Monday, August 25, 2014

Friday, August 22, 2014


There's lots to like about the neighborhood in which I live. It's kid-friendly, walkable, easy on the eyes, and almost entirely free of violent crime. One of its attractions for me has always been its more-or-less equal mix of large and small houses. This has been changing over the past few years as the latter type disappear. Many are mansionized by expansion up and out. Others, like this one, are eliminated to make room for new dwellings that are pretty much all structure and no yard or garden.

This demolition began when the backhoe arrived and carved out the street side of the little hill on which the house sits. The debris is dumped into trucks that pull into the newly-opened space.

Friday, August 15, 2014

a blush of color

This Rose of Sharon appeared today in the back-yard jungle of our neighbor to the south. It stands out handsomely amidst a dense thicket of vines, bushy greens, and cockeyed trees.

Sunday, August 10, 2014


I'd read that this month's full moon would be bigger and brighter than most, but, imagining it in a clear sky, thought it wouldn't make an interesting photograph. Awakening around midnight with moonlight streaming in the window, I saw what you see here.

When I was about nine I had a friend who lived in a place which held many things that boys love, lots of woods, open grassy slopes, a cascading brook, and, best of all, a small farm complete with smelly chickens and lots of growing things. In a time when children were left to their own devices most of the time, I remember staying up unusually late one night enjoying the bright light of a clear-sky full moon and picking a carrot or two to eat while marveling at the shadows we cast.

Thursday, August 07, 2014


This shows a watercolor called "The Balcony." Paul Cézanne painted it in 1900 and Albert Eugene Gallatin bought it in 1924. Gallatin was a well-bred New York connoisseur, writer, and artist. This photo of Gallatin at age 24 in 1905 shows his upper-crust nature. He was wealthy, conservative, dignified, and entirely correct. How then, one wonders, did he become one of America's most dedicated proponents of radical art, a participant in the rebellion against conservatism that followed the 1913 Armory Show in New York? And why, in particular, did he champion non-representational Cubist art?

Part of the answer is that he taught himself to see differently. A somewhat overwrought and wordy Ph.D. thesis by a man named Gregory Galligan attempts to explain:

"Cézanne taught himself to see otherwise, that is, he mastered an ability to largely disregard his usual habits of stereometric perception for something far more fundamentally (in the ontological sense of the term) pictorial, or "painterly." Albert E. Gallatin understood this aesthetic implicitly when, on a routine visit to the Galleries Berneim-Jeune, Paris, in the summer of 1924, he purchased Cézanne's late watercolor, The Balcony, of 1900. In this instance, a wrought-iron window railing answers the implied arabesques of a distant view of brush and foliage—nature and culture thus taking part in a close poker of mutual bluffing.