Archive for Bridges

To An Old Friend

Posted in American History, Beauty, Bridges, Landscape, New York, New York Landmarks, Photography, Rivers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2015 by maine1nyc
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If inanimate objects could talk what might they say? As one who often photographs in Williamsburg, I could not help but see how this area is changing, and imagining what two of the most prominent Brooklyn icons might say to each other if they could.

Willie B: Well my old friend, we’ve both been around for a long time, me since I opened in 1903 have seen a lot of water under the bridge.

[fmr] Domino Sugar Plant: You sure have, and I can’t count how many cars and people have crossed you. Look at me, I’ve been at this location since 1882. I was the largest sugar refinery in the world. Sugar is not so popular these days, but at one time you just couldn’t get enough of it. Look at me now—many of my buildings were torn down. And I’m being converted into many different things, from condos, stores, who knows? I too, have seen a lot of time pass in this part of the world, and valued your friendship all these years. Remember I saw you grow up. Well I guess I’ll still be useful in some way, but I miss the good old days!

Willie B: I am sorry to see you go my friend, but glad you’ll still be around in some form. I, too, value your friendship and the time we’ve spent watching over Manhattan, Brooklyn & the East River. For as long as I’m here I’ll keep an eye on you and never forget you. We were both fortunate to have made our mark on history and be linked together forever in time.


Sunset Over the Former Domino Sugar Plant—2014

Posted in American History, Art, Beauty, Bridges with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2014 by maine1nyc
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“He used to say that he never felt the hardness of the human struggle or the sadness of history as he felt it among those ruins. He used to say, too, that it made one feel an obligation to do one’s best.” —Willa Cather, The Song of the Lark


July 4th Celebration 2014 on the East River NYC

Posted in American History, Beauty, Bridges, Brooklyn Bridge, Fireworks, Independence Day, July 4th, Landscape, New York, New York Landmarks, Parks, Photography, Rivers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 6, 2014 by maine1nyc


While people lined the shores of the East River & New York Harbor at sunset the grand celebration was preparing to begin. And it was done with style! As the sun set, the darkened sky and the Brooklyn Bridge were aglow. New York & The Brooklyn Bridge welcome back the Macy’s grand fireworks celebration, and I’m so glad I was there. (Click photos to enlarge.)



To view more photos click on this link

The Race on Two NYC Rivers

Posted in Aesthetic Realism, American History, Art, Beauty, Boats, Landscape, New York, New York Landmarks, Photography, Rivers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2014 by maine1nyc

It was one of those rare Summer days in NYC when the weather couldn’t get any better, and it was perfect for the Liberty Challenge, hosted by NY Outrigger. From the Hudson to the East River, where I was stationed, back to the Hudson, people came out to watch this event, on sailboats, tour ships, and all along the shores. (Click photos to enlarge.)_P1C4577-Edit As I was watching the ever-changing panorama before me, I couldn’t help remembering another famous chase that took place right here in these same waters not long after the Island went from the Dutch to the English. It is written with all the nautical drama that one could hope for by the noted NY writer, James Fenimore Cooper, in his novel published in 1830, The Water Witch or The Skimmer of the Seas. While the 2 ships that Cooper writes of are quite different than the craft in the Liberty Challenge, the emotion that both made for in people had a lot in common. I’m grateful to have learned from Eli Siegel that Cooper was one of America’s greatest writers, and one

“…of the thirty or so great writers of the world of all time… One of the words for Cooper in the history of the art of literature, is indispensable … he is on the side of those matters which it is still permissible to call creation and beauty.” (TRO, #740).

Whenever beauty occurs, I learned from Aesthetic Realism, opposites are made one, the same opposites that we are trying to see better in ourselves. It’s in this principle of Aesthetic Realism: “The world, art, and self explain each other; each is the aesthetic oneness of opposites.”

I believe the Liberty Challenge event had beauty in it. I was affected by how the crews of one craft after another maneuvered their way along a course that has fast and dangerous currents with great motion & energy, while also showing ease as they seemed to pause or rest to avoid many other craft like tour boats and barges that were all about. I was both thrilled and composed as I looked on with excitement._P1C4607-Edit As Cooper writes about the pursuit of one ship trying to overtake another, words that have stirred people for nearly 184 years, we too are affected by how the opposites of energy & rest are so much of one another—many oars acting as one.

“We must pull for our own safety, and that of the brigantine, my men;” said the Skimmer, springing into his boat and seizing the tiller—”A quick stroke, and a strong!–here is no time for holiday feathering, or your man-of-war jerk! Give way, boys; give way, with a will, and together!”

