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10/05/2008

Comments

James van Maanen

Lovely piece. In some ways, only some, it brings to mind my own grandmother and grandfather. Thanks. And thanks, too, for all the pieces that I have NOT had time to comment on....

c.

Beautiful, in The Gay Recluse manner.

Clearly, a reminiscence like yours resonates with more than a few people, especially those of immigrant ancestry. Our pedigrees are significantly different, at least on the surface, but I, too, was born with only one, surviving grandparent, a grandmother. She lived in Queens, in what seemed, to me, in my childhood, like a magical apartment, filled with treasures very much evoked by your blue, cased-crystal vase. I have her wedding band, which I've worn (on my right hand) for 30+ years (she had big hands); an art-deco torchiere (which was inexpensive, I'm certain, but a beautiful archetype, nonetheless); and a striking, fringed and beaded silk appliqué she sewed by hand. This piece was used as a closure on a dress she'd also sewn for herself, for going out dancing, in the Twenties (about a decade after her arrival in the U.S.). Apparently, she was quite the seamstress, and quite the social dancer. The dress is long gone, but the appliqué remains, a testament to a vigorously creative mind, which I sadly did not get to know.

Her carefully sewn, multi-colored, deco beadwork is like your neglected, tessellated, Washington Heights foyers: a talisman, conjuring entire worlds, and lives, of craftsmanship, internal aesthetic standards, and a search for joy and dignity in the chaos, upheaval, and constraints of early 20th-century, immigrant life.

Thanks, as usual, for bringing me back so adeptly, to a potent, personal memory.

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Gods final
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The Metropolis Case

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Music: Death Culture at Sea and Saturnine

Listen or download songs and records from my indie-rock past with Saturnine here and Death Culture at Sea here.

Music Video: Remembrance of Things Past

Watch the rock opera Remembrance of Things Past written and performed by Saturnine and Frances Gibson, starring Bennett Madison and Sheila McClear.

Video: The Chaos Detective

The Chaos Detective is a series about a man searching for 'identity' as he completes assignments from a mysterious organization. Watch the first episode (five parts) on YouTube.

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