nw3 to nyc

Observations on moving my family across the Atlantic


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A new perspective on New York

Take a look at this picture. You see a 3D optical illusion on the right (it goes to a point in the middle when you walk down it, but impossible to represent here), a perspex anchor on the left (as you do) and the Manhattan skyline in the background. Where was I? Well, I was at the Socrates Sculpture Park, home of bonkers outside art in Queens. It was a gorgeous day yesterday and we were there to check out this year’s emerging artists installations. As well as these two, there was a wooden dragon thing that J loved walking along, must have been 30 feet long; a pile of wood painted white which was more obstacle course for small children and dogs than art; and a giant spider with an NYPD spy station on top of it – hard to imagine, I know.  All a bit crazy, but that just seems to be normal here.

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S is for Scarecrow and Socrates

Scarecrow is the name of the new installation in the Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens. It’s by a Lithuanian artist called Zilvinas Kampinas and I’m quite obsessed by it as I can see it every day from our apartment. I watched them install it and last week we visited it when it opened to the public on 11 May.

More bonkers art, I’m afraid. It’s two S-shaped curved lines of high metal poles stuck in the soil. On top of each pole is a metal ribbon which is attached to its opposite number. Bit like a washing line. But lots of them. And they move. The vibrate in the wind and make eerie sounds, like a load of pigeons has descended. They catch the sunlight beautifully and when the morning sun catches them in the morning, it’s a lovely sight to start the day.

I like it so much, I’ll be back. And they have a great bubble ice tea place on the way from the subway station, so even more reason to go.

See what you think:

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Philosophising in Queens

That’s quite hard to spell, but I like the way it sounds. Socrates to be precise. There is a sculpture park in Queens named after him and it’s quite a revelation. It’s right on the East River with fantastic views of the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Located on reclaimed wasteland that was dedicated to an outside art space back in the mid 1980s and is now looked after the the City of New York Parks and Recreation Department. It hosts a range of weird and wonderful art and they are big. Venturing on the subway and the many steps I may have complained about before, it was the perfect way to spend an unseasonably warm October day.

The current exhibition, which opened on 8 September, is ‘The Emerging Artist Fellowship Exhibition’, so expect some pretty odd stuff. I don’t think my ramblings will do it justice, so here’s a selection of my photographs of the current work on display.

Yes, the second one is made up of plastic bags. Don’t ask what’s going on with the third picture. And be sure to check out the fabulous view of Manhattan in the background of the last picture. See what you think.

Brutus Jones by Justin Randolph Thompson

Brutus Jones by Justin Randolph Thompson

The Lotus Land by Myung Gyun You

The Lotus Land by Myung Gyun You

Bear Eats Man by Thordis Adalsteinsdottir

Bear Eats Man by Thordis Adalsteinsdottir

Large Horn by Edouard Steinhauer

Large Horn by Edouard Steinhauer

Folly by Toshihiro Oki, Jen Wood and Jared Diganci

Folly by Toshihiro Oki, Jen Wood and Jared Diganci

One of us may have been sleeping, so I'll try telling you again tonight by David McQueen

One of us may have been sleeping, so I’ll try telling you again tonight by David McQueen