Category: The Apartment


Last few days in NYC, and the parents are here to hang out for a bit.  This morning I woke up, readied the apartment, and spent some time reading near the park while waiting for my parents to arrive.  The day was absolutely beautiful: not too hot, blue skies, a breeze, low humidity.  Perfect.  I also took a photograph of the outside of my building, just because.


My parents arrived in a cab with, oddly enough, my classmate Nadja from Pine View c/o 2003.  Nadja is moving up to New York City and, oddly, is staying for a few nights in the building two doors down from mine.  Not kidding, how weird is that?  Anyhow, another Pine Viewer move to NYC.  We should just have our ten year reunions here.

The parents got settled in and I trekked them over to the Whitney for the obligatory “Hi Parents This is Where I Work I am Now Going to Try to Explain Conceptual Art to You” tour.  Which I think they enjoyed–the Whitney is a really excellent museum, small, manageable, easy to navigate.  I am partial to the institution for obvious reasons but still, Whitney love.  Also, major sadness to be saying my official last goodbye to the museum.  For now.  I’d love to work there again someday, fingers crossed.

We stopped at La Maison du Chocolat to pick up some macaroons and stopped at Saint Ambroeus, the local fancy Italian gelato place, for some gelato.  I had very pure, light-tasting peach and strawberry flavors, and also took a washed out picture of said gelato:

I should have taken a picture of my delicious raspberry macaroon but sometimes I am a ravenous and unthinking fiend.

We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering down Lexington and doing a bit of gift shopping at Pylones and a bit of clothing shopping at Banana Republic.  We then headed down to 58th between Park and Madison to have dinner at Tao, which is best known for its giant Buddha and ridiculous scene.  There’s some food too.


Tao was made famous by that episode of Sex and the City where Samantha has a brief bisexual fling with a Brazilian artist who refers to vagina as “the glorious puceta.”  The restaurant is extremely dark and extremely loud and extremely crowded but there is some great people watching: a combination of tourists, New Yorkers with out of town friends, and young i-banker douchebag types who wear too much cologne.  Anyhow, the restaurant was fun, the food was yummy and Asian fusion and plentiful.

Delicious amazing shrimp and lobster spring rolls.
Delicious amazing shrimp and lobster spring rolls.

Delicious amazing tuna tartare over some sort of crispy rice contraption.
Delicious amazing tuna tartare over some sort of crispy rice contraption.

Sushi with salmon, tuna, avocado, and some other things, I think roe was involved.
Sushi with salmon, tuna, avocado, and some other things, I think roe was involved.

Chicken gyoza potsticker things, not as yummy as the other appetizers.
Chicken gyoza potsticker things, not as yummy as the other appetizers.

The appetizers were fairly delicious and, as usual, better than the entrees.  Why are appetizers always better than entrees?  Also, I forgot to take a picture of the entrees before we massacred them, so the following two photos are definitely “after” shots.

Miso glazed sea bass = good, light, sweet but not too sweet.
Miso glazed sea bass = good, light, sweet but not too sweet.
Kung pao chicken was mediocre.  Sometimes you shouldn't listen to the waitress.
Kung pao chicken was mediocre. Sometimes you shouldn't listen to the waitress.
This might be the only picture of either of my parents from this weekend.
This might be the only picture of either of my parents from this weekend.

We decided to forego dessert at Tao because we were stuffed and I convinced my parents that heading to Madison Square Park for custard from the Shake Shack was a better idea.  We did get little chocolate fortune cookies with our check.  These would have been nondescript, if not for the fact that the best fortunes ever were concealed inside the cookie.

My fortune.  Best.
My fortune. Best.

We left Tao and walked from 58th down to Madison Square Park at 5th and 23rd.  A lovely walk: past the gorgeous windows on 5th Avenue, past the New York Public Library at 42nd Street, past the Empire State Building and to the Flatiron Building.  I love walking in this city, especially at night, when it is lovely out, and quiet, and all the familiar sights change.  Walking aimlessly, with no purpose or destination, is something that I will miss when I return to Chapel Hill.

