28 July 2009

honey in the landscape

So here it is: Honey House at Bard College. The lovely cube building that I passed as I meandered from the Center for Curatorial Studies over toward the student union. There's something about the geometric balance of the building that really attracts me. If I could have one of these for my library, out on the back forty of my brother's property up on the hill, why I'd be in seventh heaven. A nice little hermitage, hopefully with a pond view someday. I'd like to know who designed it. When I googled likely words, I found a link to a slide database at Syracuse University but the link was dead so I'm checking with Barbara Opar to see if there's some ghost of the files that identified their architecture images.

Honey is one of those resonant words for me. My dad raised bees off and on, so there's memory there. My brother and I are both trying to figure out how you live close to a sibling.

All that culture at CCS drew to a close as Ann and I drove to the house she shares with Moira Kelly in Amenia, near the Connecticut border, about 40 minutes from Bard. The house is very comfortable and feels remote even though the grocery store is within walking distance. On Saturday, Moira and I went to her quarry and found some wonderful miniature landscapes in the treads of the abandoned steam shovel:

So I didn't make it to Storm King or New Paltz because we spent time at the quarry looking at miniature landscapes and libraries of rocks ... but we did stop at Wassaic Project. It's an abandoned seven-story flour mill that opened recently as an art space. The art on display could almost as easily have been shown in white-walled galleries and one longed for something that responded to the building. The renovators did a fine job filling in the gaps between the old lumber with new. And the progression through the building is fun; you don't feel like you're going up seven flights of stairs and there's plenty of mill equipment to look at as you meander.

23 July 2009

the week at bard

I cannot believe my week at Bard College is drawing to a close. I've been doing backlog cataloging at the Center for Curatorial Studies where Ann Butler, formerly archivist in the Fales Library at NYU, is now the librarian. The CCS collection is wonderful: great books in the backlog, Millennium has proved pretty easy to get a handle on, the setting is lovely (mid Hudson River Valley), great burritos at the truck just a mile or so down the road. If this itinerant cataloging can keep going, I'll be delighted.

I also cannot believe that it's been almost a month since my last posting here. That "hommage à Martín" was written just before I left the city to take the last of my stuff up to Alfred. It's now been almost a month and it's been busy. After a few days in Alfred, my family went on a camping trip for the week of July 4th. We were in a couple cabins, a campsite, and RV at Fillmore Glen State Park in the eastern Finger Lakes. The gorge was beautiful, thick with greenery, loving the wet spring and summer we've had so far. After Saturday through Wednesday there, I left for Chicago and the annual conference of the American Library Association. I love Chicago and being at ALA is generally a treat. Daniel, Scott and I stayed at the Palmer House which has a wonderful old-style lobby. We were on the 13th floor and the halls were lined with celebrity photos.

Then back in Alfred for a few days before leaving for Bard. I have been pleasantly surprised by the comfort that I've found in Alfred even though the bulk of my stuff is in a storage unit a short drive away. Since the house is full of six generations of stuff, there wasn't a lot of room to move in wholesale. I have begun to get my study in order and to blend in some of my dishes and similar things. Fortunately, the upstairs kitchen isn't too full and I can move some of the things I don't need up there. Perhaps we'll have trade-out every once in a while, or maybe I'll have summer and winter dishes. I never did that with my wardrobe but ....

Tomorrow night, I'll stay at Ann's because there's no room at the inn. I've been staying at the Grand Dutchess B&B in Red Hook. On Saturday, I hope to get to Storm King Art Center to see Maya Lin's new wave field and to New Paltz to see the Hudson River landscape paintings that are on view. The latter are from the collection of the New-York Historical Society so may be familiar. It will be good to see them in context, however. I had supper with a woman who works at New Paltz State and she says there's a very interesting side show that has panoramas from then and now. Those repeat photography images can be very compelling.

After lunch today, I went to the student union to find some coffee and some postcards. As I walked back to CCS, I passed a cube building of concrete blocks that was idyllic. Loved the geometry and simplicity. I'll have to take a picture tomorrow to add to the dream pavilions folder.