Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day weekend in New York

Looking north through the allées of trees in front of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 12:30 PM. Photo: JH.
Monday, May 29, 2017. A beautiful, quiet Memorial Day weekend in New York with many in my neighborhood out-of-town. Although the Promenade overlooking the East River, the RFK Triboro Bridge, Queens, Brooklyn, had lots of people taking in the mild weather, sometimes sunshine, sometimes clouds.

Lots of dogs on leashes, in the small and big dog play areas; strollers, children, bicyclists, senior members of the community; lots of bench sitters taking in the river, reading the paper, a novel, snoozing, cuddling with an objection of one’s affection; a repast granted by Mother Nature. Sunday in New York, here on the Upper East Side.

The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land — General John A. Logan, Memorial Day founder
Meanwhile. Susan Purdue of Fairview, North Carolina, a longtime friend and reader of the NYSD, sent me an email on Friday morning about this special holiday weekend down her way. Having grown up in a small town in Massachusetts and remembering clearly the impact Memorial Day had on the townsfolk and us children, Susan’s message struck a chord:

I imagine that New York City is emptying out for the long holiday weekend. Everyone must have decided to come to Asheville this weekend, as the traffic is horrendous and it seems like every car I see has a tag on it from another state. We’re hosting some AirBnB guests from Greensboro who arrive tomorrow and everyone is asking about when and where they can go to see the Synchronous Fireflies (Elkmont, TN) and the Blue Ghost Fireflies (DuPont Forest). We get so many fireflies in our own backyard, I can’t imagine booking a tour and actually paying to go see them, when I can just step out onto my deck. I have a feeling there are going to be a lot of disappointed people though, as the weather has been quite cool and as a rule, you don’t really start seeing fireflies until late June when the weather is warm all the time. It was 43° when I left for work this morning. I’ll be so glad when we don’t have to run the furnace anymore.

Today is the centenary of the birth of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. His death on November 22, 1963 was both a private and a public experience for millions of Americans as well as people across the world. The term “conspiracy theory” came into the vernacular as a result of its mystery, where it has remained, consistently useful in dismissing the incomprehensible to the citizens.

Jack Kennedy hadn’t served the office long enough to have left a legacy other than his dash, wit and charm; and especially his clear intelligence. In that brief time he served immensely as an enormous inspiration to millions of Americans of all ages. He was 46 when he was taken from us, and with us, forever mourned.
Carol Joynt, our former Washington Social Diary correspondent, now a booking producer on Meet The Press Daily, wrote this memory of that day and weekend when she was a very young girl.

I took this photo on Friday morning. I couldn’t resist because the car is so exquisitely beautiful. Not that I could ever afford it, or even want one, it is nevertheless a beauty. And then along come the neighbors transferring necessities for the weekend. I don’t know the man and woman in the photo, nor do I know if in fact they live in the nabe.
All packed up, they got in the car. I noticed that she was carrying an Hermes bag that was the same color as the car’s upholstery. Then he put the top up. Great idea. I imagined they were on their way out to the Hamptons. Then they drove off in a blaze of technology, high art and industry.

After they turned the corner moving west, I was left thinking about that ride itself. Thanks to the insect-like swarms of traffic and drivers of all modes and interests – particularly the auto-texters who are not only life threatening to the rest of us but to themselves as well.

It’s more than enough to encourage you to stay in town. But it’s probably age with me; who can’t be bothered. All those cars that left town also left frequent wide-open almost carless avenues, taking the din with them.
This Lamborghini was parked in front of Cipriani 42nd Street last Wednesday when I went there for the Literacy Partners annual gala. Again, I don’t know who it belongs to, but that doesn’t matter. It’s just sensational to look at.

There’s a nostalgic aspect to my appreciation, reminding me of when I was a kid and loved cars, all cars, a symbol of many things about the Private Self. But also this beauty is almost nostalgic in that it’s the ultimate symbol of the Auto Age, another example of 20th century technology, high art and industry.
Friday night I had dinner with three old friends. Colette and Peter Harron and Philip Carlson. Peter and Colette live in Essex where she is a real estate broker for William Pitt/Sotheby's and Peter, a longtime filmmaker, pursues his photography.
Some of his work is currently on view in a show called “Black & White” at the Cooley Gallery in Old Lyme. The show includes six artists in different medium, all in B&W.  This is Peter’s Louisiana Bayou  (24 X 36).
 

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