I thought I’d lost this post last night (Saturday night/Sunday morning)! But I didn’t! Therefore, readers, I add to it, and give it you this evening, post Tony-awards. Ah, the wonder of the internet:
My devotion to you, my glorious readers, is such that I will post at nearly 2:00 am after returning from Brooklyn. I am that committed to consistent posting. I do this for you.
The first half of today was uneventful, as I woke up at 11:00, which was kind of glorious. I ate some breakfast and dressed for the gym, and exited my apartment to discover that painting was still happening in my hall. This is a point that I have neglected to mention: they are renovating the public areas of this building, and that includes fresh paint in the halls. The painting of my hall started Friday, and I assumed they were just painting the walls, which were white. However, upon returning home from the Whitney Friday afternoon, I discovered that they were also painting the outsides of the doors, which are black. I discovered this by leaning up against my door in my white sweater, which was a major fail. However, I think I salvaged the sweater by soaking it in hot water and hand soap. A bit of black remains, but you really have to hunt for it.
Anyhow, the hall still smelled of wet paint today. A sign would be appreciated. I left my building and headed to the gym, and crossed paths with this odd little man I have seen on a few streets in New York. I him last on St. Mark’s Place and 2nd Avenue, and I saw him again today, where I first met him, crossing Madison on 75th. Here he is:
I also saw this sign as I passed the Whitney on 75th between Madison and Park. Clearly the advertisements in my neighborhood define me:
So I went to my gym, and then I trekked down to 61st and 1st street to go to Bed Bath and Beyond, where I bought much-needed hangers, a drying rack, and some laundry detergent. The Bed Bath and Beyond was three stories and had a special escalator for carts only. Also, people can bring their dogs inside. Fun fact.
I went back to my apartment, showered and dressed, and reemerged to meet Phil Midtown, at the theatre were his play was being rehearsed. While waiting for the 6 train I saw this:
I met up with Phil and we fought our way through Times Square and the tourists and the crowds to the 42nd St. station, where we caught a subway down to Brooklyn. We emerged at the Grand Army Plaza stop and walked down Vanderbilt Street or Avenue (don’t remember) to get dinner at Amorina: salad with arugala and onions and chickpeas, pizza with mozzarella, eggplant, tomatoes, and mint. Win.
We were meeting some of Phil’s friends in Prospect Park to celebrate the return of one of the group from Paris. Phil and I walked through Grand Army Plaza to Prospect Park:
Phil and I headed into Prospect Park and found, per request of his friend Nora, the “ballerist spot.” We parked ourselves on a hill that was still receiving sun–we were early, so we lounged around and watched the people on the Great Lawn while waiting for Phil’s friends.
We watched the sun set and then some of Phil’s friends arrived. I met a really lovely French opera singer who said she liked my outfit (which is always nice to hear from a Parisian) and with whom I ran and danced, a ukelele-playing redhead who takes photography and knows a lot about design, a globe-trotting British woman, a really interesting film-type person who has worked in documentary film, a rather fun and crazy banker with a velvet rose in her hair, and several other fun Brooklynites with whom Phil associates. Also at this party was another face from my old Pine View days, in particular the Speech and Debate days. Pine View, we are taking over the world.
We sat in the park through sun set and into night, drinking wine and eating cookies and listening to music and attempting to set up a tent some random people had left us…? Not quite sure how that last bit happened. Frisbee happened, in the dark. And we saw a bunny. It was fun, Phil knows enjoyable people.
We played in the park until around midnight and then Phil and I trekked around Prospect Heights looking for the Q train to take us to our respective homes. That took another half an hour but once I got on the Q I was back in Manhattan by 1:00ish. A grand time in Brooklyn, hopefully I will trek there more often.
