Daily photographs by HANS VON RITTERN, with humorous, artistic and social commentary on life in the big city.

Archive for November, 2013

Photo of the day: SEEN AT MY SUBWAY BOOTH ~ A LESSON IN MANNERS

#7 train subway booth, Sunnyside, Queens

#7 train subway booth, Sunnyside, Queens

Photo of the day: SEEN AT MY SUBWAY BOOTH ~ A LESSON IN MANNERS: “Excuse me please, can you, can I have, thank you have a nice day.”

Photo of the day: 3 – 2 – 1 . . . SHOP !

SPIDERMAN

Photo of the day: 3 – 2 – 1 . . . SHOP !

Photo of the day: FLASH MOB SINGS HAPPY 103rd BIRTHDAY/THANKSGIVING TO ETHEL OF SUNNYSIDE ♫♪ !

ETHEL 103RD BIRTHDAY collage

Photo of the day: FLASH MOB SINGS HAPPY 103rd BIRTHDAY/THANKSGIVING TO ETHEL OF SUNNYSIDE ♫♪ ! – My neighbor and art patron Ethel Plimack celebrates her 103rd birthday today!! Thanksgiving + Hanukkah + 103 years! WOW! Fellow neighbor Patricia Dorfman and member of the Sunnyside Artist League organized a flash mob for 11:59am today when neighbors and their children appeared on Ethel’s doorstep and sang a special “Happy Birthday” to her! What a special day !

Photo of the day: WHEN HOLIDAYS COLLIDE, HAPPY THANKSGIVING & HANUKKAH

The menorahs on the altar of Episcopalian cathedral St. John the Divne Cathedral, NYC.

The menorahs on the altar of Episcopalian cathedral St. John the Divne Cathedral, NYC.

Photo of the day: WHEN HOLIDAYS COLLIDE, HAPPY THANKSGIVING & HANUKKAH – This is the altar of the Episcopal church, St. John the Divine in Harlem. It contains a cross, a chalice for communion, the holy bible and two giant menorahs. Not your ordinary “Christian” altar? You’re right. St. John the Divine, since it was built in 1892 has always believed that all religions should be welcomed there, after all – isn’t that the ‘Christian’ thing to do? Don’t we all believe in a “god”? Don’t we all try to lead a ‘god fearing’ life? In 1930 Aldof Ochs, the founder of the esteemed New York Times newspaper was so impressed and taken by the idea of St. John’s open arms, he donated two 11.5 feet tall golden menorahs to the church. They grace their altar and welcome all faiths as they and we celebrate Thanksgiving and Hanukkah on the same day. The last time it happened was 1888 and the next is 79,043 years from now – by one estimate widely shared in Jewish circles.
So, happy Thanksgivukkah!
Welcome all to the table, after all . . .
isn’t that the Christian thing to do?

Photo of the day: THANKSGIVING WINTER STORM IS COMING, HAVE YOU DONATED TO YOUR LOCAL HOMELESS SHELTER OR FOOD BANK?

HOMLESS HUNGRY collage

Photo of the day: THANKSGIVING WINTER STORM IS COMING, HAVE YOU DONATED TO YOUR LOCAL HOMELESS SHELTER OR FOOD BANK? – A nasty nor-easter storm is barreling up the coast. High winds, rains and snow expected. While we rush to get our last minute Thanksgiving trimmings and desserts for the table – New York City’s homeless population is at it’s highest since the great depression! Under the greedy dictatorship of emperor mayor Bloomberg the “let them eat cake/go to the theatah” era is at it’s worst.
As you are rushing to run your errands before the storm arrives, deciding pumpkin or apple pie, others decide which is the least moldy. As you see that homeless person in the subway station, can you look in their hollow eye and do nothing? Give them your coffee, a muffin, an apple, a dollar, a pair of gloves or a scarf. If not, take a few extra minutes at home to donate on line to The Red Cross, your local food bank or homeless shelter. The time it took to read this post, is the same time it takes to donate to those who have fallen on hard times. Remember: There but for the grace of God go I . . . it could be you one day. Stay warm.

