Archive for the American History Category

Two Historic Places by the Sea

Posted in Aesthetic Realism, American History, Art, Beaches, Beauty, Boats, Landscape, Lighthouse, Massachusetts, Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2013 by maine1nyc

Massachusetts lays claim to many historic ocean destinations in New England. 

Two that I recently visited were—Hull, overlooking Boston Harbor; and Nantucket Island, once the whaling capital of the world. Even though they have changed over the years, they still call to a time not so long ago, where a love for the sea was a way of life. You can sense that everywhere you look in the picturesque landscapes that are all around. The opposites of past & present and near & far, I learned from Aesthetic Realism, are ever so close to one as you see new meaning in the not-so-distant past of the 18th & 19th centuries. I highly recommend a visit to these wonderful locations. You’ll be glad you did.

_P1C3054-EditTo see more images click in this link to my website.

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Sleepy Hollow • Tarrytown Lighthouse

Posted in Aesthetic Realism, American History, Art, Beauty, Landscape, Lighthouse, New York, Parks, Photography, Rivers with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2013 by maine1nyc

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Nestled on the shores of the picturesque Hudson River, between the towns of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow (Washington Irving country), lies one of many New York State lighthouses—Sleepy Hollow • Tarrytown Lighthouse built in 1883. The lighthouse is about 32 miles going north from NYC, just past the historic Tappan Zee Bridge. It was once so important to navigation and commerce, but now it still sits proudly on the Hudson, and gives one the thrill of beholding it today. The lighthouse joins a colorful and rich history, and the ever so immediate present with the river and surrounding hills bearing witness. It illustrates, I learned from my study of Aesthetic Realism, what every person is hoping to do a better job with—understand how our own past and the immediacy of the present can be better seen. The Sleepy Hollow • Tarrytown lighthouse can encourage us to be more thoughtful about how to better relate these ever so important opposites of past & present in ourselves.

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The Place That Time Didn’t Forget.

Posted in Aesthetic Realism, American History, Art, Beauty, Landscape, New York, Parks, Photography with tags , , , , , , , on August 7, 2013 by maine1nyc

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Click photos to enlarge

On a recent visit with my wife Carol to Forest Park, where I spent many of my younger days with my family, graduation from Forest Hills High, and just hanging-out, a park with the largest Oak Woods in Queens, a park with concerts, a park with many different nationalities picnicking and having good fun, and a park with so much more including nature trails and an historic wooden Carousel that still thrills one just at seeing it. Primeval, yet with all the trappings of our century, Forest Park is one of the places that should not be missed. Designed by the creator of New York’s Central Park, Frederick Law Olmstead, in 1890, he did another great service to our City.

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After many years absence, I was struck by how beautiful this place really is. At times you might think you were in a land so far away from NYC that it will surprise you. My study of the education of Aesthetic Realism has encouraged me to see meaning in things that I once so took for granted. And I am so glad it did because as a photographer this is a rediscovered gem. The park is situated on a 20,000 year old glacier, and was once populated by many Native American Tribes, but is now part of Queens. I can assure you that Forest Park will leave you with rich memories that will be treasured.

For more information about Forest Park check-out their web site.

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For more photos of the park click here.

Window to Autumn in the Catskills

Posted in American History, Art, Beauty, Landscape, New York, Photography, Revolutionary War, Rivers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 4, 2012 by maine1nyc

This post was written just before hurricane Sandy struck. I want to add my heartfelt gratitude to all the people who are working tirelessly to assist others in being safe and out of harm’s way. While we endured some of the hurricane’s wrath in lower Manhattan, it was nowhere near what many went through and are still up against. My support and good wishes are with you and hope that your situation improves quickly. The area I write about here in the Catskills may have been affected badly, and if so,  I believe it will return to its magnificent glory.

The Catskill Mountains know how to welcome Autumn with style, and this year was no exception. My wife Carol and I were lucky enough to have been in Greene County, Rip Van Winkle country, to have witnessed this great event. Our home base was the Rosehaven Inn in Haines Falls which led us to many historic and wonderful vistas including North-South Lake with views overlooking the Hudson Valley. There were also Tannersville, Prattsville, Kaaterskill Falls, Palenville, Hunter to name a few.

The important American writer, James Fenimore Cooper in his novel “The Pioneers” gave beautiful form to what one sees in this part of NY when he gave these words to Natty Bumpo speaking to his young friend by the water. “There’s a place in them hills that I used to climb to, when I wanted to see the carryings on of the world, that would well pay any man for a burked shin or a torn moccasin….”What do you see when you get there? asked Edwards. “Creation!” said Natty, dropping the end of his rod into the water, and sweeping one hand around him in a circle—“all creation, lad.”

