Full Pipe

February 18th, 2018

Old yellow guard rail in Durand Eastman Park

Edgerton is a big name in Rochester. I don’t know the reason but I know there is a big grave stone in the cemetery near our house with the name on it. And there is an Edgerton Street in the city near the Upper Falls. The neighborhood is called Edgerton. There is an Edgerton Park near Jefferson High School on Dewey. And there used to be an Edgerton Road that ran through Durand Eastman Park. It is still shown on the map and there is even a street sign labeling it near the end of Pinegrove at the western border of the park.

The road used to connect Pinegrove, which now dead ends, to Kings Highway near the clubhouse. I’m not sure whose idea it was to put the sewage treatment plant in the park (I know it is downhill from the city and I have heard there is huge pipe, probably the diameter of those halfpipes the Olympic snowboarders compete on, that runs from downtown to the plant) but that operation grew into the VanLare Wastewater Treatment Facility which now seems to accept truckloads of shit for hire. And so what was public park land has a smattering of “No Trespassing” signs and the road itself which was closed to traffic has been mostly been swallowed up by the land.

There are still cement guard posts and occasion pieces of metal guard rail and you can pretty much tell where the road used to lie because of the geography. Parts of the old road are used by the treatment plant, pieces are used by park maintenance workers and parts of it are the golf cart path on the back nine. We were determined to follow Edgerton Road yesterday and we did it! The park is huge and other areas have been reconfigured over the years. Ever wonder why Horseshoe Road runs off of Lakeshore and stops instead of coming back out? Ever wonder why three roads run up from Lakeshore Boulevard and all come together in a circle with a barrier in front of Wisner Road, a road that would take you out of the park. Somebody has to think about these things.

Shuffle My World

February 17th, 2018

Lester Beall drawings at RIT University Gallery

One of my favorite features of the map app on my tablet is its ability to suggest a restaurant. I’ve used in with great success in unfamiliar neighborhoods when we’re out of town but just as often when we’re in Rochester. We were on University Avenue, coming home from an art opening at RIT, and we found Fiamma Centro on nearby Elton Street. We found Roux on Park Avenue a few months back with the same feature. The function compliments the shuffle feature on my music library or shuffle slideshow feature on my photo library.

Lester Beall is the first Graphic Designer to have a one man show at MoMA.He was also creatively involved in drawing, painting and photography. These abstract drawings above predate Jackson Pollack’s work. In 2017 his son-in-law found a crate filled with Beall drawings done between 1946 and 1954 and they are on display now at RIT’s University Gallery. We saw the show yesterday afternoon and stuck around for Roger Remington‘s lecture on Beall’s contribution to American design language. My eyes were still dilated from an earlier eye doctor appointment so I was seeing starbursts around all points of light even with my dark plastic sunglass inserts.

At Last

February 15th, 2018

Sign on side of the road in Wolcott, New York

I collect photos of signs. I put two hundred of them on a Tumblr blog (Funky Signs) a few years ago and I’ve got a lot more to put-up there but I’m not sure Tumblr is the best place for them. I spotted this one along the side of the road in Wolcott this afternoon. I usually stop the car and get out to take the picture but this sign was so strange I was afraid to get out of the car.

We were not sure how to read the last two lines. “AT THE LAST TRUMP” or “AT LAST THE TRUMP.” I googled the phrase when we got back home found that it comes from the King James Bible translation of 1 Corinthians 15:52. “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

Does this, the rapture, have anything to do with the election of Donald Trump? I think it might.

Find My Phone

February 14th, 2018

Bay bridge in February, Rochester, New York

Today is Valentines Day and Ash Wednesday. It was too warm to ski so we plotted a ten mile walking loop that took us up to Starbucks first. Peggi spotted a dirty cell phone in the snow off to the side of the road. It had a pink cover on it with a heart decal on the back. I cleaned it off in the snow and we carried it up to Starbucks. It rang twice and buzzed a couple of times but I couldn’t unlock the screen. I pictured someone in front of monitor tracking us with a ‘find my phone” feature. I carried it up to Starbucks and asked the cashier if they had a lost and found or something. She said her manager would take care of it.

The parking lot at Conduent, the company Xerox recently spun off, was full when we walked by. The old Wilmorite mall has been vacant for ten years and now its packed with collection agents rounding up money owed to NYS by people who blew off the tolls on the old Tappan Zee now Mario Cuomo Bridge. Meanwhile the rest of Xerox is preparing to do business as Fuji.

