Saturday Night Sober (a true short story)

An account of a night in 2009.

An account of a night in 2009.

It’s 3am. I just got home. On the way in through the kitchen, out of habit I loped toward the cabinet above the sink to take my nightly cup of water to my room when I remembered I was completely sober and I could stand up straight and calmly reach for the cup of my choice.

My evening started at 6pm at a gallery in the West Village where I watched an artist demonstrate unusual ways to conduct electricity in order to light a lamp. He successfully turned a hot dog into a battery. I wasn’t that impressed because as a child I had had a potato clock from the Klutz catalog. But he was humble in his presentation and earnest in his dedication. He said he had researched many different brands of hot dog and found Nathan’s to be the best. Continue reading “Saturday Night Sober (a true short story)”

8 Heads, Count ’em! (Never before seen photos of back side of UES sculpture)

Today, after 30 years on the Upper East Side, I settled into my new home in Los Angeles. I will continue to write from here but for my farewell to the UES I am going to reveal some never before seen faces…

The building I grew up in, 4 East 88th Street, has been referred to as NYC’s “finest example of Neo-Federalist architecture” by the  Carnegie Hill Neighbors Architectural Guide.  Designed by Electus D. Litchfield and erected in 1922, the building features a “broken pediment” whose void, just atop the awning, is filled by a carved stone “potpourri” of heads.

No one seems to know for sure who these heads represent. It has been suggested that they are American patriots or that one is Electus Litchfield, the architect himself. I have only read or heard the head count at four to five, and only four are easily visible from the street. But, lucky for me, the sculpture sits in one our windows, and during some recent construction I was able to lean out safely over some scaffolding (setting off an alarm in the process) and photograph the heads as best I could.

There are 8 heads. They go all the way around as if the sculpture was meant to sit on a table or in a garden with all sides visible – not up against a wall.  Unfortunately, their condition has deteriorated over the years and you can see some repairs are also deteriorating. I have looked through all of the Litchfield papers at Columbia University’s Avery Library to find out where he acquired the sculpture, but unfortunately the records for this building are not part of the collection. Perhaps this is a task for Christopher Gray.

Anyway, without further ado, I present to you all eight heads.

1. The Topper…
Continue reading “8 Heads, Count ’em! (Never before seen photos of back side of UES sculpture)”

Ballet, Eamonn’s, Aphra Behn Trunk Show

Thursday, October 4, 2012
I’m moving to LA in January so I’m going to try to actually journal these last few months as a New Yorker and Upper East Sider.

Lost on the subway.
Went to Lefferts Gardens to have jewelry photographed by Alex Crowe. Got on 5 train going home, ran across platform at Atlantic Ave to get 4 train thinking it would be faster, got absorbed in the free Metro paper (yesterday’s weirdly having been guest edited by Richard Branson), arrived at last stop in wrong direction, Crown Heights. Had to take 4 all the way back to 86th Street, got very far in Metro paper because I was afraid to play boggle on my iphone because of all of the recent iphone muggings, especially because of the hypodermic needle mugger even though they caught him.
Still finding great architectural details. 
6pm: Walked from 88th to 75th on Park Ave, excited to notice new architectural details. It happens often because so many buildings have scaffolding up for weeks or months at a time for repairs, when the scaffolding comes down there’s a discovery. Continue reading “Ballet, Eamonn’s, Aphra Behn Trunk Show”

An X-Rated Door on the U.E.S. and one other sexy thing.

What the heck is up with this door?
321 E 92nd Street:

Also, I think this scroll-hip is pretty sexy.  Reminds me of some surrealist stuff.
1105 Park Avenue:


The Upper East Side Collection (of jewelry)

So, in case you didn’t know, I make jewelry (www.rebeccaschiffmanjewelry.com) and my new “Upper East Side Collection” is based on architectural ornament in the neighborhood.  I’m running a Kickstarter campaign to get enough pre-orders to be able to pay for some equipment, materials and promotional costs.  There are only 7 days left.  Please check out my Kickstarter video and page.

The Upper East Side Collection on Kickstarter

 

Here are some examples of the collection so far:
19 East 88th Street:

1041 Park Avenue:

Building photos taken by Brandon Perlman on medium format film.  Some guy at 1021 Park Avenue, possible the super, threatened to call the police while we were taking a photo from across the street on the Park Avenue median.
Jewelry photos by Evan Miller.

Come See: New York, N. Why? at The Met.


Rudy Burkhardt, Pedestrians, New York City, 1939
Photo via Met Museum

There’s a show up at The Metropolitan Museum of Art of which I’ve come back to three times because I enjoy it so much, maybe I can convince you to come see it too…

New York, N. Why? (1940) is a handmade scrapbook of silver-gelatin photographs Rudy Burkhardt took in New York City between 1937 and 1940 accompanied by 7 sonnets by the poet and dance critic Edwin Denby.  The Met owns the only copy which has been unbound and hung on the wall in sequence for this exhibition. Continue reading “Come See: New York, N. Why? at The Met.”