From 2011/12/05 to 2011/12/10

-- From Jersey City to New York



The road tracklog 
from Jersey City to New York
from 2011/12/05 to 2011/12/10

New York City

The area of New York City –NYC– includes five boroughs of more than 18 million inhabitant, Manhattan, the most touristy, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. The first day was a Remembrance Day, September 11, 2001 and Holocaust consequence of intolerance and its corollary fanaticism.

Ground Zero

I spent all the morning at Ground Zero which is composed of three sites. The 9/11 Memorial is a tree lined space, still under construction, including two massive pools set within the original footprints of Twin Towers with waterfalls falling down their sides. The names of nearly 3,000 victims of the terrorist attack are inscribed in bronze around the edge of the waterfalls. A preview of the 9/11 Memorial Museum exhibits artifacts associated with the events. Tribute WTC Visitor Center tells the events. It was a great moment of compassion.

The news tower, One World Trade Center, known as “The Freedom Tower”, will be completed in 2013. It will be the highest in the USA.

The afternoon began with a walk on Brooklyn Bridge the first longer suspension bridge in the world built in 1857, then on Broadway Ave with a stop in Financial District where Wall Street was barricaded, Bowling Green Park and Bull Bronze. I lengthily stopped at the National Museum of the American Indian housed in the Old Customs House. It exhibits Native American arts. A room was devoted to Carl Beam, No photo, that I had already seen in Art Gallery of Ottawa, Canada. I show a strange composition of his immense project The Whale Our Being.


Finally at the end of Manhattan the Museum of Jewish Heritage exhibits on three floors the life, religion and persecution of the Jews from 1880 to present. I considered it regrettable that the origin of these people and its religion was not presented. In a showcase I discovered the circumcision tools. Two religions, Judaism and Islam, carry out this ablation. I do not understand that God, if He exists, recommends or agrees to mutilate his children and to kill on his behalf. The last picture legitimates the importance of the Jewish lobby in politic and economic life in the USA although they represent a few percentage of population. At the declining sun I returned to Ground Zero to take Path -Port Authority Trans-Hudson- for Jersey City.


I dropped of Path at the station of the 9th Street under a drizzle which lasted all the day. Tuesday, many museums are closed, consequently it was a walking day the head in the air to look for odd buildings in streets of Manhattan. It started at Astor Place with its Cube. In an adjacent street Cooper Union House presents a strange architecture of covering of the building, why make simple when one can make twisted. Broadway is an avenue impossible to circumvent with streets crossing it several times to go from district in district.

Astor Place

The Cooper Union House

Prince St


Looking at an assembly around a fire engine I had the surprise to see a French chef, a best worker of France cf. his tricolor jacket collar, perched on the vehicle being given in spectacle. (The French Culinary Institute, 462 Broadway, NYC) Some steps further away shop Al Saints Co have its interior walls decorated with old sewing machines. The Museum of Comic & Cartoon Art -MoCCA-, open! exhibits only reproductions of Batman, without interest.

Prince St

Jacques Torres, French Chef

All Saints Co, Broadway


Then it was Chinatown in the rain with its odors of dried fish and exotic plants. Around I discovered a church, a Buddhist temple and a statue of Confucius. Part of the village occupies a district close to Manhattan Bridge formerly the Jewish district with the oldest synagogue in NYC -1887- today a museum worth visiting without restriction.

Church of The Transfiguration, Mott St

Mahayana Buddhist Temple, Canal St

Confucius, Chatham Square

Eldridge Street Synagogue

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Wednesday was a rainy day spent in two museums on the "Museum Mile" which I reached by Path then subway. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum makes conspicuous himself by an universally known architecture. The rotunda surrounded of the ascending spiral is occupied by a huge composition of works by the sculptor Mauricio Cattelan called “All” They are wax mannequins of humans & animals for the majority untitled but in situation giving sense. He describes his work from 1980's to 1990's as being: “About impossibility of doing something… about insecurity, about failure.” He was marked by his youth at Padua, the exhibit is disturbing. Annexes of the museum are devoted on the one hand to the Pop art in 1950's by Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg and Andy Warhol, in "Painting with White Border" by Kandinsky and in Thannhauser Collection centered on works by French artists. Put aside Mr. Cattelan's exhibition photography was formally prohibited, but…

