Friday, June 15, 2007

"He told me he liked Turner..."

I hate children. Especially when said children inhibit my enjoyment of things that cost me money. It's a good thing my mom and I decided to see the American Museum of Natural History first: last week of school trips galore, chock full of obnoxious kids of end-of-their-ropes parents and teachers. To quote Mike Birbigs, it's "pushed my having kids back about 35 years." 1 in every 50 kids was maybe cute enough to walk away without my scorn. It's hard to be positive and happy (my new goal in life) when so many devil-children are allowed into public buildings.

Bethesda Fountain. What can I say? She is one of my favorite places, and YES, much of the reason is because of how much I love Angels in America, and NO, I won't be talking about that play in every post. Most likely that was it. Whatever the reason, I am still terribly and geniunely in love with the place. And this time, the terrace was open.

Last time I was in New York (and the only other time I've been at Bethesda) was when 1) it was cold as fuck, and 2) the terrace was under construction. I about cried -- for some reason it meant a lot to me that I could walk through and see the fountain. This time all was well, and not only could I walk through the terrace, but the weather was UNSPEAKABLY GORGEOUS! With the temperature being a fantastic, California-esque 72°F, it felt perfect. Not having anywhere to be and getting to sit on the edge of Bethesda Fountain, in a gloriously green Central Park, looking out over the lake to the boat house made for an amazing morning. The park really is a relaxation oasis smack dab in the middle of utter, touristy chaos.

From 9am to 6:30pm, we walked. From 46th St. up to the middle of Central Park and all around -- Bethesda then across the park to the ANHM and then back across to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. That's almost 40 city blocks, not counting the amount of walking we did inside the museums. We saw probably about 85% of both museums, which is saying something: they're frickin' huge.

We saw a pretty cool exhibit at the ANHM about collisions in space, at the enormous new Space and Science Center. I always get choked up watching things about space; I have weird emotional reactions to infinity and the unknown. Plus: the Northern Lights make me sad for some reason, maybe because I want to see them so badly. Anyway, the museum was cool, but the Evil Kids kind of ruined it.

The Met was fantastic, though massive and crowded. The entire time, Rufus' song "The Art Teacher" kept running through my head, and even though I saw many, many John Singer Sargents, I did not see a Turner, to my dismay. Oh well.

When going to museums, my favorite things to look at are the sculptures -- I can't get over the tremendous skill it must take to carve marble busts and bodies! This one (left), of mythic hero Perseus with the head of Medusa, was one of my favorites. They actually let me take that picture, nice. There were some beautiful ones of children, though I didn't get pictures of them. One, "The Babes in the Woods" by Thomas Crawford was gorgeous, and so incredibly detailed -- two children eternally sleeping in the woods, being covered with leaves by birds. Really remarkable, if you ever get a chance to see it.

With paintings, I'm an expressionist painting kinda gal. Kandinsky, Picasso -- I want their babies. I'm all about a little chaos and intricacies and emotion and shapes and things not making a whole lot of sense, and aside from all the great Picasso and Dali and Pollock, even Warhol (yes, I know, not expressionist, yada yada), it was a painting by an American artist, John White Alexander, called "Study in Black and Green" that really stood out to me.
I'm not sure why. Maybe because it seems so sensitive and vulnerable. I think it's amazing when paintings look so realistic, they could be photographs, but I prefer seeing the lines and strokes and how such simple movements can create such stunning images. I love her. I dunno. I just do. I have no reason or analysis, this is why I don't study art.

At the end of the day, cab drivers still scare and amuse me simultaneously. Honking always seems to be the right answer.

I need a drink. Luckily there are about 8 different Irish Pubs outside the hotel. Ciao.

PS. Apologies for my shotty picture-posting. Blogspot makes placing pictures difficult, to say the least.


  1. Okay now i think you HAVE to quote Angels at least once in every blog. the pictures are awesome- I gasped at the picture of the statue. funny you mention irish pub and soon after leave us with an italian farewell.

  2. To Alex:

    Yeah. I'm dumb like that.

  3. there's nothing dumb about it-- oh whatevs.