Category Archives: Photography

Photoblog: SWIMMING IN A KANSAS SKY

I grew in the late, great, state of Kansas–the actual middle of the continental USA in a section of the state where instead of being flat (as people expect)we have rolling hills that meet the endless sky at the horizon all around you.  Every year I go home for a few days, and take pictures trying to capture the vastness of it all. Yesterday, I happened to be in a car on the highway at sunset and was able to take some of these shots. I can’t wait to blow them up….

Photoblog: Enjoying Lily Ponds…

Last week, I finally braved the NYC heat wave to see the Lotus ponds in bloom at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden.  Of course, since my favorite color is yellow, and I was giving my chakras a boost I was all in yellow–including carrying a yellow parasol(sun umbrella, to you)……

IMG_0653 IMG_0655 IMG_0658 IMG_0663

Black Japanese????

For years I’ve attended the Cherry Blossom Festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden,and it’s always cracked me up how stunned the Japanese tourists are to see me there…in a kimono…. One year as I was walking along one of the gravel paths surrounding the Tea House Lake, I suddenly heard rapid footsteps behind me.  It was an entire film crew from a Japanese Tv station there to see the festival, and they begged me to stop and explain why I was wearing a Kimono…I thought the poor guy would fall into the lake when I told him I’d been born in Okinawa (my Dad was stationed there at the time), and that the outfit was my own creation(see the bottom photo)….

This year I was literally attacked by the woman in the purple kimono who demanded I take photos with her and her friends; she even insisted one of them hold my yellow parasol to balance the picture. Frankly I was afraid she was going to run off with it.

Greta with touristsGreta with parasol group

Greta in green kimono

THE CHURCH WITH A HEART-The Little Church Around the Corner

Little Church 3

After moving to NYC, I worked for a midtown fabric company, and discovered a beautiful little church on a side street.  It figures that a singer would stumble upon the famous “Little Church Around the Corner”, known as the “Actors Church”, or The Church of the Transfiguration (it is actually an Episcopal Church, but there’s also a Catholic actors church–St. Malachy’s).

The history of the church is one of acceptance. Since performers travel all the time, they weren’t  in any one city consistently enough to be considered church members, and therefore many churches would not allow them to be married, baptize their children–or even be buried on their property.  I’ve discovered that since most cemeteries were church-owned, in centuries past, many famous actors were buried in pet cemeteries, or african-american churchyards.  A famous singer–who was the toast of the Main Line set– died in her hotel after a concert in Philadelphia in the 1950’s.  It took the authorities a week to find somewhere to bury her.

“The Little Church Around the Corner” has a proud heritage of inclusion and commitment to helping those in need, hosting a diverse community embracing all people, across a vast spectrum of cultural, ethnic, racial, gender, sexual orientation and economic backgrounds, as full members of the  body of Christ. (One of the attached photos is the full explanation of the church’s name, which supposedly dates back to Thomas Jefferson).

But beyond all that, the church is an oasis of quiet in the middle of the Midtown New York City, the entrance set back from the street, with a garden and fountain in front. The interior is full of dark woods, and it is incredibly soothing to just go inside, sit, and think your own thoughts….

How wonderful that in this age of churches that are insisting their mission is exclusion, that there are some who practice inclusion….

Little Church 2

Little Church 4Little church 1

YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN KARMA WILL HIT….

The Church of the Innocents on West 55th and Broadway had a beautiful Good Friday Service this afternoon, but on leaving the church I decided to investigate the unusual cemetery behind it. (Where I grew up in Kansas, individual churches didn’t have cemeteries; there was one for the city, and another at the nearby army base).  As I was leaving I noticed a 14-foot celtic cross ornately carved with various birds on all sides,and the name AUDUBON in big letters at the base.  Yep. It was the grave of James Audubon, the famous bird illustrator!  Although there were trees and bushes all over the grounds, the only one with birds singing in it was the bush just to the left of his tombstone….a fitting tribute….

AUDUBON TOMBSTONE

Photoblogging : Tree captures the moon

I never realized how fascinated I was by trees….walking around the neighborhood last night around 6PM I saw the rising moon captured by a tree that was just beginning to bud, and I just couldn’t resist whipping out my camera….As I took the shot, the Van Morrison song “Moondance” sprang to mind,

What a marvelous night for a moon dance, with the stars up above in your eyes. A fantabulous night to make romance, ‘neath the cover of October skies.  And all the leaves on the trees are fallen’ to the sound of the breezes that blow, and I”m trying to please to the calling of your heart strings that play soft and low.  And all the night’s magic seems to whisper and hush, and all the soft moonlight seems to shine–in your blush.  Can I just have one more moon dance with you, my love?  Can I just make some more romance with you, my love?…..

Moontree

RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS #1

Drums on the Hudson

For years I used to take the Long Island Railroad Day Trip to the Shinnecock Nation PowWow in South Hampton, New York, to enjoy watching the Native American dancers perform while the hundreds of spectators gorged themselves on the fabulous food.  The tribe built a giant stage shaped and decorated like a drum, whose top was actually made of grass and dirt, so they are literally dancing on the earth.

The last year I attended the festival, I had found a beautiful cotton printed with an American flag, which had a bald eagle with outstretched wings in the center, and made sure I brought it with me, I had learned long ago that when attending these events it was Indian custom to bring gifts, that they could exchange with other.  As they began a dance for military vets, something made me get up with the idea of giving it to one of the dancers to use.  When I arrived backstage, I saw a young man who was earnestly begging his elderly grandfather to get out onstage with the other dancers.  “Please, it’s your right, and the dance is almost over.”  “No. I’m not going.”

I walked up to them and said, “My father tells me our family has blackfoot indian roots, and he passed away this past year.  He was a veteran of three wars.  Would you take this scarf and dance with it to honor him?”  They both looked at me, and the grandfather took the scarf and walked up the steps to the dance platform.  When I reached my seat in front, I saw him dancing in the circle with the others, proudly waving the scarf.  The dance was almost over so he wasn’t up there long.  At the end of the dance I walked backstage again and thanked him for using the scarf.  He tried to give it  back to me, and I refused to take it, telling him it was my gift to him for honoring me, and I walked away.

Later that day, the young man found me in the crowd and thanked me for what I had done. He said his grandfather was still wearing the scarf, with pride…..