Friday, October 30, 2009

MusicArt gets published in Strange Maps

Alas, it is true. "World Beat Music" has officially been published in an actual book that is available in many fine bookstores. So yes, you can go to, for example, Barnes & Noble or Borders (or other small, locally owned booksellers) and find the book entitled "Strange Maps" by Frank Jacobs (published by Penguin Books) and find my "World Beat Music" on page 30. I am quite impressed!

I don't recall how I learned that my art had been included in the Strange Maps blogsite in February 2008 but it has been a great experience. Hopping onto the internet it is easy to forget that we really do live in a "global world", but the Strange Maps blog really made an impact on me. I was suddenly and unexpectedly getting attention from all over the world. Absolutely amazing!

I am providing a link to the World Beat Music entry on the Strange Maps site if you should dare venture there.

I must also say that I was very impressed with Frank Jacobs. He seemed to be a very good guy to work with.

Hope you get a chance to check out this book.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Our Interesting Little Island

Okay, so it's been cold, windy, and rainy the past several days. Cold as in 39 - 44 degrees. Just enough to remind me that it's only going to get colder, despite my preference for warm and sunny weather. I will say that although I am rethinking the need to go out and get a bunch of errands taken care of in this not-so-great weather, I do have time to reflect on what an interesting place this little island is.

There is lots of "drama" that goes on with much of it being with the department of public safety. They are quite visible during the day and quick to "over enforce" most of the lesser known and unimportant rules of the island. It's amazing how many how many DPS personnel arrive on scene if a dog is off leash, but in the late evenings when young hooligans are up to no good you hard pressed to find assistance. And, they can make a situation occur that requires their immediate attention if nothing else is going on. Many of us on the island wish this were not so, but sadly . . . .

I should also mention that, at least in our part of the island there are many wonderful residents. Most everyone is friendly and kind and genuinely all around good people. Most of congregate around the dog run or get involved with something having to do with our kids. There is a real sense of community here. If/when we move, I will really miss that.

Since we have been here, there have been a few movies filmed around the island, most recently featuring scenes with Angelina Jolie. I personally have not spotted her, but have seen the film crews quite a few times. The most attention we have received here on the island is from the movie "Soul Storage" featuring Paul Giamatti. Part of their advertisements include a website that suggests that there really is a soul storage service here on the island. It never ceases to amaze me how we can find it so difficult to tell the difference between entertainment and reality.

There have been a couple of celebrities that have lived here, though I do not believe there are any at present. Sarah Jessica Parker lived here just after the island became officially retitled Roosevelt Island (early 1970's-ish) from it's really "glamorous-you've-just-absolutely-got-to-live-here-right away" name: "Welfare Island". Can't imagine why anyone would want to change that?!
Most recently until his passing in February 2006, Al "Grandpa Munster" Lewis lived here for some time. To say he was a character is an understatement! The fact that he lived here impresses me. Okay, I am, admittedly, easily impressed. The island residents seemed to really love him still. They even named a park after him.

The Munsters was one of my all time favorite shows. This should, in no way detract from my love of The Simpsons, Seinfeld, SNL, or The Carol Burnett Show. Anyhoo, Al Lewis is a very interesting person. He always claimed to be much older (10-20 years older depending on who he was talking to) than he really was. Most people do that the other way around. He was in his mid 80's when he passed, but I always thought he had to be in his late 90's. Go figure! Also, one of the really interesting things about him was that he cowrote the song "Blueberry Hill". Who knew?! Now you do!

That's about it for now. I can prolong my need to venture back out into the rain, wind, and cold of NYC.

Monday, October 12, 2009

2 Museums in 1 Day

So it's Columbus Day and Emma has no school. What to do? Oh, I know, let's go to the Natural History Museum or the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Better yet, let's go to both. Once this idea was verbalized, the girl was only moderately agreeable. As she gets older, I'm finding many of my ideas are met with a look from the girl that just says"Lame!" But, as I am her dad and can still legally boss her around, she pretty much has to do what I say. I figure I have about three to five years at most of this type of arrangement, so I'm working it as much as I can.

So, today we headed off to the upper west side to go to the Natural History Museum and Planetarium. For those who have never been, it is cooler than words can describe. I let Emma navigate us through the subway system and must add that she really did a great job. Once we got in we were able to see the Space show. You get to recline in a comfy seat in a huge auditorium. The space show takes you from NYC up into space and through multiple galaxies. We were both astounded! And to prove how "unlame" my suggestion actually was, we both want to go back and see this show again.

I have included a picture from the walk of time that winds around the four million pound space sphere that is the planetarium. Although the included picture doesn't really show the most important detail, the glowing rectangular shape in the bottom right-hand corner is a human hair the width of which is the duration of time that we humans have been around since the big bang. The winding stairway which takes a few minutes to walk chronicles time since the big bang took place. Every four feet is a million years. It may not sound like it but it is quite impressive.

After leaving the NHM, we headed to Rockefeller Center so we could have lunch and the head over to MoMA. Once inside MoMA, we went up to the 5th floor so we could see the modern art. It is an amazing collection of work. My two favorite Picasso pieces are there: "The Guitar" (a metal
sculpture) and "Les Demoiselles D'Avignon". Emma also got to see (but not touch!) Van Goh's "The Starry Night". It was very cool to see her appreciate it. Last time we were there (July?) she got bumped into the painting which brought security scrambling and left Emma with images of being sentenced to Alcatraz.

We both enjoyed our day together, so I guess my idea wasn't all that lame after all. She hasn't actually gone so far as to say that, but I, as her dad, can tell . . . .