Sunday, October 24, 2010

A warm October Sunday in Central Park

Okay, a sort of busy and sleepy day today...  Yesterday I bought a large painting from an artist selling his work on a sidewalk in SoHo...  But no frame or anything like that...

After Leena and I got off the phone late in the morning, I went up and did my grocery shopping, no problems...  Then dumped them off at the apartment and headed out again.

My intention was to go to Staples near the Target and get some heavier clips, then head back and try to hang the painting with them before going out again.  Only I fell asleep on the train and missed the stop.  When I woke up I was in Manhattan.  So I figured I'd just continue on what I was going to in the afternoon...  I dozed off and on in the train till around 60th Street and Broadway where I got off.

I was a little disoriented and wandered around the block, half thinking of asking someone "hey, is there a park around here somewhere?" (the joke being that the nearest park is 50 blocks long and quite a few wide, not the sort of thing easily missed (and in the song Miss You, Mick Jagger even mentions it by name)).  But I found it and entered Central Park...

I wandered without much aim for a while, enjoying the shade.  It's not hot, but the chill we've had lately was gone, so it was comfortable short sleeve weather outside.  I got a pretzel at one place and continued walking a bit in the park.  I liked the big, green lawns and watching people playing ball games, as well as the scattered saxophone players all over.

The park is so big that looking north or south from many parts of it and the city outside is far, far in the distance...

That went on for a bit, until I wandered by the lake and kept comparing it to the lakes near my parents' house, and then into an "all natural" part called The Ramble, where it's supposed to be more natural than the rest of the park, but those two things just reminded me a lot of my parents' neighborhood, Sandpiper Village, but as only half-baked imitations (but then, Central Park is in the middle of a city, my parents' neighborhood is outside of the Waldport metropolitan area, surrounded by wilderness).

I headed out to Central Park West and walked down the blocks.  I passed the American Museum of Natural History that used to be my favorite museum as a kid, where I always just wanted to see the dinosaurs.  Somewhere around the 60's blocks I saw an interesting building off on a side street, so I walked that way.  It turned out to be Lincoln Center and I liked the fountain and sculpture there.  The steps all have LED displays in them so as you walk up you can see little notices about what shows are playing and things.

From there I headed on down Broadway, passing through Times Square where for at least ten blocks the street was blocked off and there were lots and lots and lots of booths on the street.  At each end of each block, on each side was one selling food, and in the middle a variety of things, hats, cell phone accessories, shawls and what-not...  The streets were jam packed with people and all the sellers repeated every other block, the same food items, the same tables of the same merchandise and so forth...  On a few blocks where guys with harnesses hold down gigantic balloons advertising Aeropostale clothing and outside that store someone was trying to give away 10% off coupons...

At 42nd Street I got off and headed into the subway to return to Brooklyn.  I slept a good bit of the way back on the train, again missing the station where Staples is located, and barely waking up at my own stop.

Back in the apartment I took a shower and settled in, but after a while felt like I should head out again for something...  So I looked up Staples online to see what their store hours were.  The one I planned to go to closed at 6pm, but there was a closer one near Fort Hamilton that closed at 7pm, and I hadn't been to the Fort Hamilton area at all, so that sounded like a good reason to head out.

I took the subway down there, getting off at 95th Street (only the trains and stations are so long I exited at 93rd Street).  Amazing...  The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is just gigantic down there, filling the whole view to the south.    I wish I'd brought my camera for that.  It doesn't actually go there, but one of its towers is very close (or very, very big).

I found the Staples store and looked all over the basement floor to find the clips I wanted.  I got four packs of two each, which in hindsight was a couple short, I should've gotten six packs of them.  Upstairs I looked at the laptops and they had one on clearance for $350, which I thought at that price could make a good experimental machine for tinkering with other operating systems that I've been running in virtual machines for a while, but would like to try non-virtual (e.g. not Windows, not Mac OS X, but ones like Linux or Haiku (which yes, made a recent appearance in xkcd)).  Unfortunately they didn't have any in stock.  The sales guy said maybe tomorrow.

After I paid and left I got back into the subway at 93rd Street just as a train was coming in.  It's the last stop of the R train, so I got in but had to wait while the cleaners swept it and all that before it left.

Back at the apartment I got out the clips and hammered nails into the wood above the wall and hung up the painting.  It's not hanging great, but it's up...  I wish I'd gotten more clips...  I took a couple of photos with my iPhone...

The artist is Prawech Pranaprom.  Last weekend I was just walking around in Manhattan and passed by his sidewalk display and liked what I saw.  Throughout the week I kept thinking, I've got to go back and see again, and wondering how much would an artist charge for artwork being sold on a display on a sidewalk anyway? (okay, that turned out to be around three times what I expected and budgeted for, but we bargained and got it down a decent notch, only 66% over my budget...)

A highlight of the one non-silver black lightbulb in the painting.  It's black, with white arrows and lines that the artists said was "energy" (I won't disagree with his interpretation, it's what he had in mind when he painted it, and I like how it looked).

Now I'm just winding up the day and will be turning out the lights and going to bed in a bit...

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