GirlDriver, USA

GirlDriver, USA
Look! It's GirlDriver, USA.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Christoper Wool at the Guggenheim

Christopher Wool's work is self-explanatory.  He makes word paintings, gestural paintings.  A massive sculpture, placed outside the Guggenheim, takes you to his world of swirling, muted gesture painting.  Like other New York School painters he pours paint onto his canvases, rice paper, metal, other surfaces.  Hung abutting each other are a hundred photographs.  Again words.  He sees grays and blacks and light in the urban settings that he has captured with his camera.  As you go up levels, the paintings have color, get bigger, many patterns on patterns.  But there is something about this artist--the way in which he makes a painting--that has a lot of emotion to it.  You connect through form and through his use of grays, blacks, white and then Color!

The Guggenheim is brilliant at drawing families to exhibits.  Anyone can participate in activities that they have created  that bring kids and parents and adults into the work.  All of these activities can be found on the website

There's a multimedia app you can download that has three short films related to the exhibit.  The show opens October 25th and runs through January 22, 2014.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

City Cycling--Is The Boom Creating More Bangs?

An article from The New York Daily News:

Ford Escape SE 2014

This is going to be worth looking at if you are looking for a vehicle that costs under $30,000 and gets decent fuel economy--I got 25.5 combined and the EPA posted fuel economy is 23 city/32 highway/26A combined.
My escape was powered by 1.6-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged, direct injection Ecoboost engine paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission.  Wheels--17"-- added plenty of bling for this baby, which behaves like a fun little hauler with enough of the proverbial connectivity to please the millennials.
The 2014 Ford Escape in Ingot Silver Metallic (people get paid good money to come up with these names).  Who looks at these descriptions when they buy a car? And whoever repeats them?  My guess is no one.  

 The Escape now has a hands-free liftgate.  The liftgate opens with a gentle kicking motion under the center of the rear bumper which, activates, unlocks and raises the liftgate when the driver has the Escape key fob.  (However, I was told by someone at Ford a year ago, that it doesn't recognize Ugg boots as a foot and I can totally sympathize with that.)  The trunk lift is such a convenience--you're not jostling packages or digging your keys out of the bottom of a purse.    The same process closes the hatch.  The technology comes from videogames.  The Escape now comes with a Class II trailer tow package that allows it to trailer-tow up to 3,500 pounds.

EcoBoost engines are further enhanced with twin independent variable camshaft timing. Ti-VCT offers up to a 7 percent improvement in peak power and a 5 percent improvement in low-speed torque for better acceleration, passing and merging performance, as well as up to a 4.5 percent improvement in fuel economy versus engines not equipped with the technology.

 Ford's torque converter gives a nice smoothness to the ride.  It's Intelligent 4WD system uses software and sensors to analyze data from 25 external signals, including wheel speed, accelerator pedal position and steering wheel angle adding to the safety of the vehicle in challenging driving situations

The car has active park assist in case you can't park your car yourself--what is that about?
It also has SYNC with MyFord Touch the communications system that allows voice commands.  It has an available sensor-based BLIS® (Blind Spot Information System) with cross-traffic alert. BLIS displays an alert in the side mirror when a vehicle is detected entering a blind spot. Cross-traffic alert warns if traffic is detected approaching from the sides, such as when Escape is leaving a parking space in reverse.
Prices start at $22,700 plus $895 destination and delivery charges.  My vehicle, as equipped was $26,445 including destination and delivery.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Something Fishy Here

A story in The New York Daily News I wrote:

Diesel Sheds It's Dirty Image

 Here's my story on diesel in The New York Daily News:

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Mazda Miata of Kimonos

The Mazda Miata of kimonos

One morning I woke up to yet another website trying to get me to sign up for daily emails.  And just before I put it in the trash, I clicked on it and there was this headline:  This Kimono is the Mazda Miata of robes.  I bought it.  I mean who could resist?
I owned a 1992 Miata and when people ask me what my favorite car in the world is, I  say it still is my 1992 Miata, which ended up totaled but that's a story for another day.  And I still miss it.
Has the bathrobe satisfied my longings for my lost car? No.  But it was $20, it fits like a Snuggie but it doesn't turn you into a block-of blue-lard-weirdo––one who loses her dignity when company's not around and it is the . . . well, and that's the other thing that struck me.  Remember when the gold standard was Cadillac?
Highly prized products that were the nonpareil of whatever were called the "Cadillac of ________________".
Cadillac is finally making the right moves. Could they regain that status?  It's unlikely that Cadillac can regain the title, given the extremely high standards throughout the automotive industry.  But I'd put Cadillac's ATS up against any other performance car available today any day of the week.  It's a killer and I mean that in a very good way.
Hope I don't look too smug here.
This is, however, the first time I've ever seen anything called the Mazda Miata of . . ..  And since I love Miatas and have always loved Miatas I bought the robe.  And let me just say that it is a perfect analogy.  The robe fits my personality to a T.  It manages its flair by balancing it with pragmatism, it fits perfectly, the materials are good quality. There's only one thing wrong with it--the belt loops don't have any relationship to my waist.  My Miata had only one thing wrong with it––manual side mirrors.  The mirrors are automatic on later models.  I can't speak for the belt loops.
I deleted the shopping website even though it has the best copy I've ever read--better than J. Peterman.  I cut and paste the bathrobe copy here for your enjoyment.
Me in the Miata.

"The Kimono is the Mazda Miata of robes. Take that as you will.  Listen, we're not here to be overly judgmental. And we're not saying you don't look good in that zippy little kimono. We're just saying, maybe you shouldn't act so proud of it, because it gives off the wrong impression.
What you want people to think is, "That person is super fun and quirky!" Not "That person is clearly overcompensating for shortfalls in other parts of their life."
So next time you slip into that something-more-comfortable, here's what to do. Own it, but with a quiet confidence. Don't go strutting around with a smug look on your face, winking and shooting your finger guns at everyone who glances your way. Because people WILL make fun of you. And you'll be too wrapped up in your damaskness to even notice."  The website name is

And Miatas still rule.  I drove the 2013 MX5 around the Cape this summer top down.  What a blast.  Plus I gained so many points with the great nieces and nephews, it was, um, like, awesome.