“THE NEW HAT”~ Sparhawk painting


 

“THE NEW HAT”

I painted this years ago in one hot humid summer week.  I was exploring me, testing my mettle on 60 desolate acres in the log cabin I’d rented in Blue Ridge mountains alongside Harper’s Ferry, where I feverishly filled canvases with pictures for a gallery I found that said they’d take me, and filled notebooks with words for the bones of a novel, for which the publisher remains unfound.

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I needed a break. Too broke to shop for real (and DC was about 2 hours east), this was the substitute. Okay, imagine with me: speeding off in a fabulous little (Robin’s egg blue) Sunbeam Alpine convertible (my dilapidated old Ford on its last legs) to an unbelievably divine shop (somewhere) and buying a hat! matching the dress! Not a farm hat but one incapable of protecting from wind or rain or bees, simply THE superb bonnet made for late afternoon drinks in an incredibly gorgeous famous old Washington bar with a handsome poet who just phoned he’d be landing his seaplane on the Shenandoah especially to meet me ~~4:30 sharp  ~or thereabouts. Be there! He could only stay til Wednesday. Before which he’d be ripping off said new hat etc. and we would be lost to lust. So here in the picture, rushed home to try it on, all the bits around including the hatbox and tissue it came in, getting ready for my quick dip in the pond then roaring off on the long and dusty trail to my rendezvous. Oh what a life!

Well, I thought about it all week while I worked on this, and the marvelous fantasy embroidered itself in. Big canvas too, about 7 X 4 feet. It went to the gallery in Middleburg,  Virginia where it did not sell.

The following fall I moved west.  The New Hat  went from east coast storage to garage to covering a broken fireplace flue above the mantelpiece in some godforsaken cottage; then across America in moving vans to horse ranches and eventually slotted into the back of a 1974 Chevy & up the mountains of Yosemite.  There, 7  years later on the day before I moved back to the coast The New Hat sold to the Yosemite gallery owner who’d exhibited my work and fallen in love with it. Which happily covered gas and my first month at a fellow artist’s house in Pebble Beach, a room of my own en suite, the smell and sound of the sea, and the sight of the breakers  below. And some sweet romps with an interesting surfer who never read poetry or wrote it, preferred beer to Benedictine, couldn’t pilot a plane, didn’t like being indoors ever but knew how to handle serious waves and me, and did nice work with fish on a campfire, too.

There’s never any telling where a new hat will take you.

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FLYING SAUCERS OF YOSEMITE


 

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THE  FLYING  SAUCERS  of  YOSEMITE

 

2003 to 2004 I lived in two places and both, though separate, were the gateway mountains  of Yosemite — The High Sierras.  The first place up at 5200 feet is the subject here.  The second was a peculiar old gold miner’s shack at a slightly lower elevation, a place of equal  peculiarities and dangers    (detailed in my splendid story collection: The Gandy Dancer and Other Short Stories, (Amazon et al) which Robert Redford absolutely fell in love with and told me so but for some reason known only to God has not purchased–yet–for movie-making,  because he’d be marvelous in or directing any one of them & I could use the bread). (Also Mr Redford if you missed it read  Charles, The Man Who Lived Through Wars  here, it’s terrific!)

But I digress.  The FLYING SAUCERS OF YOSEMITE are not uncommon.  In fact they’re so common it turns out nobody much says much unless it’s about the one last night on my roof, or did you catch the three in a row doing flips and hurling pods.  There were especial frequencies of the huge triangle-shaped ones blotting out the stars of the spectacular night skies.  That’s how you knew.  You’d be looking up, pulled roadside spooning with a loved one, or solitary–spooning Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough from the carton–and say, “Hey, what happened to the stars over there?  It’s like a big black triangle thingy the size of a football field chewed up the stars, oh wait a minute, that’s one of those flying saucers everybody sees,  all the corners are blinking.  I’ll just leave before they see me…” 

On a lovely day, a day this very same week in March in fact but 14 years ago, I was meandering around the cabin I’d rented.  It was near sundown.  It had been warm and gorgeous. A night of spectacular clarity with a big full moon against fabulous clouds was on its way.  And I was on living top of the highest mountain around, facing west, Bass Lake down below, up higher than Ahwanee.  And this appeared in front of me. Silent.

