Lightly Child, Lightly

The Mekas image had a caption, drawn from 2007’s To New York with Love. YOU LOOK AT THE SUN. THEN YOU RETURN HOME AND YOU CAN’T WORK, YOU’RE IMPREGNATE WITH ALL THAT LIGHT. We’re so often told that art can’t really change anything. But I think it can. It shapes our ethical landscapes; it opens us to the interior lives of others. It is a training ground for possibility. It makes plain inequalities, and it offers other ways of living. Don’t you want it, to be impregnate with all that light? And what will happen if you are?

Olivia LaingFunny Weather: Art in an Emergency ( W. W. Norton & Company; May 12, 2020)


Notes:

  • Image Source
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

How do you sum up something that’s so huge?

How do you sum up something that’s so huge?” asks Alexei Hay. “One of the only answers is the emptiness, the thing that speaks to whatever everybody’s going through. The absence is more telling than taking a picture of anybody.” Not long after the citywide clampdown began, Hay, like a lot of photographers, realized this was a fleeting extraordinary moment, one he wanted to document in a grand way before it was gone. What’s on view here is neither a completely depopulated New York nor its usual bustling self but something eerily stuck in between. These are middle-of-the-night photos shot in broad daylight, snow-day pictures without the snow…

The very overfamiliarity of some of the sites — the Flatiron Building, St. Patrick’s Cathedral — is paradoxically what, at this one unusual time, keeps you looking. Nothing is visibly wrong, exactly, but everything is wrong. Ordinarily, if you see pictures of normally busy and now deserted streets, it’s the emptiness that gets you, as your mind goes right to Vanilla Sky or the Rapture. Here, the thing that triggers alarm is not the absence of people. It’s when you see the few souls who are out and about, and they’re less than six feet apart.

~ , from “New York, Four Weeks In Portrait of an empty city.”

Don’t miss Alexei Hay’s photos in the New York Magazine: April 13, 2020.

Saturday Morning

Why do I walk? I walk because I like it. I like the rhythm of it, my shadow always a little ahead of me on the pavement. I like being able to stop when I like, to lean against a building and make a note in my journal, or read an email, or send a text message, and for the world to stop while I do it. Walking, paradoxically, allows for the possibility of stillness…Sometimes I walk because I have things on my mind, and walking helps me sort them out. Solvitur ambulando, as they say.

~ Lauren Elkin, Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London


Notes: Photo credit: Vince_Ander via Visualhunt.com in Paris Walks. Quote: Brain Pickings

how easy it can be to find your own quiet place

Q: Is the image based on something you saw? How did it come to you?

“More than being based on something I saw, I would say it comes from something I experience often. I was trying to capture the feeling of being immersed in a book to the exclusion of everything around you. I think my love for reading comes more from the need to connect with my inner reality than from the desire to escape the external one. Proust described it perfectly as “that fertile miracle of communication that takes effect in solitude.” …

My first time in New York was in 2010, when I spent three months there, during the winter. My most vivid memories are connected to that first stay. I remember big blue skies, ice-cold feet, hot black coffees, fresh bagels, and huge pizza slices.

The gif was animated by the talented Jose Lorenzo. I often collaborate with him—I love the way he brings my images to life. We didn’t want the image to be too frenetic. For me, it was important to maintain that feeling of peace and timelessness that happens when you’re reading. I also wanted to show how easy it can be to find your own quiet place in the city without having to go far out of your way.”

Anna Pariniin response a question from , on this week’s cover in The New Yorker, which shows a rare moment of calm amid the bustle of a new year.  Parini, who has contributed illustrations to the magazine since 2015, grew up in Milan but is now based in Barcelona. Mouly spoke to Parini about New York’s wintry charms and the process of creating an animated cover image.

(Source: Anna Parini’s “A New Leaf”, The New Yorker, January 7, 2019)

TGIF: Wait, wait, shiver, delight.


Snoopy skating through Columbus Circle in 1987.  In 2018, it was nearly 100 Years for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a Children’s Pilgrimage of Wonder. Wait, wait, shiver, delight. (Photo by Sara Krulwich / The New York Times)

Thousands pass every day, not one of them seeing the same thing

You swallow hard when you discover that the old coffee shop is now a chain pharmacy, that the place where you first kissed so-and-so is now a discount electronics retailer, that where you bought this very jacket is now rubble behind a blue plywood fence and a future office building. Damage has been done to your city. You say, ‘It happened overnight.’ But of course it didn’t. Your pizza parlor, his shoeshine stand, her hat store: when they were here, we neglected them. For all you know, the place closed down moments after the last time you walked out the door. (Ten months ago? Six years? Fifteen? You can’t remember, can you?) And there have been five stores in that spot before the travel agency. Five different neighborhoods coming and going between then and now, other people’s other cities. Or 15, 25, 100 neighborhoods. Thousands of people pass that storefront every day, each one haunting the streets of his or her own New York, not one of them seeing the same thing.”

– Colson WhiteheadThe Colossus of New York


Notes: Quote via Schonwieder. Photo by PWH3 of New York City side street

Sunday Morning

Let’s ease in softly on a pretty day. Spring came to New York this week after a month of gloomy cold and drizzle. The sun was out. Monday afternoon just before dusk there was a bird outside my window, all by itself and singing so loudly—byeet-byeet-chur-chur-chur. Over and over as if it had just discovered its voice. I was emailing with a friend, your basic hard-bitten journalist, and told him what I was hearing—it sounded like the beginning of the world. He wrote back not with irony but with the information that a band of baby rabbits had just taken over his garden and were out there hopping and bopping: “They are so excited to be on earth.” This struck me as the most important news of the day.

~ Peggy Noonan, What Does This Moment Demand of Us? (wsj.com, April 26, 2018)


Photo: Vivienne Gucwa with New York City in Spring

The Not New Yorker (Christmas 2017)


Source: “The Not Yorker” is a collection of declined or late cover submissions to The New Yorker, curated by illustrators who love and admire traditional cover illustration. This site is for celebrating cover art, and great ideas that didn’t make it.  Illustrators are encouraged to submit their rejected covers , so that they might have the opportunity to be rejected by this group as well. The site is not officially affiliated with The New Yorker

This declined cover is was created by John Tomac and titled “Christmas 2017”.

 

Grand Central Terminal. You choose: 1954 or Today?

Sunlight streams through the windows in the concourse at Grand Central Terminal in New York City in 1954. [Read more…]

Why?

harry-belafonte

“I often look at the journey, and I don’t get it…I really don’t. I have lasted longer than I understand why. I often feel that there must have been something that I should’ve done that I didn’t do. But I can’t identify what it is that I didn’t do… This is not modesty. This is part of a bigger search for me. What was all this about? Why?”

~ Harry Belafonte, Harry Belafonte Knows a Thing or Two About New York. The city native, about to turn 90, looks back at a glorious past and wonders what his next act will be. He was born Harold George Bellanfanti Jr., and dropped out of school in ninth grade, frustrated by what was later recognized as dyslexia. He was working as a janitor’s assistant when a customer gave him tickets to an American Negro Theater production, and when he volunteered to help as a handyman, he soon found himself onstage with Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis and Mr. Poitier.


Photo of Belafonte from Kate Wolf Music Festival

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