Category Archives: NYC

At MoMA: Tokyo 1955–1970: A New Avant-Garde

Last November, we went to the opening of the Diego Rivera murals exhibit at MoMA.  The line to get into the exhibit was so long that we didn’t even get to see the art – we just stood around, drinking (free) wine and people-watching.  Not so bad, especially considering the people-watching at these MoMA openings is pretty top-notch, but still kind of a let-down.1

Last Tuesday, we went to a MoMA opening and were actually able to see the art.  (This is not to say that we didn’t enjoy the free wine and the people-watching.  The people-watching was especially great: some guy was going around with a fake flower/tree sprouting out of his jacket shoulder.)

We saw  Tokyo 1955–1970: A New Avant-Garde, which opened to the public yesterday.  It’s a collection of some interesting stuff, but the exhibit itself seems too cramped.  Because so many of the pieces are so intense, I would have liked to see more white (or green, as the case may be) space between them – but pictures were stacked atop each other on the walls, and sculptures were crowded onto the same platform.  Case in point: three separate sculptures/mixed media pieces are displayed on the same platform in such a way that we thought they were all part of the same work.

What I consider to be a sloppy presentation aside, there are some interesting pieces there (including something described as molted human skin), and the exhibit is worth a view.


1 We did make a return trip to see the murals!

Do This: Discovering Columbus

At first glance, you might think that scaffolding surrounding the statue of Columbus in Columbus Circle means the statue is under restoration.  Not so!  The statue is in fact the center of an art exhibit called Discovering Columbus.

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The artist built a modern living room around the statue.  Before I went to visit, I had thought that the artist had built the Columbus statue its own living room, as though the Columbus statue was living in modern times and needed a living room, but it appears as though the Columbus statue is merely a feature of the living room.  (What gave it away: The statue could never fit into one of those chairs.)

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Just because the Columbus statue can’t fit into the chairs, though, doesn’t mean that you can’t – you’re encouraged to relax in the living room and read the magazines and newspapers (but not the books!).  We visited a couple of weeks ago after work, and we found the experience really neat.  It’s pretty crazy being so close to a statue that you usually see from so far away.

Now, my fear of heights is well documented, and I’m sure you realize climbing the equivalent of six stories up some scaffolding was not really my cup of tea.  Once up in the exhibit, I couldn’t quite ever get out of my head enough to totally enjoy myself – which is kind of a shame because the views were amazing, the exhibit is a neat idea, and every detail deserves attention, right down to the pink Americana wallpaper.  Hey, the important part is that I got up there, right?  And now I’m sharing it with you!  Go visit!

neighborhood Japanese

Last weekend, we (shamefully) ordered pizza.  A while back, my brother had tipped us off on some Papa John’s contest/giveaway/something-or-other, and, long after we had forgotten entering, we received an email awarding us one free pizza.  So last Saturday night, while I was stuck at home for work and neither of us felt like cooking, we cashed in our pizza.  The delivery was backed up, and we live near the Papa John’s, so we walked to pick it up.

On the way, we stumbled across Ganso, this new, trendy-looking Japanese place.  Our neighborhood, while rapidly changing in character (hello there, new Armani Exchange store), is still not much of a scene.  The restaurants near Ganso are the aforementioned Papa John’s, IHOP, and a nameless hot dog place.  We were eager to try it, and so we returned this past Saturday night.

We split an order of hijiki (if I had to choose a favorite sea vegetable, I would choose hijiki every time), and then each had a bowl of ramen: he had the short rib ramen, and I had spicy miso ramen with pork.  The bowls of ramen came out topped with attractive little piles of garnish – if I was the type of person who takes photos of her food, I would have taken a picture for you.  As it was, I just ate my garnish.

here, I found a picture of the ramen on the Ganso’s Yelp page for you

We were pretty excited to find this place not far from our home, particularly as the weather gets colder and it becomes soup season.  Less pizza, more ramen!

hurricaned

This is hardly late-breaking news, but we had some serious weather here this week.  Like most New Yorkers, we didn’t take the impending storm all that seriously.  I mean, we had a hurricane last year.  It was kind of a non-event.