Photo of the day: JOSEPHINE BAKER DOES THE TWIST IN A TUTU IN A DISCO BALLROOM AT THE CLOCK TOWER

Josephine Baker twists in a room

Josephine Baker twists in a room

Photo of the day: JOSEPHINE BAKER DOES THE TWIST IN A TUTU IN A DISCO BALLROOM AT THE CLOCK TOWER –   Only in New York. Brooklyn-based collage artist Judith Supine has created a fun house mirror effect of Josephine Baker dancing in a disco like room with walls lined in mylar with mylar strips hanging about. The illusionary effect was a trip. The art installation was for yet another art gallery site closing, the famed Clock Tower Art Gallery in lower Manhattan.

Photo of the day: FIRST SNOWFALL OF THE WINTER ATOP THE CLOCK TOWER GALLERY

Atop the Clock Tower Gallery with the Woolworth Building in the background.

Atop the Clock Tower Gallery with the Woolworth Building in the background.

Photo of the day: FIRST SNOWFALL OF THE WINTER  ATOP THE CLOCK TOWER GALLERY – It’s official, as of 8:30pm Saturday night, November 23rd 2013 – winter has arrived. I was atop the Clock Tower Gallery for it’s closing farewell party as a bitter cold wind brought the first snowfall. Brrrrrrrr!
Clock Tower Gallery: http://artonair.org/

Photo of the day: “NEVER FORGET” 5 POINTZ, COME JOIN US TODAY 11-23-13

5 Pointz Graffiti Museum, Long Island City, Queens

5 Pointz Graffiti Museum, Long Island City, Queens

Photo of the day: “NEVER FORGET” 5 POINTZ, COME JOIN US TODAY – We will still be there today! Saturday, November 23, 2013. Our tents will be there with Meres and Marie (curators and lead fighters) as well as the artists selling their works. We will not be white-washed away, we will always be here. The fight is NOT over. Come view the cruel hatefulness of the vandalism. The pettiness of the whitewashing.
5 Pointz will live on in one form or another, whether it is here or at another building. But it will especially live because of all of you, through your thousands of photos, stories and passions. If you have photographed the building in all it’s glory, photograph it now and tell the story of one of the greatest crimes against the art world. Let your friends and the world see what greedy, hateful, vindictive, fearful and cruel men the Wolkoff owners are. Spread the word.
I will see you there today with my dear friends from approx. noon till 4 or 5 pm.
45-46 Davis Street/Jackson Avenue, Long Island City.
#7 train – No trains between Queensboro Plaza and Times Sq-42 St.

Take N or Q train to Queensboro Plaza.

Take the free shuttle bus from Queensboro Place. Get off Court Street stop. Walk following the rail line towards 5 Pointz.


Photo of the day: REMEMBERING THE DAY – JOHN F. KENNEDY

Jacqueline Kennedy, early 1970's, Forest Hills Queens tennis matches.

Jacqueline Kennedy, early 1970’s, Forest Hills Queens tennis matches.

Photo of the day: REMEMBERING THE DAY – JOHN F. KENNEDY – On November 22, 1963 we did not own a television, mother thought it was a bad influence on me. I was six years old. My great aunt “Anny” from Germany was visiting with us for the holidays. Anny came racing home in a frenzy asking us if we had heard the news. This was not such a media savvy time. We hadn’t had the radio on – we were playing records. It was an exceptionally cold day, so we stayed inside. Anny cried as she breathlessly told us the news of Kennedy’s death.
Anny was in the lower level of the Lexington Avenue ‘E/F’ train subway station, when a screaming woman came racing down the mint green staircase declaring Kennedy was shot. My aunt witnessed a moment of American history as the entire platform rushed to this woman to hear her tell the news. No radio, no IPhone, no cell phone, just one distraught woman. Anny remembers an eerie silence falling over the platform, just the sound of crying could be heard and men removing their hats. People did no bother to get on their trains, they just stood there. As more people came down the stairs crying out the news, the gruesome story became a reality. Anny raced home to tell her American family the news. I will never forget the moment. I remember the houndstooth coat, black felt hat, suede shoes she was wearing. I remember her perfume as she held my hand to explain what had happened, and I remember the look in her eyes.
Kennedy New York Daily News  November 23, 1963

