Posts Tagged ‘artists’

It’s after midnight, and one hour into December 24, 2011. For me, Christmas Eve has begun and I’ll be singing my heart out at two concerts and two masses later today at St. Ann’s on Jefferson, culminating in Midnight Mass 23 hours from now. Other local friends have been steeped in Latkes and Apple Sauce (even a bit of Sour Cream now and then – which is sacrilege I know, but some just don’t know what’s right and proper!) while lighting candles and spinning dredles for a few evenings now. A Pagan friend seriously lucked out this year as her annual sprint below the solstice moon with ‘nothin’ but the radio on’ had to have been relatively balmy this year compared to last, and I’m sure the Yule Log is now merrily crackling in her hearth. All over the village and the companion areas, old traditions are celebrated and new ones born… because it’s Nyack, and so we somehow manage to be over-the-top traditional and cutting-edgy all at the same time!  Though our individual traditions can occasionally bruise the toes of another’s traditions, for the most part they co-exist side-by-side relatively well and even find new and innovative ways to celebrate together or even combined… and always in our own unique, and frankly, quirky ways.

I’ve tried to explain to friends and colleagues who’ve never been here, that even in the worst of times, Nyack at Christmastide through the Nights of Chanukah and the Festivities of the Yule and the Principle Seeking of Kwanzaa still has a *suspicion*, a little frosting as it were, of pure unadulterated magic. All through the Season we light our homes and even the sky on New Year’s Eve with joy, with fellowship and with fun. Give Nyackers yet another reason to celebrate through the dark days and they’ll take it. Which is why you’ll find Haitians celebrating Sint Niklaus Day and Irishmen munching Latkes while a Russian Jewish lady puts ornaments on her friends’ Christmas Tree and an Italian Teen hangs with his bros at the Nyack Center listening to the Principals and a Catholic Nun joins her friend at a Sacred Oak.  Cause it’s Nyack. And we truly LIKE to share some of our fun with our neighbors who celebrate something else… and because we’ve never EVER done things the way any other place does. And that’s why only Nyack could have had these folks pictured below come by to help us celebrate the Winter Holydays for so many years… who knows, maybe some future December, Santa’s sleigh will once again be drawn by Elephants in the Snow…

Photo from the Bernard Collection, Hudson River Valley Heritage

Mom, Juno and Babe out for a frolic in the snow!

photo from Bernard Collection; Hudson River Valley Heritage

Back home for some Cocoa… by the gallon!
And so to all of you – in my tradition – a Very Merry, Very Nyack Christmas! May you have a Bright and Blessed Season no matter what you celebrate! Hold close to your friends and your family and remember THEY are the true gifts of the season… cherish them and it, and may all your holidays be Nyack-y! 

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I just love serendipity.  A few posts ago, I was excited over finding a correlation between Nyack and Ocean Liners, they being my favorite historical subjects. This one today is great fun – take a look at the painting below, followed with a bit of history and ties-ins to several of my posts:

"Baseball at Night" by Morris Kantor, this image from the Smithsonian Collection

The painting is of a Night Baseball Game in Nyack in 1934 by artist Morris Kantor.  Months back I posted about our former minor league team here in Nyack, and the fact that Night Baseball games were standard here long before they became standard in the Majors, see: https://athomeinnyack.wordpress.com/2010/08/30/and-the-home-of-the-brave-play-ball/.  This game however, took place even earlier at a different Nyack ball park – that maintained at the Clarkstown Country Club owned by Pierre Bernard, the Father of the American Yoga Movement, otherwise known as Oom the Omniscient, see: https://athomeinnyack.wordpress.com/2010/09/03/a-true-nyack-character-pierre-bernard/.  This painting was done by Morris Kantor, a member of the recently discussed Russian Community in Nyack, who passed away at his home in West Nyack in 1974, see: https://athomeinnyack.wordpress.com/2011/01/24/nyacks-russian-royalty-princess-vera-constantinova/.  And for one last little weird coincidence, while I was the editor of “Provincetown Magazine” for several years in the 1990s, I did a featured article on an exhibition of Morris Kantor’s paintings from his time working at his painting studio on Cape Cod – I have a number of my black and white photos from my time at Provincetown Magazine framed in my front hall – one of them is a picture of one of Morris Kantor’s paintings – and at the time I did not know of his connection with Nyack, nor had I seen this particular work. I just love serendipity!

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