ELW Photography #10

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This week features a day trip to Long Island. The itinerary was an indoor flea market, an outlet mall, and the town of Port Jefferson.

Day tripping

The outlets had great bargains including a windbreaker for Fall and a bundle of books at a discount.

Port Jefferson offered Red Shirt Comics and seafood at PJ’s Lobster House where we dined indoors for only the second time since March!

As of this writing indoor dining will return to Manhattan on September 30th.

Women’s Rights

2020 is the Centennial of the Vote for Women in America. New York dedicated its first statue of real women’s rights pioneers on Literary Walk.

Also marking the 200th Anniversary of Susan B. Anthony’s birth, this new monument is long overdue.

Central Park Wonders

I took a nature walk through the ramble recently. This is an area of the park with interconnected paths that twist through scenic woods. Bird watching here is fantastic.

A young Jazz Saxophonist played. A group of guys enjoyed a game of beach volleyball. And the police keep guard over a statue of Christopher Columbus.

The Conservancy takes great care of Central Park. Maintaining the lawns, trees, benches, and the rest every day.

This Summer has been hot and sunny most of the time. My husband and I are staying put in New York for now. These days I love my city. Have you looked at the weather across the country lately?

Park Summer

The Conservatory Garden

Located at E. 105th Street & 5th Avenue across from The Museum of the City of New York, this garden is a treasure with flowers, romantic paths and fountains placed well. A quiet zone perfect for escape from the chaos outside.

9–11–2020

19 years after the attacks on U.S. soil of 3 American planes used as missiles destroying the Twin Towers, damaging The Pentagon, and crashing in Pennsylvania killing over 3,000 people, Corona Virus has killed over 200,000 Americans.

We will all pause to remember 9/11. But never forget that then & now we had a President not duly elected by the people.

Dear Readers, until next week…

ELW Photography #9

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Dear Readers, September arrives with plenty to share. New images of my neighborhood shows the hard work being done to keep life as normal as possible. Labor Day weekend begins….

This park sits atop the FDR Drive on the far Eastside of Manhattan. As seen above the Esplanade over looks the East River. Views of Roosevelt Island, Triborough Bridge re-named the RFK, and Hells gate freight bridge can be enjoyed here.

In the collages we see all kinds of activity. A girl flies a kite. A young Dad walks home with his friend and kid. A woman confined to a automated chair enjoys jazz music. A yoga class takes place. Two men workout on the Great Lawn. A Doorman washes down the walk. A man finishes up his run checking his phone.

I have many more images to share of Central Park. The gallery below features them.

The Ramble

A natural ecosystem that is great for walks. One of the nation’s top bird watching spots.

The many paths feature charming views of forest. A great way to escape for a while.

As our city continues to re-open I am hoping the awful numbers of March do not return. If Summer 2020 proved one thing to me it’s that we are all together. No matter what happens New Yorkers will continue to support each other.

My Dear Readers, thanks for stopping by Evan’s Gate! Until next week…

ELW Photography #4

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Introduction

July 24, 2020

New York City entered Phase 4 this week of recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic. Outdoor dining and retail are back. I have gone out to dinner with my husband a few times already. We have seen some friends and family too!

Continuing to show my photographs of the Upper Eastside and Central Park I thought about my connection to these images.

This week I feature statues and buildings that have stimulated my lifelong sense of whimsy. A lover of fantasy since childhood I re-discovered places in the park I needed to explore.

I hope they bring back your sense of whimsy as well….

Statues

The base of the Mother Goose figure has characters like Humpty Dumpty and Little Boy Blue carved around it. A homeless man sleeps on a bench nearby. As enchanting as this statue can be there are many experiencing hard times.

This statue shows the famous author sitting on a bench reading his classic, “The Ugly Duckling”, with his top hat placed to the side. You can see the details of this work in each image including the sculptor of the work, Georg J. Jober. The architect who designed the work was Otto F. Lancmann. The statue was dedicated in 1956. The Park Conservancy works hard to preserve all of its treasures.

