Things I Love About NY
Being “between opportunities” has its benefits (and no, I’m not just talking unemployment). This is particularly true in a city like New York, where you never have time to do the things you want because you’re working too hard (or you can’t afford it, but that’s another issue entirely).
So now that I am a free agent on the job market, I thought I’d take advantage of the opportunity to do some things and see some sights that I haven’t done in my 16 years here. Or that would require me to go on a Saturday or Sunday, when the rest of the world has “free” time. BTW, have you ever wondered why it’s called “free” time? It always costs me a lot of money.
Introducing Tourist For a Day: New York City Edition
Welcome to the first installment of a new series I’m calling “Tourist For a Day.” Each week, I’ll do something “touristy” that’s been on my list, take pictures, and write about it. There will be a number of museum visits and I hope to finally walk across the Brooklyn Bridge (weather permitting).
I will not, however, go to Times Square as part of this series. I worked in that area for many years and frankly, I don’t need to spend any more time there. Ever. Also, I won’t walk four across on the sidewalk, stop in the middle of the street for a photo or look slack-jawed at anything for no good reason. I can only take the “tourist” thing so far. I am a New Yorker.
I’m also open to suggestions, so please feel free to send me a note or leave a comment if there’s something that you think I should check out.
Kandinsky Retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum
First up? The Guggenheim Museum for the last day of the Wassily Kandinsky Retrospective, a 95 piece collection put together to honor the museum’s 50th anniversary. (For the record, going to a museum is not in and of itself a “touristy” endeavor; going at 1 p.m. on a Wednesday afternoon is). Kandinsky played a large role in the creation of the Guggenheim Museum, as his works were some of the first to be acquired by Solomon Guggenheim, the museum’s founder. So of course it was only fitting that this museum host the huge retrospective in its trademark spiral setting.
My aunt and uncle saw the exhibit when they were in New York and said it was one of the best exhibits they’d ever seen. And since it was closing on Wednesday, January 13, I had no time to spare. Off I went. I expected it to be crowded, since it was the last day of the exhibit and because the city is just crawling with tourists in December and January. Wednesday was no exception.
As you can see, a few other people had the same idea I did and wanted to see this fantastic retrospective before it closed.
Who is Kandinsky?
Wassily Kandinsky was born in Russia but lived in Russia, Germany and France, and witnessed two world wars (he died just after World War II ended). He was a fascinating man whose style and approach evolved over time. Incredibly, he didn’t even start painting until he was 30, giving up his study of law and economics. Kandinsky was interested in the deconstruction of art and so his paintings, not surprisingly, are abstract and a bit hard to understand. But that’s ok, because they are very cool to look at. His use of colors and geometry is striking and to see all the works together in one place was really quite impressive.
As someone who was looking to reinterpret art and push the boundaries, it is no surprise that Kandinsky founded the “Blue Rider” and also played a large role in the creation of the Bauhaus movement, along with founder Walter Gropius. I learned a lot at the exhibit thanks to the complimentary audio tour (well, it was included in the price of the $18 ticket, so I’ll consider it “complimentary”).
Schönberg and Kandinsky
The exhibition’s curator also used a lot of the music of Arnold Schönberg in the exhibit. Schönberg and Kandinsky shared the same basic philosophy towards their respective arts: break it down and recreate it in a way that’s never been done before. In fact, Kandinsky was so moved by Schönberg’s work and his approach to musical deconstruction that when he first heard one of Schönberg’s pieces, he wrote him a letter telling him how much he admired his work. The men had never met, but that letter forged a relationship between the two. Totally fascinating.
A Trip to the Museum Isn’t Complete Without Idiots
Apparently two idiot women didn’t learn anything (or at least didn’t know anything), based on what I overheard: “What is the Bauhaus? I’d never heard of it.” Um, excuse me, ladies, you are AT THE KANDINSKY EXHIBIT AT THE GUGGENHEIM. HOW HAVE YOU NEVER HEARD OF BAUHAUS? Thank you for letting me get that off my chest. I have no patience for idiots. And in defense of tourists, I don’t know if these ladies were from out of town. Don’t tell anyone, but there are actual real-life idiots right here in NYC.
After two hours at the Guggenheim (the line was out the door to buy tickets when I left, though the museum was closing in under 2 hours), I walked down the famous Museum Mile to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Don’t worry – I had no intention of actually going to the Met on Wednesday, but I wanted to walk in a tourist’s shoes.
You can see the photos from my seven block walk in the Tourist For a Day photo set on Flickr (which I’ll be updating regularly). I did the walk at around 4 pm ET, and the light was very cool as dusk approached. I love the shots of the sky and the light and shadow with the buildings. But I digress.
My favorite discovery was on the corner of 82nd Street and Fifth Avenue, directly across the street from the Met. As I turned the corner, I saw this:
Yes, that is what you think it is: a drawing on the sidewalk with instructions where to stand in order to take a cliche photo of the Met. I nearly danced a jig in delight. I would never have seen this if not for my walk down Fifth Avenue for Tourist For a Day. In order to see the picture I took from that exact spot, you’ll have to check out my photos on Flickr.
