Sunday, May 28, 2017

Correction to Weekday Schedule

There was a mistake in the dates of the schedule just posted.  There will be a meeting on: 

Thursday June 29th,  (not 28th).   

Weekday Urban Sketchers Meeting Dates June/July

In an effort to help everyone plan to attend Weekday Urban Sketchers events, here are the dates for the next 6 weeks. We will avoid scheduling anything on Wednesdays since so many sketchers attend the free sessions at the Battery Park Conservancy.  However,  we will meet on Wednesday July 12 admission to the NY Botanic Garden is free on Wednesdays. 

Thursday June 1, 2017: Coney Island.  See posting below this message for details

Tuesday June 6, 2017:  

Thursday, June 15, 2017 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Thursday, June 28, 2017 

First week in July there will be no scheduled meeting. Enjoy the July 4th holiday.

Wednesday July 12, 2017  NY Botanic Gardens

Tuesday July 18, 2017

There will be no scheduled session the last week of July as it is the Annual Urban Sketchers Symposium in Chicago.

Weekday Urban Sketchers in Coney Island

The Boardwalk, the beach, the ocean, the rides and people, people, people, and did I mention yet another of NYC's carousels!   This week's meeting will take us to the edge of the city for a chance to see a very different urban scene filled with sea, sand and sunshine (if we are lucky).  Let's go before it gets too hot to be out in the sun and too crowded to be able to sit and sketch!

We will meet in front of Coney Island USA, the museum of Coney Island.  From there we will do a sketch crawl that will include the color and craziness of the amusement area and then the (relatively quite) boardwalk and beach.  Bring your lunch or get a world hot dog at Nathan's.  Pack you brightest colors, a stool, a hat and sunscreen and join us at the end of the subway line.....on the beach.
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The Boardwalk 

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The Wonder Wheel and Carousel

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Coney Island USA 


TIME:  10:30 AM


NOTE: We will meet in front of Coney Island USA on the corner of Surf Ave and West 12th St. 

TRANSPORTATION: N, D  to Coney Island/Stillwell Ave.  Note:  The N and D run express in Manhattan and then run local after a while in Brooklyn. The Q and F also go to Coney Island but they are local all the way.

Please RSVP directly to Raylie Dunkel at  Looking for us? Call Raylie at 201-978-6387.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

SATURDAY: Sketch the Chinese Scholar's Garden

Saturday, May 27, 2017

One of the most relaxing places in NYC.  The peacefulness and tranquility of the gardens will find its way into your sketches.  Getting there via ferry adds to the adventure. The New York Chinese Scholar's Garden is a part of the Staten Island Botanical Garden, located in the Snug Harbor Cultural Center.

Photos and Watercolor by Joan Tavolott

“All the architectural components of The New York Chinese Scholar's Garden were prefabricated in Suzhou, including roof and floor tiles, columns and beams, doors and windows, bridges and paving materials and carefully chosen rocks.  This is the ONLY Chinese Scholar's Garden in the United States.”
(description by Victoria V. via Yelp)


-   We meet at the Staten Island Ferry, our starting point at 10:00 AM.

Take subway to lower Manhattan, via the 1 train to South Ferry or the 4/5 train to Bowling Green or
the R train to Whitehall.

Exit and walk south to blue neon Staten Island terminal to take FREE ferry.

After landing in Staten Island take the S40 bus at Gate D to travel along Richmond Terrace, less than a 10-minute ride. Let the bus driver know that you want to get off at Snug Harbor.

There is a $5 entrance fee to the Garden.

12:30 - We will have lunch at Adobe Blue which as .3 miles from the Snug Harbor campus (or bring your own and stay on the beautiful Snug Harbor campus).  Show and Tell will be there too at 3 PM.

NOTE:  Bring a folding chair or stool if you have one - it provides more sketching choices.

If you can’t find us
call or text Mark at 973-809-9128

There are no fees.   All drawing skill levels are welcome.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Weekday Sketcher at Bronx Zoo for the Bug Carousel and 

Live Animal Workshop

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Continuing our sketching of  the carousels of NYC we will be visiting one of the most unusual ones this week:   The Bug Carousel at the Bronx Zoo.  Dung beetles, praying mantis and caterpillars are just a few of the colorful characters that we will be able to draw and paint.   

