Free Markets, Free People

Successful NYC Trip …

I just barely beat the global warming home. Otherwise, I had a great trip up to New York City. Here’s some of the highlights:

The Empire State building as seen from the roof of my sister's apartment building.

The Empire State building as seen from the roof of my sister's apartment building.

Looking across the East River into Queens

Looking across the East River into Queens

I made it a point to go take pictures in Central Park. These are from the Bethesda Terrace which is Mid-Park around 72nd Street.

Angel of the Waters at Bethesda Terrace, Central Park

Angel of the Waters at Bethesda Terrace, Central Park



Detail on Angel of Waters statue

Detail on Angel of Waters statue

Bethesda Terrace Bridge

Bethesda Terrace Bridge

View from underneath Bethesda Terrace Bridge

View from underneath Bethesda Terrace Bridge

Hand-painted tiles underneath Bethesda Terrace Bridge

Hand-painted tiles underneath Bethesda Terrace Bridge

Detail from Bethesda Terrace Bridge

Detail from Bethesda Terrace Bridge

The Naumburg Bandshell is just south of the terrace.

Me at the Naumburg Bandshell

Me at the Naumberg Bandshell

We also made the trip up the Cloisters, which is way up north on the Upper West Side overlooking the Hudson River, in Fort Tryon park. It was completed in 1938 and houses some of the medieval art collection from the 1100′s through the 1400′s.

View of the Cloisters looking Southeast

View of the Cloisters looking Southeast

View of the Cloisters looking Southwest

View of the Cloisters looking Southwest

There museum is packed to the gills with interesting pieces, but I particularly liked the stained glass.

Stained glass pieces

Stained glass pieces

Stained glass in old cathedral

Stained glass in old cathedral

St. Paul attempting to save some wrongly condemned pilgrams

St. Paul attempting to save some wrongly condemned pilgrams

Roundel depicting ... something mystic

Roundel depicting ... something mystic

The roundels were the most interesting stained glass pieces, as they typically depicted unusual and rather graphic scenes as opposed to just stories about saints or royalty. The following roundel was called something like “Into the Pit of Hell.” Rather evil imagery:

Roundel depicting a scene from Hell

Roundel depicting a scene from Hell

Detail of roundel

Detail of roundel

This Madonna and Child statue, carved from boxwood, only stood about 12 inches tall. The detail in of the folds in Mary’s garments was simply amazing in its delicacy.

Madonna and Child carved from boxwood

Madonna and Child carved from boxwood

During the Middle Ages, religious artifacts were highly prized possessions that local churches collected in hopes of visiting the grace of Providence upon the congregation. Body parts alleged to be that of saints were particularly valuable, and were often kept in a reliquary. This reliquary supposedly housed the arm of a saint, the bones of whom would have been seen through the two rectangular holes:

Reliquary

Reliquary

The Crusades were very good for the wealth of the various churches in Europe. These altar pieces were carved from marble in amazing detail and intricacy:

Altar pieces

Altar pieces

Detail of marble altar piece

Detail of marble altar piece

More detail

More detail

I don’t know who this is or what he’s doing, but it sort of reminded me of St. George vanquishing the dragon. As with a lot of these medieval pieces, the blood and gore are on full and unapologetic display:

Noble vanquishing some hideous being in a rather nonchalant manner

Noble vanquishing some hideous being in a rather nonchalant manner

Later that night, my sister and I visited with some of her British friends at a comfy little bar called Haven on 51st Street near 2nd Ave.

miles-and-mark

faith-a

A good time was had by all.

If anyone would like a copy of any of these pictures, and have most of them (and some others) in higher quality and would be happy to share them. Just send me an email and I’ll forward you whatever you want.

8 Responses to Successful NYC Trip …

  • That piece is St. Michael vanquishing Lucifer.

  • Yes. 

    You can tell by four things: the wings, the halo, the golden spear and the defeat of Lucifer.  It’s a very beautiful rendering of the more common picture you’ll see of St. Michael the Archangel.

    • Great.  Thanks, Joel.  I’m sure that my hungover condition had nothing to do with completely missing the symbolism ;)

  • and by ‘yes’, I mean the tapestry.

    I’d need a better look at the roundel to look into what it is.

    • At the museum, even up close, I had a hard time telling what the roundel was, but I found it very interesting.  It might actually be the same thing, or at perhaps God battling the Devil (as represented by a dragon).   

      Looking at the photo, it’s actually clearer that there is a turbaned figure riding on the back of a dragon and wielding a a rod or staff of some sort.  However, it also looks like there is a mortar sitting on the dragon’s head (making the staff a pestle?) with a tiny dragon peeking out of it.  I know that the dragon was typically used to symbolize Satan, so I think it’s probably safe to say that evil/the devil is what is being battled here. 

      Why a mortar and pestle?  Can’t say, unless perhaps this roundel adorned the door of an Eastern (Turkish?) pharmacist maybe?  The piece could have been a way of signifying that whomever lived in the place sporting the roundel used potions or medicines to drive out evil. 

      Of course, as with the tapestry, I could have just read the freaking plaque explaining what the piece was, but after the first fifty or so my (recovering) brain was not up to the task.  And besides, this is more fun anyway, eh?

  • You have a great eye for composition, Michael. Well done.

    • Thanks, Jim!  I’m glad you enjoyed the pics.  These are all just the raw photos, so I wasn’t sure how they would turn out.  I still want to go in and do some cropping and play with the lighting/color balance/etc. on some of them.