The RealFeel

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Removing the Park Avenue Memorial Trees. Photo: JH.

Yesterday began mid-winter weather; polar vortex style. It started about 3 in the afternoon. I was walking one of the dogs. It was clear and cold, and suddenly I felt moisture on my face, oddly not raindrops, with an occasional flurry in sight.

About ten minutes later it looked like flurries. Back in the apartment by 4, it was snowing. I grabbed my Canon. I can never resist. Then about 4:30, it looked like a blizzard had descended on us. It looks cloudy in the photo but that’s snow.

Waiting for winter. By 5 it had stopped. It was what is called on the weather forecasts, a snow squall. It stopped almost instantly, as it began. Then it got much colder. By 7 it was 9 degrees above. The light snow froze. Just as was predicted. Finally!

About 3 PM, there were light flurries that did not seem like the snow squall forecast.
But by 4 PM the flurries got stronger, and by 4:30 it looks like a blizzard (it looks cloudy in the pic but it’s the snow! and wind!

I loved those big storms where you were snowed in, and even the sidewalks were caked with iced snow that so that it squeaked as you walked on it. Those kinds of storms really slow New Yorkers down; people are more patient on the streets, not to mention considerate of their fellow pedestrians. We are forced to slow down which is very challenging to the individual in this high energy town. But Mother Nature has the last word and our native wisdom gets the message.

At about 5 PM (still light), the snow squall (which is what they’re calling it) stopped and then it got much colder.
I took this picture at 7:45 PM and the temp outside is 11 degrees with a RealFeel of -17. Everything turned to ice. It’s going down to a predicted 4 degrees and a RealFeel of -23. A good reason to stay home and inside.

Back at the calendar. Over at the Met this past Tuesday night, they held the opening preview for Monumental Journey: The Daguerreotypes of Girault de Prangey. And JH was there taking it all in with interest and pleasure, and camera.

Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey 173. Constantinople. Surudjé, 1843–1843

177 years ago, in 1842, when what is called photography was in its infancy, a Frenchman named Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey, artist, architectural historian, archaeologist, and pioneer photographer, embarked on a three-year photographic tour of the Eastern Mediterranean. The voyage completed, de Prangey returned to France with more than 1000 daguerreotypes!

This was a wonder to the people of the time, in the same way the first computers were a wonder in our time. And it was life-changing for the human race. Now, 120 of them are on exhibition at the Met. Among them are the earliest surviving photographs of Greece, Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, and Jerusalem, and some of the first daguerreotypes of Italy.

Girault used oversize plates and innovative formats to produce what is today the world’s oldest photographic archive—all in the service of a brand-new type of archaeological fieldwork. This exhibition is the first in the United States devoted to Girault, and the first to focus on his Mediterranean journey.

JH was blown away by this exhibition. The following are a few of his snap shots (2019) of Girault’s 1842 “photographs” …

Sailor, Cairo, 1842-43.
Ayoucha, Cairo, 1842-43. Girault often staged his Arab subjects within tableaux that conformed to Western conventions of “The Orient,” and he generally identified them as only by type. One exception is the individual in he called Ayoucha, whose gaze counters her performance of various roles assigned to the exotic “Oriental” woman. Depicted here with a hookah she modeled for him on at least three occasions, including one fully veiled.
Ruins and Foreground, Acropolis, Athens, 1842.
Rome, viewed from the Column of Trajan, 1842.
Roman Forum, Viewed from the Palatine Hill, 1842.
Gardens, Villa Medici, Rome, 1842.

Meanwhile, don’t ask me … Long before the snow squall, even before the turn of the year, last month (remember December?) The Knights, with pianist Yuja Wang as their special guest, performed Schumann’s “Piano Concerto” in a private concert at the remarkable Tribeca home of Simon Yates and Kevin Roon. The evening’s host was Graham Parker.

Among the guests were: Olivier Berggruen, Jonathan Blau, Susan Bloom, Carol and Bob Braun, Hugo Cassirer, Melissa Eisenstat, Joanna Fisher, Audrey Francis, Eric Grossman, Mark Gude, Mela and Paul Haklisch, Gregory Hedberg, John Hodges, Michèle Gerber Klein, Laura and Alan Mantell, Maile Okamura, Mara Pruzanski, Prince Mario-Max Schaumburg-Lippe, Robin and Fred Seegal, Paul Sekhri, Kambiz Shekdar, Allyson Tang, Isaac Thompson, Roger Tilles, Carlos Tome.

The Knights in concert performing Schumann’s “Piano Concerto”
Yuja Wang

The Knights are a collective of adventurous musicians. They are dedicated to transforming the orchestral experience and eliminating barriers between audiences and music.

“Driven by an open-minded spirit of camaraderie and exploration, they inspire listeners with vibrant programs that encompass their roots in the classical tradition and passion for artistic discovery.” In other words, you had to be there. But. They have been called “the future of classical music.”

Currently on a European tour, The Knights return to New York for a March 31 family concert at BRICK, then appearance at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington DC on March 31, and Carnegie Hall on April 3rd. The Knights.

Eric Jacobsen, Yuja Wang, and Kevin Roon
Aoife O’Donovan, Andrea Lee, and Alicia Lee
Patricia Burns and David Byrd-Marrow
Colin Jacobsen, Geoff Veemer, Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir, Michelle Farah, and Erik Höltje
Simon Yates, Kevin Roon, and Graham Parker
Steve Hackman, Carlos Avila, Theresa Kim, and Carlos Tome
Melissa Eisenstat and David Blasher
Bart Hess and Davone Tines
Laura Mantell, Alan Mantell, and Mela Haklisch
Joanna Fisher and Allyson Tang

Photographs by Annie Watt (Knights)

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