Man can’t live on art alone

A burst of blue sky, and we were in the car. We didn’t know how long the window of blue would last on Sunday, so we wanted to take advantage. So Wife L, In-laws C, and I headed to Syracuse University to view the Winslow Homer exhibition at SUArt Galleries, and then stop in at Danzer’s, a German restaurant not far from campus.

I like Homer. I like the fact he spent a lot of time in the Adirondacks throughout his career. I enjoy the seascapes he crafted in his studio in Prout’s Neck, Maine. What I learned from this exhibition was he spent a couple of important years at a place called Houghton Farm in Mountainville, N.Y.

Winslow Homer, Warm Afternoon (Shepherdess), 1878 (Photo courtesy of SUArt Galleries)

Winslow Homer, Warm Afternoon (Shepherdess), 1878 (Photo courtesy of SUArt Galleries)

Not far from West Point, Homer found a bucolic area of New York to fine-tune his watercolor skills. The SU exhibition focuses on the works from this time period and right after. So I can’t say the pieces are his best work, but they are important pathways to his progression as an artist.

Interesting stuff.

And there were many of his illustrations he did for what was called the pictorial press.  There are fine examples of Civil War scenes and Adirondack scenes that Homer drew as a freelancer working for Harper’s Weekly and other magazines and newspapers.

Being a former newspaper guy, it was fun to read about how important these illustrations were and what a meticulous process it was to publish them.

The exhibition runs until Oct. 11. Go, and find out how important New York state was to this very American and very accomplished artist.

I can’t, unfortunately, recommend going to Danzer’s.

The place seems tired. The uphostlery was worn and tired looking, the menu seemed tired and unimaginative, and our waitress actually seemed tired. Maybe some of this was due to the fact that the window of blue had most definitely shut, and the gray clouds had swarmed in again.

But it was more than that. Our meals were just OK. I had wiener schnitzel, which came with German potato salad and candied carrots. The veal was a bit thick for schnitzel and the breading was bland. I really needed the lemon slices to give it any kind of life.

Wife L had beef rouladen with red cabbage and egg noodles. The rouladen was filled with onions, that spilled out as she cut the rolled beef. The gravy was mediocre, and the red cabbage, which we really usually like, was nice to look at but boring to eat.

Two sauerbraten dinners rounded out the orders. The meat was actually dry, which is a sin for sauerbraten, though the egg noodles were wonderful.

The highlights were the side dish of potato pancakes we ordered, which were terrific, and the great house dressing — a horseradish and parmesan combo — on the plentiful salads.

Maybe the lunches are better. Danzer’s seems to promote its special sandwiches, including its reubens and The Original Hamlet, which has ham, cole slaw, bacon, tomato and Swiss cheese.

But our journey from the SU art museum down Brighton Avenue to Danzer’s was not all that satisfactory, I’m sad to say.

And man can’t live on art alone.


One thought on “Man can’t live on art alone

  1. Don’t be afraid to give Danzer’s a second try — they do have terrific sandwiches. I’m inclined to agree with you about the atmosphere over there, though. ‘Tired’ is an accurate assessment.

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