Day 25: When I found Nathan, I knew I had to share his fiber art with you. This crocheted manhole cover was on a knitting Pinterest board but after a few clicks I discovered the artist - and would not call him a knitter. He generously agreed to allow me to share this piece - amazing isn't it? And clever too! He's a wizard with the hook - go check out all his creations. Not your Grandma's crochet patterns. You must check out his "Let's Play War" exhibit that was commissioned by the Bellevue Arts Museum.
NathanVincent.com Thank you Nathan for sharing your talent, mad skills, and creativity with us!
I've told you I have started following many manhole enthusiasts on Instagram. Meet Irina. She has a great eye for style and styling. It is such a pleasure to see her daily posts as she is so consistent and the images are so charming. Who knew there were that many covers in Russia? Who has that many shoes? Take a look and follow her too.
Thank you Irina for allowing me to share a portion of your wonderful posts. Instagram: Irina_from_Russia
Just as I was about to launch this blog series I spoke with my friend Lynne who told me about her husband's childhood connection to manhole covers in his New York City neighborhood. I asked if she wanted to share the story, and she did one better - got a hold of the stencils and created a collage on one of her favorite substrates - shipping envelopes. Here's her art, and below is the story. Two days ago I shared a stickball/manhole story from Bobbi - they sound so similar that I wonder just how many times street hardware has been used as bases.
Thanks for sharing Lynne and John!! See more of Lynne's art at LKPerrella.com
“Home Base and Other Destinations”
Story and Artwork by Lynne Perrella
True Confession: My husband started out life as a street urchin from Hell’s Kitchen.
This angelic-looking altar boy spent every spare moment outdoors on the mean streets of Manhattan, playing stickball, stoop ball, punch ball, and touch football. Here’s how it worked: the neighborhood guys gathered in the morning, raided the unsuspecting janitor’s closet for broom sticks (used as bats), added a pink “Spal-DEEN” rubber ball, grabbed a piece of chalk to make a sidewalk scoreboard, and then spread out across the street of choice, screeching “Play ball!”. Every game involved heavy quotients of fierce competition, lively debate, admiration for the specialized talents of each guy, and (most of all) noise. When scoping out a suitable street for a stickball game, there was one prevailing criteria: Where were the manhole covers, and how far apart were they?
Used as “home base” and “second base”, manhole lids provided just enough structure for games that often relied on spontaneous eruptions of new rules, broken rules, and no rules. These games occupied the streets, rendering cross-town traffic impossible, and parked cars were conveniently used as additional bases. (with the proviso that a runner had to touch the wheel of the car with his foot as he whizzed past) As you can imagine, there were the expected calamities of balls crashing through shop windows (argh!), well-hit balls ending up on neighboring roof tops (darn!), errant balls rolling into the sewers (drat!), and more – But there was always another ball, another game, and another marathon day of full-out play.
For years, I enjoyed my husband’s stories about The Guys and their exploits….and eventually I had the great joy of knowing all of them. Richie, Eddie, Jacky, Ralph, Bernie, Al, Michael and John – Team mates and friends-for-life.
This special photo was taken one summer day, when the boys were convinced to stand still for a few moments. My husband John is the boy on the left.
And last for today are my journal pages that were inspired by the manhole covered driveway photos by Ildiko Laszlo that I shared on Day 12. Stamps, stencils, and pen. Loved drawing in all that stone. I see more like this in my future.