Death! Destruction! Pestilence! Some light summer reading.

From the publishers:

Fourteen-year-old Doug Swieteck faces…an abusive father, a brother traumatized by Vietnam, suspicious teachers, police officers and isolation.

When a school bus accident leaves sixteen-year-old Jessica an amputee…

Ten concentration camps. Ten different places where you are starved, tortured, and worked mercilessly. …it is what Yanek Gruener has to face.

Fifteen-year-old Lina, her mother and brother are pulled from their Lithuanian home by Soviet guards and sent to Siberia, where her father is sentenced to death in a prison camp.

Jack Baker…is suddenly uprooted after his mother’s death and placed in a boy’s boarding school in Maine. [Maine!]

…sixteen-year-old Miranda describes her family’s struggle to survive after a meteor hits the moon, causing worldwide tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Will is one of only a few people who is able to see the growing number of corpses invading his town…[he] is suddenly in the middle of a war between the living and the dead.

In a dark future, when North America has split into two warring nations… [Punk-ass bitch Canadians.]

A group of fourteen-year-old boys who make a living picking garbage from the outskirts of a large city find something…that brings terrifying consequences.

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight…she is forced to work as the King’s thug.

No, these are not future episodes of The Walking Dead. Believe it or not, the preceding plot summaries were culled from my 8th grade daughter’s summer reading list. Tales of dystopian societies, death, abandonment, war and despair. Is the Board of Education out to wreck their summer? I blame The Hunger Games. It spawned a slew of imitators (as success is prone to do).

I’m a bit peeved about this. I read the one about the meteor hitting the moon and it wasn’t pleasant. Am I being a big baby?

A sprig of premium catnip is placed before a sleeping, unsuspecting Stinky. He suddenly awakens!


Oh, rapture! Oh, joy! A narcotic-induced smile.


The end result is always the same: the junkie nod.


The summer outdoor art installation season got off to a creaky start with Teresita Fernández’s Fata Morgana at Madison Square Park. The six-section canopy sculpture of mirror-polished disks are mounted on supports over the winding walkways.fata5fata7There are some interesting angles when you’re underneath…



…but upon approach, it looks about as artistically fetching as scaffolding around a construction site.


The light and shapes can say something, but only from very specific angles.


People are complaining that the sculptures are blocking sunlight to the walkways—which is true—but I’m willing to accept the temporary sacrifice for art’s sake.


Here are two past Madison Square Park exhibits that dazzled from all angles:

Orly Genger constructed walls of colored rope in Red, Yellow and Blue.

My fave, Antony Gormley’s Event Horizon, was a series of life-sized statues of the artist strategically placed on roofs and ledges surrounding the park.

Do you know what I liked better? These.


A girl was selling these on a table on 42nd Street near 6th Avenue. Her medium is spray paint.


I asked her if I could photograph these and she told me to go right ahead. Afterwards, I noticed a donation can and I threw two bucks in. I wish I’d have asked her how much they cost.


I think they all have merit but you know which one is the best, don’t you? That one of Harley Quinn. Look at that sharply-defined mask against the rest of the chaos. Fantastic. I’d love to see what she could do with Batman.

I know I’ve posted far too many photos of the Flatiron Building, but I was passing by late in the evening and the light was hitting it just right. If you’ll indulge me these last two, I promise not to post any more. iPhone cameras are the best. Who needs an SLR anymore?