Hans Christian Andersen (/ˈændərsən/Danish: [ˈhænˀs ˈkʰʁestjæn ˈɑnɐsn̩] (listen); 2 April 1805 – 4 August 1875), in Denmark usually called H.C. Andersen, was a Danish author. Although a prolific writer of plays, travelogues, novels, and poems, he is best remembered for his fairy tales.

Andersen’s fairy tales, consisting of 156 stories across nine volumes and translated into more than 125 languages, have become culturally embedded in the West’s collective consciousness, readily accessible to children, but presenting lessons of virtue and resilience in the face of adversity for mature readers as well. His most famous fairy tales include “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” “The Little Mermaid,” “The Nightingale,” “The Steadfast Tin Soldier“, “The Red Shoes“, “The Princess and the Pea,” “The Snow Queen,” and”The Ugly Duckling,” our subject pictured above.

Alice In Wonderland

The centerpiece of this section is the statue of Alice. I took many images of this statue. On any given day the natural light cast many unique looks at this charming monument.

Above you see the entire statue large enough for children to climb on. You see close–ups of her Wonderland cohort: The Mad Hatter, The Rabbit who is always late, and the Cheshire Cat. If you look closely at the rear view you can find the Jabberwocky!

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson , better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll, was an English writer of children’s fiction, notably Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass. He was noted for his facility at word play, logic, and fantasy.

At the base of the steps are engraved plates displaying verse from the classic book seen below…

The Eldorado

One of a series of stately apartment buildings towering above Central Park West, The Eldorado is famous for its Art Deco-inspired twin towers that mirror its predecessor’s, The San Remo. Constructed a year after The San Remo, The Eldorado is a product of renowned architect Emery Roth, whose buildings are visible all along this stretch of Eighth Avenue. Its location, at 300 Central Park West is located near the reservoir.

Art Deco Twin Towers Rise Above Central Park West In Pre-War Grandeur. This is my favourite building.

My Neighborhood

The commercial corridor has declined over the past year. Several stores closed. A movie theater shut down. The Barnes & Noble bookstore is moving to a different location on Third Avenue, a much smaller space.

Restaurants have built outdoor dining areas on the street. The ones who had outdoor tables to start are expanded now. All servers wear mask.

The Metropolitan museum of art announced a return date of August 29, 2020.

The Streets

Walking down any avenue you cannot avoid passing people. Wearing a mask is really the only thing you can do to protect yourself. Remaining indoors is only an option during horrid spells of excessive heat. As of this writing we are having our worst heat of the season.

New York City has proceeded with caution. This enabled us to flatten the curve. Now there are over 30 states with out of control numbers of virus cases. This did not have to happen. Wearing a mask is not a partisan issue. The largest problem now is re-opening the schools.

Will New York City survive? Can we invent a new economy? Do we really need to depend so much on tourism?

The retailers in our area include H&M, Best Buy, Staples, Old Navy, and Banana Republic. Independent shops are mainly services like shoe repair and dry cleaners. A major re–think must be done. New York City is not really as interesting a place as it was in the 20th Century. The internet is a powerful tool but this tech has ravaged our urbanity. If every corner is a fast food chain what is so special about living here? It seems in the past 20 years people have raised children without imagination. Just staring down at screens is Huxley’s Brave New World come to dystopian reality!

In the past 2 weeks I have witnessed a solitary officer and his car guarding a statue of Columbus in Central Park and 3 police vehicles in front of the Met museum with lights on. It was not clear to me what had happened accept perhaps a kid was playing in the fountain. We have collectively lost our marbles during this stressful time.

I have theorized our police are dispatched in groups like street gangs. This can never result in positive outcomes. We need to change how our city is protected.

People are in heavy denial. Understandably the shock of this time is powerful. But I have thought from the start that nothing will come back quickly. I do my part by wearing a mask. Such a simple thing.

I have seen horrifying results of people who think they cannot wear a mask and not get sick. The sacrifice is small yet people are unwilling in so many cases.

My photography continues in the coming weeks of Covid Summer 2020. These were just thoughts I have had while being out enjoying the weather.

Stay healthy dear readers. No matter what polls say, Vote this November!

ELW Photography #2

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I posted my first ELW Gallery about a month ago! Time flies even in a pandemic. Here is a brief update from New York City….

