Macaulay Seminar One at Brooklyn College
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Category — Introductions

Growing Up

I grew up in a small town outside of Boston, Massachusetts called Scituate. Before high school, I moved 4 times. I was born in Scituate, which has its own harbor, and then 6 years later moved to Weymouth. After Weymouth, we continued moving north, ending up in Haverhill, MA. 5 years after that, we crossed the southern border of New Hampshire and now live in a small town of about 7,000 called Hampstead, NH. Since I grew to age 6 in Scituate, we’ll revisit some of the sights and sounds of that beautiful little fisherman’s town.

Above is a map of Scituate. Boston can be seen to the north, and if you were to continue to the southwest, you would eventually reach New York. It is the second furthest outcropping of land in Massachusetts, with the first being Cape Cod. Fishermen, wharfs, and the US Coast Guard call Scituate home, and I remember very vividly trips down to the water to see the boats.


This is an aerial view of Scituate Harbor. I lived on small street called Egypt Lane, and I would walk around and describe the neighborhood houses to my parents. Scituate has been a port town for over 200 years, and the houses were all built to accommodate the sea captains and fishermen who used to live there. Many of the houses are quite old, and the architecture was based on the amount of money the inhabitant had. Fishermen generally lived in smaller, less spacious houses than wealthy sea captains, who had multiple bedrooms and verandas, as well as roof patios.


My upbringing here was very dependent on the sea culture. I would be taken down to the beach, and the smell of the sea wouldn’t wash off you for days. My pockets would be full of sea glass on my walk home, and the toy store in downtown was a sure stop. the lighthouse was constantly lit, and smell of saltwater taffy was in the air.

Time to go back and visit, I think.



December 8, 2012   No Comments

Coney Island

There isn’t much art in the area of Brooklyn where I live and have lived since birth. There’s a bunch of houses, apartment buildings, shops and synagogues. Nothing stands out as artistic besides some of the nicer houses so I decided to take a trip to Coney Island, ten minutes away from home.

When tourists think of the Brooklyn, they think of Coney Island, which is home to the Brooklyn Cyclones, Astroland (now called Luna Park after some transfer of ownership) and of course the eighty-five-year-old wooden coaster called the Cyclone. The skill and originality of the roller coaster design along with its popularity make up one of the most significant symbols of Brooklyn, enough that it became an NYC landmark. I wonder if anyone would consider a roller coaster art. Nevertheless, I feel the whole design of the park and its colorfulness would make it art.

An attempt at taking a picture of the park from the Wonder Wheel through the fog


Wonder Wheel – The scary old Ferris wheel


Luna Park Entrance

The Cyclone


October 4, 2012   No Comments

The Art of Nature

A current dweller of Monsey, NY (Rockland County), I couldn’t seem to think of any specific piece of art that defines the place. No specific architecture. No specific memorial. No specific form of transportation. Well, I needed to find something that defines where I live. So, while there is no specific piece of art that is manmade to define my community, “Mother Nature” has definitely left her mark. If paintings and photographs of nature are considered art, then surely G-d’s work itself is art, as well.

The contrast of the abundant nature and scenery of where I currently live to where I first grew up (Flatbush, Brooklyn) is best made by friends from the city that come over for a visit. Comments like “you live in middle of nowhere!” and “why are there hardly any sidewalks?!” cause me to appreciate the tranquility of the suburb in which I live even more. And, my (Monsey born) little sister’s remarks upon our visits to Brooklyn of “How did you live here? It’s so crowded and gloomy” cause me to remind her to to appreciate the nature that surrounds her every day.


October 4, 2012   1 Comment

Basant and Memories of Pakistan

I was born in the Pakistani city of Lahore.  My family moved to New York before I turned one. Since that time we have periodically returned to Lahore to visit loved ones. For this assignment, I looked for something that reminded me of those trips.

The image below is of a watercolor painting titled Basant. It was made by Dr. Ajaz Anwar, an artist who dedicates his works to perserving the cultural heritage of the city. This particular piece really spoke to me.


Basant is a large annual festival that celebrates the coming of spring. People celebrate by flying beautifully colored kites. On this day, the sky is literally full of kites. The painting helps give people an idea of what it looks like.

While I’ve only been lucky enough to participate in the festival once; the kites in the painting remind me of Lahore. Kite flying in general is a popular pastime in Pakistan. During my trips, on any given afternoon you could see at least a few kites sailing high above the city.

Another aspect of the painting that reminds me of Pakistan is the roof. It may sound silly but it’s true. Large, flat, accessible roofs are a part of most houses there. Not only are they the go to place for kite flyers but in warm weather people like to sit outside on the roof to enjoy the view and cool breeze. A lot of my memories are simply of spending time on the roof of my cousin’s house, enjoying the day and each others company.

October 2, 2012   No Comments

My Neighborhood

I pondered for a few days how exactly I can capture my neighborhood with a photograph. As a resident of Elmhurst, my first thought was inevitably a picture of Queens Center Mall, but I decided that would be too boring and clichè. I thought about taking a picture of the New York City skyline that can be seen from behind my apartment building, but then I thought to myself, “What!? You don’t live in Manhattan!” Finally, I decided to take a picture of Queens Boulevard, one of the many jewels of the borough. I realize that it may be a bit trite, but it is still not as boring as a picture of Queens Center, in my opinion. At any time of day, at any point on the boulevard, this is about exactly what you would see: an endless expanse of streetlights, headlights lined up two by two, and lines of brightly lit stores, ranging from chain stores to restaurants to delis to dentists’ offices to barber shops. Additionally, you would see lines of apartment buildings behind these stores.I tried to express this diversity through this image. It may be a bit difficult to see, however. I notice now, that by pure accident, I managed to capture a moving MTA bus. This is a good representation of my neighborhood as well because areas such as mine rely quite heavily on public transportation. I live near several large shopping centers, so people coming from all over the five boroughs need a convenient way to reach these places.

