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Wednesday morning I had a very early training session at the gym and then found myself on the street before even the grocery store was open so I took a stroll.


the sun was shining on the Jefferson Market Library. Isn't it beautiful?


The Jefferson Market Library in Greenwich Village

It's been closed for the past three years to build an accessible entrance. The old door stood at the top of five steep stairs, which made it difficult if not impossible for people with strollers and wheelchairs to enter. The new way in is this beautiful ramp to what was a window, now a door,


Jefferson Market Library's new accessible entrance

into a brightly lit white room


Jefferson Market Library's new lobby with windows

thoughtfully furnished with a drinking fountain, and some wit,


Jefferson Market Library's mystery door in the lobby

this door to nowhere is marked "Mystery!" You're greeted by


Jefferson Market Library's muses in the lobby

three gracious ladies,


Jefferson Market Library's lobby with the muses, the inspirational goddesses of literature, science and the arts.

I think they're the muses, the inspirational goddesses of literature, science and the arts.

There's a link to read about the project in Time Out's July 14 issue.

Next to the library is a beautiful garden where the Women's House of Detention once stood. Matthew Broderick, who grew up in the neighborhood, said he thought that was where you went if you didn't pay your library fines. I hope he's relieved that the library no longer charges late fees. Can we take a moment to think about what a glorious thing a public library is? What is there to say about the way libraries and librarians are under attack these day? The way we vote gets more important everyday. Moving on, here's the triumphal finale of our bathroom tile adventure.


blue and white bath tub tiles with rubber ducks

Our handyman's name is Angel--isn't that fitting?

I've had a lot of nice things come my way this week. I said to Jessie, "If you're trying to think of a Christmas present for me, I could use a nice feather duster to brush away the crumbled eraser bits on my drawings." They went on vacation in the Catskills and at a farmer's market they found this beauty at the Great Joy Family Farm.



Molly couldn't wait for Christmas to make the presentation.

Heres another nice thing but it'll take a story. Monday I didn't feel good--a bit of a headache, scratchy throat, tired, sleepy, so much so that I took a rapid response covid test which was (phew) negative. Then I remembered that I skipped my coffee that morning. OY, I guess I'm addicted, although all I drink is two cups in the morning. I wrote about coffee on June 18, 2021; you can find it on my blog if you go to Barbaraswansonsherman.com and pull down Seeking the Sublime.

Kava, my usual cafe, closed this month after thirteen years on Washington Street. Another place just opened across the street but they refuse to fill my traveling mug, citing covid protocol. Humph--don't they know I'm saving the earth, one cup at a time? I've been going to the Halal food truck that sits outside the Whitney, run by two extremely nice men and I'll stick with them. But Wednesday I was in a different neighborhood and walked in to a new place, asking if they'd fill my cup and the barista said, "YES, and you get a 10% discount!" Oh, boy, and he also gave me 10% off for being a neighbor! The blessings are just raining down upon me.

As I wrote about my woes in the past weeks my friends on the New York Artists Circle listserve wrote about the difficulties they face in plain-aire painting--that is painting outdoors, where the wind can carry your canvas away! Look at Winslow Homer 's Northeaster and picture him working on that rock. I'm not sure about even standing there, let alone trying to work.



Georgia O'Keeffe painted in the sweltering desert in a studio she set up in her Model T. She'd lie underneath it to get out of the sun. I know the Model T sits high off the ground but that sounds awful to me.

So, my plain-aire painter friends, I salute your grit and determination. While I admire you I'll stick with what a friend at the Art Students League told me: "Don't let your canvas get too big for your easel," and shelter in my cozy studio. Not that things have been all that peaceful here lately.



Our building has been undergoing the required-by-law re-surfacing of the facade and surrounded by scaffolding all summer; the other day I had a visitor!

The Blue House is just about finished; time to put it away for a while and then take a fresh look. Here are the two pieces as a diptych. I'm feeling a little postpartum or maybe I've had enough blue for a while. I'm thinking about what to do next--maybe another interior with cozier rooms. After seeing Matisse's Red Studio last week I'm thinking about drawing my own studio.



As I send you my best wishes for a glorious weekend, here's a picture Molly took at lunch yesterday of my two best friends. Jessie and Teddy were there too. I'm sorry I've never made the habit of taking group shots but we all had a great time.


Man in a pink shirt and sunglasses holding an elderly dachshund.

The nice thing about our new outdoor cafes is that the whole family can gather.




August 26, 2022

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