December 18th, 2009 by fabfab
For our last lecture it was only fit to finish with a group reading of whitman.
December 17th, 2009 by fabfab
I found whitman in times square, down in the subway system, the arteries of new york. For sure Whitman would have found much to write about in the underground city we call the subway system.
December 1st, 2009 by fabfab
We took a Whitman tour, guided by a Whitman specialist; we walked from Fort Greene Park to 99 Ryerson Street. 99 Ryerson Street was one of many addresses in Brooklyn which Whitman called home; he lived at this location in 1855. We walked down Myrtle Ave which was the route Whitman would have taken on his way to work or on his way to the ferry. We walked by houses that stood there at Whitman’s time, houses he must have known. In the picture above I’m sitting on the same stoop Whitman had once sat on, probably after a long walk back home, or maybe on a sunny morning, watching people walk by on their way to work or kids running by playing. To the right (where I’m facing) is now an elevated highway which was definitely not there in 1855, and almost all the houses on the block were probably not there either. No cars would have been parked there, maybe a horse drawn carriage, and the streets we not paved. As I sat there on the stoop, I pictured Whitman at the age of 36 sitting on the steps with me, conversing with me about leaves of grass.
November 17th, 2009 by fabfab
I dreamt of Frank Evans…..
It must have been a few sentences into the third chapter, sleep won over me and shut me down. I saw my self dismounting out of the horse wagon, Frank Evans and all the rest of the passengers also getting off. Me and Frank had come to the city to make our fortune. As i fell asleep i placed myself in the description Whitman was narrating in the book Franklin Evans or The Inebriate.I had traveled with Frank , the elderly country woman, John Colby, Demaine and the middle aged man on this journey to new york via horse wagon. We arrived at the Brooklyn ferry, right by the river to cross over to new york. Me and Frank soon took a ferry across the river and began looking for a place to stay, we visited many residences which were all very interesting. Finally waking up, a book for a pillow is not good, but a book for causing a dream is good.
November 8th, 2009 by fabfab
(Above: The Brooklyn Historical Society library)
Last class we met at the Brooklyn Historical Society, the BHS saves many records dating back hundreds of years. such records like historic atlases, land conveyances, Old Brooklyn Directories, Brooklyn & Long Island scrapbook Collection, an Image Data Base, Real Estate Brochure Collections and Architectural books. The list goes on about has many great resources the BHS has to offer, on our class visit our guide taught me how to use Microfiche. They had historical atlases on the Microfiche as well as on microfilm, first you find what year you want to look at, then you chose what neighborhood you want to see, you place the microfiche under the scope and the image is displayed on a monitor. This is a great way to keep lots of records of any size, even though when looking at the microfiche you might become a bit confused. Below is a picture of the scope where you place the microfiche and the microfilm, then you rotate the knob to focus and slide the fiche around until you have the exact location your looking at, one thing i did not like about the microfiche was that it was not in color, only black and white images were displayed and that can be unhelpful.
October 27th, 2009 by fabfab
I took this video at the Brooklyn bridge pier;
” others will enter the gates of the ferry and cross from shore to shore,
others will watch the run of the flood-tide,
others will see the shipping of Manhattan north and west, and the heights of Brooklyn to the south and east,
others will see the islands large and small;
fifty years hence, others will see them as they cross, the sun half
an hour high,
a hundred years hence, or ever so many hundred years hence,
others will see them”
Whitman(leaves of grass P317)
Sadly i was not one of the people who crossed the ferry but Whitman was right,
a hundred years hence people are still crossing, and as i people are still watching the run of the flood-tide,
how did Whitman, or why did Whitman see people a hundred years in the future still doing the same things?
will it still be this way a hundred years from now?
October 19th, 2009 by fabfab
While reading chapter 5 of Justin Kaplan’s Walt Whitman: A life (1980)
I read about Walt whitman’s claims of “dashing the novel off in three days”
of it.” (pg105) mention” George Whitman recalled that Walt never took any pride in his book. “Quite the contrary. He rather disliked or laughed at the
The book he is talking about here is Frank Evans or the inebriate, Walt Whitman was said to not have put time and effort into this book, he once told his friend Horace trauble that he wrote the novel under the influence of alcohol, drunk off of whiskey and gin. Even so the novel still became one of his best selling novels of all time.
why was whitman discouraged from putting more effort into the novel?. maybe he was scared of the reaction by the public…
after the release of the novel, whitman seemed more into the book, recommending it to readers.
maybe he did not predict the book to be so popular.
October 17th, 2009 by fabfab
“the big doors of the country-barn stand open and ready,
the dried grass of the harvest-time loads the slow-drawn wagon,
the clear light plyas on the brown gray and green intertinged,
the arm fuls are packed to the sagging mow.”
I study architecture, and when someone mentions any type of structure or building i picture it in my head, on page 36 of leaves of grass, Whitman is describing big barn doors of a country-barn, i picture the image above. barns have always been a certain shape; big massive doors, large sloping roof, and mostly made of wood. when i read Whitman and picture the place he is speaking about i am transported there and visualize the event as a movie.
October 16th, 2009 by fabfab
In Walt Whitman’s new york, chapter fourteen talks about the origin of the NYC fire department. he explains how the fireman were chosen and what were their means of combating fires. in this chapter he also mentions the original fire house located in FRONT street, near FULTON. I went to these streets mentions and found no firehouse. searched on line and found this picture on the NY public library website, it is a view of the bridge and the neighborhood in 1978, even though Whitman talks about this location in 1785, this picture gives you a sense of the neighborhood looked in the past.
In both pictures you can see the ice cream house which is still very famous and still highly visited.
September 1st, 2009 by fabfab
“i exist as i am, that is enough
if no other in the world be aware i sit content,
and if each and all be aware i sit content.”
” behold I do not give lectures or a little charity,
what i give I give out of myself “
” i do not say these things for a dollar, or to fill up the time while i
wait for a boat,
it is you talking just as much as myself …i act as the tongue
it was tied in your mouth…in mine it begins to be loosened.”