Tag Archive | doors

#Tastetherainbow with Thursday Doors

doors by Susan Kelly

suspended
between, doors open
to flowers–
play of pink
mixed with marigold—thresholds
inviting blue skies

A shadorma for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday Color Poetry writing prompt and Dan Antion’s Thursday Doors 2022 Writing Challenge. For today, I’ve chosen these colorful doors from Susan Kelly. You can see photos of all the doors available to write about here.

Here’s some colorful doors I saw recently at PS 84, on West 92nd Street.

And some blossoms in Riverside Park.

Wherefore art thou Romeo? (Thursday Doors)

Juliet
balconies they call
them—as if,
at twilight,
two voices linger on a
midsummer night’s dream

247, 248, and 249 Central Park West have a number of Juliet balconies, as the NYC real estate market has labeled any small terrace outside an upper floor window or door on which you can stand. Once there were 6 brownstones on the block between 84th and 85th street.

The entrance to 247 is the simplest. The original six homes were designed in the late 1800s by architect Edward Angell in a variety of styles, each with its own facade. When builder Sam Minskoff proposed demolishing all six in 1925 to build a two-tower apartment building, the owner of 247, architect W. Gedney Beatty, refused to sell. This saved not only his house, but 248 and 249 as well. They were landmarked in 1988, and so can not be demolished for any future development.

248 has a variety of stonework that includes owls on the side and what appear to be griffins over the door. Each side of the door surround is different. This house sold for $26 million in 2022–it has a lap pool, a landscaped rooftop garden, and 4 Juliet balconies.

The front gate is also quite beautiful.

249, the corner house, was divided into apartments in 1957. A lot of the facade ornamentation was removed and the house was painted white. After the Landmarks designation, because of building violations, the owner was forced to strip off the paint and restore the masonry. I wonder if the door guardian in the triangle is a restoration, or remained to be uncovered at that time. I remember the building being worked on for many months.

249 sold for 17.5 million in 2013 and again spent many years being renovated and turned back into a single home.

It too has a lovely front gate.

And beautiful ironwork on the side entrance.

Edward Angell designed many homes on the Upper West Side, and I hope to visit and photograph more of them.

My poem was written for Ingrid at dVerse, who proposed a celebration of Shakespeare. What better than a Juliet balcony?

And, as always, find more doors with host Dan Antion, here.

Touch of Gold (Thursday Doors)

Dazzled by the promise of gold
the touch of Midas casts its net–
a hand that remains always cold
locked in a prison of regret.

Segregated behind closed doors
accruing unpayable debt–
too haunted to go anywhere–
locked in a prison of regret.

Tarnished by jealousy’s blindness
darkness grows, becomes a death threat–
drinking and drugs lead to madness
locked in a prison of regret.

I took these photos of the entrance to 57 West 57th Street after a dactor’s appointment there–the building was constructed to be, and still is, primarily medical offices. I was especially taken by the griffin-like creatures at the top of the arch and the scale stonework surround. The patterning above the door is quite wonderful too. I couldn’t quite get the entire door into the close up–I would have had to step out into traffic, unfortunately.

When I looked for the history of the building, I found a number of strange tales were attached to it. Soon after the Medical Arts Sanitarium opened in 1928 on the 14th floor, a patient threw herself out a window.

But the penthouse, which for some reason contained living quarters, has had only tragedy attached to it from start to finish. The details are hazy–I found a number of slightly different versions of the story online–but the first owner, Edna Champion, was a gold digger whose old and very wealthy husband conveniently died in Paris after a violent altercation with her lover, Charles Brazelle. Edna and Charles moved to New York; Edna bought the entire Medical Arts Building with part of her inherited riches so she and Charles could occupy the penthouse.

Needless to say it did not end well. The relationship descended into chaos–and Edna was either murdered by Charles or died of drugs and drink (or both). One of her bodyguards then tossed Charles out a window to his parallel death.

A later tenancy by Carlton Alsop also ended badly. The place was said to be haunted, and his new wife left within a year. Alsop later had a mental breakdown himself, and eventually ended up as a patient in one of the medical facilities in the building below.

The penthouse had a new brief life as an art gallery opening in 2011, but it closed after several years. I could find no information on any current residents there. But the rest of the building still houses medical offices.

Here’s a bit of a happier gold–signs of spring in Central Park. Colleen’s #TankaTuesday prompt is once again a color theme. I chose gold, and wrote a kyrielle. It’s one of the prompt forms from Muri’s April Scavenger Hunt–I’m doing NaPoWriMo at kblog but thought I’d slip one of them in here.

You can read more about the history and see more photos of 57 West 57 Street here.

And as always Dan Antion is the host of Thursday Doors.

And I couldn’t resist including the great Shirley Bassey.

Drawing a Door for Thursday Doors

The paper waits.
There’s nothing on it yet.
I print the photo,
measure in my mind
where to place the door.
Is that the focal point of my drawing,
or is it the guardian, the mirror?

The paper waits.
With tentative lines,
my pencil begins.
Lines, circles and squares
fill in the details.
And then with pen in hand I scribble ink–
and gradually a form starts to  appear.

I’ll be the first to admit that architecture is not my artistic forte. Still, since Colleen’s #TankaTuesday prompt was to share a photo from your day and write a poetic accompaniment, I decided to give it a try for my Thursday Door. The poetic form I used was Duodora.