After the drawing the fantasy animals we will turn our attention to the real ones and participate in a workshop with Muriel Applebaum on how to capture the beauty and animation of the zoo's creatures, followed by our own personal safari of the more than 4,000 animals that roam the 265 acres of the park. 


TIME: 10:30 AM

                       NOTE: We will meet at the Bug Carousel which is located in "The Plaza".  Please check the zoo map for directions.

TRANSPORTATION:    2 or 5 train to West Farms Road/East Tremont Ave Station which leaves you off at 178 St and Boston Road.  Walk north two blocks to the Asia Gate entrance.  Then follow the zoo map to the Plaza.  (The directions on the zoo's web site say to use the Pelham Parkway station however using the West Farms Rd station and Asia Gate entrance is a much shorter walk.)

The zoo is free on Wednesday and Muriel Applebaum is volunteering her time and talent for us. 

Please RSVP directly to Raylie Dunkel at  Looking for us? Call or text Raylie at 201-978-6387.  Bring a stool and lunch or purchase lunch in the zoo cafeteria.  

Please bring the largest pad you are comfortable carrying (at least 7" x 9") for the live animal workshop. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

SATURDAY: Sketch Washington Square Park

May 20, 2017
Hosted by Susan and Joan, 

The Arch by Lancelot Gambis‎ 

Washington Square Park  One of the top people-watching spots in all of NYC, there’s a never-ending parade of street musicians, performance artists, students, and tourists. The fountain, the arch, and the curves in the road, everywhere you look there's something interesting to sketch.

Joan Szalay Tavolott‎: Sketched at Washington Square Park
using ArtRage on her iPad.

Photo of Jeff Levine
taken by Tyko Kihlstedt 
When:   Meet at 10 AM under the arch.  Coming late is no problem - we'll be there the entire day.

Where:  Washington Square Park.  Meeting place under the arch at 5th Avenue and Waverly Place (AKA - Washington Square North)

How:   WSP is easy to reach by subway.  The closest choices include:
-   West 4th Street - A, C, D, E, F and M Subway
-   Astor Place #6 Subway
-   Bleeker St #6 Subway
-   8th STreet NYU N, R Subway
-   Christopher - Sheridan Square #1 Subway

Lunch: 12 - Noon:  Meet again under the arch.  Bring your own or buy lunch from the many vendors and stores in the area.  We'll find a good spot to eat together.

Afternoon:  1:00 PM After lunch we're back continuing capturing Washington Square in all it's glory on a brilliant spring day

Show and Tell:  3:00 We'll walk up McDougal Street to 8th Street to the Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor, 26 W 8th St,  to share drawings, good stories and a beer or wine if you're so inclined.

-   If you have a folding stool or chair - bring it.

If you can’t find us 
call or text Joan (516) 510-1473

There are no fees or attendance taken. All drawing skill levels are welcome.

WEDNESDAY Nights: Sketching in Herald Square

Sketching in Herald Square

There is an Urban Sketching event that might be interesting happening on Wednesday nights until September. Unlike our usual sketch events instruction will be available provided by the Art Students League of New York.

The view is great for sketching, lots going on and plenty of interesting architecture.  When I was there last time everyone was very friendly and supportive. It’s a great end to the workday, or a sketchable start to a night out.

Limited materials are provided, but participants are encouraged to bring their own. No experience necessary. This event is hosted by the 34th Street Partnership in conjunction with the Art Students League of New York.

The Details:

  • Wednesdays 6:30-7:30pm
  • May 3-September 27
  • Herald Square Park

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Weekday Urban Sketcher at Brooklyn Botanic Gardens

The cherry blossoms are gone but with 52 acres at our disposal there is still plenty for us to capture in our sketchbooks. The tulips, wisteria, azaleas, lilacs are in bloom.  The trees are covered in newly emerging leaves, the lawns are lush and the specialized gardens host water features and rockeries.  Bring your lunch and a stool and pack your brightest colors for a day of sketching in one of New York's treasures. Oh, and one more thing: there is no entrance fee on Tuesdays.

