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

Archive for April, 2014

Photo of the day: LILIES OF THE FIELD


Photo of the day: LILIES OF THE FIELD – Fun facts about the Easter Lily:
HOUGHTON LEAVES A RYUKYU – Louis Houghton, a soldier during World War I, is responsible for the popularity of the Bermuda lily, better known as the Easter lily, here in the U.S. In 1919, he brought hybrid bulbs home with him to the southern coast of Oregon and gave them to family and friends to plant.

Today, ten growers, most located along the California-Oregon border, in an area known as the “Easter Lily Capital of the World,” produce 95 percent of all bulbs grown commercially in the world. They produced almost 11.5 million bulbs last year for commercial greenhouses in the U.S. and Canada.

Easter lilies are the fourth largest crop in wholesale value in the U.S. potted plant market despite a sales window of only two weeks.

The Easter lily is native to the Ryukyu Islands of Japan.

The cultivar “Nellie White” is the most popular form of Easter lily in the U.S.

To prolong the life of an Easter lily’s blossoms, remove the yellow anthers (pollen-bearing pods) found in the center of each flower.

Photo of the day: FROSTED BLOOMS


Photo of the day: FROSTED BLOOMS – Yesterday morning many of us in the Central and North Eastern part of the United States woke up to a rather rude awakening – that four letter word SNOW! After having been teased with near 80F degree weather here in Manhattan and sporting flip flops, this morning the roads were iced, cars were encased in an icy snow and the spring plants had been covered with a last minute frosting.
But, warmth is coming, the Farmer’s Almanac predicted today that the summer of 2014 will (again) be unusually hot and filled with (more) torrential rains – at least it’s not snow!



Photo of the day: MORNING REQUIREMENTS: STALE TOAST AND TWO PEANUTS – This is Oscar my ‘pet’ squirrel who comes by every morning to have his breakfast served by me. Every morning he has 2 unsalted peanuts and 1 pecan waiting for him on my third floor windowsill, but nothing gets him going more than a good old fashioned piece of stale toast! (But no coffee, it’ gets him too wired.)

Photo of the day: TAX DAY ! Even drunks file their taxes . . .


Photo of the day: TAX DAY! – So how did you make out? Do you owe? Do they owe you? Or, is it a wash?
I went to the post office yesterday here in Sunnyside Queens to mail my forms – only 2 windows open, with one drunk chatty guy who was enamored by his postal worker and didn’t want to leave. “They won’t and can’t give me a gun, ’cause I only would shoot my self!….I wouldn’t shoot you darlin’. Although, I could kill myself with my shoe laces, there are ways you don’t even know about, hee hee!” Twenty-seven people on line just went on about their business checking their iPhones, counting the minutes . . .

Photo of the day: BIBLE SEMINAR


Photo of the day: BIBLE SEMINAR – Those bible seminars can really wear you out!
Bryant Park April 11, 2014.

Photo of the day: GASPING FOR ART


Photo of the day: GASPING FOR ART – This is one of the brilliant works of art on display at the “Whitewash” exhibit currently featuring artists and photographers honoring the memory and tragedy of 5 Pointz Graffiti and Street Art Museum, brilliantly curated by Marie Cecile Flaguel.
“Gasping for Art” is by SEE TF aka Carlos who is an incredibly gifted artist with many sensibilities. This timeless piece evokes images of the Fritz Lang film classic ‘Metropolis’ to images of World Wars I & II in its haunting yet futuristic imagery. Check him out! Prepare to be knocked out by an entire gallery filled with such great art and even some of my photography. The Jeffrey Leder Gallery: 2137 45th Road, L.I.C. Open 12noon – 6pm.


Tom Orzo, Mindy Cassle-Rosato, Hans, Ursula Von Rittern, Deborah Blau, Frederica Meister

Tom Orzo, Mindy Cassle-Rosato, Hans, Ursula Von Rittern, Deborah Blau, Frederica Meister

Photo of the day: “COME TO THE JEFFREY LEDER GALLERY MY FRIEND!” – So, life is disappointing? Forget it! We have no troubles here at the Jeffrey Leder Gallery! Here life is beautiful…
The paintings are beautiful…even the photographs are beautiful (and selling) !
My dear friends Tom Orzo, Mindy Cassle-Rosato, of course Mom, Deborah Blau and Frederica Meister all came for the grand opening party of the 5 Pointz “Whitewash” exhibit that I am a part of! Why don’t you join the ranks of graffiti lovers, street art lovers, preservationists and the passionate and check out my 16 photos along with the fantastic works of artists Auks, Cortes, Jerms, Just One, Meres, Orestes, Shiro, See TF, Topaz, Zimad, Hunt Rodriguez proving art is forever! A mourning and celebration of the destruction of the world’s most spectacular street art museum. $20 catalog available for sale in the gift shop.