July 10, 2020—New York Phase III—Outdoor Dining Began this past Monday. Indoor Dining was cancelled. All events in the city are off through September.

A few words before presenting my second gallery of photos from the city that now sleeps. Yes, there are more cars again, more people not concerned enough about Covid.

The young will pay a hefty price for their natural feelings of invincibility.

Our politicians are challenged on more than just the Covid front. Race and Justice are now exposed again.

People are justifiable in their needs during this crisis.

I have walked almost every day to keep sane myself.

New Yorkers need more physical space.

I hope my photos of a mostly empty Central Park help you to escape as I did for a little while…

Welcome to the second gallery of photography featuring images of a newly quiet New York City.

What’s Normal?

As I stroll around the park, walk down 5th Avenue, and any number of differing paths I note a strong feeling of loss. There is also feelings of hope and escape from a newly quieted city.

New Eyes

As a trained photographer you see the world around you with new eyes every day. During this period of extreme crisis this ability is heightened. The next set of images was taken from the July 4th Holiday and beyond.

Architecture of Central Park

I always take notice of details that seem to be missed by people busy with every activity except looking. The interior of the park has gorgeous designs both natural and man made.

Conditions Change

Tropical Storm Fay Is Pounding The City Today: 3 Inches Of Rain Expected. We need it badly.

Keep Your Distance

Thank you Dear Readers for visiting Evan’s Gate!

See you next week!

ELW Photography

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Dedication

To my beloved Brian, who’s never ending encouragement and support made these galleries and this blog possible.

Dear readers this week I begin to feature my photography as the sole content of the blog. Living in New York City gives you a lot of opportunity to create images. Everyday people make the best extras.

During this time of crisis I felt like taking more photos around my neighborhood & Central Park. To preserve for all—time a version of this fabled town nobody ever expected to see.

I hope you enjoy seeing these pictures today and in the Summer season ahead…

Please be assured that other posts will be made during this period.

As of this writing New York is in Phase 1 of re—opening. This means construction, retail, and some outside dining have returned. Retail stores must limit capacity with curbside pick—up service.

As a lifelong New Yorker this pandemic has been nothing short of life—changing. Walking around my part of town has preserved my sanity. My loving husband, Brian has been the core of why I can remain whole during this awful period.

Dear readers, thank you for spending part of your day here on Evan’s Gate! More photography from yours truly will be posted. Stay healthy and safe. Remember love and healing are the forces that will get us all through this time.

Peace.

Locke and Key/ Review

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Netflix may have found the perfect series for viewers who came to the streaming service when “Stranger Things” appeared for the first time.

After all stories involving misfit youths have become the building blocks of entire networks like the CW and Nickelodeon. This is how programming works. There has never been a larger audience for this kind of series.

Based upon a graphic novel by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez it took seven years to develop a live action series for Netflix.

The time and expense has payed off. I have watched “Riverdale” and “Stranger Things”. Both of those dramas are appealing. Lock & Key blows them both away in my humble view.

The original graphic novels on which the series is based.

You see “Riverdale” is a slick dark reboot of comic strip characters that remade the Archies into anti-hero teen delinquent outcasts. I found by its recent third season to get tired.

The show spent an entire season on a Dungeons & Dragons style role-playing game. Trying to match “Stranger Things” in the 1980’s nostalgia department with many helpings of beefcake, Archie turns boxer, and serves a stint in juvenile detention.

“Stranger Things” brought myself and many other viewers to Netflix for the first time. Upon its debut the 1980’s set supernatural serial cleverly became the best Stephen King series not actually made by Stephen King.

The Duffer brothers created a series they thought was going to be limited until it became a cultural phenom.

After producing 3 series I find the show repeating itself. The monster was super cool in series 1 but by a third helping it’s way less impressive.

I have not finished viewing Season 1 of Lock & Key. The Netflix service just announced a renewal for Season 2. After five episodes I am happy it will return.

I have always loved fantasy shows on TV. I will write about some of the programs my generation sat through in the pre-digital days like Sid & Marty Krofft’s trippy Pufnstuf or Filmation’s live action Shazam!