The sign out in front of the Seventh Day Adventist Church on East Ridge Road read, “Give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God.” We headed down the hill to the bay. Someone tore down the old Newport House and is putting up a half assed condominium complex. The bay was still mostly frozen. Wegmans was packed with guys buying red flowers.

After our walk we had dinner at Lanai, Casey’s new place on Alexander Street. We had the Valentine’s Day special for two which came with a glass of champagne. The Bok Choy and shrimp were out off this world. Can’t wait to get back and dive into their menu of Polynesian delights.

Wake Up

February 12th, 2018

Wake Up building along Cayuga Lake

This sounds like the setup for a joke but there is none. There are two Polish women in our yoga class who did the Camino last year with a third woman. Everybody says the journey changes you and in their case it drove a permanent wedge between them and the third person. We are planning to do it with my cousin and I’m hoping we experience a different sort of change. But I have no expectations.

Most people do the Camino for a reason. Often it is a spiritual one. In the movies we have seen about the trip pilgrims ask each other why they are doing the journey. I would not know hoot answer that question. Maybe I will know once we have done it.

Shovel Ready

February 11th, 2018

Mornings like this I shovel my way to the street in my pjs in order to bring back the newspaper. It is not as heroic as it sounds. I like shoveling. There is something really cozy about hand shoveled snow piles. They mark a good winter. I shoveled driveways for extra cash in high school. You get warm in a hurry. I don’t like the way a driveway looks when it is cleared with a snowblower. And the sight of snow plastered against a tree bothers me. When I have my heart attack or throw my back out I will feel differently. Our friends just bought a snowblower and I am happy for them.

Home Away From Home

February 10th, 2018

Three quarter view of old barn near Aurora, New York

We had been watching the weather, timing our annual winter trip to the mountains and we thought we had the perfect window. It even coincided with Peggi’s birthday. But the predictions for 4-8 on the day we planned to leave and then 6-8 on the day we would be returning charged our barely hatched plans. We opted for some place closer to home. There are almost as many historical markers as there are people in Aurora, New York. We were last there for Thanksgiving and we made a note to return when the snow fell.

We checked into the Aurora Inn and asked for a nearby place to cross=country ski. First things first. The desk clerk told us about Long Point State Park, a couple of miles further down the road. The park is right on Cayuga Lake and the ski trails run all the way up to the top of the hill overlooking the lake. It was so grey and snowy we couldn’t even see across the lake. The trails were well marked but they all ran in circles and we kept coming back to our tracks. We got back to our room just in time to catch the second half of the Copa del Rey semi-final and when that finished we went downstairs for dinner. This place is pretty comfortable.

On the way back to town we stopped in the Montezuma Wildlife Refuge and skied their trails. There were tracks out there but all made by animals. We had the place all to ourselves. It is incredibly beautiful there, even in this reduced palette season. Our neighbors across the street said they hadan extra pair of tickets to Sean Rowe at Abilene and they wanted to know if we would like them. We were too beat to take them up on the offer but we did look up Sean Rowe. He reminded us of Waylon Jennings so we put on the “Best Of” songs that Sparky gave us.

The Sleep Of Reason

February 8th, 2018

Matisse Jazz prints at Johnson Museum in Ithaca New York

The permanent collection at the Herbert Johnson Museum on Cornell’s Ithaca campus is so deep they could never have it all on display at once. There is not enough room in I.M. Pei‘s concrete building. So whenever you choose to visit you are guaranteed to see a great show. Currently they have these stunning Matisse prints from his Jazz portfolio on display. They own a complete set of Goya’s Los Caprichos. Their alumni had good taste and th3 cash.

Arthur Dove graduated from Cornell. He was studying law to please his father but he fell in love with art while he was here. The museum has an extensive collection of his work. Four of his watercolors were on display today. “Drawing the Line,” their current show of drawings, features Kirchner, Guston LaChaise, Paul Klee, Picasso, Egon Schiel and Emil Nolde.

You would think Ithaca would be full of sports bars but we couldn’t find one. Barcelona was playing València in the semifinal for the Copa Del Rey and we probably stopped in five bars on our way back to the car before we found one with the match on. Actually the set was tuned to Ellen DeGeneres Show but no one was watching it so they gladly switched channels and we ordered an Ithaca IPA called CascaZilla. We caught the second half and saw both Barcelona goals. We will be in Spain walking el Camino when the final happens in April.

