Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Market Day: Union Square, NYC

Saturday was coming up and my daughter asked me to set aside some time to go to Union Square to check out both the artists and produce markets. On April 18th, we were out the door at 9:45...on the subway. Little did we know that there was going to be some controversy.

These are paintings on used wood as the canvass...a good way to recycle 
odd-shaped and odd-sized wood.

I noticed the sign: "Stop harassing artists." I asked what that was about...Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration has launched a move to limit the number of vendors who sell art in Manhattan's busiest parks, including Union Square, Battery Park, the High Line Park and parts of Central Park.

Hundreds have gathered where the hearings are held, chanting "Artist power" and holding signs that accused the city of harassing artists.

What will happen to these artists? Where will they sell their artworks?

The artists are fighting. The reason cited for the city's move to reduce the artist population by 80% because the parks and squares are dangerously getting over crowded, is not acceptable to them.

This are the artists' perceptions of what is really behind Mayor Bloomberg's motive!

For now, they are still there, along with the other vendors...

Plants for spring gardening...

rescued kittens in search of new homes...

tie-dyed shirts...and other fashion accessories and gift items can be found as you walk around...

artisanal products from the local areas...

Regular and organic produce...

Here is something for the knitters, lambswool yarn.

Man's best friend...sorry, they are not for sale!

If you are going by car, factor in the cost of parking. It may not be such a good deal to go all the way to market day in Union Square unless you go there for other reasons. It could be well worth it!
For now, the city said there would be no immediate decision, but rather, the purpose of the hearings was to gather comments. In the meantime, the street artists have launched a creative campaign that portrays Mayor Bloomberg as a "destroyer of artists' rights."

I pray that this will all end to the mutual satisfaction of all parties involved.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Cloudscapes: Colored by Volcanic Ash

After having our original flight canceled, due to the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland this month which choked air travel to Europe , my daughter and and I finally got on our way. Before leaving, one of my friends called to wish me goodbye and to tell me to enjoy the view from up there as the scenery would be beautifully colored, as a result of the presence of volcanic ash in the atmosphere.

After taking off at about 7:05 p.m., I fell asleep for a good 15 minutes. 
When I woke up this was what I saw through the window.

I moved over to the window-side seat and got out my little toy - my point-and-shoot camera, and began clicking away. I noticed the black streaks in the horizon and concluded that they were volcanic ash.

The colors were so vibrant...beautiful complimentary colors. I thought the reflection on the wing was a tinge of blue, on the turquoise side. 
Then, dinner was served. That interrupted my sky-viewing enjoyment. 
Later, the choice was for me to watch a movie or go to sleep. age decided for me! 

I soon woke up...It was almost morning time in Europe, breakfast was being served, 
 and the sun was rising!

Ice crystals had formed on the window...

and the black streaks got even more noticeable!

What could that black line of concentric circles be?

As the sky brightened a bit more, I was able to see better. There was a jet plane at the beginning of that black line. I guess it's exhaust from the engines was having a reaction with the volcanic ash to form that dark line...I saw two of these!

Can you see the outline of the plane now?

In a matter of minutes, the sun was up, which was about the time we were descending from 35,000 feet!

Below the clouds, the effects of the volcanic ash in the atmosphere could no longer be seen and the jet plane's exhaust was white.

Right before we touched down, the captain announced that it was 7°F and a bit foggy, but clear enough to see the quilt-like patch on the ground of yellows from the mustard flowers, greens from other vegetables plants, and a community in a developed village in the middle of the open field.

And finally, we arrived at CDG!


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