Archive for November, 2008

Young Frankenstein, The New York Times,Giorgio Morandi, Tyrome Tripoli, and in and around the 2008 Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade

November 27, 2008

Well so I finally made the NY Times which had everything to do with my never ending role as a double decker tour guide for Gray Line which I have stuck to like velcro since September 11th, 2001 for then  what appeared to be fear of the bread line. The article (the online and print editions differ slightly) can be read here http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/11/26/gray-line-tour-guides-threaten-to-strike/?hp (and I will let that speak for itself: enough said).

The night before the article came out I finally went to see Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein” (having never seen the broadway version of “The producers” or the movie adaptation of the play based on the original movie the last of which I had seen).

I found the production excellent  and the retake funny (though there were a few jokes one told by Frau Blucher{ the double entendre within whose name which this theater goer is still waiting to figure out}which were enough to kill a dead man again.  The production is closing January Fourth and don’t wait to catch it in Vegas.

Next day was thanksgiving and joyous from the literary surprise I met my friend Tracey , her infant son Colin, and her friend Stewart (or Stuart) for the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade.  It was a logistical nightmare getting all the forces together and we settled for balloon, band, and float watching on west 75th street between the Kenilworth (home of Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones) and San Remo (home of Bono Vox, Billy Squier, Dustin Hoffman, Steve Martin, and Steven Spielberg:just to name a few) apartment buildings.

After which Tracey and I had brunch @ Nice Matin where last I had dined on the fortieth birthday of Dianne Kaston with the birthday girl, a friend of hers from Beverly Hills with a tremendous nose, and her nonagenarian father Henryk (perhaps the world foremost violin bow maker, a French chevalier,  the man who had executed  much of Salvador Dali’s jewels based on his art for him, and  who was carrying a self-portrait by Enrico Caruso in his breast pocket: not to mention having been the lead violinist for the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and having played chamber music with Albert Einstein).  It was scrambled eggs with fraiche and salmon time , it was orange buttermilk french-toast time, it was bloody mary time, it was mimosa time! Wow!  All the while outside there was a giant St. Benard on a leash which when it wanted something barked at its’ owners who were sharing a table for two with a view and when summoned the man would come out and throw the big doggie who was suffering the affection of many a passerby a treat.

Back to the day before I finally was able to go through the Giorgio Morandi exhibition (the first full scale survey of his work ever in the united States) an art event which I was looking forward to in part because Morandi is so pivotal as a reference point to the work of Robeto Azank an Argentine Still life painter for whom I have written two catalogue essays.

I was needing some coca-cola to get into the museum pay attention to something groove. Then when I did first I walked around the polygonal galleries of the Robert Lehman wing of the museum and read the wall texts while glancing at the pictures to the side. Then in the next turn after having had a dark chocolate candy bar with hazelnuts and currants (have to stay au courant candy and Morandi) and two coca colas I went back at looked closer and read about Morandi’s works’ relationship to Cezanne’s and investigated.   I was taken by one “natura morta” in particular with included an elongated vermillion vase.  Roberto Longhi, a friend of Morandi’s had said in 1964 (the year of Morandi’s death) to paraphrase……that the painters work was a testament to how much more important the inward journey is to the external ….. I like Morandi’s work but it sure can lack show business while celebrating a long reflective and passionate elegy to the comforts of resolve.

i then started in on the exhibit honoring the acquisitions made by the museum during the tenure of its outgoing head Phillipe De Montebello going back as far to his time as a curator of European painting in the sixties.  I only got through the first few rooms before it was closing time and so I ask for you the reader to give me leave so that this itinerant blogger can add motion to the cosumptive legnth of this far gone furlong at a later time.

Also just before thanksgiving and soon to follow my forty third birthday I attended an art opening for a solo exhibition by Tyrome Tripoli at the Y Gallery in the Jackson Heights section of the New York City borough of Queens.  The centerpiece was a large mostly blue wall-piece incorporating wastebaskets.  The piece was mostly within a blue chromatic range but also had a large piece of curvaceous industrial rubber which was reminiscent of some of Richard Serras’s early work (though his pieces stand alone where this is appropriated within a larger work bringing a new range of textural body to Tripoli’s work).

