I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Urban poetry

An abstract of facades at Hudson Yards, a new shopping/living complex built over the old rail yards west of Penn Station, which opened last week.

It's a ten-minute walk from my apartment, so I went down there Saturday despite a fierce wind that moaned across the plazas like the soundtrack to a bad horror film. I got some interesting pictures, but overall, it's not all that impressive. (One of the articles in the Times compared it to “a gated community in Singapore.”)

If you've been dying to go to Sally Hershberger for an $800 haircut but didn't feel like schlepping all the way to Barney's, or have felt that the lack of a Neiman Marcus store in Manhattan was nigh unbearable, you might feel that Hudson Yards fills a real gap. I think that most of us will find that it can comfortably be ignored.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Astronomy Tuesday

The star cluster NGC 3603 consists of hot young stars, formed perhaps a million years ago. You can see how the rapid star formation carved out the center of the gas cloud surrounding the cluster.

Credit: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Sunday bird blogging

A chestnut-backed chickadee in Pleasanton. You can't really see the chestnut in this picture except on the top of his head. The New York chickadees all have black heads.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Saturday reflections

As it's (finally) almost spring, here's one last snowy winter street.

All that reddish brown is actually a brick building across the street, reflected into abstraction by the slushy water.

Friday, March 15, 2019

A few more Cloisters pictures

Glass art

Closeups of some of the exquisitely detailed windows at the museum.


The view from inside the museum, looking across the Hudson.

Rockefeller purchased several hundred acres of the New Jersey Palisades and donated it to the state just to preserve this view.

More cloisters


One of the four actual cloisters at the museum. 

The collection was started by George Barnard, one of those eccentric artsy Americans who moved to Paris to study art. He was a talented sculptor who supplemented his income by  dealing 13th and 14th century art, and he built a private collection of architectural artifacts he got at bargain prices. He eventually sold his collection to John D. Rockefeller on behalf of the Metropolitan Museum.

Rockefeller purchased the land to create the park, and the museum was built from abbeys in France and Spain that were disassembled stone by stone and rebuilt into one cohesive building in New York, incorporating the cloisters and other art Barnard had collected.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Urban poetry

The view from Fort Tryon Park, at the northern tip of Manhattan, looking south towards the George Washington Bridge.

I was visiting the Cloisters, the branch of the Metropolitan Museum specializing in medieval art. I love medieval art, but although the museum is technically in Manhattan, the round trip bus ride through Washington Heights and the Upper West Side takes several hours.

So it's yet another place I always meant to visit and seldom or never got around to.

Until this week.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Astronomy Tuesday

A gorgeous image of Saturn's moon Enceledus, taken in November 2016 by the late great Cassini probe.

Image Credit: Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Sunday bird blogging

A flock of cattle egrets in the park in Pleasanton.

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