I worked very hard, mustered up energy and took the train into the city Sunday morning. Destination: Secret Park with the Central Park Sketching MeetUp Group. I gave myself enough time but didn’t factor in all the subway lines that were having weekend maintenance work done on them. One line had the local train running on the express tracks and another line had the express train stopping at the local stations. Plus I won’t mention the fact that the frequency of subways running was decreased. To be truthful it wasn’t all bad – there was plenty of time to observe the Underground Wildlife.
When I finally arrived at 51st Street and Lexington Avenue I was late and still had to walk three of the long east-west blocks to join the group. I huffed and puffed towards First Avenue under the now hot sun, and phoned Scott – “I’m coming, wait for me!”. You see, the entrance to the park was “secret” and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to find it. (I was also convinced I was using up the allotment of
my Hot Summer Day Energy just getting to the meeting spot.) Phew. The group of about 30 were waiting for stragglers in the shade of a tall building on the corner and Scott waved to me from across the street.
The organizer, Jesse, led us another block eastward and through a gate and down a whole lot of skinny stone steps. The atmosphere changed considerably from hot sun radiating off of concrete, to one of trees trees trees and shade and unexpected constant breezes (which up until then had been non-existent) and benches all over the place. It was a Cool Oasis and I was glad that I was there. I’m not sure the regulars were very happy to be inundated by an art supply toting hoard but once we took out our pencils and pens and paints it got very quiet.
After 30 minutes of sketching we all gathered at this big round thingamabob and displayed our drawings. I met a woman named Dilly and chatted and found out she is staying in the neighborhood of my former job.
We had a nice conversation and then it was time to gather up our notebooks and sketch again.
Scott and I had planned on not being shy so we took out our iPads to do some Plein Air a la Digital art.
We needn’t have worried. Everyone was curious and interested in what we were doing and it led to some nice conversations.
When I showed Anna what I was doing while she was sketching some “nature” she was delighted and I
e-mailed it to her right then and there.
Scott and I put our iPads on the round concrete display thingy with one of us guarding them while the other artists passed by and asked loads of questions.
It was a fun day and I completely forgot that it was HOT in the real world at the top of the steps. Ugh! We had decided to walk up to MOMA and just pop in for a very short visit to only one exhibit. We were dripping wet and pretty near exhausted by the time we arrived. Our destination was the South African prints and then we stopped upstairs to see the Hungarian posters.
I decided to walk back to Penn Station (about one mile) because of the subway – or lack of subway – situation and I do not exaggerate when I say it almost KILLED me.