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This phenomenon unfolded from the start of sundown into the dark of night, a rising moon in cloud cover, and a flying saucer drifting across the sky over a period of easily an hour.  Slow as can be. Stayed pure horizontal no up or down. No sound.  Enough time for me to call a friend from down the hill in town who took 15 maybe 20 minutes to close her shop and arrive.  I took pictures. Here they are. What is it if not a spacecraft from some marvelous place where Earthlings are adored, slowed down to say howdy, headed to (or from) the mother ship.

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I’d love to know what you think.  Or if it’s a message you got that night on your mountain, too.  I know, looks like a duck, flies like a duck. But it’s not a duck.

 

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ROLL YR OWN TAMPAX NEAR ZERO $


 

                                                                  HEY LITTLE GIRL !

 

                                                        ROLL YOUR OWN TAMPAX —

 

                                                                     10 SECONDS —

 

                                                                 NEAR ZERO CENTS  —

 

 

 

          (PS– You DO NOT need a College Education or College Loan or HS Diploma to figure this out)

 

1. SIT ON TOILET, BARE BOTTOM
2. ROLL OUT APPROXIMATELY 24 INCHES OF TOILET PAPER (about 6 sections). (Adjusting length and thickness to heaviness of menstrual flow)
3. FOLD END TO END — IN HALF
4. THEN FOLD END TO END –IN HALF, AGAIN
5. NEXT, ROLL UP INTO A KIND OF SAUSAGE/ M.J. KIND OF THING
(WHICH RESEMBLES TAMPAX!)
6. FOLD ROLLED UP THING IN HALF
7. VOILA. YOU HAVE JUST MADE YOUR OWN TAMPAX
8. INSERT
9. WHEN HOME-MADE TAMPAX IS SATURATED (just like the store-bought kind) it will come out all of its own accord when you next use the toilet. You DO NOT need some pulley string.

Now girls, really.  There seems to be a rising fetish in which shouting out body parts and figuratively rubbing bodily function in the faces of innocents has come to be considered fun.  And crotch-grabbing. (And yes by the way, I too am sick to death of hearing all the jolly updates about erectile dysfunction).

 

Many moons previous (1967) there was a clever movie made called  “TO SIR WITH LOVE”  which saw to the education of rowdy, troubled British high school students. One of them, maybe LULU the dear Brit singer, heaved a soiled pad at the teacher, Sidney Poitier, who did not take kindly to that.  And whereas he did not teach the girls what I have just taught you on this page, the lives of the kiddies was improved because a grown up called them out.

 

Vulgarity does not necessarily rule supreme unless it’s ALL you ever expect for your life.

And forcing tax payers to cover your every expense from cradle to grave is not a sign of cleverness.  Indeed it will cost you more dearly than you have stopped to calculate.

 

The whining feminists of 2017 exhibit a stunning lack of inventiveness, along with the fine American pioneer spirit to be bold, independent,  and resourceful.

 

I ask you, if this is feminism today…why did my mother’s generation fight for the right to vote and wear trousers, and my generation burn our bras and panties and leap through the glass ceilings?

If you want to do some global good for the vagina, fight the female genital mutilation being practiced.

Now THERE’S a cause for a generation.

 

Using the glorious freedom of roll-your-own  —  I have happily worked construction jobs, painted billboards high above Times Square, painted carousels and rides in Coney Island, camped in the woods, sailed in boats, tended bars, climbed pyramids, danced on pianos, ridden horses — and not bled all over myself and others even when I was dead broke and couldn’t afford somebody else’s equipment for my hygiene.  And NOT ONCE chatted up strangers about my private parts and life.

