Preparation for the Union Art Show 


Preparation for the Union Art Show


Last year 2017 I participated in the Employee Art Show and I was also able have one of my Photography Collages on display at the Daily Press a Coffee shop across the street from my house.

This year the Museum Union Employees are having their own Art Show that is separate from the museum. I’m a proud Union member of DC 37 Local 1503. The Union Art Show will take place in March. I have already registered and completed my Mixed Media Photo Collage.

After working for the museum for ten Yes 10 years I’ve been heavily influenced by the various special exhibits as well as the permanent collection.

Over the years I’ve spent many hours standing in the Modern Art galleries of the Main Bldg and since 2016 been on Night Shift in the Modern and Contemporary Art museum. Same museum in a different location.

Thus I’ve spent lots of time gazing at Jackson Pollack drip paintings. Like many people at first I discounted Jackson Pollacks drip painting methods but over time his methods began to intrigue me motivating me to incorporate his technique into my photography.

Not having a great deal of space in my house instead of dripping paint I drip nail polish or what some call Lacquer. I really enjoyed the process however my Masterpiece is now drying in the backyard due to the awful smell of nail polish. My cat Sylvester even left the bedroom electing to sit in the hallway watching me.


(For those of you who have no idea who is Jackson Pollack I have included two videos of him in Creative Action.)

Funny that right around the time I saw the flyer for the Union Art Show I saw the head curator for the photography department. Every time I see him he has always encouraged in my endeavors. Two other curators have also encouraged me.

God wants me to move forward with my Photography Blog Roaming Urban Gypsy as well as to expand my outreach in terms of creating and submitting more photos throughout New York city.  Therefore I’m stepping up my game for 2018. 


Here is a Sneak peek at my Photography Collage submission from inception to completion.

The Name of my submission is Broadway Junction en Lacquer. 







Good Facebook News



Lately many on WordPress have taken to bashing Facebook. Of course it’s your choice whether to join or not join as the case may be however I have found Facebook to be helpful to me in certain cases.

My main purpose in using Facebook is connecting with friends, family, former and current co-workers.  I have found school classmates from 45/50 years ago! Facebook is the easiest way to set up meetings, get-togethers, parties, etc….. There is no way in the world you can know everyone’s phone number or email nor do you have the time to make that many phone calls. Also it is a way to share important news via Facebook Messenger. That’s how I found out one of my former co-workers had died a few months ago.  If another co-worker had not let us know on her page I would not have been able to attend the viewing/funeral. Despite it being a sad affair because the woman who died was only 54 I did get to see co-workers I had not seen in nearly 20 years. Basically you really only see people at weddings or funerals. Lately for me mostly the latter.  Many of my friends have gotten married, moved outside or New York City or live too far away for immediate contact. Also my museum and my Union DC 37 has their own individual pages that distributes relevant news to Union Members. It is also a place to ask questions and voice concerns. Yes we do have union meetings but the museum has three separate locations and various shifts and those of us not in the Main Building cannot attend the Union Meetings.

Also you have a better chance of contacting me via Facebook rather than calling or emailing me. I work long strange hours however I check Facebook every day. I also check my email every day so either are good in my case.

In terms of business, marketing and promotional use I use Facebook now to showcase my photography blog Roaming Urban Gypsy.


Black Genealogy Page


One Mothers Day several years ago I posted my Maternal Grandmother Hattie Finney Banks photo on the Black Genealogy Page. Now this page is not just for African-Americans. Many whites go to the page in search of their Black ancestors. One such white lady saw my Grandmother’s photo and contacted me. She was actually searching for her Black son who had died but who had left behind a daughter. Her goal was to find family connections for the little girl.

This woman had information on my grandparents and Great-grandparents including death certificates and newspaper articles that I would have never found on my own.  She still lives in the West Virginia town where most of my maternal family members including my mother were born. Turns out we were not related but we became friends and I’m always happy to hear from her on Facebook.


Autism Activism


In May of 2015 the New York Times published an article about me and my brother Stephen. I posted the article on Facebook and it went Viral!  My friends, family and co-workers share it on their pages and everywhere. The result: Jan. 2016 while at work I received a phone call from Gov. Cuomo’s office personally inviting me to a Paid Family Leave Rally in the city.  Next year starting Jan. 2018 the state of New York will have Paid Family Leave for all it’s residents!!  Booyah!!  I’m not going to reprint all the past links but if you search between May 2015 and Jan. 2016 you’ll see all the work I put in along with my team to help achieve this goal.

Now if I had published the same New York Times article on WordPress which I did eventually I would not have gotten the same result mostly because most of my Subscribers/Followers on WordPress are from countries outside the U.S.A. and this news would not affect them or have any meaning. Even those U.S. Followers/Subscribers most of them are not from New York again my news would have not meaning so there would be no reason to share.

Also every last U.S. elected official has a Facebook page. This is how you contact them. That’s how I communicated with the representative for Stephen’s district. Many times this is easier than all the phone calls I’ve been making.


Facebook has many benefits if you use it in the right way.  Activism and Advocacy takes place on Facebook. This is how Activists like myself find out at demonstrations, rallies, marches, etc…   For those of you who are anti-Facebook we are not going back into time. Whether you are selling books, artwork, photography or establishing coalitions for positive change Facebook will continue to be a tool for effective communication.

Last but not Least you don’t have to Friend everyone who contacts you. Plus if the person becomes a problem just UnFriend or Block them!  Don’t like the racism, discrimination in certain FB Groups. Leave! Problem solved.  Folks the FB Genie has been out of the bottle for years and there is no going backwards in time.

















Dental Agony

This is an old post but I will revive and revise if for Irene’s Dental Memories Challenge.