Nonetheless, I woke up on Sunday and realized we should probably prepare at least a little.  We had nothing to eat in our house (almost very literally nothing: one slice of bread, some hummus that had gone off, and a handful of baby carrots), so I ran out to the bodega.  (It was far too early to brave the Pathmark.)  It’s fair to say it was a haphazard shopping trip: bread, dried split peas, apples, chicken broth, bacon, one can of soup, and gum.

We made a real trip to the Pathmark later that afternoon.

And then a follow-up trip that night for ice cream and beer.

hurricane supplies.

necessities.

And then we were ready for the hurricane.

Neither of us went to work on Monday, but we definitely worked.  At one point I was leading a conference call from the couch, while he was participating in one in the bedroom.  (Good thing we don’t live in a studio anymore.)  The wind was howling outside, but, from where we live, it didn’t seem particularly hurricane-like.

But that crane collapsed, and that facade fell off that building.  And it kept getting worse from there.

We can see the Manhattan skyline from our window, and we were looking out the window when that ConEd substation exploded.  The sky lit up green and flickered, and, if it weren’t for the context, I would have been convinced aliens were descending onto the planet.  We watched as more transformers blew and lower Manhattan fell dark.

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This doesn’t look like much. But that’s Manhattan without power.

We were lucky.  Our neighborhood fared the storm well: we didn’t lose power, we didn’t lose water, we didn’t have any flooding.  We have to cram onto shuttle busses to get to Manhattan, but that’s only an inconvenience.  My heart goes out to all the people who lost their homes or loved ones in the storm.

indulgence on a gift card

If you follow me on twitter (I don’t blame you for not – my twitter feed is a string of foursquare check-ins at Equinox, comments about how cold my office is, and other similarly thrilling content), you might have noticed I went to a spa after yesterday’s yoga class.  Had you noticed that, you might have been intrigued, as I am pretty low-maintenance.

(Sidebar: At the gym the other morning, I noticed a girl fixing her hair and make-up in one of the mirrors as I entered the locker room after my workout.  She was still working on her appearance by the time I left – after showering and doing my own hair and make-up.  That, my friends, is not low-maintenance.  Now back to the post.)

As I mentioned, I had been feeling really sluggish.  I felt like I was wearing that emotional exhaustion on my face.  Even after the juice cleanse, which improved things (although it was mainly internal improvement), my skin still looked … dull.

And so I headed off to Bliss Spa, armed with the gift certificate my incredibly thoughtful group gave me to welcome me back to the office (who says lawyers are heartless?), to get my very first facial.

Bliss Soho - image from Bliss's website

I got the triple oxygen facial, which is described on the website thusly:

This facial starts with a skin-type-specific peel then follows with a preextraction oxygen wrap, the necessary extractions, application of our Triple Oxygen cream and mask, an energizing, hydrating enzyme pack and a vitaminized oxygen spray. It’s like a breath of fresh air for your face, literally.

I can’t even tell you what most (um, any?) of that means, but it felt amazing.  (Except for the part where the towel across my eyes somehow exerted just the right amount of pressure in just the right location to flip out my left eyelid a bit.  That felt weird.)  My facialist (is that was a word?) was named Tess, and she was so sweet.  I can be a little weird about paying people to touch me (pedicures are the worst), but I felt totally relaxed with Tess.

And, best of all, I came out with glowing skin!  Yay, right?

ignore my wayward hair and focus on my skin

There are so many things wrong with that self-photo, but the point is that I look much more vibrant than I did when I walked in there.  And I feel better.

So much better, in fact, that I spent the rest of Sunday organizing our apartment!  I’m awfully proud of that accomplishment.  It was something of a Herculean feat.

Anybody have more spa experience than me?  Any tips to keep my skin fresh without the spa?

unseasonably warm

Yesterday was a beautiful day in New York.  The sun was shining, and it was an unseasonably warm sixty degrees.  We picked up a lunch of bubble teas and curried lamb burgers, and ate them on a bench overlooking the East River.  We strolled along the water, through Battery Park (where we stumbled across a field of mulched Christmas trees), and ended up on the Hudson River to watch the sunset.  Lovely!

Taro bubble tea.

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Hello, 2012!

The first day of January 2012 was unseasonably warm and lovely so, after joining our friends for brunch (where Caitlin made those delicious cinnamon rolls I had been thinking about since last year’s New Year’s Day brunch), we strolled down to Brooklyn Bridge Park.
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see the whole set.