Friday, June 29, 2012

Strawberries and Cream from Wimbledon: A shocker as unknown Lukas Rosol defeats Nadal in the second round

Nadal is ranked number two in the world and he is an eleven time Grand Slam champ.

Since 2005, Nadal has only lost at Wimbledon in the finals.

On the other hand, Rosol is ranked 100 and has lost in the first round of the qualifying  at Wimbledon for the last five years.

Yet, Rosol was playing "in the zone" for the entire match and overpowered Nadal when it counted the most-- especially in the fifth set.

There was a half hour break between the fourth and fifth sets as the call was made to close the roof. Perhaps, Rosol would contemplate his 'unreal' freaky performance and falter in the final set.

Instead, Rosol maintained his high level of play. Nadal was stunned and stymied as he could not play his uncanny game of scrambling from side to side and utilizing his top spin retrievals. He was effectively 'frozen in his tracks.'

The New York Times reporter Christopher Clarey aptly summarized the tone of the match:  "The final game of Nadal's  2012 Wimbledon went like this: ace from Rosol up the T at 132 miles per hour; second serve and huge forehand winner; ace up the T at 134 m.p.h.; on match point, ace wide at 129 m.p.h."

The match was a wonder to behold and I can only wonder how many more rounds Lukas will advance.
Image source (1)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Horsin Around Outdoor Summer Art Exhibition debuts in Stamford

Soaring over Stamford created by
Charles Fazzino placed in front of the Ferguson Library

A few months ago, I presented a video clip of the indoor preparations for the Horsin Around outdoor summer art exhibition. (Click here to see.)

The installation has been completed and you can see 40 life-size fiberglass horses designed by 29 artists  throughout the downtown area.

The Stamford Downtown Special Services has published a booklet that presents photos of each horse  and a map showing its location.

Enjoy the show and let me know which is your favorite.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Class of 1962 Celebrates Class Day at Columbia College on Morningside Heights

The blogger and Ed Pressman at the John Jay
Hall breakfast prior to Class Day ceremonies

For the second year in row, I attended class day events at the at the Columbia College Commencement ceremonies. (For last year's posts click here.)

After the honor of carrying the class banner, I attended the Commencement. 

Carrying the Class flag is fun even 
in the light rain

Rick MacArthur Class of 1978 and publisher of Harper's Magazine delivered the keynote address. He urged the graduating students "to absorb, to question, to challenge to refute any author on any subject..." Close textual reading, reflection and refutation, if necessary, is what is expected of the Columbia College student. 

Fiftieth anniversary class representatives, Class of 1962 included Paul Alter, Burton Lehman, Stanley Lupkin and Edward Pressman.

Over one thousand students received the Bachelor Of Arts degree this year.  

I look forward to attending next year's fifty-first reunion. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Harry Bennett Library hosts a captivating lecture on Gertrude Stein and her Artists: Matisse, Picasso and Cezanne

Pablo Picasso, Portrait of Gertrude Stein, 1906

Helaine Rheingold presented a slide show illustrating works by three towering late 19th and 20th century artists-- Cezanne, Matisse and Picasso.

The large community room of the Bennett library was nearly filled to capacity.

 Ms. Rheingold did not disappoint the crowd because she has a unique style of engaging her audience.

At the outset, she made it very clear that you are going to be direct participants; I will be inviting your comments. Sure enough, the audience quickly became willing participants as she often peppered her remarks with questions that were eagerly answered.

Here are just a few points she made:

Cezanne liked painting still lifes because he had no patience in dealing with people who would cause so much trouble; he would insist his subjects sit silently still for hours on end. In painting Ambrose Vollard a portrait dealer, Cezanne demanded he sit on a kitchen chair atop a flimsy packing case from 8AM until 11:30 PM. Once, when Vollard dozed off and nearly fell, Cezanne shouted, "Does an apple move?"

Picasso claimed that Cezanne was "my one and only master...Cezanne was like the father of us all."

Paul Cezanne, Plate of Peaches, 

Matisse set up a serious daily regimen because he panicked (shook, swore, sweated) when he painted. He would get up at 7AM and play his violin for two hours in a remote bathroom. For the next three hours, he would paint and after lunch would either nap, or stroll past Aleppo pines in the garden to one of the cafes. At four, he would return to his easel until dark. He would close the shades and do some drawing. 

Picasso left  a legacy of over thirty thousand paintings. Little known are the lifelike portraits he did of his father and his wife Olga. He also did caricatures of other famous artists' works such as Velazquez's famous Las Meninas. 

Indeed Picasso was known to have said "Good artists copy, great artists steal." 

By the way, Ms. Rheingold is a docent at the Neuberger Museum of Art and Arts Enrichment Facilitator with the Stamford Public Schools. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Spotted, a new horse icon joins Belltown along Newfield Avenue in Stamford

Newfield Avenue's new equestrian metal sculpture
that is on the lawn of Lakeside Pottery 

My passion for riding and writing about horses has been covered in posts about the American Quarterhorse and the 'white horse with no name' that graces the Sunoco station across from Grade A shopping center on Newfield Avenue. (see: Newfield Avenue's fixture: a horse with no name)

Now another horse with no name has suddenly surfaced in the same neighborhood on the lawn of the Lakeside Pottery School, Studio and Gallery diagonally across from the Sunoco station. (see accompanying pictures)

This brown sculpture is now the latest addition to Stamford's outdoor art.

Indeed, it is a welcome prelude to the Stamford Downtown Special Services outdoor summer art festival, Horsin' Around.