Springtime Sketchbook

I don’t remember ever seeing as many flowers as I’ve seen this Spring. Daffodils, tulips, pansies, posies, hyacinth, daisies, and morning glories. You can’t swing a dead cat in this town without hitting one.

“It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want—oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” 
Mark Twain





The daffodils have been especially brilliant and breathtaking. Madison Square Park alone has over fifty varieties of daffodils blooming in it. I only knew of one daffodil before reading the story of the 3 million daffodil bulbs that were planted in NYC after September 11, 2001 as a living memorial.


“If winter comes, can spring be far behind?”
Percy Bysshe Shelley





The removal of the Bank of America Winter Village from Bryant Park is always one of the highlights of the year for me. The new lawn is in and even though you can’t sit on it yet you can sit around it and breathe it in. We gather mid-day like animals around an oasis.



“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”


Ranier Maria Rilke

“When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.” 
Ernest Hemingway

New Orleans Sketchbook

Bourbon Streetlight

New Orleans is like no other place on Earth. There, music is the currency with the greatest value, as it should be everywhere. The melting pot was bubbling in the bayou before it had found its way to most other places. The French, African, Spanish, and Native American influences don’t pollinate other populations the way they do the denizens of the Crescent City.












The first band we saw in New Orleans was the Royal Street Winding Boys. We landed at Louis Armstrong Airport late in the afternoon and after dinner followed the sound of Jenavieve Cook’s trumpet into in a place called The 21st Amendment on Iberville Street between Royal and Bourbon. About an hour in I was giving serious consideration to never leaving. A few days later we saw the band again with a slightly different lineup at the Spotted Cat on Frenchman Street, where I did this sketch of them:

The Royal Street Winding Boys

Dizzy

The bass player, Dizzy, was in both incarnations of the band and I drew him at The Spotted Cat.





















It’s a tough town to leave. Even tougher because it hasn’t left me. It’s the kind of town, like my own New York City, that you can’t help but take for granted if you live there, but if you don’t, you might turn an unfamiliar corner and catch a glimpse of the promised land.

Here’s a video of The Royal Street Winding Boys performing “I Found A New Baby” at the Dragon’s Den.

A Wrinkle In Time

 

A wrinkle in time that crosses a border
Increases disorder
Corrects the divine
Perfects imperfections that cross over the line
And wither on the vine
Turn water to wine and wine back into water
My son for your daughter
Your lessons for mine
Lets lessen our time with displays of disorders
That have outrun time
And cross the finish line without ever breaking the tape

Jersey Shore Sketchbook – Dunes & Tunes

Here’s another photo-and-sketch collage, put together from a trip to Lavallete, NJ last weekend. Nothing goes with dunes like tunes and no tunes go with the beach like the Beach Boys. 

This is the first song Brian Wilson ever wrote. In his own words: “Back in 1961, I’d never written a song in my life. I was nineteen years old. And I put myself to the test in my car one day. I was actually driving to a hot dog stand, and I actually created a melody in my head without being able to hear it on a piano. I sang it to myself; I didn’t even sing it out loud in the car. When I got home that day, I finished the song, wrote the bridge, put the harmonies together and called it ‘Surfer Girl’.”


Little surfer little one
Made my heart come all undone
Do you love me?

Do you surfer girl?

I have watched you on the shore
Standing by the ocean’s roar
Do you love me?

Do you surfer girl?

We could ride the surf together
While our love would grow

In my Woody I would take you 
Everywhere I go

So I say from me to you
I will make your dreams come true
Do you love me?

Do you surfer girl?