Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: classes, mugs, stamps

Last night was only the second class of the new session for my Beginners…
and they’ve already thrown, trimmed and made mugs!!!!…
oh yeah, and a couple new stamps just for fun!

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Categories: sunset

It might be freezing outside, but a beautiful sunset like this makes it “feel” as though it might be a bit warmer outside than it really is.

Categories: Chicago

After a whirlwind tour of New York for both work & play, it felt good to finally get back to Chicago O’Hare. I love New York… but home is pretty great too!!!

Categories: food, theater

After a great matinee, we also found cheap seats for CHICAGO at the Ambassador Theater. My friend Tiffany got “day-of” discount seats for us… in the SIXTH ROW!!!

Another fun Broadway show…
followed by a late-night subway adventure down to Greenwich Village for pizza at Joe’s…
a New York culinary institution with celebrity photos all over the walls.

Categories: theater

With a free day to play in New York, I zipped down quickly to TKTS to find some discount tickets. I scored a great seat for a matinee showing of KINKY BOOTS at the Al Hirschfeld Theater. It’s the new musical by Cyndi Lauper!!!

The lobby of the theater is a mini museum of Hirschfeld illustrations.

RANDOM HIRSCHFELD FACT : and my Summer Camp kids LOVE this one…
When Al Hirschfeld signed his illustrations, he always added a number next to his name. That number corresponds with the number fo times her hid his daughter’s name NINA into the illustration. Look closely at both sleeves to see a NINA in each of them!

The ceiling of the theater is incredible…

And the show was AMAZING too!!!

I even found myself leaving the theater when the stars were exiting the Stage Door…
and scored autographs from the two lead actors! Including Jake Shears, lead singer of the Scissor Sisters.

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Categories: food

When in New York… cheesecake is ALWAYS the answer.

And if you can’t decide, get two for lunch!!!…
and then a third slice for dinner before the show! So sue me.

Categories: architecture, sculpture, vacation

After finally getting my bearings and heading back north, I had a WONDERFUL time going through Central Park in New York. So many wonderful things to see every where you look. Incredible sculpture, architecture and craftsmanship EVERYwhere. Amazing that they’ve kept this amazing parcel of land intact for so long.

It was warm, drizzly, and quite foggy as I entered the park…
but that NEVER stopped my adventure! It’s just water… you’ll dry off!!!

I entered the park at the southwest corner at Columbus Circle.

As I stepped into the park, I was taken by the low-flying fog engulfing the park.

No detail is overlooked. Even the caps on the fences & bridges are exquisite.
Love the artsy styling and fine craftsmanship all around… the mossy lichens aren’t too bad either!

So many cool places to walk, stairs to climb, bridges to go over.
The perfect place to get away from the hustle & bustle of the Manhattan streets.

Tiny details on the fence that surrounds the Carrousel… sadly closed for the season!

Wonderful craftsmanship all around the Bethesda Terrace. Great columns & pilasters with carved details and friezes. Love the fact that they’ve been here for SO long… and the mossy green “patina” on them is pretty darn cool too.

And then you enter the lower level of Bethesda Terrace to find a hidden treasure…

An amazing installation of colorful & illuminated ceramic ceiling tiles!!!

The Loeb Boathouse

Hans Christian Anderson statue

Alice In Wonderland statue

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Three Bears statue by Paul Manship

The Belvedere Castle

Bank Rock Bridge on The Lake

Ramble Arch Bridge

Bow Bridge

Finally needing to bring my adventure to an end… I made it though the Central Park Zoo and headed out the southeast corner of the park. I loved this really cool “birdcage” sculpture by Ai Wei. You can’t really see them, but inside the lower level are actual “turnstyle gates” from the subway!

Followed by the more traditional golden Tecumsah Sherman statue
across the street from The Plaza Hotel.

Sure, I may have gotten “lost” for the first part of my adventure…
but it was totally worth it with this incredible tour through Central Park.

Always my favorite place in New York City!!!

And for those who want even more Central Park… click here for a fun video
showing the park during the summer, including some of the Park’s hidden treasures!

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Categories: artists, My Talented Friends

While wandering through the City, I stopped in to shops at the W Hotel to see some handmade hats & millinery pieces made by Britt Von Decker. She’s been helping me with some holiday magic this season. So cool to see her millinery work on display in a chi-chi New York boutique!

To see more about Britt and her amazing millinery hats & more… click here.

Loved the neon “centerpiece” light fixture hanging in the center of the shop.
Wish it worked so you could “grab up” some of Britt’s collection!

And some really cool cut-out metal tubes being used as a wall divider in the hotel lobby!!!

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Categories: food, sculpture, vacation

Luckily, I had the morning & afternoon free in New York so I stepped out of the hotel “intending” to go for a run in Central Park. Somehow I got turned around in Rockefeller Plaza and head off in the wrong direction. It wasn’t until I made it to Bryant Park that I realized my mistake… MANY blocks in the wrong direction. Too much to see. Too many distractions to notice.

So I embraced the adventure and went to Herald Square and the Garment District while I was down there.

And of course, some NY pizza to “fortify” before heading back!!!

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Categories: weather

A beautifully warm & rainy day… perfect for a working weekend get-away to New York City.
Gray & gloomy… yet nothing but blue skies above the clouds.
Fun times… and my first time flying First Class!

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