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Eastern Parkway Entrance


TIME: 10:30 AM

                         EASTERN PARKWAY 
         NOTE:  We will meet at the Eastern Parkway Entrance 

TRANSPORTATION: 2, 3, 4 train to Eastern Parkway/Brooklyn Museum Station

Please RSVP directly to Raylie Dunkel at so that we know to look for you.  Looking for us? Call Raylie at 201-978-6387

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

NO SKETCH EVENT - This weekend.

NO SKETCH EVENT - This weekend.

I have a work commitment on Saturday and will be celebrating Mother’s Day on Sunday.

If you’re around on Saturday please stop by,  I’ll be at Jerry's Palette Shop - Fine Art Supplies 111 4th Ave, in the afternoon from 2 - 5 PM.  I’ll be talking about Stillman & Birn Sketchbooks and doing demonstrations.

I hope you have a love-filled sketchable weekend.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

 Weekday Urban Sketchers at Lincoln Center

In addition to the wonderful theaters and raft of performances, Lincoln Center offers a host of outdoor art experiences: The reflecting pool with Henry Moore's "Reclining Figures", The Revson Fountain in the main plaza, Damrosch Park , and the Hippo Ballerina on Broadway, to name a few

    Reflecting Pool

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Revson Fountain

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Hippo Ballerina 


TIME: 1030 AM  
LOCATION:  Lincoln Center 
                        Broadway and 64th Street
                      NOTE:  We will meet by the reflecting pool with the Henry Moore Sculpture between the Opera House and Symphony Hall

TRANSPORTATION: the 1 Train to 66th Street/Lincoln Center

Please RSVP directly to Raylie Dunkel at Looking for us? Call Raylie at 201-978-6387.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

SUNDAY: Sketch the New West Side

May 7, 2017
 New York City is a work in progress

New York City is a work in progress.  Our city is a profusion of architectural styles and mixed purposes.  I went to have a closer look at the new pyramid shaped building on the west side.  It’s visually fascinating. But what’s even more interesting is the counterpoint.  Look here and there.  Everywhere you look there are interesting combinations of periods and shapes.  It’s an area that I would never have thought to sketch, but one look changed my mind.


The Basics:  We’ll start at 10:30 AM.  Meet at the corner of 11th Avenue (AKA West End Avenue) and West 59th Street

Lunch:  Noon.  We will dine al fresco.  Bring your own or purchase food at several locations.  Rex - 864 10th Ave  (or The Greek Kitchen-889 10th Ave, … backup to the backup =  Ousia - 629 W 57th St)

Afternoon:  1 PM - Back to sketching

Show and Tell:  3:30 PM.  Instead of Show and Tell the afternoon option is to attend Dr. Sketchy.  This month the Dr. Sketchy's modeling podium will be graced by Miss Coney Island 2016, Miss Bushwick Burlesque 2014.  Dr. Sketchy is edgy and not for the easily offended, however it presents unique sketching opportunities and is always interesting.  Located at the FlĂ»te Bar, 205 West 54th St.  $12 in advance, $15 at the door.  They have a suggested 2 drink minimum (which is not enforced).

-   Bring a sketching stool or chair, it always helps for street sketching
-   If you’re driving almost all parking spots are legal on Sunday, the trick (not impossible) is finding one.

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If you can’t find us
call or text Mark at 973-809-9128
There are no fees.   All drawing skill levels are welcome.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Weekday Sketchers Visit Roosevelt Island

In the middle of the East River is Roosevelt Island, an oasis from the noise and congestion of midtown Manhattan yet only a subway ride from where you are.  Yes, we have been to Four Freedoms Park at the south end, but there is so much more to see....and sketch.

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Queensboro Bridge

The Queensboro Bridge and East River Promenade:  Hopefully we will catch the blossoms on the cherry trees that ring the island, offering us interesting compositions of the pink trees against the bride and skyline.

