Art Miami is at an historic site this year

My love of newspapers ironically  brought me to The Miami Herald, but not the current location of The Miami Herald and not because I went to visit the newspaper. It so happens that this year, some of the satellite fairs associated with Art Basel Miami are taking place in huge tents on the former Miami Herald site, right on Biscayne Bay.

The Herald moved out to a western suburb of Miami a few years ago and the old site was sold to a casino company, only we don’t have legal casino gambling in Miami, so the site just sits there – prime waterfront property. This year, the owners set up a deal for Art Miami and Context 2017, two of the satellite art fairs to take place on the empty lot.

Cement slabs were placed down and tents went up and it felt nice to visit the old site where I had visited The Miami Herald so many times over the years.

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The only way to fly

flyingSo here is one of those instances where you sort of will something because you think about it and talk about it often.

I was coming home to Miami from New York and I got to the airport very early, one reason was that all over the news they were talking about hold ups at LaGuardia Airport due to the renovations going on, so I left for the airport five hours before my flight! And then when I got to the airport, the flight was bumped back an hour, so my 11:30 flight was bumped to 12:30 pm. This would not due, that would make my whole day a wasted day of flying.

I got to the gates about 7:30 am and I asked an attendant if I could get onto an earlier flight, he said there was an 8 am flight to Miami and he got me on. It was two gates over, so I walked over and they were already boarding. So get this – I got my ticket at 7:30 and was literally sitting on the plane at 7:45 am – 15 minutes later! And we were taking off at 8 am. I got home sooner than my original flight was to take off. But the amazing part was getting the ticket and getting on board in 15 minutes.

This is where the willing comes in – I am always saying, “In this day and age, why can’t we just go to the airport and hop on a plane, why is there such a project involved?” Well, it happened. No fuss, no muss. On the plane and off!

It may never happen again, but at least it did this once. And the funny part was that for a day or two before I sort of lost sleep thinking of the traffic to the airport (there was none) and getting home late because I had so much work to do (I got home hours early). As they say, 90% of what we worry about never comes to pass.

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A delightful train ride

On Thanksgiving week, I took a four hour train trip from Boston to New York. Sitting behind me were two older ladies. They didn’t know each other and they just ended up sitting together and they talked and talked for that four hours. I know their whole stories, I know their names, I know about their kids and I loved every minute of it. I almost wish I had taped it.

One lady is 82 and one is 83. One is from Manchester, England one is from Rhode Island, they both had lived in New Jersey at one time and both were on their way back to New Jersey to be with family for Thanksgiving.

The lady from Rhode Island talked like Cyndi Lauper. Exactly. The lady from Manchester had that refined English accent and you can imagine these two accents going back and forth sharing their lives with each other. Cyndi Lauper was nosy and nervy, she asked a lot of personal questions, and Manchester calmly answered them.

Manchester has two children, one in Washington DC and one in New Jersey, I think she said she lives in Boston now. Cyndi Lauper has five children and nine grandchildren, they live all over and I don’t remember where she lives now.

They spoke about their husbands who have both passed, Manchester’s husband passed 10 years ago, Cyndi Lauper’s husband passed nine years ago to the exact day we were on the train. Cyndi Lauper was very into her husband’s life, it was more about him than her, and it seemed to be a man’s world according to her questions. She asked Manchester what her husband did for a living, rather than asking Manchester what she did. Manchester’s husband did many things, including real estate, to which Cyndi Lauper said, “Oh you must have made a lot of money!” to which Manchester calmly said, “No, just enough to live on.”

Cyndi Lauper’s husband was a highly regarded college professor. It was a hectic life being a professor’s wife, according to Cyndi Lauper.

They spoke of World War II and of all of the places they have been and lived. They spoke of the Royal Family. Neither of them like Camila, Cyndi Lauper doesn’t like Charles, but Manchester says he is not a bad sort.

Manchester came to the US in the 1960s. She said that period of time was a “brain drain” where all the good minds from England moved to the states. She eventually became a citizen with her husband in Elizabeth, New Jersey, they lived in that county at the time and that was the county seat and the location for the citizenship ceremony

The conversation was fascinating. And the thought of these two older grandmas traveling alone together was nice. When they first met, Cyndi Lauper told Manchester that she was nervous about traveling alone, getting on the wrong train and all but Manchester said, “We’ll you’re on the train now and the only thing to do is get off when it’s time. That’s it.”

Cyndi Lauper had her son picking her up at the train station and Manchester had her daughter-in-law picking her up at the train station. Manchester said the first thing she wanted to do once she was settled at her son’s and daughter-in-law’s house was to have a hot cup of tea. She said, “When she asks if I want anything [meaning her daughter-in-law], I will say ‘yes,’ a hot cup of tea!”

