Wednesday -Mental soundtrack ---> Matt & Kim -After all these years JetBlue is still my favorite domestic airline. -Was all prepared to be annoyed at the massive Palo Alto High School contingent on my plane, but then the 16-year-old next to me conversed intelligently with me about Christian Marclay, David Johansen, and Howard Zinn. My headphones still came in handy though. -Next time remind me to just spring for a cab instead of enduring SuperShuttle. -That first glimpse of the city skyline is still always, always magical. -My stylish little room and exceedingly comfortable bunk bed at the fabulous Ace Hotel. -Parsley and anchovy toasts + crab and coconut soup + salty buttery potato rolls + an Abita Light at The John Dory. -A Chimay and some early St. Patty's Day cheer at One and One.
Thursday -Mental soundtrack ---> Prince -A peanut butter-glazed blackberry jelly doughnut at Doughnut Plant. -Lower East Side history and a glorious new stained glass window by Kiki Smith at the beautifully-restored Eldridge Street Synagogue. -Josh Tonsfeldt at Simon Preston Gallery: spraypainted spiderwebs and faded photographs, low-key but surprisingly emotional. -Fakes and more fakes along a riotous Canal Street. -Saucy unmentionables at Kiki de Montparnasse. -Karlheinz Weinberger at the Swiss Institute: mesmerizing photographs of teenagers in 1960s Zurich. -Minted snap peas with sea salt + a rosemary white bean spread sandwich with swiss chard and tomato jam + a Kronenbourg at The Smile. -Dairy deliciousness at Murray's Cheese Shop. -Sunshine, old railroad tracks, and a creme brulee doughnut on the High Line. -Oysters with dill and vinegar + cod a la plancha with caperberries and paprika + spotted dick with Maker's Mark + a lovely French red + lots of laughter with Rachel and Julia at The Breslin. -Three women in a photo booth. Twelve pictures total. -Seriously freestyle comedy at variety show Muffins in the Window. -The Empire State Building lit up green for St. Patrick's Day. -Drunk people + police horses = high comedy.
Friday -Mental soundtrack ---> Cassie -A stop to admire the ever-amazing Flatiron Building on my way to breakfast. -A still-warm pretzel croissant at the City Bakery. -Miriam Cahn at Elizabeth Dee: intense semi-abstract drawings with their own interior vocabularies. -Karen Kilimnik at 303 Gallery: Avengers and '80s models in a recreation of a 1989 show + spooky new photographs. -Tomory Dodge at CRG Gallery: giant color-smeared canvases, pure eye candy. -Gary Hill at Gladstone Gallery: playing with perception via optics, videos, backward talking, strobes. -David Altmejd at Andrea Rosen Gallery: maximalist, intricately-detailed tableaux encased in Plexiglass vitrines and plaster sculptures carved right out of the gallery walls. -Thin-crust pizza with Pecorino, shaved asparagus, cracked black pepper, quail eggs, and truffle slices + a black cherry Boylans at Co. -Judith Linhares at Edward Thorp Gallery: eye-popping color in figurative paintings with a funky/cool vibe. -Sze Tsung Leong at Yossi Milo Gallery: hypnotic, straightforward photographs of urban sprawl around the world, rich in detail. -Titus Kaphar at Friedman Benda: witty conceptual work addressing the absence of African American artists from the history of art. -Duke Riley at MagnanMetz: mosaics, artifacts, and crazy-detailed drawings spin tales of hidden incidents from American history from an artist whose work first caught my eye on the subway. -Drawing with Light at Paul Kasmin Gallery: paper negatives from William Henry Fox Talbot and the like, revealing intricacies I sometimes don't even notice in the "real" pictures. -Gourmet yummies and a pomegranate frozen yogurt at Zabar's. -Hot sake + ohitashi + kitsune soba + matcha creme brulee at Soba-ya with Rachel. -A Boddingtons and quality hangtime at Scratcher. -Walking home without needing a jacket late on a warm spring night.
