Thursday, November 29, 2012

An 18-Year-Old’s Diary Entries From August, 1969 | Thought Catalog

An 18-Year-Old’s Diary Entries From August, 1969 | Thought Catalog

Thursday Morning in Gramercy Park: The Masters Series - James McMullan posters at SVA Gallery

Early this morning, waiting for our faculty office at the wonderful School of Visual Arts to open, we got to enjoy the exhibition of some of James McMullan's celebrated theater posters, which we've always loved, and his other drawings and paintings, at the SVA Gallery on East 23rd Street.
James McMullan is being honored with the School of Visual Arts' Masters Series Award, of which this exhibition is a part.
Best known for his Lincoln Center theater posters and his psychologically intense style of realism, he has also designed and illustrated many magazine articles, book and album covers, and advertisements.
With over 100 works - some of them never before shown - this exhibition includes early work from the 1950s; 1960s editorial illustrations for publications such as TIME, Esquire, Rolling Stone and New York magazine; theater posters from Lincoln Center; and new paintings to be published next year in his memoir about growing up in China. Much of the work is drawn from the Milton Glaser Design Study Center and Archives at SVA, a repository of original art and printed matter by preeminent designers, illustrators, and art directors who have close ties to the College.
“McMullan’s work achieves what we all aspire to. It’s unique, memorable and heartfelt. What else could you want?” says designer and SVA Acting Chairman Milton Glaser.
James McMullan was born in 1934 in Tsingtao, China and studied art at the Pratt Institute in New York City. He joined the venerated Push Pin Studios – founded in 1954 by Milton Glaser, Seymour Chwast, Reynold Ruffins and Edward Sorel - in 1966. He departed Push Pin in 1969 just as Milton Glaser and Clay Felker were starting New York magazine; he was one of the core group of artists who helped establish that magazine’s graphic style. A highlight was a series of five illustrations - including the cover - for the June 1976 story “Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night,” which was the basis for the feature film Saturday Night Fever. McMullan has also done magazine work for Rolling Stone, Sesame Street magazine, New York Times Magazine, Esquire, McCall’s, Vogue and Sports Illustrated, among others.
McMullan designed his first Broadway poster in 1976, and has had a long relationship with Lincoln Center, producing many evocative and highly expressive posters for the theater. Theater posters included in “The Master Series: James McMullan” include “Comedians,” “Carousel,” “Twelfth Night,” “Six Degrees of Separation,” “Anything Goes,” “Dinner At Eight” and “South Pacific,” among others.
McMullan has also collaborated on six popular children’s books with his wife, children’s book author Kate McMullan: I Stink! (HarperCollins, 2006), I’m Dirty! (HarperCollins, 2006), I’m Fast! (HarperCollins, 2012), I’m Bad! (HarperCollins, 2008), I’m Big! (HarperCollins, 2010), and I’m Mighty! (HarperCollins, 2003)
Beginning in 1969, McMullan taught at SVA for 30 years, and in 1987 he inaugurated his High-Focus Drawing Program, which later resulted in a book on his distinctive approach to life drawing.
On Tuesday, December 4, at 7 p.m., McMullan will discuss his career with designer, SVA Acting Chairman and Masters Series laureate Milton Glaser. The conversation will take place at the SVA Amphitheater, 209 East 23 Street, 3rd floor, New York City. Admission is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tuesday Afternoon in Tribeca: Looking Out at One World Trade Center from the Ninth Floor of Fiterman Hall

This semester the new Fiterman Hall at Borough of Manhattan Community College opened -- the old Fiterman Hall building was so heavily damaged from the collapse of 7 World Trade Center on 9/11 that it had to be demolished -- and we've been teaching our wonderful creative writing workshop there on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. On the Barclay Street side of the building on the ninth floor, they have some comfortable swivel chairs placed at the floor-to-ceiling windows, and on this very chilly, rainy/snowy afternoon before class, we watched the still-not-complete One World Trade Center and all the construction by the PATH terminal (just opened again after the hurricane) below.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday Afternoon in Bay Ridge: A Walk Along the Water

