Monday, November 29, 2010

In Loving Memory

Mario Dandola, George as I knew him, passed away on Friday November 26th. He will be greatly missed by all that knew him. He has been my landlord for over 18 years. I met him in the spring of 1992 while looking for an apartment here in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. He stepped outside of his shop, "George's Potpourri", when he heard me asking the corner store owner about apartments. He had rooms to rent just down the street and with a marker he drew out the layout for me. It was my lucky day!

Above are photos of George and Emily outside and inside their more recent space at 489 Court Street. Le Petit Cafe is currently expanding into their old space. The neighborhood has changed a great deal since I 1st moved here, but one thing that hasn't is George and Emily. They have been wonderful to me. George has always been kind, generous and funny. Anyone that knew him would agree he's one of a kind!

This neighborhood will most definitely not be the same without him. It's hard to believe he won't be sitting outside his shop feeding the birds, including the maligned pigeons each day or offering an icy refreshment in the summertime. He loved being social and seemed to know about any and everything going on in the area. When I told my friend he was in the hospital, her daughter exclaimed "not the nice man with the skunks?!" He sometimes gave out little good luck skunks, made of pipe cleaner, to kids and some adults, like my mom. She's even traveled out of the country with hers. I have several myself.

Currently located on a less populated block, I made this sign to help with some needed attention. George's store has some great little gems at a fraction of the cost, especially for china and crystal.

Not seeing him anymore will be a difficult adjustment. He was tough and quite robust, especially for his age. He could fix almost anything himself and was unafraid of climbing on my roof when it needed a patch up. I learned a few handy household tricks myself over the years. He liked a glass of juice or tea after making a repair. I can hear his voice so clearly. He lead an interesting life and I was most intrigued by stories about his work as a longshoreman in Red Hook. Whenever there was work to be done or he simply wanted me to clear the hallway, his favorite saying was "It's like the wall of China, go bit by bit". I think of this often because it helps with so much in life, bit by bit and step by step. I will really miss hearing him say "Ahoy there!" from across the street or "what is it now?" each time I stopped by. Upon leaving, he was fond of saying "onward and upward!" or simply telling me to "carry on".

A viewing will be held at Scotto Funeral Home tomorrow, Tues 11/30 and Wed 12/1 from 2-5p and 7-9p each day. Mass will be held on Thursday 12/2 at 9:30am at St. Mary's Star of the Sea Church located at 467 Court Street (pictured below).

I will miss you George!

My heart goes out to Emily and his family.

Rest in Peace
Mario Dandola

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thomasina Blows Outta Bklyn!

Here's my November door for If I Were a Toy, Carroll Gardens' super cute toy store/hair salon for kids. I went out on a limb and painted a Thanksgiving theme ;) In this scenario, Thomasina Turkey takes her babes on her scooter and gets the heck outta Brooklyn before it's too late!

Above, a friendly piglet I reworked from a pig series. Hoping he'll get a chance to adorn some of Rogue Confections' delightful & delicious Belgian chocolates by Sherri Adler :')

Thought I'd feature some recent work in my Thanksgiving post... Below, a bunny rabbit waits by the lake, drawn with charcoal on wood.

Above, Animal Houses -- Is Bailey Brown Bear locked out or are they playing a game?
Below, Forest Birthday Celebration painting uncropped.

Speaking of birthdays, Bryon & Kristy's adorable little girl, Vola Mae Finn celebrated her 3rd a couple of weeks ago. Here, Kristy helps her blow out her candles. I love the lighting and Vola's coy expression in this!

A Public Space, the literary magazine founded by their friend, Brigid Hughes, was the setting for her party. A good choice for Brooklyn's mini-intellectuals to meet up with parents in tow ;)

Bryon spent many hours in his studio painting games for the kids!

Inflated pink and blue ponies lined the shelves and looked innocent enough...

until an unsuspecting mom said the wrong thing and the little ones attacked her mercilessly with them!!

Most of you know I'm a big fan of my friend, Bryon Finn's artwork (below couple studio shots).

This year he made a fabulous bed for his daughter, important to indoctrinate them young!

Above, Vola appreciates her new bed. It must be fun to sleep inside a painting! I was impressed with the way Bryon stuck to his style and vision, which can fall by the wayside when an artist designs something functional.

Starting point...

He was also featured on the art & design blog, Hallazawa under label, Thanks Pops!

Onto paying projects which tend to create much more of a mess...
Below, a work in progress-- the Mega Millions Mega Phone. It's Mega alright, taking about 75 lbs of plaster to complete!!

Spending time inside the hanging horn was sorta fun, felt like I'd been on a boat.

You can see the layer of dust lining the carpentry shop floor.
Here, Melissa begins priming... little did she know just how many chances she'd have to repair and repaint this piece!

Ahhhhh, the pride :')

This cocktail lounge by Steiner Studios in the Navy Yard is going down :( I never went in, since it looked quite sketchy in harsh daylight, but I'll miss seeing this old sign with anchor.

Kristine, this water tower is for you! I no longer pass a water tower without thinking I'd better stop and photograph it. Hoping you'll put together a book one day.

Love this yellow door :)

I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner with the Zexter family. They're so nice to invite me since I rarely go back to Virginia to celebrate. I can't wait to surprise them with this fancy new sequined dress ;D

Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!!
Thanks for stopping by :)
xo, A


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