Sunday, September 28, 2014

5th Avenue Fabulous ~ Saint Patrick's Cathedral and Rockefeller Center

One belongs to New York instantly,
one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.
~Tom Wolfe

please press "play"

Heading to 5th Avenue!

Sign for the Toulouse-Lautrec show at MoMA! (So good!)

Rockefeller Center

This giant flowered sculpture, below, is actually a Jeff Koons art piece, to coincide with his retrospective at the Whitney museum. Some Tourists asked me to take their photo and offered to take one of me ...

Saint Patrick's Cathedral

St. Patrick's is still under major renovation/reconstruction, or whatever you want to call it. You can get photos here and there where you can't tell that there are workers in hardhats around, and that there are areas you can't really see or get to ...

Our Lady of Czestochowa 
One of the oldest Icons of Mary in the world.
It was said to have been painted by St. Luke the Evangelist 

This photo, below, was taken from under scaffold, and between two large wooden posts. You normally can't photograph The Lady Chapel (which is my favorite) but the manager said since it's closed off for prayer now, I could go ahead take pictures. (Woohoo!) 

It is in the way back behind the main altar. So beautiful. Once when I was praying there, I asked for a sign and just then the lights came on. The actual lights. ;)

You can still light candles in front of the chapel ...

This gives you an idea of how much work is being done. It's very extensive.

St. Jude. I lit a candle for a dear friend.

The facade is under scaffold as well as the lower side, but above ... you have a nice little view behind the pretty trees!

Back out on 5th Avenue ...

A little trinket in the window at  BVLGARI ...

The glamour of it all!
New York! America!
~Charlie Chaplin

Window at Bergdorf's. Very hard to photograph with all the glare!

Love the groovy mod-looking coat below. Valentino.

5th Avenue at Central Park 

Not sure what the rose petals were for but I took the opportunity to show off my fading henna, as well as the 4 lovely band aids on my toes. I can never seem to avoid travel blisters!  (It was taken the last day.)

And across from the fountain, on the park, The Plaza Hotel.

As you can see, above, it had cooled off to 79 degrees but it was very VERY humid. I had spent about an hour in the park, when I realized my phone was dying and that it was starting to drizzle. I need battery power for my, mostly for my Google Maps app, so I asked a street vendor where I could charge my phone. He pointed at The Plaza Hotel.

Apparently, I was slightly misdirected. There is some kind of food court attached, or underneath the hotel? But, I buttoned myself up, slicked my hair back, threw on my lipstick and strolled into the lobby. 

There was a sign basically saying if you aren't a guest, don't hang out in our lobby. I walked up to the front desk and asked if there was anywhere they knew of where I could charge my iPhone, because I needed my Google Maps to get me to my niece, in Brooklyn.

Of course, the two gentlemen behind the desk asked if I was staying in the hotel. I answered no and they looked at each other. Then one of the guys asked me what kind of phone I had. "4S" I said.
"Well, we don't usually do this but I will plug it in behind the desk and you can come back when you think it's ready." 

I walked out of the hotel and into a huge crowd under the awning, out in front of The Plaza. Apparently, I missed the text alert for flash flood warnings. The rain was starting to really  come down and somehow I ended up trying to protect myself, up against the hotel, out under a big brass lamp that was hung on the side of the hotel. 

I saw people running into the huge Apple flagship store, across 5th Avenue, so when the light changed, I bolted, stopping under a huge tree for protection, until the next light changed. Then bolted again, stepping in huge puddles soaking my Mephistos.

Into the glass column and down the stairs I went, into a sea of hundreds of people, holed up in there, trying to get out of the rain. It started coming down in sheets, and there were people that were coming in sopping wet, like they'd been in the shower fully clothed. Everyone stared up at the glass ... waiting. In the shot above, it had died down quite a bit.

What you can't see in the shot was the area below. It was mayhem. I did find out I am due for a new phone upgrade next month though. (Had to do something with the time.) 

Eventually, after about a half hour/45 minutes playing with iPads, I got impatient and went back up. A got a security guard to flag down an umbrella vendor, and I made my way back over to the Plaza (in my soaked leather sandals) to pick up my phone, charging at the front desk. The thunder was so loud! All that echoing on concrete. It was crazy, but I had places to be!

OH! And the guy at the plaza was so nice. He pulled out a map, which he gave me, and wrote directions for the subway, as well. Nice, right? Swanky.

Here is some footage from 1919 of the 27 Division Parade on 5th Avenue.

This next one is new inductees marching in front of Teddy Roosevelt, during WWI. The video makes strange noises so you might want to press mute.

Both videos are from 

Oh, and I made it to Brooklyn! 

More to come! Great art installations and NYC adventures, as well as what I have been doing in Southern California during September! I'm so behind on posting! 

When I'm in New York, 
I just want to walk down the street 
and feel this thing, 
like i'm in a movie.
~Ryan Adams

Blessings and light!!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

World Rhino Day 2014

Today is World Rhino Day!!! 
Black Rhinos, White Rhinos, Javan Rhinos, Sumatran and Greater One-Horned! #TeamRhino !!!

Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things,
man will not himself find peace.
~Albert Schweitzer 

Black Rhino Icon
Oil on wood panel, with metal leafing

Any glimpse into the life of an animal
quickens our own and makes it so much the larger 
and better in every way.
~John Muir

If Rhino poaching continues at the current rate, they will be gone in the wild within our lifetime. People buy the horns for a range of supposed medicinal purposes but the horn has been proven to have no medicinal value whatsoever. 

Here is a video by World Wildlife Fund about the critically endangered species of Borneo: The Sumatran Rhinos. There are estimated 40 left in Borneo. This species has been around for 25 million years, and ... well, you can watch the video.

The animals of the planet are in desperate peril.
Without free animal life
I believe we will lose the spiritual equivalent of oxygen.
~Alice Walker

For more informations on Rhinos and how you can help, visit the Rhino page of World Wildlife Fund here.

Until one has loved an animal, 
a part of one's soul remains unawakened.

Thank you!

Blessings and light!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Come Fly With Me! NYC ~ Times Square, The Algonquin and Dorothy Parker

The cure for boredom is curiosity.
There is no cure for curiosity.
~ Dorothy Parker

Hi Y'all! It's been so hot in L.A. I couldn't sit in my living room at the computer. (No AC except a window unit in the bedroom.) Anyway, I'm back! Hope everyone is doing great!


I actually landed in Newark, which was a little trickier, to get into Manhattan, but I ended up meeting a nice gentleman from Rome, on the train, who was moving to New York for school. (All roads lead back ...)

Anyway, this strange shot below, is a monitor at the train platform, with a photo by the photographer Imogen Cunningham. It was part of a nationwide project call ART EVERYWHERE. People from all over the U.S. voted online for their favorite works by American artists, and the ones chosen popped up in in cities all over the U.S.  From bus stations and subways to billboards in Times Square ... art everywhere. 

Speaking of Times Square, it's probably my least favorite spot in NY but I did head down to see if I could find some of the Art Everywhere billboards (which I'd seen online, in Times Square.)

Unfortunately, by the time I made it to NYC, in late August, it was just the usual touristy craziness ... but if you were looking to get your photo taken with Elmo, you'd have had plenty of opportunity. I was not.

It seemed even more insane than usual but I'm sure that was my imagination. I know it's often much much crazier. Of course, having my camera, they all thought I was a tourist and wanted to try to make some money by posing with me ... everyone from Minnie to Buzz Light Year. Ugh.

Of course, I don't live there, but I also don't feel like a tourist at this point. I have been lucky enough to have been there enough times, that I feel comfortable in the city, and can pick and choose the things I want to see or revisit. Usually, art museums.

After striking out with the Art Everywhere billboards, I headed East. I always try to hit up Saint Patrick's cathedral toward the beginning of my stay. It's my little NY ritual.

When I left Times Square, I ended up passing the famed Algonquin Hotel which, as I was told, is the longest running hotel in Manhattan! My parents had stayed there a few years back but I was mostly intrigued by the fact that this was the hotel where Dorothy Parker hung out!

The first thing I do in the morning 
is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.
~Dorothy Parker

My senior year of high school we had to write a 10 page term paper on any American writer of our choice. I chose Dorothy Parker.  

Below, under the painting where those folks are sitting, is where Ms. Parker hung out with her literary friends.

When I walked into the bar, one of my favorite Billie Holiday songs was playing. Now, it really felt like going back in time! The bartender was so nice, I would have stopped and had a cocktail and a chat but it was 11:00 a.m. and I was running only on power bar. 


I had a nice chat with the concierge and he explained how they'd renovated the rooms and  lobby in the last few years. Love the fabulous floor!

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me 
than a frontal lobotomy.
~Dorothy Parker

Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses.
~Dorothy Parker
(but they do on occasion!)

I don't care what is written about me 
as long as it isn't true.
~Dorothy Parker

It serves me right for putting all my eggs in one bastard.
~Dorothy Parker

Some men break your heart in two,
Some men fawn and flatter,
Some men never look at you;
And that cleans up the matter.
~Dorothy Parker, Enough Rope

Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
a medley of extemporanea,
And love is a thing that can never go wrong,
and I am Marie of Romania.
~Dorothy Parker

The concierge told me that since the 1930s there has always been a cat in residence, at the hotel. The owner back then, Frank Case, took in a stray, who became "Hamlet." John Barrymore suggested the name (he was playing the role at the time.) Since then, the male cats have always been Hamlet, and if it happens to be a female kitty in residence ... her name is Matilda.

Meet Matilda III, who came to live at the hotel in December of 2010. I was told I was lucky I got a glimpse. Here, she's waiting for a treat on the front desk.

To read more kitty history of the Algonquin, on the New York Post website, click here.

Never complain,
never explain.
~Dorothy Parker

Well, that's it for now! More New York to come! Hopefully, it will stay cool and I'll be able to be in my living room, at the computer!

Blessings and light!

London is satisfied,
Paris is resigned,
but New York is always hopeful.
Always it believes that something good is about to come off, 
and it must hurry to meet it.
~Dorothy Parker