Archive for Brooklyn

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


Super Moon Over Brooklyn 2014

Posted in Aesthetic Realism, Art, Beauty, Landscape, New York, New York Landmarks, Photography, Rivers with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 11, 2014 by maine1nyc


This was surely one of the best moons I ever saw in NYC. Wow! I hope these photos do some justice to what I saw. I also include a poem by Eli Siegel that I love and believe honors the large meaning of the moon. (Click photos to enlarge.)
Girl and Moon




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 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:

Rollin’ on the East River

Posted in Beauty, Landscape, New York, Photography, Rivers, Wildlife with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2014 by maine1nyc


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Usually the main attractions here are the waterfront views and the tugboats & barges that help keep NYC movi’n. But this is Spring migration along the North American Flyway, and the East River is a great stopover for many birds to their final destination. I spotted a group of Red-breasted Mergansers just taking in the sights and looking for a bite to eat. These beautiful ducks joined Mallards and the resident Gulls & Cormorants in having a good time enjoying a premier waterway in NY. And thanks to Mayor de Blasio, the East River will host a spectacular July 4th fireworks display for all New Yorkers and visitors to enjoy. The ducks will probably have gone but their vibrant color & energy will be in the night sky. But that’s another blog for July.





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


(Click photos to enlarge)

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.”






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