This piece “Geyser” builds upon an earlier work combustion which employed milk crates and as a base with other plastic objects which built outward going space..  These vertical wall reliefs if you will are seemingly create a new dimensional pictorial format for Tripoli (for more of this artists’ his work go to www.tyrometripoli.com.)

Among the artists who came by the exhibition on a rather cold November night was Javier Tellez who has represented Venezuela at the Venice Biennale and had video of five  blind men going up to and feeling the up  an elephant and the drained McCarren swimming pool in the Greenpoint Williamsburg confluence of Brooklyn( among the participants being “A Gathering of the Tribes’  cigarette smoking on his couch Dr. Steve Cannon) in the last Whitney Biennial.

ACDC, Tarry Lodge Redone Batalized, and Cindy Sherman @ Metro Pictures

November 15, 2008

There have been three highlights since the last post first seeing ACDC live at Madison Square Garden , second going to Mario Batali and Joe Bastiniach’s new Tarry Lodge in Portchester, New York, and third briefly attending Cindy Sherman’s first opening sine 2004 with the painter and tour guide Michael Zwack.

ACDC was amazing!  Tour Guide Ron Whitacker told me that they were playing on my days off and I planned parking my car taking the subway down and got a ticket while waiting on the standby line when someone offering a single plus the service charge sold it to me.  They opened with “Rock and Roll Train” which I thought was Runaway train and blasted on through to “Highway to Hell” with all the illuminated red devil’s horns flashing while Angus (Young made the devils horns signs afterwards).  The band was on and the cannon salute ‘For Those about to Rock” was astounding).  That night I got my ya-yas out.

A couple of nights affterwards I joined my mother and another tour guide for dinner at the Tarry Lodge (which is a redone version of the old Tarry Lodge {in Portchester , New York just before the crossing over the Byram River which brings one into Greenwhich, Conneticut} the buillding for which was there for over a hundred years and in the last incarnation was a family pizza joint which offered a full menu).  It had gone high scale offering pizza but a full tratorria’s selection .   The walls were glowing dark lemon yellow and I had raw tuna salad, octopus with baby potatos,  squid ink pasta with lobster, one glass of red wine, and grapefruit sorbet with panacotta for dessert.  My mother is just like the one in the movie with Ben Stiller by the  Farrelly Brothers”Along Came Polly” where the mother must try to humiliate the son she never fails to find some way to show that she is the dominant force in the world and that she has the power to destroy at will and she will (the only way to defeat her is to use her own treachery against her by having as little feeling as she feigns to possess).

Next having thought I had missed the Cindy Sherman opening at Metro Pictures the night of Dinner with Momzo this itinerant blogger phoned the famous Metro Pictures (a great name like David Reed’s Moving Pictures Yes! Non?) and found it was that night.  I got back from a Brooklyn tour (which becomes a Times Square Express like a caterpillar becomes a butterfly) and getting back saw Cindy Sherman/Robert Longo Buffalo compatriot painter and tour guide Michael Zwack(he is in an exhibition upcoming at the Metropolitan) and said it was now( lets cab it over there). He agreed to go and once there we ran into artnet editor Walter Robinson and looked at the work of an older Ms. Sheman posed for what seemed to be portraits of aristocratic women in elegant abounds perhaps one being Isabella Stweart Gardener the other perhaps a countess or the Queen of Hearts from Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland”.  Perhaps one scene was at the Cloisters? Perhaps the lapdog in another was real? Perhaps it was not?  Then we walked away as other friends of Zwack showed as well as John Waters in an iridescent Blue sports Jacket with black trim and a much younger man   ( though not quite a boy) at his side.  Then walking around to put his coat behind the gallery desk was the current Cindy Sheman boyfreind David Byrne of the Talking Heads with spiked white hair and a long black coat.  Mr. Zwack introduced me to Cindy and I was quite pleased at meeting the pretty woman with the nice blonde hair. Earlier we had run into Joe Franklin as we walked out of the front door of the bus terminal. We cabbed it back to Times Square and I made it back to hold sway on the eight fifteen night tour.

ps.  When i came to the part of the tour where I do the spoken word version of “It ain’t no party it ain’t no disco it ain’t no fooling around its’ not the Mudd Club” and then I say changing the lyrics “its’ C.B.G.B’s”… “I aint got time for that now” I mentioned of course I had just run into those words’ first ennuciator.   Of course now C.B.G.B’s is a John Vavartos store which you can go into and perhaps peruse some of the original posters and memrobilia which they keep alive within for effect.

