Monday, December 06, 2004

Spent mostly a solitary weekend in Manhattan. Catherine's workshop was a success, but that's her story, so I'll let her tell it if she wants to do so. My story is much more straight-forward and involves a lot of silence, since I spent the weekend walking around by myself.

Arrived in midtown Manhattan really late Wednesday night, so late that it was actually Thursday morning. I'm not all about midtown, in case anyone's wondering, because midtown is all about money and shopping. Even if I had money, I wouldn't waste it shopping. But Catherine's class started out at NYU on 42nd, so that's where we were for the weekend, and since there was nowhere I really needed to be, that's as good as place as any from which to start.

Thursday was ours, so we went up to American Museum of Natural History for the day. Catherine made an appointment with one of the entomologists so we could spend some time "behind the scenes" with Alfred Kinsey's gall wasp collection. The collection is kind of amazing simply because it is so extensive, but it's a little difficult to appreciate gall wasp variation w/out a microscope. Still, the curator told us quite a bit about them, and then took us over to look at his specialty, the bees. We learned a lot we didn't know about social, solitary and parasitic bees, and looked at some really neat bees from central and south america.

We spent the rest of the day at the museum. I think the museum is overpriced in a way. You think--well, the collections are huge, it's worth the money, but they really only give you about seven hours of viewing time (if you take 45 minutes at some point in the day to eat and use the bathroom). If it had longer opening hours, I would have been more satisfied. Actually, I guess $13 isn't bad, but if you want to go to the planetarium, that's another $9. Or if you want to see any of the visiting exhibitions, like the frogs, that's an additional $6. Anyway, if I lived in New York, I guess I'd have a season pass and then it would be very economical, but as a tourist, I'm not sure if it was worth it or not, since we only saw about 1/6 of what was there.

Catherine had an evening meeting at the Museum of Sex, anyway, so I guess we couldn't have stayed at the museum even if it had been open until 9 p.m. Then we had dinner at the Japanese restaurant next door to our hotel, which I would recommend if I could remember the name of it. Also, I ate an Eli Zabar solar system (even though it was promoted as a galaxy).

Friday and Saturday I was on my own while Catherine was doing her exhibition design stuff. I started at the New York Public Library, at which I spent about an hour at the Newton exhibit. I almost bought the catalog, but I think I'd rather just buy a good book on Newton. I think you'd probably have to visit three or four times to really "get" the exhibit, but then again, I think it was aimed at people who didn't know much about Newton, so maybe not.

I spent most of the day after that just walking. I walked up the east side of the park, and back part way. Then I just spent a lot of time in midtown Manhattan waiting for Catherine to get back from class. I was really worn out, and I thought I was just out of shape, but I ran it through mapquest this morning and my north-south movement alone covered 9 miles. Obviously, my east-west movement wasn't as extensive, but I think I walked about a half-marathon with a pack full of books on my back, so that's okay.

I should have stopped walking on Friday and gone to the Cooper Hewitt or the Whitney, especially as I found out on Sunday there was a Noguchi show at the Whitney, but I didn't. We thought we might go to MoMA Friday night, but it was free night, so there were thousands of people waiting to get inside. My relationship--intellectual, emotional and otherwise--with MoMA is a bit complex, and I guess I'm not sorry I didn't have the chance to darken their doorway this weekend. I'm all about Modern art and all, but not all about MoMA.

More Japanese food for dinner on Friday.

Saturday I walked up to Central Park (because I obviously didn't walk far enough on Friday) and skated for a couple of hours. It was a pretty decent agility test, like being caught on a huge, moving obstacle course. Lots and lots of children. I probably should have gone to Lasker. One of the skate guards was pretty good looking, though, so that made it worth my time. I thought about asking her where she came by her skate cred, but it would have just been flirting and she was getting enough action from the other skate guards.

Spent most of the afternoon walking and reading at the Coliseum Books cafe. Picked up some spices for Garry and Amanda. Sat in the hotel and read and watched Love Don't Cost a Thing, which I just saw a few weeks ago w/white people, only it was called Can't Buy Me Love. Why would anyone remake such a movie? It boggles. It didn't keep me from reading my book, I can say that.

We ate an early dinner at Porta Rossa, very decent Italian food right around the corner from our hotel. When we got back to the hotel, Catherine watched Love Don't Cost a Thing, which, again, did not take me away from my book.

Mostly I slept on Sunday. We talked about getting up and going to the UN, but decided to just have a leisurely morning instead. A smooth afternoon flight, I didn't lose my car keys despite my stupidity, and the cats were fine when we got home.

To summarize:

I didn't shop.

I didn't see any shows.

I didn't spend much money.

The corollary to that, of course, is: I didn't go to MoMA.

I didn't talk to any strangers.

I did make snap judgements about people around me based on their cell phone and face-to-face conversations.

I did find a place for dogpoet to get another blue cup.

I did avoid every Falun Gong member that tried to approach me.

I did admire the sharp lines of the Salvation Army women.

I didn't do enough to really warrant a journal entry.

No comments: