Overheard at 192 East Walton

Overheard at 192 East Walton, Center, Roundel (2021). Acrylic on board. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

The time before a restaurant opens is sublime, quiet and anticipatory, full of hope, and surpassed only by the frenzied euphoria an hour later. There is music to the clink of glasses, clank of silverware, pop of cork, and bassline murmur of conversation. There is rhythm to the dash of the servers, the loll of the diners, the sinuous stretch of the one, you know her, that always seems to be falling out of her dress in the middle of a room. The impromptu composition of all of this is our jazz, our evening song. Time to work, time to dance. The feeling begins, and then overwhelms. Give me a kiss and let’s do this again tomorrow night…

Danny Grosso

Overheard at 192 East Walton

Overheard at 192 East Walton, Purple, Left (2021) Acrylic on board. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Counter-clockwise from lower left:

“Do you really think the authoritarian expansionism will gain a foothold once civilians become war casualties”

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Silently, to herself: “Hmmm… I know these are really dangerous times but this conversation is so much better than the ‘What in the hell is she wearing’ talk that I seemed perpetually dragged into before 2016.”

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“Of course not – not for any extended length of time. Tyrants always lose their grips on power when opposed by a reasonable resistance movement. But it doesn’t take long to destabilize and demoralize institutions. Speaking of which, Isn’t it grand to have this place back open and full of drinkers and diners?”

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“Waitress – another round on your way back, please, but no Russian Vodka this time. I’m hoppin’ mad!

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All three singers, harmonizing: “Don’t turn around, woo hoo hoo… Der Kommissar’s in town, woo hoo hoo… You’re in his eye and you’ll know why, the more you live the faster you will die…”

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Silently, to herself: “I’m soo worried for may family, they are all in Kiev…”

Danny Grosso

Overheard at 192 East Walton

Overheard at 192 East Walton, Purple, Right (2021). Acrylic on board. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Counter-clockwise, from bottom left;

“I can’t believe it’s been two years since we’ve been out like this!”

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“Really? This one behind you has been like a barstool in here. She’s paid for enough rapid tests to secure the pharmaceutical company’s pension fund.”

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Silently, to herself: “Oh, my God, I’m still so worried.”

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“Hey Frankie! You’re lightin’ up the place!”

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“This could be the start of something big, sooooo, dance away the heartache, dance away the tears…”.

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“Can this finally be it, the start of the new roaring twenties?”

Danny Grosso

Merry Merry

On Walton Street at Christmas (detail), 2020. Acrylic on board. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Taxi cabs, wet pavement, and neon. Perfect Christmas season in the city.

Peace to all, along with hopes for a better tomorrow.

-Danny Grosso

Overheard at 192 East Walton

192-Petals (2021). Acrylic on paper. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Counter-clockwise from bottom left:

“Sure he says he’s gonna be there, but what’s to say he bails for a twist or a tip?”

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“Don’t forget that time he let out for the Iowa and nobody saw him for six months”

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“I got a guy on the inside of the building who says he’s got his comings and goings locked, no variations, no wandering aways. He’ll deliver that wedding dress for my daughter on time, mark my words.”

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Singing: “Oh, I…got a funny feeling when she walked e-een the room and I…as I recall it ended much to soon…”

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Singing: “Oh what a night!”

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Silently reciting verse: “The rosebud borne by the steadiest hand still gives its petals to the breeze and thus, by nature and fate’s expertise, its beauty and scent to the land…”

-Danny Grosso

Overheard at 192 East Walton

192 – Back (2021). Acrylic on wood. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Counter-clockwise from bottom left:

“He was the greatest, all time, bar none!”

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Silently to herself: “Are they really gonna do this again? Boxing…? So last century, boys”.

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“Greatest? Only because you never heard of Marciano.”

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“I think it’s a set up, Moe. I ain’t movin’ for it, I don’t care what she drops.”

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“C’mon Sparky, what are you gonna rope-a-dope all night with this dame? She put you on the card with that glove drop – now get in there, I’m in your corner and I got your back.”

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Silently to herself: “This glove is stained – I hope nobody notices as I drop it behind this table…”

-Danny Grosso

Overheard at 192 East Walton

192 – Cabaret (2020). Acrylic on wood. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Counter-clockwise, from bottom left:

“The game is this: I’m still Roy, and that makes you the dauphin…”

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“Roy is so dramatic when he’s dressed up. So tell me Sleepy darling, does that mean you are an underboss, or lieutenant, or something?”

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“My dear, as I am an anglophile, and an avid viewer of really old movies, I prefer leftenant, If you don’t mind…”

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Silently, to herself: “I look great tonight, and I should; I spent all my extra money on this get-up; so why am I flitting about, three inches above the floor here, all alone? I should be home, but…the music, the food, the beautiful people… sometimes I just love this place.”

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Silently, to himself: “This section is so busy, so why am I alone? I should go home but, the customers, the kitchen, my rent…sometimes I just hate this place.”

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“Yer crowding me Louie, whaddaya want?”

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“I know we’re supposed to make Roy go bye bye tonight, but wouldn’t you rather kick that until tomorrow and romance that lonely beauty instead? I happen to know that she’s short of rent money and youz are holding heavy this week; and I mean you can’t take your eyes off of her – am I wrong?”

Danny Grosso