But I digress. Lock & Key gets everything right. Using the many tropes of gothic tales at its disposal plus the enduring value of good natured youth experiencing a truly dangerous world for the first time works because the cast is that good.

The basic story involves a family that is forced to uproot their lives in Seattle because their Dad is murdered in cold blood by a mysterious foe.

Moving back to their ancestral home in the small town of Matheson in Massachusetts exposes the Locke family to their father’s magical legacy.

Key House as it is known is a Victorian style manse that makes the Bates home in “Psycho” look like Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion.

The Key House is a classic goth manse. I think this was another tip of the hat to Stephen King. The King house in Bangor, Maine looks a lot like it. (no pun intended)

Kinsey Locke (Emilia Jones) is the middle child. Tyler Locke (Connor Jessup) is the eldest sib. Bode Locke is the youngest of the three. He is played by Jackson Robert Scott ( Georgie in the remake of Stephen King’s IT in 2017).

In the series premiere directed by Andy Muschietti ( Stephen King’s IT) Bode comes into contact with a spirit which at first glance appears to be dead. The well house is a separate structure on the grounds.

Bode hears a moaning whisper calling him. The ‘Well Lady’ is the pet name Bode assigns her in the beginning. Yes, this scene is similar to Stephen King’s IT, but it works so who cares!

Like all fantasy before it especially Harry Potter only kids have memories of the supernatural workings surrounding them. The adults cannot remember what has happened. This places a heavy burden on the kids.

Within the Key House there are hidden keys. Each has a specific magical property.

*****************Spoiler Alert. Read no further if you have not read the books. Or Watched the show!***

The ‘Well Lady’ will be revealed as Dodge (Laysla De Oliveira), a villain in the mold of Snow White’s Evil Queen.

As in all fairy tales she will trick innocent Bode into giving her the key that allows you to travel anywhere in the world. That is as long as you have been there already and use a door to transport yourself.

Kinsey Locke and Tyler Locke are the wonder twins of the series. Protective of each other their falling outs prove nearly fatal when their father’s killer is enabled by Dodge to transport himself to Key House.

Their Mom, Nina Locke (Darby Stanchfield) is grieving the loss of their Dad, Rendell Locke (Bill Heck. She has no idea what is happening to her kids until this awful encounter with her husband’s killer.

Kinsey and Tyler find out they can never separate. When Tyler tries to run away from the magic his sibs pay a high price.

Carlton Cuse ( TV’s “LOST”) is the showrunner and one of the creators of this series. He is expert on multiple storylines and paths crossing in past and present. He applies that skill here with the precision required to pull of both horror and camp.

In my view he put some of Lost’s best ideas back to work here. Including an episode in which Kinsey and her friends explore a sea cave to scout as a possible locale for their horror movie project, ‘The Splattering’.

The high tide almost traps them. The group winds up going for an unplanned swim to save themselves from drowning. A fate that the Locke’s Dad’s friends suffered years before their arrival in town.

In a similar format to another Netflix series, “Thirteen Reasons Why” in which each title sequence reveals whose tape will be featured, “Locke & Key” reveals a new key in its opening title.

Bode starts school a week after his older sibs. He explores the house first. The discovery of magical keys becomes a kid’s scavenger hunt (remember those from camp!).

Bode cannot resist finding out the function of each key upon discovery. His sibs only catch up later after the ‘Head’ key is found.

This allows the holder to unlock their heads. You can physically enter your own mind. Dark humor is unleashed in these scenes.

Bode is over excited by his mind in the form of an underground gaming arcade.

Kinsey’s mind is an ever expanding state of the art mall. The store marked ‘Dad Memories’ is a well organized candy vault.

Tyler refuses to go inside his own mind until he needs to impress a girl at school.

Anyway, you get the main idea. Finding magical instruments and learning how to use them is a special task for those inexperienced in reality.

The maze gets more cunning with each episode. Another key is found; the threat of Dodge ever present. She will seduce Tyler. He will escape just in time.

In playful moments Kinsey brings the magic to school against the sage advice of Tyler. She humiliate Eden Hawkins (Hallea Jones) , the school’s mean girl.

