tobermory's Diaryland Diary

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NYC III

Back yet again with the Part Trois of the NYC saga.

Saturday:
Again with the getting up late-ish, but this morning Rob delighted us with fresh from the oven croissants and hoity-toity jam. Apparently Williams-Sonoma sells frozen croissants that you can just pop in the oven and then…voila! Hot, flakey, buttery croissants! Thank god I don’t have any room in my freezer because I’d be eating more than one every day and then about three weeks into the all-croissant diet I’d not be able to zip my pants or make an ATM withdrawl without going into overdraw (they cost something like $40 for 12 plus the expedited shipping necessary for food items).

Steve and I headed out sans Rob (who does not share the love for far-out modern art) to go to P.S.1 in Queens. P.S.1 is the uber-modern division of MoMA – the place where the majority of artists aren’t household names and some of the art is …gasp… potentially offensive. The museum is housed in an old public school – hence the name – and has vast rooms with high ceilings perfect for displaying art. The first time I went to P.S.1 there was an exhibit featuring new Latino artists and one ‘piece’ was a small room with plastic flaps over the doorways. The flaps kept in a light mist that apparently came from distilled water used to wash dead bodies in Mexico City. That was it, that was the piece of art. You could walk into the room (I did, Steve declined) and be enveloped by the mist, but there was a sort of scary warning stressing that if you did walk into the room you did so under the knowledge of where the mist came from and that if you contracted any odd diseases it was your own freaking fault so don’t sue the artist or P.S.1. I’m still alive so I guess it was safe. Anyway, their current show is called Greater New York 2005 and it features the work of more than 160 artists. Some of the show was, bluntly, crap. Two dirty pieces of carpet remnant or an opened up Glad Bag stapled to a discarded door do not make my heart soar. The video installations and the huge room sized diorama kind of set-us don’t do much for me on a more practical level – who has an extra room in their house to devote to a bizarre landscape of white fuzzy monkeys in sparkly snow and flashing lights? And, if you did have an extra room, is this what you’d want to put in it? I wish I could show a picture, but they don’t allow cameras. There was some very cool stuff. In the boiler room (which had a very Freddy Krueger-esque feel to it) tucked into a dark alcove was a LED-board with twinkly white lights that I liked, and (although an improbable piece to display in your own home) there was a gold oval frame with a blue sky in it that was sort of hollowed out – just enough for the human hand to poke out of the wall in still life form. Yes it was real, and still attached to a body (although the body was hidden and the hand poked out of a hole in the bottom of the hollowed out part) – I ran back and forth trying to figure out where the person was hidden, but I could never figure out where the rest of the person was. I wanted – so badly did I want – to hand the hand my pen to see what it would do. I didn’t, mostly because I didn’t want to get yelled at by the guard and also because most of these contemporary artistes don’t have a very good sense of humor. The oddest part was this ‘performance piece’ came from a private collection. Now does this mean that when the owner has a party they either have to call the artist or a hand-model to come over and be the hand in the frame for the evening? What’s the fun in that? Most of the time it would just be an empty frame. I’d only buy it if it came with my own personal Thing – like from the Addams Family. I had the most disgusting sandwich for lunch at P.S.1 – some sort of thing with pesto and melty cheese, and fancy ham. It might have been good on crusty Italian bread, but they put it on mushy wheat sandwich bread. Blech.

From P.S.1 we headed back into the city and we walked around in Chelsea looking at some art galleries where the only way we could possibly afford anything would be so sell all of my earthly possessions. Then we took a cab to the Conran Shop to look at all the lovely things that Terrance Conran has deemed to have acceptable enough design to grace the shelves of his eponymous store. Steve bought a briefcase that was happily on sale and then Rob came to meet us and take us for drinks at Gustavino’s which is a fabulously beautiful restaurant under the Queensboro Bridge. The link doesn’t really do it justice - try an imagine 40 foot vaulted ceilings covered in sparkly white subway tile with very flattering lighting and comfy banquettes to sip my wine at. Nice. We didn’t want to eat there though because we didn’t want to mortgage our house so we walked a few blocks to an Italian restaurant (Steve’s request). I don’t remember the name of the restaurant because I was already a little blotto by then and I was just glad it was only a five-minute walk and that they could seat us immediately. I do remember that my meal was outstanding. I had a shaved baby artichoke and pecorino salad with a lemony dressing and a fabulous pasta with Bolognese sauce. I imagine that dessert was fabulous too, but by this time I had drunk so much wine I can’t remember what it was. Then a cab ride home (no singing this time – I sort of fell asleep).

We left on Sunday after a quick trip to the flagship Williams-Sonoma store and a brunch from Whole Foods.

Ahhh New York – I love to visit, but I love to come home after I’ve been there.

Gotta run – Alli is coming over for dinner and I have to do some emergency housekeeping so she doesn’t think Steve and I live in a pig sty.

2:57 p.m. - 2005-04-01

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