By the time Thanksgiving is over, New York City will be ready to display the festivity of holiday season. There will be more lights, wonderful window displays and amazing store decorations; seasonal events such as ice skating rinks at Bryant Park, Central Park or Rockefeller Center and my favorite is the winter market at Bryant Park. Of all the many wonderful things to see in New York City during holiday season, the window displays from the city’s top stores are the ones that are most breathtaking. Each store competes to show the astonishing display of themes on its windows. People will be wowed by the ranging of themes from Saks Fifth Avenue, Barney’s, Macy’s, Bergdorf Goodman’s and many other upscale stores. They can be whimsical, full of fantasy, imaginative, depiction of stories that are popular like A Christmas Carol, Mother Goose, the Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland and so on. Those themes are truly work of art!
When you decide to visit New York City during holiday season, be prepared to encounter a lot of people, more than usual. There will be crowd almost everywhere! Wear sensible and comfortable shoes, bundle-up warmly, cause you’re going to take lots and lots of walk. Your main attractions will be mostly along Fifth Avenue. Saks Fifth Avenue has musical light show that covers its entire building. It is simply amazing! Young and old would gather across the store and waiting for the show to begin every 10 minutes. Across Saks Fifth Avenue is another attraction that has been showed on popular movies about Christmas, such as Home Alone: Lost in New York, which is the Rockefeller Christmas tree. The tree, the ice skating rink and the displays around the Rockefeller Center are another wonderful sights to see. You might also browsing the winter market at Bryant Park that has many local artists showing and selling their artworks. Not too mention, another ice skating rink, which is heated, and I think is more romantic than the one at Rockefeller. People can buy some hot cocoa or coffee and have varieties of munchies, sit on one of the park metal chairs and see people ice skating or just relaxing with loved ones. The market is also the best place to get presents for any occasion or souvenirs, if you’re a tourist. So, let me show you how New York City celebrates holiday season. You’ll be amazed for sure!
When I feel like it, I sketch. Often times though, even when I brought along my sketch book, set of pencils and pens anywhere, I had to have a certain mood to really want to sketch. Sometimes my hand was already tired from doing a lot of chores, that even when I set my heart to sketch, my hand seemed abstaining from doing anything. So I might ended up sitting somewhere with my sketch book open and blank page. But when those moments came, I could sit for the longest time to sketch. Who would want to care for the dirty dishes or unprepared meal anyway? (Wink).
These are three of my latest sketches and I intent to make as many as I can and create a sketch journal. But I know my limit and my mood, unfortunately. I did my first sketch after my kids, their friends from the music camp and their teachers had a picnic. I cooked some fried rice for them and the picnic went so well and everybody was happy. A friend of mine who also a mother of a student at the camp, and her daughter, and I kept on picnicking under the shadow of some trees at Yale Cross Campus after everybody else went back to their activity. We had a wonderful time chatting and after my friend and her daughter left, I did my sketch. My object was the building of Calhoun College. A few months back, there was a protest wanting the school (Yale) to replace the name of Calhoun College due to the character behind the name, John C. Calhoun, who was a statesman who believed in slavery. Calhoun was a former US vice president.
The sketch book that I use now is my second sketch book. It’s thinner and smaller than the first one that’s already full. The book has red cover. I fell in love with it when I saw it at the arts & craft store. I did my second sketch during our visit to the beach. We live quite near the beach and I promised my younger daughter and son to go to the beach when the weather became cooler one late afternoon. Summer has been crazy for us with several days of heat wave. So while my kids kept themselves busy by playing frisbee and walking to a small island that we could only reach when it was low tide, I sketched. Basically, I was left alone minding my own business. My sketch object was part of the Bradley Point that has several big trees with benches under them.
When one day I took my younger daughter along to find a “good place” to sketch, I told her to bring a book. At first, she was bored, but then she sat nicely reading her book and watching the people who passed by us. We chatted and laughed at some people who looked silly or did something awkward. We were sitting on a stone bench near Sterling Library at Yale Campus. The weather was fine that day. I decided to sketch the Harkness Hall because I wanted to learn again about drawing perspective. It’s been a while since I sketch or draw something in perspective. My skill kinda dull at the moment. By the way, I chose sepia colored pens to sketch because it reminds me of old photographs. I sure hope I will continue to sketch more and create another journal to share.
