Clinton & President

June 30th, 2010 § 0 comments

Adam Gopnik says:

In New York, the space between what you want and what you’ve got creates a civic itchiness: I don’t know a content New Yorker.

Moving is difficult. It’s not so much the physical act of lugging your things from one place to another, albeit an exhausting experience beginning with packing the first box to unpacking the last, but the psychological aspect of being in transition that makes it so traumatizing. All semblance of a routine full of familiarity and comfort disappears as objects are moved, and rather than facing the fear we might feel at not knowing if a new home will become a home, even though they always do, it’s easier to cling to our belongings. I watched my Grandpa horde objects throughout my lifetime, loving his clutter so much that I associated his belongings with his person, and moving his furniture felt just like moving the displaced man himself. While watching his things disappear from a house I loved was like witnessing a small kind of death, seeing familiar, though just as displaced trinkets in my parents various apartments over the years act as a reassurance that they are still themselves. I think about the infamous wagon-wheel-coffee-table scene from When Harry Met Sally when I trash objects I myself fought so hard to keep in my possession. The things that surround us have a meaning we don’t really intend for them to have, and seem to be the most convenient tokens of displaced emotions. Moving this past weekend I realized, only when I was returning the van and all was safely moved, including my most precious yowling Boo, that everything was alright. It’s seeing our lives packed and placed in a homeless state that is so unsettling.

Carroll Gardens

» Read the rest of this entry «

New Notes on Nostalgia

May 22nd, 2010 § 0 comments

T451733_09

New York City is a place that inspires a great deal of nostalgic sentiment, so passionate and opinionated that it often feels exclusive, like how we sometimes feel when talking to our grandparents. While the elderly tend to remember their past with exciting fondness, their dismissal of the present is always a little unnerving. Growing up with one great-grandmother born in 1905 instead of two younger grandmothers, I was always captivated by her quaint stories. At the same time I felt a bit wary of them, like the children in a Ray Bradbury novel who simply can’t believe that the elderly were once young. Just as we all feel a little like the first children to ever roam grassy backyards, it’s hard to accept that there ever was a time before our vivid present.

» Read the rest of this entry «

Assorted Thoughts About A Trip West

May 20th, 2010 § 0 comments

Sierra Madre

It was a busy weekend in California, spent driving back and forth between Pasadena and Palm Springs. Five days should be enough time to see everyone and do everything planned, but the visit felt rushed and incomplete as visits always do. It’s hard to land in a place and pick up where you left off, so much has changed and happened since I was last there. It’s the seemingly small task of “catching up” that takes too much time and is so important, and the bigger tasks of seeing and doing that get put off. Arriving, a childhood friend retrieved me at LAX. Last time I saw her I was a bridesmaid in her wedding, this time she brought her two-year-old and the baby girl on the way. As much as I wish I lived near my oldest and best friends, I can’t imagine going home and having them be elsewhere. It is odd enough that my brother is no longer there. I think of certain people as belonging to certain places as strongly as I know those places themselves. It always surprises me that while I have lived most of my adult life away from the people I know best, they still understand me the most. Sharing a past seems to a lay the groundwork of trust that carries us through the unexpected twists and turns of our more adult lives.

» Read the rest of this entry «

Published–Kentridge & The Nose

April 30th, 2010 § 0 comments

Where Art Meets Opera.
kentridge

The latest review of a messy multimedia experiment.

kentridge1

Less Than Picturesque

April 16th, 2010 § 1 comment

queens

astoria

Queens, for some bizarre reason, has a very bad reputation when it comes to its aesthetic virtue. In a show on NPR a while back the borough was humorously described as being less than picturesque, and I was appalled by its representation in the movie Julia & Julia, where shots of trains I take and buildings I walk by looked manipulated to make Queens even more discouragingly ugly than it actually is. Certainly it is not Manhattan, the island of architectural diversity and beauty, but I can’t make it less attractive than Brooklyn. I find Queens mostly made up of attractive residential buildings surrounding the train lines, suburban strip malls farther outward, and industrial warehouses along the waterfront. Beginning in recent years with Long Island City, the closest area of Queens to Manhattan, and working eastward, gentrification of sorts has slowly begun. LIC reminds me of what Williamsburg might have been a few years ago, after the artists but before the high-rise glass condos. While I love my neighborhood (Woodside)  with its little houses and tiny gardens, Colombian cafes and ethnic diversity, and its close distance to Manhattan and Brooklyn, it matters very little for my photographic purposes how picturesque Queens may or may not be. Often the “uglier” it is, the more interesting it becomes.

» Read the rest of this entry «