Visiting Boston

February 21st, 2009 § 0 comments

I have come to revel in bus trips, and since I still have that west coast love of driving, I enjoy the fact that I can enjoy the road without having to drive myself. The last time I took a bus out of the city it was toward Jersey, this time we drove uptown, past our apartment, past Yankee Stadium, through Connecticut and onwards. The landscape looked colder outside ny state, frozen lakes and rivers drifted by, and houses were covered in snow that has not garnished Gotham in weeks. It feels more American somehow, or less European, to take a bus, and I enjoy the stigma. I have yet to discover exactly why this form of travel is looked down on, but it should not be surprising to find that buses are as surrounded by cultural myth as the road.

boston train station

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The Unseen

December 3rd, 2008 § 0 comments

Sitting in the Dallas Airport once again on my way to Palm Springs, I passed my layover in the usual way by eating lunch and photographing out the window. Instead of catching the Obama plane like some I know, I witnessed something more sinister.

I thought at first a famous “someone” was boarding the plane fueling near my gate, as cars of an unusual kind drove outside the plane, and uncharacteristic people milled around the wings. I was taking pictures more out of boredom than interest, and I was watching mostly because the activity was happening in my direct line of vision. As I snapped away, the milling men directed a certain car into a specific place, and they themselves appeared to be assuming some kind of formation. The closer I watched the unfolding activity, the more I pieced together what was happening. The men were military officers in dress uniforms, and the car was a hearse.

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Outside the Rabbit Hole

October 13th, 2008 § 0 comments

Leaving Gotham, if for a day, felt like leaving a Las Vegas casino. Designed to contain for as long as possible, much for the same reason new york likes to contain—both trying to rob you of as much money as they can—casinos provide for all human needs. There are shops, restaurants, shows, concerts, countless venues to gamble away your money, women, stunningly fake architecture, and painted blue skies with round frothy clouds to stop time, or at least your knowledge of its passing. If all of these elements appeal to, and meet, your “human needs” then it is easy to forget how long you have been sitting in front of the same slot machine. Gotham has these same kinds of attractions but it replaces them with other “needs”, or perhaps it simply offers more. All of the above can still be found plus gardens, museums, a waterfront, parks, and so on and on. However appealing, the city still crowds and hems the landscape into something claustrophobically familiar.

new jersey

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Moving Mancha

July 6th, 2008 § 2 comments

Do objects belong to people or places? I think they belong to places until they are moved, in which case they are forced to become ‘personal’ objects. Maybe it has to do with the amount of time objects have belonged in a certain place. When M first moved away from our childhood home she took what she took, and the first time I saw her place I was disconcerted—the objects were familiar but the place was not. The longer she has been on her own the more new things she has gathered, and the old seem like watered down versions of the childhood memories connected with them. I have grown used to her moving about, and am no longer surprised by new locations or objects. Old furnishings don’t remind me of Castaic, they remind me of her. They are her objects and they belong wherever she lives, rather like servants. By contrast I like D‘s apartment because everything is so new, so clean, and so removed. The objects are what they are for, and are not holders of something sentimental.


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The Broad: An Aesthetic Display of Wealth

July 4th, 2008 § 0 comments

“In the state ranking for per capita arts spending, California currently stands last. The local budget for arts spending in Los Angeles is abysmally low. Exhibitions in the city’s public spaces all vie for funding from the same pool of five or six private benefactors (A in A).”


Well, they could have fooled me. Not knowing the funding behind to our county museums (LACMA) new expansion plans, I heard a great deal about the now open new wing—the new museum is fittingly named Broad Contemporary Art Museum after Eli Broad who’s collection it was (stressing was) supposed to house. My initial thoughts on the new addition and pending changes after my recent visit was, impressive; meaning not that I myself was impressed, but that I was meant to feel how impressive the changes really are.

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