On the Way Back from Florida

November 8, 2008

The trip to Florida was mostly family business and for that matter aftewards the highlight was the stop at a cousins multi million dollar condo spread on the seventh floor of a Singer Island condo highrise.  In the Palm Beach International airport with the flight delayed because of inclement weather I sat and had fish and chips outside the gate area and finished up but not quite Marco Polo by Lawrence Bergreen.

In the gate area I met a Central Forida family of about six (the whole family was not present ) who were headed to ahotel in TimeS Square.  They were flying to LaGaurdia and the father was thinking of catching an earlier plane to Wwhite Plains and training it in.  I cautioned himagainst this because he would have to get from the airport to the White Palins train station and take Metro North in and at that time of night there might not be anymore trains.  They were planning on dining at Virgils and I suggested other culinary venues.

 

Then a lady who needed a cellphone charge showed up.  I lent her mine and  she turned out to be a French Equestrienne living in Westport Conneticut.. She complained about much including the ability to get a reasonably priced appartment in Palm Beach five thousand for two bedrooms “c’mon people get with it this is a depression she exclaimed”.  She had well developed forearms like a seasoned horse rider would.

Voting and Back to Florida

November 5, 2008

So I had to vote and did so after eating breakfest thus just leaving enought time to get to the airport and go to Florida again. 

I saw the new Jet Blue JFK terminal which was more streamlined and less thematic than I would have thought though I did not really have the time to sample all the restaurants and I found the bars and coffee stands right in the seating areas at the gates amazing (though I try not to drink before or on flights any longer).  The flight on Jet Blue meanwhile was wonderful with a great variety of snacks and beverages and all those channels on the personal viewing screen (though headphones are a dollar I managed to talk myself into a pair for free).

I watched the election results come in until landing and got a toyota minvan as my rental (I have a toyota solara myself in New Yorkand after over a hundred and eighty five thousand miles though I have only driven it for over a hundred and fifty it is still like wow!).  I made it south from West Palm to Boynton Beach and found that the Catalina Holiday Inn during metamorphosis had become a Courtyard by Marriot (so goodbye Pete Rose Ballpark restaurant goodbye bases loaded French fries (oh jalapenos, melted hot cheese, sour cream, scallions, bacon bits-no good for me anyway but remembered fondly nevertheless- and yes there is another Pete Rose restaurant in Boca I will have to google as to whether it is still open).

Watched the election all night McCain of course is an admimarble man but hallelujah!….. Lets see what this country can do trying to do the right thing again (of course I am doing the writing thing again). Congratulations from this blogger to Barack Obama the President elect (and to be the forty fourth President of the united States).

I had a champagne in the courtyard lobby all spanish mission california contemporary red and yellow color schemed with silver starfish objets d’art and even a calcified alligator skull (teeth and all).

Also I must enter that last week finding the time to go to Broadway this itinerant blogger got to make use of the newly opened Times Square revamped TKTS pavillion….  and chose to see the fantastic restaging of Peter Schaefer’s Equus starring Daniel Radcliffe (of Harry Potter fame) and Richard Griffiths (from the History Boys) who (and lets be honest) should really shed a few pounds and stop smoking even if just for the sake of drama.  While it seems everybody older than I had seen the original Bway production with the very late Richard Burton I did not so being an Equus virgin it was an approached with much internal fanfare.

The staging while minimalist was fantastic especially the actors playing horses donning the metal masks hung overhead at the beginning of the play.  The acting was excellent and the interplay naturalistic. The ponyboys could have been in a Madonna video. Bravo!