Tonight, after work–and after finishing all forty files pertaining to the e.e. cummings drawings–I headed down to MoMA for this month’s PopRally (And yes, I am absolutely going to try to go to the one on the 20th at P.S. 1). The galleries stayed open until 8:45, booze and hor’d’ouerves were served, and the Brooklyn-based band/performance group Stars Like Fleas played a set. I knew nothing about Stars Like Fleas, I just wanted to see some art and maybe some people in unusual outfits and possibly a performance piece.
I arrived at MoMA a little before Stars Like Fleas started their set. My nifty Whitney badge got me in for free, and I joined a cluster of mostly young hipster art folk (though there were a few random older people, and some parents with kids–start them early!) in the area in front of the garden facing the statue of Rodin’s Balzac. The band had set themselves up around the statue.
So I’m milling through the crowd and I see more than a few people dressed like, well, dressed like people on this website. I wasn’t sure if they were with the band or if they just were. However, they all had feathers–and so did some members of the band, so perhaps they were fans of the band?
Stars like Fleas started playing and their music was fairly ambient, so I decided to go look at some art. You could hear the band from pretty much anywhere in the museum, so anytime the music started sounding intriguing I would pop out into the atrium and watch the band for a few minutes. I visited the contemporary gallery, which had a giant drawing show:Compass in Hand: Selections from the Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection. Some fantastic works by Cosima von Bonin, Eva Rothschild, Shahzia Sikander, Arturo Herrera, Wilhelm Sasmal, Kara Walker, and everyone’s favorite, Paul McCarthy:
I also saw Stage Pictures show, featuring works by artists who had designed for theatre, opera, and ballet. I love seeing collaborative arts. Naturally, there were a lot of works by Russian artists of the early twentieth century, a huge wall of Chagalls, and a room with a few of the Picasso’s puppet-costumes from Parade.
I then headed upstairs to see Tangled Alphabets, the show featuring the art of Leon Ferrari and Mira Schendel, which closes this week. I’m glad I was able to see it before it closed–some of the work, especially the Japanese paper sculptures by Schendel, Ferrari’s three-dimensional works, and Ferrari’s Rereading the Bible series were fantastic.
I planned on leaving the museum after seeing this show, as it was getting late, and I was hungry and wanted to go to the gym. As I headed to the museum exit, however, I was greeted by a wall of sound. I assumed it was the band, gettin’ noisy. However, as I stepped off the escalator on the 4th floor, I was met by a procession of hipsters!
The crowd of people droned one note continuously: the band on their instruments, the people via their mouths or, like this woman below, a harmonica.
The band led the group (and I, of course, followed, because this was AMAZING, like my dreams come true but WAY BETTER) to the entrance to the 4th floor permanent galleries. One of the members of the band, who had a very long beard, started passing out pens.
Then, the music stopped. And everyone who had a pen (I did not, very sad), started CLICKING THEIR PENS.
And then, just as suddenly, the clicking ended, people applauded, and the performance was OVER. Until 7:50 when Stars like Fleas started their second set. Anyhow, it was kind of amazing. And the people. MoMA Poprally = SUCCESS.
So after witnessing this performance I left MoMA, and walked back to the subway. I was on the phone with my friend Tammi when I passed the Lever Building, where this awaited me:
After gasping: “GIANT HELLO KITTIES OHMYGOD SO CUTE” I hung up on Tammi and snapped pictures of this sculpture and several other Hello Kitty sculptures in the surrounding courtyard, including two Hello Kitty fountains that spouted water from their eyes. SO CUTE.
The rest of the evening was spent having dinner, going to the gym, tidying up the apartment a bit, and making this for my lunch tomorrow. And on that note, bed–my MoMA adventure has left me exhausted.
Also, how hard is it to post wet paint signs? I mean, really people. Today I go to the elevator–which I think I will avoid taking from now on because one of the other building inhabitants tells me it tends to break with people inside–and open the door, and my hand comes away COVERED IN BLACK PAINT. Really? REALLY?! Just post a sign! Ungh.
I am currently slogging through a ton of files pertaining to drawings by e.e. cummings that contain minimal information, which is frustrating. I am entering the same data for each file, so I needed a brief break. Also, I was advised by Jon, who knows about blogs, to post a bit more often to up my daily blog hits. So I figured I’d link to this article I saw in the NYTimes yesterday:
I was lucky enough to have seen most of the best new play Tony award winners from the past few years, and those I did not see I read. I hve a decent amount of plays on my bookshelves, and absolutely love reading them–all dialogue, and you can block the scenes in your head, terrific. The article provides lovely reasoning as to why one should read plays.
