Monday, June 21, 2010

A Reprise - "Who's Your Daddy?" in honor of Father's Day.......

Who gave you your first bath because he thought Mommy was too "frighten fi hold yuh right?"

Who was the self-proclaimed expert on breastfeeding, despite not having the proper equipment himself, and proceeded to give Mommy pointers, so to speak?

Who liked to carry you around the East Village in a Snugli and had to suffer the indigity of strangers asking, "Are you the nanny?"

Who bought a Lion of Judah flag and affixed it to your stroller, all the better to push you through the East Village with a little rasta pride?

Who mixed up a bush remedy to ease your roiling 3-month-old belly, showing up the pediatrician in the process? And to whom has the pediatrician given The Proper Respect ever since that day?

Who insisted a bath would "cool yuh dung" during a tantrum, when Mommy thought it would push you over the edge, and was absolutely right because it stopped your sobbing?

Who would chew up a handful of peanuts into a buttery paste, carefully retrieve them/it from his own mouth and then pop it into yours, just like a mama bird would do for its babies?

Who would scoff at the blue rubber suction bulb recommended for clearing a baby's stuffy nose, and proceeded to just suck out the congestion by putting his his mouth upon your nose and drawing hard?

Yeah, Mommy thought that was pretty gross, but had to admit it was effective.

Who counted the days until he could bring you bakka yard and show you off to Grandma Una, the breddas and sistahs, and jess about evry-baddy he knew?

Who fretted and vexed when you ended up in hospital, so tiny and sick? Who brought Mommy a fresh plate of home-cooked dinner each night, as she sat by your bed 24/7, while he stayed at home caring for bigga sista all alone, day after day? Plenty dark days when we thought we'd lose you but who kept us all strong and positive?

Who ran on foot from Houston Street to Chambers when the WTC was ablaze on 9/11, the North Tower just two short blocks away from your elementary school, knowing that he must pluck you from the chaos before it was too late?

And who, after scooping you up and bringing you home, breathlessly reported back to Mommy, before the cell phone lines went dead, "Mi haff her, mi haff her, she ah-right, mi haff her"?

Who decided to coach your soccer team after first proclaiming that "girls nah play ball"?

Who has volunteered to be the parent chaperone repeatedly and escorted you on school field trips to museums and galleries and aquariums, Central Park and Botanical Gardens and the Statue of Liberty?

Who has been to every First Day of School, every Celebration of term, every concert, every birthday party, every soccer game?

Who gave you your first swim in a spring-fed pool, your first sail in the Caribbean sea, your first rough ride on a jet ski?

Who chopped your first jelly coconut with a machete, peeled you an orange Jamaican-style with his ratchet knife, or cooked the corn-meal porridge which I share with you?

You know who.

Happy Father's Day, to our daddy, the best father ever.

One love, one family, always -- fi life.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


What is (13)? 

The title of a show, an art opening in Chelsea, of course. And the derivation of the title is simple, not pretentious, not portentious, not superstitious. 

The title simply reflects the average age of the artists represented - 13. Seventh graders or thereabouts. Ahhh, so nice to have a straightforward art collection in the belly of the oblique beast of contemporary art.  The opening was a huge success, a packed crowd at the Lombard-Freid Projects gallery on West 26th, between 10th and 11th Avenue. Indeed, the belly of the best, not the beast........

The wine flowed, along with the ginger ale and Pepsi.........

 The fambly scanned the crowd and admired the offerings, particularly the painting of our youngest, which was placed prominently on the easterly wall with the contributions of her classmates - the theme of this series was simply "Matchbooks."

"Paradou"  by Haille McKenzie,  17" x 22" acrylic on canvas

The artists pose with their work.........

Proud dads......

The art on display was varied and accomplished. Prints and photographs, paintings and illustrations, drawings and collages. It was exhaustive and impressive.

Including a collection of original mandalas........

...customized skateboards (remember, 13 year olds).......

....exquisite photography....

.... lino prints......

......conceptual mixed media........

....graphite self portraits.....

....stunning re-creations of vintage movie posters in tempera....

And several local artists donated their work to a silent auction to help raise funds for the school's art department. Among them were these outstanding pieces:

This piece, above, was my personal favorite, a small collage on mounted board, entitled "Looking Back."  But by the time I saw the auction sheet, the price had already skyrocketed to $250 and was sure to net more before the night was over. Sigh. Out of my budget.

But this next piece, below, gave me a laugh, another small collage on mounted board, entitled "Caused an Argument." I love it:

Back to the students - this painting, below, was an impressive and unexpected portrait - a black and white acrylic painting of a young Mick Jagger........

Still an idol to 13-year old boys everywhere I suppose.

Well done, PS126-Manhattan Academy of Technology and their Art Teacher, Nicole Schorr, well done. The show was spectacular in breadth and depth. An inspiration.........

Sunday, June 06, 2010

It Was a Quiet Week in Lake Woebegone

                              Morning Smoke by the Pool

But we don't live in Lake Woebegone. Been so busy, have had little time to paint nor post. 

First up, a family getaway trip to Sag Harbor for the long holiday weekend. Lazy mornings by the pool,  a day of sunning and fishing at Sagaponack beach and evenings spent teaching our hosts how to play a killer Jamaican "draught". They gradually got the hang of it but no one could beat the King....

Next up, a weekend road trip up Boston-way to pack up our biggest dawta from boarding school -- glad to have all the family together again.

Yeah, man, fambly is evry-TEENG.

Nope, it hasn't been a quiet week in the East Village but still,  the women are strong, the men are good looking and, yes, the children are above average.