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

All by Cattelan



La Nona Ora

La Nona Ora

Sketch II for Painting with White Border by Kandinski

Haere Mai by Paul Gauguin

Whitney Museum

Whitney Museum of American Art is installed in a functional cubic building dedicated to the contemporary art, no less than three vigils per room took care. The fourth stage exhibits works by the sculptor David Smith, Cubes & Anarchy, geometric abstraction out of steel painted or rough as well as drawings and paintings of study. Only a sculpture held my attention representing loneliness, Lonely. The third stage dedicated to Sherrie Levine Mayhem shows his works since 1970 of which some are after Walker Evans or Man Ray. Finally the second stage, Real/Surreal, drew my attention by the painting by Edward Hopper, Paul Cadmus, Man Ray and more particularly by Jared French. I returned to Jersey City in driving rain. The night also was very wet and agitated by a violent wind pulling away clouds announcing a day without rain.

No photo

Metropolitan Museum of Art -MET-

Indeed Thursday was a beautiful sunny but very cold day. It was devoted exclusively to Metropolitan Museum of Art, space-time walk in the civilization and art world. There would be more than 2 million objects impossible to see in a day. As usual I was delayed in the rooms dedicated to painting without forgetting temporary exhibitions as Islamic art. Several rooms exhibit furniture coming from English, Italian castles and especially French ones. I took more than two hundred pictures, I give some examples in form of catalog by Prévert. At MET only the use of flash is prohibited.

Bronze statuette of Aphrodite, Greek, ca 150-100 BC

Cape, Tingit, BC, Canada

Funerary Mask Peru, Sican, 9th-11th

Mask, Mexico, Olmec, 10th-6th BC

Crucifixion with Gala by Salvador Dali

Gala (Éluard) by Max Ernst

The Table by Derain

Reclining Nude by Modigliani

Thérèse by Baltus

Thérèse Dreaming by Baltus

Two Women by Lucian Freud

And the Bridegroom by Lucian Freud

Still Life with a Bottle of Rum by Picasso

Still Life with Banderillas by Braque

The Card Players by Cézanne

Odalisque in Grisaille by Ingres

The Whale Ship by Turner

Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Grounds by Constable

Imperial Easter Egg by Fabergé

Dish by Edmond Lachenal

Qur'an Manuscript, Abbasid Period (750-1258)

Qur'an Manuscript, Abbasid Period, 1192

Walking in Midtown

By a beautiful and cold day I strolled in Midtown along Fifth Ave with four major stops. New York Public Library whose frontage of style Beaux-Arts is framed by two Lions called Patience & Fortitude. The entry is almost without control I walked in reading rooms of which superb Main Reading Room on the third floor. WiFi connection is in all reading rooms. Grand Central Station built in 1913 is not any more the terminal of trains but that of subway and commuter. The ceiling of the main concourse was decorated with a star map that is 'God's-eye' image of the night sky. In this day there was crowd awaiting the opening of Apple Store, many policemen were present as well as soldiers patrolling by two. The two splendid tours of St Patrick's Cathedral were reflected in a close building. Times Square in this Friday was crowd with animations to attract strollers.

New York Public Library

Its painted ceiling

Grand Central Station

St Patrick's Cathedral

Times Square

Museum of Modern Art -MoMA-

Museum of Modern Art is not any more to present so much its fame is worldwide. The last floor was devoted to a Retrospective of the work of the painter Willem de Kooning with more than one hundred of paints, No Photo. Apart two paints, Pink Lady and Pink Angels as well as the Series of Women, the others are difficult comprehension, moreover visitors were hardly delayed. Then they were the two floors Peinture and sculpture I and II devoted to the European and American painters chronologically classified by period of which Pop art with Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. In the room dedicated to photography I discovered a picture of Paul Verlaine in a Parisian brewery probably drinking wormwood and another of the very sulfurous novelist Truman Capote.

Gare Montparnasse (Paris) by de Chirico

Dynamic Hieroglyphic of the Bal Tabarin by Severini

Hope II by Klimt

The Storm by Munch

House by the Rairoad by Hopper

Summation by Arshile Gorky

Gold Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol

Girl with Ball by Roy Lichtenstein

Golgotha by Chagall

The Window of Isis by Prévert

Paul Verlaine by Dornac (Paul François Arnold Cardon)

Truman Capote by Irving Penn

New York City is not visited in five days. There are other museums, my target was not to see all of them. Of course the other districts, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, etc are worthy of interest but… Saturday was a rest day and preparation of the continuation of my trip.

New Jersey, le 2011/12/10

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