Monday, June 11, 2018

Images of America: Sag Harbor

Sag Harbor finally has its own "Images of America" book. I love the "Images" books and have one of every town and subject related to the Hamptons. Why? Because they are filled with historic photos of the area. Most that I've never seen before. Many that inspire me ask questions and read more history. The much admired Hannibal French House on Main Street's Captain's Row is photographed when its historic White Mulberry tree was feet shorter. 
The Hannibal French House is a private home, but you can go here for a peek inside.
by Tucker Burns Roth
The book is available at the Sag Harbor Historical Society
Annie Cooper Boyd House.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Fare Well, Fair Whale

Fair Well, Fair Whale 
Photograph by Joe Pintauro
Joe Pintauro, photographer, playwright, poet, author.... longtime Sag Harbor resident, passed away last week. His photograph Fair Well, Fair Whale hangs poignantly in the current 'Whale of a Show' at the Sag Harbor Whaling and Historical Museum. I think we are all in shock that this amazing man is no longer among us. Going to the museum, pausing in the quiet, viewing his work... grieving, he will be missed. The show is up until June 17th, stop by, honor and remember this very special man. 
Joe Pintauro by Jonathan Morse


Saturday, June 2, 2018

Waiting for Our Sign

It looks like its going to be another Cinema Summer.
Last year, the community rallied together and raised the funds to purchase the remains of the burned Sag Harbor Cinema from its long time owner. It was such a relief when we reached the seller's deadline and the acquisition was complete. It was a true holiday miracle! Now, we are in the second phase of fundraising to restore and rebuild; to bring the Cinema back to life in its NEW INCARNATION. It is still difficult to pass the Cinema site on Main Street. The neighboring property that was also burned is now on its way to being rebuilt. The Cinema's Main Street frontage is still an empty lot. I am impatient to see our sign back on Main Street. I am waiting for OUR SIGN!
From Main Street you can't see the part of the Cinema that survived the fire. I forget about the surviving Cinema auditorium, a big box, covered in flaking white paint, standing at the back of the lot. One cold, damp April Sunday, I had the opportunity to go into the Cinema auditorium and check it out. It is all still there! A little moldering and smoke tinged, but a complete time capsule. The projection booth is as it was the week of the 2016 fire. The films schedule for the week is still taped to the projector. Souvenirs of the many years of its existence are littered about. I was so excited after seeing it, I couldn't sleep. This video is the result (link here also):

So we fundraise and wait for OUR SIGN.
I'd love to see you July 8th at The Big Tent
It was in a dream. I was at a party on Main Street. Huge crowds. The entrance light from the Cinema baths everyone in a golden glow. I see friends dressed in red carpet attire. Judi in gold lamé, Margaret in deep red; a joyous community lines the street. As dreams do... the plot veers off into other strange directions. In real life, I can't wait to see this dream come true.

Some links:
Follow the Sag Harbor Cinema on 
#sagharborcinema

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Remembrance and Forgiveness

Each poppy is adorned with a ribbon. Each ribbon is emblazoned with the name of a veteran.
The American Legion Auxiliary, Cherbourg and Battle Post 388 sponsored the "Field of Poppies" to remember and honor Sag Harbor's Veterans. The Poppies were 'planted' during a ceremony in front of the WWI Memorial on Main Street. Each Veteran's name was read as the poppy in their honor was placed in the lawn. JoAnn Lyles, who lost her son, Lance Cpl. Jordan C. Haerter in Iraq, coordinated the project.
"What we're hoping is people will read all the names to find the one they're looking for, speak their names and they're not forgotten." - JoAnne Lyles via Sag Harbor Express
In memory of Marine Lance Cpl. Jordan C. Haerter.
The poppies of Sag Harbor.

We remember.

I am in the midst of reading "The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn" by Robert P. Watson. The book recounts the story of the American 'rebels' who were imprisoned by the British during the Revolutionary War on the notorious prison hulk Jerseyin Wallabout Bay, Brooklyn. The British were so horrible to the captured 'rebels' that historical accounts estimate that over 11,500 perished on this one ship; nearly three times as many as those reported as perishing in actual battles during the revolution. I think of 1776 as the United States' year of independence, but the last prisoners were taken off the Jersey in 1783. Seven years! 
The British Royal Navy ship HMS Jersey. via
Plan of the City of New York showing "Brookline" as a mosaic of farms. Wallabout Bay is shown on the map just below the "E" in East River and is the location of today's Brooklyn Navy Yard. Map Rendition by Army Lieutenant Bernard Ratzer, 1770. via

The recent Royal Wedding was stunning on many levels. 
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Photo by Yui Mok, Press Association via

We forgive.

