Wednesday, March 22, 2017


The other day I did a virtual tightrope walk across from one of the Twin Towers in New York toward the other. I was 100 stories above New York and it was really fun to step off the tightrope and walk on air, looking down. This was my view.

I was not in New York when Philippe Petit made that unbelievable walk - try to imagine it - but it is the sort of extraordinary event that happens in New York regularly. Of course, it takes bravery to express your art form anywhere, and Petit was arrested for his feat, but these sorts of things renew the heart. The bravery, the skill, the expression and not for money.

It's wasn't as exciting as the tightrope walk, but in a grimy, loud, coarse city like New York, there's an element of magic in seeing Christo's series of door frames built from 2x4s with orange half curtains set up in Central Park. On a dreary day, it was a bit of cheer as well, and visceral because you could touch them.

There are art openings, music events, live artistic expressions of all sorts in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and I presume, the other boroughs, but one event that stays riveted in my memory is Gregory Colbert's "container museum" that was docked on the west side of Manhattan for an extended stay. It was a structure made from old metal shipping containers. Long and wide, it was 45,000 square feet and the exhibition in it was called "Ashes and Snow."

Enlarged photographs were hung from the ceiling on two sides, creating an aisle with plenty of room to walk behind artwork. The photographs were still frames from a movie that was showing at the far end of the museum. The photographs were stunning, but the film was the most beautiful I have ever seen. You can see some of it here: And on that website you can find out where you can now see Colbert's extraordinary work - it's gone from New York a long time now.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


I have never been to Boston on March 17th, but I think New York does a pretty good job of celebrating Saint Patrick's Day. Of course the pubs are jammed, and there are shamrocks and all sorts of sparkly green googahs in the store windows and on people's bodies. It's the biggest holiday alongside Christmas. Even strangers on the subway will ask, "where's your green?" A traditional job for the Irish was on the police force and they are out in full, participating in the giant parade down Fifth Avenue.

About 150,000 people march in the parade, so if you want to join in, here are couple of suggestions for how to do that. If you have time, you can find a group that's committed to march and contact them before parade day and ask to join them. Or you can find a group that are not wearing uniforms and mingle in where they are congregated before the parade starts - meaning, talk to them. Once their group gets the signal to join the parade, jump in and start marching with them. One year, I did that. I only marched a few blocks with police detectives, but it was really fun to be a part of it.

The parade starts at a decent hour, 11 a.m., in midtown around 44th Street near St. Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Avenue.  From there, it proceeds north up Fifth Avenue to 79th Street. A few zillion people line the parade route - all wearing green hats or sunglasses or shirts, coats, shoes. All loud and cheerful. It's a green day. And this year, it will be a green day against a background of slushy snow.

New York has a law that you can't drink outside - not even on your own front porch - so there's no beer bottles to get broken and hurt someone, but there are plenty of bars along the parade route and they will be rocking. Also, no animals allowed, so you won't trip over a dog leash when you come back outside from the pub.

Of course, if it's your birthday and you live in sunny Los Angeles well...that's a different story.
Happy Birthday, Cameron!