 

Grow up, honey.

If you think you can stand it.

Shut up and roll.

 

GO FIND THE 100 YEAR OLD MAN


 

I just found this movie at the local library and really, you’ve got to find and see this as it will rearrange your brain.  But in a good way.

(LINK TO THE TRAILER IS BELOW)

Adapted from the runaway international best seller: ” THE 100-YEAR OLD MAN WHO CLIMBED OUT THE WINDOW AND DISAPPEARED”.   The biggest  grossing Swedish film of all time.

Directed By FELIX HERNGREN, 2013

                    

                                       Last night as rain relentlessly poured down on droughted old California I was cozied up and eating a fabulous dinner I’d made, awash in a lovely Australian Ruby Port, trying to not roll off the couch laughing because of heretofore unknown, unseen, unheralded (to me) Swedish (heavily subtitled, part in spoken English) movie, featuring the  hysterically funny escapades of my new hero, Allan Karlson, The 100 Year Old Man.

He’s a kind of Scandinavian  Forrest Gump whom we meet as he escapes his boring retirement home. The candles for his ho-humish 100th birthday cake are being set alight in the room next door.  Allan is a long way not finished with living. Out the window he goes.

His past unfolds before us in remarkable flashbacks. There isn’t anything he hasn’t done, improbably unscathed, though –like Forrest– is sort of someone you might not want to spend time with so much as get to know from a distance. Allan loves dynamite more than life itself and most especially blowing things up. The pursuit of which over the course of a hundred years variously gets him locked away,  drafted into world wars, cajoled into fighting the Spanish Civil War, a comradery with Franco, building skyscrapers in NY, a fabulous prisoner of war bit with Einstein’s idiot brother (I know, me too), instructing Oppenheimer on the Manhattan Project, advising Stalin, becoming a daring double agent in the Cold War, and  now ~~in present day~~ being chased by a really mean filthy lot of killer Swedish biker thugs called the “NEVER AGAIN” Gang (I know, me too).  Out of necessity, Allan is killing people (only the bad ones) and blowing up a lot of things along the way.  Citizens and cops in pursuit.

Allan has sort of inadvertently stolen millions of dollars from one of the Swedish bikers. Which rightfully belongs to an Aussie gangster. Who is living la vida loco. In Bali. By the time we learn this, Allan’s fallen in with 2 odd fellows with time on their hands, and a really charming pretty young woman whose otherwise useless ex-boyfriend (one of the bikers) shows up hunting for the moolah, then wants to rekindle their romance (he had somewhat redeemed himself once when he rescued a circus elephant for her) (but he’s no longer worth shit). She keeps the elephant, named Sonya, in the barn.

All the wrong people get credit for things they didn’t do of course, the bad guys are sorted out from the good ones, the heroes are made accidentally, the animals do very well, and there you are, it’s worth the time just to be reminded how remarkably we can live without hardly trying. And no it’s not the Mel Brooks 500 year old man which I’d thought in the first place when I took it home.

The filmmaker, director, book author and whole unlikely lot took two years making this strange Swedish opus.  You can’t hardly tell you’re on the planet except everyone’s so human. It’s kind of like you’re somewhere being fed somemores, hearing the story told and you can’t wait for more, and you never have to leave the campfire.

 

 

click here: TRAILER ~~ 100 YEAR OLD MAN

 

 

THE DEAD OF THE OAKLAND GHOST SHIP. Blood on the Hands of the Multiculturalists.


 

                                      THE DEAD OF THE OAKLAND GHOST SHIP FIRE 

920x920   Blood on the Hands of Multiculturalists.  No Sanctuary City for Independent Whites.

 

I heard of dead youngsters hauled from Oakland’s inferno, who then were identified, whose faces then went to broadcast. I saw the dead artists. I said aloud:

                         “But they’re white. No one will feel their pain.”

