A weekend of people and art

Nancy Heppner, Dolores Llodra, Pamela Weinstock, and me, at the GNYM holiday party 2021.

It was a weekend of people and art: kind of exciting, kind of tiring. And now I’m getting ready for a long science fiction convention selling books.

10dec2021bFriday was Greater New York Mensa’s holiday party. Kind of a small turn-out, but a nice time. Well, except for the fact that Pamela felt the need to enhance my eyebrows with some of the cotton otherwise decorating the intensely decorated Papillon Bistro and Bar on 54th Street. Eh, it wasn’t that bad.

10dec2021cAfter the party, I walked to the subway with a new friend, past the Alliance-Bernstein Building, which has this cool globe in front. And here’s a close-up of it.

11dec2021aGot home late, and then got up early to ride the subway back into Manhattan. Got off at Canal Street and walked through the Lower East Side, seeing things I rarely see, such as this view of the Woolworth Building, and the Jewish Daily Forward Building (of which I didn’t take any pictures, but see this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Forward#Jewish_Daily_Forward_Building
or this one: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=jewish+forward+building&t=h_&iax=images&ia=images

11dec2021bI was walking through the LES to meet up with Michele, Mary, and Erin for the Interactive Van Gogh exhibit on Pier 36. (Talking about it yesterday, I learned that there’s another, competing immersive Van Gogh exhibit in New York City; I didn’t see that one.) I walked around the building, took some pictures of the river and the bridges, and got to the entrance right on time. The exhibit was very impressive, though not exactly what I was expecting (obviously, I hadn’t read enough of it before we went). It was less like an art gallery, more like an all-around-you movie with a (slightly too loud) soundtrack. The exhibit takes Van Gogh’s paintings, projects them on the walls (and floors), animates pieces of them, duplicates and overlaps them, and sets it all to music. But it has a definite start and end point, as we discovered when the display ended with a credit scroll after half an hour… and then restarted. Two of the rooms are smaller, very dark, with interesting mirrored sculptures. The third, large room is much brighter (and in this room, the displays are also projected on the floor, making us part of it all. Michele commented on seeing the brush strokes, and as the images enlarged on the wall, it was very easy to see the individual strokes. I sat there a bit, trying to decide if we’d chosen the proper spot, or if, like the cosmological principle, every spot was the center point, the focal point of the show. Whichever it was, I got a good dose of art. I noticed a lot of people taking a lot of photos and videos while in the exhibit, but I decided to just absorb it, rather than try to record it, so if you want to see what it looks like, check out the link.

11dec2021cAfter the show, of course, there’s the gift shop and the pose-in-it frame (with poor lighting), so I did.

11dec2021dThen Chris joined us for a nice brunch, and then Erin left us, and the new quartet went up to 14th Street for the Banksy: Genius or Vandal? exhibit. He’s a very talented artist, and some of his pieces really grabbed me, but overall, I was less pleased with this one. It might have been the repeated theory that Banksy is opposed to capitalism, consumerism, etc., yet he sells limited edition prints of many of his works, and the exhibit charged a fairly hefty entry fee, and of course there’s the obligatory gift shop at the end… Well, it’s not really my taste. But for those who are fans, this is a good display of a lot of his work (in a much more traditional gallery format). And as with Van Gogh, I didn’t bother taking pictures in the exhibit.

11dec2021eAnd after that exhibit, we walked up town to Penn Station to get Michele to the train. Then we walked around Macys to see the windows, as the mist turned into a light rain, and Chris peeled off to catch his train. Then Mary and I walked up town, through the winter village in Bryant Park, through the mobs in Times Square, and out past the tree in Rockefeller Center, and to Saks, where we caught the lights-and-music show. Then we turned around, made better time walking south on Fifth Avenue (past the Library, with Patience and Fortitude wreathed for the season), and got Mary back to Penn Station minutes before her train left.

Then I walked back to Herald Square, caught my subway home, and got into the house five minutes before the light rain turned into a torrential downpour. A very nice two days with good friends (and one of these days, I’ll learn to take pictures of the people with me).

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