Saturday, October 14, 2006

East Coast Tour Report - NYC

On Monday morning I returned from my East Coast Tour 2006. I think I picked up the flu somewhere along the way (perhaps on one of the planes, trains, automobiles, metro cars, subway cars, or cabs I used to get around).

I like to think I'm pretty worldly, but sometimes I feel like a foreign tourist even in my own country. I love that. I'd also like to think that, given the chance, I would travel around full-time, but that would take the fun out of it.

The point of my trip to NY was to attended a fantastic Internet advertising seminar on Wednesday at the NY Friars Club. I'm pretty certain I saw Cher and John McEnroe there. I spent the rest of the afternoon walking from the East Side to West Side, which took a heckuva long time, especially with a 20lb laptop bag (I have an old heavy computer, alright?).

When I lived in NY, I hardly ever ventured to the West Side, but that's where I was staying this time and I really liked it alot. I hadn't spent a lot of time in The Village either, so I met up with my Aunt Judy (my mom's cousin) at a jazz club on Christopher St, which was a lot of fun. The People Watching was fantastic, as I'm sure you can imagine.

Spent the next day doing whatever I wanted -- wandering down through Soho, Tribeca and the like. For the past 6 years I've been writing a novel that I can't seem to finish. It's set in the NYU area so I went down there and had coffee while I did some writing -- good inspiration, you know? The Starbucks had a great playlist going -- Josh Ritter, Guillemots, Devotchka, and some other stuff I didn't recognize. I ran into an old boss there from my internship days, and thought what a small world.

Had some time before my train so I went to the newly renevated and reopened MoMA. I only had about 45 minutes in there, but it was enough time to be thoroughly stunned by the collection. "The Starry Night" by Van Gogh, "Les Desmoiselles d'Avignon" by Picasso... some Pollock and Kandinsky pieces... Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein pop art (which fascinates me)... and "The Sleeping Gypsy" by Henry Rousseau.

When I was a kid I took art classes after school with a great teacher named Elise Harrison. She used that painting, "The Sleeping Gypsy" as an example in one lesson, and had us come up with our own Rousseau-inspired painting. The only condition was that our painting had to have each of the elements in "The Sleeping Gypsy" -- an animal, an instrument, a drinking container, a landscape and someone sleeping, completly unphased by the situation. I painted a zookeeper sleeping on top of an elephant, as the elephant carried a bucket of water through the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. He wore bells on his tail. So seeing that particular Rousseau painting brought back some happy memories and made me laugh to myself.

Took the Amtrak train to Philly, which is always an adventure. More to come later.

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