Category Archives: Painting

“Jumping on Board” to Obama’s Campaign

Thursday I noticed I was repeating things I’d done two, three weeks ago.  But now the air is cooler and the trees rustle more as the leaves fall off.  I had lunch at Doma and when I looked out the window, there was the painter I’d interviewed a few weeks ago. 

Now his painting had morphed, just like he said it would.  I think I liked it better in the earlier version.  I read some of my book, which is research for my new play.  It’s depressing.
The older couple who had sat down next to me were speaking a language I didn’t recognize.  I speak French, Russian and a little German, so I am good at recognizing most languages, but this didn’t sound familiar.


Who: Henriette and Vagn Kondsen
Where: Doma, NYC
Occupation: Tourists  and parents (today)
Henriette and Vagn tell me that they are visiting New York for two weeks and today they have already been uptown and all over Soho.
“It’s exhausting isn’t it?” I say.
“Oh yes, we are glad to sit down.”
“Do you live here?” Vagn asks me.
“Yes, just over there,” I point.
“You are so lucky.  We love the village,” he tells me.
“We are visiting our daughter, but she’s working so much that we barely see her.”
“What does she do?” I say.
“She’s here working on the Obama campaign,” says her mother proudly.
Emma Kondsen came over from Demark to work as a volunteer to get my (crossing fingers) president elected. She’s been here for four months.
“You must be very proud,” I say.
Her parents looked so proud that I think I see tears in their eyes.
“It must be a wonderful thing being a parent,” I say.
“It’s so wonderful,” says her mom.

After pointing them to my favorite neighborhood book store “Three Lives” I went home.  My phone rang and it was unknown number.
“Hello,” I say.

“Hi, my name is Michelle and I’m calling from Barack Omama’s campaign.”

No, it wasn’t Michelle Obama, it was just someone named Michelle.
They were looking to see if my husband, who had donated money wanted to volunteer.
“He’s probably too busy,” I say.  “But, I’ll do it.”

The last time I helped out with a campaign, the guy won.

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Look Up! Monday’s New York Interview

Monday, September 29, 2008
Okay, I’m getting serious about my daily interviews.  Now I want my camera, note pad and I’m thinking I want to bring a tape recorder too.  The things people do and say are so beautiful.  I’m finding that people truly light up when I stop to talk to them.
The day started kind of so-so.  I went to my café on Jane Street and it was packed, so I went to swim, but the pool was too crowded too (I have this thing where I really need a lane of my own or I won’t swim).  Finally I ended up eating a sandwich and opening my computer for all of five minutes at Doma, a little writer’s café on the corner of Perry Waverly and Seventh. Out of the window, beyond the Jade plants I see colors, streams of gorgeous blues and reds on a canvas. Next I’m outside taking pictures and asking questions.  The man with three brushes in his hand, who didn’t have a website or business card, but would like to sell his painting is John.  John lit up when I asked him about his painting and it made my day too.  Today John changed the way I saw the world. I looked up.  I don’t think I’ll ever look at New York the same way again.


Who:  John Van Ren
Where: Perry and 7th Avenue
Occupation: Painter
To me the corner of Perry and 7th is an intersection, but apparently to this painter it’s magnificent.  Oddly enough it’s right here on this corner that I watched Tower One crumble to the ground 7 years ago.  It was all death and horror on that day and not something I’ll ever forget, but today I’m finding life and re-birth, despite the economic crisis.

“Look up!” John tells me when I have walked over with my camera asking about his painting.
“Why this corner?” I ask.
“It’s the volume I think,” he says with intensity.
“Do you see how complex those buildings are?”
I don’t see it as he does, but I’m starting to.  There’s beauty in this city, it’s just a matter of where you find it.
“Do you see that little red door, the way it just pops out?” 
I look up and to the right and I see it – a building, then another and one that is red and a little door jets out of the top. I never would have looked and thought about the city the way he is right now if he hadn’t pointed it out to me.  So, I’m thankful, very thankful.
I spent the rest of the day feeling a surge of love for this city that I haven’t felt for a long, long time.  Dark clouds began to engulf the west village and as the light faded, I snapped some shots.  Enjoy.