Dental Memories: Times Pasts

Dental Memories: Times Pasts

Baby Boomer: USA

When I served in the military specifically the United States Army the Army dentist answer to my teeth problems was to pull them. So between November 1977 until I ETS’d in November 1981 I had several teeth pulled. One tooth located on my lower jaw was out of place and the Army dentist warned me that if I played any type sports and got hit in the face that tooth would rip a hole in my face. How nice! Just Lovely! Anyway after that visual I let him pull the tooth.

Before I let Uncle Sam’s Dental Demons get a hold of me my Dad used to take me to the Dentist. Probably because the experience was so traumatizing I blacked out much of it from my memory but I do recall one incident where my Mom had to take me to the local neighborhood dentist and this evil man did not believe in Novocaine. I believe he took some kind of sadistic pleasure in my cries and screams and had the nerve, gall and audacity to offer me a lollipop after the horrible experience!!

I am currently on vacation so yes I must once again visit that Torture Chamber known as the Dental Office. Ugh.

This is how I envision most dentists. This movie scene is not for the squeamish or faint of heart.

Marathon Man – Dustin Hoffman – Getting Grilled While Drilled – HD

Below is last year’s Dental Adventures.

Last Friday after I went to Stephen’s meeting at his training center I stopped by a nearby dentist office just to see if they took my DC 37 Dental insurance. I had not been to the dentist in three years and I wanted to get 2016 off to a good start health-wise. Little did I know what I was getting myself into.

Things started off very well. The receptionist was friendly and helpful. I told her that I wanted to make my appointment for next month Feb. when I go on vacation. She assured me that the dentist was free and I could get my cleaning that day. The receptionist was correct. There was only one lone guy sitting in the waiting area. I told her that I did not have my DC 37 card with me. No problem she says. All I need provide is my social security number, with that she makes a quick call to the DC 37 offices who confirm that I am a Union Member. Next thing I know I was filling out forms then a few minutes later found myself being ushered into the torture chamber.

Cue the Shark Music!

Jaws Theme Song


First the X-Rays. I hate when the technician says bite down. Sometimes my bite works other times it does not. I could tell she was getting exasperated with me. Finally she had me put my finger on the film to hold it in place.

Then into the dentist’s chair. The dentist was a friendly young man probably in his late 30s.  He did his best to put me at ease.

At this point the X-rays were displayed on the screen and the dentist is going over with the hygienist a state of the teeth report.  Most of us have 32 teeth or at least we are supposed to have 32 teeth.  Dentist Number x missing, Number y missing, Number Z missing. He asked me why certain teeth were missing and I explained that when I was in the military the Army dentist pulled those teeth out.  On he went Number # an occlusion, Number # an occlusion, Number # an occlusion.  That word Occlusion set inside me an ominous foreboding. Finally he says to me that I have three cavities that need filling. I ask would it take long? Dentist: No only 30 minutes. Will it hurt? I’ll give you Novocaine. Me being a nervous high strung person who is terrified of dental drills I need NeverCaine!!  Anyway he gives me a shot of Novocaine all the while keeping up his happy talk while waiting for me to get numb.

Next come those horrible devices they put in your mouth to suck up extra fluids and blow cold air which in and of itself is uncomfortable and painful as my teeth are sensitive.

Let the Drilling begin!!  The teeth that need fillings are in the back of my mouth that makes for an awkward position for me and the dentist however he happily drills on. What I thought was going to be a quick replacement of old fillings past their prime and small cavity repair became an archaeological excavation!


During the deep mining process I was producing various unintelligible sounds akin to the adults on the Charlie Brown TV shows or the character Mushmouth from the Fat Albert cartoon series. Wah. Wah. Wah. Wah. Wah.


Except my hands were gripping the paper towels given to me to wipe the drool from my incapacitated mouth! My legs were flaying wildly!  Dentist: Ms. Palmer are you in pain?  Me:  Muffled screams of pain and agony. After that the dentist gave me another injection of Novocaine.  Finally after what seemed like hours instead of minutes he stopped drilling and began filling the two cavities with amalgam, all the while extolling the virtues of amalgam over tooth colored fillers. After that process ended he asked me if I wanted to have the 3rd tooth filled today and I said NO!!!  One of the hygienists was highly disappointed probably hoping to see more of my prone pain two step gyrations.

Next came the cleaning. Not as gruesome as the fillings but equally uncomfortable with the flossing. She asked me if I flossed on a regular basis and I said No I did not have time and it was painful. Naturally she chastised me for that. After she finished cleaning she brought up a video about a very expensive flossing machine trying to convince me I needed to buy one. Something akin to the following:

The Philips Sonicare Airfloss

Now given the state of my finances I have no intention of investing in this machine. Just to afford one I’d have to work 80 hours of overtime. No Way!!

On the last Monday of this month January I will return to the torture chamber to resume my horizontal gymnastics and paranoia while getting the 3rd cavity filled.  That visit reminded me why I let 3 years lapse before returning to the dentist to have my teeth checked. You go in for one thing, usually a cleaning and you wind up having all sorts of other nerve wracking procedures performed on your tender teeth and gums. Oh Yes for all my pain, agony and suffering they did give me a Swag bag containing a toothbrush, Sensodyne toothpaste, tiny bottle of mouthwash & the dreaded dental floss.

However one of my health goals for 2016 was to catch up on all the checkups I’ve been neglecting over the past three or four years.  During my vacation month in Feb. I’ll be going to the GYN to get a Pap Smear. If you’re a woman you know what that entails. Ugh!!

Now let me leave you with these wonderful drilling sounds guaranteed to cause fear in hefty Sumo Wrestlers, American Football players and muscle bound boxers.