Blackwell House: A farmstead dating from the 19th century with the 6th oldest building in NYC. which accounted for the previous name of the island. Remember Blackwell's Island?

Chapped of the Good Shepard: A small Victorian gem now in-between a series of apartment houses.

Smallpox Hospital: The ruins of a once infamous hospital.

The Lighthouse: Legend has it that this small lighthouse on the northern tip of the island was built by an inmate of the then nearby insane asylum who was afraid of an invasion by the British. '

We will use the island's free Red Busses to get from site to site.

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Blackwell House

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The Lighthouse

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Smallpox Hospital


TIME: 10:30 AM

LOCATION:  We will meet on the East River Promenade by the Queensboro Bridge near the Tram Station.  

TRANSPORTATION:  F train to Roosevelt Island.  Exit the station and walk to the East River at the foot of the bridge.  OR take the Roosevelt Island Tram at 59th Street and 2nd Ave. Exit the Tram Station and walk to the East River. 

Bring a stool and some lunch or purchase lunch along the way.  Please RSVP directly to Raylie Dunkel @ Looking for us? Call or text Raylie at 201-979-6387

Friday, April 28, 2017

Would you like to teach a half-day urban sketching workshop?

Would you like to teach a half-day urban sketching workshop? 

As part of the 10x10 program celebrating the tenth anniversary of Urban Sketchers, our local chapter will be hosting ten half-day workshops led by local chapter members. (There is more information about the global 10x10 program at

Applications are welcome from all chapter members. You do not have to be a professional artist or teacher. All you need is something interesting you can teach.

Workshops will have 8-15 attendees. At least one organizer will be there to assist.

Students will pay $35 for each workshop, with 10% going to Urban Sketchers and the remainder to the instructor.

The selection committee consists of Mark Leibowitz, Raylie Dunkel, and me, Jason Das. If you have questions before or after submitting this form, contact me offlist

The deadline to apply is in two weeks, May 12. These workshops will be held sometime in 2017, but timing is flexible.

The application form is here:

We're looking forward to seeing your ideas! If this goes well, we will try to do more workshops beyond the 10x10.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

SATURDAY: Sketch the Annual Stuyvesant Town Flea Market

This sketch event was planned by Shawne Cooper

Every year at this time, those in the know have made their way inside the leafy old-timey neighborhood north of the East Village and East of Gramercy Park to catch bargains and treasures at the annual Stuyvesant Town Flea Market. 

For decades,  residents of this enormous complex would sell everything from their kids' ice skates to antique hats to you-never-know-what. And they'd often get the whole family involved in the act.

After a 10-year hiatus, this longstanding tradition is back!  So get out your sketchbooks and capture the thrill of the hunt.

WHEN: Saturday, April 29, 10:00 AM

WHERE: The flea market is located in and around the Stuyvesant Town apartment complex, between 14th and 20th streets, from 1st Avenue to the East River. We'll meet at 10:00 AM at the entrance of The Stuyvesant Town Fountain, inside The Oval and find sketching spots from there.

DIRECTIONS: Almost every subway station has a 14th Street Station. From there, take the L train to First Avenue. You will be at 14th Street and 1st Avenue, right outside Stuyvesant Town.

Walk up to 18th Street, make a right turn (into First Ave Loop) and follow that horseshoe curve making a left at the basketball court (Stuyvesant Walk.) That will lead you right to the oval, and the big fountain will be right in front of you.

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LUNCH: Meet at the entrance to the Fountain at 12:30. Bring your own lunch or pick up something nearby. (Shawne will point out options). We'll picnic together in the Oval.

AFTERNOON: At 1:30, we'll continue to sketch the neighborhood and the flea market

SHOW & TELL: At 3:00, meet at the entrance of the Fountain and we'll walk together to Petite Abeille on the corner of 20th Street and 1st Avenue. We'll share drawings, stories, and a snack or refreshment, if you're so inclined.

Call or text Mark (973.809.9128) or Shawne (917.880.9249).

