Thursday, July 30, 2015

My Brother's Birthday Month

Never one to go crazy on a birthday, my brother celebrated his milestone with several outings spanning the month, and each one had its own class and pizzazz.  As the month comes to a close, the celebration of life keeps going.

The Gypsy Felons concert at the gazebo in Lindenhurst 

FREE Slurpees on 7/11, which is his birthday, but he did not partake so I got one for my dad instead.
Fancy dinner.

This is a crown for a dog or an infant.  We put it on my brother.

Proud parents

Sheet cake from Foodtown is delicious.

I made goodie bags.  For adults.  They contain bubbles among other non-adult items.

Happy happy happy happy happy happy.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Are You A Real Person?

Grounds For Sculpture has long been on my list of places I want to see.  After visiting Storm King Art Center on the way back from Cooperstown a few years ago, GFS seemed like the next logical step.  My brother and I headed out for Jersey.  The trip should have taken maybe 2 hours tops.  From Long Island to the Verrazano took an hour.  So much for 2 hours tops.  The powers that be decided that blocking off the lower level AND taking out the left lane on the upper level all at once was a really good idea.

When we arrived, we were greeted right away.

Right after buying tickets, I ate almost all the food I'd brought with me because it was surely lunch time already.  The cool thing was that I ate lunch in the shadow of King Lear and a large naked lady.

You know you're in an awesome place when the guy in the booth at the entrance tells you to park near King Lear.  So amazing.

In addition to the enormous sculptures, there are tons of other smaller sculptures throughout the grounds AND we visited during an exhibition of some guy who makes people-statues, which took quite a bit of getting used to.  Here's what I mean.  These are guys on break at the loading dock right by King Lear.
Yeah, only they totally aren't.  They are not real people.  Nope, not real at all.  So the whole getting-used-to thing took me quite a while as I jumped and turned and uh-ohed a bunch of times when we first started going through the park.  And starting to go through the park was quite an undertaking because we had a small map that had not much on it except for where the main building was and we weren't sure which way to head first.  We found a bunch of trails that simply ended all at the front of the park, and we saw a small section that quickly dead ended.  The good thing about going around in circles here is that at every turn there was something cool to look at.
Almost all the photos with a date on it were taken by Anthony Rau, pro-amateur photographer. Some of them I took of him.  You'll see.
We agreed these would look amazing lit up at night.

This reminded me of a spider I saw in DC by Louise Bourgeois
This was dedicated to Duchamp, the guy who created Fountain, which is a piece of art / toilet.
This is subtitled Whew! Because the guy is supposed to be peeing on a tree.  We saw a theme.

This is my brother's version of how people danced back in that era.

We were not sure if this was art or something else.
We finally stopped dead-ending ourselves and walked through some trees and decided to go left.  In doing so, we found more sculptures and more fake people.

Seriously?  It has a LADDER and we're not supposed to climb it.
One of the most impressive aspects of the ones with newspapers and books is the actual writing.
We found the Monet Bridge pretty easily.
Aaaaand, she's naked. But fake so she doesn't need body paint.
The lilies!

I'd like to think I'm pretty amazing at posing people like this.
We chatted and made friends with a bunch of fake people and stood in awe of some of the large and intricate sculptures.

Chatting at lunch

This is NOT a real boy. Hence, my favorite kind of child.


First friend

Second friend

No room on the bench for me

This was an interesting find.  It's called Bread Line.
After wandering around, wondering how much we'd seen and how much we hadn't, sweating all the way (the thermometer read 91), we met a very helpful woman in one of the gallery buildings. She greeted us and asked how we were.  I said fine and then asked where we were.  She laughed and gave us a larger map that actually had all the sculptures on it.  We could finally figure out where we were!  Except that we couldn't really because there were so many sculptures and they weren't really in any order on the map, but we did manage to sometimes figure it out.

This one looks different from every angle.  So neat!

Took this with my phone and there was a filter on that I didn't know about.

Only one of these is a real professor.

I fit right in.
We settled on a plan to go to the Gazebo.  We did not wind up at the Gazebo.  We found lots of other places and things. We found France that had a beautiful view but lots of yellow jackets, and apparently my brother does not mind standing in a swarm of them. We found mirrored passageways into tiny nooks. We found a room that was air conditioned.  We found a grotto and hot house.  We found fake food and fake food vendors.  No Gazebo.

Far from the yellow jackets

Mirrors come in handy.

Naked cement

All in this little air conditioned room.

A lady came running over and was like, Put two chairs together and I'll take your picture and it will be so cute!
No clue as to what this is.

I'm an ass.

One of the fake people took this.
After circling this grotto multiple times, we somehow came across some different stuff.  Like this creepy thing in the middle of the woods.
Seriously creepy.  Imagine this lit up at night.
Then?  We found the Gazebo!  It really wasn't much of anything, and we realized that we'd walked by it at the beginning of the day on the other side.  However, it did lead us back to where we started, and then we were able to find the other side of the park.
A view from the Gazebo.

Do you see the foot in the cauldron?

More friends, but why is the kid with the cast igoring the guy signing it?

As we made our way across the parking lot, two elderly ladies came by us and called out, Are you real??? Ha!  They said what we'd been thinking all day. Then we found this police officer and nope, he's not real either.

This place has a lot of rules.

Mirrors.  He's fine.  I'm deformed.
See? More rules.  AND peacocks.


From here, we found the Meadow.  It's not quite in the park but it's attached to the park.  And on the way to the Meadow, we found this:
American Gothic

This puts it in perspective.

And this guy.
And in the Meadow, we found other visitors taking golf carts across the grounds.  I guess you've gotta be on a tour to get special treatment.  We hoofed it through.  In the Meadow, my brother found his picture of the day.
His picture of the day--wild flowers and art
And I took this to send to Eddie.
Picture of the day!  We are children! My brother just shook his head at me.
We couldn't tell exactly how many sculptures were in the Meadow, but we think we saw all of them in comparison between where we walked and our trusty map.
That brother of mine has a great eye.

I saw a version of this with Eddie when we were in DC.

My friends, only much larger!
But wait, there's more!  After the Meadow, we found a few more sculptures.  We'd also ducked into some of the indoor galleries.
This is an actual room you can walk into.  It is not a painting or a drawing.
Love this.  There was one of the Mona Lisa, too.
I can't say this enough.  THEY ARE NOT REAL!
And so according to our map reading skillz, we'd finished visiting every nook and cranny of the Grounds for Sculpture.  If we missed anything, we wouldn't be able to find our way to it and back out.

On the way home, we stopped in Historic Richmond Town in Staten Island.  In the middle of the urban borough stands a small village of old Americana buildings.  My brother the history buff and teacher took in the architecture.  I ran away from geese.  There were no fake people.

This is a real mini-door!

Some art.  Some history.  Lots of sibling bonding time.  A really great day.  In the middle of all this day tripping, I found a bus that made my day complete.  It's personalized!
It does not say Christina Sex Academy, although it sure seems to at first.