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

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To do list for July 4th, 2015

MAILBOX

To do list for July 4th: Make sure the social security payment has arrived.
Write the rent check.
Pay the electric bill.
Pay the phone bill.
Pay the insurance bill.
Write sister Adelia a letter.
Put on my pretty blue skirt.
Make sure there is no garbage in the mailbox at Times Square.
Mail the rent, bills and letter.

PHOTO OF THE DAY: GERMANY 2014 WORLD SOCCER CHAMPIONS

GERMAN FLAG

PHOTO OF THE DAY: GERMANY 2014 WORLD SOCCER CHAMPIONS – JAWOHL ! ! !


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Photo of the day: Gay Pride means – never being too old to wear your hair up

GAY PRIDE HAIR


Photo of the day: BABY JANE HUDSON LIVES!

BABY JANE HUDSON

Photo of the day: BABY JANE HUDSON LIVES! – Walking along Abingdon Square in Greenwich Village I came across that unmistakable shock of white unkempt damaged hair, tiny little old lady frame and the dark sunglasses to hide behind. There she was, listening to big band music outside of Injera Restaurant. Perhaps she was humming her favorite tune….”I’ve written a Letter to Daddy…”
(For those of you too young, the reference is the scenery chewing performance by Bette Davis as a fading demented film star in the 1962 film “Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?”)
Injera Restaurant for Ehtiopian Fusion food with a flair: http://injeranyc.com/

Photo of the day: FRIDAY THE 13th SPECIAL $31 TATTOOS

TATTOO

Photo of the day: FRIDAY THE 13th SPECIAL $31 TATTOOS – Rushing along St. Mark’s Place this past Friday, I came across this colorful tranquil scene in the window of Whatever Tattoo. It reminded me immediately of the many old master paintings of reclining nudes I have seen in museums and books. This handsome tall hunk was just in the perfect classic pose, eyes closed, so peaceful and at rest while getting a giant tattoo on his back.
Now some people if they suffer from triskaidekaphobia (fear of Friday the 13th) they stay indoors, away from ladders, avoid making decisions and all possible harm – others go to tattoo parlors. I think though, that this tattoo will cost more than the $31 advertised Friday the 13th special.
Modigliani's 'Reclining Nude' 1917

Modigliani’s ‘Reclining Nude’ 1917

17 St. Mark’s Pl, New York, NY 10003 (212) 777-2430

Photo of the day: HARVEY FIERSTEIN AND HANS SEE “CASA VALENTINA” TOGETHER

Harvey Fierstein & Hans Von Rittern and Casa Susanna/Valentina

Harvey Fierstein & Hans Von Rittern and Casa Susanna/Valentina

Photo of the day: HARVEY FIERSTEIN AND HANS SEE “CASA VALENTINA” TOGETHER – well….kinda…
Harvey came to see his show last night and I was sitting right near him.
THE SHOW IS FUCKING BRILLIANT! It is based on a cult book “Casa Susanna” which contains flea market find photos of women in the Catskills in 1962 – the women were men. Not drag queens, but men who simply had the desire to express their feminine side on the weekend and go on doing ordinary household chores leading an ordinary life for two days…as a ‘ordinary’ woman. All were married with children. It is not sensationalist Fierstein drag. It is a dramedy of social mores and sexual politics of the sixties,
To be very honest – I didn’t want to see this play. I thought,’who are you to further expose what was to have been private?”
My mother has always said to me, “please destroy all family pictures if there is no one left in your family. I don’t want to wind up in some flea market and have total stranger pawing over my photos and doing god knows what with them.” I sadly agree. So I felt, who is Harvey to do this – how is he to know what really these people were about and what went on, sorry theater fans, this is how I felt. Yet the book haunted and fascinated me of the sadness yet sensation of this secret world revealed. Reluctantly I bought the cheapest discount ticket possible. I brought my treasured copy of the book along with me.
Almost full house. Curtain rises. I am sitting there with arms folded, negative Nancy. ‘Ok, what did you do with this?’ After 5 minutes I was riveted. The visuals, the acting – breathtaking. I abandoned all doubt and negativity and realized I was watching something intensely personal and brilliant. Half way though act one, I kept thinking to myself, ‘where and how did Harvey come up with this, how did this come out of his head?’ Each actor is cast to perfection for the part. I flipped through my book trying to guess who was who. After a while it didn’t seem to matter, there were real people onstage.
It’s story is of intrigue, mystery, politics, raw emotions, sharp wit, great humor, 1960’s sexual politics, being exposed, homophobia, buried secrets, gut wrenching moments, great sets, superb lighting. Mare Winningham and Reed Birney are FUCKING BRILLIANT! Birney channels Margo Channing/All About Eve yet does not imitate her, it is her fiery essence – it is riveting sheer brilliance at what a strong determined (calculating) woman he portrays. He should have won the damn Tony award he was nominated for as best actor in a play. Mare’s voice projects to the upper balcony even in her most quiet sad moments – that’s technique! (They were not micked.) John Collum is everyone’s grandmother of the period.

The setting is the Chevalier d’Eon, a Catskills resort where button-down married men from the city can slip into something more comfortable for the weekend. This sanctuary is run by George (Patrick Page) and his infinitely accommodating wife, Rita (Mare Winningham). And if the place is a bit run down, for its guests it remains “our own Garden of Eden.” But Harvey being the brilliant Harvey, he has set a serpent loose in their garden of Eden, and you are hooked.

During intermission I asked to buy the poster. The head usher saw I was carrying the book. He tells me several of the men are still alive and the man who took the photos actually had come to see the play! I come further to find out, that of the men/women who are still alive, Harvey (I think) felt it his duty (and privilege) to interview them. So some of the mystery was gone, but yet all the more heightened. Who are they and what has become of them?! I was obsessed with the fact that the usher knew what the photographer of most of the photos looks like! I am even more energized for act two for now I know how much more ‘real’ the story is and I was watching also a history lesson unfold.

