Archive for August, 2008

Since Coming Back

August 26, 2008

Since coming back from the Persian Gulf where I did not play golf (ala Tiger Woods) not that much has happened but some things.  I passed Ben Stiller ( with whom I share the exact same birthday November thirtieth 1965) who was filming “Night at the Museum 2” in front of the Museum of Natural History (though the sequel is mostly set in the Smithsonian). Finally told my  one hyper over the top hot yoga teacher to lay off and agreed to take other instructor’s classes instead.

 

  Did a backyard reading at “A Gathering of the Tribes” with the poet Ra (who is the indian Casino director in my original Worlds’ Biggest Shopping Mall Poem”) and his band.  At this gig where there was a very small audience I read  from”Circumnavigating the Topiary” (which you can read in part on threadless.com (just google the title) about transversal simulacra and such.

 

There was writer there named Leslie who is working on a novel set in the time of Louis Quatroze about  diabolical wives and others who poisoned male lovers or just relations. I relayed to he and Dr. Steve Cannon how this writer decided to give up on the Chinese angle for his next mall book because Sino malls just aren’t exciting and they agreed that I had not done enough reconnaissance [as in I should interview the entire billion and half people available to take my questions].

 

Earlier in the week I had gone to see the “Joseph Wright of Derby in Liverpool” exhibition at the Yale Center for British Art.  The one painting which struck this writer like the tradesman’s instrument was “Blacksmyth” which was represented in both versions (1771) where the darkened surround was rendered illumined by the red hot glow of the rod being molded(s’) heat.  The work itself charged up the quietude of the institution it was placed in.  In one version the blacksmith’s face was more flush the scorch embering it plum.  And lets not forget the representation of the blacksmith’s leather apron to the side.

 

Then on the last day (labor day b4 going to Venezia for a wedding which I shall bog on next) when I was doing the all day tour (Manhattan Comprehensive) we pulled along 1040 Fifth avenue where Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s residence when she was alive and current home of Candace Bergen.  There was a blonde woman geting out of an suv and I said that’s not Candace Bergen is it and some tourists yelled out “yes it is”.  I motioned to her from inside the closed bus and either she didn’t she us or she chose to ignore us.

Next it was off to Milan

Advertisements

Day Two Dubai

August 14, 2008

So while at the Jumeirah beach hotel I booked a desert safari which did not leave until four o’clock the next day.  Now that it was the next day I spent it watching the olympics going to the rooftop pool here(whose water was hot) having a couple of beers, and sitting in the Taj Palace lobby waiting for the driver.

It was about an hour into the  desert after a stop to pick up five more people the first two a couple out of the the endless stream of middle aged and older couples from Austrailia (these form Brisbane) and three Japanese (meanwhile our driver Ishmael was born in Dubai of to Bangaledeshi parents- and now I know after my father died why it is that Ishmael would lead me into the desert but what I didn’t then when I wrote the first part of this parantheticalized hyphenated sentance was that a later occurence blogged about in Milan I would run into Ishamel in a different format again).

When we reached the desert we met up with 28 other S.U.V’s which formed a sort of a road rally and later when we moved through the dunes it all looked very much like a high budget vehicle televsion commercial (or a vehicle vehicle).

We stopped several times for photo oppurtunities and refreshments and several land cruisers and such were momentarily stuck and had to be rescued.  Meanwile Ishmael was a real dune navigating Demon though once we had a steep drop and felt like we would turnover (he said this is why I tell you to wear your seatbelts- no shit).

We saw one lizard (it seemed to be blue, orange, and grey and I still cannot identify the correct species on the internet but I am workling on it after I develop the film it should come to me through reference checks) and next to it was like a albino pure white and seemingly just a skeleton but like an exact fascimille (freaky).

Then after another stop for water and soft drinks it was off to the camel farm.  Here people posed with a falcon and saw camels come running in from the desert at meal time.  In addition a one day old camel was seen nursing form its’ mother.

Then it was onto camp for dinner, belly dancing and among other attractions camel rides.  The sand paintings were for sale , the dinner was a buffet, the belly dancer was on for what like seemed forever , and though  spirited took more encores than say Barry Manilow.  Soon after the limbo interactive segment it was back intot he car for a tire air refill and off to the city to drop off the Austrailians , the Japanese, and finally me.

Once back I spent all night up blogging and drinking Arabian coffee.  The next morning I took the hotel shuttle bus to the airport but the driver stopped twice (once to drop off another hotel employee at another hotel and once to get gas) and then there was traffic by the airport and all of a sudden I did not have that much time.

Back to London for an interminable stay at the airport loungue which featured a bust of Issac Newton and endless free beverages to watch bits of the olympics.  Then an unmemorable flight back to Nyc to find that my luggage was delayed in transit (eventually I got it back).

