Unexpected Beauty: Looking Out for Public Art

MOMA Installation “Rockaway!” at Fort Tilden

Sometimes, people think that they don’t care much for art because they don’t have the mental stamina to spend hours in a museum.  I used to be one of those people, until I realized there are other, less conventional ways to explore art.

Public art installations are the kind of thing that are easy to overlook.  In a fast-paced city, they can just melt into the background.  But by paying attention to your surroundings, you might find that the process enjoying art doesn’t have to be limited to doing so in a typical museum. Continue reading


The publishing industry is home to many questionable practices

In days of yore, publishing a book was a privilege realized by a select few, thanks to a rigorous culling process by publishing houses. This seems to no longer be the case since self-publishing is easier than ever before, particularly with the advent of the e-book. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Certainly, there are several gems that must have gotten lost in the past due to a publishers’ discretion. After all, almost every successful author has faced rejection, even of works that go on to be wild successes. But now that anyone can publish anything, have sub-par offerings diluted, or even reduced, the overall quality of today’s body of publications?  While far from a systematic review, one recent experience certainly made me consider the thought. Continue reading

Another Year Over

Preparing for the big drop - the Times Square ball, as seen from above (CC image via Wikimedia)
Preparing for the big drop – the Times Square ball, as seen from above (CC image via Wikimedia)

New Year’s Eve brings thousands of revelers to Times Square, all for the sole purpose of watching a glittering ball drop.  And it doesn’t even really drop – it slowly and decorously descends. Continue reading

A different kind of museum

(Photo by Leiba Rimler)
(Photo by Leiba Rimler)

At the risk of coming across as an uncultured rube, I will state that I am not a very big fan of museums.  (In fact, I seem to recall reading an op-ed in which the author referred to museums as “libraries without the party atmosphere,” a sentiment with which I wholeheartedly concurred.)  Yet when I learned, upon returning from a scuba diving trip to Mexico in 2010, that an underwater museum had recently opened there, I was kicking myself for not knowing about it sooner.  This was uncharacteristic in a number of ways, but I resolved to go back there one day solely to visit this museum. Continue reading