Beating Heart of the City

Beating Heart of the City

New York City Hall, a beauty in classicism with its touch of Palladio! I studied interior design and architecture many moons ago, but my passion has not wained. New York City Hall is featured prominently in my upcoming book The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin. The cornerstone of City Hall was laid in 1803. Construction was delayed after the City Council objected that the design was too extravagant. In response, architects, McComb and Mangin reduced the size of the building and used brownstone at the rear of the building to lower costs. Labor disputes and an outbreak of yellow fever further slowed construction. The building was not dedicated until 1811 and opened officially in 1812. The original skin of the building, Massachusetts marble facade, quarried from Alford, Massachusetts, deteriorated and was replaced with Alabama limestone in 1954 to 1956.

City Hall, Park Row and City Hall Park, 1911. The structure on the right is the Manhattan station for the cable cars which ran across the Brooklyn Bridge

Steps of City Hall

The steps of City Hall frequently provide a backdrop for political demonstrations and press conferences concerning city politics. The heroine in my book meets the hero on the grounds of those steps while attending a women’s suffrage rally in 1886.

Rotunda

On the inside, the rotunda is a soaring space with a grand marble stairway rising up to the second floor, where ten fluted Corinthian columns support the coffered dome, which was added in a 1912 restoration by Grosvenor Atterbury. The rotunda has been the site of municipal as well as national events. Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant lay in state there in 1865, attracting enormous crowds to pay their respects. City Hall is a designated New York City landmark. It is listed on the New York State and National Registers of Historic Places.

The area around City Hall is commonly referred to as the Civic Center. Most of the neighborhood consists of government offices (city, state and federal), as well as an increasing number of upscale residential dwellings being converted from older commercial structures. Architectural landmarks such as St. Paul’s Chapel, St. Peters Church, the Woolworth Building, Tweed Courthouse, the Manhattan Municipal Building, the Park Row Building, One Police Plaza, and the Brooklyn Bridge surround City Hall. If you’ve ever watched an episode of Law and Order, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Until next time, Gail.

Thank you, Wikipedia for the facts and links.

City Hall Park

Gail Ingis Claus is an author, artist/painter and interior designer. Her upcoming romance The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin will be released when she’s done revising, I’ll keep you in the know. Her current historical romance, Indigo Sky can be purchased on Amazon.

http://amzn.to/2j0LXLE

 

 

 

CENTURIES OF CHANGE

CENTURIES OF CHANGE

greatbigtomorrowJust about the only constant in our world is change. In 2010, by the one-hundredth birthday of my hubby’s mother, she had seen changes no one would have thought possible—  Two world wars, nuclear power, personal computer, antibiotics, television, jet planes, a walk on the moon, the Internet. Change is happening faster and faster.

ASK app

ASK app

Even museums are changing! According to the recent issue of Art in America, mobile apps will keep museum visitors thinking about art even when looking at their phones. For example, the ASK app at the Brooklyn Museum offers a live team, the Audience Engagement Team, with advanced art history degrees, available to answer visitor inquiries. They can answer any questions about the museum collection, and they work in plain sight, so you can see they are live in their open office to the side of the lobby.

General Electric carousel of the future at Disney

Disney’s Tomorrow: General Electric carousel 

storkdeliverbabyLet’s take a stroll in history, when life seemed simpler, and for some relief from the constant changes surrounding us, the so-called technology of progress.

Wheel of Progress Wagon

Wheel of Progress Wagon

For a taste of New England’s beginning, why not visit historic Branford, Connecticut’s cemetery? Walk the grounds of history. Did you know you could still buy a plot?

Pieces of history in Branford, CT

Places and pieces of history in Branford, CT

Entrance

Entrance

branford-lkstaltonstall2Founded in 1645, it’s beautiful, well kept, and at the far end is lovely Lake Stalltonstall. It’s strange to me that there are so many vacancies after 371 years. It’s easier to buy a place in this cemetery than a place in New York City. tombstoneSome of the tombstone relics have almost legible inscriptions that are fun to read. Some date back to the 1700s, maybe earlier if you look around. I was not able to find the tombstone of Richard Harrison Senior, who was a founder of Branford. My hubby’s descendants, the Harrison family had come here from England on one of the early ships after the Mayflower. They first settled in New Haven circa 1635 then founded Branford in 1644.

Back to 2016, although human-like robots are on the agenda of the hot wheel of progress, we can still call ourselves human, but honestly, are we in the same hemisphere as these folks were?

Here’s a little mystic music to soothe your soul.

http://www.metmuseum.org/metmedia/video/collections/mi/ah-marie-bob-grillo

Enjoy music from the met museum while you read my excerpt from my novel:

Indigo Sky

If you like romance, and you like rip-roaring adventure, Indigo Sky is for you! Shopping at Tiffany’s, getting caught up in the New York Draft Riot, the Civil War, and the wilds of the Great Plains. Here’s an excerpt from my book that will curl your toes.

