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November 16th, 2014

By Philip Turner in: Art, Film, TV, Photography, Fine Printing & Design; Urban Life & New York City

Katherine Bradford, “Shelf Paintings” at Arts + Leisure, till Dec 14

Katherine Bradford, "Shelf Paintings" catalogKyle and I had lots of fun amid the lively crowd that gathered at Arts + Leisure gallery for the opening of  “Shelf Paintings,” an exhibit of new work by one of our favorite painters, Katherine Bradford. These are colorful object paintings that employ dimensionality with a shelf projecting out at the bottom, with other structural elements arrayed in them. Kyle and I had earlier seen Bradford’s 2012 exhibit at Edward Thorp Gallery, which was also full of terrific paintings. Kyle wrote about that show for the Left Bank Art blog and over the past couple years we have continued to find her work irresistible and enjoyable, not missing a chance to see her work. Below are pictures from last night’s reception at the very convivial Arts & Leisure, located along Lexington Avenue at 101st St, on Carnegie Hill, on the southern edge of El Barrio. It was a pleasure meeting and making many old and new friends, including Shari Mendelson, Rick Briggs, JJ Manford, Elisa Soliven, and David Rich; Donald Cameron and Nick Lawrence of Arts & Leisure; and of course, Katherine Bradford herself, who inscribed a copy of the full-color catalog for Kyle. If you like what you see here of Bradford’s work, go to Arts & Leisure where the exhibit will be up until Dec 14. Also, you can read Kyle’s essay on the 2012 exhibit, and the informative release/essay posted on Arts & Leisure’s site, accompanying “Shelf Paintings.”

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November 10th, 2014

By Philip Turner in: Books & Writing; Urban Life & New York City

The Sound of a Poet’s Voice

Dylan Thomas, Collected PoemsI was fortunate to attend an event remembering Dylan Thomas on the 61st anniversary of his death, November 9, hosted by my friend Peter Schulman and New Directions, Thomas’s longtime publisher. Pictures, reportage, and links at my Storify post.

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November 8th, 2014

By Philip Turner in: Personal History, Family, Friends, Education, Travels

How Rubble from Bristol, England Became Landfill in New York City

Who knew? Not me, but British urbanite Tom Scott did. Rubble from Bristol, England comprises the landfill for Waterside Plaza on the east side of Manhattan. Post-WWII the British city had many bombed-out buildings, material that was brought back to the US from the UK in ships that used it as ballast. I was at the plaza a couple years ago for a conference, though I had no idea then that the example of modern architecture has this unlikely origin. Check out the video by Tom Scott. H/t my English friend Garry Benfold who brought this cool city story to my attention.

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October 31st, 2014

By Philip Turner in: Art, Film, TV, Photography, Fine Printing & Design; Personal History, Family, Friends, Education, Travels

Growing up w/Ghoulardi, Cleveland’s Great Horror Movie Host

Ghoulardi, Tom Feran and R. D. HeldenfelsThe favorite scary character of my youth was the TV prankster Ghoulardi (real name Ernie Anderson, the father of film director Paul Thomas Anderson). The interesting doc here—based on the 1997 book, Ghoulardi: Inside Cleveland’s Wildest TV Ride, brought out by Gray & Company, an enterprising Cleveland publisher doing books of local interest—shows how Hollywood studios’ rediscovery and repackaging of their old horror classics for local TV stations in the late 1950s and early ’60s prompted many local TV stations to program horror movie shows, often known by names such as “Shock Theater.” In Cleveland, where I grew up, we were fortunate to have one of the most colorful and interesting of these early horror film hosts. Ghoulardi. Watching him during my childhood, though it be would be many years until I ever heard the term “meta,” I instinctively loved how he inserted himself in to whatever monster or horror film he was showing, somehow putting his own image on to the TV screen, jousting with, say, “Cyclops,” trying to subdue the creature with his a cane and rancorous insults. His outrageous schtick—in a a gray sweatshirt and scraggly goatee, with dangling cigarette-holder—made him an early iconoclast of ’60s pop culture. Ghoulardi was a kind of low-rent Professor Irwin Corey, if you remember “The World’s Foremost Authority,” some before years Corey, turning 100 this year, took his act to the Tonight Show.

As with the attempted bans of comic books, chronicled in David Hadju’s Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic Book Scare and How it Changed America, Ghoulardi was condemned by goo-goo parental groups who tried getting him off the air. Despite this, his usual Friday night slot, coming after local news, around 11:30pm, grew to include a Saturday afternoon show. The decency crowd might have succeeded in sidelining him, during this pre-cable era, with only three TV stations in Cleveland, but he was so popular with kids, and his audience was so large, there was no way the station would’ve dropped his show in its prime.  When Ghoulardi did finally go off the air, it was because Anderson moved to Los Angeles, where he worked in TV with his longtime pal, and earlier sidekick, Tim Conway, later of “McHale’s Navy.”

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October 23rd, 2014

By Philip Turner in: Personal History, Family, Friends, Education, Travels; Urban Life & New York City

Flashing Back to a Moment When I Encountered a Near Namesake of Mine

Walking with my good friend Karl Petrovich in the NYC nabe of Soho almost thirty years ago, I spied this handsome panel truck that had a version of my name painted on it, only I spell my first name with just one ‘l’ and my middle initial is ‘S,’ not ‘C.’ It was an odd doppelganger moment—evidence of someone like me, but not me. Karl had a camera, and we snapped a pic of me in front of the truck, emblazoned with this PCT’s architectural practice, with outposts in NYC and strangely, in far away Tulsa. It was a memorable, weird, modern moment, pre-Internet. As a grace note, here also is a picture I took of my pal Karl, sadly now deceased. We were classmates at Franconia College in the 1970s.PCT and PSTKarl Petrovich

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October 21st, 2014

By Philip Turner in: Bicycling; Urban Life & New York City

A Gorgeous Day Along the Hudson

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October 21st, 2014

By Philip Turner in: Personal History, Family, Friends, Education, Travels

More Weasel Words on the Affordable Care Act

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October 15th, 2014

By Philip Turner in: Personal History, Family, Friends, Education, Travels

“Baby, I Can Drive a Car!”

As a Manhattanite I don’t get behind the wheel much these days, but I sure enjoyed it when I was younger, growing up in Cleveland. I remember the sneakers I had on—I pedaled the little car with them, Fred Flintstone-style. “Yabba-dabba-do!”PT driving young