I don’t always pencil in things first, but in this case it seemed necessary if I wanted any kind of successful result. The proportions are off, but you can definitely tell it’s a door.

And you might even recognize it as the side door to the Lucerne Hotel, on West 79th Street. The entrance is quite wonderful too, but I’ll need to get up early to try to capture it when there’s not much traffic, as I need to take the photo from across the street. The Lucerne was used, controversially, as a shelter for the homeless during the Covid lockdown, but I think now it’s back to just being a hotel. You can read a bit more about its history here.

Guardians (Thursday Doors)

Too many glass boxes
disguised as buildings–
a mirror of themselves–
efficient, unadorned.

I prefer a threshold
under a stone guardian–
one that remembers landscapes
filled with foliage and wings.

I’m lucky to live in a city with a political climate that leans towards saving some of its beautiful architecture. No, they don’t build them like this any more–it’s too expensive.

Here’s another guardian on West End Avenue, with some lovely metalwork too.

Another door with multiple guardians. When I looked through my photos, there were a lot of them, but I’ve saved some for future posts. And I’m sure there are many more left for me to discover.

The poem was written for Sarah’s dVerse prompt, where mirror was one of the suggested words.

And as always find more Thursday Doors here.

Recessed Transitions (Thursday Doors)

in and out
linger in passing–
thresholded

direction hinges
on destination

This week I’m showing some recessed doors. They make for handsome entrances. I’m not sure what the turquoise stripe at the top is in the doorway above. It looks like a reflection of some sort–I’ll have to look for this doorway again.

The doorway below has interesting brickwork.

The poetic theme this week for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday is transitions, selected by Ken Gierke (Rivrvlogr). Perfect for any doorway.

Here’s some information on the organization that owns The Three Arts Club building, above. “West Side Federation For Senior and Supportive Housing, Inc. (WSFSSH) was formed in 1976 by a coalition of social service agencies, religious institutions, and community organizations. Together we worked to create a new form of housing – one that would meet the diverse needs of older people and persons living with special needs.” I like the way their buildings are integrated into the neighborhood. There is certainly a great need for this kind of housing.

You can see more doors, hosted by Dan Antion, here.

Enchanted (Thursday Doors)

It looks like
long ago and
far away,
waiting for once
upon a
time—shall we?—it
seems to be expecting us.

Diana Peach provided the above image for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday which, of course, was perfect for Thursday Doors. I wrote my poem, a Whitney (3/4/3/4/3/4/7) to her image and then looked in my door photo archive for suitable doors to match. I was enchanted by the way the top door matched so beautifully its gate.

This door has always seemed mysterious to me. Where does the shadowy staircase inside lead?

And for some reason this door always makes me think of Hobbits. Plenty of enchantment there.

Dan Antion is the host of Thursday Doors–you can visit them all and add your own here.

Thursday Doors: You’ve Got a Friend

fraternal
or identical–
paired support–
transitions
of serendipity and
synchronicity

I made a folder of all my arched door photos and noticed there were a number of paired ones, some identical and some not. I like the Jizo statues (at least that’s what I think they are) on the right steps of the top photo. That’s also a very handsome door.

Two different approaches–the one on the left here is looking for more privacy. On the right they painted their railings to match the door.

These modern doors don’t live up to the wonderful surround–I especially like the faces at the top of the arches.

And here’s a pair of arched windows on a beautiful building in sad disrepair.

I’ve written a shadorma to accompany the doors. And the title? I was listening to JT this morning. He still sounds good.

And, as always, visit Dan Antion the host of Thursday Doors, here to see more doors and share your own.

West 85th Street (Thursday Doors)

The large building loudly walks the street.
Geometry, context, and beauty.
Why does the window repeat?
Why does the arch answer?
Why?  connection!
The dark door quickly gets the guy.

The Red House, designed by Harde and Short, was completed in 1904. At the time it was considered a luxury building, although now it’s a market-rate studio and one-bedroom apartment rental building. It’s striking architecture was landmarked in 1982. It is said that Dorothy Parker once lived there

Another distinctive building on West 85th Street belongs to Dorot, a non-profit that provides social services for older adults. Founded by graduates of the social work program at Columbia University, it has expanded beyond its original idea of alleviating the social isolation of the elderly to include programs and activities both inside and outside the home. Volunteers provide a vibrant inter-generational connection.

My poem is courtesy of the poem generator, which I recently rediscovered when going through old posts. I generated a few different ones, then picked lines from several to put my poem together.

This is the one I used, feeding it my own word list: https://thinkzone.wlonk.com/PoemGen/PoemGen.htm

And here’s another one: https://www.languageisavirus.com/interactive-poetry-generator.php

You can read more about The Red House here and find out more about Dorot here.

And, as always, visit Dan Antion the host of Thursday Doors, here to see more doors and share your own.

Pink (Thursday) Door

hard to miss–
door says come on in–
play with me

This pink door stopped me in my tracks the other day. I really like the portico over the entrances–the doors must have been the same when the buildings were constructed. I wonder why the owner on the right chose to make such a different statement about who they are and what might be inside. We know children live there because of the window guards. Perhaps they requested pink.

For Thursday Doors, where you can join in or just visit and enjoy.