Thursday, 25 October 2012

New York the sixth

I found a small slice of the Antipodes in Midtown this morning - Culture Espresso, where you can buy a flat white made by a hipster. It's like a portal straight to Wellington.

Also there was Tash's most excellent friend Lee. We had a giddy chat about the whoa-ness of New York, before heading to and parting ways at Grand Central Station where I jumped on the 4 train to the Upper East Side.

The Guggenheim. Frank Lloyd Wright, you magnificent bastard.

There's currently an exhibition of black and white Picasso drawings taking up the whole exhibition space around the ramp.

A few of the drawings are way too cracked out to appeal to me, but I enjoyed most of them, such as this concept art for the Iron Man movies.

Aside from the Picassos there was also a fabulous Kandinsky exhibition, and a selection of other works that are probably from their permanent collection, including some Degas dancers that were much superior to the ones we got in Auckland this year.

  And this, The Football Players by Henri Rousseau. Don't you just love things that are jaunty? And they're playing that newfangled rugby game, what? 

(This is not my pic - I stole it off Wikipedia. You're not supposed to take photos, although everyone does. The attendants are really polite about asking you not to - there's no slapping the camera out of your hands or anything - so you feel shamed rather than coerced into obliging.) 

I tootled around the Upper East Side for a while, watching rich dogs being walked and rich babies being nannied. I didn't really see any fancy people though, not even in the big-name designer portion of Fifth Avenue. It was kind of a letdown. I demand socialites!

I had lunch at Neil's Coffee Shop. I've no idea whether this place is a local institution or just a random diner, but from the picture on the wall I can tell you that Steve Martin ate there back when his hair was only 50 per cent grey. So, like, 40 years ago?

In the afternoon I went to the Whitney Museum. The bastard who designed these dark and unlovely staircases is not magnificent. However the art, all modern American and mostly by artists I'd never heard of, is great. And because this is New York I didn't have to worry about how pretentious I was for liking it! 

The bestest part was this, Fireflies on the Water by Yayoi Kasama. For one minute you get shut alone in this room. The floor is water and the walls and the ceiling are mirrored, and hundreds of strings of lights hang down. It's insane and surreal - to quote Philip J Fry, it's like that drug trip in that movie I saw when I was on that drug trip that time. (Again, not my photo).


  1. I want to be in that room! Woah, buzzy man.

  2. You know, my dad has a bunch of Christmas lights from that one year he was obsessed with decorating the house. I think we should recreate this in your pod. Chris would totally be cool with it.

    And you can dress up like Yayoi Kasama!

  3. Sometimes I think that the art we get is really just the castoff sketches or whatever. The Monet exhibit in Wellington just made me realise I don't particularly like Monet.

    Sometimes the best art is the surprises - you don't know the artist, you just appreciate their work.

  4. Love the firefly room, that's awesome!!

    If only it came with Nathan Fillion..