Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Day Trips in the Tri-State Area: 10+ Sensational Staycations

By Jacquelin Carnegie
Davidson, Hudson River from Tappan Zee, 1871
(Courtesy Hudson River Museum)

After months stuck at home with nothing to do and nowhere to go, you'll be glad to know that some lovely, small museums and gardens in the tri-state area have finally re-opened. If you've been starved for culture--and nature--but don't want to wander too far from home yet, here are some suggestions for delightful day trips (more will be added as places open up). Be prepared for the new normal--timed entry tickets are now required just about everywhere:
Greenwich, Connecticut
Only a 50-minute train ride from New York City, the coastal Connecticut town of Greenwich is one of the oldest, full of history, culture, and wealthy people. Spend a lovely day visiting the museum, strolling through town and relaxing by the waterside.
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr, Greenwich, CT; Tel: 203-869-0376; 
Hassam, The Mill Pond, 1902
(Courtesy Bruce Museum)

Situated at the top of a hill, in a beautiful park setting, the Bruce Museum highlights both art and the natural sciences in several annual, changing exhibits. The museum's permanent collection includes impressive natural history specimens and artwork from the Cos Cob School of American Impressionists. Originally built as a private home in 1853, then Robert Moffat Bruce, a wealthy textile merchant, deeded it to the Town on Greenwich in 1908. Now, a modern expansion is underway to provide more space for the museum's educational programs.
Other Cultural Activities:
Roger Sherman Baldwin Park - Chill out at this lovely little harborside park. Admire the sculpture by Lila Katzen, Priapos, the Greek god of fertility, sometimes referred to as the god of the harbor.
Visit landmarks from the 1700s:
Bush-Holley House (Greenwich Historical Society)
Putnam Cottage–Knapp Tavern Museum (George Washington dined here during the Revolution)
Come back post-COIVD19 for: Greenwich International Film Festival & Greenwich Symphony Orchestra.
Dine: There are over 20 eateries to choose from on Greenwich Avenue, the town's main drag. Stroll along to find one that appeals to your tastes. For a fancy French meal, or just a drink by the waterside, head to: L'Escale (500 Steamboat Rd; Tel: 203-661-4600).
Getting There: Dive or from New York (Grand Central Station), take a Metro North train (New Haven line) to Greenwich. The Bruce Museum & Greenwich Avenue are a 5-minute walk from the station. Travel time: About an hour.

Yonkers, New York
Just a 25-minute train ride from midtown Manhattan, Yonkers overlooks the Hudson River. While the downtown area could use a good spruce-up, there are other pretty places to explore. Visit the museum, stroll through the gardens' grounds, then have lunch by the waterfront.
Hudson River Museum
511 Warburton Ave, Yonkers, NY; Tel: 914-963-4550; 
Fuechsel, Hudson River Scene, 1875
(Courtesy Hudson River Museum)

This lovely museum has an impressive collection of 19th-century, Hudson River School paintings and also shows contemporary art in changing exhibits in its modern, main building. On the property, there's also the historic Glenview home, built in 1877, showcasing Gilded Age period rooms, and a state-of-the-art Planetarium--both currently closed due to COVID19.
Untermyer Park & Gardens
945 North Broadway, Yonkers NY;
(Currently Open: Fri Sat Sun, 12-6pm)

These 43 acres of gardens, maintained by a handful of dedicated gardeners and horticulturists, have been preserved and restored from the former 150-acre Samuel Untermyer estate, once tended to by 60 gardeners. In 1916, Untermyer hired Beaux Arts architect Welles Bosworth to design the gardens overlooking the Hudson River. But after his death, the property fell into disrepair. Now owned by the City of Yonkers, the garden-park is being brought back to its former glory by the Conservancy. While some areas are still in ruins, others have been lovingly restored.
(Courtesy Untermyer Gardens Conservancy)

Other Cultural Activities: (Both currently closed due to COVID19.)
Philipse Manor Hall (29 Warburton Ave) - Built in the 1600s, the manor house is one of the oldest historic sites in the U.S. Now, a museum of history, art, and architecture.
Sherwood House Museum (340 Tuckahoe Rd) - Built in 1740, it's the oldest Colonial farmhouse in Yonkers.
TV series: "Show Me a Hero" (HBO) - A dark yet fascinating take on Yonkers' history.
Dine: Have a meal with the view of the Hudson in downtown Yonkers. Try these sister restaurants: Dolphin (1 Van Der Donck St) & Cafe Hudson right on the waterfront.
Getting There: Dive or from New York (Grand Central Station), take a Metro North train (Hudson line) to Yonkers or Glenwood (for the museum). Travel time: About 25 minutes.