Bode finds a key that turns him into a ghost. He floats around like Casper.

Tyler gives in to the spell of the keys when he discovers he can add books worth of knowledge to his mind at tossing each volume through his portal when using the Head key.

The balance the show manages between dark and light is breath taking to watch. I just hope the energy of Season 2 matches this first one.

The series began streaming Season 1 back on February 7th.

Rock Stars At Home/ Book Review

Elton John with his wardrobe; a fan made doll in his likeness is perched on his shoulder.

In this new hardcover from Apollo publishing, the domestic lives of rock stars are exhibited. This is a nicely laid out coffee table affair with fine photographic images of many of the world’s most famous music stars from the past 50 years. A total of 176 pages. Lists for $24.95.

For the fan and non-fan alike. The histories of various properties like Cotchford Farm, former home of Winnie-the-Pooh author A.A. Milne which became the estate of then Rolling Stone founder Brian Jones. The material within is quite a page turner. You get to find out what became of their homes after they died or whether they just left to live elsewhere.

There are essays by:

  • Chris Charlesworth (Melody Maker; Omnibus Press).
  • Eddi Fiegel (The Telegraph; The Guardian).
  • Colin Salter (The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock).
  • Daryl Easlea (Music Journalist and author of Books about Michael Jackson and Peter Gabriel).
  • Bryan Reesman (Entertainment Journalist).
  • Simon Spence (BBC, NME) music journalist and author.

A survey of stars including Frank Sinatra, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Ike & Tina Turner, Jimi Hendrix, Rod Stewart, David Bowie, Prince, Elton John, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Keith Moon, The Allman Brothers, Noel Gallagher, Debbie Harry, Barry Gibb, Michael Jackson, The Jacksons, Freddie Mercury, Motley Crue, Ozzy Osbourne, and many others.

The material presented here is well organized. Essays precede each group of artists. Titled in order of appearance: Through The Keyhole, Psychedelic Suburbia, The Laurel Canyon Scene, Haunted Houses & Magic Mansions, All Aboard The Starship, Punk Digs & Dives, Out Of View, Islands & Exiles, Riot On Sunset, Last Known Abode, Musical Playgrounds, Mysterious & Spooky, and Colorfully Enhanced Cribs.

You begin to glean solid knowledge of the reasons why these people bought these homes and decorated them. The number one reason why some of these stars sought remote places was privacy. To escape the adoring public; to escape the press. Some of them would stay in the same home until their deaths like Jimi Hendrix did with his London flat. George Harrison’s widow Olivia still lives in their palatial estate. The birdseye view of this home is worth the price of this book alone.

Speaking of public museums you realize that some stars have a lot in common even if their musical expressions were different. Elvis, Prince, and Jimi Hendrix all had homes that would open to the public as historic places of interest after their untimely deaths.

The Eagles, The Doors, The Mamas & The Papas, Joni Mitchell, Frank Zappa, and Carole King were neighbors in Laurel Canyon, Ca. This is an amazing time capsule of a very unique period of time where so many creative people could afford the homes that existed here. This is an example of a time when famous people had an open door too. They did not have walls.

Frank Sinatra and Keith Richards both eventually built walls in their very different places of residence to keep out intruders. Bob Dylan would move after fans discovered his then unknown residence in the town of Woodstock, N.Y. Mr. Dylan then sought seclusion. Chuck Berry like Sinatra (Twin Palms) named his estate. Berryland was open to the public until a massive fire destroyed it. This survey relates a lot of interesting stories like this throughout its pages.

Did you know that in the 1950s’ throught the 1970’s a lot of artists opened their homes to public viewing and parties. And that John Lennon’s murder in 1980 led many of these artists to close their homes as a result?

I can highly recommend this book as the type of treasure you can pick up for an insightful and fun tour of homes and people you may not have had access to otherwise unless you go to Graceland or Paisley Park. There is such a wealth of tidbits throughout that you will never get bored.

The misfits who began careers in music never expected to become wealthy. The galaxy of stars in this book represent a small sample of those who did well.

You realize in the end home is where you feel safe and comfortable. This book will make you feel this way and so much more!