See you next time after my next adventure in NYC. What else will I see that I’ve missed during my 16 years in the big city?Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Final score: Yankees 4, Rays 3
Game 18: Sunday, October 25 v. Angels – ALCS Game 6 – The Clincher!
Pettitte was simply awesome. The Yankees got clutch hits. Mo got the 6 out save. Click here for some pictures and video from the ALCS clincher.
Check out this video of Jay-Z live at City Hall performing Empire State of Mind. Watch until the end – the last 15 seconds are definitely worth it.
Just because the World Series is over doesn’t mean we can’t bring back the Tale of the Tweets. I’ve pulled all the tweets from today’s Yankees parade and Victory Celebration at City Hall and put them into one nice post. See how easy and fun this is? Enjoy.
One quick note: I didn’t actually see the parade. I had to fight my way through the insanity that was the parade crowds in order to get my ticket to the City Hall celebration. I thought I was going to die from overcrowding. No joke. It was a total and complete nightmare. Once I got into City Hall, it was all good. I staked out a great spot in the center but towards the back when I befriended the crew guys working the camera hoist. No, not in that way. Come on. And with my 10x zoom camera, I was able to take some great pictures, which you can find here.
All in all, an amazing way to celebrate the Yankees. And my birthday (did I mention it was my birthday?)
Without further ado, here is the Tale of the Tweets: Yankees World Series Victory (and Birthday) Celebration Edition
There are no words to describe the nightmare clusterf$*k that is downtown Manhattan right now. No. Words.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerryRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerryRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Happy. Exhausted. Hung over. Relieved. That’s how I feel right now as I put together the final 2009 installment of the Yankees Tale of the Tweets. Why is that? Oh, because the Yankees closed out the Phillies last night at the Stadium to win Championship #27. The boys got to Pedro Martinez early and won thanks to outstanding pitching from Andy Pettitte, Damaso Marte (yes, really!) and the great Mariano Rivera and a series-record tying 6 RBI from MVP Hideki Matsui.
We (@rebecca_glass @bkabak @schwartzslaw @joepawl @larry_koestler @bniche) gathered at Blondie’s on the Upper West Side for the third straight game, along with a ton of Yankees fans. Blondie’s had a good vibe working from the start (unlike Monday night), and the team took the lead early. As the game progressed, it looked like our boys were going to close this thing out in six games.
The crowd was fired up and lots of chants (“Der-ek Jeter”, “Let’s Go Yankees!” “Andy Pettitte”, “Hip Hip Jorge!”, “MVP! MVP!”, “Who’s Your Daddy?”) erupted at the bar throughout the game. And as usual, the Blondie’s DJ played all the Yankees songs, just as if you were at the Stadium: Empire State of Mind, YMCA, God Bless America, Take Me Out to the Ball Game, I Wanna Rock, Cotton Eye Joe (unfortunately), and Enter Sandman.
After Mariano locked up yet another World Series save (there are no words to describe Mariano), they put New York New York on repeat and we sang along until we couldn’t sing any more. (Note: pictures will be posted later. I had some technical difficulties with iPhoto and thought I might have lost the pictures, but they’re fine; I just couldn’t upload them).
Without further ado, I present the Tale of the Tweets: World Series Championship (and Chris Meloni) Edition:
Just a few people at the bar for the World Series http://post.ly/BdhT
OH: At least he got good wood on it. #thatswhatshesaid
Welcome back Hideki Matsui.
There is a lone Phillies fan here. Why would you come to a Yankees bar? Seriously. He’s going to be abused all night.
Come on. We’ve got to be able to hit that. #thingsthatsounddirtybutreallyarent
I’m afraid to see what Evil Stacey tweeted after that A-Rod strikeout. (@gotsu_bb)
What’s Japanese for “daddy”?
Matsui needs a new nickname. “Chichi” is daddy in Japanese. #chichi
Who was the last DH to win World Series MVP? #twitterismygoogle
Chris Meloni just walked in to the bar. No joke.
And I just walked by Chris Meloni (not on purpose, I swear). He is, um, super hot. Wow.
And I just high-fived Chris Meloni. Who agreed with the Daily Show that Philly fans are the douchiest.
CBS in NY has a camera at Blondie’s to film the hoopla. We might be on tv later!
Chants of MVP at the bar for Matsui. #notashock
It is now time for the Hideki Matsui MVP-eanut M&Ms.
On our feet at the bar for Andy Pettitte. #awesomeandy
Oh no! Meg is in twitter jail! RT @YankeeMegInPHL I’m in TWITTER JAIL!!!!!!
My favorite part of a night like this is the crazies that come out in NYC.
Damaso Marte. To sneeze or not to sneeze. That is the question.
Never been so happy to hear God Bless America. 6 more baby.
Buy 6 get 7th free! RT @bkabak We just got yet another pitcher of Brooklyn. This one was on the house. Oh yeah. Free beer.
Bar going nuts to Enter Sandman.
I am not ok with the defense of Brett Gardner. #understatementsoftheyear
Looks like a helluva game between the Lakers and Rockets tonight. #waytoosoontotalkaboutnba
And the bar plays Empire State of Mind. 3 more outs. #hfs
Start spreading the news. New York Yankees 2009 World Series champs.
Bar has champagne for everybody. #classact
Next up at the bar: New York State of Mind. Seems about right.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
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