In order to keep myself on posting schedule I am going to go ahead and launch into Sunday’s happenings…
I woke up this morning, did some laundry, hung up some clothes on my shiny new hangers, and then got dressed and went to the Met to see the Model as Muse show. I have always been a fan of the Met’s fashion shows, mostly because I love observing what happens at he Costume Institute Ball. I was really pleased with last year’s Superheroes show, for obvious reasons, but this show left me a little, well, empty. It was, for lack of a better description, superficial. The show is divided into rooms, each room representing one decade of fashion models: the 50s with Suzy Parker and Lisa Fonnsagrives, the sixties with Twiggy and Verushka and Peggy Lifton, the 70s with Iman, Janice Dickinson, and Gia, the 80s and the rise of the supermodel and the “Trinity” of Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, and Christy Turlington, and then the 90s and the grunge era of Kate Moss. The last room focused on today’s trend toward anonymous, identical-looking models. Each room had a soundtrack of period-appropriate music and usually featured footage with models from that period, such as George Michael’s “Freedom” video in the Supermodels room. I felt that the show was all face, no substance–much like the stereotype of a model. Clothes, sometimes beautiful, sometimes odd and sculptural, were displayed–mostly on mannequins, but there were several vignettes where the exhibition designers recreated famous spreads with a mannequin. Everything was very pleasing to the eye, very aesthetic, very well crafted…but I wish the curators had plumbed the depths of the social causes for the changing face of the model in greater depth. It seemed as though they had difficulty balancing attention paid to the models and attention paid to the clothes–and how the models shaped and altered those clothes. Still, beautiful clothes–I really cannot complain about that.
I also wandered, briefly, through the Photography Generation show. It was a very quick walk, however, as I know I can come back later and see the show more carefully. I didn’t linger too long at the museum, aside from saying hello to my little friend the Don. There are other shows I wish to see, specifically the Francis Bacon retrospective, the African and Oceanic Art show, and the new American Wing, but I can go to the Met as much as I want this summer, so there is no rush (Yay!!).
After I went to the Met I headed to the grocery store with plans of going to the park and reading afterward. My plans were foiled when I stumbled upon a giant street fair on 3rd avenue–this minutes after I had told my father on the phone that there were no parades or festivals happening this Sunday. I had to call him back and tell him I was wrong. I wandered up and down the street fair a bit, bought some $5 scarves, and got a yellow cake and chocolate buttercream frosting at the upper east side location of Crumbs Bakeshop.
After a bit more observation of the street fair and all of its delicious-looking food (I resisted temptation, aside from the cupcake), I ran my errands for groceries, headed back to my apartment to drop off groceries, and changed into my gym clothes to head to the gym.
Some of you might wonder why I am wasting precious New York time by going to the gym. My existence has changed really radically these past few weeks, and I find that an hour or so to zone out at the gym helps keep me balanced. My head seems a little clearer, and I feel refreshed and revitalized after ducking into the gym for an hour. This city can be overwhelming, and so I needed something from my life in Chapel Hill–that is, a fairly regular gym habit–to keep me grounded. Thus far, it seems to be working.
After the gym I stopped back home again briefly, this time to order some takeout for my Tony Awards watching from Pio Pio Peruvian Restaurant. The restaurant is on 1st avenue between 90th and 91st, and I decided, because I am me, to walk there. And back. It was a trek, both ways, but I got a really excellent view of my neighborhood and all the adorable shops and restaurants on the Upper East Side in the 80s. If anyone wants to come uptown and restaurant hop with me, I’d really appreciate it! Also, I tacked on another hour or two of walking, on top of my hour at the gym, so I’m hoping that I am making progress with Project Trim Waist. We shall see.
I arrived home, bearing delicious roasted chicken marinated in some kind of spicy Peruvian sauce, fries, tostones, and an avocado salad that I put in the refrigerator for later because it got warm in the take out bag. I then took a shower, served myself some food, and settled down on my couch for the Tony Awards–which you can read about on my live blog. That, and feeding Phil when he arrived after his rehearsal was over–pretty much composed the rest of my Sunday. Today was very relaxing, and involved a lot of walking and getting to know my neighborhood. A good day. Tomorrow: Monday, and the work week.