There are no fees. All drawing skill levels are welcome.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Weekday Urban Sketchers in the Conservatory Gardens

New York City is in bloom!  This week we will try to capture the color of the early spring flowers in the Conservatory Gardens in Central Park.   The only manicured part of the park, the Conservatory Gardens offer us three formal vistas: Italian, French and English garden landscapes.  The crab apple alleys, the English flower beds and the Wisteria Trellis should keep us quite busy.  Bring a stool and your most vibrant colors and spend the day in one of the city's most beautiful spots.

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DATE: Thursday April 27, 2017

TIME: 10:30 AM

LOCATION: Central Park Conservatory Garden
                      105th St and 5th Ave

TRANSPORTATION: 6 Train to 103rd St. Walk west to 5th Ave. or the 2 or 3 Train to 110th St. Walk east to 5th Ave and south to the garden

Please RSVP directly to Raylie Dunkel at raylie  Looking for us? Call Raylie at 201-978-6387.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

SUNDAY: Sketch the Museum of the American Indian

The National Museum of the American Indian
Located in the historic Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House. 

The museum’s permanent and temporary exhibitions—as well as a range of public programs, including music and dance performances, films, and symposia—explore the diversity of the Native people of the Americas.

If the weather cooperates the outside of the building is a fantastic Beaux Arts structure opposite the beautiful Bowling Green park.

The National Museum of the American Indian–New York, is located on the south side of Bowling Green, in lower Manhattan, adjacent to the northeast corner of Battery Park.

Start time is 10 AM.  Admission if free.  Be aware they have a very serious security screen including a metal detector

-  4 & 5 trains to Bowling Green
-  1 train to Rector Street or South Ferry
-  R (& W on weekdays) trains to Whitehall Street
-  J & Z trains to Broad Street
-  2 & 3 trains to Wall Street

Lunch:  Meet in the lobby at 11:50 for a short walk to Flavors  - 27 Whitehall St.

Afternoon:  1 PM - Back sketching at the museum

Show and Tell:  2:50 - A short walk to Murphy’s Tavern. 6 Stone St, (212) 425-1700 where we will share drawings, good stories and a snack or refreshments if you're so inclined.

If you can’t find us
call or text Mark at 973-809-9128
There are no fees.   All drawing skill levels are welcome.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Weekday Urban Sketchers Honor Tax Day

Ah Spring, and its many harbingers: daffodils, robins and the IRS.  Yes, spring brings Tax Day and this Tuesday is when it falls this year.  Since it is hard to find a symbol of the IRS we will default to the Treasury for our drawing pleasure.  We will met at Federal Hall on Wall Street which was at one time the National Treasury and its oversized statue of George Washington.  Our morning challenge will be to find as many ways to represent George as possible: different backgrounds, different angles, color, B&W...your choice. Let's see how creative we can get.

For lunch and our afternoon session we will move over to Trinity Church where Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, is buried.   The church and graveyard offer us another wonderful sketching opportunity: Gothic Church against modern skyscrapers, the greenery in the yard against the grit of the city.  What can you do with it?

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                       WALL & BOND STREETS

TIME:   10:30 AM

TRANSPORTATION: 1, R,W to Rector St, 4, 5 to Wall St. J. Z to Broad St. 

Please RSVP directly to Raylie Dunkel at  Looking for us? Call/text Raylie at 201-978-6387 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Holiday Weekend - No Sketch Event

Family time this weekend. 

I hope peace and happiness 
smiles on you and those you love. 

No Urban Sketch event this weekend.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Upcoming Dates for Weekday Urban Sketchers

In an effort to help you schedule your time withWeekday Urban Sketchers here is a list of days and dates for the next 6 weeks, following this week's outing to Jane's Carousel on Thursday April 13, 2017.  We will be alternating between Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays so that you can work around fixed appointments. 

Tuesday April 18th     Federal Hall, Wall Street 

Thursday April 27th

Thursday May 4th

Wednesday May 10   Bronx Zoo Carousel

Tuesday May 16th, 

Wednesday May 24th 

Weekday Urban Sketcher at Jane's Carousel

It looks like spring is here and we can all go outside and play! So what better place to initiate our outdoor sketching than Brooklyn Bridge Park and Jane's Carousel?  The park offers us fabulous skyline views, beautiful landscaping, lots of people and a world class carousel in a glass house!  