Non-Linear

February 6th, 2018

Three trees on Lake Road in Webster

From “Leave the Driving” on the lp, “Greendale”
“The moral of this story
Is try not to get too old
The more time you spend on earth
The more you see unfold”

Maybe you already knew this but I just found out. Neil Young is giving away the store for a few months. Everything in his archives is available for streaming in a high quality format. You can really tell the difference. Pick your favorite song or album and give it a spin.

We started with “On The Beach” and then “Greendale.” Both sounded better than ever. We ran into a little hitch with “Landing on Water.” The timeline he provides is really cool as well. You can see how he would often record songs and then use them at a later date. He is a non-linear guy.

We walked down to the lake, across the seasonal bridge on to Lake Road and then up Bay Road where we cut back into the new homes off Dewitt Road that hover over the bay on the Webster side. It was a little over eleven miles by the time we got back. A few more pokes into Webster and we will be ready to keep going around the bay and back.

Snark

February 5th, 2018

Bending tree along shore at Durand Eastman Beachlg

The Super Bowl may be single handedly saving the usage of Roman numerals. And “LII” is a pretty impressive number especially when I think about having watched the first few. It was nowhere as big a deal back then. Now it is next to impossible to escape although we have managed to for many years. Often we are were up in the mountains celebrating Peggi’s birthday, off the grid even, at our friends house. Whenever we did check in on the game it was a lopsided match-up. But not this year.

We started the day by walking around our block, this time in reverse, Down to the lake and over to Kings Highway, up to the library and back down Titus to Culver. We cleaned up and hustled downtown for Maureen Outlaw Church’s opening at the Little Theatre Café, a great looking show with some romantic landscapes, many of them set in Ireland. The classical guitar players who were originally scheduled for the evening moved their performance up because of the game so the art opening turned into something close to a food fight.

We watched the Super Bowl out at my brothers. Next time we go there we will walk. It is only eight and half miles. The Martin Luther King/Dodge Ram mash-up certainly didn’t work. In fact, none of the commercials worked for me. And that is probably because none of them were aimed at me. I was hoping Justin Timberlake would bring Janet Jackson out but he didn’t. And the video appearance of Prince only reminded me how good his halftime show was. The game itself was great. I was really impressed with the passing on both teams. Long, perfect spiral, dead accurate passes. A high scoring, fast paced game with Julie Johnston Ertz’s husband diving into the end zone for a key touchdown.

True North

February 3rd, 2018

Rodney Taylor Untitled painting at Rochester Contemporary

According to Rodney Taylor’s notes, his painting explores the June night in 1872 when Frederick Douglas returned to Rochester after learning his family farm on South Avenue had burnt down in a suspected arson. It is my favorite piece in the new show at RoCo, a show that explores “The Living Legacy of Frederick Douglass” on two hundredth anniversary of the birth of Rochester’s most important figure.

The 1899 statue of Douglas, the one that used to be in front of the New York Central Train Station on the corner of St. Paul Street and Central Avenue and is currently in Highland Park, was the first statue dedicated to an African American in the United States. Later this year it will be moved again to spot closer to his old house.

Writing in his newspaper, The North Star, Douglas said, “While Rochester is among the most liberal of northern cities it nevertheless has its share of that Ku Klux Klan spirit which makes anything owned by a colored man a little less respected and secure than when owned by a white citizen.

Taylors painting is shows what was left of the house. Nothing but the horror.

Paradise

February 2nd, 2018

Walking route to Shamrock Jacks in Rochester, New York

Sadly, we finished the the sixth and final episode of “Top of the Lake.” I didn’t want that show to end. Sure it got a little bogged down with the two main characters’ relationship but the show soared each time they cut back to Paradise, the women’s communal camp built of cargo containers on the coast of New Zealand. I want Holly Hunter as my guru.

It took some doing for Peggi to plan our walking route today. We knew the distance we wanted, somewhere near the eight mile mark, but we also had a time factor. We wanted to be at Shamrock Jack’s at 12:30 to meet Matthew and Louise for lunch but that is only a mile and half from our house.

So Peggi plotted a route across the spit of land at the top of bay, one that took across the seasonal bridge and over to the Bay Side Pub, one of the funky restaurants that dot the lakeshore. It was twelve degrees, the wind was pretty fierce and the sidewalks were not plowed so we didn’t make it to the Bat=y Side. We turned around on he other side of the bridge and headed back to Shamrock Jacks where we arrived right on cue. We picked up our miles by taking he long way home.