My first thought when I entered this library was that this is Harry Potter’s library,although , it’s not. This marvelous library is Andrew Dickson White Library at Cornell University. But by the time you see the pictures I took and post here, you will agree this library could be Harry Potter’s library (minus the flying books). A.D. White Library is a library within a library, it’s located inside Uris Library. My family and I were visiting Cornell and my friend, Danny and his wife, took us to see several point of interests around campus. Uris Library opened in 1891 and among the oldest and beautiful libraries of American colleges. William Henry Miller was the architect who designed the building. It is a magnificent building with a clock tower attached to it that becomes Cornell’s symbol. The McGraw Tower is another point of interest at Cornell that plays chimes concert daily.
Andrew Dickson White was co-founder and Cornell University first president. When Harold D. Uris Library was established, White wanted to donate his personal collection of 30,000 books to Cornell. But instead of putting the books into the library’s collections, White wanted his books installed in a special library within Uris Library. He asked the architect, William Henry Miller, to design it. A.D. White Library opened as Uris Library opened. The library is also filled with White’s other collections of artworks, furniture and artifacts that he got from Europe when he was the U.S. Ambassador for Germany and Russia. There are paintings, plaster busts and several plaster casts of European coins and medallions that are placed in a glass case. Uris Library is open from Thursday to Sunday for 24 hours for students who want to use the facility. Get that? Open for 24 hours.
A. D. White Library is a small library. Its location is rather secluded. We climbed some steps and reached a big door. My friend opened it and we entered another realm. We were floored! We were amazed! My kids were very enthusiastic and in a hushed voice telling me,”This is like Harry Potter’s Library!” There are 3 tiers in the library that were made from wrought iron. These tiers themselves are a work of art. The sun rays that beamed into the room reflected upon the iron frames, fell on the chairs and leather sofa that are placed in front of the windows. The atmosphere was solemn, peaceful and simply just wonderful. It’s very accommodating for whoever needs a place to study. I think I could really enjoy studying there for as long as I want.
The night has a thousand eyes,
And the day but one;
Yet the light of the bright world dies
With the dying sun.
The mind has a thousand eyes,
And the heart but one;
Yet the light of a whole life dies
When love is done.
(Francis William Bouidillon)
WaterFire, Providence, Rhode Island – Spring, 2015
Battell Chapel is the largest chapel in the of New Haven in Connecticut. I’ve been to this chapel several times to see my daughters practicing with their orchestras and during their performances. From the outside, Battell Chapel looks like another ordinary stone building in downtown New Haven, the first planned city in America. New Haven became a city in 1784 and thrived because of Yale College, the 3rd oldest college in United State. Battell Chapel was established through donations of Joseph Battell and his family who dedicated the chapel as a memorial for the Civil War. The style of the chapel is High Victorian Gothic and designed by Russell Sturgis, Jr.
Alright, enough about the history and some facts about Battell Chapel. I love being inside the chapel admiring the glass works that are shown around it. The designs, motifs and colors of the stained-glass windows are stunning. I usually didn’t stay inside while waiting for my daughter practicing, but the last time the orchestra had a rehearsal, I tried to take as many pictures as possible of the stained-glass windows. My favorites are the windows that I’m putting first in this journal. Among the stained-glass windows that adorned Battell Chapel, one of them was created by Louis Comfort Tiffany, the master of the stained-glass art (the last picture).
Freedom of speech, is such a strong motivation and idea to instill to each of us. You can say whatever, write whatever or do whatever to express your self being free. Some expressing it through art (so they say). This form of art lately becomes a quite popular news because it happens in a public space and some says beginning to feel like a menace. I don’t know what anybody’s opinion about decency, but to claim being painted while half naked, or wearing only underpants, strutting here and there and accepting some “tips” from the passerby, is how freedom of speech works. It’s ridiculous. You know, in New York City, being topless is legal and the ladies who now exhibit their painted body in Times Square really knows well how to sell their artwork. When I saw this lady, a part of me admired her spunk, but another part of me couldn’t fathom the idea of showing off your body in a public space where everyone can see (even touch when this lady posing with some tourists) is a part of freedom of speech. With so many ways to express your self, why this? In the end, I think because this one is the most profitable way to do.
Notes: when I took these pictures, it was last October, I only saw one Desnudas or painted lady in Times Square. Now that it’s almost a year later, I read that the ladies are multiplying and becoming a handful.
You have been walking in so many miles, through trials and tribulations. You thought you’re already left and forgotten the moment your heart fell in love. Someone broke your heart and you fell out of love. You wiped your tears and moved on, or so you thought. Then one day you whispered that name, the name that long ago you said in your prayers. Suddenly you feel your spirit rises again and you wonder what has happened after all those years. Has your heart told you lies? Has your mind played some tricks all this time? But love makes you do that, you go back to the same point over and over again.