Photo: Roving Rube
03 January 6

NYC Snowstorm

Snowflake Constellation, Angel Bethesda


Snowflake Constellation, Angel Bethesda, Central Park 

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The Rube thinks he calls this the Angel Bethesda, instead of the more correct Bethesda Angel or Angel of the Waters, because of having seen the play, "Angels in America", in which she is featured. A main character, who has AIDS, takes comfort in the story of the Angel having stirred up the waters at Bethesda, which miraculously healed those who jumped in. In the hospital, he starts to hear strange voices, and at one very startling point the nurse whom he is talking to shoots way up into the air, does a somersault while suddenly spreading gigantic wings, and begins speaking in a strange and scary "angel" voice. (There may have a brief blackout amidst all this, of the lights or the Rube.) Without trying to find his 8 year old program, the Rube thinks the actress was listed as "nurse/Angel Bethesda" and he had been wondering when the Angel was going to show up. When he least expected it, that's when. Now when he sees this statue, he always thinks of that moment.

"On the lower Terrace is one of the most photographed fountains in the world, "Angel of the Waters." Bethesda Fountain, as it is often called, was the only sculpture commissioned as part of the original design of the Park. The artist, Emma Stebbins, was the first woman to receive a commission for a major public work in New York City; the fact that she was the sister of Col. Henry G. Stebbins, the President of the Central Park Board of Commissioners, does not detract from her accomplishment or talent. The sculpture, dedicated in 1873, is a neoclassical winged female figure who symbolically blesses the water of the fountain with her one hand and carries a lily, the symbol of purity, in the other. The fountain celebrates the opening of the Croton Aqueduct, which brought fresh water to New Yorkers in 1842." (Source: Central Park official website; italics Rube)

The Angel of Victory leads General Sherman in Fig. 1.

Fig. 3 is of the Seventh Regiment WW1 memorial -- this is a very dramatic statue which has frustrated the Rube's efforts to photograph it because it is so dark against the background ... but now he is thinking maybe using the flash on his camera, which to this point has been entirely useless, is the thing to try next.

Restore Image General Sherman General Sherman Zoom Seventh Regiment In Context