So, guys, after over two and a half years of searching and doubt and self-loathing and anger and sadness and misery at the state of the economy, I finally achieved my goal: I have attained a job in the art world. I promised myself that this blog would not be a venting place for my fury at the universe during my job search, and I also promised myself that I could write a big, long, venty post chronicling my journey–but only when I achieved my goal of attaining a professional, full-time position in the art world. So here’s my post. I am glad to finally share it with you.
This is a big deal. I have wanted to work in the arts since I was sixteen and I took Advanced Placement Art History with the amazing Pat Johnston at Pine View School for the Gifted. I loved the course, excelled in the classwork, and got my well-earned 5 on my AP exam (I’m not still proud of that or anything). After the class I decided that a job in the arts, preferably in a museum or gallery setting, would be my thing, and I behaved accordingly, so accordingly that I can summarize it in bullet points y’all:
-I majored in Art History and English at the University of Florida. I wrote an honor’s thesis for my Art History major and graduated summa cum laude (I’m not still proud of that or anything either).
-I interned at the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, the University of Florida’s art museum, for a good year and a half. I spent one semester in the education department as part of a group initiative to plan programming for the undergraduate population at UF and I spent a year interning for the curator of contemporary art.
So remember last summer, when I was in NYC, and I posted on a regular basis and my life was way more fascinating? Well, that all sort of stopped so, sorry about that.
But I guess life should be fascinating all the time, not just when you are living in New York City and interning at the Whitney Museum of American Art. So I am going to attempt to find the interesting in the everyday. Please forgive the cheesy Hallmark Card sentiment.
Okay, so, what have I been doing? Well, I still work here, but I’m also working on changing that.
I’m watching a lot of this:
That’s Deep Space 9, just in case you are wondering. The station, built by Cardassians and formerly called Terak Nor, hangs out in space near the planet of Bajor, in a guardsman position to the Wormhole to the Gamma Quadrant.
In layman’s terms, this is a Star Trek series, and probably my favorite. Deep Space 9, being a stationary series as opposed to an explore-the-galaxy series, enables sweeping and epic storylines about religion and faith and prophecy and war and genocide and other mega-themes. It also stars this sexy man:
That’s Benjamin Sisko, played by Avery Brooks. He’s the commanding officer type on the series. He’s also the Emissary to the Prophets. If you want to know what that means, you should watch the show.
I’m eating some too. I’m making a lot of this chopped caprese salad from Smitten Kitchen, because it is fresh and easy. Tonight some chicken meatballs might happen. Lately there have been a lot of salads, also. I’ll post as things become exciting.
Oh, also, I went to Mama Dip’s on Saturday night, but since it was a last-minute trip I had no camera. I got fried green tomatoes, which were excellent and had a corn mealy crust. I had fried chicken, also reliably good, some better-than-average macaroni and cheese and some decent cole slaw. I’m sure that at one point this restaurant was awesome and soul foody, but I guess it has gone downhill since Rachel Ray or whomever discovered it. Also, I rarely eat fried food, so it always leaves me feeling heavy and gross. Probably won’t go again, but I can finally say that I went, and it was fun to break cornbread with friends who I hadn’t seen in awhile.
I have done some other things as well, such as visit New York City and check out the new North Carolina Museum of Art. I’ll post on those later, just to keep y’all reading.
Okay, this is my endeavor to get back to it. Let us hope it keeps working.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Anyhow, Friday evening was lovely, despite the horrid rain and humidity. I met Ashley at the Whitney, which is open late on Fridays, and which also had an evening concert in conjunction with the Dan Graham show. I believe this is the last of the summer concerts, but really fabulous events will be taking place into the fall regarding the show, so y’all should check it out. Anyhow, I gave Ashley a tour of the museum–I love giving my friends tours–and of course was all emo about Friday having been my last day. Sniff, sigh.
After tooling around the Whitney, Ashley and I stopped at Hale and Hearty for dinner and stopped at adorable puppy shop to look at adorable kittens and puppies including adorable King Charles Spaniels in the window so cute. We then raced to the Met to try to get in a bit of visiting time before it closed at 9:00. I left Ashley in the Egyptian section and did a quick-race-tour of the new American wing and the Afghanistan show. The new American wing is beautiful: spacious, airy, regal and dignified, though I’m not sure how well it serves the small decorative artworks. The Afghanistan show, works from the Kabul museum, was really stunning, gorgeous works in a gorgeous setting. This might seem like an extremely imperialist not-politically-correct thing to say, but it disturbs/upsets me that the beautiful civilizations of places such as Kabul and Baghdad have crumbled so ingloriously. That, however, is an essay for another day.
I love the Met.
Ashley and I then went downtown to meet up with Phil at St. Marks Place, though we took a detour to a used book store first and Ashley found the only book about Katherine Hepburn she does not yet own. We stopped at a shwarma place because Phil needed food, and then we stopped at Red Mango because I always need Red Mango. And then we stopped at an amazing Japanese grocery store because Japanese grocery stores are fantastic. Ashley was all flipping out because she rediscovered all her favorite foods that she ate during her brief time in Japan. We also bought a green-tea-red-bean-paste ball. It was sweet but I found the filling a little too gritty for my taste, so I gave most of it to Ashley. So cool!
We basically spent the rest of the evening wandering around the East Village, seeing what we saw, talking, bemoaning my impending departure from the city and enjoying the fact that the rain had stopped and the night was lovely. One of my favorite things to do in this city is just to walk and see what you see, with no destination in mind, just the meandering journey through the streets of the city. And we did see some fun, artsy things in windows. Including a sign that inspired this photoshoot:
Aw, my amazing friends.
We also walked by a window installation of a gallery whose name I could not find. Said installation was of felt-constructed severed heads on sticks. Piggy has the conch!
We eventually ended up in Union Square for a bit more discussion of things such as Xanadu and the singing of songs from Ragtime. At least I sang. Nyah.
Oh, two random celebrity sightings from the week: I saw John Oliver from The Daily Show in front of Cooper Union on Thursday night and we passed LIEV SCHRIEBER (!!!) enjoying dinner at a cafe by Union Square last night. Eee.
Allright, time to resume readying the apartment for impending parental arrival. I leave Monday (?!?!?) but am spending the rest of the weekend with the parents, so expect a few more updates before I head back to Chapel Hill.
Well, today was the last day at the Whitney. I got all emo and maudlin in the last post, so I will spare you all the details. You know I’m sad to be leaving, hopefully I’ll be back one day. Boo emotions.
Last night I went to my last Beer Crawl, which was a sparsely attended event at the Scratcher on East 5th Street right by Cooper Union. The East Village trek was an excuse to hit up Sundaes and Cones. They didn’t have taro, my go-to flavor (sad) so I settled for some strawberry cheesecake doused with hot fudge. I would have liked more of a prevalent cheesecake flavor in the ice cream but the hot fudge was stellar.
I also ducked into Toy Tokyo, which is similar to Kid Robot but a little more fanboy, and has a marvelous array of all things toy-nerd-Japanese. Love it. Anyhow, I’m bummed that the Whitney internship is over, I am bummed by the horrible disgusting humid weather, generally i’m bummed. Hopefully the weekend will revive me. Chapel Hill on Monday, extremely surreal.