100 Mile Club

February 1st, 2018

Downtown Rochester from Ford Street Bridge

We read that you should have 100 miles on your shoes before taking a long walk. They are apparently optimally broken in at that point but still in good enough shape for El Camino. We put nine on today walking over to Atlas Eats for lunch. I was craving their Kimchee and Tofu bowl. We are very near the hundred mile mark now. I’m hoping the snow, forecast for tomorrow, will put us back in our ski boots.

Son Of Paleface

January 31st, 2018

Skiing around Eastman Lake in Rochester, New York

We were so happy to have snow again yesterday. We expected to see more people skiing in the park but we only crossed paths with one other guy, someone we have seen more than any other person over the past few years. We had never talked to him before. He would usually zoom by so fast he didn’t even say hello. He always seems like he’s working hard, head down, determined. I have him pegged as vet. He reminds us of our old mailman who had some residual issues from his service but I could be all wrong. Today we talked.

“Why weren’t the trails groomed?” He speculated that the park people don’t want the snowmobile chewing up the golf course. And he thought the skate skiers, the ones that require the groomed trails, were skiing elsewhere because when there is only a few inches the paved golf cart paths get bared and they chew up people’s skis. We talked about the weather. We heard it was getting warm again. He thought it was going to continue to stay cold. And then he offered an odd theory. The weather forecasts, he thought, were deliberately on the high side. He thought lawyers were involved. I laughed and said that sounds like a conspiracy theory. It seems to me that business interests were more likely to pump up forecasts for money-making reasons. He looked down at his FitBit, pushed a button, and took off.

We had dinner with some neighbors last night, one of them, Steve, the deer hunter who we last ran into when he had a deer on the back of his truck. He was taking it to someone who would process the meat and mount the rack as a trophy. He told us his taxidermist told him that the buck was the oldest deer he had ever processed. At least ten years old. He could tell that by examining the jaw. Steve’s house is surrounded by woods and he has names for the deer he sees most often. He thought that he had shot the son of one he called “Paleface” but he now thinks he killed Paleface himself.

Critical Thinking

January 29th, 2018

Small trees and my shadow along Lakeshore Boulevard

The way that neon green, plastic snow shovel looks leaning against the olive green vinyl siding on that house. The big empty lot on Bouckhart Street. Five or six houses could fit there. Why isn’t it developed? Is it some sort of brown field? Those narrow windows on the old farm house have been replaced. The original windows went right to the floor and they’ve filled that space in with wood. The negative space between the green shrubs in front of that white house is much stronger that the positive greenery.

The two large dogs in the picture window of that house look insane. These people have two identical white Hyundai cars in their driveway. The amount of trash along the side of the road really gets ratcheted up the closer we get to 7/11. The flattened aluminum snow shovel in front of Starbucks on East Ridge Road. And I mean flattened. It must have been run over a hundred times. Its still intact but you couldn’t even use it to shovel snow.

This is what goes on when when you walk for two hours a day.

Show Me

January 28th, 2018

Mise En Place art group artist talk at the Little Theartre Cafe in Rochester, New York

I gather that Pete Monacelli put the Mise En Place art group together, a bunch of artists who meet once a week for lunch. They say they talk about art but Peggi and I met them one week, by chance, and the talk was what I would call free-ranging. We have gotten to know all these guys over the years and it was fun to hear them tell their familiar stories at the artist talk/closing party for their group show at the Little Theatre Café. A key member, Kurt Feuerherm, left before the talk and Bob Conge was recovering from an operation. My favorite part of the talk was when Bill Keyser, on the far right, spoke about how he was interested in found materials. He would finish a piece of furniture after working on it for a few months and come back into his studio to find a leftover piece of wood or odd cut that he found more intriguing than his piece.

Bill Keyser was in Fred Lipp’s painting class with me for many years. If you talked about what you were trying to do in Fred’s class he would say, “Don’t talk about It. Show me.” You can see three of Bill’s abstract paintings on metal panels in the blow-up of the photo above. I hope you can get over to see the show before it closes.

Palme d’Or

January 26th, 2018

Squirrel statue with reflector

We are experiencing a serious lack of snow so we’ve taken to the city streets where the animals are altogether different from the woods.