As I am waiting for the curtain to go up, coming up my aisle is an unmistakable figure of man – it’s the playwright himself Harvey Fierstein! He sat 1 row across from me! I had to go over to him to ask to sign my poster. “He’s got the book,” he growled to his friend. I grabbed his wrist and kept babbling “it’s brilliant! It’s brilliant’! Hans tongue tied = not often. Back to my seat. I now watched the show and out of the corner of the eye watched this Broadway royalty watching his own show. Surreal. He laughed at the jokes, was stoned faced at the serious moments, just like the rest of us.

Harvey's reactoin to Jonathan Groff (blue t-shirt) being there

Harvey’s reactoin to Jonathan Groff (blue t-shirt) being there

After the show I ran to the stage door and got the cast to sign the poster. Glee star Jonathan Groff was there, a girl next to me nearly died. Harvey was saying goodnight and I asked if I could have my picture taken with him and the book since he had made it come alive along with preserving gay history. “Sure with the book!” We hugged and the guy I gave my camera to couldn’t figure out how it works. Harvey growled, “Heterosexuals! They can’t even figure out how to work a camera.” We all laughed and that is the moment captured in this wonderful moment. I am still on cloud nine.

Casa Susanna

Casa Susanna

The ladies who lunch

The ladies who lunch

GO SEE THE PLAY – it has a limited run and is closing June 29. Tickets sometimes available 50% off at TKTS nightly.

CASA web site: http://www.manhattantheatreclub.com/2013-2014-season/casa-valentina/

New York Times review: http://online.wsj.com/articles/like-earlier-hot-spots-williamsburg-adds-gloss-1402620838

Cast signed poster

Cast signed poster


Photo of the day: OLD TIMER’S NAVY SALUTE

SALUTE

Photo of the day: OLD TIMER’S NAVY SALUTE – Yesterday in Bryant Park, the navy serenaded lunch time picnickers with a rousing concert. At the end of the concert, the conductor asked audience members from each branch of the military to stand up and be recognized. This old timer still gave the perfect proud navy salute.
The Navy Band Northeast Pops Ensemble and the U.S. Fleet Forces Band featured a wide variety of musical styles including traditional concert band literature, pop, Jazz and patriotic favorites.

Under the direction of Lt. Cmdr. Carl Gerhard, Navy Band Northeast is one of 13 official bands of the United States Navy worldwide, and is comprised of 45 professional Navy musicians, many of whom are from the New York metropolitan area and welcomed a chance to perform in front of the hometown crowd.


Photo of the day: GRAFFITI ASCENSION, 5 POINTZ PAINTING BY CHRISTIAN CORTES

GRAFFITI ASCENSION - CORTES

Photo of the day: GRAFFITI ASCENSION, PAINTING BY CHRISTIAN CORTES – This painting is my mother’s favorite at the current ‘White Wash” exhibit. This powerful, haunting and emotional piece best describes artist Christian Cortes’ feelings of the destruction of 5 Pointz. Many of our visitors to the gallery seem to mesmerized by it and agree.
Christian Cortes is a Visual Artist working in New York City. He’s a freelance illustrator and a painter. Christian has worked mostly within the music and fashion industries. His commercial work is a mixture of hand drawn and computer illustrated techniques. Although Christian’s work can seem very clean and polished, he likes to keep a sense of the hand done techniques still present within his pieces. His gallery painting style developed out of his graffiti background. Christian has been exploring combinations of graffiti typography with surrealism, abstraction, South American iconography and New York culture.

If you would like to hire Christian Cortes for a commercial job or commission him for a custom project, he can be contacted at Christian@cortescreates.com. Please make sure to state clearly the details and budget of the project.

If you would like to see more expressions by great artists on canvas and in photographs (mine included) this weekend – come to the Jeffrey Leder Gallery this weekend and view the brilliant art by artists: Auks, Cortes, Hans Von Rittern, Jerms, Just One, Meres One,  Poem, Shiro, See TF, Topaz, Zimad, all brilliantly curated by Marie Cecile Flageul!
The Jeffrey Leder Gallery: 2137 45th Road, L.I.C.
#7/G subway stop. One block away from 5 Pointz and PS1 Moma. Admission is free, open 12-6.
Leder Gallery: http://www.jeffreyledergallery.com/whitewash.php

Christian Cortes: http://cortescreates.com/


Photo of the day: DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES

DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES

Photo of the day: DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES – It’s all in what you see…this moment caught yesterday on Ellis Island.


Photo of the day: YOU CAN’T WHITEWASH US! “WHITEWASH” EXHIBIT HUGE SUCCESS!

"WHITEWASH" featured artists group photo: "FIVE POINTZ!"

“WHITEWASH” featured artists group photo: “FIVE POINTZ!”

Photo of the day: 12 ARTISTS PROVE – YOU CAN’T WHITEWASH US! – I sold 3 pieces right away! ! People from all walks of life, from all over town and from around the world came to see the great works of artists who had painted at the (now destroyed) graffiti mecca 5 Pointz and the photographers who captured it. Every major web site and paper in town is covering the exhibit and getting radio and TV coverage as well. It was jam packed last night with mixed feeling of sadness, closure and perseverance. Artists Auks, Cortes, Jerms, Just One, Meres, Orestes Gonzalez, Shiro, See TF, Topaz, Zimad, Hunt Rodriguez and myself proved ART IS FOREVER !
Many more photos to come. $20 catalog signed by me available.
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. http://www.jeffreyledergallery.com/whitewash.php
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