Suffer the little children. They could have been me. I am sister to Oakland’s Ghost Ship Corpses and I must speak.

Who is San Francisco.  Yes.  And who are the  sidewalks and Universities of America, Canada, Britain, France, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany……..where Diversity is code for Not Safe for Whites Here.

Did Black, Asian, Middle East, Hispanic Oakland City Inspectors get orders to ignore Whites in substandard housing? Will we ever know.

Few crying the horror of exclusion, who rage and fury at exclusion as a philosophy or business practice, in a government…..few may be counted on to be welcoming to Whites.

I speak with some credentials and experience.  I have been painting, drawing, and writing since infancy and never gave it up and it even earned me a living wage during interludes from salaried jobs.  I still gauge the merits of studios based on how often my nose goes red and runny from the cold. I’ve done the tribulations and glories of creative endeavor in France, London, and East Europe; Mexico City, Cuernavaca; Quebec; NY’s Chinatown, Lower East Side, Brooklyn; the Blue Ridge Mountains, Big Sur’s redwood and sea salted air, Yosemite’s High Sierras, and crossing America north and south 3 times.

I’ve intentionally moved into hovels and shacks, filthy lofts, log cabins, stables, condemned basements, attics, garages, root cellars. More than some without hot water, without running water, without heat, without air, without windows, without electricity, without safety, money, food, or allies. I’ve moved into tents, trailers, trucks, and cars without without without. I’ve also lived in stunning scenery, endless skies, dramatic weather, and some totally…..uhm…..unique, low-or-no-cost housing because of hallelujah privacy and space to paint, sculpt, write a book. It’s a miserable, magical, thrilling horrific life as anyone knows who’s tried.

After all I left home at 17 because I sought bohemia, life outside of convention, endless experiences of being alive, music of the spheres, and glorious independence. And I did not, nor did my White generation, seek the exclusion of any race sharing that journey.

In fact we of the sixties, we still alive today of the flamboyantly inclusive equality-demanding outrageous generation, (much to the shock of our elders, and in danger from it, and not giving a hoot) wanted everyone along for the ride. You amongst us may note, as I have, that despite attaining 72.5 years, born in 1944 near-post-WWII, not a single person of color in any part of the world I’ve ever been, spanning over half a century now, has looked me in the eye and said:  Oh right, the 60’s! Good show! Thank you for that, let me shake your hand, we’re all better off for your revolution.

Indeed Whites are now blamed for every trouble the world has every known, by everyone.  Including the twice elected Black President who says: ” All Whites have racism in their DNA. Up yours.”

I devoted 5 years of my life, gained praise from every race and religion of individual NYers but lost my shirt trying to sculpt a memorial for ALL slain police officers in NYC in a year monumental for so many killed.  I was told by a predominately Black NYC Arts Commission, a Black NYC Chief of Police, a Black mayor that my work had no merit because the dark bronze figures were merely human. Not Black. The Vietnam Wall was heralded for not (choosing or daring — I don’t know) representing figures.  The Air and Space Museum finally approved a sculpted floating astronaut in space suit at it’s entrance~~ visor closed ~~ which neither identified or glorified any race though all our astronauts then were white.  As were the guys who designed and built and shot the rockets and brought them to earth again.  No matter.

In the early 1990’s, a person of great authority at the Corcoran Museum in Washington DC, our famously “American Artist” museum, told me to my White face they could not possibly find interest in my art because as a White American I had no culture whatsoever. They would exhibit African American and Native American and homosexual artists who contrariwise had culture to brag about.

From the 1970’s to this 21st Century, publishers print up authors of confession, self-help, self-pity, victimization, obscure/profound/common sexuality, and most loved of all, racism. Publishers are reluctant to print up White heterosexual women standing on their own 2 feet. Who apparently in these times have no point of view, no life to notice, no merit, up yours.  Oh, I said that already.