October 2, 2012   1 Comment

Dhaka, Bangladesh

I couldn’t really find any piece of art that represented Jamaica, Queens (the place where I grew up), so I decided to show a piece of architecture that was a symbol of Bangladesh, where I went to over the summer.

The Shaheed Minar is a national monument built to memorialize those who lost their lives during the Bengali Language Movement of 1952. It’s the perfect representation of Bangladesh because it’s a symbol of a major reason why Bangladesh became independent – to have the right to its own language. By making demonstrations and fighting for the right to keep their language, many Bengali citizens lost their lives. The Shaheed Minar is both a memorial for those who died and a symbol of the importance of language.



I also decided to share this because we’ve just gone to a couple of memorials – you guys can compare this to the 9/11 and Vietnam memorials. Hope you guys like it!

September 30, 2012   No Comments

Art in History and Nature

Hi everyone!

I have lived in Rye, New York my entire life–except now, of course, I am currently in Brooklyn. It is a rather small, unknown town, but one with historical significance nonetheless! It is the location of the Jay Property, for instance, which is the childhood home of John Jay, our nation’s first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

The historic 23 acre park is all that remains of the original 400 acre family estate, the centerpiece of which is an 1838 Greek Revival mansion (above). It was built by his son, Peter Augustus Jay, and is, in my opinion, more than just an old building. The architectural detail of the large Corinthian columns make them a work of art in and of themselves.

The property also has a beautiful view of the Long Island Sound and is located next to the Marshlands Conservancy- an example of what I consider to be art in nature. With public trails, the marshlands are a beautiful  place for nature walks and daytime jogs. Thus, it has become a popular and rather iconic spot in Rye, which is why I chose to share it with all of you 🙂

September 27, 2012   3 Comments

Taishan, China


I found some beautiful pictures of the architecture in Taishan, China. The buildings look like buildings from ancient Chinese movies. I remember seeing them in an old Bruce Lee film. There are a lot of stairs leading to the buildings because the buildings are usually built on top of mountains. The buildings in my current neighborhood are modern apartment buildings and my family is one the few Chinese families in the neighborhood! The architecture in Taishan really portrays a suburban and simple lifestyle, unlike our current lifestyle. 🙁

Look at all those steps!



There are a lot of mountains and hills in Taishan, so it is only natural to have paintings of them.


Chinese calligraphy (some people consider art) is found on some mountains.


September 27, 2012   No Comments

The Art of Transportation

I currently live near 74th street of Jackson Heights, which is predominantly a South Asian neighborhood. Therefore, it is not surprising that there are many things around the neighborhood that remind me of my hometown of Dhaka, Bangladesh. However, for this assignment, we have to find art and no piece of artwork reminds me more of Dhaka than the lone rickshaw standing near a restaurant on 73rd street.

You may be wondering how a vehicle such as a rickshaw can be considered art. At first glance, there is nothing artistic about it. However, after closer inspection, you can see that there are various designs and drawings on the seat, back, and hood of the rickshaw.


The designs vary from rickshaw to rickshaw, but they are mainly bright and colorful. The artwork serves two purposes: to make the rickshaw look good and to attract potential riders. The reason that rickshaw artwork is such a strong representation of Dhaka is because it is everywhere in the city. No matter where you go in Dhaka, you are bound to see rickshaws and the colorful artwork associated with them. Personally, when I see the rickshaw parked in Jackson Heights, I am reminded of the various times that I rode a rickshaw with my parents in Dhaka.

While rickshaws are the most common, they are not the only artistic vehicles that you will find on the streets of Dhaka. Some buses, for example have colorful designs.


Trucks in Bangladesh are sure to catch your eyes because of their usual bright yellow color as well as a beautifully designed “crown.”


Also, there are vehicles called auto rickshaws, or better known as “baby taxis” to Bangladeshis. Similar to rickshaws, auto rickshaws have different designs.



These various designs on vehicles make Bangladesh’s vehicles a unique form of art.

September 26, 2012   2 Comments

Hyderabadi architecture

Hi everyone!

These are a couple of photos of Hyderabadi architecture, which (in my opinion) is a major reflection of Hyderabadi art. Like I said in class last week, Hyderabad was a crossroads of Arab, Persian, and classical Indian culture. The architecture reflects Mongolian and Ottoman influences (the Mongols invaded India and ruled for centuries). Note the tall minarets that are so characteristic of Islamic architecture.

This picture is of the Chawmahalla Palace located in the Old City of Hyderabad. Construction of the palace grounds was completed in 1880’s. The palace belonged to the Nizams (or rulers) of Hyderabad long before India gained its independence in 1947. The Chawmahalla Palace received the UNESCO Asia Pacific Merit Award for cultural heritage conservation back in 2010.

This is a picture of Mecca Masjid, which is one of the oldest mosques in Hyderabad and one of the oldest “religious buildings” in India. Prior to the mosque’s completion in 1694, the French explorer John-Baptiste Tavernier stated that Mecca Masjid was at the time, “a splendid pagoda which will be the grandest in all India when it is completed.” According to, the main hall of the mosque can accomodate 10,000 worshippers at a single time.

The Charminar was build in 1591 and it is internationally recognized as one of the most well-known structures of India. The name “Charminar” translates to “Four Towers.”



September 25, 2012   2 Comments