Photos, video: Watch the Norton Museum of Art get demolished

There’s quite an exhibit going on this month at the Norton Museum, but it’s not all inside the art institution.

Travel down South Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach and you can watch construction crews tearing great hunks out of the museum: the first step to preparing for its $100 million expansion and renovation, scheduled to be completed two years from now in December 2018.

A bulldozer guts part of the Norton on its Dixie Highway side. (Photos by Larry Aydlette/The Palm Beach Post)
A bulldozer guts part of the Norton on its Dixie Highway side. (Photos by Larry Aydlette/The Palm Beach Post)

According to Norton spokesman Scott Benarde, these areas of the museum are being demolished: the inner atrium and stairs, the Harris Pavilion (former home of the Chihuly glass ceiling), the Great Hall entranceway, the cafe, and classroom and boardroom space.

Areas being gutted for renovation include the three-story Nessel Wing, the theater, great hall and museum gift shop.

 

Construction work continues near the former entrance of the museum.
Construction work continues near the former entrance of the museum.

Demolition should be completed by late December, Benarde said. In the meantime, admission continues to be free to the museum. And, despite the construction inconvenience, there is still a lot to see there, especially the Question Bridge video exhibit and the Rudin Prize photography show.

While many favorite paintings remain in storage, there are still plenty of famous names on the wall, inclusing Picasso, Matisse, O’Keeefe and Hopper.

A worker walks through the construction zone on the Dixie Highway side of the museum.
A worker walks through the construction zone on the Dixie Highway side of the museum.

 

A view from the Jefferson Avenue side of the museum.
A view from the Jefferson Avenue side of the museum.

 

The new Olive Avenue entrance, which is the old entrance when it was known as The Norton Gallery.
The new Olive Avenue entrance, which is the old entrance when it was known as The Norton Gallery.

 

The inner courtyard is still a sun-dappled oasis from the construction chaos.
The inner courtyard is still a sun-dappled oasis from the construction chaos.

 

Sign of the times: The museum is open with free admission, but you've got to take a long walk from the parking lot or use the free shuttle service.
Sign of the times: The museum is open with free admission, but you’ve got to take a long walk from the parking lot or use the free shuttle service.

 

Trump’s Mar-A-Lago paintings back in news after presidential debate

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One of the weirder sideshows of the presidential season is all the attention paid to portraits of Donald Trump.

At Wednesday night’s debate, Trump attacked Hillary Clinton over donations accepted by her family’s Clinton Foundation. She sparred back, mentioning his use of money by the Trump Foundation:

“I’d be happy to compare what (the Clinton Foundation does) with the Trump Foundation, which took money from other people and bought a 6-foot portrait of Donald. I mean, who does that? It just was astonishing.”

Clinton was referring to a six-foot tall portrait of Trump by Palm Beach County artist Michael Israel. The Washington Post reported that Trump Foundation money was used by Trump to buy the portrait during an auction at his Palm Beach mansion-club, Mar-A-Lago.

As Post reporter Jennifer Sorentrue wrote in a story on the controversy:

The 2007 painting sold for $20,000. According to Israel and press reports, Trump’s wife, Melania, bid $10,000 for the piece, before the auctioneer pushed her to double that number. The Donald J. Trump Foundation cut the check for the artwork, raising questions about whether the foundation broke IRS rules by bidding on an item that might have benefited Trump directly.

The charity auction was for the local non-profit HomeSafe, which helps children with housing issues. Since that story broke, Israel painted another portrait of Trump to help HomeSafe raise money. With a minimum bid of $15,000, nobody bid on the portrait and the online auction was closed.

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This isn’t the only story recently about a Trump painting. Reporters have been buzzing all election season about a Trump portrait hanging in the bar at Mar-A-Lago and the backstory of why Trump insisted that the hand on the portrait be repainted.

You can read the full story of that here:

Why did Trump insist artist repaint his hand on Mar-A-Lago portrait?

 

Hurricane Matthew: Fun things to do at home as storm approaches

Hurricane Matthew update: Check our WeatherPlus Blog for the latest or follow our Weather Reporter, Kim Miller on Twitter.