Look at the relentless defamation of marvelous individuals who invented, described, built for the benefit of all humankind, being re-written out because they are Caucasian. Please, on behalf of art everywhere, turn from the movie “Turner” which grinds to shred and dust the brilliant artist who was a revolution in a waistcoat all by himself until the politically correct Brits in exhaustive humiliation at their own White skin, who are not worthy of pronouncing Turner’s name, shamefully corrupted the dear man’s history because he failed to be Black.

Oakland’s White Ghost Ship Fire is your payoff, you racists of San Francisco and beyond who have been shouting from the rooftops that anyone with White skin does not matter to this world, to your Sanctuary City. Do not apply. Get out. Get lost. We hate you bad Honky.   Burn baby burn.

 

 click here for SF GATE, movie tribute

 

 

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING


              bs-tulip-lalique      

ON THE GOOD SENSE

OF MAKING YOURSELF A STUDIO

A great many years had passed in my own life before I understood the desirability, the sanctity, the glory of a studio of my own.  years lost to imagining that, despite drawing and painting from an admirable young age, I did not deserve such a thing.  A special place.  My own private study.  A workshop, a room, a corner of my room, a ten square foot holy land where my mind and my hand might partner up in adventuring the unsurveyed.  no one else in my house thought I deserved it either.  I did, at long last, have my own studio at the advanced age of twenty-two years which I, at long last, made for myself. Curse the wait. I should have done it age three.

Georgia O’Keeffe in Her Studio georgia-okeeffe-studio

salvador-dali-studio Salvador Dali in His Studio

 

I was living on the lower east side of Manhattan, street level old apartment house with one big room, tall barred-up windows in front, tub in the livingroom and half a partition with a bed on the other side.  It was on the corner of Avenue B.  Opposite Thompkins Square Park.

e-9th-st-nyc-c-1964  Six months later I moved a block up to Ninth Street between Avenue A and First Avenue into a five floor walk-up on the fifth floor. It was long and narrow, half the building’s width of about 12 feet, full length of about 35 feet maybe with windows on both ends, what was called a railroad flat. It cost $36 a month. The first place had been $26 a month.  I was working steady now and could afford the extra ten, though I confess, it took my breath when I decided to move. $36 was a lot of money.  Mostly I was enchanted by the back-most 5 X 10 foot, glass enclosed ‘extension’.  I’m coming to that. I promise. I just want you have the whole picture.

Like a lot of New York City, neighborhoods were defined block by block and the nationality of who mostly occupied that street.  This was Italian.  Shining Cadillacs lined this part of 9th Street. No spotless windshield ever sported a parking ticket, no fingerprints on the chrome.  The block I’d left behind was Polish, Jewish, and Russian.  If they had cars they got tickets. But it was the lower east side and nobody was rich and if they were rich they already left.

e-hopper-studioEdward Hopper in His Studio

My multi-locked front door opened into the kitchen, tub and sink on the left, stove and fridge on the right, the water closet in the skylit airshaft next to that.  The middle room had space for a narrow bed and table. The front had two windows looking down on ninth street. The tenant before me had pulled up the old-timey linoleum and polished that sucker to its high shining gorgeous broad planked wood grained oak self. nyc-e-9th-st-apt-c-1964There was an exposed brick fireplace too hazardous to use.  Mr Neri was the landlord. He was crazy about me.  He brought in a really fine near-new stove for me.  E 9thSt Apt NYC1964.JPGAnd a couple of months later when the old refrigerator exploded Freon, the firemen rushed in and carted it up the narrow flight of stairs to the roof and left it there. Mr Neri got me another one. To do that, Mr Neri called up his friend “The Humper” who showed up within a few days, early morning, lifted the fridge off the back of the truck parked in the street below then carried the new refrigerator up five stories on his back, held in place with a mover’s strap and stopped one time only for a breather. The Humper was about 6 foot 5 and something in the neighborhood of 275 pounds. I never saw anything like it before, and not again until I met Barefoot Adam of big Sur who is a slim vegetarian-farmer with dreadlocks and can lift about ten times his weight with one hand.

