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Ping For A Day … Hanging In Queens

May 22nd, 2017 · Tags: Cities · Hotels · Politics

Kosher Food

 

Interesting. Tragic. Arriving in New York the day that a maniac crashed his car through a crowd of innocent people in Times Square.  OH to have been a Texan with a legal gun near that car to have taken the guy out before he killed an innocent girl on vacation in this great city.  Through terrible tragedies like this, I think someday, people will realize that it is not the weapon of choice that takes innocent lives, it is an evil or malfunctioning human.

The interesting thing is that President Donald Trumps trip to Saudi Arabia and now to Israel has garnered a few positive words from the “news” organizations — even in New York.  Shrewd move to bolster support from our great, storied ally Israel although the previous president chose to snub that country and its descendants here in the United States.

 

Well played Mr. President!

 

Sadly … the circus was in town, but no more.  Ringling Brothers circus played its final date in The Big Apple … and now it is gone. Way to go animal fanatics. Zoos you’re next …

 

The day we arrived the temperature at La Guardia airport was 97 degrees … a new record for the date.  Such a great atmosphere to enjoy the massive construction project at the airport, tying up traffic even more than usual.  It was a madhouse.  A travel pointer for La Guardia: perhaps just one sign pointing toward the rental car shuttle bus pick up … just a thought.

 

Manhattan Sunset unlevel

The team is stationed in Queens, affording a pretty decent view of the Manhattan skyline. Although Manhattan is just across the river, it seems like lightyears from this sleepy little borough. When I walked a few blocks around the hotel, I found about a dozen pizzerias and delis, and my new favorite, Polish markets.

 

Polish Ice Cream

 

I thought I had lived until I had my first Polish ice cream sandwich.  Man … No doubt, I will be on the lookout for Wi-Fi.  The Holiday Inn Express where we stay has a pretty decent hotspot throughout the hotel.  I was a little puzzled this morning when access was denied.  (Access was also denied when I tried to get on the roof for photos … I digress …) Then I remembered it is Monday.  Yes.  The hotel changed its password exactly 24 hours after I finally memorized the darned thing.

So … off to work I go … but itchin to get out in the city.  Wonder what celebrities I will run into this time.  Last time John Lennon’s son near the Metropolitan Museum of Art took first prize.

Have a nice day.

 

Know what I sayin?

Happy Mother’s Day … From All The Pings

May 14th, 2017 · Tags: Uncategorized

Ping Family 7 sepia

Happy Mother’s Day! I thought about posting a portrait of my mom, alone in the frame, beaming, sporting new contact lenses … but chose this photo instead, despite her glasses so indicative of the time. This was her element — surrounded by her family. She was a city girl that moved to the farm. She was a twin girl, raised by her aunts, and then somehow she brought up four wild boys with a precious little girl (for somewhat of a break).

She loved us. She loved all kids. The only thing that made her more happy than being with her kids, was seeing her grandkids … and taking care of others. She was an interesting woman. She broke her tailbone when she sat in a baby chair as she was teaching toddlers in Sunday School … trying to teach them down on their level. She sat on that old injury through about 10,000 sporting events to cheer for her children and their friends. 

Later she kicked cancer’s butt and was a 30+year survivor … and most of those years after the surgeries and radiation, she spent volunteering at the hospital after her life was saved … hoping to convince others that they could beat it too.

If life had been different, she may have had an art degree and worked in advertising or gotten her teaching certificate … and yet she filled many lives with laughter when she became a substitute teacher.

She was one of the most creative people I will ever know. She never stopped having fun. She saw no reason to grow old. She is dancing in heaven today.

We all miss you Billie Jean Pieratt Pingel Long. Happy Mother’s Day to you and to all.

Know what I sayin?

 

The Kimbell Museum To Showcase Modern Art Masters

May 11th, 2017 · Tags: Arts · Cities · Wi-Fi

 

Gallery

 

When my family moved to Fort Worth, it was pretty much sight unseen. No worries, right?  Having already lived in one cowtown and one cowpoke town, what could be different about an even bigger cowtown?  That was my limited, outsider’s impression of Fort Worth — The Stockyards, Billy Bob’s, cutting horse competitions, stock shows and cowboy culture.

