Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Downtown Syracuse

Building and Sky

This is a building I think is just beautiful. I'm going to use this photo as an inspiration for a painting.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Syracuse fire trucks are yellow

Yellow Syracuse Fire Truck

You'd think if they weren't going for the traditional red they would pick orange.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Snowy Day in Eastwood

Snowy Day in Eastwood

I took this while I was on a walk the other day. Doesn't that bush with snow on it look like it's growing cotton?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Our Walk on the Erie Canal - a photo essay

On Sunday my husband and I walked on the towpath of the old Erie Canal. It's his favorite spot to walk, as its very flat and he hates hills.

You can click on the photos to see them larger.

We started out in Manlius Center.

Manlius Center

There's a parking lot with a map and some signs explaining a little of the history of the area.

Erie Canal Sign

The tow path is where they used to have animals tow the canal boats, a slow but environmentally friendly way of transportation. Now many of the areas along the canal have walking/biking paths.

Manlius Center map

You can see where we started out on the map, and a little of the canal and path.

Green Lakes Bridge

Even though it was January the weather felt more like November. There's still a lot of leaves on the ground. The canal was partially iced. You can see the iced parts in this photo where the reflection is blurry:

Erie Canal Reflections

We walked for about four miles, and I enjoyed the cold but not freezing or windy weather. We went there a lot last summer and fall, and it's interesting to see it without the trees. Sadly, one aspect is that the noise from the cars is louder. I didn't realize how close the road is to the canal when it's blocked by all the greenery. But this was a minor complaint.

Erie Canal from the Green Lakes Bridge

I expected this dead tree to come to life and attack us. I guess I've seen the Wizard of Oz too many times.

Dead Tree

This is Sumac. The only thing left at this time of the year is the fuzzy red tips and branches. It's quite striking. The tips are sour and you can make a lemonade-like beverage out of them.

Sumac

We didn't see any animals except squirrels, and of course dogs being walked. When we were there in the fall we saw a deer.

After our walk we went to Fayetteville, which has a very ugly shopping mall with a giant parking lot that I hate going to, even though I like the stores I just feel horrid every time I go there. But we saw the older parts on Sunday, and it still has a nice old downtown and cool neighborhoods. it's actually somewhere we might consider buying a house at some point.

Fayetteville Houses

One of these houses is the birthplace of Grover Cleveland, I think it's the third one down.

Two places that I want to come back and explore when I'm by myself are this antique store:

Fayetteville Antique Store

and graveyard:

Fayetteville Graveyard

Those are the kind of places that bore my husband but fascinate me.

Sadly, it looks like I will just have to get a car. It's impossible to live here and do anything like go to school or meet people without a car. To get a job, they just assume that you have a car. That depresses me.

Monday, January 14, 2008

It's Back!

The snow is back, making everything look bright and white and happy and clean. For about an hour, then it's drippy, melty, slushy. But hopefully we will have some skiing before too long.

The Snow is Back

Yesterday my husband and I went to walk at the Erie Canal. There was no snow and it was the perfect day for walking, especially for my husband who hates cold weather. I took a bunch of photos and will put them up tomorrow when I have more time.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Look what showed up today

Yes, it's my pumpkin from last Halloween. It froze last fall and I tossed it out into the yard, thinking I would deal with it at spring thaw when I started composting. It's back, looking like a deflated basketball.

Flat Pumpkin

There was a lot of people out on the street in Eastwood today, wearing shorts and t-shirts. This is just what winter is like in Southern California, except there's no piles of snow that hasn't melted yet.

It's nice to be able to walk around without a big coat but would rather do that in the spring and fall and have winter as winter.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

What I'm not doing today: Skiing

First it's super-freaking cold with a nice powdery snow, and I get my hopes up, only to be crushed by a thaw with wet mushy snow and mud. Yuck. I got rained on today.

I took a walk to the grocery store, bringing my camera, and found several interesting houses and a hilarious half melted snowman, only to find that my batteries were out.