If you love sculpture and the great outdoors, a few of these
(Courtesy StormKing)
lovely places are finally open for the 2020 season and are easy to get to: Governors Island right in NYC, StormKing in Mountainville, New York & Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey:

These wonderful garden spaces have reopened; just a subway ride away:
Brooklyn Botanical Gardens - Brooklyn, New York
900 Washington Ave.;
The Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden is a lovely feature of this garden. Imagine you’re in Japan as you stroll the winding paths by a pond, waterfall, picturesque bridges, and a traditional Shinto shrine. The garden is especially delightful during cherry blossom season (April-May).
The Brooklyn Museum of Art (200 Eastern Pkwy; is right near by and also worth visiting; reopens 9/12/20.
Japanese Garden
(Courtesy Brooklyn Botanical Gardens)

New York Botanical Garden - The Bronx, New York
2900 Southern Blvd;
The garden's beautiful grounds are a nice way to escape your apartment without leaving the city. From late April to early May some 50,000 tulips are in bloom here.
Wave Hill - The Bronx, New York
4900 Independence Ave;
Wave Hill's lovely, 28-acre public garden overlooks the Hudson River and the Palisades. It's a great place to sit, read a book and contemplate life. (The cultural center is closed during COVID19.)

Do some traveling without leaving your couch:
TenLocals - 
Mila in Macao,
Travessa de Paixiao
Go to Macao, Bali, India, Vietnam, Japan, Israel, Morocco, etc. right from your living room via ZOOM. These "virtual" trips are lead by interesting, engaging local hosts who offer much more than a typical city tour. The experience is more like when you visit a friend or family member who shows you around where they live. You get a real sense of what life is like in that place, plus you can ask questions of the host before, during & after the tour. For example, 
Milathe lovely host in Macao, not only takes you to the glitzy casinos, but also to the beautiful older parts of town as well as sharing what it's like to be a mom and a model in Macao. So, on each trip, you get a very upclose-&-personal sense of the place to inspire your future travels. (Cost: around $15-$20 per trip)

Read Paris eBook:
THE ARTSY VOYAGER: 101 Artsy & Cool Things To Do in Paris
You'll be ready to go as soon as we can all travel abroad again!

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

ArtBeat#5: 10 Streetwise Artisans at New York's Nolita Market

By Jacquelin Carnegie - (New York, NY)
While museums and most galleries are still shut due to 
COVID19, you can show some "love" to a group of living artists at the Nolita Market in Manhattan. It's outdoors--along the wall of St Patrick's Old Cathedral on Prince Street. Here, a small group of selected artisans sets up stands to sell their wares each weekend. Their crafts are lovely, unique, and of a high quality--not the sort of crappy stuff you see at street fairs. Usually, there are 20 vendors but, due to COVID19, only 10 are currently allowed. Here's a few worth checking out: 
Nolita Market
Prince St, btw Mulberry & Mott (March-Dec; Fri-Sat-Sun, 11am-6pm)
Joyous Jewelry
CoKo Jewelry 
Originally from Switzerland, artist Cornelia Koller got bored with painting on canvas and switched her passion to "wearable" art. Her earrings--and other pieces--are enamel, created with her special flair for color and design--each piece is a unique work of art. [Instagram: @coko_jewelry]

Using recycled sterling silver and salvaged exotic hardwoods, Ruben Ceballos handcrafts each beautiful piece--rings, necklaces and cuffs. (Rings: Macassar Ebony/Sterling Silver)

Snapshots of New York
Ciaran Tully Photography 
Originally from Dublin, Ireland, Ciaran Tully's love for his adopted home, New York City, comes through in his images--whether in sharp or soft focus. (photo: Grand Central Station)

Bird By Bird
Pigeon Be Pigeon
What's more quintessential New York than a pigeon? It's practically NYC's official bird! Artist Simon finds these feathered friends to be quite whimsical and enjoys bringing smiles and laughter to people through his quirky cartoons as drawings or printed on tote bags and T-shirts. 

[Instagram: @pigeonbepigeon]

Last But Not Least
Need some colorful creations to liven up your life? Look no further than Nick Peate's bold artwork! [Instagram: @nickandthepeeps_nyc]
Due to COVID19, the lack of tourists, and much less street traffic, these lovely artisans are having a hard time. So, New Yorkers get out there and shop! Those in other places, can always buy online on the artists' websites. These lovely, handcrafted items make worthwhile gifts--and/or a nice treat for yourself during the pandemic!

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

THE ARTSY VOYAGER: 101 Artsy & Cool Things To Do in Paris

Great news! My Paris eBook is now available:

THE ARTSY VOYAGER: 101 Artsy & Cool Things To Do in Paris

(You don't need a Kindle; download a free App to read on phone, tablet or computer.)

Whether this is your first or your 20th trip to Paris, there's always something new to discover. These "artsy + cool" suggestions will help you get as much enjoyment out of your visit as possible.