This afternoon, needing to clear our head, we took a walk along the water just a few blocks from where we've been staying in Bay Ridge: first along Shore Road and then over the Belt Parkway around and under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.
It was a lovely walk, reminding us how we've loved this place forever. As we headed home, on 99th Street between Fourth and Third Avenues, we were startled to see two brick mid-century homes next to each other, each of which had a stained-glass panel with a vent that featured a sailboat, the same kind in our small bedroom in the house on East 56th Street where we grew up.
We were grateful to be reminded of this sailboat. We used to look out of the window a lot as a kid and think about the little sailboat.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

NBC News' "Meet the Press" features Wall Street Journal Photo of our Occupy Sandy Thanksgiving Dinner at St. Camillus in Rockaway

This morning, near the end of NBC News' Meet the Press, in an interview with Rep. Gregory W. Meeks about the cleanup from Hurricane Sandy, the screen showed Friday's front-page Wall Street Journal photo of us at Occupy Sandy's Thanksgiving dinner outside St. Camillus in Rockaway.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Wall Street Journal Front Page Features Photo of Occupy Sandy's Thanksgiving Dinner at St. Camillus in Rockaway (with us included)

The front page of The Wall Street Journal today, Friday, November 23, 2012, features an above the fold photo of yesterday's wonderful Occupy Sandy Thanksgiving dinner outside St. Camillus in Rockaway with the headline: "A Sunny Thanksgiving Feast for Storm's Victims."
At least one person pictured was a volunteer taking a break to eat a delicious apple muffin.
We're a little embarrassed (but not that much) to be pictured when so many of our fellow volunteers and the regular crew at Occupy Sandy in Rockaway aren't. But we are proud of being a tiny part of such a good effort. And we also like that at the extreme left of the photo you can just make out the Dayton Towers West building at 102-00 Shore Front Parkway.
For thirty years our beloved Aunt Tillie -- our grandfather's sister -- and Uncle Morris Metz, had an apartment there on the second floor, where we spent several holiday dinners (Thanksgiving, Rosh Hashona) with them and our Grandma Ethel back in the 1980s. That was the last time we were featured on the front page, albeit of the second section, of The Wall Street Journal. A story by Brooks Jackson about our presidential campaign was published on November 28, 1983, just about 29 years ago.
It ran with the headline "This Presidential Candidate Wants Jane Wyman as His Running Mate," It ended:
So what's next for Mr. Grayson?
He's running for President as a Democratic candidate and accepting public financing, sort of.
"When I go down to the unemployment office, I have to prove that I'm looking for work," he says. "I figure that the presidency is a good job."
He would like Jane Wyman to be his running mate. "She has experience dumping Reagan," he says. The president's ex-wife hasn't accepted yet."

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Afternoon in Rockaway Park: Occupy Sandy Community Thanksgiving Dinner at St. Camillus R.C. Church

After working inside sorting,
but mostly dealing with garbage and gratefully getting answers and taking orders from a 10-year-old boy much more experienced at Occupy Sandy Recovery efforts than we are,
we went outside to help with Thanksgiving dinner outdoors in the St. Camillus Church parking lot, facing the beach and ocean and what was the boardwalk that we loved so much. At one point we were manning dessert table #2 with Elliot, serving pumpkin pie and other pastries and giving out coloring books, crayons and playing cards.
We did some other stuff like serving drinks and cleaning up, but we also had time to talk with the incredibly hard-working people from Occupy Sandy -- people like Miguel and Christine and Diego and Kristina and many others -- and to enjoy our own dinner on a beautiful day at the beach.
Father Richard gave a nice toast after a number of Occupy Sandy people spoke.
It was a beautiful Thanksgiving day, and we are very grateful for all the people who worked hard to make it possible.
Before we returned to Brooklyn, we had some time to walk to the beach amid the ruins of the boardwalk. We spent so much of our lives on the Rockaway boardwalk going back to the early 1950s, it's hard to see it destroyed.
This is what our poor old block, Beach 118th Street, where we got our first apartment back in 1979, looked like after Sandy hit:

But in Rockaway, the ocean waves still roll in, and we're hopeful that in some form, the boardwalk will be rebuilt so that young kids can have memories of it the way we did. (Here is a photo our grandfather took of us 43 years ago in November 1969 when we were 18.)