We did, actually, have a destination on this walk: the original location of the Shake Shack for amazing delicious custard. Yes there was a line at 10:00 that looked fairly long.  Luckily said line was just for burgers, as there is a separate/short line for custard orders.  I had a  vanilla concrete (like a Dairy Queen blizzard but with custard) with toffee, chocolate chunks, and hot fudge, and it was rich and delicious and wonderful and the Shake Shack is such an extreme winner, seriously.

Heaven, in a cup.  I hyperbolize not.
Heaven, in a cup. I hyperbolize not.

We then hopped a cab and returned to my apartment and attempted to settle in with three of us and many suitcases and much clutter.  Which is how we still are tonight, Sunday night/Monday morning.  I am mega-behind in blogging–tons happened today, and I will have to catch up when I return to Chapel Hill.  Yes, that is right, I return to Chapel Hill in about eleven hours.  I will hop a plane at La Guardia and then hopefully be back in North Carolina by mid-afternoon.  I have already rambled on about how this makes me both happy and sad (SO MANY EMOTIONS I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO) so I will spare you anything further.  Just expect some sort of New York wrap-up over the next few days as well as some announcements regarding the future of this blog.

Blog to you on the flipside, y’all.

A soppingly wet day.

This morning, around 6:00 am, I awoke to a dripping noise.  I figured it was the day’s forecast rain, getting an early start, but decided to investigate regardless.  I headed into the bathroom, turned on the light, and discovered that it was also raining inside.  From the light fixture on the ceiling of my bathroom.  Not just a slow and steady dripping leak, but a fairly continuous drizzle of water from the light fixture onto the tile floor.

Confounded, a blinked a few times, opened and closed my mouth, and then went to my laptop to send an e-mail to my landlord.

I then returned to bed, hoping that the problem would resolve itself before I woke to officially begin my day.  I even had a lovely half-awake dream where the leak had fixed itself, despite the pouring rains from outside.

Alas, that was not the case when I awoke.  I e-mailed my landlord again, and then proceeded through my morning rituals: shower, hair, makeup, etc., all while dodging the mini-waterfall from the bathroom ceiling and placing several towels on the floor to soak up the mess.  The ceiling around the light fixture, by this point, had begun to take on a rather wet appearance, with the shadow of water emerging through the plaster.

I called my landlord around 9:30, and then opted to skip out on the first half of the intern group meeting which started at 10:00 to await her returned phone call and a possible resolution.  I received the call around 9:55, and my landlord appeared at 10:25.  Upon seeing the torrential leak she called the building’s management and started yelling at them to send a maintenance person over immediately as this was not a “little leak” but a flood-inducing torrent of water and doom.  She then hung up, told me someone would be on her way, and left to return to work.  I soon did the same, leaving my wet apartment to venture into the pouring rain that continued through the whole day, and managed to make the second half the intern meeting.  I missed the majority of the presentation by a representative from the publications department, which is a shame as that is an area of the museum world which interests me, but I was also interested in the apartment not flooding, and sometimes one must assess their priorities.  I was, however, present for another intern go-around: everyone re-introduced themselves and summarized the projects on which they had been working. Several of the interns, mostly in the Development department (guess I should’ve gotten a business degree?) had gotten to play at the Art Party last night.  They all looked a little tired.  Jealousy, sniff.

After the meeting I turned on my phone to find a voicemail from my landlord.  Maintenance had come, they’d examined the apartment and found no leak inside the apartment itself, and so they decided to break into the apartment on the floor above mine.  The douchetards (I’m sorry, I know that is not polite language, but I really have no other way to describe them) who live above me had and overflowing toilet which was, apparently, flooding their apartment and was the source of my flood.  Evidently this overflow had been occuring for a few hours, and the douchetards hadn’t bothered to tell anyone about it.  They had, however, placed a few garbage bags on the floor.  Because that really helps.  Idiots.  Anyhow, maintenance solved the problem and stopped the leak.  However, they had to remove the light fixture and therefore the light from the ceiling of the bathroom (luckily there is another light over the mirror) and the ceiling itself is a mess.  I have to wait a week for the ceiling to dry out, and then maintenance will come and fix the light fixture and re-seal the ceiling.  Epic. Fail.