Saturday -Mental soundtrack ---> Kanye West -Cinnamon toast + Greek yogurt with honey, granola, and macerated fruit + gruyere beignets back at The Breslin. -His and her coordinated suit/dress combos, '80s-era Vivienne Westwood, and cutting-edge Japanese fashion at the Museum at FIT. -Bye Bye Kitty!!! Between Heaven and Hell in Contemporary Japanese Art at the Japan Society eerily appropriate considering current events. -Crispy-light spinach pakoras + a green bean and coconut bhaji + rice pudding at Dawat. -Sugar fantasias and a hundred kids hopped up on goofballs at Dylan's Candy Bar. -Browsing, just browsing at Barneys. -Friedrich Schröder-Sonnerstern at Michael Werner: sexual, mythical, scatological colored pencil drawings, completely engrossing. -Günther Uecker at L & M Arts: swirling arrangements of nails on wood and found objects, sometimes literally kinetic. -Nubia: Ancient Kingdoms of Africa at the Institute for Study of the Ancient World: a jaw-dropping array of artifacts from the kingdom that was situated just south of Egypt five thousand years ago. -I sing of Stumptown cold brew and its miraculous restorative powers. -The twilight dinner sampling plate + an Asahi at Hasaki with Rachel. -My last night in the city lit by the supermoon.
Sunday -Mental soundtrack ---> Prince, again. -Even SuperShuttle (despite their best efforts) could not prevent me from my JFK Terminal 5 rituals: a last-minute shopping spree at Muji and from a vanilla frosted from Dunkin' Donuts. -So Palo Alto High was on my plane back too. But they mostly slept. -Props to Ann Beattie's The New Yorker Stories, the perfect book to have along on a trip to NYC.
Wednesday -mental soundtrack ---> Neko Case -all the cool kids in the Oakland Airport boarding the plane for Austin on their way to SXSW -a little shiver of horror when I see the man next to me is reading Ayn Rand -chatting pleasantly with my Malian SuperShuttle driver about Africa...but still lying through my teeth and saying I already have a boyfriend -the always-awesome Chelsea Lodge -a Samuel Smith brown ale + a mason jar stuffed with carrots, squash, beans, wheat berries and farro with pipettes of fig balsamic and Austrian pumpkin seed oil and shakers of artichoke and beet powder on the side + mushroom and bread dumplings + peanut butter mousse with blood orange and chocolate jelly and caramelized popcorn at Klee Brasserie -the Gowanus Canal by night -Neil deGrasse Tyson delivering a Secret Science Club lecture on Pluto at the Bell House that had the entire bar hanging on his every word -a Czechvar and lots of adorably geeky boys -a slice of cheese pizza on the walk home
Thursday -mental soundtrack ---> Neutral Milk Hotel -wishing I'd seen Natasha Richardson in Cabaret -tea + orange juice + sour cream hazelnut waffles with warm berries at Balthazar -stumbling into Uniqlo and stumbling back out again with a cute new dress for $20 -Sun Xun using both old Communist newspapers and his own body as canvas in two wonderful animated videos at the Drawing Center -Ryan McGinness pushing into intensely layered paintings, sculptures and black light at Deitch Projects -three cheese macaroni + a glass of white at Freemans, cozy in the rain -conversing with former soldier Brian Laguardia in Jeremy Deller's It Is What It Is: Conversations About Iraq at the New Museum, the brand new building itself a happy addition to the neighborhood -the joy of seeing Trevor Paglen's familiar starry satellite photography at Bellwether Gallery, and wishing I had a few extra thousand dollars lying around so I could own one -Lisa Yuskavage's explicit painted ladies at David Zwirner that simultaneously attract and repel -psychedelic film sets by Mika Tajima, stairwell fluorescents by Dan Flavin, dreamy early Super-8 films by Derek Jarman and a rooftop installation by Christian Holstad at X -Yoshitomo Nara's radiantly grumpy girls at Marianne Boesky and his accompanying installation that made me weep by filling the gallery with one of my favorite Neutral Milk Hotel songs -jumbo shrimp sauteed with vegetables in a light curry coconut sauce + a coconut pyramid with tapioca pandan sauce and a sesame twist at O Mai -an opening in the Kitchen's gallery that instantly cemented Elodie Pong as my new favorite video artist -then downstairs in the theater Big Art Group noisily and vigorously deconstructed our present virtual reality in their new play SOS in which they used a dizzying mix of live-edited video, hallucinatory backgrounds and animal costumes -seeing names like Yoko Ono Lennon, Robert W. Wilson and Louise Bourgeois in the supporters section of the program -coming home to a full hour of live Ani DiFranco on PBS
