Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day 61: The Alley Art

Photo of the Day: See No Evil

While walking around the city this evening, I stumbled upon this interesting art installation in a breezeway between West 56th and West 57th streets. It featured the quirky bronze sculptures of Tom Otterness, a world-famous artist who has contributed numerous public displays throughout New York City, and renowned pop artist Red Grooms, who created larger-than-life dancers out of aluminum and enamel. Having such a ubiquitous and high-quality artistic presence, even in a random alley way, is definitely one of the advantages of living in a big city.

Although I pride myself on being willing to try new things, I'm afraid I've settled into a rut of repeatedly frequenting the same handful of establishments I've grown to love during my brief stint here. Today after work, I first swung by Momofuku Milk Bar (my fifth visit in two months!) to purchase my favorite compost cookies and their spectacular, one-of-a-kind blueberry and cream cookies. I also snagged a free sample of the mind-blowing salted pistachio caramel soft-serve, which I imagine God himself will serve daily when we get to heaven. For dinner, I stopped by the Rio de la Plata Bakery Shop a few blocks from my house (my fourth visit in two months) for their delicious and dirt-cheap espinaca (spinach) and jamon y queso (ham and cheese) empanadas.

Upon arriving home, I was beset by three-year-old Kayla, who has developed quite a fondness for me. She now is bold enough to follow me into my bedroom and pops in and out all night long, toting with her a steady stream of toys. In response to her incessant demands for a playmate, we did a grocery checkout with her plastic cash register, made a Play-Doh birthday cake, and read a pop-up book on dinosaurs. While I initially was afraid living with a family might be awkward and inconvenient, I've actually found I quite enjoy the simple domestic pleasures of having the kids around. It makes my evenings more lively, and there's a familiar, safe, and comforting atmosphere that makes it actually feel like a home.

Love endures.
What's in the heart of New York City?
Bronze sculptures by renowned artist Tom Otterness in a breezeway off W. 56th Street.
See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.
More of sculptor Tom Otterness's strange creations.
A dance-themed installation of aluminum and enamel by artist Red Grooms. This one is called "Charleston"
Red Grooms's "Tango Dancers."
Red Grooms's "Swan Lake."
The feet on the "Swan Lake" dancers.
I read to Kayla from her Pop Up Dinosaur book.

Kayla doesn't focus very well on the reading.
This, boys and girls, is a Archaeopteryx. Can you say Archaeopteryx?

The aquatic Macroplata give Kayla a kiss!
And our good ol' standby, Mr. Stegosaurous.


  1. Josh, I love the statues! Are they expensive? And how big are they? (See, hear speak no evil)

  2. Hmm, no idea on the price, but I would imagine so since the sculptor is actually pretty well-known worldwide. Actually, I don't eve know if they were on sale. I'd say they were maybe 2-3 feet tall (just the bronze statue, not counting the pedestal).

  3. i really really like (love?) the love endures picture (and your title/caption for it). did you need a tripod for an exposure that long? i can see a few shadowy people so I assume it was a long exposure? haha.. it looks like you had a lot of fun playing with Kayla! The one with the Macroplata kissing her on the cheek is soo cute.

  4. Thanks, Michelle! It was a long exposure, so I propped my camera on my backpack to keep it relatively still. Because I couldn't maneuver much without the flexibility of a tripod, it didn't come out exactly the way I envisioned it. I think I'd like to take it again on a really busy day with a lot of people walking by so there are a lot of shadowy figures around the LOVE sculpture.

    Did you have to scroll up to reference how to spell "Macroplata"? Because I know I had to look at the pop up book several times to get those complicated dinosaur names right, haha.

  5. kayla is too cute. i can't wait till zoey is old enough to actually ask for playmates - it'll be so much fun :)

  6. So cute, but the thing with kids is they don't really take a hint when you're tired of playing. And they can play the same game for hours and not get bored, so you need to be able to make an escape when necessary.

  7. keke!!! i miss her and those cheeks! and i see that she's finally warmed up to you!

  8. Yes, to put it mildly. Now I can barely walk through the door without her popping up as my personal entourage!