Journal

A Forum for Diary Entries, Essays, Observations, Poetry, News, and Reviews

America’s Greatest Example of Land Art

Because Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux used the existing schist bedrock foundations and outcrops as well as hundreds of thousands of cartloads of soil imported from New Jersey and Long Island to build Central Park according to their Greensward plan with its bedrock-based and bedrock-strewn glaciated topography, this 830-acre landscape can be considered to be a work of land art, a stylistic precursor of the 1960s and ‘70s movement to use on-site natural elements and related open spaces to build large landscapes of a conceptual nature. READ MORE >


Summit Rock, the Tallest Point in Central Park as a Palimpsest of Multi-generational History

We live in an ever-changing world in which intention, necessity, warfare, and time are the great transformational agents of places. The result is a historically layered palimpsest of appearance, both hidden and visible. Think of Central Park as a prime example of how stasis combined with alteration constitutes the landscapes of the world. A fine perspective from which to sample this is atop Summit Rock on the western edge of the park between 83rd and 85th Streets. Join me here for a below- and above-ground view that includes the recent celebration on Summit Rock of Juneteenth, the recently declared national holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the United States.   READ MORE >


Discovering Central Park’s Above-ground Bedrock Foundations

Central Park’s bold rock outctops of Manhattan Mica schist have a smoothness and sheen caused by their scouring by passage of glacial ice over 20,000 years ago. The prominence these rock outcrops in Frederick Law Olmsted’s and Calvert Vaux’s 1857 design for Central Park is an incomparable feat of nature-based landscape architecture for the purpose of aesthetic appreciation, physical enjoyment, and structural support for constructions dedicated to recreation, events, and in one case, long-term occupation. READ MORE >


Venice Revisited

For arm-chair travelers in a time of restricted opportunities to foreign countries, a travel diary can provide a great vicarious vacation. Here you may relive with me a day-by-day account of my wedding trip to Venice in 1984 with my new husband Ted, and subsequent return on our first anniversary one year later. This was something more than a trip of a lifetime since Venice is not only a place of the heart for newly espoused lovers but also a great treasure house for art- and architecture-lovers that beckons you to visit again and again. Please climb now into my  memory-laden gondola and follow my recaptured itinerary for an unforgettable experience of the glories of La Serenissima. READ MORE >


Wainscott: Cherishing Memories of my Former Home in a Non-Hampton Hamlet in the Hamptons

In memory I feel the key I am holding in my right hand turn the lock as my left hand presses down on the handle that opens the front door. Now stand with me in the entry vestibule as I tell you about the history of the farmhouse I owned for fifty-four years in the hamlet of Wainscott within the Township of East Hampton on the South Fork of Long Island. We will then go back outside and take an illustrated tour of the garden that I created during my fifty-four years of ownership of this property. READ MORE >


Lee County: The Setting of Barbara Kingsolver’s Demon Copperhead and Land of my Pioneer Ancestors

You don’t often read a novel where the setting is historically familiar to you personally while the plot provides an education on a difficult contemporary subject – in this case, the Opioid Crisis in Appalachia. Barbara Kingsolver’s new book is a tour de force that, far from being an example of the novel as polemic, is a deep and sympathetic dive into the underbelly of a seriously troubled specific place that happens to be a significant piece of my ancestral heritage, the facts of which are here woven into my review of Demon Copperhead. READ MORE >


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A Forum for
Diary Entries, Essays, Observations, Poetry, News, and Reviews


JOURNAL ARCHIVE

DIARY

Venice Revisited

Wainscott: Cherishing Memories of my Former Home in a Non-Hampton Hamlet in the Hamptons

Hill Country Journal

Budding Poets in the Park

Central Park Conservancy 40th Anniversary

Nine-Eleven Remembered

ESSAY

An Analysis of the Sonnet as a Form of Poetic Expression

OBSERVATIONS

Part Three: Central Park as An Outdoor Museum

Part Two: Central Park as An Outdoor Museum

Part One: Central Park as An Outdoor Museum

Designing the Central Park Luminaire: Nature as Ornament

“The Gates” by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, 2005

Jacob Wrey Mould: Central Park’s Third Designer

America’s Greatest Example of Land Art

Summit Rock, the Tallest Point in Central Park as a Palimpsest of Multi-generational History

Discovering Central Park’s Above-ground Bedrock Foundations

POETRY

The Life and Times of Garth Fergusson, Poet

NEWS

Writing the City

REVIEWS

Lee County: The Setting of Barbara Kingsolver’s Demon Copperhead and Land of my Pioneer Ancestors

The Wind in the Willows