Under the spell of Ghost Ship, the wedding struck me as a sign of forgiveness. With what we humans do to each other on a daily basis throughout history, it is a sign of hope.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Yellow Season

It's the "yellow season". Forsythia and daffodil offer their Spring greetings. It is also the season for the annual Guild Hall Members Show. This was the first year that Hugh and I went to the show's opening reception. I was shocked at the huge turn out. It was wonderful to see such a great showing for local artists. The show is up until May 19th and works are on sale to benefit Guild Hall. 
Hugh Gallagher with "Central Park Mall"
Oil on Canavas 11 x 14in
Gail Gallagher with "Collecting Shells"
Oil on Canvas 24 x 24in
Dawn is breaking earlier and bursts of yellow cheer City walks.
Spring flowers influence the morning doodle.
Tulip-like flowers in with the Manhattan Bridge in the background are on my mind.
View of Manhattan Bridge through a salt covered ferry window.
I left the ferry behind and rode a Citi Bike along the East River bike path one afternoon. I nearly stopped short with excitement when I saw that my morning doodle fantasy was reality.  I prepared a very large canvas today. 
Forsythia frame a Peconic Bay beach shack.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Venice

The Temptation of Forgiveness by Donna Leon via
I recently read Donna Leon's twenty-seventh novel in her Venetian Commissario Brunetti series.  The prose and the book's cover photograph brought me back to Venice. I began reading Donna Leon's Venetian mysteries on vacation visit to Venice years ago. The book was deeply satisfying as all of her novels are for me. Commissario Brunetti investigates crimes that often question what is wrong and right. The characters are compelling, we want to follow them from book to book. Then there is that Venice setting! We have yet to return, but our delayed Spring has me dreaming of vacation.
Donna Leon's characters inhabit Venice as locals do, traveling mostly by foot and vaporetto. We landed at Marco Polo and went directly to a water taxi stand. With jet lagged, sleep glazed eyes we sailed by yacht directly to our Venice hotel doorstep. 
Our first breakfast at the Danieli.
In Leon's books, the main character, Commisario Brunetti, is married to a professor who is also the daughter of an old Venice family. Old translating to,inhabiting a family Palazzo. The Hotel Danieli is composed of three buildings, one a 14th century palace or palazzo. In Leon's novels the lust for venetian property inspires fraud and sometimes murder. I can certainly understand this urge while admiring the beautiful atmosphere of the Danieli. The novels also describe the complexity of life in Venice; its residents inhabitants of both an historic ancient seaport and modern tourist destination.
During our visit, we walked and ogled all of the beautiful classic buildings and bridges. We visited Peggy Guggenheim's Palazzo, now a museum, and imagined what it must have been like to live there. 
Our visit was packed with amazing experiences, one I especially cherish was an evening of Musica a Palazzo, a studio performance of La Traviata presented in the rooms of a Palazzo. The evening began mysteriously, like a scene from a novel. We dined, unfashionably early, before the performance. While sitting in the sparsely occupied trattoria, I overheard a conversation at a table nearby. A supposed covert deal was apparently under way. Snippet overheard, "We'll need night vision goggles".....  English was spoken. Did they think only Italian speakers were sitting nearby and no one would overhear? Someone didn't do their, Spy 101 Compliance Training. After dinner, we walked to the opera performance through dark winding narrow Venetian streets. I kept glancing over my shoulder. What if they knew I had overheard? That phrase, "If I tell you, I'll have to kill you" floated through my brain. We arrived at the Palazzo unscathed, to an evening of glorious music performed in the intimate surroundings of 15th century palace. La Traviata had its premier in Venice in 1853. Our performance began in a candle lit salon with a raven haired Violetta singing in our midst, champagne glass in hand. As she passed by in a fitted red gown, she touched Hugh on the shoulder, establishing La Traviata as Hugh's favorite opera for life. 
Musica a Palazzo via
Carnival accoutrements are everywhere
I loved seeing this couple dressed in carnival finery. Oh to have a ball to attend, to wear such a gown.
Of course we had to have lunch at Caffé Florian on St. Mark's Place. Caffé Florian "the oldest coffee house in the world" had been in operation since 1720. Since it was February with cool and sometimes wet, Aqua Alta days, there were no tables set up outside, but plenty of room indoors for a cozy meal. 
It did not disappoint.
Piazza St Mark's
A postbox for anonymous denunciations at the Doge's Palace
"Secret denunciations against anyone who will conceal favors and services or will collude to hide the true revenue from them." via
When we visited renovation was being done on the outside masonry of the Palazzo Ducale. The Bridge of Sighs was framed by banners covering the construction scaffolding. The bridge is so named because you pass over it from the Palace interrogation rooms to the Prison.
Much of Venice is faded grandeur, none more so than the gondola, with its weather beaten plush. A sail in one is a must nonetheless. 
If you haven't been, YES, put it on your bucket list.