During my lunch (yes I had the leftover Katz’s deli roast beef sandwich and it was awesome) I popped over to my apartment.  My landlord had come back and was actually cleaning EVERYTHING which made me feel incredibly guilty but I wasn’t going to complain.  If she wanted to mop and clean and sanitize the bathroom that was fine by me; I was going to do it tonight when I got home, but I’m glad she beat me to the punch.  Anyhow, other than the ceiling light fixture currently residing in the main room of the studio and the waterstains marking the bathroom ceiling , the bathroom is clean and dry and totally usable.  Crisis averted.

After work I came home and made myself a quick dinner, and then returned to the Whitney for a panel discussion regarding the question Why Does Art Matter Now?  The panel was facilitated by a filmmaker/physicist named Peter Gawosan (I think, his last name was sort of garbled) and included choreographer Elizabeth Streb, physicist Lisa Randall, pollster/social scientist Nate Silver, and one of my favorite contemporary artists, Vik Muniz.  I actually wrote a catalogue entry on a Muniz piece in the Ackland collection for the Cultural Politics and Contemporary Art show which was up early this spring.

Muniz's "Prometheo," from his Pieces of Junk Series from 2006, based on Titian's painting of the same name.
Muniz's "Prometheo," from his Pieces of Junk Series from 2006, based on Titian's painting of the same name.

All the panelists answered questions regarding what they did when they found themselves creatively stuck, and how their work crossed boundaries and had a larger effect on society.  Muniz talked a lot–not that that was a bad thing, mind you.  Silver was a snobby pompous liberal who is the type of man who gives liberals in general a bad name.  Randall, I think, was out of it because she was extremely jet-lagged.  She had just come from Paris, where her opera about physics had just had its world premiere at the Centre Pompidou. Streb was insane–she has her dancers do ridiculous things with their bodies, like throw themselves against sheet glass to achieve unnatural motion, she doesn’t believe in choreographing to music, she calls her kind of dancing “pure movement,” and she also refers to the everyday motions of a normal person as “camouflaging gravity.”  She also showed a video of an elephant bouncing on a trampoline.  I’m not entirely sure what that had to do with anything, but it made the audience laugh.

Also, here is a clip of a bunch of Streb’s work, set to HORRIBLE music, ignore the music:

First video post!  Anyhow.

Muniz did show footage of how he created some of his works using garbage–not the same series as the work on which I wrote, but a series focusing on a group of individuals in Brazil who live and scavenge among a giant trash heap.  He photographed some of those individuals, and then recreated those photographs–on a massive scale–with the very garbage on which they survived.  This massive image was then photographed from above (presumably how he created his Pieces of Junk series) and then sold on the market.  All the proceeds from this series, called Pieces of Garbage, went to benefit those living in squalor.  Muniz photographed seven or eight people, all of whom attended the opening of his show.  He says three of them never returned to the wasteland, and that the others have become representatives and organizers for the benefit of their group.  There is a Portuguese word for the people, I believe it is something like castadores, but I may be wrong.

Anyhow, I stayed through all the Vik Muniz stuff, but left a little early because the talk was running about half an hour late and I really wanted to get to the gym.  Now I’m home, very tired, and very much hoping that tomorrow will be dryer than today.

New York State of Life

I am sitting in my sublet (yes, mine, she is not here, and she has moved most of her stuff out, mine is such a lovely word) on a comfortable couch on my computer watching Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King on TNT.  Legolas just toppled an Oliphant on his own.  It is a good, if silly, thing.

Last night I moved to the UES (Upper East Side, for those of you who asked), and I am pleased to be in my own space.  My landlord was still here last night, and she slept on the couch (I love beds, I forgot how much I love beds), but we talked a bit before we went to sleep.  She teaches math at an all girl’s middle school near here, and basically her students are little Blair Waldorfs in training.  She says that money is no object for these girls but that many of them are fairly screwed up because their parents (designers, bankers, generally self-important people with lots of money) don’t pay their kids much attention.  This isn’t the case for all of the girls, but more than a few fall into this category.  I actually saw my landlord and her students as I was walking to the museum this morning: lots of little middle school girls in plaid skirts that seemed to have gotten a little shorter, and most were wearing very Blair Waldorfesque headbands.  This is a whole new world into which I have entered.

