From the people who brought you the Sketchbook Project — Brooklyn’s Art House Co-op — a new challenge (deadline to register April14, 2012).

The many faces of the Art House Co-op community

What does our creative community look like? How do you see yourself when you close your eyes? The Self-Portrait Project is an opportunity to introduce yourself to the world — one canvas at a time. Whether you feel challenged to depict yourself in photographic detail or to abstract your personality in visual form, this project will bring together the many faces of the Art House community in our storefront project space. Each participating artist will receive an empty 4″ x 4″ canvas with the same mission: Show us who you are. The resulting wall of portraits will open thousands of windows into our community, sharing something about ourselves for the entire world to see.

And speaking of the Sketchbook Project — the world tour (but with sketchbooks) starts April 14, 2012, kicking off at the Brooklyn Art Library (103A N. 3rd Street) and traveling to 14 cities in four countries.  Thousands of themed sketchbooks have been contributed by artists from over 102 countries.  Visit the collection, register for your “library card” and peruse to your heart’s content.







Interesting work underway to conserve Donald Judd’s work at Philip Johnson’s Glass House:

Conservation of minimalist artist Donald Judd’s (1928-1994) Untitled, 1971, the site-specific sculpture at the Glass House began in July and will continue through November 2011. Our online program, Glass House Conversations and our Blog, will serve as a public forum to delve into philosophical and technical questions about the conservation of the sculpture, modern preservation and the legacy of Donald Judd.  — info from Flickr page showing cleaning of Judd work

For more information about a recent Glass House Conversation with Donald Judd’s son, Flavin Judd, click here.

For more information and historic photos related to the cleaning and repair of Donald Judd’s first concrete work, Untitled, 1971 click here.

The Philip Johnson Glass House


vintage baseball at bat

Photo Joe Hermitt for the Patriot-News (click for article)

If you like baseball (as my son and I do), then you may be interested in this upcoming event

The Athletic Base Ball Club of Philadelphia presents


at The Philadelphia Navy Yard

Saturday & Sunday, August 20 & 21

Free and open to the public.

The Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp has enthusiastically opened the Navy Yard’s Marine Parade Ground to the Mid-Atlantic Vintage Base Ball League for a two-day Vintage Base Ball Exhibition and Fair the weekend of August 20th and 21st.

Twelve to fourteen of the League’s seventeen Clubs will be in attendance. They are coming from all points on the East Coast – NYC to Virginia, and Central Pennsylvania (Mechanicsburg). Each Club is a “re-formed” team that played from the 1860s forward – when “amateur” meant exceptionally fine play drawing crowds of 20,000+ for Clubs like the Brooklyn Atlantics and the Athletic Base Ball Club of Philadelphia.

Matches (1860’s speak for ‘games’) begin at 10:00 a.m. – authentic uniforms, bats, balls, no gloves, play by 1864 rules, with 6 clubs playing (three simultaneous 1.5-hour Matches) on the Parade Grounds at any given time.

Of special note is the tent sponsored by the Haverford Historical Society and Athletic Base Ball Club of Philadelphia. Gents brave enough to grow-out their facial hair the next 30-days can schedule an appointment with a mid-19th century barber for fashionable sideburns, handlebar moustache plus. (Email /marty1866 [at] gmail *dot* com\ to sign up.)

There will be plenty of Vintage players on hand to regale you with stories, answer rules questions, bring you on board as a new club player. The League is looking for women with game.

Come down to the Navy Yard — see Clubs that last pitched and fielded 140-years ago.  Bring blankets, folding chairs, your children, parents, family, friends, neighbors and sweethearts. Free admission. A variety of refreshments (including Philadelphia Brewing Company’s finest) will be for sale. Interesting mid-19th-century attractions share the Green. Period-style items raffled each day.

The Philadelphia Navy Yard, 4747 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA , (215) 843-9273

Big Red Nine at 9 W. 57th Street, New York City

Click for more information about 9 West 57th Street (Image from

Have you heard about geocaching?

Apparently, all around us are secret stashes being sought by individuals armed with gps devices (or apps on smartphones).  These stashes — or “caches” — are listed at an international geocaching website.

You can find them on top of mountains, in the woods, at the beach, in Central Park.  There’s one on the High Line.  There even used to be one at the big red 9 in front of 9 W. 57th Street.  (That identifying number was the idea of architect Gordon Bunshaft and the developer, Sheldon Solow. I doubt they envisioned people hiding things under it.)

Once you find the cache, you sign a log hidden inside it, and replace it for the next person to find.

I can’t imagine how, on that busy sidewalk, anyone found a cache without being noticed.

Nevermind the gps.  I think I may make sport of spotting the geocachers.

My favorite author hasn’t published anything new for a while (and I’ve been disappointed by some of his recent books anyway), so I’m on vacation with a stack of mystery novels.  A friend asked why I haven’t shifted to one of the e-readers so I could carry a hundred books in a light tablet.  ( An odd question coming from someone who used to work in publishing, and who still gets books from the library.)  If I finish my stack, I found this source for reviews of good books and may find some ideas there. Maybe I’ll try this one, on the basis of the review.

Whenever the subject turns to the vastness of the universe (it happens more often than you’d think), I hear in my head the bass reverberation of Carl Sagan’s eager voice marveling at “billions and billions” of stars as he explored the foundations of exobiology in his iconic PBS series, Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. Most of us don’t see much of the night sky anymore; in truth, ambient light from the earth makes this pastime much less vivid and so much more difficult.

Apart from staring open-mouthed at low-slung harvest moons while driving at night, my last prolonged look at the stars was accomplished by leaning back in a sling-chair, another under my feet, a bonfire roaring beside me, and a beer in my hand, to stare through the gap made by the trees stretching over my head. It was just enough, though, to make me feel wonderfully insignificant. While we may be dimly aware that the wish-granting shooting star we can’t help but look for is actually a meteor (the light trail of a meteoroid—trust me, you want to know this), we don’t think at all about its chances of hitting the earth. In his latest Wyman Ford novel, Douglas Preston introduces Abbey Straw, a twenty-year-old Princeton drop-out and astronomy savant, who witnesses a meteorite’s (a meteoroid that made it through earth’s atmosphere) spectacular fall to earth, and its apparent landing in the ocean off the coast of Maine. Her persistent search for the nickel-iron space rock she hopes to sell on eBay yields instead a greater mystery that will bring her to Ford’s astute attention. — Penny Candy Review of Impact, by Douglas Preston

What are you reading this summer?