Gracie Mansion is removed from the noise of the city streets and the tranquility of the area made my work so relaxing. It is a gentle building and well maintained yards and shrubbery allowed me to forget the outside world as I worked. Yet one memory will not leave my mind, even as I write this many years later.
I went into the public rest room and next to the sink stood a homeless woman who was washing her feet. It was not a comfortable place in which to do so, but when you are homeless, comfort is not part of your every day gifts. In spite of the wonderful spots I found on the lawn as I painted, this is the image which stayed with me.
This is an official residence which New York keeps for its Mayor, and it also serves the public as a center of governmental, civic and cultural activities. Set against the Manhattan skyline, the historic house still stands on its original site overlooking the East River. Guided public tours are conducted from early spring through late fall, and I noticed that even children spoke in hushed tones when they walked through the rooms.