I did not look back at them the whole time, I didn’t want to spoil the image I had in my head of them. But when my stop came, NYC, I had to get up and leave, so I looked back and there they were, sitting and staring at me. I just stared back, I didn’t want to be rude but I wanted to take them in. Neither was what I had pictured in my head and I almost wish I had not looked.

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Getting inspiration at Boston Harbor

I spent a drizzly morning at Boston Harbor the other day and I got inspiration for my new comic called “Hal and High Water,” which takes place in and around the water.

That’s the comic I told you about sending in to the syndicates. Well, I sent the comic in to the five main syndicates – all on 11/11 at 11:11 am, as I said I would. But maybe that wasn’t so special because I already got one rejection back in less than a week! That’s the fastest I’ve ever gotten a rejection, usually it takes a month or more.

This is the syndicate, where I am sure the acquisitions editor hates me because of our meeting that time. I swear she just sees my name and rejects the work without even looking at it.

To be honest, I want and I don’t want syndication. The only reason I want it is because overnight I’ll receive thousands of readers. But in all reality, this is the digital age of art, music and everything else, where you do your own thing without syndicates and agents. And that is the best way. So I am torn.

I do have the other four syndicates in the wings, let’s see what they say.

This new strip, “Hal and High Water” really is some of my best work ever. I simplified the art, since that seems to be the thing these days and I enjoy the characters, I don’t get bored with them as I have with other strips in the past.

I guess we’ll just let this play out and see how it goes, but in the end, “Hal and High Water” will see the light of day and I’ll get an audience that appreciates it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

thanksgiving

I will be at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade today, but this photo is from a few years ago. I love the composition. It was at 72nd Street, right from outside Central Park. That is the famous Dakota building behind Snoopy.

What is so cool about this photo is that the next day, I was at the holiday bazaar in Union Square and this guy was selling a drawing of this exact image. I was floored.

I showed him my photo and he asked me to send it to him, he was freaking out like I was. I wish I had purchased the drawing. It was a black and white line drawing and there was the big Snoopy balloon with the Dakota behind it! Spooky Snoopy.

Getting lost in Boston

boston-newspapers

The Sunday papers. $7.50 for both! I love the feel and smell of the local papers, so I guess it’s worth the $7.50.

I didn’t think you could get lost in Boston, I always thought it was quite small. I usually stay in Cambridge a the Marriott near MIT. To me it is perfect because I love Cambridge and it’s convenient, right outside the door, under the hotel is the subway (the T) and the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge is not far, which takes you from Cambridge across the Charles River to Boston, right to Boylston Street, to the noodle shop that I love. This was the first place I ever had Tom Yum Kai soup many years ago.

And I take the T back and forth to Harvard Square and beyond. All very convenient.

From your hotel window, high atop the Marriott you can see Boston across the river from one end to the other, you see the Citgo sign at Fenway Park, all across Boston to the North End. So Boston seemed small to me.

But I didn’t realize the downtown area in Boston is all small winding streets. I’m staying in a hotel there. Usually I would stay in a hotel near the park, Boston Common, but this time, I’m not sure why, I am in the downtown area.

I went out early Sunday morning for breakfast and to my surprise, there was nothing open. I had hoped to go to Pret A Manger, my go-to place in NYC every morning, they have the oatmeal that I like and I like their coffee, but they were closed and so was everything else; the blue law? Or is that just liquor?

oldsouth2Anyway, for an hour I got lost in the downtown area winding my way around the old streets, enjoying all the old buildings that they so revere in Boston (get it, revere? Paul Revere?). Near my hotel, on the corner is the Old South Meeting House, there since 1729, as I walked by, the worn front doors had me picturing the likes of Benjamin Franklin, et al, hanging out in front before and after meetings. This is the place with the red doors. It was the gathering place for the Boston Tea Party!

In the past I would know how to easily find my way back to the Marriott in Cambridge or the hotels along the Boston Common. So I can find my way back to my hotel here in the winding downtown area, I wrote it down. Should I pin it to my shirt now?

boston-list

Whoops, I did it again

ornament1

I was putting up my Christmas tree earlier this week and as usual, I broke an ornament. I guess it’s just not Christmastime unless I break an ornament.

I know, it’s too early to put the tree up but I do it now because I will be out of town until December and this way when I get home in December, I don’t have to deal with the tree at that time. I won’t light it up until December. But it’s done.

I like the way these ornaments look. The red one below is a favorite from a few years ago. I put the copyright on it because I thought I would make a Christmas card out of it, but I never did.

ornament2