I had a chizzy Sunday brunch at the Bruckner Bar & Grill with artist Stephanie Chisholm. First order of business, to congratulate her on her newly released book Alphabet City! Animals from A to Z making their way, or “frolicking” as Chiz says, around New York City: on the A train, at The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, riding the M96 bus…My favorite is “G”, with Giraffe helping a scared baby monkey clutching the spire of the Empire State Building. I’m smitten with her monkeys. Stephanie had a write up on the uber nesting blog Apartment Therapy — they liked ” V” — Vampire Bat.
Her paintings are joyous. Alphabet City is for the wee ones, tweens, teens and their parents.
We talked and talked, not even missing the lost hour and shared a bowl of the homemade banana cream pudding. Ohhhh it is good. Instead of a bed of Nilla wafers at the bottom, they’ve pureed them up fine, and mixed them right into the custard.
We took a walk down Bruckner Boulevard. Less and less to see on this stretch of Bruckner Boulevard these days. Most of the antique shops were closed (’cause it was Sunday?) and some spaces vacant inside. And I was shocked to see the “Available for Lease” sign on the window of the ground floor space at Lincoln Avenue. The Bronx Museum of Arts Project Space is there no more?? I recently read in the Bronx Times that artists are leaving South Bronx neighborhoods Mott Haven and Longwood for Wakefield, Highbridge and Westchester Square. Delicate times we are in.
We stepped into Haven Arts gallery to see the exhibits there. “DEADLY4MULA”, a graffiti exhibit is up. Tags and graffiti pieces painted directly on the walls by young artists from Bronx high school Millennium Art Academy, are side by side with veteran graf writers. Paintings, photographs and sculptures are mounted on the tagged walls.
Also on exhibit, various “Homeless and Hungry God Bless” signs once held by homeless street beggars but purchased by artist and Haven Arts Gallery owner, Barry Kostrinsky.
At the back of the space, is a large wooden platform and ramp set up for in line skating we were told. I would love to see that.
I deeply enjoyed the Polaroid photographs in the grouping “Last Gasp: The Passing of Polaroid Film” by J.C. Rice and Barry Kostrinsky. [Titled “Last Gasp” because Polaroid went bankrupt and stopped producing the film last year.] I have expressed before in this blog how much I love Polaroids. I love that kind of hazy dreamy quality the photos have–a bit out of focus like a memory.
They had all kinds of vintage Polaroid cameras in a bookcase on display. Fabulous! And what made Steph and I utterly gasp, was the pair of Sylvania Blue Dot flash cubes there on the shelf. I have not seen those for years and years!! Wow! I will never forget those cubes burning the center of my forehead when it rotated around. So old school. But so fun to remember.
Make sure to visit the bathroom in Haven Arts, even if you don’t have to go. It is, its own gallery space and should not be missed.
Tell a friend, or two, about this post…