Archive for July, 2014

Carrie’s Painting of the Week – 8/1/2014

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Shady Blues

By Carrie Jacobson

August. It hardly seems possible, but the proof is on the countertop by the sink. Tomatoes, warm from the sun. Zucchini and summer squash, the beginning of the onslaught, testing my culinary creativity. Bowls of blackberries, piles of cucumbers and the promise of more melons than anyone can eat.

Here in Virginia, the crape myrtles (yes, that’s spelled right) are in the middle of their 100 days of pink and fuschia blooms. Gold has started to appear at the tips of the salt marsh grasses. Evening draws into itself earlier, shortening that long, lovely dusk that marks our summer evenings. And in the morning, dawn is noticeably later.

This painting shows my art changing along with the seasons, I think, as I strive to understand more clearly what works, and why. As the seasons turn for all of us, and bring us with them, I paint to reach my own heart, my own soul, my own spirit. And yours.



Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Putin & Nazi eyes


Thursday, July 24th, 2014

By Jeffrey Page

One generation in the Shubinsky line has just passed away. The earth of course will abide and I suppose that this, plus my aunt’s having had far more years than most people get, should bring comfort. But I’m bereft.

She was the youngest of three sisters, the only one born here in America. Her name was Rebecca. She was Becky to most people. To me, for some reason I’ve never been able to recall, she was always Beck.

She was married once to a guy who became some big hotshot in the Army. I have no memory of him. But later she married Mickey Klein, one of the sweetest men on the planet. It was from Mickey and Beck I learned my first Yiddish expression.

Soon after they got married, they came to visit us in Queens. My father was in the process of berating me for some transgression I was unaware I had committed. I imagine Mickey sensed my terrible embarrassment, and from him came the plea: luz-em-oop – leave him alone. Beck immediately agreed and my dad’s lesson was over, and these three short sounds became a kind of mantra, the secret password among my aunt, my uncle and me.

Funny how we remember these little moments that shape our lives and bond relationships.

During the war, Beck moved to Washington to take a job with the Navy. She wound up as secretary to some VIP. The story my mother told was that Beck was supposed to type up an official order noting that submariners were to have a service patch sewn onto their uniforms over the left shirt-pocket. Or maybe it was to be sewn onto the left sleeve. Doesn’t matter. What mattered was that Beck got it wrong. Maybe it had been a late night and she didn’t get enough sleep. In any event, for a while no one noticed. For me, it was a point of pride that my aunt changed the course of history. Sort of.

Even around the age of 4 I had a crush on Beck. In the words of the time, she was a swell-looking dame, with a great smile and a soft voice. Whenever she came to see us she would bring something for me. She kissed me a lot. Hugged me as well. In one visit she stood talking with my dad outside the gates of King Park in Jamaica. She kept beckoning me to come over for the gift she bought for me. But I was too bashful and kept riding my three-wheel bike in larger and larger circles.

Later, I opened her gift. It was a record of the Three Little Pigs. Since it was from Beck I had my father play it over and over. I must have listened a dozen times before the record finally broke in two. I’d like to say she got me another, but I don’t remember.

She and Mickey finally moved to Florida and we saw less of them but managed about once a year. Distance can be a curse.

When Mickey died a few years ago, I was saddened. Beck died this week. It doesn’t matter that she was 99. I’m heartbroken.

Carrie’s Painting of the Week – 7/18/2014

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014


By Carrie Jacobson

I am learning to love sweating.

As the spinning of the seasons has brought us to the height of summer, I am sweating with a passion. Sweating with a vengeance. Sweating so that the sweat runs to the tips of my curls and drips off my hair and onto my cheeks and shoulders. I sweat so hard these days that my nose runs.

I vowed, when we moved to Virginia, that I wouldn’t complain about the heat. It’s not as if I didn’t know we were moving to a hot place. We lived in the South before, and that time, I was stunned by the oppressive depth and seemingly endless length of the torrid summers.

This time, I was prepared.

Still, it is in our nature to complain, and I can not count the number of times I’ve opened my mouth to talk about how darn hot it is (I would use other words) – and have stopped myself in time, remembering my promise.

It was only to myself, that promise, but it was a true and solemn one, nonetheless.

And so, instead of complaining about the heat this summer, I glory in it. I live shiny and slick with sweat, my T-shirts ringed with wetness, my neck and forearms salty with it. I revel in its cooling power, and what I believe is its cleansing power. I no longer apologize for my sweatiness. We are all sweaty. We are all hot. We are all under the same summer sun. The trick is in learning to love it.

And remembering winter.

Carrie’s Painting of the Week – 7/11/14

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014
July 7, Main Street

July 7, Main Street

By Carrie Jacobson

Wachapreague, where we live, could barely be smaller and still be a town. In addition to Peter and me, there are just about 198 other souls living here, some of them only part-time.

As for municipal staff, there is a mayor, but he doesn’t go into town hall unless there’s a meeting. There’s a town clerk who works maybe 20 hours a week, and then there is the public works crew, JD and John. They do all the mowing and trimming, pick up the brush and the trash, keep the town signs painted and the town property sparkling, fix stuff that breaks, and put up and take down the flags on Main Street.

Main Street, as you might imagine, is not very long. There aren’t that many flags. But when the flags go up, I feel festive and happy. I love seeing them hanging, bright and shining and fluttering in the wind.

Our teeny town had a great July Fourth celebration, which the hurricane blew to  July Fifth. There was a small, sweet parade, with golf carts, kids on bikes, Coast Guard guys towing a Coast Guard boat, and two floats, one legitimate, one just a sort-of float. It took about five minutes – the right length for a parade, in my book.