To see photos of this pilgrimage click here.

The Islands—Manhattan & Governors

Posted in American History, Art, Beauty, Boats, Landscape, New York, Photography, Rivers with tags , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2012 by maine1nyc

Welcome to the islands. In recent years, both Manhattan and Governors Islands have, and are still, highlighting their island qualities. Manhattan, with its newly rediscovered shoreline and Governors with its beauty and important role it played throughout the years protecting NY Harbor. Enjoy the photos and click on them to make larger.

The Pulaski Bridge Overlook, or

Posted in American History, Art, Beauty, Boats, Landscape, New York, Photography, Rivers, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 9, 2012 by maine1nyc

from Queens with Love II

From “The Pioneers” by James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851). Natty Bumppo speaking to his young friend by the water. “There’s a place in them hills that I used to climb to, when I wanted to see the carryings on of the world, that would well pay any man for a burked shin or a torn moccasin….”What do you see when you get there? asked Edwards. “Creation!” said Natty, dropping the end of his rod into the water, and sweeping one hand around him in a circle—“all creation, lad.”

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While this is not the Catskill overlook in the Hudson Valley with the Hudson River below that Cooper was writing about, you don’t have to be in the country to have the kind of emotion that his hero, Natty Bumppo had while you are visiting the Pulaski Bridge overlooking the Newtown Creek connecting Brooklyn and Queens.

Everywhere you look there are vistas of both the natural and man-made world. From the panoramic views of Manhattan, to the industrial and commercial buildings, new and old residential spaces, the highways, tugboats, barges, bridges, wildlife, people working on Newtown Creek…there is no end to what can affect you. Eli Siegel, founder of Aesthetic Realism, said that “The world is more friendly than you know.”, and I was excited to discover how true this is at the Pulaski Bridge Overlook in Long Island City.

For more views of this area check out the Pulaski Bridge Gallery on my website. If you haven’t read Part I click here. And for a very informative and historical update on this area visit the Newtown Creek Alliance website.

From Queens with Love

Posted in Aesthetic Realism, American History, Art, Beauty, Boats, Landscape, New York, Photography, Rivers, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 19, 2012 by maine1nyc

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While I was photographing from the Pulaski Bridge that connects Brooklyn and Queens, overlooking Newtown Creek, I recalled one of my most joyful memories growing up in Queens, NY. It was the sight of the New York City skyline looking west down a long stretch of Queens Boulevard from Rego Park. No matter what time of day, or weather, this magical and wonderful vision conjured up so many thoughts and emotions that affected my whole life. What I was not aware of was that while I was admiring the beauty that was in the distance, I was almost oblivious to the beauty all around me right here in Queens.

The reason something makes for beauty, I learned from the education Aesthetic Realism founded by the poet and critic Eli Siegel, and why I and millions of people are so affected by the NY Skyline, is because of how it puts opposites together. Opposites like Universe and Object. New York while conveying its own particular character also represents a universal humanity that comes from all parts of our globe to work and live here. From his definitive essay on the nature of beauty, “Is Beauty the Making One of Opposites?” Mr. Siegel writes about these opposites:

UNIVERSE & OBJECT: DOES every work of art have a certain precision about something, a certain concentrated exactness, a quality of particular existence?—and does every work of art, nevertheless, present in some fashion the meaning of the whole universe, something suggestive of wide existence, something that has an unbounded significance beyond the particular?

The beauty to be found in the Pulaski Bridge area near Long Island City, embodies these opposites in a deep and exciting way. It’s a location with its own character—a hub of many aspects that affects one as you look around. It’s a visual destination for a photographer. It’s also an area in transition, hosting residential and cultural attractions. And while it’s clearly industrial it also hosts the recreational—many sailboats and even kayaks where people can sail down the East River and beyond.

There are also vistas of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and many of the City’s bridges. It’s a crossroads of humanity where persons walk, bike and run from one great borough to another. I was taken by the close proximity of the people who earn their living here, like the men who operate the tugs hauling barges to all points of the city and beyond, to those enjoying a sail. There is a railroad transporting commuters and freight. You can even see the entrance of the Midtown tunnel from a high point. This may not thrill some, however when you stop and think about how it connects millions of people from other parts of NY to Manhattan, it is thrilling.

Like Queens itself, that embodied the hopes of farmers who first settled what was to become the oldest ongoing working farm in New York State, Queens Farm (1697), to the borough that has the largest diverse ethnic population in the city, the Long Island City area represents not only itself but the hopes of people everywhere. And that is why I say “From Queens with Love.”

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