Come see the exhibit till June 8 at the Jeffrey Leder Gallery: 2137 45th Road, 1/2 block away from the #7 & G Court Street subway station. Two blocks away from 5 Pointz and MOMA’s PS1. Open 12 noon – 6pm.
Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome!
Fremde, etranger, stranger.
Gluklich zu sehen, je suis enchante,
Happy to see you, bleibe, reste, spray paint!


Photo of the day: THE CAVEMAN’S PREGNANCY COMPANION – Uh! Even cavemen need advice when it comes to the big day! I witnessed this priceless scene on the #7 train heading home yesterday.
“A three-trimester evolutionary crash course to guide the prehistoric papa-to-be through the prenatal, pre-parental wilderness. Every man should read it!

What’s a clueless caveman about to become DAD to do? After all, it’s tough carrying a child for nine months—for him as well as for her. He’s just not sure how to behave. But help is on hand, in the form of a reassuring (and hysterically funny) course for the totally perplexed. Along with a large dose of humor, it provides the father-to-be with all the know-how he needs to become a well-prepared, well-heeled partner who’s really ready to stand upright and embrace his new responsibilities…rather than cowering from them. Every cave-student will find out how to support his mate through this emotional time, cope with his own feelings, deal with baby-related projects, and perform admirably during labor and delivery. So whether it’s catering to his exhausted companion’s needs by preparing a nutritional and tasty meal or engaging in a snuggle session when she craves a little cuddling, with the help of this book a guy will become the proud Cro-Magnon caregiver he longs to be!” Book written by David Port and John Ralston.


Roseland: 1919 - 2014, r.i.p.

Roseland: 1919 – 2014, r.i.p.

Photo of the day: THE BLOOM IS OFF THE ROSE, FAMED ROSELAND CLOSES – Another knife in the heart of New York’s theater district was last night’s closing of the iconic once dance hall, now concert and party venue Roseland. It went out with a bang as Lady Gaga rocked the house – now it falls silent…the next sound you hear will be that of the wrecking ball. It is with head spinning disbelief that yet another historic piece of New York will be replaced with a tall mirror glass building fur the über rich. The year 2013 saw more (almost daily) closings and tear downs of long time establishments than in recent memory – all part of the mayor Bloomberg’s greedy search and destroy tactic of anything that is (not so) old, is just out of the reaches of being declared a landmark and therefore won’t face the trials of court injunctions against it’s demolition. Zoning law variances have become the norm and for a price – history, building restrictions and the heart of the city mean absolutely nothing. The average price of buying a New York City council member (like mine, Jimmy Van Bramer) is $10,200 – buy a few council members and you can build what you wish, they will magically ‘vote’ your way.
Roseland started on 51st Street as a 1919 dance hall for ‘refined dancing’, slowly that evolved to ‘dance hostesses’ who offered dances for 11¢ a dance (think film “Sweet Charity”). From white ‘refined’ music it evolved into a swinging big band and jazz club featuring the likes of Louis Armstrong, Count Basie with his “Roseland Suffle”, Chick Webb and Ella Fitzgerald, Glenn Miller, Frank Sinatra to Madonna, Beoncé and Donna Summer and all the other major music acts of our time. The original club closed and reopened in 1956 one block over on 52nd Street in a former ice rink. Slow dancing turned into disco nights and rock concerts. Infamous underground parties (Black Party), fan shows, conventions, new and old music groups appeared here or made their reappearance here, for example disco diva Grace Jones in 1978 broke through a brick wall on her motorcycle and then did her act surrounded by tigers. She made her grande reappearance in 2012 and hadn’t changed a bit (see my old post).
And now along with the Lenox Lounge in Harlem, Colony Records in Times Square, South Street Seaport’s Pier 17, and endless other victims of this genocide of history – you can add The Roseland Ballroom. Is this what it is like to grow old? You loose everything around you? Or is it the voracious greed of our destructive former mayor Bloomberg, who in his twelve years of being mayor has gone from being the 18th richest man in America worth $18 billion, to becoming the 10th richest man in America now worth $31 billion . . . coincidence, it think not. Mayor DeBlassio – are you doing ANYTHING to stop this genocide of a city’s history? DeBlassio? DeBlassio?
My GAGA review:

GAGA said goodbye to Roseland in style! For those of you who don’t know better/are too young, THIS is what the awesome club scene used to be like. This was a rare treat for the lucky privileged thousands chosen that experienced one of the most iconic goodbyes to a club ever. If you are die-hard fan you get there early, stand for hours, run to the front and Lady G let’s you touch her boobs! Sweating (excuse me – glistening) on the dance floor, sharing that mass experience is a dying experience. The audience becomes a pulsating “one” with each other and the artist. No stadium shit like Barclay for me! Music hard core! Roseland has been around since 1919! It has hosted the likes of Louis Armstrong, Count Basie with his “Roseland Suffle”, Chick Webb and Ella Fitzgerald, Glenn Miller, Frank Sinatra to Madonna, Beonce and Donna Summer and all the other major music acts of our time. To be able to experience Gaga in such an intimate setting and touching farewell makes those who attended extremely lucky. R.I.P. ROSELAND