Monthly Archives: February 2014

Memory issues

Memory issues -20131118 - 5251-2

A friend in her mid-twenties is complaining of memory slippage.
I took this photograph on the street 3 months ago.   I have no idea who this woman is.  I have no recollection of taking this photo.  I did know it was on my hard drive.   Now that is having memory issues of a very serious nature.

Ghost of The Winter Garden

Ghost of the Winter Garden-20140204 - 8206The Winter Garden (Atrium at the World Financial Center)
The Winter Garden –my personal talisman.  A glass palace of gracious cylinders by the water, with palm trees taller than enormous houses, it arose one day in our desert of granite and whispered of a more elegant time, our own Crystal Palace, a place where multitudes could gather together and be alone.  It was the longed for terminus of my walks and skating, the magical indoor playground for children and for workers in nearby buildings.  At night, angels would sing there, and by day magicians perform.  Images would appear from deserts and distant continents.  Lights twinkled.  Rare objects were presented for purchase.  One could dine and stay there forever.A ghostly presence, heavenly and human, in the very shadow of enormous towers.

And when those towers fell, its crystal carapace cracked in the pain of Ilium burning, surrounded by pale ash and ghostly glass shards, its palm trees dying in the autumn sky, dreaming of forests long absent, gardens of mist and purifying water.

It arose again as a platform to gaze on a forgotten city, what had aspired to heaven was now a chasm, a hole in the body of a wounded entity, in which people and machines burrowed to no apparent purpose, a shadow destination for native and tourist.  Long time I could not return to see Manhatta wounded.

Today, when I walk there, where people gather as if nothing has happened, around my stopped heart these memories gather, like  forgotten loves, confusing the very purpose of time.

Winter – Soho

2014 February 03, 2014 20140203-DSC_7694 Soho in winterThe trees sleep in winter, as we ourselves will sleep,
A cold white silence covers their limbs,
Although their pattern lingers in the streetscape ever varied.
No one sees the silence of bones that are sleeping.

High Modernism

2014 February 03, 2014 20140203-DSC_7708 High Modernism - I. M. Pei

You would think that having University Village in the neighborhood, with three towers designed by I M Pei, and a colossal statue designed by Picasso would be a treat, but it is a desert, an empty arid wasteland that I avoid walking through and photographing.   Nothing happens on the street there, despite vast plazas, and people scurry away into the more vernacular parts of Greenwich Village as soon as they can escape.

    This rationality is based on the belief that nature is inferior and needs to be conquered by introducing scientifically superior systems and mechanisms that are based on geometric order. High-modernism reduces nature from a multi-functional use to a single one in the name of efficiency. In the words of one of last century’s most relentless high-modernist, Le Corbusier,

“an infinity of combinations is possible when innumerable and diverse elements are brought together. But the human mind loses itself and becomes fatigued by such as labyrinth of possibilities. Control becomes impossible. The spiritual failure that must result is disheartening… Reason…is an unbroken straight line. Thus, in order to save himself from this chaos, in order to provide himself with a bearable, acceptable framework for his existence, one productive of human well-being and control, man has projected the laws of nature into a system that is a manifestation of the human spirit itself: geometry.”   –Kathryn Scott