Harold Lloyd

I still don’t have my cable tv back since Hurricane Irma, so I’ve been watching tv on my cell phone, usually day-old shows on demand.

But every night I’ve been watching Harold Lloyd movies on YouTube. He’s so good. I’m really enjoying myself.

I’ve noticed that he reminds me of a friend of mine who has the same expressions and seems to always seems to be in trouble or innocently is the cause of trouble. Their manerisms are the same.

When my cable comes back, I think I’ll still watch Harold’s movies. I think he made over 200 of them, mostly shorts.

This new comic strip I’m doing has a character that is Harold Lloyd. I never realized it, but he looks and acts just like him, minus the glasses. I may add glasses.

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Glamping during Irma

It’s been a hectic week. We dodged Hurricane Irma. Luckily where I live, it was mosly just trees down.

I spent four days with family west of here. We were seven people and four dogs! We got along, didn’t get on each other’s nerves and aside from the fear of Irma, we had a good time. We called it camping. I think it was more glamping.

We had everything we needed in the big house, except for electricity, which went out the first day. We cooked on candles! Boiled water for coffee and made hot dogs using candles.

After Irma passed, we barbecued everything.

We went in and out the whole time through a back door, the only opening not boarded up. We charged our phones in our cars.

The day after Irma passed, a few if us drove around checking on everybody’s houses. My father, brother, nephew and I made a day of it.

We really dodged s bullet. I know many people lost homes in the Keys. We were lucky enough to all just have tree damage and broken fences. I live on the bay, mere feet from it. The 15 foot storm surge brought all that water up into the neighborhood, but didn’t fo much damage.

Glad to be getting back to normsl so fast. We have electricity, but no internet of tv, but happy to be home safe.

Diary of a Little Girl in Old New York

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Catherine Elizabeth and her father Rensselaer Havens in a daguerreotype taken in 1849.

I read this book called Diary of a Little Girl in Old New York.  I read it on Kindle so I’m not sure how big the book is, but I read it in about an hour or so.

The 10-year-old girl’s name is Catherine Havens and she wrote her diary from August 1849 through June 1850 and there is some of 1851, too, and eventually, it was published in 1919 when her older sister told her it might be a good idea to see if they could get it published all those years later. It’s interesting because it describes so much of old New York, where most diaries are only about the person writing it; this includes so much of what life was like in the mid 19th Century.

I noticed that the whole diary can be read online here. So you don’t have to buy the book.

Catherine comes from a wealthy family and the people she is surrounded by including family and relatives are all in good spirits it seems. For some reason, I always think of people in the olden days as being dour and humorless, but this is not the case. Even her old grandfather has a good sense of humor. Her father was old, he was born before the Revolutionary War.  She writes that people would mistake him as being her grandfather.

Catherine writes about her old aunts who lived in a house built in 1733 and of her own mother’s school days back in the 1810s.

Her world seems mostly to have revolved around 9th Street in New York City and most of the stores they visited and the schools were on 9th or near 9th Street.  She names names of people who lived then and where they lived up and down 9th Street.  She did travel though, to far off places, via boat/ships of the time.

She writes about school and how they did math back then and also how they learned words, starting with the Latin word and working into American English. She tells of how her math teacher rattled off numbers in sequences and the kids had to know the answer.

She mentions her grandfathers’s slaves, by name: “My father’s father lived on Shelter Island, and had twenty slaves, and their names were: Africa, Pomp, Titus, Tony, Lum, Cesar, Cuff, Odet, Dido, Ziller, Hagar, Judith, and Comas, but my grandfather thought it was wicked to keep slaves, so he told them they could be free, but Tony and Comas stayed on with him.”

I love when she writes about her mother’s youth: “My mother says Stuart’s candy store down on Greenwich and Chambers Streets used to be the store in her day. When she was a little girl in 1810, old Kinloch Stuart and his wife Agnes made the candy in a little bit of a back room and sold it in the front room, and sometimes they used to let my mother go in and stir it.”

Here grandfather is one of the first people to have water pipped into their kitchen down on Maiden Lane in New York City.

They even debated about either or eyether and neither and nyther back then!

If you like history, this book is really great, Catherine seems wiser than her 10 years, but maybe that is how the children were back then. It’s interesting see back 1849-50 from a child’s eyes. She wrote that she hoped to live to see the 20th century, but learned in Bible study that in the year 2000 the world would end, so she hoped she would not make it to that age. She did make it to 1939, so she lived to be 99 years old, almost 100. In the diary she mentions that she hoped her mother would live to be 100, and she almost did, she passed away at the age of 96.

Wednesday is “Read A Book Day,” so this might be a good one to read on Wednesday.

Pop-up art galleries

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For many years this storefront was a very popular pop-up art gallery. Then when the real estate market improved and new renters took over, the gallery left.

I read an article in Artsy about pop up galleries called Condo New York, which took over a bunch of empty spaces in Manhattan this summer. They lasted for 10 days to three months.

This is not a new concept and while artists pay to be a part of these pop up galleries, for years, in my town, Coconut Grove, Florida, there were pop up galleries that lasted years and their duel purpose was to show and sell art, but they also were filling up spaces in empty storefronts, which the town had a lot of.

For quite a few years, galleries were all over the village and they paid nothing or next to nothing, probably just paying for the utilities while making empty storefronts vibrant and lively.

As the storefronts started renting out and the neighborhood stated changing to higher rents and many more renters, the galleries all but disappeared.

I had a friend who was an artist and a realtor and he would combine the two. He would have a gallery in the condos he had for sale. So the open houses would be an art event as well as a sales event. That’s something I think you would see on the tv show Million Dollar Listing; they are always coming up with some sort of gimmick to show their real estate listings.

But pop up art can be in any empty space. Even during Art Basel here in Miami, there is art in shipping containers, each container being its own little gallery for a week. Heck, any empty room can be a gallery.

Sticking with Max Zorn

This post is a rerun. I ran it about a year ago here in the Tomversation blog and in the Huffington Post a few months before that. I was reminded of Max on this morning’s CBS Sunday Morning, which did a feature on him in Amsterdam. Their feature was a rerun and so is this post. 

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Max Zorn at Art Miami, December 2015

Miami Art Week during Art Basel can be daunting. It’s a lot to digest – the noise, the art, the people, it’s a non-stop week that is a lot for the senses. Most of the art begins to look the same after a bit, there is a lot of pop art and a lot of classic, there are sculptures as well as collages and paintings and they all get jumbled together, but this year, one art style and one artist stuck out to me. Literally. That’s Max Zorn, Tape Artist.

Max’s work appears to be photographs, but the whole image is made from brown masking tape on acrylic glass sheets with light behind it! As I passed by his booth at the Spectrum Art Fair, I noticed that there was tape on one of the images he was working on, I couldn’t figure out what was going on at first, I thought he was putting tape on various areas of a photograph, then it dawned on me that the whole image was made from masking tape!

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Max got the idea one night when he put tape on top of a street light, he then stared playing with the tape and as he added more layers, it changed coloring, getting darker as he added tape on top of tape. And his Tape Art was born from that. 

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Max explaining his technique to a couple of fans at Art Miami, Dec. 2015

“The European tape is different than American tape and I find it interesting and challenging at first when I change tapes in the different countries. The thickness is different,” said Max, who lives in Amsterdam and shows his work around the world.

One big tipping point for Max was when the famed artist Bansky shared a video of Max on his social media sites. The video went viral. It shows Max using the masking tape and a scalpel to create his art, as shown below. He calls it “street art,” but to me it is fine art that belongs in galleries.

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A gallery of Max’s art can be seen here at his website.

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Below is a little video of Max creating his art.