Afterwards, there was a cookout, and a band, and people paragliding out of a plane. And at night, there were amazing, amazing fireworks, funded and set off by a guy in town.

And then on Monday, JD drove while John took down the flags. I was sorry to see them go.

This weekend felt like America to me. It felt like the dream of America, the idea I had as a kid, of an America of sunny summer days, spent with people that I love, laughing and enjoying life, in a small, quiet place.

Worship of Money Trumps Morality

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

By Michael Kaufman

An essay written and published more than 90 years ago explains a lot about the current competition for casino sites in the Hudson Valley. Titled “The Mysticism of Money,” the essay was written by Harold Loeb, whose uncles (the Guggenheim brothers) may well be described as the Koch brothers of their day. 

In 1914 one of the worst mining disasters in U.S. history occurred at a West Virginia coal mine owned by the Guggenheim family. Between 183 and 186 workers were killed. The explosion and deaths led to widespread unionization in the mines and prompted legislative safety and labor reforms. The Guggenheims held major interests in mining all over the world. Their three-fold strategy, according to the Biographical Dictionary of American Business Leaders, “was first, always go in for the big development when the business barometer is low; second, always use the cheap labor and raw materials of undeveloped countries to depress your own country’s industries, to force its wages and prices down until they are so cheap you can afford to buy them up and integrate them into your own monopoly; and third, to own everything from mine mouth to finished product.”

In his essay Loeb argues that the “mysticism of money” has assumed the role of religion in the United States. Among his observations:

                “Money has become the measuring staff of all values and the goal and reward of all efforts conventionally accepted as proper.” Thus it is entirely proper for casino developers and Orange County elected officials to stick a knife into the backs of people in neighboring counties—especially Sullivan—who had pinned their hopes for much-needed economic revival on having one or more casinos built there. 

Numerous resort hotels once thrived in Sullivan and some of the old properties seem like perfect locations for a Las Vegas or Atlantic City style casino resort hotel. But when there is money to be had, concepts such as loving thy neighbor or doing unto others as you would have them do unto you are tossed aside.

“The validity of the money standard and the intrinsic merit of money making are accepted on faith, extra-intellectually. One does not question them; the rash interlocutor who seeks to know why the banker continues to augment his unspendable wealth is catalogued as slightly touched…” The rash interlocutor today is one who dares raise doubts in the face of promises of financial rewards dangled before proposed host communities. Front-page headlines herald “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!” “More money for cops, schools.” Ignored is the experience of other communities previously enticed by similar promises. Former U.S. Congressman Robert H. Steele of Connecticut visited Tuxedo June 26 to explain how his community was transformed for the worse by the casinos.  By then, however, Town of Tuxedo officials had already hastily voted their approval of the Sterling Forest Resort Casino.

Genting (the Malaysian-based company with major interests in casinos all over the world) had donated hundreds of thousands of dollars—“no strings attached”—to the Tuxedo public schools. But if they really wanted to make a no-strings-attached gift they would have given the money to a hard-up school district in Sullivan County as a goodwill gesture. One would probably be deemed “slightly touched” for making a suggestion to that effect, as would one who suggests that some of the money expected soon to be flowing into Orange County be used to help our neighbors in Sullivan. 

“The casinos were never intended for our county, one of the fastest growing in NY State,” notes attorney Michael Sussman of Goshen, who will host a public meeting on Thursday, July 10, at Town of Wallkill Town Hall, Tower Drive, Middletown. (Tower Road is off route 211 across from the entrance to Galleria Mall.) The meeting is co-sponsored by Democratic Alliance and casiNO-Orange. “We strongly believe casinos should be opened in Sullivan and Western Ulster County,” says Sussman, “economically depressed areas with excellent sites [Concord and Nevele hotels].” Residents of all three counties are invited to attend and participate.

Michael can be reached at


Carrie’s Painting of the Week – 7/4/2014

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014
Probably Not oil on canvas, 20x20

Probably Not
oil on canvas, 20×20

By Carrie Jacobson

The other day, someone I met at a show messaged me on Facebook, and included her thought that I was “so cool.”

I immediately wrote back that while I appreciated her sentiment, I am about as far away from cool as you can get. I mean, here I sit, in my paint-covered clothes, having sweated the entire day in my un-air-conditioned studio, to which I retreated after spending hours trying to settle, and cleaning up after, an ancient dog whose demise is on the horizon.

I’m sweaty and dirty, I’ve stepped in dog pee a dozen times, cleaned up two turned-over water bowls, forced myself to take my 35-minute walk, charted my 1,200 dieting calories, failed to get to the post office (again) – and nearly forgotten (again) to post on Zest.

But after I wrote to my admirer, I spent some time thinking about it, and I realized that while I, myself, am far from cool, the life that I’ve catapulted myself into is cooler and more amazing than anything I could ever have imagined.

I mean, really! After dealing with my beloved and ancient dog, going on a healthy walk, and taking the time to plan my meals and calories, I have stood and sat in my studio, with the windows open to the hot Virginia wind, and spent my day making paintings. Making art. Painting what I see in my imagination, painting what moves me, building a life that finally, finally, makes a difference.

And I had the freedom to make the choices that brought me here.

So today, Independence Day, I celebrate for all us uncool people making way cool choices. I celebrate the country that has opened opportunities for me, and for all of us. It is a joy to be able to scare myself half to death, to find creativity in me, to meet people who are willing to buy my paintings – and to do it all in total, pure freedom.



Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

NRA , sorry kid (3)Bill Hogan