No more restrictions on what we can use to work with, no more working in tight spaces. Get our your watercolors, bring your big sketch pads, pack a stool and something to eat and be prepared to spend the day doing what we like to do best.....record the world we live in, one drawing at a time!  

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This will be the first of a series of sketching events at the various carousels in NYC that will be interspersed in our sketching events over the next few months. 


TIME:  10:30 AM

LOCATION:  Jane's Carousel
                       Brooklyn Bridge Park 
                       Empire Fulton Ferry area
(for more information and maps, check the B'klyn Bridge Park site:

TRANSPORTATION:  A or C train to High Street. Walk down the street towards the water and turn right to reach the carousel area. 

Please RSVP directly to Raylie Dunkel at  Looking for us? Call Raylie at 201-978-6387

Thursday, April 6, 2017

SUNDAY: Sketch the Wall St. Sculptures

On what should be the most beautiful day yet in 2017 we’ll be exploring some of NYC’s iconic modern sculptures.  
We’ll be visiting three sites with a fourth thrown in for early birds.

Because it’s always mobbed with tourists we’ll try to get the jump on the crowds by sketching the wildly popular statue of a young girl staring down Wall Street's famous "Charging Bull”.

Louise Nevelson Plaza:  Triangular Financial District plaza dotted with steel sculptures by local artist  Louise Nevelson.

Louise Nevelson Plaza was the first public plaza in New York City to be named after an artist. The plaza’s seven sculptures are together titled Shadows and Flags (1977–78) and are constructed from Cor-ten Steel, painted Nevelson’s characteristic monochrome black.

The Dubuffet Trees:  Jean Dubuffet’s Group of Four Trees in Lower Manhattan is a piece of public art that was given as a gift to the people of New York City.  The Group is actually part of a larger group of pieces that Dubuffet called “L’Hourloupe.”
In describing the meaning of this invented term, Dubuffet explained that the word implies “some wonderland or grotesque object or creature,” and that it “evokes something rumbling and threatening with tragic overtones”. He describes it as “the figuration of a world other than our own, or parallel to ours”. Rather than defining the pieces as sculptures, Dubuffet called them “drawings which extend and expand in space”

Noguchi’s Red Cube: 1968. The bright red painted steel of Isamu Noguchi's Red Cube stands out in strong contrast to the blacks, browns, and whites of the buildings and sidewalks around the sculpture. The Red Cube is surrounded on three sides by skyscrapers, the height of which draw a viewer's eye
upwards. The sculpture itself adds to this upward pull, as it balances on one corner, the opposite corner reaching towards the sky.  Aside from it's striking color, Red Cube also stands out from the surrounding architecture in that all of its lines are diagonals, whereas the buildings are made up of horizontal and vertical lines. Additionally, the sculpture is balanced somewhat precariously on one corner, while the buildings, by contrast, and solidly placed.


9 AM - EARLY BIRD Special:  Fearless Girl and Charging Bull Statues:  On Broadway just north of Bowling Green Park

10:30 AM - Louise Nevelson Plaza: Located at the triable formed by William Street intersecting Maiden Lane and Liberty Street.

12 - Noon  Lunch at LN Plaza, eaten outside.  BYOL or purchase from local stores or street vendors.

1:00 PM - The Dubuffet Trees at One Chase Manhattan Plaza,

2:00 PM - Noguchi’s Red Cube at 140 Broadway, between Liberty and Cedar Streets

3:00 -  Show and Tell: We will share drawings, good stories and and a snack or refreshments if you're so inclined.

To be held at either (TBD):
    The Malt House:  9 Maiden Ln b/t Broadway & Cortlandt St (646) 682-7577

  Flow Bar: 45 Nassau St  b/t Maiden Ln & Liberty St - (917) 916-8345

If you can’t find us
call or text Mark at 973-809-9128

There are no fees.   All drawing skill levels are welcome.