Tuesday, September 02, 2008

My Weekend - MOMA and more

Labor Day weekend. Unofficial end of summer. Last weekend to hit the beach.

Unfortunately for me, also the weekend before a rumored round of mass layoffs at my company. Which may or may not involve my job. We'll see. I'm obviously not betting on it, as you'll see, but anything's possible these days. Job security doesn't exist anymore.

Wife and I had originally planned the beach thing. We live five minutes away. But we're still lacking basic equipment like, I dunno, beach clothes, so rather than actually take 20 minutes to go buy some, we just decided to do something else.

That's the Museum of Modern Art. I've been there before but not since they remodeled it. It's all different! I felt like a MOMA virgin again. I remember the last time I went, the whole museum was just a series of small, cramped little rooms. Highly claustrophobic. There's still some of that, but it's a lot more open in general and it has all these little areas where you suddenly find yourself back in this massive atrium. You end up coming back at it from all directions. I don't remember that in the old building. And you can see all the other people doing the same thing in these little cutouts in the wall, which ends up looking kind of like a piece of art in itself.

Not much I can say about the art collection; it's massive and varied, and some of it I get and some of it I don't. I studied art in college so my tastes are no mystery to me. I'm a fan of Jackson Pollock - you need to see his paintings in person. They're very tactile. They're basically process art - you can see exactly how he did it through the layering of paint and other objects. (That's not just paint up there; there's all manner of junk embedded in his paintings, from discarded cigarette butts to house keys.)

I still think it's odd to go to the "design" section of the museum and see stuff like slinky toys and what amount to IKEA chairs sitting in the middle of the floor. MOMA's got a lot of stuff that I really wouldn't classify as "art" and neither would the object in question's creator. Yes yes, I know about "found art" - but "finding" art implies that it was somewhere other than in plain sight all this time. Otherwise you could "find" art in pretty much anything, and I don't really think that's the case. A rock could be art. A dinner plate. A 2x4 piece of wood. There's gotta be more to art than just what a person subjectively "finds" in any given object.

There's a big Salvador Dali exhibition going on right now, which I didn't take pictures of because it wasn't allowed. (There's an online exhibition if you want a look.) I don't usually think of myself as liking Dali - I often think of his work as obvious and a little simplistic in its symbolism - but I've never seen some of the paintings on display right now at MOMA and some of them are quite mysterious. I also didn't realize he did the dream sequences in Hitchcock's Spellbound. They've got a real set background from the film there, and it's quite amazing - about 20 feet high and 40 feet wide, and they've got the scene it was used for running right next to it. I had assumed that these things were always painted in color and then shot in black and white, but no - they painted in black and white too!

After the museum.

This is the scourge of New York City - this roving band of gypsies under the guise of a "street fair". They pop up all over the place in summer, blocking traffic and attracting huge crowds of tourists to quiet neighborhoods. What is there to do at a "street fair"? Buy cheap crap, most of it counterfeit. Cell phone accessories, poor quality t-shirts with dumb sayings on them, fake Gucci and Coach handbags, tube socks. It's always the same junk, too. There's also food, but then there's food everywhere in New York City.

This was kind of interesting:

Never seen that before, although I'm sure it's because I try to avoid street fairs like the plague. I'm sure this guy's been at every street fair ever.

Seriously, New Yorkers hate these things. I don't even technically live in the city anymore and I still can't stand them. When I lived in Queens, I actually took a baseball bat with me one day in case I needed to clear a path to my local Dunkin' Donuts through one of these stupid fairs that was happening on my street. (The bat was for show; I didn't plan to use it.) This one happened to be unavoidable as we went to and from MOMA - I have never seen one shut down such a major avenue in Manhattan before. Well, better there than in a residential neighborhood, where they're usually dirtying things up.

Dinner. Ramen at Menchanko-tei, which is right near MOMA. I got the shoyu ramen this time, which wasn't as good as the hakata ramen, but it was still really good. And they finally have beer! Actually the guy at the front looked at us like we were aliens when we asked about it - I guess they got their liquour license sorted out about six months ago.

One more thing I want to show you:

Bought another guitar. We're sharing this one. The wife wants to learn to play like David Gilmour so she needed a Strat. It was cheap, just $169, but it's actually a really good guitar and it looks pretty sweet too. It's not a "real" Fender, it's a Squier - but I tried out the cheap Mexican Fender Strats and in all honesty this guitar was better. That Chinese labor, I guess - enjoy it while it lasts. They'll start demanding better wages pretty soon, and they probably deserve it.

Well, that was my weekend. Oh, there was other random crap over the three days - regular domestic stuff, nothing worth writing about.

Now to prep for the onset of my six-month long Seasonal Affective Disorder... I'm guessing you'll be seeing fewer updates through the winter.

No comments:

Post a Comment

About This Blog

This is increasingly not a blog about Alphabet City, New York. I used to live in the East Village and work on Avenue B, but I no longer do. Why don't I change the name if I'm writing about Japan and video games and guitars? Because New Yorkers are well-rounded people with varied interests, and mine have gone increasingly off the rails over the years. And I don't feel like changing the name. I do still write about New York City sometimes.


  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP