Pink Thing of The Day: Rose Quartz Cosplayer From Steven Universe!

Rose Quartz Cosplayer
Photos By Gail

Five Points Fest did not really have a ton of cosplayers running around, at least not on the day I attended, but this dedicated fan of the animated TV show Steven Universe definitely stopped me in my tracks, dressed as they were as the likeness of Rose Quartz, a character from that show. Oh, the Pinkness.

Rose Quartz

Here’s what Rose Quatrz‘ character looks like on the show, so you can see they did a bang up job replicating her costume! You can read more about Rose Quartz on her fan-created Wiki Page!

Rose Quartz Cosplayer

Rose Quartz Cosplayer Spy Pic!


Eureka By Brian Tolle at Federal Hall

Eureka Installation View
All Photos By Gail

Eureka is the name of this 40-foot tall  monumental sculpture, which depicts a rippling and distorted façade of a 17th century Dutch Canal House (paying homage to 40 years of Dutch rule in New York). Originally created by artist Brian Tolle for curatror Jan Hoet’s city-wide exhibition, Over the Edges (2000), in Ghent, Belgium, its representation in Federal Hall blurs the site’s architectural and political history with the contemporary in the conceptual artwork. Previously, the sculpture was on display at C24 Gallery in Chelsea as part of Tolle’s February 2018 exhibit, Bent.

Eureka Installed at C24 Gallery
Eureka Installed at C24 Gallery

The sculpture’s ripped appearance is meant to emulate the building’s rippled reflection in the flowing waterway that it borders.

Eureka Panoramic View

Tolle describes Eureka as “a sculptural play with illusion — a facade of a facade. Its Dutch-inspired form points to New York’s early history and its fluid, but troubled transformation from a Dutch seat of power to a British colony, to an American platform for diversity and democracy.” It’s sad to think that there are so many serious threats to that democracy right now. While you’re checking out Eureka, be sure to tour the rest of Federal Hall and see the various historical items on exhibit.

Federal Hall Exterior View
Statue of George Washington with Wall Street and The Stock Exchange as Seen From the Entrance to Federal Hall.

Eureka Brochure

Brian Tolle’s Eureka will be on Display Through September 8th, 2018 at Federal Hall National Memorial, Located at 26 Wall Street (Across from the Exchange) in the Financial District, NYC.

Eye On Design: Sailor Suit Dress By Norman Norell

Norell Sailor Suit
Photos By Gail

Norman Norell grew up wearing sailor suits, so it’s perhaps not surprising that this look was one of his favorites. He produced countless versions throughout his career. Norell’s nautical style dresses ranged from those with gigantic balloon sleeves and skirts crafted out of organza to slim, sleeveless shifts made from linen. No matter the shape, each one had the requisite bow and square, back-draped collar. Norell’s sailor bows were big, bold and made with stiff organza to keep them shipshape!

Norell Sailor Suit

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit Norell: Dean of American Fashion, at the Museum at FIT.

The Corpse Flower at the NYBG: I Saw It!

Corpse Flower From Right
Behold: The Titan-Arum, or Corpse Flower (All Photos By Gail)

On Wednesday, June 27th, I took a three-hour lunch break in the middle of a work day so I could take the train up the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) in the Bronx to see the Corpse Flower bloom. I had been following the NYBG’s Instagram feed for a couple of days while it was on bloom-watch, and knew that once the plant blooms you have about 24 hours to see it before it wilts.  Considering that these plants bloom only once every 2 to 10 years, I knew it would be worth the hassle to get up there and, as you can see by these photos, it was!

Corpse Flower at a Distance

Here are some fascinating Corpse Flower facts that I learned while I was dancing around the selfie-takers to get these pictures. Titan-Arum (Amorphopallus titanium), or Corpse Flower is a native to the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. Its enormous flower spike is the largest inflorescence (flower structure) in the Plant Kingdom. This Titan-arum was nurtured in the warm tropical zone of the Nolan Greenhouses. The hot and humid conditions in the greenhouse mimic the natural conditions of Sumatra, and the plant must be watered and fertilized copiously. Titan-arum blooms are rare and unpredictable. Each plant takes seven to ten years to store enough energy to bloom for the first time. This Titan-arum is 11 years old.

Corpse Flower Wide Shot

The fleshy spike, called a spadix, bears small flowers in rings around its base. The spadix can grow up to 12 feet tall, and is wrapped in a frilly, modified leaf called the spathe. When the plant is ready to bloom, the spathe unfurls, exposing the flowers inside. You may recognized the structure’s resemblance to a calla-lilly, anthurium, and jack-in-the-pulpit, which are all relatives in the arum family, Araceae.

