I freely admit that I wasted my first trip to New York - not entirely of course, I saw George's friends Daniel and Zeke, and I saw cartographer , all of whom were great.
Also I went out to an evening called Women of Letters, which is where they ask several female writers to write a letter on a certain theme.
Five of the writers were (from the Facebook blurb):
- Acclaimed playwright and screenwriter of Academy Award-nominated 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' LUCY ALIBAR
- Acclaimed rapper and 'Sisterhood of Hip Hop' star NYEMIAH SUPREME
- Writer, former dominiatrix and author of 'Whip Smart' MELISSA FEBOS
- Beloved actress/comedian, vlogger and host of MTV's Decoded FRANCHESCA RAMSEY
- Moth-champion storyteller, comedian and writer MEG FERRILL
And I felt bad for all of them (particularly Melissa Febos, who was fantastic) because the sixth was Mallory Ortberg. She totally cheated on the theme ("Letters to my could have been"), but told an amazing story of an informational interview she had when she was in New York a decade ago. You will probably not be surprised to hear that her flat delivery was flawless.
In Philadelphia I mostly hung out with sinsense - I amused myself during the days by firstly walking around town finding a new pair of socks/underwear/t-shirt (because I'd miscounted what I'd brought over vs my access to a washing machine), and then secondly by limping not very far because I'd knackered a tendon near my ankle. But the evening was spent hanging about with her, which (sorry, Philly) was basically what I came to town for. I was introduced to the Bourne Ultimatum, she was introduced to Father Ted, we both spoiled ourselves for a crucial and controversial episode of Ru Paul's Drag Race (to the annoyance of her boy).
[New York 2]
I got more done the second time in New York - mostly Art because why not Art?
The Japan Society had an exhibition of Experimental Japanese Photography of 1960-1970, which frankly 50 years has not done any favours to - "We can still take photos of buildings, but they can be shaky now to indicate the tremors tearing their way through society!" "I can take a camera on honeymoon with my wife, and we can move from formal looks to the more intimate relationship that thrives away from the public persona. Now, get your tits out, love. No, I'll stay fully dressed, thanks"
The MoMa PS1 has the triennial Greater NY exhibition, 60 current artists' work, a lot I enjoyed and one that I LOVED - a video of the work and craft that goes into making the horrific gewgaws that get passed out at the completion of big business deals - some of it available on the artist's site: http://www.benthorpbrown.com/Speculativ
The Marian Goodman gallery has two shows: big photos from Jeff Wall of people in various stances of 'unreadable' and an amazing room wallpapered with the design drawings for the opera Lulu, currently on at the Met. Big bold blacks on newspaper (actually dictionaries!) expertly sketching people and completely covering the available area.
I missed the gallery the first time around, as it's in the Gallery Building, containing a bunch of them crammed in on different floors - I ended up walking around the block and was directed to the internal elevator by some of the gentlemen that carry stuff about. When I had to ask for directions to the Jeff Wall from the drawings, the NY Art Receptionist said "Oh, did you come up through there? Unusual." which added a spring to my step for the rest of the day.
And finally the Morgan Library was showing two exhibitions recommended by Anthony - Martin Puyeur is a sculptor but the show is of his drawings - but past sketches from his early life, they are mostly of his sculptures, several of which are also present (some in miniature). And there's an excellent exhibition about Matisse's history of illustration for books, including one which was nixed by the publisher after it became clear that he'd never actually read the book - the author was completely in favour, but then it was Ulysses.
[Jordan & Hamilton - not just race car drivers]
And then the last three days were spent in Canada - my friend Katharine has a house not too far from Brock University where she teaches, and as with the last time I made this trip 6 years ago, I largely spent it reading and eating and napping and generally relaxing - the night of the Friday aside, of course. And on Saturday I headed over a little further around Lake Ontario to Hamilton, where I met Anthony and hung around with him for a few hours, seeing his newish life there, visiting a waterfall, eating a Butter Tart. And then home, and seeing that Clovember has returned several of you (incl. sinsense!) to LJ, and good thing too.
Also last night the Planetary Scientist, who had been back home in Scotland for the last week of my trip, came back and came around. After a while we fell to talking, and while I was gone she got notification that she has both a proper post-doc next April in London, and some sort of bridging money until it starts, which she can use to stay down here and write up her corrections. And after a while we fell to talking again, and now I have a girlfriend! Her name's Jen.