Anyhow, my landlord is fairly friendly, I’m glad we got a chance to talk before I moved into her apartment.  I promised her numerous times that i would keep it clean and new and lovely.  However, I wasted no time unpacking my suitcases.  Last night my landlord was snoring rather loudly and despite my exhaustion I couldn’t sleep, so I went into her closet and unpacked my larger suitcase.  I unpacked my other suitcases this morning before work, and am now more or less settled into the space.  I am lacking hangers, however, so my clothes are folded on shelves rather than hanging–I’d like to remedy this as soon as possible, for the wrinkles my work dresses are no doubt accumulating are making me unhappy.

The apartment, however, makes me extremely happy: high ceilings, newly rennovated, new appliances, spacious lots of light.  I just took a few pictures of the apartment and the inside of the building, so you can see for yourself.  Here they are, click on the thumbnails for larger images:

I’m still working on the final bits of settling in: buying groceries, getting hangers, etc., but I hope to be more or less entirely settled by the end of the weekend.  Hopefully I can start cooking a few things soon!

Today was also my first day of actual work.  We had a bit of a rocky start due to our not being authorized to access our files on TMS (The Museum Service, just to remind you) and our not being connected to the printer.  However, once the kinks were knocked out we were able to get cranking.  The work is a little mundane: going through old documents in files and verifying that the information checks out in the file and on TMS.  We’re also reorganizing the documents in the file andcleaning up some of the language in TMS.  If we have trouble verifying information via the files in front of us we head down to the library to do some research.  I’ll be popping down tomorrow to verify some publication information regarding the last file I looked at today.  The files themselves are object files, each containing all the documents the museum has pertaining a specific object; for this project, all the objects are drawings.  Occasionally the project gets interesting when I stumble upon amusing artist comments.  Each artist is asked to fill out a sheet with questions regarding his or her work, and sometimes their answers are hilarious and/or sad.  One artist, who I did not know, stated that his artistic goal was “to create a new paradigm in painting.”  Another artist, when asked to describe the subject of work, scrawled a smiley face on the page and stamped “TOP SECRET” above the smiley face.  When asked the same question about another of his works in the collection, the artist said: “It would be interesting if I filled this space with words but it would be more interesting if I left it blank.”  Ah, artists.

Diana is also a fun supervisor.  We spent the first fifteen minutes of the morning talking about New York as it was in 1983, when Diana moved here–as you can imagine, it was mostly about how the city had changed and been cleaned up.  Around 1:00 Diana shouted at us to go to lunch, which I spent grabbing a quick ricotta tartine at Le Pain Quotidien and then running to the grocery store for round one of stocking my refrigerator.  Around 4:30 Diana grabbed us and pulled us to the upstairs conference room, saying: “They’re giving away free gift bags!  Let’s go get them!”  We were able to snatch the last few bags and I am glad that we did: white Donna Karan tote bags with a large tube of scented moisturizer and some perfume.  Win!

After work I went home to unpack the groceries, then headed down to St. Mark’s Place to meet Trisha Baga for dinner.  Trisha is an artist who studied at Cooper Union and is now in the Video and Media Arts MFA program at Bard.  I went to Pine View with her, and have always been a fan of her work.  She’s headed to Bard on Saturday (the MFA program only has classes during the summer), so we decided to meet up before she left the city for the summer.  We went to this amazing restaurant called The Hummus Place (website says they’re going to have an Upper East Side location soon!  Yes please!) where we ate lots of hummus and pita.  We talked about art and Pine View and our current lives and later her friend Philip joined us and we talked about art and stuff some more.  We also drank the most delicious mojitos.  They tasted the way they looked: green and fresh and swimming with mint.  Also, they were slushy, and slushy is always positive.  I’m not a huge mojito fan but these were delicious.


I think St. Mark’s Place is adorable and fun and full of great people watching and I want to try every restaurant there.  Especially between 3rd and 2nd avenues, totally a bizarre, New York place.

After dinner I headed back uptown, grocery shopped part two, and came back to my apartment around 9:30 to shower, collapse, and write this blog.  I have to admit I feel a little guilty when I tell people I am staying on the UES: It is so swank, kind of Disney-ish in an odd way, very much not where I thought I’d be living when I found out I’d be here this summer.  It is a  different part of New York than where I go to socialize, but I have to admit, the proximity to work is awesome.  I’m sure after living here for a bit or so I will find the restaurants and cozy parts of the neighborhood, and make it my own.  And the LES (Lower East Side) is a mere fifteen minute subway ride away when I want it!