Corpse Flower From Left Narrow

Amorphopallus titanium is often called corpse flower because when it blooms it emits a powerful stench similar to that of rotting meat. This scent, along with the deep-red, meaty color of the open spathe, attracts insect pollinators that feed on dead animals. Which brings me to the question everyone wants to ask: how gross did it smell? From where I was standing, about five or six feet from the flower, the smell reminded me of when you empty the water from a vase that fresh-cut flowers have been sitting in for a week. Funky, but not repulsive. If you put your nose right up on it, it would probably be a different story.

Corpse Flower Close Up

Titan-arums take years to form flower buds, but when they finally do, the flowers mature very quickly. Horticulturists noticed that a six-inch-tall flower bud had formed on Friday, June 1st. By June 18th, the bud was 57 inches tall! Wow!

Corpse Flower From Right with Reflection

Later, growth slows significantly. Two leaves at the base of the spathe shrivel and fall off. The spathe begins to open, revealing the red-purple color inside, and completely unfurls over the course of about 36 hours. During full bloom, the spadix self-heats to approximately human body temperature, which helps to disseminate odor particles.

Corpse Flower with Babies

Displayed alongside the blooming plant are several other Titan-arums, in various stages of growth.

Corpse Flower Life Cycle

For most of its life, a Titan-arum lives as a dormant underground plant stem that stores energy. Occasionally it produces vegetation that grows up  to 12 feet tall. Though it looks like a slender tree, this structure is botanically only one enormous leaf, divided into many small leaflets. The leaf collects energy for 12 to 18 months. Between leaf cycles, the plant goes dormant for up to one year.

Corpse Flower From Left

The smallest plants on display are the seedlings that are decedents of the plant that flowered at the NYBG in 2016, and another Titan-Arum that bloomed at the Denver Botanic Gardens one week later. The NYBG collaborated with colleagues in Denver to use pollen from the New York plant to pollinate the flowers of the Denver plant. In seven to ten years, these plants may produce flowers of their own.

The Garden’s previous Corpse Flower — the third specimen ever to bloom at NYBG — is the one that bloomed in late July, 2016, attracting over 25,000 visitors to the Garden in just a few days. This is only the fourth Corpse Flower to bloom at NYBG since June 8th, 1937. If you ever have the chance to see one of these plants in person, you should definitely take advantage of it. It could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience!!

All Photographs were taken in the Enid A, Haupt Conservatory at the New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY.

Corpse Flower From Right 2

Product Review: Summer Snacking and BBQ Favorites From Traina Home Grown

Traina Brand Images
All Photos By Gail

It’s hard to believe, but we are now half-way through summer. If you aren’t already deeply-immersed in the weekend picnic and backyard BBQ scene, it’s time to step up your game! Traina Foods has just introduced Home Grown;  a new line of healthy dried fruit snacks and gourmet condiments that makes it easy to bring the taste of summer to your table right now!

Snack Size Frutons

One of the best things about summer is the abundance of fresh summer fruits that you can find everywhere — from the grocery store to your local farmer’s market. But, as silly as this may sound to some, there are those who miss out on fresh summer fruits because the time and effort it takes to wash, peel and cut up the fruit is just too daunting. With a plant-forward approach to eating in mind, Traina Home Grown introduces Fruitons, a delicious, convenient way to help you meet your overall healthy diet needs with perfectly portioned snack bags of their naturally sweet California sun-dried fruit. Sun-dried fruit is nutritionally equivalent to fresh fruit, being high in fiber, healthy nutrients, and antioxidants. Good to know!

Traina Dried Apricots
Traina Home Grown Dried Apricots

Not only are Fruitons a tasty, grab-and-go snack, but they can also be a versatile ingredient in creative meal preparation. I’ve been taking Fruitons to the office and adding them to the morning oatmeal I buy in the cafeteria.

Oatmeal with Dried Fruit
Oatmeal With Apricot and Cherry Fruitons Mixed In!

The hot cereal plumps the dried fruit, adding a chewy sweetness, and making a healthy breakfast even more delicious!

Frutons Large Bags

Fruitons also come in larger, resealable 6-once bags, so you can add the taste and nutritional benefits of dried fruit to all of your summer recipes.