 

thtvdb0995You know whose studio,

55fd2c0ffb9196654faa27313afa34ee and Claude Monet’s.

But back to New York in the Sixties and MY STUDIO.

doug-uranek-kitchen-sink-e-9th-nyc1964 With visitor.

It turns out they kind of build themselves. Trust me on this.  I was too self-conscious to think I could make a studio –do it–just like that. But here was this beguiling wide and narrow place at the last drop end of the back of the apartment with about floor to ceiling windows and a wood roof and a door of its own, facing clothes lines above concrete courtyards filled with a lot of crappy New York millions of people’s left over and forgotten and thrown out the window stuff.  But screw the view.  If you’re not familiar with them, and they may no longer exist, an ‘extension’ at the far end of a New York apartment is a very chancy deal.  Most likely entirely illegal, really old and unstable. It hangs out over the back of the building, nothing below, usually only on one or two floors above the second or third, no heat, no electricity, and built of wood planks, old window glass and other questionable materials by the mother-in-law’s nephew around the turn of the last century.  Why it didn’t fall off with me in it I will never know. But it did not.

It sang songs to me every time I looked at it from the day I moved in.  first just folksy chanting bare melodies, then serious pop songs about love and glory, and then full-blown opera that was very loud in my heart and ears and bursting soul and I thought OH! Wow.  Is that you?  Might you be a studio?  My studio?

And all I heard was yes I am.

Come on in.  me-9thst-studioc-1964 Which I did.

Kamenstein’s Hardware was a block off, facing Cooper Union Square on Third Avenue and Ninth Street.  They carried everything, and in the heady mix of serious tools and lumber and nails and electric and plumbing supplies for the landlords, were things for the artist.  Kamenstein had easels and palettes and brushes and paint.  He had palette knives and linseed oil, turps and varnish, and sketchbooks. He had canvas stretchers, brass tacks, and gesso. One day I walked in there and bought a huge redwood palette (which I still have) and a seven foot high huge easel on a square base with wheels (which I left with Misia in Virginia).  I wheeled my bold declarations of my trade one block home and lugged them up five flights and opened the front door then walked straight to the back extension and put my new life inside.  I brought in my brushes. I put a slim bookcase against the wall, filled my big glass jar of turpentine and set it on top, and rags, and boxes of charcoal, pastels, pigments.  I laid out the new palette with all the colors I had.  Then I stepped back and look at this wonderland and I whiffed it in deep and long and then I cried. It’s very moving to do something like that. Here I am world. No more guessing. You will recognize me from a mile away by this aroma.

The cheapest white pigment to buy was Lead White (likely outlawed in public and private today).  I’d get it by the quart can.  It was actually heavy, good heft to it.  It covered really well, wonderful texture but had a serious propensity to go yellow, and that meant the solid white places and all the colors you mixed with it too.  Friends from Goddard would stop by my place to crash the night, have a bath, eat spaghetti en route to elsewhere.  Part of the deal on a good day was helping me get the huge canvases I was painting weaving it around a short staircase to the roof to lay out flat in the sunshine in the hope it would bleach the yellow out of the white lead. I’m not sure it actually worked but it was entertaining to do and made me feel like I was on a blue river green grassy bank next to an impressionist’s rowboat living the life, taking advantage of the great outdoors. Fantasy is an important component of surviving slum living.

there’s the business of joining a, well, what….a kind of….way of living, that all of a sudden you’re doing something other people have struggled with and loved for centuries. You are a part of all that, is what I mean.  Like understanding mathematics, or how the stars turn, or a leaf grows, or fixing a motor, is this experience of being inside something magnificent bigger than just you and crowded with fantastic people since the beginning of time. You have to love it to get there.  Love is what does the trick. You can hate it later but at some point it really has to throw your spine out of joint so that you’re never the same you were, only better.

