Sunday, June 18, 2017

All About 65! (part one)

Well I turned 65 this year and wanted to do something special.  For my 60th we moved to Amsterdam for 6 months.  On my actual birthday I rented this cool old motor boat and 6 of us toured the canals, drank champagne and ate snacks.
How to top that one?  New York City of course!  I had 7 of my nearest and dearest with significant birthdays in 2017 (1 at 50, 3 at 60 and 3 at 65 and me).
So I put my organizing hat on and 12 of us came from Vancouver, 2 from Berlin, 2 from Amsterdam, 2 from Memphis, 1 from Florida and about 10 from NYC to make this great gang that hung out over 10 days with art, music, walks, sailing, eating, drinking and partying.

Everyone took care of their own accommodations so we had people in Brooklyn, Lower East Side,  Soho and we were in the West Village in a fabulous apartment with a spiral staircase to the deck, lent to us by a friend. 

Arnt barbecuing chicken and veg skewers
for a final dinner with the leftover gang

this is next door to our building

We started in Brooklyn at our very generous friend Michael's 5 story brownstone for a brunch and to make a plan of attack.  Our list of fun was so great that we ended up with most events having 10 to 20 people at each.  I had never been to Brooklyn and was pleasantly surprised with the neighbourhood feel, direct train from our stop in the Village and architecture.  Pauline, Simon and Michael hosted a delicious brunch and we hung out for quite awhile before taking a walk through Dumbo and then up onto the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan. 

 Rina, Rob and Pauline

On our walk to Dumbo we saw some interesting architecture.
Why is that bricked in?

skinny house

detail of wall above

I might be inclined to change my name from this.


Vodka Distillery

 Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.  Old warehouses now turned into luxury apartments, lots of tech start ups, art galleries and still some artist's spaces.  The most expensive place to live in Brooklyn.

the oh so important balcony

creepy piece of ceramic

love that extension
went to the DUMBO flea and there was a pair of airport seats by Eames...very comfy

This is Soloman who after his kids grew up started coming to the Bridge and taking photos of people and printing them right there with his portable printer.  He took one of some of our group.

The boys of Brooklyn!
the gang on Brooklyn Bridge
there are amazing musicians in the subways
MAY 8 is my birthday and we started the day with a walk down to
Canal Street and then back to Washington Park via Italy Town.
All sorts of architectural surprises.



mask bongs???


I would love to see this as a giant sculpture.
elevator door in the MoMa gift store

glass insets on the steps
  This was Donald Judd's studio but it was closed. 

Sharon and Rob in Washington Square
famous 4th Street basketball court
That night Kathy and Leif hosted the birthday party with
lots of great food and music in the dining room!

at this age we do not need presents but I was pretty chuffed to receive
this painting from our cousin Kaja (Norwegian) but lives in Berlin

 These are the 8 birthday people.  I brought aprons as gifts
which say YVR  NYC  AMS for all the cities we came from.

 we all fell in love with Pinkney from Memphis.  Turned out he taught in places where
Peter had taught and was friends with my friend Cheryl in France...small world!
 new addition to our family is Arnt's gal pal Michelle
 Michelle and Donald shaking a leg
 Peter squeezing my head for some reason! and the lovely Sibeal.
 Arnt and I dancing to My Funny Valentine sung by Kaja from Berlin.
 PK in her party dress
 the boys singing it up
 Sharon belting it out!

 Rob and Evan playing the bananas???
 son and father dueling guitars
Donald and Jeffryn

I asked Evan and Scout for a recommendation for music and they said definitely Vince Giordanno who has had a big band in NYC for 40 years.  The club Iguana is itself an institution with Mexican food and quite a few famous types in the audience...costumer of big films, film historian Wasserman, a Brazilian sax player, etc.  My nephew played a song with them and knocked it out of the park!!

 Evan on sax and singing.
 this is part of their sheet music...they have to be quick to find the music as
there is not necessarily a set list.  Apparently they have 60,000 songs!
 Vince's metal stand up bass.
Evan and Vince (he gave me a CD for my birthday)

My brother in law has a Concordia yawl 41' wood sailboat that is 60 years old.  He brought it down from New Rochelle with Simon, Arnt and Rob as crew.  13 of us sailed by the Statue of Liberty.

 On the way down the East River they saw this giant barge and
could not figure it out....turns out it is a sad.

here is the Polaris crew

 This was the whole point...sail past the Statue of Liberty.

That boat is about 65' and ours is 41'
 Arnt as crew
 the view of Manhattan
 Leif on tiller.
 Rob and Rob
 not a view you get every day
heading back up the east river to home berth
 this is the new home where Polaris will stay on a mooring for the summer...nice digs!
Arnt and Leif and Russy Dog did an over night later that week. 

The full moon on the way to home birth.

I really wanted to visit some art studios.  One of our group Pinkney was up from Memphis for a few months at a studio he
was renting from friends and painting up a storm.  He kindly invited us to his studio and
organized a studio visit in DUMBO with about twenty artists having an open studio night.

 barber shop next to Pinkney's studio in Long Island City

 this is the building where he and his partner live and his studio is on the main floor

fern garden outside the studio

court yard outside the studio

 Pinkney telling us his process with Janice looking on.
She is his administrator much like what I do for Arnt. 

 the tools

 this piece is about the city with all the layers of architecture, roads, buildings

 the studio

 a bit stark but I like the look of this building

 Arnt found a bit of graffiti and some sculpture

 We went to the Socrates Sculpture park but the show was not that great...a lot of concrete goats with rebar decorated with assorted items.  I did like his Apollo sign though.  The artist Nari Ward won the $100,000 Vilcek Prize for an immigrant who has contributed significantly to American culture.

 a sculptor's outside work yard
 fantastic sculptor's studio

Next up was the lovely Noguchi Museum
 I have been there a couple times before but was great going
with other people and seeing it through their eyes. 



I really like his galvanized metal pieces which I had not seen before.


one of my favourites
 This show in a separate room was a combo of Robert Stadler
with works from the Noguchi collection.


I did not get the artists names but took pics of some I like and some was odd.  
This building has the top floor for artists residencies.  

the view

the lobby

 the visitors

This artist had fake animals and then embroidered on top.

the thing you don't see when you see the artist's work in a gallery....the tools!!


fabulous textile pieces


this little precise house
 another house


 assemblage pieces in a giant still my beating heart

 at the end of the block is a great river walk with
places to sit and a carousel in a glass house


there is a love hate with the can get anywhere for very cheap including across
or under rivers....sometimes the stations are fabulous and sometimes they are kind of smelly

subway police ride

my nephew Miles celebrated his 26th birthday out at his parent's beach
house in Lido.....we all took the train out and with his family of uncles,
aunts, cousins and of course his grandparents Francis and Thomas.


 Rob and Leif

 enjoying food, slideshow, drinks, friends and family

a few of the boys headed to the beach for football despite the relentless rain

the last few days we were in NYC it got very hot
so jumping in the fountains had to happen

family photo before we go

one more subway ride to JFK

This is part one of our trip....the next part is all about the art we saw.
I love New York and this was one of the best trips.  Talk soon!!


  1. Dear Val,
    Truly a well documented trip. LOVE IT!! Glad you had a well deserved celebration.
    Love to you and Arnt. Hope to see you soon.

  2. Thanks for sharing Val -- the voyeur in me loved it!