This morning, once again, I trekked down to Chelsea. The commute, which involves a subway transfer in a really convoluted station and a twentyish minute walk through the wastelands of far far far West Chelsea, makes me realize how uber lucky I am to be able to walk to work. Seriously, the subways during rush hour are the worst. They just put you in a grumpy horrible mood. Craigslist sublet for the win, people.
I realize yesterday’s post gave the site a really bad rap. Despite its inefficiencies and inconveniences, working in storage does provide the opportunity to actually see the art Theresa and I are going through files all day, so it was great to actually see some of the pieces on which we’d been working. Theresa likes the solitude and quiet of the workspace–I prefer the bustle of the museum myself but, again, there is no beating actually working with the art.
Also, being downtown enables us to meet some of the people for whom we are researching. The CDI Project is vast and Theresa and I are but a small part of it. Carmen, one of the project cataloguers who is (sadly, because we never get to see her) based at downtown, thanked us profusely for the data we’d been entering and told us that our work was a great help. That was really excellent to hear; sometimes the file sorting can get a little mind-numbing, so it is reassuring and motivating to know that people are benefiting from our work.
Anyhow, Theresa and I were only downtown briefly today. Our task was to enter the inventory data from yesterday into TMS, but because the storage is off-site the computers remote log-in to the Whitney, and that can be problematic. We spent nearly an hour grappling with technology before Diana told us to head uptown and finish up the day at the museum. Chelsea psyche? Indeed.
We bid farewell to Carmen (I think she was sad to see us go–Carmen come hang out with us and we can get non-work related beverages!!!) and returned uptown, in a cab, which was better than the subway. Work was fairly typical–inventory entry then returning to the files. We did have an excellent extended lunch-hour with some of the other registration staff and interns, which involved a field trip to Hale and Hearty Soup (how have I never been there? I had a great salad) and a sort of awkward run-in with Sarabeth’s sister who was at the museum trying to figure out how to get more business in the Sarabeth’s Whitney location. That was a little awkward–eating our Hale and Hearty meals in the courtyard while trying to explain to Sarabeth’s sister that Whitney employee specials/discounts would help boost employee patronage of Sarabeth’s and might, therefore, help boost general business. Anyhow, hopefully she’ll pass our advice onto Sarabeth herself.
Post work I headed down toward the Theatre District to kill some time. I’d planned on seeing the Avedon show at ICP but since I was no longer on the Chelsea time schedule I had to postpone said visit. Instead I did my usual wander around Hell’s Kitchen/journey to Sullivan Street Bakery. I decided that all I really wanted for dinner was a few slices of Sullivan Street deliciousness, so that is what I did. I bought a slice of pomodoro, a slice of patate, and some pizza bianca which I will eat with my lunch tomorrow. I took my pizza to a nearby park and enjoyed. Thoroughly.
The pomodoro was better than I had expected. The crust is thinner and crispier, and the sauce is vibrant, almost fruity. This pizza reminded me the pizza at Il Panficio, my favorite pizza place in Sarasota.
On a semi-related note, New York Magazine’s Cheap Eats issue is this week (I suppose to coincide with Restaurant Week) and they have an entire section devoted to the current pizza explosion in NYC. One of the articles lists the top twenty pizzas of the moment (according to the magazine, of course) and Sullivan Street ranks. I was pleased to see my much-loved pizza bianca on the list. Jim Lahey’s actual pizza restaurant, Co., is in the top five, but Keste on Bleeker in the West Village tops the twenty. Field trip, maybe?
Since I had a light dinner (the slices are small, but incredibly tasty) I decided to go sample a few more of the desserts at Kyotofu. I got some of their sweet black sesame tofu and their chocolate souffle cupcake (supposedly the best in the city) to go, and ate it on 48th between 8th and 9th, which has a lovely little park/fireman’s memorial with lots of seats and a fountain.
The chocolate souffle cupcake isn’t really a cupcake–no icing. It is more of a really densely packed, densely chocolate, quasi-brownie/muffin thing that is just, well, it is just a super-dense cake. The chocolate was good but I prefer my cupcakes a little sweeter (not Magnolia sweet though!) I ate half the cupcake before giving myself fully to the black sesame tofu.
This was really awesome. They have a plain sweet flavor but I decided to go for black sesame because I am on a kick and it gives a nutty edge to whatever it touches. Dessert tofu? you ask. Aye, dessert tofu!!! I say. The tofu was creamy, like a custard, but smoother. However, it was not heavy, as some custardy desserts can be. The dessert was really light and the flavors were delicate. It came with a sort of honey-nectar on the side, which added a bit more sweetness if that is what you desire. Two thumbs way way way up. Also, look at all the little black sesame specks!
I picked up my tickets from will call at the theater, and had a bit more time to kill. Anne Taylor Loft is having a 20% off sale on their full-priced items, so I bought a dress (great deals y’all! Go to Loft, you’ll be happy!) and was pleased. I then headed to the theatre for some grand carnage and chaos, Yasmina Reza style.
I really like Reza’s work, particularly Art, which destroys yuppie art collectors and intellectuals (what do you see on an all white canvas? A LITTLE MAN WITH SKIS, SO GOOD). Reza is a French playwright, but her work translates really well and is a generally scathing portrait of liberal priveleged well-educated upper-middle-class white folks living in the burbs. The translation of God of Carnage takes place in Cobble Hill in Brooklyn (the French version placed it in a swanky suburb of Paris) and involves a meeting between two sets of parents regarding an altercation between their two sons. One boy hit the other in the face with a stick, knocking his teeth out. The parents, all horrible people in one way or another, try to discern how to settle the situation. Of course everything goes to hell: screaming, yelling, name calling, cell phone destruction, pillow-throwing, vomit on fancy art books, etc. It is horrifying and hilarious and basically a rollicking good time for all.
You really can’t do much better than the cast assembled here. James Gandolfini and Marcia Gay Harden play one couple, and Jeff Daniels and Hope Davis are the adversaries/accomplices (everyone gangs up on everyone else at various points). Everyone is awesome: this is the perfect cast. The set is also really stunning: beige furniture and a cracked stone wall up against an all-red stage. Totally carnal and totally wonderful, especially as the backdrop of the stage slowly grows darker and darker as the play progresses. Totally Heart of Darkness y’all.
There are a lot of hilarious subplots involving hamsters and fears of rodents and Spartacus and pharmaceutical companies and neanderthals. I just really love how Reza rips through the yuppie bullshit–the sad thing about everyone laughing in the theatre, including myself, is that we are basically laughing at ourselves. We are those horrible pseudo-liberal self-applauding people on stage, and if we aren’t now then we will be once we get married and have kids. Reza doesn’t really offer any alternatives to this lifestyle; I think she just enjoys ripping it open and unveiling the sordid innards.
Also, the theatre had some of the best exit music I’ve ever heard post-play–odd choral vocalizing layered over African style drumming. Where can I get a copy?
Did that review upset your sensibilities/sensitivities? I know, all that red paint and vomit and Korean tulip throwing (don’t ask) left me rattled too. The play was extremely “the horror, the horror,” but in a funny way, if that’s possible. How about some pictures of kittens from a pet shop on Lexington to soothe you?
There now, don’t you feel better?