Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Moping on the High Line

A new section of the High Line park opened over the summer. I was uptown on the west side this morning so I thought I would check it out. The weather was weird, pouring rain while I was uptown. I nearly gave the High Line a pass, but I jumped off the subway at 34th just as the doors closed and the rain had stopped. Someone painted wings near the entrance to the park.

The new section starts at 30th St. near the West Side Highway. Although large signs promise new development, the area is still fairly desolate.

The park itself is pretty, but a little bland. I felt as if I were in an outdoor exhibit at one of the better zoos,

with graffiti no longer seen in the wild. Actually, I think I last saw the flying cat in Paris, which may be why it made me feel so sad. Or it might have been the luxury residence being built next to the cat. They are sprouting up like mushrooms all around the park, their windows inches from the fence. It should be amusing when people move in.

Then the battery ran out on my camera. The spare was flat too.

I had just enough juice to photograph this really fine sculpture by Sarah Sze.

It seems clear that everyone involved in the park is very sincere, planting the good plants, exhibiting the good artists. But every time I come here, I feel a little sad.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Moss Growing Where I Did Not Plant It

While I was working in the garden, I noticed that several rocks and bricks were growing moss.

It is perplexing how moss grows all by itself in some places, but when I try to cultivate it, nothing happens.
I think it is rock moss growing in the garden which is not the variety I have been using. I do not know if there is a name for the moss that grows between the sidewalks. I do know that rock moss will only grow on rocks.

Though this rock is really concrete so maybe I should try a rock moss slurry on the patio walls. It is late in the season so I will probably have to start over in the spring.

The garden is fading to yellows and browns.

Two of the vines that came over from the neighboring yards are deciduous, turning gold and brightening the wall.

The days have been gloomy and night sweeps in quickly during the late afternoon.

Hoping the solstice light takes over soon.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

How Guy Fawkes Escaped the Pyre

My original plan was to make a bonfire on Guy Fawkes day and link it to its pagan origins. I wanted to make my effigy or "Guy" look like the masks that the Occupy Wall Street protesters have been wearing. I would add leaves and branches from the garden to refer back to the pagan traditions. They would also burn the bones of slaughtered livestock, but obviously I was not going that route.

A problem arose with my effigy. I did not really make an armature first, I couldn't think of good flammable material to use. So my guy looked a bit misshapen. His head was much bigger than his legs. He reminded me of a toddler mummy in a hospital gown. My beloved felt that the fallas effigy looked like a teenage girl. I could only imagine what my guy would inspire on the flames. I decided to keep him, with his missing arm and twisted leg and burn plants instead.

I skipped Guy Fawkes day altogether and planned the fire for Sunday which was the first day in winter time. I worked in the garden, preparing it for winter and raked up the leaves for the garden composter I bought. It is just visible behind the hydrangea.

I collected some amaranth, a few flowers and leaves, branches which fell during the hurricane.

The night came early and we lit the flame.

Although the plants were fresh, they caught on fire quickly.

The amaranth popped and sent sparks into the air.

The Guy watched from a safe distance.

The flames rose up high,

and then died down.

We sat in the heat of the flames and nursed our drinks (more of a Guy Fawkes day tradition, but a good one).