Saturday, August 15, 2009

Visitation - Lene Lenape Woman: Part II

The night was cloudy and the air was heavy when I went out. I didn't really want to go, but things had dragged out too long. Daylight crept in slowly it was more a lessening of the gloom than an actual dawn.

The wonderful book Gotham by Edwin Burrows and Mike Wallace was helpful in giving me and idea of where to go. There was even a map of Indian encampments. One was in Dumbo, so I thought that would make a good starting point.

I went to the end of Jay Street near the Con Edison power plant and placed the woman in front of a trendy home furnishing shop. The picture I chose is odd in that the woman sometimes looks as if she is smiling and sometimes as if she is frowning. It was probably my imagination because the light was pretty there, but she seemed to be smiling.

It was as if she liked all the clean lines and the grey tones.

The sun broke through the clouds briefly over the Con Ed plant.

There was a habitation near Battery Park, but I felt it was just too weird for the woman. What would she make of the tourists? According to Gotham, Pearl Street got its name from the piles of oyster shells left behind by the Lene Lenape. I thought it might make an easier transition.

It took me a while to find a place. There were a surprising number a people milling around. There must be some kind of club down by the seaport. It was hard to find a quiet spot without either party goers or security guards or police.

The spot was typical of Wall Street, dark canyons with the muffled hum of air conditioners. In the morning gloom it was even more depressing. I worried she wouldn't like it there. It started to rain.

But when I came back on a sunny day, there was a lot of activity, a small crane was lifting something nearby and she seemed amused by it.

I was planning on placing her near Foley Square where the Lene Lenape would camp by a deep pond. But I was so depressed by Pearl Street that I had to find somewhere else.

So I took her to the Time Landscape on Laguardia Place. It was planted by eco-artist Alan Sonfist and is composed of native plants. It is supposed to look like a scrap of land before human intervention.

It was a little awkward hanging her up as there was an all night cafe across the street. A few people were at the tables outside, the waiters were bored. There was really nothing happening except for me with my ladder hanging art off a street sign. I tried to find a more discreet spot but the only place that worked was right across from the tables.

I liked the way she looked with the poster for the Yinka Shonibare exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum and the ghost bike. It was all a little eerie.

Things were quiet here and she seemed serene.

Minetta Street traces the path of Minetta Brook which was buried in the 19th century. I though she would like it here because there is a pretty garden and the street is twisty.

She did not seem to be happy here at all.

She clung to the street sign. It was hard to find a good angle. It looks as if her picture has picked up some grunge.

She appeared to scowl at the American Apparel store.

The last place I chose was Gansevoort Street near the High Line where the Lene Lenape fished and planted. I thought her spirit would enjoy the wild flowers of the park.

I took only one picture in the muted pink dawn light. The High Line was too dark. When I came back, she was gone. I should have put her across the street. Clearly some territorial park employees saw her and took her down. They keep things really tidy on that side of the street and her spirit had flown.

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