Saturday, October 25, 2008

oh, those big, big apples

Hello, everyone!

Much to all of my dear readers' disappointments, I have not written in quite a while. However, be satisfied to know that it was not all in vain, this lack of communication.
On a whim, I purchased a ticket to new York city just 10 days ago. I landed at LaGuardia last monday, eyes open, and heart desperate for some city time.
You see, as much as Chattanooga may have a blooming arts community, and as lucky as I am to work in a studio doing what I love, every girl has got to get her museum time in. And what better way to cure the small-town blues than diving head-first into the art mecca of North America.
First of all, I have to say that being from New York originally, it is not always a place where one can find the solace and quiet needed to experience great art. But then again, New York is a place of irony.
For example, you can feel most alone around the whirling hoards of tourists and shoppers. You can find a millionaire getting his or her shoes just as s*%t -covered as anyone else. You can get pooped on by a pigeon during a moment of sheer bliss. You can watch couples in matching Hawaiian shirts take an honest interest in the audio tour on classical art at the museum. Irony. It's really everywhere. If you believe in God, He has a good sense of humor as far as I am concerned, and there's nothing like 14 million people to show that off.
One of the best moments happened in the Bronx the other night. After a few drinks in the city, a friend and I decided to stop in to a local Burger King (the only thing still open in that particular neighborhood) and get a large french fry to absorb a little of the wine we had enjoyed. Wouldn't you know, at 2 am, the place is packed. Tons of random people, lots of gold chains, kids (yes, kids at that hour) and enough cologne to give you a headache. All at once, behind the squeal of a group of women matching sentiments about baby daddies, Enya begins to play.

F#*king Enya.

Burger King, transformed for that moment, could have been anything from an 80's interpretive dance recital, to a meditation room for sensitive turtleneck- adorned metrosexuals.
Like I said, if you believe in God, I like to think He has a wicked sense of irony.
Another brilliant moment was in SoHo yesterday with my sister, Veronique. I had just decided that my new ritual would be to buy a ring on every trip I take to commemorate my experiences (I needed a reason to buy a ring, ok). We are walking down a busy street, and I see a vendor. I see a cute plastic yellow ring, and decide this to be my prop for the week. The guy says 2 for $5. Great! Now Veronique can start a tradition too. As I am oggling her to pick one, the guy says "make it 3 for $5". And then "or even 4 for $5". hmm. I pull out a $20 bill, and say we just need 2 rings. He looks at the bill, and says he does not have change. I think to myself two things: "c'mon, dude, this is SoHo on friday at 4pm... surely you have sold SOMETHING and have a few bucks for change" or "wow, this guy needs a pack of cigarettes, bad". Just as I am deciding the the latter is probably more true, a friend points out, without my saying a word, that cigarettes in New York are $9.
That would be, like, 6.5 rings.
Veronique, luckily, aids the situation and hands the guy a $5.

All in all, the week was great. A lot of walking, a lot of dreaming, some drinking, plenty of eating, and as many thoughts raced in my head as there are smells in Times Square.
One thing I did notice, in all the chaos that comes with trying to find my way around the Met, is how infinitely simple, elegant, and quiet true masterpieces can be. Like big, sleek, sleeping giants.

One last but most important bit of irony happen as well. I was sitting on the steps of the Met, sun outside, kids playing and laughing, and me feeling a little sorry for myself about some things that happened in Chattanooga in my personal life before I came to New York. I called a friend in Boston who is going through a second round of chemo. He said something that we hear all the time. His taste, smell, and senses are all different right now while he is going through the chemo. He said you never really appreciate your capacity to sense good things until they are taken away. Those are some of the wisest words I have heard in a long time. To sense good things. To sense beauty. To sense pain. To sense irony and comedy and foreigness. We forget. In that moment, the sun was warmer, and the wind smelled of ginko leaves. The old people in the museum didn't move quite so annoyingly slow. It's ok that I had forgotten, but it was even better to remember. Thanks J.


shopsmart said...

I loved the Enya part but I must confess....that little purple font on the black background really gives me retinal fatigue. At any rate, it is nice to know you enjoyed your random trip. Museums are definitely fun! I too finally used some vacation time for the first time this year only I spent it out in the woods. I think we both won. =)

jfb said...

Your welcome M!