This from when we had that big storm in December. I missed a Christmas party but at least we got to ski around our neighborhood and at Sunnycrest park.
Skiing by our house

I really need to go skiing for some exercise. Actually I should just go down to the basement and work on the Nordic Trac. The guy who owns the small gym I go to called and wanted to know where I was! Well, I've been sick, shoveling snow and skiing but I really do need to start lifting weights again and eating right. I was doing really well for a while there. I am going to wait a week or two before going back to the gym because I walked by there the other night and there was a million people in it, probably a lot of new years resolutions folks. I'll go back in the middle of January when the fuss dies down and they're back at home watching TV.

I'm working on a collage/assemblage/mixed media piece with stuff I found on the streets while walking around. The best thing so far is the front plate of an old camera. The working title is Found in Syracuse.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Pollock is Relevant

I went to see an exhibit called Pollock Matters last night. It was a big reception for my husband's work. The food was really good. I also enjoyed looking at Jackson Pollock's paintings, or paintings that are possibly his and look like his and i like them as much as his paintings, even though they are not authenticated.

The paintings in question were found by the son of a photographer who used to pal around with Pollock. His name was Herbert Matters, and that is how the show got it's name. Here I was thinking it was trying to say that Pollock is relevant. That's probably what you're supposed to think. Anyway, the son found these paintings wrapped in paper in the basement of his father's old studio. They even had one of the papers they were wrapped in. I told my husband it was the best art there, but I was joking. No one knows why the paintings were there, who put them there, or if Pollock wasn't the painter who was and why. It's just one of those mysteries.

Jackson Pollock gets a bad rap because his paintings look like they would be easy to do. He's the original "my kid could do that" painter. But when you really look at them, they are very complex planned layerings of paint. It's not easy to get paint to do what you want when you are dripping it or flinging it.

So is it art, if they are not Pollock's paintings? I say yes, but not as collectible but still somewhat collectible because of all the notoriety.

It would be funny if the fakes turned out in the future to be worth more money than the originals, like the Japanese shells my dad told me about once. They were shells that were only found in very deep water, so it was hard to get them and they were worth more money to shell collectors. So they started making fake ones, but the problem was the fake ones would dissolve in water. Then they invented better diving equipment, so the shells were easy to find and not worth as much. But the fake ones were now collectible.

To apply this to the situation with Pollock's paintings I guess you'd have to find a huge warehouse full of easy to authenticate Pollock paintings, like thousands of them. So it's not going to happen, but it's interesting to think about.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Snow, Snow, Snow and cold

Crabapples in the Snow

It's minus 2 degrees! The snow is all powder, in fact this morning I swept it off the driveway and sidewalk instead of using a shovel. For the first time, I had to come in before I finished the driveway because my toes and hands were getting cold and started to hurt.

I think I'm almost over my cold and tomorrow I'm going skiing at the park. I would almost do it today, except I'm kind of busy. Tonight I'm going to an art opening - it's a Jackson Pollack exhibit that my husband's work is putting on. I'm excited that I get to go, that I'm not still sick and we are not having a giant blizzard or something.

Another Syracuse based item: wings. I had some great wings the other day, from OIP (which stands for Original Italian Pizza). We had pizza too. I'd actually tried their pizza when I attended the Christmas tree lighting for the Eastwood tree. They had a little party afterwards with pizza from OIP and coffee from Cafe Kubal. I had also smelled the wings cooking at the new Eastwood location while I was at the hardware store and was tempted to get them, but I had stuff in the crock pot at home.

The pizza is decent, thin crust the way I like it but nothing to write home about. The wings, on the other hand, you can write to home about them. They were great. When I was deciding where to order from, I did a search on OIP and a surprising amount of reviews from people popped up praising their char grilled wings. So I got a large cheese pizza and 18 char grilled wings. They were amazing, just the right amount of crispyness with a slight smoky flavor. My husband does not like wings much so I figured with 18 of them, I would be eating them for a few days. Wrong! They were gone that same night and Mr. Idon'tlikewings ate half of them.