Sunday, June 26, 2016

Pride Without Prejudice

There are barely words to describe being witness to the Pride Parade in New York City today, but I will try. Jubilation, reverence, defiance, happiness, indignation, respect, fun, honor, fun, fearless, free and of course, pride. All there, multiplying those messages with every group that congregated, every flag that flew, every float that passed, every heel, garter, eyelash, wig, flower, proposal and kiss. What a day to celebrate that no matter who you are and why you came. It was about to love and respect each other.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

"Take A Look at This, Ugly!"

That's what I feel like saying to the hate mongers among us in this world. I arrived to The Stonewall Inn vigil for the Orlando shooting victims a little trepidatious. Though I love drawing big crowds, 
I am always a little nervous, having been trampled at an outdoor concert many years ago. I need not have worried. When I first arrived, people were milling about, the street not yet crowded. There was a palpable sadness in the air, and I watched, feeling kind of intrusive, as people laid flowers and 
wiped tears from their eyes, unabashedly, often hugging loved ones, and yes, strangers. 
Soon, the crowds thickened, but the air of peace and loving still enveloped us. 
Reporters, press, police, all very chill and very beautiful. 
There were signs and chants, all supportive. And the numbers grew, as did the feeling of community, shared sadness but also, purposefulness, waiting for the arrival of the governor, 
the mayor and the chief of police.
Before I knew it, I realized that I was in the midst of what seemed like thousands of people. Every so often, a collective chant would erupt, flags were waving, signs were held high, and bios of the victims distributed. Even as people walked through the crowd, there was a unity, a beauty, a calm 
and lots of love, of love, of love.

So, take that, ugly- you who choose to discriminate, to separate, to dare to think about denying the happiness and fulfillment of a life based on narrow minded, biased opinions. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Summer's On!

Summer's on at Coney Island! 
A parade of people, puppies, fashion, food, under the venerable Steeplechase Parachute Jump and across from the best hot dog in town, Nathan's, 100 years old. 
My mom would tell me about when she used to ride the Steeplechase- 
and I remember visiting Nathan's with both of my grandmas. 
Visiting Coney always brings back sweet memories and stories.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Still Berning

Well, part of my sabbatical experience/promise to ME, is to get out and draw more- so although this post is not related directly to my sabbatical project, it is about getting out there and experiencing through drawing on location, all the happenings out and around me.
****This is not necessarily an indication of where my vote has gone in NY, just covering a happening.

On the eve of the Democratic debate in NY, and a few days before the primary, masses of peoples were heading towards Washington Square Park in NY. It was one of the first of this string of days that have been like golden gifts here. The skies were cloudless and the sun so warm and welcoming. Though I planned to head to the park, I could have just as easily been lifted up and swept along, so massive was the movement. Once there, I was in a sea of people, median age, below 30, some of whom I am guessing, were planning to vote for the first time. There were signs galore, costumes, buttons, masks, and voices, some constant, some every so often, erupting into the Bernie chant.  I found myself on line at about 3:30 and into the park at 6:00pm. Rudy and his sister Joyce, my chronological pals, made room for me on the bench. Sis and bro came in from LI, flags a wavin' Bernie enthusiasts to the core. Rudy made the headlines and sound bytes of every camera guy and media person that passed by, character that he was. It was the crowds that got me that day. Organized, peaceful, passionate, pleasant. I got a tiny glimpse of the man..Heard his message booming through the park and the streets, over and above the crowds, loyal to the end.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Walking Amongst Giants

I had the good fortune to spend the first three months of this year in the Dominican Republic, working on my sabbatical project. Being able to be there for an extended period of time allowed me some time to travel- and I did- to Samana and Las Terrenas, north of Santo Domingo. I promise, I was working, but also, drinking in the atmosphere and pleasure of living at the beach for a spell. Being at this exquisite province is almost like living on a deserted island. Though it is a tourist destination, the beaches are rarely very crowded.

But that is the least of it. 
The palm trees simply tower over the beaches and land, 
blown and contorted by the constant winds. 

They are mystical, tall and elegant, often densely packed together, their body language defying the elements. The turquoise waters below roar at times, soothe at others. 

Town is very active and never without the constant looping of “moto conchos,” 
as they are called. 

They circle round and round, often laden with two, three, four people at a time. 

But it is the early morning that I loved most, seeing it all come alive, beginning with the pescadores, the fishermen, setting out to fish, coming back, cleaning, cutting, bartering, selling. And of course, there are the women, strolling from morning to night, with their beautiful beaming faces, selling that sweet fruit.

I'll have more about my sabbatical year next post. Stay tuned!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Struttin' with the bunnies

I have been on a sabbatical from teaching at FIT since January- and have been drawing like crazy! I will be posting more on that, but  for today, wanted to share some drawings from the annual Easter Bonnet parade across from St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC. It was my first time going downtown to experience this really fun day- and it did not disappoint! I might have to do a bonnet for next year!