Don’t let Hurricane Matthew ruin the fun this week. If you and your friends don’t have plans yet, why not stay together and go throwback to elementary school with a sleepover? Not really kidding, but there’s more.

Here are my top picks to keep calm and have an awesome get-together slash hurricane party (if that’s how you and your fam get down).

Teen-agers get comfortable at a sleepover in Olney, Md. Teens say the parties are like group dates, because they often don't pair off as couples. While some parents accept the coed slumber parties, others are appalled at the idea. Illustrates COED-SLEEPOVERS (category l), by Emily Wax (c) 2000, The Washington Post. Moved Friday, Nov. 17, 2000. (MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by James A. Parcell.)
Teen-agers get comfortable at a sleepover. (James A. Parcell/The Washington Post)

 

1. Make all kinds of Pizza! #MamaMia

I’m talking meat lovers, veggie and even dessert. This is an activity that takes some time, is creative and interactive.

In traditional deep-dish fashion, you'll assemble the toppings "upside down," beginning with the mozzarella and ending with the sauce. Contributed by Christine Han
In traditional deep-dish fashion, you’ll assemble the toppings “upside down,” beginning with the mozzarella and ending with the sauce. Contributed by Christine Han

Ideas on what to buy:

  • Pillsbury Pizza Crust. Pop it, place it in oven, enjoy a fresh crust. (Or spice up your pizza life by using garlic naan instead!)
  • Sauces: Tomato sauce, Alfredo and Pesto.
  • Veggies: Tomatoes, Mushrooms and green peppers.
  • Meats: Pepperoni, sausage and ham.
  • Dessert Pizzas: Nutella, Reese’s creamy peanut butter and Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter (my favorite). Bananas, Strawberries and whip cream.

2. Do it Yourself!

Just this past weekend, my friend and I were able to transform a crappy thrift shop coffee table into a stylish piece of art (or so we think). Take a look around your home, see what chandeliers, tables, stools or lamps you don’t like.

If you need some inspiration, then see your way to Pinterest. Just key in what items you’ve got and watch your phone screen fill up with awesome DIY magic.

Veronica Gutierrez paints gold accents to a thrift shop table. (Julio Poletti/ The Palm Beach Post)

Instead of spending money on new ones, go get some cheap supplies:

  • Sandpaper (various grades)
  • Wood paint (pick your favorite)
  • Spray paint (choose between silver, gold or champagne to enhance your metals)
  • Get some cardboard boxes to protect your floors or carpet from paint.
  • Get a bag of random metals, coins and screws. (These could work as emblems and accents.)
  • Superglue and wood glue.

3. Get your body fit!

So none of your friends or family members showed up to your sleepover? No worries. There are tons of free workout videos to keep you busy.

Mike Trim, 34, a reporter/anchor for WPTU News Channel 5, and his wife Tiffany, 34, Stroke Program Manager at St. Mary's Medical Center, leap into the air to perform an exercise on Friday, January 18, 2013. The exercise is just one of many that they do each week as part of the insanity home workout program that they do 5-6 times each week to keep fit. (Damon Higgins/The Palm Beach Post)
Insanity Home Workout Program. (Damon Higgins/The Palm Beach Post)
  • Fitness Blender with instructors Kelly and Daniel has more than 500 free workout videos.
  • FreeYoga has more than 7k subscribers and hundreds of hours of free videos.
  • Jordan Yeho Fitness body weight workouts. Use your own extra pounds to get you in shape.
  • Meal Prep can be annoying but not when you’re stuck at home, doing nothing.
  • FitLifeTV’s healthy juicing ideas are great to keep you busy and lean.

4. What if the power goes out?

Not to worry, my friend. Make sure you get your hands on the best board and App games to share some laughs. Remember, your iPhone also has a flashlight.

