Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween in Clinton Hill

Clinton Hill gets dressed up and celebrates Halloween more than any other holiday.  Whole brownstones are covered in decorations, and there are three music shows within 2 blocks of us.  Some stoops had people waiting in lines to get their candy - I'm not sure how everyone knows who has the best stuff, but evidently some are worth wading through the mobs.  The street right below us is closed for one of the largest extravaganzas - the Vampire Opera.  Pictures were difficult this year - it was very crowded - but they put on a great show!

The 12th Annual Great PUPkin

This has easily become my favorite neighborhood event of the year. The local Park Users and Pets Society (PUPS) hosts an annual dog costume contest around Halloween.  Over 103 dogs (up from 82 last year) were in this year's show.  There are wide stairs up the side of a hill in the park, making a perfect, and packed, viewing area on a fine Autumn afternoon.

I thought some black lab owners would appreciate the irony of this one.

"Lindsey Lohan" in her prison garb.

Green Dog Days getting loaded into their float complete with drum kit. 

This little guy was my neighbor on the viewing stairs.  He seemed a little too high-strung to enter the contest.

Original hand-made costumes received more accolades, but this little one WORKED the judges and crowd.

Brooklyn's Finest, complete with handcuffs.

King Kong and Fay Wray

This was one of the crowd favorites and received an honorable mention.

Lady Gaga in her meat dress. There was another Gaga, and a Snookie too.

Shark Attack!  And it was cold!

Children admiring the gold fish.

I can't believe she carried off all that tulle!

This group, Peewee's Playhouse, was another winner.

One of my favorites - a clever mouse trap - received another honorable mention.

Bull-riding.  This worked beautifully - as the dog trotted around the stage, that rider and his hat bobbed just like a real rider on a bull.

Another winner - the little guy was digging the ride.

The grand prize winner - A Tree Grow-els in Brooklyn.  Beautiful, and the dog was a pro.  He was mobbed by photographers, and he gracefully posed for everyone.  The tree is on a table with wheels, so he just pushed it along with his shoulders.  I overheard two people saying this man's wife complains that he spends all his time on the dog's costume, and none on the kids'!  I think most kids these days prefer store-bought anyway.  

Part of the viewing crowd.

After the show, one dog seemed very puzzled by another dog's third head.  

After all was said and done, this dog seemed to be having the best time of all.

I didn't see him in the contest.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Odd Sights In and Out

This monster sandwich greeted everyone at the Brooklyn Flea this morning - some advertising for an online food specialty something or other.  Now, I can understand little kids thinking it was real, but more than a few big folk had to ask.  Talk about squeaky meats*.

Lola is loving her patch of grass.  
She has made it clear she does not want it cut.  
If this was outdoors, we'd be "THAT" neighbor  - 
the bane that causes all the crab grass and dandelions in the area.  

NEXT WEEK:  the spectacular Great PUPkin - an annual dog costume contest in Fort Greene Park, and then the amazing Halloween extravaganza down the block (they close the street) - this year's theme: Vampire Opera.  Overall, a photographer's delight!

*Squeaky meats is a nearly registered trademark phrase that my husband came up with for all the hipster doofuses in the neighborhood.

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Day in Mid-town with Bruce

My brother Bruce came to NYC on Saturday.  His company in Massachusetts sponsors occasional day bus trips to the city, so I met him in mid-town.  Please click on any photo to enlarge for more detail.

I started at the NY Public Library where I got him one of the great literary lions T-shirts.  Here is one of the "real" lions out front.

I met his bus, and then we headed over to MOMA.  I hadn't been in over 10 years.

My favorite exhibit was ”Scream. 1. against the wind 2. against the wall 3. against the sky”.  A mic stand is set up in an open space, and guests are encouraged to share their screams.  Yes, I did it!  Very liberating, and I got a smattering of applause.  We could hear the screams throughout most of the floors and exhibit spaces.

There is an exhibit on kitchens - interesting, but I wish the curators were more descriptive in the tags.

A kit having to do with eggs - but I have no idea
about the uses of the individual pieces.

I don't know much about the following pieces, but they seemed to change as we moved around them.

Not having been in so long, I forgot that MOMA holds so many of the most famous pieces in the world.  No surprise, these galleries were the most crowded.

Monet's Water Lilies looks nothing like this 
(even my good camera can't do it justice),  
but I just wanted to show the scale.

Close-up detail.

Frida Kahlo self-portait on the left.  The "painting" on the right is really a mirror reflecting a piece of a Diego Rivera work across the gallery.

This was an amazing piece to photograph.  It was very delicate, and with each setting, the photos looked completely different.
People tying their hopes and dreams to the Wish Tree.  I posted one too, but I'm not telling!

Bruce made sure I got a photo of this goat for my mother.

Bruce looking for change to throw in the fountain.  Yet more wishes!

After a few hours, and a great snack in their cafe, we left the crowds behind.   

As an illustrator himself, Bruce steered us uptown to the Museum of American Illustrations/Society of Illustrators.  It is a small museum in a lovely old brownstone.  The permanent collection is in the society's dining room/bar which has been the scene of some of their raucous parties.
There was a wall of tiles made by their members that held these 3 gems.  

This one deserves a close-up.  Love it!

We then walked around, marveling at some of the crazy things that people buy.   I think this was a purse (to carry a pet?) at Louis Vuitton.

I forgot how much there is to enjoy and see in mid-town. Having worked in that area for over 8 years, I tended to think it was all about offices and places to grab a salad for lunch during the work week.  Sometimes the tourists do know better!  Had a great day - thanks Bruce!!