ArtBeat#4: Must-See Art Exhibits in New York City

[After the COVID-19 shutdown, the WHITNEY opens Sept 3, 2020 & the Brooklyn Museum of Art on Sept 12, 2020. Several exhibits have been extended!]
Diego Rivera, Detroit Industry, North Wall-lower panel, 1932–33
(photo: Courtesy Whitney Museum)
99 Gansevoort St;
(Until Jan 31, 2021)
This is a stunning and important exhibit. Not only did Mexico’s three leading muralists—Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and José Clemente Orozco--have a profound influence on art in general, they had a specific influence on American artists of the period, grappling with the Great Depression and the subsequent ravages of economic injustice. The Mexican artists created pieces portraying the working man's life and struggles that resonated with the public at large. They used the reality of social and political injustice to create masterpieces. The American artists were influenced not only by the subject matter of the Mexican painters, but also by their painting styles. (A fascinating factoid: Jackson Pollack, considered one of the major American artists of the 20th-century, learned his drip-painting style in a Siqueiros workshop!)
Frida Kahlo, Me and My Parrots, 1941 (photo: Courtesy Whitney Museum)
The artwork on display in Vida Americana is so exciting! In addition to the work by the famed Mexican muralists--Rivera, Siqueiros, and Orozco--"los tres grandes," other key Mexican artists featured include: Miguel Covarrubias, María Izquierdo, Frida Kahlo, Mardonio Magaña, Alfredo Ramos Martínez, and Rufino Tamayo.
Presented alongside is artwork by their American contemporaries, both well-known and under-recognized, including: Thomas Hart Benton, Elizabeth Catlett, Aaron Douglas, Marion Greenwood, William Gropper, Philip Guston, Eitarō Ishigaki, Jacob Lawrence, Harold Lehman, Fletcher Martin, Isamu Noguchi, Jackson Pollock, Ben Shahn, Thelma Johnson Streat, Charles White, and Hale Woodruff. 

Aaron Douglas, Aspiration, 1936
(photo: Courtesy Whitney Museum)
Vida Americana is a piñata of mind-blowing artwork: world-famous paintings, frescoes, sculptures, archival film clips &
photographs as well as you-are-there displays of the fabulous 1930s' murals in the Abelardo L. Rodriguez Market in Mexico City and the Rivera murals in the Detroit Institute of Arts. Go see it today! ¡Vamos!


Jacques-Louis David, Napoleon Crossing the Alps, 1801 & Kehinde Wiley, Napoleon Leading the Army over the Alps, 2005 (photo: Courtesy RMN-GP & BMA)
Brooklyn Museum of Art
200 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn;
Most major museums are guilty of displaying artwork predominantly done by white males. BMA has consistently presented work from a wide variety of artists and these exhibits are excellent examples of that diversity:
Jacques-Louis David Meets Kehinde Wiley (Closed)
Kehinde Wiley (who did President Obama’s magnificent portrait) feels that the canon of important art pieces throughout history--stately portraits, public statues, bronze busts, etc.--have celebrated the achievements of white men, overlooking the Black cultural contribution. To address this inequity, Wiley started a series of artworks, Rumors of War. This exhibit features a few pieces from that series, spotlighting Napoleon Leading the Army over the Alps, Wiley's counterpoint to Jacques-Louis David's famous Napoleon Crossing the Alps. While Wiley's works can't right ever slight, they certainly get the conversation going!
Out of Place: A Feminist Look at the Collection 
(Reopens Oct 23, 2020)
Polly Apfelbaum, The Dwarves without Snow White
(photo: Courtesy BMA)
The title says it all: For too long, artwork by female artists has been considered "out of place" in museums and other cultural institutions. This exhibit features interesting--often whimsical--work by 44 female artists: including Louise Bourgeois, Beverly Buchanan, Chryssa, Thornton Dial, Helen Frankenthaler, Lourdes Grobet, Betye Saar, Judith Scott, Carolee Schneemann, Joan Snyder, and Emmi Whitehorse. Over half the works are on view for the first time, including key pieces from BMA's collection as well as new acquisitions.
Jeffrey Gibson: When Fire Is Applied to a Stone It Cracks
(Until Jan 10, 2021)

Jeffrey Gibson artwork & 
Charles Cary Rumsey, Dying Indian, 1900 
(photo: J. Carnegie)
Artist Jeffrey Gibson is of Choctaw and Cherokee descent. In this exhibit, Gibson questions long-held institutional categorizations and representations of Indigenous peoples and their art. Using objects from BMA's Native American art collection, along with examples of his recent work, Gibson creates a new narrative.
Climate in Crisis: Environmental Change in the Indigenous Americas (Until Jun 20, 2021)
This superb exhibit, featuring magnificent artifacts, explores the complex worldviews of Indigenous communities and how their beliefs, practices, and ways of living have been impacted by the ongoing threat of environmental destruction.
African Arts―Global Conversations
(Until Nov 15, 2020)
On view are 33 works, including 20 by African artists. Some are new acquisitions, other are never-before-exhibited objects. Presented in the 1st-floor gallery and in "parings" throughout the museum. By pairing diverse African works with pieces in BMA's collection, the idea is to get the viewer to reconsider the place of often-marginalized African art in the overall history of art.
Kuba artist, Mask, late 19th century & Gilbert Stuart, George Washington, 1796
(photo: Courtesy BMA)