Yay! Thanksgiving vacation!
We're on our way to Madison
to see the newborn babe!
On our way to the airport we pass a bus emblazoned with "New York's Boldest"
on its side. I wonder if those words refer to the passengers on the bus,
all of them on their way to Riker's Island.
But Frank informs me that the boldest are NYC Corrections Officers,
just as finest = policemen; bravest = firemen; strongest = sanitation workers, aka garbagemen.
This sign is more on topic, as we are going to see our new grandson, born November 10th!
Hudson River Haiku:
Low sun in November
Flames over water.
The river shines.
Newly fallen snow;
Fields and trees.
A wing soars above.
Sun in the west;
Clouds flowing east.
The sky aflame.
And here he is! We finally meet Oliver John. Or Elliot John. Not sure which yet.
The birth certificate says "Baby boy Keeley Yonda" and offers 365 days to
make changes. So, no hurry.
He has the hands of a musician. Here he's playing a piano in his dreams.
Above, he's listening to his father sing.
Below, he contemplates his mother's face.
Nice to be on the outside!
Above, Aunt Courtney and Uncle Aaron,
below, Grandpa Frank.
And last but not least, Grandma and the babe, who seems less than relaxed in her arms.
(Pic by Andrew Keeley Yonda)
Here he is with Jennifer, mere hours old!
On a similar theme, Frank and I see this image at the Chazen Museum of Art
on the University of Wisconsin/Madison campus the next day.
(Studio of Giovanni de Paolo, Madonna and Child with Two Angels before a Rose Hedge, ca. 1470-1475)
Some more familial relationships in the museum include
Shiva and his consort Parvati, below.
This is where having four hands comes in "handy."
(Shiva and Parvati, Indian, ca. 925-950)
Below, one of their attractive offspring, the graceful elephant-headed Ganesha!
(Dancing Ganesha, Indian, late 11th century)
Below, the Monk Seigen is more conflicted than Shiva about his amorous desires:
(Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, The Depravity of the Monk Seigen, 1889, color woodcut)
We can assume that St. Gregory, below, has enough fancy cloaks of his own,
and is unencumbered by thoughts of, say...
(Unknown Spanish artist, St. Gregory the Great, 1575-1600)
...this uncloaked woman...
(John DeAndrea, Untitled Bronze #1, 1984, bronze, oil paint)
...or that woman...
(Tom Wesselman, Study for Steel Drawing/Amy Reclining, 1984, felt-tip pen)
...although perhaps this woman has crossed his mind...
(Viola Frey, Reflective Woman II, 2002, ceramic)
...although more likely, St. Gregory would like to banish this fellow from our minds...
(Roof Tile with Demon, Chinese, Ming Dynasty 1368-1644)
...and also this lovely lady, Ms. Shakti.
(Shakti with Two Female Attendants, Indian, 13th century)
Too bad St. Gregory and Shakti aren't more compatible, because
they have in common an interest in banishing demonic forces.
(Peter Agostini, Nude with Arm Raised, 1956, watercolor)
This lady was painted by Peter Agostino, an elegant, wonderful man I was privileged to know
before he died in 1993. I worked at the Anita Shapolsky Gallery on Spring Street in SoHo
in the early 1990's and Peter showed his work there.
Below is one of his sculptures utilizing his signature
bulbous forms with their sensual figurative connotations.
(Summer Cloud, 1962, plaster, metal, wood, felt)
Here is a portrait photo by another artist friend and another Peter: Peter Bellamy,
who has documented virtually all the great artists (at least those still alive for him to photograph).
You can see his blog HERE.
(John Henry Twachtman, Misty Landscape, ca. 1890)
Above, the delicate colors in this painting by Twachtman remind me of
the colors in a work that I recently saw at Matthew Marks Gallery in Chelsea
by Gary Hume.
Dif'rent strokes for dif'rent artists.
Here's another cogent comparison:
(Attributed to Adriaen van Utrecht, 1599-1652, Still Life with Game, Fowl and Vegetables, n. d.)
Seventeenth century feast, above, 21st century feast, below:
But before we leave the museum for Thanksgiving fun, one more Haiku is in order:
A rectangle of sky;
Glass, metal, stone.
The museum window.
The Chazen is a gem of a museum with many, many treasures.
Frank and I visit nearly every time we're in Madison.
Thanksgiving is loads of fun at Aaron's, where we do the cooking...
...and at Andrew and Jennifer's where we do the eating.
The weekend brings more of the family to Madison.
Here is Great Grandma Shirley getting her first glimpse of the boy!
The boy, who is really pleased with the adorable poncho made by Sherry.
We open some gifts, have some fun, eat some food...
...and listen to fabulous vintage records donated by Brett and Sherry (see boxes behind Arya)
that Andrew plays on his
vintage stereo system...and then we pass out.
that Andrew plays on his
vintage stereo system...and then we pass out.
Later Aaron does some funny stuff.
Then we all do some funny stuff.
Then we get serious about our smiles.
Shirley gathers her "greats" around her.
And then we rally to party again, first at Andrew's,
then at Aaron's...
Well, some of us rally.
...and some of us play Grand Theft Auto V.
Then the wheel spins a bit...
(Shiva as Lord of the Dance, Indian, 19th century, Chazen Museum)
...and we go to a movie in shifts, Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which is pretty good
even if I haven't read the books or seen the original one.
Jennifer and I go first, with Andrew and the babe hanging out in the comfortable
waiting area, then when our movie is over, Aaron and Andrew go see it.
Here I am with Elliot/Oliver via Instagram...
(photo by Jennifer Keeley Yonda)
Here are Andrew and Jennifer being photographers
between the two showings...
This routine works amazingly well, as does our visit to the restaurant, the Tempest Oyster Bar,
which is excellent!!!
I order a delicious "fish chowder" which, coincidentally, is a term I used in Scattergories
the night before and no one believed that such a thing existed!
I say, "Fie on you!"
(FYI, "Fie-on-you" is another of my terms that was not allowed in the F "famous phrases" category!)
Now, they must eat their words!
Speaking of food and drink,
here's a Wisconsin specialty that I think I'll try another day,
a day when mixing cheese and chocolate sounds like a good idea.
Here are a few beer varieties in the same store, just a few, many of them local...
...and here are a few more...
Andrew models a cool baby wrap that matches his t-shirt,
and this picture also shows the old bookshelves that were in this space before
he began his fabulous shelf-building project!
It's his own invention, utilizing pipes and boards that he cut and stained.
The books await their new beautiful and stylish home.
Well, all good things must come to an end,
although we'll be back in Mad City in no time, for Christmas.
Back on the ground in New York, I take some shots of the skyline
that end up looking pretty Christmasy...
Downtown Brooklyn sports some cool cubes of light on Flatbush Avenue
that I photograph through the cab window:
At the Brooklyn Bridge entrance, the sign warns ominously about gridlock tomorrow.
I catch the sign at the very moment it is changing its message to...
...an exhortation to use mass transit!
Which I will do from now on, as is my wont.
Here my cab passes one of my usual rides,
I will say so long with another Bodhisattva smile, which are some of the best smiles in the world.
Or maybe the universe.
(Seated Bodhisattva, Indian, 2nd - 3rd century, Chazen Museum)