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 Museshow. 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.
10:35, my time: I’m here with Phil, caught up to where I was when I left y’all. Lauren Graham and Oliver Platt are presenting Guys and Dolls. I like the color of Lauren Graham’s dress. “Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat” is marred by some audio glitches. Think there are enough audio glitches? Wow, someone came out with a microphone. Nice. This is a great song, the music in “Guys and Dolls” is fabulous–it is not, however, a show I have seen in its entirety sadly. Not sure how I feel about the sort of rockstar gospel path it takes toward the end, although the self-spanking was amusing.
10:41: Early awards, congratulations to all the people who, evidently, weren’t important enough to be featured in the actual broadcast of the award. Wow, a tie for best orchestrations? Crazy. Of course Billy Elliot won for best choreography.
10:42: Didn’t hear who these women are, but the bow on the dress of the one on the right needs to go away.
10:44: John Stamos is so tan. He presents best supporting actor in a musical. I’m guessing Gregory Jbara, who i love and who saw in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Billy Elliot, though this is a really loaded category. Oh, the man with the British flag on his sleeve is Will Swenson, from Hair. Gregory Jbara wins! Well-deserved! He brings his wife up with him! He seems so happy! When we saw Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Gregory Jbara spent half an hour at the stage door talkign football with my father. Such a nice, lovely, talented man. His role in Billy Elliot is really heartbreaking.
10:47: Best Supporting Actress in a Musical. I bet Karen Olivo is going to win, though I love the ballet teacher in Billy Elliot. Karen Olivo wins. Good for her. Karen Olivo is gorgeous, and seems really overwhelmed, but in the best way possible. I also like her dress, it is very simple and appropriate–GREAT HAIR. Yay Karen Olivo.
10:50: Carrie Fisher introduces Next to Normal–an odd, if hilarious, choice of presenter for this show about a bipolar woman. Carrie Fisher doesn’t look great, but I love her nonetheless. Wow, she’s a total wreck. From the cast of Next to Normal, the cast of Next to Normal.
10:51: Hi Alice Ripley! PLEASE FIX THE ACOUSTICS. I’m really excited to see this show on Wednesday! I’m curious to see this show’s treatment of bipolar disorder. I’ve had a lot of friends who have dealt with this illness; the most sensitive fictional portrayal of the disorder I have seen thus far was Billy on Six Feet Under. I cannot begin to imagine how they will treat it in a musical. God, Alice Ripley is fierce.
10:58: Neil Patrick Harris eats sushi. I love him.
10:59: Jessica Lange looks really beautiful. She also looks a bit like lauren Hutton. Phil says she looks a little facelifted. I like the color of her dress, the nice magenta, but I dislike what it does to her breasts. She also puts on reading glasses. Awesome. She presents Best Leading Actor in a Play. WHICH IS DELAYED AS THE DVR GLITCHES. Okay, crisis averted, though we did see what won Best New Musical. Maybe Raul Esparza will FINALLY WIN HIS TONY?!?!? MAYBE?! Please? No, nevermind, Geoffrey Rush will probably win. Aaaaaaaand Geoffrey rush wins. Raul Esparza is never going to win a Tony, ever–he is the Kate Winslet of the Tony Awards. She finally won her Oscar, though. Geoffrey Rush has the light from the Rock of Ages performance. He also says: “French Existentialist Tragicomedy Rocks.” I love him. He was great in Exit the King, he deserved this, I just adore Raul Esparza and want him to win his Tony Award!!!
11:03: Hallie Foote, daughter or Horton Foote, and costar present the late Horton Foote’s play Dividing the Estate. Nice bow tie, costar.
11:04: Bebe Neuwirth comes to present the memorial segment. Natasha Richardson is featured. It is incredibly sad. Evidently one of the major members of the Shubert organization passed away. The death montage, as I call it, is accompanied by a chorus singing “What I Did for Love” from A Chorus Line. Some major people died this year: Horton Foote, Harold Pinter, Estelle Getty…the camera work here is awful, just zoom in on the screen. Bea Arthur, George Furth, Eartha Kitt, Paul Newman…this was a rough year.
11:08: More Tony Awards that were not deemed important enough for the main broadcast. Mazel tov, people. I love the lighting designer winner’s (Billy Elliot) jacket, amazing. It is red, and velvet.
11:10: Frank Langella is awesome. He is also tan. The end. Except not, because he is presenting Best Lead Actress in a Play. Marcia Gay Harden wins for God of Carnage. Must see. Wow, evidently she was in the original cast of Angels in America: Millennium Approaches. How did I not know that?
