Despite the rain, about 30 people showed up for the Grand Concourse tour in the Bronx, part of Open House New York. Sam Goodman, an Urban Planner for the Bronx Borough, led the tour. About midway, as we stood before a much-storied, internationally traveling Beaux Arts Sculpture in Joyce Kilmer Park (part of the slide show below), he challenged us to examine our prejudices: “who says a working class neighborhood can’t be beautiful?”
He got us into the lobby of several doorman buildings and the courtyards of others on a stretch of Grand Concourse not too far from Yankee Stadium. Classic Art Deco and Beaux Arts detailing. Murals in two on the buildings. Elevators, oh my. Check them out.
The people living in the buildings seemed more interested in getting on with their day than admiring the beauty of their surroundings. I get it. We live such busy, harried lives. But to take a moment and see, really see. That’s sweet. Sam talked about what makes a building inviting. It’s why I chose my building, which has a really pretty lobby, small floors, and clean, non-smelly halls. What about you?
Riding the D train up to my volunteer assignment at the NY Botanical Gardens, I wondered how many people would venture all the way up there on a rainy day. I met Bob and Jenny on the train, members of the Gardens, not aware that OHNY was there today, too. We walked the 8 blocks over to the Gardens, and through their generosity, I joined them as “members” who could go into the Monet Giverny installations.
For those of you who saw the Giverny exhibit this spring, as I did with Helen and Al, or in the summer, I’m not sure the autumn plantings are different enough to warrant the long trip, unless you have a car. Of course, if you haven’t seen it, it is lushly gorgeous.
In this slide show, you’ll also see the Fountain of Life and the neo-Renaissance building that houses the library and the Monet paintings that are on exhibit. I also was blown away with the sculpture installations on the grounds, definitely new since my spring visit.
Even on a rainy day, this is a place of great solace and beauty. The quiet, too. And there was added fall beauty, although no leaf color yet, all over the grounds.
Going home on the 4 included a surprise treat–art in the subway. One of thousands of OHNY tours I missed this year was the subway art tour. There’s always next year…