Perhaps my single favorite place to visit in the NY Metropolitan area is Storm King sculpture park, which is something like two hours or so north of the city itself. My mother, who dearly loves grand sculpture of the Calder, Nevelson and Noguchi style, first introduced me to it back in the 1980s, or perhaps even earlier though I believe my first visits would have been early-mid 80s. I have fond memories (and photos) of visits there with a dear friend now long-dead of HIV; such is the nature of places one’s visited again over decades – and I also appreciate the new large works or temporary displays that appear every time I visit, about which there’ll be a caption or two scattered throughout.
In season, no visit to my mother feels complete unless we also head up to Storm King for a day. And you do need to allocate a full day for this trip, especially if you are coming from NYC…and please do try to get here , even if it feels like one thing too much – if you love nature and abstract sculpture, you won’t go wrong. So in early July we headed up with my brother for an afternoon of enjoying the art, the flowers, the nature. They’re not open during winter months, and my recent visits have been in the shoulder seasons, so this was my first chance to appreciate the glory of the wildflower beds at their summer peak. Hope you enjoy these views – and do visit, or support your nearest arts institution instead. 🙂
The mirrored fence was newly refurbished for this season so truly stands out at one edge of the lower lawn area (far center in the panorama above) – they have a more formal name for it, but I think of it as the route I I typically take toward Andy Goldsworthy’s wonderful wonderful two stone walls at Storm King, both additions of relatively recent decades…you can see shots of those in an entry I made in December 2011), and so I had fun with some arty selfies with it, though this is a piece you really do need to experience in person.
And since it was high summer, we saw a good bit of floral and natural beauty. Some time a decade or two back, they started letting large areas of the lawn flourish with higher wildflower patches rather than always mowing it all down, and the results are wonderful. I also did my usual up-close-and-personal study of a few little vegetal items that grabbed my imagination.
The piece above is isn’t my favorite – tends to give me the willies a bit too much – but I do love the wildflowers. The lawn full of Mark di Suvero scultpures, shown below with a foreground of black-eyed Susans, certainly is one of my favorite spots here…though that could be said of nearly all corners at this truly wonderful place…
smw, slt has been back in Los Angeles for 2.5 weeks now, weeks that have flown by with the speed of a bullet train. Less than two weeks from this moment as I sit in bed at dawn uploading these pics and writing these captions, I’ll be back on the airplane winging my way across the Pacific. Since there is much that I dearly love, and much that I dearly love to make fun of, in my home state and home country, I’m bringing you some of both. Just captions to explain, nothing much else. Enjoy.
LA County Museum of Art (first shot) has expanded quite a bit since the early 2000s which was the last time I lived here in LA full time. Similarly the construction around the Ballona Wetlands by Playa del Rey, the two shots above, has continued and added plenty of cars to the roads, but left these lovely fields of wildflowers and wetlands for birds in a few pleasant pockets.
Immediately above, the main central garden at the gorgeous Getty Villa, reopened in 2005 when I’d already begun this wandering lifestyle. Since I live by the water here it’s easy for me to bike up the Getty Villa, spend a morning or afternoon in the gardens and enjoying the classical collections – something I do as often as I can! Above is one shot of the Santa Monica mountains as seen from an odd angle of the Getty Centre, which has remained blessedly similar to what it was when I left LA to start living as I now do…
Two studies in orange from the Long Beach Aquarium: above, California Poppies (our state flower!), which blanket hills and valleys in a golden-orange carpet every spring; below, orange jellyfish (known to our Australian cousins, I believe, as marine stingers – perhaps more accurate but less poetic, don’tcha think?) in a tank inside the lovely aquarium which I was delighted to visit – along with the Getty villa – with my friends Cate & Dan, and their parents Neal and Elizabeth, when they spent a few days out here with me. Thanks :-). Above, a few more shots from the lovely mid-town LA County Museum of Art, whose regular collection still surprises me on occasion (even after a few years as a member), and which underwent substantial expansion in the last few years; below, sunset in Marina del Rey, the last place I lived full-time in the US: you can see why, huh? 🙂
And these last shots: can’t help myself when I get back to the US… I mean, seriously, the level of coddling that our litigious society forces upon all institutions. Anyone who didn’t figure out that you’re in the foul ball area deserves to be hit; anyone who doesn’t notice the giant drop off down to the rushing traffic below deserves to fall…and so on. Btw, I was always taught the four styles of Chinese cuisine were Szechuan, Hunan, Canton & Northern/Beijing…who knew that New York had become one of China’s regional cuisine hotspots! 🙂
And we end with the Getty Centre, scultpure garden and the road, under construction and very biker-unfriendly (this I know: I travel mostly by bike here in LA, when I’m not on the bus), below the Getty.