Kennedy New York Daily News
November 23, 1963

I briefly once met  Jacqueline Kennedy  at the Forest Hills Tennis matches in the early 1970’s. We had box seats diagonally behind her. I never watched the games, I was mesmerized by her grace and elegance. She turned around and shook the hand of everyone behind her, whispering hello. We got the handshake because we were in these fancy seats. This was the days before the assassination of John Lennon, today she would have been surrounded by security guards in a private roped off area. I was in respectful awe how she remained cool, calm and polite as the crowds surged towards her as she freely walked around the grounds which is incomprehensible today.
She was/is the personification of grace and elegance.

Touching email from a German guest mourning the loss of 5 Pointz

Karin Glietz-Rothsprack

Karin Glietz-Rothsprack

Touching translation of an email from a German guest:
Dear Hans von Rittern,
On the occasion of a cruise with the AIDA BELLA/Harlem Spirituals, we visited New York, on Nov.2.2013 and we were lucky enough to take a city tour “Complete Brooklyn”  with you as a city guide. My view of New York became changed by your affectionate and competent guidance. You led us to the graffiti museum at the end of the excursion. What a sight, a factory, in a dreary trade settlement, with miraculous pictures, in all different conceivable style kinds and colors. Enthusiastically I have taken photos so many pictures as possible and even have bought one more T-shirt. I have carried these photos home and have shared them, also the T-shirt has brought a lot of joys. Now I have found out on-line from “Der Spiegel” (Germany’s ‘Time’ magazine)  that the pictures were destroyed by painting over them. This has made me very sad, and the many other people who love this art. We are outraged and feel with you and the many involved and the artists. We will preserve our photos as a treasure and provide for the fact that these pieces of art are shown over and over again, so live on. I embrace you and wish you a lot of strength and courage. With many dear greetings,
Karin Glietz-Rothsprack

From: karin.glietz@gmail.com To: hansvonrittern@aol.com Sent: 11/20/2013 6:23:53 A.M. Eastern Standard Time Subj: 5pointz

Lieber Hans von Rittern,
anlässlich einer Kreuzfahrt mit der AIDA BELLA, besuchten wir New York, am 12.11.2013 hatten wir das Glück eine Stadtrundfahrt
“Brooklyn komplett” mit Ihnen als Stadtführer zu unternehmen.
Meine Sicht auf New York wurde durch Ihre liebevolle und kompetente Führung eine andere.
Zum Ende der Exkursion führten Sie uns zum Graffiti Museum. Welch ein Anblick, eine Fabrik, in einer tristen Gewerbesiedlung, mit wunderbaren Bildern, in allen nur erdenklichen Stilarten und Farben.
Begeistert habe ich soviel Bilder-wie möglich- fotografiert und zum Abschluss noch ein T-Shirt gekauft.
Ich habe diese Fotos nach Hause getragen und weiter gegeben, ebenso das T-Shirt, welches sehr viel Freude bereitet hat.
Nun habe ich durch Spiegel Online erfahren, dass die Bilder durch das Übermalen zerstört wurden.
Das hat mich sehr traurig gemacht, mit mir viele andere Menschen, die diese Kunst lieben.
Wir sind empört und fühlen mit Ihnen und den vielen Engagierten und Künstlern.
Wir werden die Bilder- wie einen Schatz bewahren- und dafür sorgen, dass diese Kunstwerke immer wieder gezeigt werden, so weiterleben.
Ich umarme Sie und wünsche Ihnen viel Kraft und Mut.
Mit vielen lieben Grüßen
Karin Glietz-Rothsprack