Then it was back to work on the double decker where I decided to torture tourists with my Tales of Dubai and find out if anybody realy believed that this narrator had just been there.

Dubai Day One Part Two

August 14, 2008

Back at the Mall of the Emirates I forgot to say there was a black leather and rubber sort of inmate fetish coat @ Dolce & Gabanna I admired it was 21,000 dihram or midway between seven and eight thousand dollars. 

 After leaving the mall I cabbed in over to Jumeirah and the Burj al Arab the famous Dubai icon in the shape of a sail with a restaruant vaulted high above the water -and you cannot go in the worlds’  most expensive hotel unless you are staying there or have prior clearance as part of some high priced tour which stops there for high tea.

Next door is Wild Wadi Water Park the lauded aqua slide destination but I did not have a bathing suit with me so I walked over to the Jumeirah Beach hotel next door and did a lobby scan.  I concentrated on watching an overly dramatic well coiffed small of stature Frenchman flirt with the conceirges and leave them a big tip.  I flitrted with the thought of having the dinner buffet. 

I had the dinner buffet including labneh (the sour yogurt concotion) and then it was back for internet and  sleep.

Dubai Day One Part One

August 14, 2008

In Dubai for the first time.  Got a hotel close to the airport for a hundred dollars a night which has a swimming pool and Iranian, Fillipino, and Arabian nightclubs (none of which I have visited yet).  I got in and  slept for like an hour had breakfest and cabbed it over to the Mall of the Emirates (on the way seeing the almost completed Burj Dubai the forthcoming worlds’ tallest building which is already the worlds’s tallest structure and is a tall thing elegant sleek thing). 

At the mall of the Emirates I immediatley spied the ski slope and mulled having coffee first.  After passing on the beverage I signed up to learn to ski ( past forty and this was my first time and inside in the Persian Gulf).  There were five of us: a US reservist living in Bahrain, a couple form Manchester England, and a lady from Texas plus our teacher Machmoud).

It started with getting the skis on and off and then walking, then walking sideways up the hill and then going down. By the time it ended the women had given up the reservist had left to catch a flight back to Bahrain, and only I and the man from Manchester were left still standing.  Don’t get me wrong I fell several times and getting me back up was an epic event (one time i even knocked over the lady from the Lone Star State who made excuses for being winded and giving up saying she “made aliving sitting down and I said ” its ok when you get back just take up yoga” and once during a second class at nyc Bikram I knocked over a whole row of hot yogis).

Coffee is everywhere at the Mall of the Emirates they have two starbucks, a Cafe Havanna. a Seattle Coffee company, an art cafe (with Warhol, Haring, and Lichtenstein rip-offs  plus a rather pleasing cubist mural) as well as countless others.  There is even now a Thierry Mugler fragrance called “Pure Coffee” which comes in his trademark curved matted bottle this time metallic brown with a gold etoile. I doused myself heartily in “Pure Coffee”.

I was impressd the men in the long robes and the ladies in the burkhas pushing strollers together.  The cliques of vieled women venturing into Emporio Armani and Dolce & Gabbana (there must not be a name designer store on planet Earth which is not presently or planning to be in Dubai to take part in this present and future cash dispersment circus while according to internet sources there are currently $390 billion dollars of construction projects underway in the UAE* {which includes seven emirates though Dubai is by far and away the major spender).

Lets face it the Dubai Mall kicks Chinese Malls asses.

The forthcoming bigggest mall in the world is the under construction Mall of Dubai while the current largest on in Dogguan China was set to close in July.

In London on the way to Dubai I went to see the Cy Twombly exhibition at the Tate Modern,

August 12, 2008

In London today on a stopover on the way to Dubai and so I took the underground to the Southwark station and ventured to the Tate Modern (previously there had been a small chance that I would make an earlier flight and miss the oppurtunity to travel the now almost car-free tranquil precincts of the center city but that luckily was upeneded by three similarly dressed indian boys dressed in plum suits with some kind of rhinestones attached which had to be taken off and run through security check as well as their mother’s many bangles).

First I stopped for lunch which was a God awful plate of Shepard’s pie with chips (thought the cider was outstanding).  Once at the Tate I went to the press desk and was told about their crack down on press passes (though today they would let me in for future refrence in the future I must contact the press desk).  So off it was to see …Cycles and Seasons… a retrospective of the American artist Cy Twombly who lives and has lived for the better part of five decades in Italy.

I was quite suprised much of his work was very painterly; thoughtful, and earnest (though I do not care much for his minimalist period his work is like RIchter’s put together as a whole it begins to make sense).

On the way back an Indian woman with the world’s biggest butt smushed me into my seat and I saw a big-time Amy WInehouse imitator (with the whole hairdo the whole nine yards).. Then again maybe it was Amy Winehouse taking the tube into the city from Heathrow who knows whats in store?