11:15: Piper Perabo and Steve Pasqua present Neil LaBute’s Reasons to be Pretty. I forgot about Piper Perabo, nice to know she is still alive. Phil says Steve Pasqua looks like Tobey Maguire, and not in a good way.
11:16: Elton John introduces Billy Elliot as a show about a struggle for rights. Evidently Elton John must struggle with reading the teleprompter. YAY ANGRY DANCE. I wonder how they’re going to get all three boys in on this? The starting kid is the one that I saw–Trent Kowalik. Evidently each “Angry Dance” is choreographed to the strength of the Billy. Trent is a tapper. I guess Trent is the only Billy they are featuring? Well, it makes me feel as though I saw the best of the Billys. Nicely done, Trent.
11:22: Gina Gershon and her giant hair introduces the Legally Blonde touring production. I cannot lie, I really like some of the music from this show. Incredibly catchy. Never saw the show itself, but I watched the stupid reality show on MTV like it was my job. Yay, glad that was short.
11:24: Harvey Feinstein and his voice of gravel arrives. His lapels are shiney. He presents Best Revival of a Face–I mean, Play. The Norman Conquests wins! I definitely need to see the other two plays in the trilogy now. I cannot imagine how the cast learns three shows and performs them in rotation. Phil calls the main producer J.K. Rowling.
11:27: Harvey Feinstein presents Best New Play. I haven’t seen any of these, therefore I fail. God of Carnage wins. Yazmina Reza collects another Tony.
11:30: Welcome back Angela Lansbury, we still love you. Jerry Herman is getting a life achievement award? Good for him. Phil is enthused, because he loves Jerry Herman. “Put On Your Sunday Clothes” is listed as from Hello, Dolly and Wall-E. Phil says that when Jerry Herman saw Wall-E he was in tears over how well his music was used. Well Jerry, I was too. The use of Broadway in that music was brilliant. GREAT OLD FOOTAGE of George Hearn in “I am What I Am” from La Cage Aux Folles. Aw, I’m really happy for Jerry Herman. Aw, he was born overlooking the Winter Garden Marquee. DON’T PLAY JERRY HERMAN OFF. Goodness.
11:36: HI ANNE HATHAWAY. Your dress is so poofy. I want to see her in Twelfth Night this summer. She introduces Hair. Gavin Creel is all about hair. There is a lot of hair on this set. I think they must grow their own hair. Man. This is a show that i will spend more money on in order to be in the orchestra. I really want to be harassed by the cast members. I also want to get onstage and dance during the curtain call to “Let the Sunshine In.” Man, the cast is really all over the Tony audience. The audience seems to be liking it, however.
11:41: Dispersal of the hippies, enter Kristin Chenowith. And her shiny blonde hair. And her boobs. She is so perky. She presents Best Revival of a Musical. Hair wins, which is ridiculous but pretty great. The producer is very hairy indeed. The cast is thrilled, and probably high. Maybe? Hair, another show very high on my must see now list. The cast member behind Oskar Eustis looks as though he’s gonna cry. I want to hug him.
11:45: David Hyde Pierce comes out to present Best Leading Actress in a Musical. He is adorable, and funny, and always happy to be onstage. Wow, he’s clicking through this. Aw, Hunter Foster is sitting next to Sutton Foster, sibling pride! Alice Ripley, who is fierce, wins, of course. I like her dress, the color is fabulous. Alice Ripley is giving a FIERCE SPEECH by JFK. Wow, the [TOS] people weren’t kidding. Cannot wait to see her on Wednesday.
11:48: Audra MacDonald, looking really gorgeous as usual, presents Best Leading Actor in a Musical. I am sure the little Billys will win and it will be adorable. Oh wow, Gavin Creel must wear a wig. Constantine Maroulis does not. The three little Billys win! Amazing! The first time a Tony has been shared by three people. David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik, and Kiril Kulish. Aw, they all look so nervous, and young, and cute. None of them wants to go first, and they are fiddling with their Tonys. Oh my God they are so cute. My sister got a picture with Trent Kowalik when we saw Billy Elliot. SO CUTE. Yay them!
11:52: Chandra Wilson presents a bunch of Jersey Boys. I wish the cute Billys hadn’t been played off for Jersey Boys.
11:54: Getting tired, glad it is the end. Hello again Liza, love you. She presents Best new Musical. Billy Elliot wins, of course, quite a night for those Brits. Liza shouts, “Billy Elliot! THE MUSICAL!!” DVR cut off right after that for me–evidently NPH sang a song? I’ll find it on youtube. Still, a great season for Broadway overall! Really excited that I am in New York and have the opportunity to see so many of these shows!