The new Clue box top cover. Contributed by Hasbro
The new Clue box top cover. Contributed by Hasbro
  • UNOIronically, you can’t play this one alone. Start making some calls.
  • Guess who? Remember to mismatch the blue and red cards — it just looks better.
  • Cards against Humanity: Let your inner jerk come out.
  • Twister: Make sure everyone showers before this one.
  • Clue: This is an awesome mind-thrilling game that can make time go by fast.
  • Taboo: Have your partner guess your word!
  • HeadsUp: It’s not because Ellen DeGeneres created this game, it’s actually awesome.
  • Reverse charades: It’s the same classic game with an epic twist! You may want to record the craziness.

5. Embrace the storm.

Listen to our handpicked ‘Rain Playlist’ or sit down and catch up on some must-watch TV series. Click the links below:

Top 26 greatest “rain” songs of all time.

Tell us your mood, we’ll tell you what to binge-watch.

Census statistics: Putting our new 1.4 million population in perspective

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Welcome, newcomers. The Palm Beach Post is reporting that recent Census Bureau estimates place the population of Palm Beach County at 1.4 million people. (1,422,789 to be exact.)

Wondering why roads are so crowded and you can’t get a table at your favorite restaurant?

One-point-four million. That’s a lot of people, or anything, for that matter.

Here are some other things that have recently added up to 1.4 million:

New York City has 1.4 million arrest warrants that have not been served. According to a PBS report, they are “unresolved summonses dating back to the 1980’s. They’re for “quality of life” offenses like loitering, public urination, walking a dog without a leash, or being in a park after dark.”

Showtime’s recent series “Billions” had 1.4 million viewers for its debut episode in January.

About 1.4 million dogs are adopted every year.

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About 1.4 million people attend Mardi Gras every year.

The GOP Republican primary in Illinois drew 1.4 million voters, according to the Associated Press.

The Golden Globes were tweeted about 1.4 million times (that’s a lot of Ricky Gervais jokes.)

About 1.4 million cases of diabetes are diagnosed each year, according to the American Diabetes Association.

Don’t slip on this: 1.4 million shower rugs were recently recalled.

1.4 million people die in India each year because of polluted air.

And speaking of statistics, here’s a disquieting one tweeted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson late last year:

atyson

 

Donald Trump: Do this man’s fingers look like “cocktail franks?”

Do those fingers look stubby to you? (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
Do those fingers look stubby to you? (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Lawsuits and insults are what Donald Trump would threaten every time Spy magazine would take a shot at him.

Instead, most of the time he had to watch with gritted teeth as they repeatedly called him a “short-fingered vulgarian,” a 28-year-old characterization that retained so much traction it reemerged during Thursday’s Republican debate.

Spy’s Graydon Carter delighted in repeating the phrase “just to drive him a little bit crazy,” he wrote in Vanity Fair.

Vanity Fair went on to probe the long-standing feud between Trump and Spy magazine.

Despite his claim in 1989 that the American people were clamoring for him to run for president, Spy cited a poll that said about 4 percent of people wished he’d run.

In April of 1991, they relish in calling him a “deadbeat short-fingered vulgarian,” in a caption, never calling him by name.

Vanity Fair went on to have it’s own fun with Trump vertically challenged fingers in a photo spread that calls out his “cocktail frank” fingers, his “five chicken-tender-like appendages.”

 

Best gunsmith and sausages in the South? In Florida, of course

The best sausages and gunsmith in the South can be found in Florida, says Garden & Gun. (Photo by Libby Volgyes/Special to the Palm Beach Post)
The best sausages and gunsmith in the South can be found in Florida, says Garden & Gun. (Photo by Libby Volgyes/Special to the Palm Beach Post)

Welcome to Florida, where you can get the South’s best sausages and custom guns.

So say the publishers of Garden & Gun (who would know better?) in their South’s Top Shops list.

The best sausages, they say, can be found at Proper Sausages in Miami, where a married couple set out to recreate proper British sausages and became one of the widest providers of sausages in the area. They even ship them overnight.

From sausages to guns, Garden & Gun say Cole Fine Guns and Gunsmithing in Naples is the place to go for custom-adorned firearms and firearm repairs.

Read Garden & Gun’s full best-of list