(It's Monday morning and we're back in Los Angeles. I did not get to our New York Sunday yesterday, so here we go...)
Sunday, October 26
My morning newspaper and coffee run proved to be more of a trek this morning. I discovered that our small neighboring Starbucks does not carry the Sunday edition of the Times, and it took a walk down to Grand Central Station before I was able to find one. Stopped at a different Starbucks--it seems that there's one for every block in New York City, for our morning tea/coffee.
Spent the morning catching up with the blog. Late morning, Ellie had a breakfast date with her friend Alice, which allowed me the opportunity to get some writing done. On her return, we took the subway south from Grand Central and emerged on Bleeker Street--where we had matinee tickets at the Lynn Redgrave (off-Broadway) Theater later in the afternoon. Crossing Houston, we found a Whole Foods with a cafeteria for a bite to eat, then ventured on into the unfamiliar territory of the East Village.
It's somewhat like SoHo a few decades ago--dozens of new galleries and restaurants opening up, and a lively, mostly young community. We made a quick visit to the New Museum on the Bowery, and were disappointed to be a couple of days too early for a Chris Ofili show. Lili Reynaud Dewar's show, "Live Through That!?" on the ground floor was an installation that combined video with recorded sound and draped material printed with a narrative that seemed to document the artist's sex life. Should have been right up my alley, but I found the "peek-a-boo" effect of the installation a little tiresome.
We wandered on through the streets of the East Village, stopping here and there in galleries along the way--but really more interested in the ambience of the environment than in the art. We did find one engaging show at Eleven Rivington, where the Brazilian-born artist Valeska Soares had created a kind of minimalist clock--we almost missed it from the street--with a gold pocket watch, its hour hand removed, suspended by a chain from a circular track that took precisely an hour to complete. A nice conception, neatly executed...
We had a good laugh at "Tail! Spin!" later in the afternoon. This satirical piece was an verbal collage of the actual words of four of our (most recent) libidinous male politicians--Anthony "I Was Hacked" Wiener, Mark ("Appalachian Trail")Sanford, Larry ("Wide Stance") Craig and Mark ("Congressional Pages") Foley. Having heard about it in Los Angles, I was anxious to see it because it fits in so well with my current interest in men behaving badly--which is after all the topic of The Pilgrim's Staff. I plan to write a review of the show to post on the blog. Enough to say, for the moment, that the show was as hilarious as you might expect.
After the theater, we took a taxi back uptown and stopped for dinner at Davio's, an elegant Northern Italian restaurant on Lexington. Excellent food, and excellent service--and really our one and only elegant dinner in New York.
Monday, October 27
Our return flight to Los Angeles was not scheduled to leave until later afternoon, which left us time to head up to the Met after breakfast, to complete our visit to the Cubist show, cut short earlier in the week by museum closing time. I liked it better on the second visit, which allowed us some more leisurely time with the second half of the show, devoted to Juan Gris and Fernand Leger--both of whom, I thought, came off very well in the Lauder collection. I enjoyed the "mystery/thriller" aspect of Gris' work, which I had not known about before; and Leger seemed colorful, lively and full of the human interest I found lacking in both Picasso and Braque.
Back to the hotel after lunch to pick up our bags, in nice time to head out to JFK to catch out Jet Blue flight back to Los Angeles. A relatively quick and easy flight, with crosswords and a thriller to finish. And a car to drive us home, where George was quite pleased to have us back...