Available in eBook, free audiobook and paperback. Want that audiobook? It’s free, email me for access: gailingisclaus@gmail.com.

Excerpt

Dawn finally broke, and Leila sat listlessly on the pallet. Would today be the day she was raped? Death was preferable.

Little Star peeked through the doorway and crooked her finger. “Come.”

Leila crawled out and blinked against the strong light. Rising stiffly, she stretched, enjoying the sun on her face. She smiled at children laughing and playing between the tipis.

A group of women waited for her. “You bathe.”

Bathe? Leila almost laughed with relief.

The women led her silently to a copse of trees. A stream gurgled over rocks. They stripped her clothes off, urged her into a deep pool and washed her with a chunk of herb scented soap.

She reveled in the cold water until an elder hustled her out, drying her with scraps of soft hide.

Stony faced, the elder worried her gums and mumbled something rubbing herb oils on Leila’s body. Deep crevices on her face sagged in a perpetual expression of discontent. The elder peered over Leila, her small black eyes glittered with malice. She rattled off in an angry tirade.

One of the young women giggled behind slim fingers.

Leila glanced from one to the other. “What did she say?”

Little Star arrived with a hide garment over her arm and handed it to the elder. “She say you white like chicken fat, and don’t know why Red Arrow want you.”

The truth dawned on Leila. This was the moment she’d dreaded. She backed away holding up her palms. “N—no!”

Snarling, the elder grabbed Leila and issued brief instructions. The other women hastily pulled the buckskin dress over her head. Beads and feathers decorated the soft garment. Had circumstances been different, the dress would have delighted Leila. The women took her arms and led her back to the lodge.

Red Arrow stood in the center of a clearing between the tipis, hands behind his back, black eyes impassive.

Leila’s heart pounded and she hung back. The women shoved her and she fell to her knees at the warrior’s feet. “I—I will not be your woman—your whore.” She took his callused hand. “Please, I have a husband.”

He shook her off. “You obey.”

“I can’t—won’t!”

Red Arrow looked at Hook Nose. The leader nodded at a group of warriors. They stepped forward and hauled Leila up, dragging her from the clearing.

She twisted around. “What are they going to do to me?” She cried.

For you viewing pleasure, here’s the Indigo Sky trailer:

Indigo Sky_07_11_15 – Small

Follow Gail:

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1K4GVQA

Amazon Buy Link: http://amzn.to/29NYE5w

Artist Page:      https://artist.gailingis.com/blog/

SPACIOUS SPACES

SPACIOUS SPACES

Spacious Spaces by Historical Romance Author & Artist Gail Ingis

I was fortunate to be a blogging guest for Susan Hanniford Crowley, of Nights of Passion. Susan gave me permission to reblog my post.

MCP Gail Ingis-3 Color Large Revised

Today I am writing about the real tale of Rork and Leila, and also of spaces built and used by artists. As an artist myself, I know spacious spaces are prized—like lofts and two-story high areas—where we can paint massive canvases.

Tenth Street Studio image

“The Tenth Street Studio, 51 West 10th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in New York City, on the island of Manhattan, was designed by Richard Morris Hunt, and built for artists to have high-ceiling spacious spaces to create their art.

“The story goes–I discovered an amazing work of art where I curate art, Lockwood-Bierstadts studio 10th streetMathews Mansion Museum in Norwalk, Connecticut, a huge painting, Domes of Yosemite, that once hung in the rotunda of the mansion, commissioned by Mr. Lockwood, was painted by Albert Bierstadt in this Tenth Street Studio, a place of importance in my book, INDIGO SKY. This is actually where Albert (Rork) Bierstadt first met Rosalie (Leila) Osborn Ludlow when she and her husband, Fitz Hugh Ludlow, visited the studios for the first time. It was here they viewed Bierstadt’s work. Ludlow was impressed with Bierstadt’s work and wrote several articles in Harper’s, Atlantic monthly, and Frank Leslie’s Weekly, spreading the word of his talent and his art.  Ludlow and Bierstadt developed a relationship that brought them together often and united them as they traveled to Yosemite. Plan was for Bierstadt to sketch while Ludlow journaled. At some point within a four-year period, Bierstadt became enamored with Rosalie. A romance ensued, followed by a divorce from Ludlow, then a marriage to Bierstadt. I was shocked, (Did those things happen back then?) by the entire goings on, and had to write a book, I had to tell the story. Although INDIGO SKY is fiction, it is a historic romantic adventure, inspired by Bierstadt’s Domes of Yosemite, and his life.