These were sounds that had often saluted the ears of men engaged in the hazardous pursuit of his crew. The oars fell into the water at the same moment, and, quick as thought, the light bark was in the strength of the current. (Chapter XXVIII)

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Both the Liberty Challenge and the work of James Fenimore Cooper enabled me to see more meaning and have more feeling about the world on a beautiful summer day.

The Domino Effect—The Art

Posted in Aesthetic Realism, Art, Beauty, Exhibit, Landscape, New York, New York Landmarks, Photography, Rivers, Street Art with tags , , , , , , on May 17, 2014 by maine1nyc

It’s not often that New Yorkers get an opportunity to see the art of three international street artists right next to each other. But here in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Hellbent, Aakash Nihalani & Rubin, were commissioned to create their art on huge sections of a protective wall. It stands outside of the renovation project of what was the historic Domino Sugar factory on the shores of the East River. While the artists embrace the abstract, they are so different in technique and form. And each helped me to see and understand something new about the meaning of art. (Click on each image to enlarge.)


Hellbent uses a color-pallet that is rich & vibrant along with a multitude of stenciled effects and patterns—from floral to geometric. He contains the wildness of these patterns and color within evenly spaced chevron styled bands that travel across the surface, giving the work great energy even while it’s controlled. The long row of bands are on either side of a semi-circle which seems to represent the center of the piece. The forms within the semi-circle are also are contained. While they are related to the other patterns & forms, these appear more in motion, going in many different directions—they have an energy all their own.



Aakash Nihalani

Aakash uses the geometric form in another way. He creates a space of rectangular shapes which both rise & fall that give a three-dimensional effect. Do they recede or do they come forth? They seem to question both geometry & space itself. While there is control in the use of color; flat blue within each of the forms, and a similar thickness of the black outline, all the shapes are different, and co-exist with a very free-form graffiti. Did the artist find the graffiti on the wall and choose to incorporate it, or was it apart of the original plan? Either way it’s part of the wonder of the piece.



Rubin, with a style reminiscent of Art Deco, gives his dynamic forms of triangles, rectangles, squares, spheres and other forms, an energy that challenges the stillness of the static wall. His use of color and the juxtaposition of these forms seem to put this wall into motion. The forms adhere to a strict geometry, but also move about with energy & grace. Wherever you look there is a sense that the shapes belong, yet you also feel a sense of something random—still in motion. And then there is the surprise of that large circular form. While the only circle in the piece, it contains some of its greatest energy where the lively colorful symmetrical & asymmetrical forms seem to be looking for a place to settle.


After photographing the making of these dramatic murals over a period of time, not only was I affected by the difference of the artistry of each of the pieces, I also was excited to see that each had something wonderful in common that showed a crucial aspect about the meaning of art itself. In his historic 1955 work, “Is Beauty the Making One Of Opposites?” Eli Siegel, critic and founder of Aesthetic Realism, explained the central thing about beauty and art that had never been stated before. In the first of 15 questions about beauty he asks about freedom and order:

FREEDOM AND ORDER DOES every instance of beauty in nature and beauty as the artist presents it have something unrestricted, unexpected, uncontrolled?—and does this beautiful thing in nature or beautiful thing coming from the artist’s mind have, too, something accurate, sensible, logically justifiable, which can be called order?

I believe these works clearly say, Yes! Everywhere you look the opposites of freedom & order are in a friendly and dynamic team. There is so much life to these works it would be impossible to try to fully describe it here. But I hope I’ve put down some thoughts that will encourage you to go to the old Domino Sugar plant, and really enjoy yourself by appreciating the art on the wall. For more photos of these works in progress visit my website:

An Overcast Day in New York Harbor

Posted in Aesthetic Realism, Beauty, Boats, Bridges, Landscape, Lighthouse, New York, Photography, Rivers, Wildlife with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 11, 2014 by maine1nyc


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On a recent day-trip with the Audubon Water Taxi in NY I had the opportunity to see some of NY Harbor that I hadn’t seen. Unfortunately the weather was more overcast than I would have hoped for, however it did make for a kind beauty all the same. Along with a sense of mystery, there was a stillness that went hand in hand with a slow kind of motion that was very taking. I hope I captured some of that feeling in these photos. Also there were the local residents, one of which greeted us, which you don’t often get a glimpse of. I was reminded of a maxim by Eli Siegel from his book “Damned Welcome“, that encouraged me as I looked about. “If anything can please you, don’t narrow the field.”






Sunset Over Queens, NY

Posted in Art, Beauty, Bridges, Landscape, New York, Photography, Rivers with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2013 by maine1nyc

The historic Queensborough-59th Street Bridge sets the stage for a dramatic scene.


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