Monday, January 18, 2010

Strand Bookstore

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The weather is quite raw.

It snowed in NYC quite a bit yesterday afternoon and night, but nothing accumulated. Temperature vacillated between 32 and 33 degrees.

We caught two buses and spent the morning hanging out at Strand bookstore. Susan made the acquaintance of a medieval expert who guided her in a selection of the best books to begin her investigation of that period of history that has she has begun to develop an interest. I was looking at books on French history with regard to WWII which was directly across the isle.

I then hung out in their collection of photo books of course. There is a new book of Helmut Newton. In the book are two photos of nudes he shot in the middle of the night illuminated by street light he shot outside our Paris apartment at 10 rue Aubriot, he had converted into a studio. They are included in the book. I took photos of the two full page images. I know where he took them because I recognize the out of focus church at the end of the one block long street. Street! ha! It is cobblestone alley!

I also leafed through quite a few other books, including one of color photos of Ansel Adams. He did shoot a lot, but never made prints because the technology of the period was either very expensive for good quality (dye transfer) or mush with C prints. I used to make lots of C prints and they never had the quality of real life. The text in the book was excellent and mentioned that he called on Harry Callahan to choose his best color images for some purpose, of which I do not recall as of this writing.

Susan made it to the Kate's paperie on west 13th and bought a few things. I left her there and went to the Forbes gallery to see the huge collection of toy boats he has amassed. OMG! 2X! Most look like WWI battle ships, but there others, including a number of submarines. I took quite a few photos of the exhibit. They probably won't be too great because of very low light illuminating the boats. I had to shoot at 400 ASA and at that rating you get noisy grainy images.

Uncle Nate gave me a metal mechanical submarine when I was a kid and I played with it a lot. I also had a sail boat he and I used to sail in Auld Park above the Ohio River.

After the boats was his collection of tiny metal soldiers. OMG! Fabulously exhibited. What a difference from today with computer games that obliterate your opponent.

Then came his collection of obscenely expensive watches.

In the next few rooms were his fine collection of photography. Had every single famous best Harry Callahan of Eleanore along with all the famous best Irving Penn images one can remember over his career. This, along with very old historic photographs.
All this in a fairly small intimate environment. It was a gem!

Then I returned to pick up Susan and we escaped the horrid rain by cabbing it the short distance to The City Bakery at 3 West 18th Street just off 5th Ave. that Dave Anderson sent me an email about. They also have some gourmet food, which we purchased and ate there. They are well known for their thick hot chocolate with home made marshmallows, so I gorged myself on that. We split a pulled pork sandwich, and considering it was made by some dorks in NYC, wasn't horrible. Susan had a tomato lintel soup that wasn't too bad, but I thought was a bit lacking in a definitive taste. Reza's blows it out of the water. We lingered there for at least an hour recouping our energy and watching the passing parade of customers.
By the time we left it was snowing wet blobs. We walked a quarter of a block to 5th Ave to see if we could get a cab. LOL

As we got to the intersection a cab pulled up to unload! What luck! The driver was very friendly, indeed everyone here in NYC has been gracious.

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