Elisabeth Moss is in everything. We’ve been chipping away at “The Top of the Lake” and loving it. And she co-stars in the “The Square” which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes last year and came to the little for one night only, a fundraiser for Rochester Contemporary. The place was packed so we sat in the second row off to the side and my neck is still sore. The movie, a send up of the art world and life in general since the art world is really only a microcosm of the big picture. And it was a big picture, too long by half an hour at least. I think everyone can guess what a gallery or museum director has to juggle, wooing wealthy patrons while trying to remain cutting edge, but this movie was full of surprises.

Around The Block

January 25th, 2018

Stewart Davis oil painting on paper 2017

We have a few works by Anne Havens. We bought a print from a show at Pyramid’s Village Gate location before we ever met her. And we bought a few of her 6x6s. Your can almost always spot an Anne Havens. The walls at RoCo were were full at the recent Member’s Show but our favorite piece there was not in the show. It was in the small sales gallery. It attracted my eye when we came in and I couldn’t get it out of my head. We arranged to buy it on the way out. It is an acrid painting on paper but Anne Haven’s husband, Stewart Davis. No, not that Stuart Davis.

My dentist is a perfectionist. He runs an especially tight ship. So it was a little surprising to spend almost fifteen minutes in the waiting room. And then my brother walked in. What a coincidence. But when he saw me he was thinking something else. He didn’t think he had an appointment today but he had received a phone message reminding him of an appointment. And he had already missed one while he was out of town so he showed up. I thought it was strange that I didn’t get either a phone call or a text message reminder. The receptionist had called the wrong Dodd and her message also announced that the appoint had been moved back by fifteen minutes.

We have lived here four over ten years and we finally walked around the block. It is not so easy to do. Most of the street back here dead end. We walked out to Culver, up to Titus and down Titus to the library where turned north on Kings Highway. This road get pretty forlorn and the guard rails on the side of thread love little room for pedestrians and there are no turns until you get to Lake Ontario. That’s where we turned east along the lakeshore and then up Log Cabin Road through the park to where Zoo Road becomes Wisner which takes us back fun circle. 7 1/2 miles or 12 kilometers.

Corpse Pose

January 23rd, 2018

Eastridge High School in snow and sun

Jeffery’s yoga class convened last night for the first time since the holidays. He asked everyone in the class what they wanted to work on. I said “I didn’t care” but that didn’t come out right. What I really meant was “I’ll do anything.” I don’t want think here. I want to surrender. The woman next to Peggi suggested core strengthening and that is what Jefferey went with. We spent a lot of time on our backs with our legs in the air and then rolled over to do forearm plank and crocodile.

Continuing with our cross training regimen today Peggi plotted a six mile route to Wegman’s and back. Actually we’ve begun thinking in kilometers and working toward ten of those. Our route began with us walking in the east opposite direction. When left it sunny. By the time we got to Point Pleasant it was windy and raining. I was carrying a back pack. There was nothing in it but we planned to shop and came home with 22 1/2 pounds of groceries in the pack. That changed everything. The recommend you plan on limiting the things you carry to ten pounds so that will be a piece of cake.

With the recent thaw the sidewalks are littered with drug bags. That and some nasty dog droppings.

Voice Of God

January 22nd, 2018

Blue house with green trim on Topper Drive in Sea Breeze NY

I love this little house. I couldn’t have told you how to get there but I know I have photographed it before. We only stumble on it when we are wandering through the street off Culver down near Sea Breeze. I made a note of the address this time, 55 Topper Drive. The side window was wide open, just as it was a few years ago, so it probably won’t be around forever.

We met Jeff and Mary Kaye for dinner last night at Roux, the French place on Park Avenue. They’re pescaterians so we ordered appetizers from that side of the menu. I questioned whether Escargot was meat but they didn’t seem to have any problem with that. The waiter talked me into ordering Quail. The way he described the curry and mushroom sauce did it. But I was tempted anyway because I had not had quail since Bloomington. My boss there, a guy named “Frenchie,” used to hunt quail and his wife would make quail sandwiches for us for lunch. They are tiny birds and he hunted with a shotgun so there was always a little buckshot in the meat.

After dinner we went downtown to Christ Church. We hadn’t been to Compline in a few years so it was better than ever. Stephen Kennedy, an instructor of sacred music at Eastman School of Music, conducts the voices, a large group of which are his students. The program goes fast, not even thirty minutes last night. You are sort of stunned when its over.