Ha … I was so comfortable in this errant assessment … that yes, the family moved to Fort Worth with our belongings in a horse trailer.  (Hey … we cleaned it out.)

Culture shock. Our first apartment was in Fort Worth’s “Cultural District” and if I had a cowchip, I could have flung it and hit any of several amazing world-class museums. We were in “tall cotton” as they say.  Before that, I had no clue about the other side of Fort Worth — the grand old oil/gas/cattle empires … the families who invested generous portions of their mega-wealth back into the community … the arts.

 

The Kimbell

Perhaps the spinning star on the spurs of Fort Worth’s art scene then and now was and is The Kimbell.  The Kimbell Art Museum  —  a rounded off, polished, monolith-like celebration of light and shadow molded by the architectural genius of Louis I. Kahn … the  building itself, a treasure.  Inside — masterpieces from all over the world.

Flash forward just a year after my arrival in Fort Worth and The Kimbell was, in my mind, the best of the best in Fort Worth … So, when I was assigned to illustrate that my corporate employer back then had a growing connection to Fort Worth’s Cultural District, it was a photo of the iconic Kimbell that was selected to print in our booklet to emphasize the point.

Decades later, the museum impresses me more every time I visit.  I jumped at the opportunity to attend a media preview.  The Kimbell is Fort Worth.  It’s still the same, and yet it is so different.  This morning was my first visit to the “west wing” of The Kimbell, The Renzo Piano Pavilion:

Piano Pavilion

Inside The Piano Pavilion, media representatives and patrons gathered for a preview of the latest traveling exhibit — “A Modern Vision: European Masterworks from The Phillips Collection.”

 

Female Forms

Of course, I arrived early to check out the Wi-Fi, and view the exhibit with a little breathing room, hopefully inconspicuously … when all of the sudden I heard loud music.  What the!?!  Then I noticed everyone was looking at me.  But I had turned off the ringer on my cell phone in advance, ever so courteously.  Dang it … somehow I had pocket dialed and fired up my iTunes. Ha … Hilarious! … In this creme de la creme-luncheon and high-art preview, a funny novelty song about the evils of smoking cigarettes was roaring from my slacks.

“Smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette.  Smoke it until you smoke yourself to death…”  I of course fumbled for the phone.   After about three more carcinogen-laced verses I finally subdued and wrestled my phone to the ground.

Ha … I uttered an obligatory “So-o-r-r-r-r-rrry,” to the few people milling through the collection before the official event.  Later I found out that the woman who commented on what she thought was “my interesting ringtone” was actually one of the art historians traveling with the exhibit and was soon to enlighten us on the great works.  Pretty smooth, huh?  You can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the cigarette songs out of his iPhone.

But what the heck, while I had the phone out of pocket, I fired off a quick shot of Degas’ “Dancers at the Barre” and via The Kimbell’s fast Wi-Fi, sent the ballet masterpiece to a waiting world of barre/yoga/ physical fitness fanatics as they all thumbed through the latest and greatest photos on Instagram.

 

Degas Dancers

Silently, I continued. Oh my!  Two of the most iconic paintings of Van Gogh were hanging side by side … any Picasso?  Yes please! The colorful impact of an abstract Miro on a nearby wall … a “selfie,” picture-perfect portrait by Cezanne … and an eclectic, handpicked mix from the country’s first modern art museum — The Phillips Collection, Washington D.C. dating back to 1921.

 

VAN GOGH Menders

 

Head Juxtaposition 2

After a bunch of photos, I meandered toward the nice buffet and stopped to meet the communications team for the museum.  Comparing the new, light-filled, vibrant, glass enclosed pavilion to the limestone look of the main building, Jessica told me that “The Kimbell is for introverts and the Piano is for extroverts.”

Ha … “Excuse me ma’am.  I’m in the wrong building,” I quipped. I digress …

 

Miro The Red Sun

After the luncheon, the official tour began, and a pair of experts commented on the diversity of the collection’s traveling exhibit.

What a great analogy … that “choosing the pieces from a collection for an exhibit is like choosing who to invite to a dinner party” … If I may continue the comparison … like a great dinner party, the exhibit features natural companions, diversity, many big names, complementary pieces and even some controversial choices.

Nice …

Phillips Collection At The Kimbell

The exhibit runs May 14 — August 13.

Know what I sayin?

The Fence, Precursor To The Wall … From Ground Zero

May 4th, 2017 · Tags: Politics

Lull

When you get on a plane, you are instructed that in the event of a mid-air incident you should place the oxygen mask over the face of children and infants first, and then take care of yourself, right?

Well, wrong of course!  You must help yourself to help others. I thought that was an original analogy for the immigration issue the first time I used it a few years ago, but I have seen a few others using it as well to explain why we must take care of The United States first.  IF we don’t remain viable, then the rest of the world will suffer … tremendously.

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Fortress Festival Leaves PingWi-Fi In Funk – A Good Thing

May 1st, 2017 · Tags: Arts · Cities · Music

 

The Modern

The Modern

I am not ready to claim PingWi-Fi is some sort of talisman … but, like one of my coaches used to say, “I ain’t superstitious, but I ain’t gonna take any chances.”

Ha! Did your coach say that too?

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Fortress Festival … Music Shelter From The Storm

April 30th, 2017 · Tags: Arts · Cities · Music

TREES 2

 

Day one of Fort Worth’s Fortress Festival threatened to be a wash, but the clouds held as storms rocked further east around Canton, Texas.

As I parked the bike at Will Rogers, the thump thump thump of a heavy bass line was shaking the parking lot.  As I dismounted and walked through or rather around the gauntlet of closed access gates, closer to the stage, I could hear entertainers over the speaker system chanting “Hands up, don’t shoot.”

This obviously was not the show for me.  I walked on looking for music and not redundant politics.

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In Lieu Of Wi-Fi, Ping Lays Down Rhythm At Fortress Fest

April 29th, 2017 · Tags: Arts · Cities · Music · Satire · Wi-Fi

FORTRESS PARTY

 

On the eve of Fort Worth’s inaugural Fortress Festival, the Triumph Thunderbird cruiser was parked in front of a large, redbricked-warehouse-of-a-structure, next to a food trailer. Inside and in the garden behind there was one old, long-haired blogger and a bunch of Fort Worth hipster elite for a invitation-only gettogether with one of the deejays from Run The Jewels spinning the table.

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Fort Worth Fortress Festival … Add To Facebook?

April 27th, 2017 · Tags: Arts · Cities · Music

FORTRESS

Like many of my friends, I have been playing The Facebook game listing 10 concerts.  Good timing.  After the weekend, I will have a few more artists to add to my master list, and hopefully more good stories.  (More on that in a second …)

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PingWi-Fi Backing Blue, Packing Smart Phone, On The Scene

April 24th, 2017 · Tags: Cities · Satire · Sports

My morning bicycle ride through a wooded park on the way to the Trinity River was virtually uneventful, except for the very, very large woman feeding her very tiny baby at the park bench — the absolute closest bench to the trail, as conspicuous as possible. So genteel and subtle:)

What’s the old baseball joke about that? … “Two out, one man on” or something like that .. I digress …

On I sped, peddling away.

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‘Bomb City’ – A Texas Clash Of Punks, Preppies

April 10th, 2017 · Tags: Arts

 

 

DSC_7254

“Bomb City” Entourage

If you hang out at a film festival it’s only a matter of time … right place, right time and you will meet celebrities … The PingTeam has been fortunate enough to rub shoulders with a number of stars in our Sundance Film Festival excursions … hah … one chance meeting almost landed us in an episode of “Entourage.”

 

Drama At Sundance

Drama At Sundance

 

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