Monday, June 17, 2013

Moving Days in June

Jesse Cohen rocks the F-train 4th Avenue Brooklyn station 
singing "Girl From the North Country" -
one of my favorites...

...and then he sings one of his own, which is beautiful!
Here's his myspace site - check it out!

Later I watch an EPIC BATTLE in our Brooklyn apartment:  roach vs. ant!
I could just end it with a sharp whack, but the 
demonic energy of the spider stays my hand. 

See it here!

Speaking of things dying, I'm going through some old artworks and throwing a bunch out.
These two pieces now dwell in some far off landfill...

So it goes.
Leaving behind the grit and glamour of Brooklyn, I plan a trip to Madison
to see Andrew and Jennifer's new house...

( photo)

...a plan complicated by Hurricane Andrea
which morphs into a tropical storm slugging her way up the East Coast.
According to forecasts, my flight will leave smack in the middle of the worst of the rains, 
so I call Delta Airlines, whose rep reports to me that
 "Things look good here, mon!  All flights on time!"

I am not reassured.  LaGuardia is a wash of grays.  But the don't-worry-be-happy rep
 turns out to be prescient, 
because while flights are being cancelled all around me, 
mine wings its way up through fog and the driving rain.

The "13" pointing upwards is a little worrisome, but soon we rise above Andrea's murk...

...and float down two hours later into a sunny, warm Madison!  Early!
I want that Delta rep to run my life!

And here is Andrew and Jennifer's fabulous new house!
They've been living in a one-room apartment for three years,
so this is a bit more spacious.

The deck!  The deck!
Along with moving into his new home, working, and having a multitude of clan members visiting, 
Andrew does a triathlon where he swims 400 meters, bikes ten miles and runs four.

All before breakfast.  No problem.

Shannon, Jennifer and her mom Janice,
Andrew, and Shirley relax on the deck.  The deck!
In the background is one of their two garages.

Dan brings my (paternal) Grandpa Gene's handmade lighthouse lamp 
as a gift and it's fitted with a brand new bulb.
Ships will not lose their way.

Sherry, Kellen,
Arya, Jennifer!

Shannon, Kellen!

(photo by Shannon Campbell)

 Angie, Dan, Sherry and I hang out by Dan and Angie's tent
that they put up in the new yard.

Recently I thought the following pattern on my coffee was pretty amazing...

...until I went to Madison's Johnson Public House
down the street.

A couple of days later it gets even fancier.
So bright it's gotta wear shades.

Madison has so many cool little cafes and shops sprinkled throughout the city,
along with the best yards in the world.  This one is growing bowling ball flowers
and a glass bottle tree...

...and this one is filled with flamingos surrounding a glittery palm tree.

A huge public lawn surrounds the Capital Building, where we see 
Andrew and Jennifer, whose future's so bright, they gotta wear shades.
We start at the Capital and take a walk down State Street...

...where Madison saves a fragment of history while tearing down the rest of the block for a 
sadly boring new set of buildings.

A truncated tree tries its best to regenerate.

At the far end of State Street lies the UW Madison Armory and Gymnasium, aka The Red Gym,
was also slated for demolition twice, but (unlike NY's Penn Station) both times received reprieves.

It was built in 1894, after the deadly Chicago Haymarket Riot which was a bloody battle between
police and demonstrators.  
The Romanesque Revival style Armory was build to give the local authorities a center from which to fight the uprisings and strikes expected from workers who were bent on demanding things 
like an 8-hour day and protections from injuries and death on the job.

Before the 8-hour day finally became law, Americans generally
worked 9 - 14 hour days six days a week with no vacations.
Imagine that.  When would people have time to shop?

The Red Gym itself was fire-bombed in 1970 during the anti-Vietnam War demonstrations
when the ROTC (Reserve Officer's Training Corp) was housed there.

We take a tour through the Madison Capital building and learn more Wisconsin history.

In one room, which depicts the evolution of transportation,
we can see the history of the state in a nutshell:
Indians getting an offer they couldn't refuse from a white man;
Indians leaving;
Settlers moving in;
Trains, planes and cars taking over; 
and finally...

...the Koch-sponsored current governor, Scott Walker proudly selling the state off 
bit by bit to capitalist interests.
Even more proudly, he's been showing those lazy workers, like teachers 
(who work long days and nights teaching, correcting papers, doing prep, 
monitoring extra-curricular clubs and teams,
often paying out-of-pocket for school supplies and taking college classes during their summer
"vacation" so they'll be better teachers) 
 who's boss.  Collective bargaining?  In your dreams, teachers!
You're on your way to 14 hour days, six days a week with no benefits!

Really, since he's going all medieval on the state,
his offices should be in the armory rather than 
this graceful, elegant neoclassical building,
whose tenets are harmony and balance, logic and reason
and justice for all.

Today, exercising their still-active rights,
several protesters complain about the Governor and his friends and former aides
who have been accused of embezzling funds from, for example, the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

I take some cool accidental pocket pics in the capital.

Andrew rubs the nose of the official bronze badger which will bring him good luck.

Andrew, Jennifer and an unnamed young man preside with solemn dignity.

Goddesses rule!

Many gorgeous glass ceilings in the capital building:

Are these the glass ceilings that women must break through to get real power?
I always pictured them more like this:

Mike and Janice peer upwards at the wise women overhead while Andrew
and Jennifer gaze outward.

While I'm here, Madison sponsors Safety Day
where Firemen sport super cool sun glasses...

...and let all the kids climb up in the driver's seat.

It's not all fun and games, however.
Here I am smooshed into the back seat amongst all the boxes and random this and that
that will be crammed into the new house, or at least into one of the garages.

We later explore an amazing basement (not Andrew and Jennifer's)
that I don't think the firemen would approve of. 

Courtney and I take a wonderland-walk in Madison's Olbrich Park... film a background for her website,
which is now a winter scene that needs to be flowered up.

Here's the new look I created that goes with her "Violet Nights" theme, 
which is one of her fabulous albums.

Later, Parcheesi and ice cream with J and A!

And wine!

Andrew and Jennifer think it's great fun to send my purple Parcheesi men back to start
and then make a blockade on my entry space!

But they're sad to see me go!

Coming down over New Jersey, into LaGuardia...
...which is a party!

But I move on, and smoosh myself into the back of a cab, with the usual suspects in the distance.
Looks good from here, mon!

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