Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Visit to the Revolution

I stopped by Liberty Square today to see how the Occupy Wall Street people were doing. The media all seem a bit amused by the protesters, emphasizing the earnest young vegan types and their lack of cohesive agenda. So I was pleasantly surprised to see a relatively diverse mix of people. There was an intelligent young woman seated at an information table encouraging people to sign a petition. There was a kitchen area, a library. Admittedly there was a drum circle and many young people tucked into sleeping bags. There were also people in suits and business attire who were clearly not journalists.

I am way too shy to photograph strangers on the street, which is why I am not a photojournalist. I photographed their feet instead.

These boots belong to Reverend Bill of the Church of Stop Shopping. He is one of my heroes. I would have voted for him when he ran for mayor, but then he got arrested at a G20 meeting in Pittsburgh and I realized that he was not actually suitable mayor material. I still love him and I would go to his Black Friday protest at Macy's except that I am usually recovering from Thanksgiving and cannot cope with going anywhere - no shopping, no protesting. We smiled at each other. I am also too shy to do the groupie thing with celebrities which is why I have never spoken to Willem Defoe despite having seen him on the street three times (I even saw him at the protest of the Iraq war). I liked the way Reverend Billy kind of shimmered around, chatting with people, listening to the earnest youth perched on his overturned megaphone.

One of the people in suits had his trousers tucked into these boots. He seemed like a lawyer, of the public defender variety.

The lawyer type was talking with someone from Reverend Billy's entourage, a man who wore a well cut suit, but had long hair and sunken eyes giving him the look of a roadie with a heavy metal band. I think the sandaled feet belong to Riley Waggaman who is sending dispatches to Wonkette. These are my celebrities; anti-capitalist reverends and political blog interns, no Susan Sarandan for me (I think I just missed her)

This was a real photojournalist, judging by the shoe and cuffed jeans I am guessing he was French.

Lest one think it was all public defenders and hippies...

Although there were plenty of hippies.

I love this woman's feet because they demonstrate a fashion faux-pas, she should really get those trousers hemmed.

At least she was protected from the mud unlike this fellow with his rope sandals.

This sneaker was on the foot of a cool gentleman with his hair in a wrap. It was really peaceful in the park. The noise seemed subdued, the air felt a little cooler. A grey haired man in a suit walked slowly through the gathering with a smile on his face. I really liked the energy there. The information lady tried to convince me to come back for a sleepover, but I do not think I am up for that. I did bring them apples though.

When I walked away back uptown, I saw the statue of Audrey Munson on top of the Municipal Building, holding her wreath of victory.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Autumn Equinox

I had hoped to burn a little summer spirit for the equinox, maybe a sunflower, but the forecast was for torrential rain. It seemed appropriate, and I decided to photograph the falling rain to contrast with the vernal equinox.

In the morning the subway was shrouded with fog. But before I could get back, the rain came. It was all I could do to keep from being washed away. I came home sodden, with squishy shoes as the rain eased off but never quite ended.

Then I chose this picture of amaranth as my equinox image. I am so proud of them for coming back strong after being transplanted and outshining the plants in front of my house

I had hoped that the plants in front would grow the spikey things on top, but they didn't.

My other autumn tribute is to these weeds growing in a pothole on the aptly named Greene Avenue, all thanks to the seemingly eternal rain. Although today has been relatively dry, we probably will not see the sun until the end of next week. Holes will form in the streets and weeds will grow in them.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Plants Go Out

I went out this morning with my friend Jessica who was involved in the early summer portrait graffiti. It was a beautiful morning, cool and crisp.

The bicycles with baskets were easier to enliven.

I liked finding places on the bicycle skeleton too.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Next Group of Plants

I am almost ready to send another group of plants out into the world. I was not thrilled about putting them in Williamsburg as the neighborhood is changing. There are fewer artists and more rich people and frankly, I don't want to give my plants to the luxury condo dwellers. Then I saw this artwork by a couple of artists in Toronto.

Caroline Macfarlane and Vanessa Nicholas have painted abandoned bicycles to brighten up the streets. It is called The Good Bike Project. My attention was drawn to the plant in the bicycle's basket. I figure that I can use New York's abandoned bicycles as plant stands. I do not plant to paint them though. I remembered a bike on 14th Street, so I went to have another look at it.

In fact there are four lost bicycles on one block of 14th.

This one is definitely a carcass...

However it really burns me up to see this totally serviceable Schwinn, with flowers decorating its basket now less, left to rust away. Even more frustrating is that the person locked the bike in a way that makes it difficult for others to use the bike rack.

With so many bikes to decorate, I started to worry that I did not have enough plants. So I decide to rescue the plants I had put out in Bushwick.

I am glad that I did. The plant near the graffiti wall was holding on by a tendril. It had been battered by the rough weather and its on spray of leaves was about to break away. I cut it from the dying plant and I am trying to get it to grow new roots.

The plant near the closed post office is very small, but it is healthy.

And the plant from the scary street is looking pretty good. The plant attached to the subway struts was gone, hopefully adopted. So I only ended up with two extra plants, but at least they are more likely to find homes when I put them back out.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Checking in on the Plants

The weather has shifted back to rain and everything is dreary. Last week when the light was beautiful, I went out to see how the plants were doing. Two of them have been taken, so I checked on the last four.

The plant near the wall of tags is doing fine. I see it when I ride my bike to the bridge.

The plant near the abandoned post office is still alive, but some of its leaves fell. It seemed to be growing its leaves in its small pot rather than moving outward.

It was the same for the plant on the scary street, lots of healthy green leaves hiding in the pot. I don't really blame them.

The plant that surprised me was the one I hung under the elevated tracks of the J train. It was flourishing and this was the plant I worried would not get enough water or light. 

I still have not decided what to do when the weather turns cold. I have some more plants to put out. I think I found a good wall in Williamsburg. I am hoping that placing them together will attract more attention and they will be adopted more quickly.