE,” she said from about an inch and a half away from his dark African-Hispanic face.
So while this interesting couple escaped my lens due to fear of being beaten to death by a 97-pound 15-year-old, I did find a few other things to occupy myself. Most notably, as I have said before, the gorgeous art in the Metropolitan Museum.
Here we have Joan of Arc, by Pierre-Auguste Cot. Doesn’t she look totally psycho? As is widely known, Joan was possessed by the fervor of doing God’s work by leading the French into battle against the English; good old Cot seems to capture that can-do spirit of matrydom well here.
On the other hand, we have another of his works, Spring:
I’ve got a weird irrational love of this thing. It’s so completely consumed by classical idealistic passion. And besides, just look at the way he’s looking at her. He TOTALLY wants her, and right now. You just have to admire that in a work of art.
I can’t decide how touristy these next two are; I found both sites compelling. This is the Dakota Building, where Yoko Ono apparently still resides, and where John Lennon was killed in 1980.
Right there, outside those gates, right there, Mark David Chapman shot him. I stood before this landmark that thousands have passed and millions have seen in video and print images and just could hardly believe that I was standing right there.
I do sort of hate all the air conditioning units poking out of the windows, though.
Here is a mosaic on the walkway through a section of Central Park near the Dakota that has been christened Strawberry Fields. It’s to be a place for meditation, and was constructed with the funds and blessings of Ono. I think it’s striking, and though there were tourists a-plenty looking at it the day I was there, it was indeed a hushed place, rare and beautiful in a place as teeming with humanity as New York.
This I consider art, too, but in a rather different way. It’s a little like performance art, except it’s named without a single shred of irony. This is a real store sort of between Chinatown and SoHo.
I also saw stores called OMG and Rat Bastard, so this probably isn’t even all that startling. But still. Rather rare around here. OK there are NO stores with Chinese names here — or any that are fancy.
I don’t care how many times I see this next photo, it never fails to crack me up.
This is not a statue that is broken.
This is not a statue they’re just a little slow on getting around to gluing back together.
This is a statue of a saint, one St. Firmin, and he is holding his head.
That’s the title of this work of art. St. Firmin Holding His Head.
And ah, the best for last.
This piece of statuary stands in an entire room filled with the entirety of a castle porch, patio and plaza. The paving stones are there, the portico, the windows, everything. It obviously was dismantled at some location where sensuous statues are embraced.
No, I’m not generally such a prude that I have to sit down and and recover myself after the mere sight of marble nudity. No it’s just that I’m prone to juvenile observations, and felt compelled to take the following shot for the benefit of the two similarly equipped sons I have at home.
In most of the world, as you may know, the uncircumcised male is pretty much the norm. Here in the U.S. though, not so much. And since it’s rare, and since I apparently have yet to adequately smother the giggling teenage girl that still resides within, I had to take this photo for the boys at home. It’s Your Anatomy in Marble in a Museum, guys!
Yes, we’re snickering at peenies today, God bless ’em, in order to start the weekend in a proper frame of mind.
Make the most of it!