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Sunday, April 18, 2021


Previous postings on jig saw puzzles have proven popular with readers of this blog (bless all of you) so here we go again. 

The most recent puzzle staff has completed is pictured above and has no title. It is a 1,000 piece puzzle using one of New York artist Vincent Giarrano’s colorful New York neighborhood paintings. For smiles we posted a photo of the café at the end of this blog. 

For $17 we purchased the puzzle online from Strand Magazine, a quarterly magazine, now based in Birmingham, Michigan. Since 1998, the Strand has published fiction by many well-known writers including John Mortimer, Ray Bradbury, Alexander McCall Smith, Ruth Rendell, Colin Dexter, Edward Hoch, James Grippando, and Tennessee Williams. The magazine also features stories from emerging crime and mystery writers in addition to stories by established writers. It is popular with Sherlock Holmes aficionados in America and the UK. And, it retails quality jigsaw puzzles, which tend to be more difficult to complete. Also, its selection of creative puzzles is among the best. 

The aforementioned Vincent Giaranno puzzle was made by Galison, a Manhattan based puzzle maker. 

Giarrano bio: Realist painter and former comic-book artist, he is well known for his urban portraits of contemporary neighborhoods, tasteful focus on women, architectural studies and intimate interiors of New York City. The city streets, cafes, apartments, and artists’ studios serve as settings for his oil paintings of women of the city, fashionable models, designers, shoppers, artists and musicians. He has featured SoHo’s iron and stone architectural facades, the colorful street graffiti, eclectic signage of Chinatown, the elevated trains of Brooklyn, and the historic elegance of Midtown Manhattan. 

If you appreciate the early to mid 20th century art of Edwin Hopper, you will appreciate Giarrano’s work at affordable prices (compared with Hopper). He is represented by Susan Powell Gallery, Madison, Conn. 

What can’t afford an original Hopper? For far less $$ order this Giarrano from Strand Magazine At 

Puzzle tips: We assigned our best puzzle solver to attack this colorful 1000 piece jigsaw. It took him/her about 10 days to complete at a one hour per day average. 

Once you find the edges, start by separating the pieces in small bowls or bins (muffin tins et al) by color. Start with the café sign. Then separate all the green pieces, the reds, blues; the gray building façade pieces and the side walk and cobble stone pieces. Smaller bowls for the fire escape and the woman shopper. Start working on the street lamp first; then the far right one third of the puzzle. Save the bricks and doors for last. It is a straightforward puzzle no gimmicks to make you pull your hair out. 

Most Recent puzzle: Having visited Shakespeare & Company bookstore in Paris, there was little doubt we had to buy and complete “The Book Store,” a 1000 piece puzzle by Gibbs Smith. This puzzle was cut many years ago, but thanks to renewed interest in jigsaws during the pandemic, GS reissued the puzzle in the summer of 2020. We purchased it online from Strand Magazine for $17. It arrived within a week. staff completed it in four days working one hour per day. 

Next puzzle: Given our penchant for urban street scene puzzles we will attempt a 1,000 piece puzzle by Austrian puzzle maker Piatnik. The title is “Café Terrace at Night,” by Vincent Van Gogh, 1888. You will recognize the starry night stars. The large use of cobblestones—all the same color—will be impossible. We purchased this puzzle new and wrapped from a flea market in Palm Desert, CA for $19. 

Patisserie Financier, 62 Stone Street, Financial District, Manhattan 

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