Tag Archives: Arthur Ave

SOFA and my favorite bits

After spending not enough time with my friend Holly in her Connecticut studio, I went on to Rye, NY to see my friend Susie.  We spent Friday catching up with each other and visiting some of our favorite places on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx; which include Vincent’s Meat Market for lamb sausage and Casa Della Mozzarella, where there is always a line but who cares? The fresh mozzarella is worth the wait!

On Saturday we drove into the city to attend the 15th New York SOFA exhibition at the Park Avenue Armory. SOFA stands for Sculpture Objects & Functional Art. What a collection! A feast for the eyes!  Some of it puzzling and some of it awe-inspiring. It was hard to take it all in. There were two artists whose work really stood out for me. One was a woman named Sue Lawty. From a distance her pieces looked like large paintings made with small gray dots. Nice, even soothing maybe, but not so spectacular at first. Then Susie said, “These are all tiny rocks!”

Calculus, 2010     natural stones on gesso           78.75; x 118

I took a closer look at her work from several angles. Fascinating! (And, in case you don’t read more about Sue from the link above, you should at least know that “calculus” is Latin for “small stone.”)

The other work I really liked was by a glass artist named Steffen Dam.

The shapes, colors and translucence were a perfect follow-up to inspire more polymer clay experiments. I could have looked at his pieces for a long time.  Though I took very few photos, I can look  through the images of sold art on the SOFA site to be reminded of many of the pieces I saw and liked, and of several  I could not imagine anyone buying! There was a lot of interesting jewelry, too,  but strangely no photos of the pieces that were sold.

I had a great trip. On the way home I spent the night with my son Fritz and his girlfriend Meg and their dog Rocky, in Portland. After stopping to stock up at Trader Joe’s, picking up some fish for dinner in Ellsworth, and dropping off a new orchid plant during a brief visit with my mom, I made it back home on Tuesday’s  3:30 boat.

I love going away, seeing good friends, and doing different things, but coming back to my home on the island is the best part of any trip.

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Saturday in NYC

I didn’t post about the day yesterday because we were just to pooped to do anything last night except make a delicious spinach salad with goat cheese, hazelnuts, garlic croutons and smoked salmon. We ate the salad watching “Dial M for Murder,” a fun Alfred Hitchcock movie and then off to bed.

No matter what my friend Susie and I have been doing, the weather has been absolutely gorgeous. The blossoming trees are all out here. Magnolias, dogwoods, redbuds, cherries, you name it. They are in full bloom. Such a treat for the eyes having come from Maine where things have not yet been coaxed out by warm weather and sun. I may be surprised when I get home on Monday if they have been having the same weather we’ve enjoyed here this weekend.

As we drove into Arthur Avenue yesterday, people were out and about everywhere. A sunny Saturday is no day to spend inside.

We stopped here to get little “BFF” tattoos.

We noted where to get our hair done on the way home. Perhaps a wave nouveau?

At lunchtime on Arthur Ave. the fire trucks double park while the firemen pick up their lunch.

Our first stop, Cassa Della Mozzerella where I picked up some fresh and smoked mozz., some speck, and some parmesan. Yum.

Then on to Vincent’s, the butcher shop where you can buy just about anything. We bought lamb sausage $4.99 lb, etc. etc. Great prices, great service, and if I wanted to pick up pig skin, I could have.

We went on to the bakery, Morrone, for little cannolis, a sandwich at the Arthur Ave market, and got back in the car to drive into the city. Susie had a haircut appointment and then we were going to  the Museum of Arts and Design. The drive is where the day became complicated. A series of wrong turns, saved by changing the appointment time, then sabotaged by traffic and unexpected street fairs, made for a stressful drive on an otherwise beautiful day.

Susie missed both hair appointments and drove around for quite a lot of time looking for parking. Garages, on Saturday, cost $28 for 2 hours. Once we found a spot on 68th St. we booked it down Broadway to Columbus Circle and finally went in the MAD. One of the exhibitions was ceramic body adornments like this necklace.

What I really wanted to see was the museum’s permanent collection of jewelry. I’m not sure if they are always displayed like this, but for this visit the collection was stored in drawers below the current ceramic exhibit. To be tired and have to bend over or get up and down to look at drawers of work, that were poorly lit, seemed like a continuation of the challenging trip after we left Arthur Ave.  I was too tired for this, but I did it anyway. This is what I came for.

No matter how stressful our afternoon was, it was still Manhattan wearing her spring finest. A beautiful beautiful day.

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