In the early 1960’s I was a toddler splashing in the waves at Rockaway Beach, Queens. Laughing I ran toward the water. Shrieking I backed up from the water. Waves tickled my toes. I ran away from my big sister, Ronnie, and found starfish near the jetty. “Go in the water and wash the sand out of your bathing suit,” Mom said.
We summered in a rented bungalow on Beach 98th St. half a block from the subway and half a block from Playland. The bungalow had one bedroom where all the kids piled in one big bed. I hated the cold water outdoor shower. I loved crowding around the table for cereal and eating sandwiches on the front porch.
This is similar to our bungalow court.
Does plunging count as swimming? On New Year’s Day in New York…..Yes!
Thinking about Straphangers yesterday prompted me to remember my first Polar Bear Plunge. I screamed at the shock of the cold water! My friends and I laughed and giggled and grinned.
I’m the one in the bathing cap. I love the Polar Bear Plunge.
Here’s proof we plunged.
New Year’s weekend 2014 I drove up to New York to visit a friend.My dog, Brave, a fine travel companion and, usually, a good guest accompanied me.
Yikes! He barked and barked when we left her home.
Rover to the rescue. A guy in Bushwick about a half hour from my friend in Ridgewood could care for my dog.
After dropping the dog off I found these straphangers in the Gates Ave. station.
Swimming….I love it. Pools are OK.
I’m home when I’m swimming in natural water.
A toddler in the early 1960’s….the ocean….splashing in the waves at Rockaway Beach. We summered in a rented bungalow on Beach 98th St. half a block form the subway and half a block from Playland. I lived in paradise all summer long.
In 1968 during day trips to Rockaway Beach, Dad taught us to body surf. Body surfing….free….easy….fantastic.
My brother, his friends and I competed for longest rides. We traded war stories about scraped chests. In 1971 I learned to check that my bikini top was in the right place.
“Mom, can I go to the beach with my friends?” Mom sighed, “if your sister goes.” And later, “take your little sister.” Summers in junior high and high school meant 2 hour subway rides each way to Rockaway Beach.
While there are no waves in the Chesapeake Bay, my go to spot is 20 – 3o minute drive and I feel free….easy….fantastic.
I grew up in NYC.
During the early 1980’s I worked and went to college.
My commute home to Ridgewood often meant walking a long underground tunnel between 7th Ave (the 1,2,3 IRT Line) and 6th Ave (the LL..now L…BMT Line).
Seeing Keith Haring’s chalk drawings in that tunnel made me smile, grin, and giggle. I loved them. I think lots of people loved them. People, other taggers, left them alone. The drawings lasted until the subway workers put up posters or new black paper.
This post resultd from remembering the way no one believed my stories of seeing black and white Keith Haring art in that tunnel. Really people!
Here’s Keith’s own words:
“One day, riding the subway, I saw this empty black panel where an advertisement was supposed to go. I immediately realized that this was the perfect place to draw. I went back above ground to a card shop and bought a box of white chalk, went back down and did a drawing on it. It was perfect–soft black paper; chalk drew on it really easily.”
So I forgive the naysayers.
Keith Haring Art in the Subway in Black & White
By touchstone I mean what type of art is your baseline, the type of art you go to when you need comfort, and the type of art you unconsciously use to evaluate a painting or piece you when you see it for the first time.
What is your touchstone art style?
Mine is abstract art.
And if I narrowed it down further, abstract expressionism. As a girl in NYC during 1967 – 1969 each month my schools art club visited the Whitney and the Guggenheim. I feel calm just remembering those visits.
On a visit to the Whitney with my dad, we happened on an Agnes Martin show. Dad was dismissive of the work, unimpressed. I wanted to enjoy it. So…..I asked him to stare at a painting for a few seconds and guess its title. After he guessed, I guessed too. What a blast! I was way off and Dad got it and almost everyone as we continued the game…maybe not the exact title, but Dad used symonyms for the words in Ms. Martin’s titles. Unforgettable.
The show opens today and runs through September 25th. This review got me pumped up:
I’m thinking a double feature including this show and Governors Island is a terrific September day trip.