Sunday, December 3, 2017

Silk, Mosaics, John Lennon & Quilts

I love New York City.  I grew up on Long Island and used to go into the city on school trips, to go shopping, to see the circus, to go see a movie and the Rockettes at Radio City Music  Hall, to go to Broadway show and to flirt with boys. It was our playground and easily accessible via the LIRR (Long Island Railroad).  The food was delish.  There was a Chinese restaurant where my friends and I would always eat in Times Square.  Here's a secret that I never  shared with my parents.  We used to do a lot of school trips to hear the opera and go to the symphony. I remember seeing the legendary Leonard Bernstein. When I was in High School, after the lights went down, we would sneak out, explore the Lincoln Center area and make sure we were there to get on the bus to head back to school.  I honestly have never acquired a taste for Opera, but I do enjoy the symphony. 

In the last few years, I have rekindled my love affair with NYC.  It began with my quest for silk dupioni.  This also led to searching for the food of my youth.  Please don't hate me, but you cannot get  a good bagel, corned beef sandwich, slice of pizza or cheesecake anywhere but in NY or Long Island.  Sometimes I come home with bags of bagels or pastries after a pizza or corned beef sandwich. 

In January, I am teaching a silk dupioni Curvalicious class at Road2CA.  The class is full and I need to make up 26 silk kits.  It was a beautiful day to head North.  I am happy taking the bus from Philadelphia. I found everything at my favorite shop, Bazar Fabrics on 39th St.
When I finished shopping, I was so happy to see my wonderful cousin who has lived in NY her whole entire life.  I had given her my list of what I wanted to see and she was my tour guide extraordinaire for the  day.  She knows the city inside and out and had a plan for us to maximize  every minute. 

There are many  subway stations that are adorned with mosaics.  Of course, I want to see them all but I am a bit intimidated by the massive subway system.  We started with the subway beneath the Museum of Natural History. 

I stepped off the  train and was greeted with this:

As we walked along the subway tracks, there were more mosaics:

and my favorite:
Then we went down one more level and this was a surprise:
We left the subway and walked to Central Park.  My cousin remembered another mosaic she thought I would like to see.  There's a small section of the Park called Strawberry Fields that is right in front of The Dakota, where John Lennon was shot.  And there was the most wonderful surprise - a mosaic in homage to John: IMAGINE
After a yummy lunch, we headed to the American Folk Art Museum to see an exhibit called "War & Piece".  The museum is not very large since moving from its initial location for financial reasons. It appears to be the lobby of a large building, but there were probably about 20 quilts.  Every single one was magnificent. They were made by men during wartime from wool uniforms. Here's a peek at a few.  It was hard for me to choose which ones to share, because I loved them all.

Here's one with beads:

Here's a close up of one of the quilts.  Check out the detail and the vibrancy of the color in this applique.  

And I found this painting amusing

Inspiration galore!
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  1. What a day! I can see you using the IMAGINE design for inspiration.

  2. Hi Cheryl,
    I loved your commentary about NYC! I'm in California and only visited once when I was 10 years old, to see the 1965 World's Fair. Those memories are still with me. I first read about the War and Piece exhibit through the website Hyperallergenic. You might find this site interesting; it deals with multiple perspectives in the art world. They have the painting of the man sewing/quilting in bed as the intro. to their article.
    I wish you a Happy Hanukkah! I hope you continue to post Judaica related quilting patterns, etc. Thank you!
    Ruth Smith

  3. Wow! Thank you so much for sharing. When I plan to visit New York, I'm going to add these places. What inspiration indeed.


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