Thursday, May 26, 2011

this charming man

Sometimes it feels like most of what I do in New York is go to concerts or "hang out." Not that there's anything wrong with those things (clearly I love concerts...and my friends), but there are so many other things to do in this city. As the weather warms up, I've started coming out of my winter hibernation and have gone to some great things:

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty
I can honestly say that I don't think I have ever been as captivated by a single museum exhibit as I was by the Alexander McQueen retrospective currently at the Met. It was ridiculously crowded when I went (on a Friday evening - bad plan), so I want/need to go back for a second look. As amazing as a McQueen garment looks in photographs, it is nothing compared to standing inches away from it, trying to dissect its construction and imagining the agonizing hours spent making everything look like artful perfection. The exhibit itself draws in even the casual admirer by creating atmospheres reflecting the dark moods that underlaid much of McQueen's work. It was a little eery, a little unsettling, but not in a bad way (at least not for me). Some of my favorite displays showed various garments/looks alongside how they were originally presented - the life-size chess game (actually inspired by wizard chess in HP!), the dress (below) that spun as robots sprayed it with dyes, etc. If you click through the link above, there's a video in which the curator of the exhibit goes through the rooms one by one. Definitely worthwhile, especially if you won't be able to see the exhibition in person. If you're in NY though - go visit in person!

In the fall I kicked myself for not going to see Rob Sheffield DJ at the Bell House during the Brooklyn Book Festival (actually I'm still upset about this). Just my luck, though, he was reading again from Talking to Girls About Duran Duran on Monday at BookCourt which is super close to my apartment. He read the chapter (vaguely) about Lita Ford's "Kiss Me Deadly" and then took questions from the audience. He was just as nice and personable in real life as he seems in his writing, and he was one of the friendlier book-signers I've met.
Last night I went to another book-related event, this time at PowerHouse in DUMBO. Christine joined me to have a drink, listen to some well-chosen music, and browse one of the more interesting bookstores that I know of. The space itself is expansive and multi-level, with rotating art exhibitions, interesting seating areas, and well-curated tables of books. My only complaint being that by the time we went out to get an ice cream sandwich from the CoolHaus truck, they were already closing up for the night. It was semi-tragic in the moment.

All of these adventures have taken place amidst a whirlwind of packing up my apartment to move on Tuesday! And, I'm going up to Ithaca for the weekend, so it's a good thing I'm pretty much down to the essentials that I'll need to dress/eat/sleep for my remaining few days here. It's a bittersweet move - I love this neighborhood, but I think it's time for a change.

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