Exhausted, time for bed.  Not sure what I am doing tomorrow night, but the rest of the weekend will be filled with a park day in Brooklyn on Saturday and a Tony Awards watching party on Sunday.  Speaking of which, I leave you with this affirmation of both mine and my sister’s existence, which is displayed right across the street from my apartment:

I Broadway therefore I am.  Aren't we all.
I Broadway therefore I am. Aren't we all.

Pig Neighbors

Picking up where I left off yesterday:

I went to Madison Square Park with my awesome fantasy novel which does not in any way shape or form label me a giant nerd, and sat on a park bench and read and watched the puppies/children/hipsters in strange clothing.  I gawked at the extremely long line for the Shake Shack and decided that one day I should get a milkshake there, because milkshakes are delicious.  I also guarded my purse from KILLER SQUIRRELS who were obscenely socialized because people kept putting them in their laps and FEEDING THEM.  One squirrel actually came up to me while I was reading and poked his face and paws into my handbag.  I promptly got up and moved to a less squirrel-infested area of the park.

My dear dear dear dear dear friend Philip Chernyak called and I went to Hell’s Kitchen to meet him for dinner.  We ate Turkish food.  I had some kebabs.  I also took some kebabs home to eat for lunch today.  Then I had Pinkberry–mind you, I’d had Red Mango earlier in the day.  No such thing as too much tart frozen yogurt, says I.

I came back to Santosh’s and turned on the basketball game, about whcih we will not speak.  Santosh and friends returned from painting an apartment.  They were paint-spattered, but Santosh was joyous, for his team won.   Massive Cleveland failure, sigh.

A Magic fan and a Lakers fan walk into a bar...
A Magic fan and a Lakers fan walk into a bar...

Anyhow, festivities occured–I’ll just say that we went to a bar called Drop Off Service and didn’t get home until 4:00.  Sometime during this period I consumed a grilled cheese sandwich.  Also delicious.

This morning, or should I say this early afternoon because I slept in and it was glorious, I headed uptown to see the Salute to Israel Parade which commemorated Tel Aviv’s 100th anniversary.  The event wasn’t a parade so much as many groups of people marching up 5th Avenue waving Israeli flags.  Much Israeli pride, many many many New York Jews and adorable children, some Israeli music I recognized from my days at the JCC and Ramah Darom, and surprisingly few protestors.  There was a designated protest zone near the fountain in front of the Plaza Hotel, but otherwise the mood was positive.  Also, there was a troop of JEWS ON MOTORCYCLES.  I’m sorry, that makes me very happy.

Israeli soldiers.
Israeli soldiers.



I walked along the parade down 5th Avenue, and hopped in and out of a few stores (of course) and also into St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  The view across the street from the Cathedral always amuses me–Atlas, facing down the Catholic church.  Good times.

Humanism vs. the Church.
Humanism vs. the Church.

I eventually returned to Santosh’s, after a brief stop at Barnes and Noble to get the next book in the fantasy series which I am reading that does not in any way shape or form label me as a nerd, to collect my largest suitcase.  The suitcase and I traveled uptown to the apartment that I will be subletting starting Wednesday.  It was my first time seeing the apartment and meeting the woman from whom I will be renting.  The apartment is spectacular and I will be posting pictures once I am settled.  The woman, a middle school math teacher at a nearby prep school, seemed very friendly and was wearing a lot of Tory Burch and Vera Bradley, as well as a pair of pearl earrings.  The apartment is newly rennovated and a few repairs are still being completed, but I am looking forward to moving in–again, it is gorgeous, and extremely close to the Whitney.  Oh, I also saw this sign in the lobby of the building:

Don't worry, I'll get my own papers.
Don't worry, I'll get my own papers.

I left the apartment (my suitcase remained) and ran a few more errands before heading back downtown, grabbing some dinner, and returning to Santosh’s apartment.  Now Santosh and I are chilling, watch Dexter (so. good.) and generally preparing for The Week to Come.  I start my internship at the Whitney tomorrow.  Very excited!