Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday, August 4, 2008
Now that was one of my wife's crazy ideas. We are about to move from NYC and we are in the midst of packing and panic, I am trying to finish a painting, do some work and we have the wonderful 4 month old Molly and my wife, Sarah, says lets go to Staten Island Museum.
Not only had we decided to not visit about a month ago when we stood 40' away but now it would be two buses and it's 90 degrees on a Saturday morning. So I checked the website to find a way out of the trip. OOoops - their current special exhibit is about HPV building on Staten Island - I can't miss that.
First things first - it costs $2 to enter the museum. It's tiny. Considering it's so small, only twice the size of my apartment, it's actually pretty good. Displays of local insects, rocks, birds and the history of the Staten Island Ferry mainly. But it's the method of display that won us both over. The taxidermied birdlife of S.I is displayed in a fake garden diorama - with no glass infront of it. Not being in a glass display case makes so much difference. There is a room of 'neon' minerals, yeah rocks that glow neon colours under various wave lengths of light! So ofcourse the room is pitch black and one button turns on a one minute description of the minerals and how they react to UV etc. Short, simple and pretty stunning really. If rocks can be stunning.
There is also the Cabinet of Curiosities (Cthulhu anyone?).
Right outside of the HPV exhibit is a great display case of photographs of the Wheelmen and Century Clubs of New Jersey from the turn of the C20th.
The HPV exhibit wasn't what I expected. These two builders are not chasing cycle speed records, they are trying to promote HPVs as a viable alternative to car travel. In fact their wall timeline of the history of HPV's states that is was merely the fact that cars were promoted as status symbols by marketing that actually swept aside the growing popularity of HPVs that were used as private transport.
They are also poets and sculptors. It's a small exhibit - and I found it kind of muddled. Am I looking at HPV's or unrelated poetry and art too? I do think you should go see it if you have time, it's only open until 28 September. If nothing else it has led to me looking up Chris and Tom Spollen and John Tetz to learn more about what they do - I guess ultimately I found the exhibit too superficial but I hope it does something to promote the HPV or bicycling on the island that was to host NYC's Olympic Road Cycling events. Oh and whilst you are here - I have much more stuff on Ebay, Campag wheels, Bike Bag and Track Bike to be added soon too.