Friday -mental soundtrack ---> Clipse -first day of spring = tiny snowstorm! -chocolate croissant + chai latte at Jack's Coffee -huge exhibit on the influence of Asia on American art at the Guggenheim including some gorgeous Whistlers, Bruce Conner's Sound of Two Hand Angel and a whole room of John Cage -Emily Jacir's evocative Hugo Boss Prize exhibit -tartine of aged Gruyère with cornichons, sundried tomato, sliced mango and a trio of mustards + Belgian hot chocolate at Le Pain Quotidien -at the Whitney: Jenny Holzer's gasp-inducing installations, Alex Bag's hilarious take on children's shows, a scribbled Sol LeWitt and a spectacular piece by Doug Aitken -tea and crisps -a glass of red + patatas bravas + tuna cakes + flash-fried sardines + a pear poached in rose at Tía Pol -feeling like I won the lottery when my waitress spontaneously complimented my heels -a live art battle in the basement of (Le) Poissin Rouge, though my favorite artist of the talented competing quartet, Venus, sadly did not win -a splurge on a cab ride home and on a slice of spinach and mushroom
Saturday -mental soundtrack ---> Jesus & Mary Chain -the city this time appeared to be full of ancient basset hounds, or else I was just lucky and kept running into them out on their walks -the hustle and bustle of Grand Central even first thing on a Saturday morning -a train ride to the Botanical Garden -lunch with a lovely view in the cafe -the crazy orchid people (and some amazing flowers) in the great glass conservatory for the Orchid Show -outside: bees buzzing, robins hopping and epic Henry Moore sculptures around every corner -a veggie dog with hummus, carrots and olives + green bean "frites" + a lemonade at F & B -Webster Hall packed to the gills with people there to watch designers make magical things happen live onstage at the Cut & Paste Digital Design Tournament -Steve McQueen live at the IFC Center to introduce his film Hunger, which I can already say with certainty is going to be one of my films of the year
Sunday -mental soundtrack ---> Stone Roses -did I mention that I had a bad cold the entire trip? -back to Klee Brasserie for a proper Viennese brunch: café au lait, orange juice, brioche, apricot preserve and butter, scrambled eggs and cheddar + warm apple strudel mit schlag -a SuperShuttle full of Dutch and Belgian tourists -the unavoidable temptation of the Muji store right there in Jet Blue's new Terminal 5 -this quote from Irina Reyn's What Happened to Anna K.:
The last movie Lev watched, Krzysztof Kieślowski's Red, with its alternate realities, its missed opportunities, the luminescent Irène Jacob, cemented his decision. He would not mess with fate -- it would either be Katia or waiting, for what he did not know, but a wife he couldn't get rid of would make his life unbearable. So when the clock finally spat out five p.m., he ran home and dressed himself entirely in black -- pin-striped pants, a black button-down, a blazer -- and prepared to find out which way it would go.
Derek Boshier: What the Papers Say, 1978 (UK). RIP, Seattle Post-Intelligencer. As much as I complain about the SF Chronicle, I genuinely hope it does not follow suit and cease its print operations. There's just something about reading an actual paper.
And on that note, I'm off to New York to run around the city for a few days sans Internet. No, I don't have an iPhone. Somehow I still manage to live. On the agenda: art, art and more art. I'll report back from the other side.