For months the bossman had been listing the reasons why I should have been living in NYC and lamenting the reasons why he was in Pittsburgh. Reason # 976…. reason # 1010…
It was inspiring to hear about all the Quelcy fits in Brooklyn and beyond, but it was terribly unmotivating for my daily work life. To appease his NY pushes and my wandering sensibilities, I made an even longer weekend of the Memorial Day weekend and explored the big city anew.
I first fell artistically in love with Christian Boltanski at the Modern Art Museum in Paris. His work occupied two rooms in the basement. The first room was full of shelves containing international telephone books, in alphabetical order by country. My neighbors would attest to my odd fascination with forgotten telephone books, as exhibited by my backyard telephone book installation.
In that Parisian room, I had found an art soul mate. The conjoining room was full of children’s clothing strewn about metal shelves. There were so many scents, textures, colors and histories between those two basement spaces. The gods apparently approved of my NY plans for my trip coincided with a Christian Boltanski installation at the Park Avenue Armory!
[Description From the Armory] Filling the vast Wade Thompson Drill Hall, No Man’s Land is Christian Boltanski’s most ambitious project in the United States to date. This monumental work explores the signature motifs of the artist’s forty-year career – individuality, anonymity, life and death – in an immersive landscape that is both powerful and infernal. Incorporating 30 tons of discarded clothing, a 60-foot crane and the sound of human heartbeats, the installation offers an unforgettable and deeply moving experience by one of today’s most important artists. Curated by Tom Eccles.
As part of the installation at the Armory, visitors will be invited to record their own heartbeat and offer it to the artist as he continues to expand his Archives du coeur, a collection of human heartbeats from around the world.
I could be a part of Boltanski’s art? Surprisingly my heart didn’t quit working with the sheer serendipity of it all. My life felt on track as I sat in a chair holding a recording wand over my heart, and that moment was only the beginning of the trip. I still had so much more exploring ahead of me!
I had already been to NYC on several occasions including this adventure. Between the bossman’s guidance and my ongoing experiences, I had been discovering more of what the city had to offer to suit my personality. That being said, there are definitely a lot of large city NY things I find ridiculous… like a man accessory carrying a rich bitch’s tacky accessory. I had high hopes for a more original urban personality. Brooklyn was beckoning!
Fortunately, I had a great hostess. My friend Michelle took care of all my borough ambitions. My first Brooklyn meal was at egg. It was a dangerous first bite; so delicious were my pulled pork sandwich and french fries, I could have eaten there for every meal!
However, I resisted the egg enticement and branched out. We brunched at Blackbird. The dashing carpenter would have really appreciated Blackbird’s woodwork.
We ventured into Manhattan again for a cupcake treat at Butter Lane Cupcakes. A promise of pure ingredients and a chocolate, maple option? It was love.
If only chocolate cupcakes with maple pecan frosting just sprouted from the ground like vegetables!
Having worked on the Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival for a Polish Festival Director, I was just shy of Polish culture immersion. I had no idea there was a Polish neighborhood in Brooklyn until we passed this bakery window.
I was a little skeptical of the authenticity when I saw a hipster looking cashier, but she greeted us with, “Dzień dobry,” so I was ready to pledge Polish allegiance and bought a sweet cheese roll for later.
After this NY Times slideshow, I added Bakeri Brooklyn to my Memorial Day mecca. Sipping a delicious cappuccino and eating a delicate little pastry on a super sunny Sunday morning was as delightful as the chipping mint green paint on the interior woodwork.
My sunshine graced meanderings also led me to the Brooklyn Flea where I met some of the people behind People’s Pops. I tried a pop of the rhubarb spearmint persuasion. How refreshing!
It was as if the sidewalks and walls were calling to me specifically.
It was quite a colorful and rich Brooklyn meet and greet, but alas, I had to return home. However, if anyone in NYC (specifically Brooklyn) would like to adopt me, here are just a few of the perks:
Two dancing feet
Constant documentation and fun photo shoots
An abundance of baked goods
The use of the letter Q more than ever
Lots of free sarcastic commentary
A keen sense of color
Think about it. I’m ready when you are.