I lived in that apartment about two years, and painted like mad whenever I could. It was a thrilling, freezing, airless, roasting, terrific first studio. I can’t believe I only have one photograph of my first studio, but that’s it, maybe due to its sacredness, the privacy, the wanting it to remain inscrutable, a thing of spirit, untouched by historic actualities.

east-broadway-chinatown-nyc   East Broadway, View to Manhattan Bridge

I moved to a Chinatown loft when I left Ninth Street. chinatown-loft-e-bway-1967 It was on East Broadway next to the Manhattan Bridge, third floor, and by then I knew who I was and what I was up to. I was in the animation business and making a lot of money though irregularly. I never have learned how to budget anything. The rent was $75 a month.  And that was really a lot.  But I did it.  And applied to the city for what was called an ”A.R.T.” Permit.  ‘Artist In Residence.’  It became a law when artists started to lust after big empty spaces. Light manufacturing buildings housing people needed to alert the fire department in case of emergency. It was an enormous badge of honor, not easy to get.  You had to prove you made your living painting. Oh ha ha.

 jan2003 

I had 7 rescued cats by then, not one with sense or training to stay out of my palette, not scratch my canvases, not get fur in the portraits.  Sylvester, Brownie Golden Swallow, their babies Theophrastus, Jasmine, Orion; and Muffin and Pennywhistle. So I built a room out of 2 X 4’s and chicken wire that the cats could climb up but not get through. I had an unhindered view of Chinatown and the bridge, and protected my ever-increasing emotionally connecting output of paintings and drawings.  The loft was huge.  About 50 by 100 feet, fifteen foot ceilings.  I remember more than ten floor to ceiling windows. The windows were huge. I was in half the corner building’s floor. There was another artist on the other side of me who was a successful fabric designer and related to the Impressionist, Prendergast. the floor below was storage.  The floor above was occupied by a Chinese guy who made leather coats. His forty workers showed at 8 and left at 4. I have no idea what else was in the building. All eleven windows rattled when subways traveled across the lower part of the Manhattan Bridge.  It was a hell of a lot of glass.  Huge sheets, only two sections the top and bottom, and about six feet wide by ten feet tall. They never shattered or cracked. Old stuff. Great light. In a couple of weeks the shake, rattle and roll was no big deal.

Chinatown was likely the best place I’ve ever lived in a city.  The colors and words, the architecture, shapes, smells, senses electrified at every turn. Friendly people. The Tongs ruled and made the streets incredibly safe.  Most everything ran 24 hours a day and I’d walk out of my loft the three blocks to shops, get some fabulous bun or noodle thing at two in the morning cheap and good, and walk back home, happy for the freedom. Around the time I moved out a couple of years later the young, bloodthirsty and ruthless Hong Kong gangs were doing the impossible by challenging the Tong leaders.  Blood ran red in the streets. Wholesale murder came to Chinatown. It was wild and dangerous for the first time since maybe the 19th century, maybe ever. But it was spectacular to me when I lived in it. If I forgot to say it then, thank you all for the good time.

It’s the same with most things in life.  Better remembered for the precious moments, the brief spells or unexpectedly extended ones.  We get touches, glimpses, episodes, departures, arrivals, enter stage left exit stage right. Home fires burning around heady, productive fires in the belly.  Unforgettable decor. Fabric that looked just so in a certain shadow or brightness.  The hat hanging on the peg. The broom in the corner. The orange ladder-back chair from a Vermont farmhouse. Sketches pinned over the sink. The palette empty, full, the easel on wheels. Peculiar lights. The smells of heaven. Build you one. The studio.

The End

Copyright October 23, 2016 BD Sparhawk

PS There seems to be some trouble correcting typos–especially capitals at the start of sentences.  It has something to do with doing a copy/paste from another page that’s preventing doing the change. Sorry for that, still working on it. Thanks for the visit. Sparhawk.