Frutons Assorted Mix

Fruitons All American Blend contains a pleasing assortment of dried peaches, cranberries, grapes, apples and blueberries. This selection is ideal for making your own trail mix, sprinkling into salads, mixing into yogurt, and for perking-up the aforementioned hot cereals. Fruitons would also be an excellent substitute for raisins or other dried fruits that are called for in a variety of baking recipes! The creative possibilities are endless.

Frutons Sun Dried Tomatoes

Do you like sun-dried tomatoes? Who doesn’t? You probably already have a few favorite pasta recipes that call for this premium ingredient. Now you can have sweet and savory sun-dried tomatoes on hand all the time!

Traina Sauces
Traina Ketchups

If you’re planning a BBQ any time soon, be sure to pick up a couple of bottles of Traina Home Grown’s new Gourmet Ketchups and BBQ Sauces for all of your grilling needs! These sauces taste great on a variety of meats — burgers, chicken, steaks —  as well as on vegetables, and used in dips. There are four pounds of tomatoes in every bottle of Home Grown Sun Dried Tomato Ketchup, and these ketchups are also gluten free, kosher, vegan and contain no corn syrup.  There is an organic variety of Ketchup as well as two additional specialty favors.  Gourmet Sicilian Ketchup, with its Italian herb blend, is great on fish and chicken, and to add a kick to your meal,  try the spicy Gourmet Sriracha Ketchup! All are made with same care and quality ingredients.

Traina BBQ Sauces

You’re probably not going to find BBQ sauces like these anywhere else, because Traina Home Grown BBQ Sauces are made with real dried fruit, for an extra special taste! Both the Sun Dried Apricot and Sun Dried Plum BBQ Sauces are sweet and spicy, and would taste so amazing on ribs! The Sun Dried Plum variety reminds me very much of Hoisin Sauce. I served it as a dipping condiment with Trader Joe’s Masala Burgers, and it was off the hook!

Find out more about the Traina family of fine products, shop online, get recipes or find out where to shop in your neighborhood for the products in this post, at This Link!

Frutons Assorted Packaging

Modern Art Monday Presents: Portrait of Jacob Meyer de Haan By Paul Gauguin

Portrait of Jacob Meyer de Haan
Photo By Gail

This portrait from 1889 depicts one of Paul Gauguin’s closest friends, the Dutch painter Jacob Meyer de Haan, in the pose of a thinker. The painting includes two books that reflect Meyer de Haan’s preoccupations with religion and philosophy: John Milton’s Paradise Lost and Thomas Carlysle’s Sartor Resartus. Carlysle’s central character is called Diogenes, after the Greek philosopher who searched by lamplight for an honest man, and the prominent lamp shown here may extend the reference. This work was originally intended to form part of  a decorative panel for the door of an inn at Le Pouldo — a small coastal village in France where both artists stayed — and was to be hung next to a companion self-portrait by Gauguin that is now in the collection of the National Gallery in Washington, DC.

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.


Video Clip of The Week: Live, “Love Lounge”

Something I did not imagine I would ever be doing is posting a new video from alternative rock radio darlings Live in this column – and one featuring all four original members, no less! I admit that, not only because I was pretty sure that Live had broken up in a manner that could only be described as ‘acrimonious,’ but also because I had heard from sources that would know that lead singer Ed Kowalczyk had kind of, well, turned into dick. I guess that Ed must have worked through his issues, because Patrick (Dahlheimer) and the two Chads (Gracey and Taylor) have accepted him back into the fold, and Live is back to making the skull-splittingly-brilliant music that, at one point in the ’90s, made them The Biggest Band in the World — at least if this clip for “Love Lounge” is any indication. Wow. Wonders truly never cease.

If you are fans of old-school Live, you will be blown away by the sonic locomotive that is “Love Lounge.” Holy shit, Ed‘s voice is in top shape, and he is still one of the sexiest, most charismatic front men in rock. You don’t even need me to tell you anything else about this song except that, aurally, Live still have it going on. “Love Lounge” sounds like no time has passed since the glory day of Throwing Copper, except that Live somehow got ever better. Visually, you’ve got a wall of golden skulls, a high roller’s poker game, and a graffiti-covered tunnel as the major back drops that “Love Lounge” plays against. And then, there’s Ed looking like a stone solid rock god. It’s not anything I thought I would see again. And yet, here it is.

Ladies and gentlemen, Live is back. Enjoy!

Live Band 2018
Chad Taylor, Ed Kowalcyck, Chad Gracey and Patrick Dahlheimer are Live