Bierstadts studio 2“Brief history about this place: The Tenth Street Studio Building, constructed in New York City in 1857, was the first modern facility designed solely to serve the needs of artists. It became the center of the New York art world for the remainder of the nineteenth century.

“The building helped to make Greenwich Village central to the arts in New York City, drawing artists from all over the country to work, exhibit, and sell their art. These studios were occupied by Winslow Homer and many artists of the Hudson River School, including Frederic Church, Lockwood de Forest and Albert Bierstadt.

“In 1920, in order to forestall a commercial takeover, the building was purchased by a group of artists. From that time forward, a number of New York City artists rented studio space in the building. Hats off to artists that are always on hand to save broken down architectural beauties.

“In 1942 the building’s basement became the meeting place for the Bombshell Artists Group, an alliance of 60 modernist painters and sculptors, many who had studios in the building. Its long history dates from 1857 to 1956, when it was razed to make way for an apartment building. In 2010, a penthouse apartment in the newly constructed apartment building at 45 West 10th Street was purchased by the actress, Julia Roberts.”

Courtesy of Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenth_Street_Studio_Building

INDIGO SKY AMAZON REVIEW BY SUMMER LEA, 5-STAR:

VICTORIAN AMERICA COMES ALIVE THROUGH AUTHOR’S VIVID WRITING

INDIGO SKY is the poignant tale of a spirited young married woman, Leila, who faces a difficult decision:  live constrained by the rules and expectations of her Victorian society, or follow her heart to happiness.  Her husband (a drug addict) has betrayed her; her waspish mother seeks to dominate her; and the only person who truly makes her feel alive is forbidden territory: Rork Millburn, the handsome artist who heroically saves her life. I felt deeply for Leila’s desperate plight, and I cheered for her courageous determination to live as a free spirit in an age when female non-conformists were cruelly shunned by society — or brutally repressed by their disapproving relatives.

Like the hero in this story, the author, Gail Ingis, is an artist, making her a connoisseur of visual detail.  Throughout INDIGO SKY, she literally paints with words.  For instance, the Catskill Mountains come alive in all their breathtaking glory through Ingis’s gift of vivid verbal description. If you enjoy immersing yourself in historical detail, you will thoroughly enjoy Ingis’s writing.

Back Cover:

indigoSky-Soulmate 505_505x825 (2)In a whirlwind romance, a lovely New York socialite marries a fêted, debonair author. But beneath the charm is a cheating husband addicted to hasheesh. Her dream marriage turns sour and the simplicity of her life runs amok when a handsome stranger, her husband’s business partner, threatens her staunch loyalty to her wayward husband. When she faces the ugly truth about her marriage, her need to finalize her divorce sends her on mad chase across the wilds of nineteenth century America with a handsome stranger—she learns hard lessons of murder, kidnapping and more that almost destroy her.

Webpage with sign up and art & author websites: http://www.gailingis.com

Amazon Author Page with updates and trailer: http://amzn.to/1K4GVQA

Amazon Buy Link: http://amzn.to/29NYE5w

graphics3Formats

INDIGO SKY IS AN E-Book, and Print Book now available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. AudioBook coming shortly.
Find Gail with these links:

indigoSky-Soulmate 505_505x825 (2)  INDIGO SKY | “A Triumphant Tale of Courage.” Get this one!” 5-Star

Gail Ingis, Author and Visual Artist | gailingisclaus@gmail.com | Website | Artist Page | Amazon | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Trailer | B&N

Amazon Author Page:  http://amzn.to/1K4GVQA

Amazon Buy Link: http://amzn.to/29NYE5w

Artist Page:     https://artist.gailingis.com/blog/

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/2aBfjvQ

Facebook:       https://www.facebook.com/gail.ingis

Goodreads:     http://bit.ly/29Pem1S

Trailer:            http://bit.ly/29xUJ1H

Twitter:           http://twitter.com/gailingis

Website:         http://www.gailingis.com

Do you want to meet Gail? This is a wonderful art reception and booksigning invitation! Here’s your chance!

Cyclone, Oh What a Ride 12x24 Oil

Cyclone, Oh What a Ride 12×24 Oil

Gail Ingis is exhibiting 38 works of Coney Island, Thursday, September 8th 5:30-7:30pm. You are invited to her art bash at Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum. 295 West Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06850, 203-838-9799 extension 4 to RSVP. A ten dollar donation is requested. Live band, refreshments and a dance demo are included in the donation.

The exhibition will be up until September 30th.

Thank you Gail, for gracing the pages of Nights of Passion. Remember, everyone, this is an event you don’t want to miss!

-Susan
Susan Hanniford Crowley, Amazon Kindle Bestselling Author of Vampire Romance
www.susanhannifordcrowley.com
Where love burns eternal and whispers in the dark.

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