Monday, January 20, 2014

our monday.

happy martin luther king, jr. day! ben & i somehow both managed to have enough time off today to venture out & play for a while...& eat kind of a lot along the way (both fortunately! & unfortunately). it was actually a remarkably satisfying day: we had a list of to-dos & to-gos, & we went & did all of them. not only was it fun to experience some new city things we haven't done yet, & do them with that number one physicist of mine, but i also love checking things off lists. i LOVE it.

so here we go:

we started off the blustery day (really, it was freezing today) at the city bakery. it felt like a really long time since we had been there last (& it was! according to this HERE that it's been almost a year now, & i think i'm misusing all sorts of tenses in this sentence), so it was good to be back. mostly good to be back with these delicious things:


sorry, so sorry for the blurriness. i wish i had captured better photos of this hot chocolate, because it's life-changing & some of the best hot chocolate...maybe ever? at least the best hot chocolate in the united states. also, that chocolate croissant in the background, that's even blurrier than the drinks, was thick & hefty & warm & delightful. a good good breakfast/brunch. 






slightly uncombed hair is quickly becoming the way my hair always is now. i tell myself it's kind of what everyone does (or doesn't do, as the case may be) here, but of course that's suspect. i'm going to call upon this blog post to talk me through feeling like i'm not the only one who feels this way about her hair, & to generally feel better about being really lazy with it all these days. okay. moving on.


grey, gray, windy day:



ran into this looker on the subway platform:


anyone want to venture a guess as to what "space womb" could possibly be about? we never did end up walking over there to check it out, so your guess is as good as mine.


after stuffing ourselves full of hot chocolate & those humongous homemade marshmallows on top, we took the train out to the moma ps1 museum in long island city. ps1 used to be an actual public school, but the effects of industrialization in the surrounding area meant homes with school-attending kids made way for the factories and buildings that are still there today. anyway, in the 1970s this empty, out-of-commission schoolhouse was converted into a museum of contemporary art. so when we were walking through ps1, there was still tons & tons of evidence that it used to be a school, which was really fun. 

the entire museum now houses a retrospective of mike kelley, an artist from detroit who worked from the late 1970s, i believe it was, until his suicide two years ago. it was brilliant, challenging, fascinating, subversive...basically, everything art should be. :) one article calls him a "perverse genius." it was incredibly fascinating to learn about him. you can read ps1's take on mike kelley HERE, & more about mike kelley in general HERE.


ps1 offers student discounts, but ben & i got in for free because both columbia & city college have this lifetime agreement with ps1!...or something like that. it was a pleasant, pleasant surprise. we also happened to arrive right in time for one of the two tours they offer every day, so we were even more predisposed to love everything about ps1. our tour guide was great - he had macklemore hair, & the longer he guided us around, the more i felt he also looked like macklemore as well. maybe? is it just me? that's him in the red:


this hallway featured paintings of philosophers, artists, & writers (all men, macklemore pointed out), & above each portrait was a quote by that person that somehow dealt with art & crime. kelley wants viewers to confront just how thin that line is between genius & crime and creativity & savagery. down at the very end of the hall (it's hidden behind that group of people in the photo below) was a painting done in prison by a convicted serial killer - sort of a combination of both those ideas of art & crime kelley's working with. the painting was this space-y landscape with fluorescent colors & it was a little creepy...but only after we learned it was by a killer, interestingly.



this quote from oscar wilde: "the fact of a man being a poisoner is nothing against his prose."


mike kelley constructed these birdhouses for his master's in fine arts thesis:


more birdhouses:


this tapestry covered with handmade stuffed animals is entitled "more love hours than can ever be repaid." it is always presented next to a table packed with burnt candles which is called "the wages of sin." one writer for the la times wrote this about "more love hours":

A turning point came in 1987. "More Love Hours Than Can Ever Be Repaid" is a big wall hanging,  nearly 8 feet high and 10 feet wide, the size of a standard Abstract Expressionist canvas from the 1950s or one of the market-worshiped Neo-Expressionist paintings then galvanizing so much art world attention. Composed of scores of used stuffed animals, stained afghans and cruddy crocheted dolls that Kelley scavenged from the city's thrift stores, it looks like a train wreck in a craft shop merged with a classic Hans Hofmann abstract "push-pull" painting. At the upper right and left corners, two quotation marks are made from bundles of dried Indian corn, visually holding this giant, American insecurity blanket aloft. A hippie devotional altar of melting, homemade candles stands to one side.

One of the decade's artistic Ur objects, it's the kind of thing for which the word masterpiece was invented. A devastating meditation on impossible negotiations of love and loss, both for society and for individuals, is embodied in those lovingly homemade stuffed talismans of intense familial entanglements. It hung in Rosamund Felsen Gallery on La Cienega Boulevard for the duration of a show there, largely ignored by the city's overanxious collector class, before being shipped off to a New York show. From there it entered the Whitney's permanent collection.

that entire article in the la times is great. HERE it is again.


these buildings are all the educational institutions kelley attended in his lifetime, from his childhood home to the california institute of the arts where he received his master's degree. interestingly, he reconstructed them (as best as he could) from memory only.



another really cool series from kelley, that requires a small introduction. so in the superman comic books, superman's nemesis brainiac steals the big s's home city of kandor, shrinks it, & puts it in a bell jar. he gives it to superman, who then has to watch over it & keeps it in his fortress of solitude which, after reading more about, i totally wish i had one of those too. anyway, so kelley noticed that kandor is drawn differently in every comic book it shows up in & so he started creating these fragmented, inconsistent versions of it. ps1 had lots & lots. here are only a few:



also super phallic, as macklemore/our tour guide pointed out.




it'll be cool to keep tabs on ps1 & what future exhibits they have.


plus, these lovely facades right by the subway station there in long island city:



so after museum-ing we headed back to manhattan & checked out the chelsea market, which we've never done before. it's kind of like an outdoor market, but with a roof over it. i guess you could say it's very similar to pike place market in seattle - but warmer? if that makes sense. so we had a lot of fun exploring & trying to take pictures of things without looking like tourists, which, i know i should not let that bother me but ack! sometimes it does. whatever. i need to calm down. but pictures!:

these cookies:



not cookies:





yummy spices:


yummy guy, who was looking particularly lumberjack-y today, which is everything & anything i could ever want:



chelsea market also has this really industrial, warehouse feel to it. there are exposed brick & wood walls, unfinished stone floors, tables with legs made out of pipes & gears, & more. 



but among all that industriousness! this pretty scene:



totally meant to focus on benjamin in this photo, but it's okay:









after chelsea market, we walked ten blocks up & 3 avenues over to melt shop. i feel like a billion of my friends have suddenly gone there lately, & documented their trip there & what they ordered & whatnot, so for a while i've been like, "i need to go see what all the fuss is about!" so today we went, & we couldn't have picked a more perfect non-perfect day. i mean, when wind chill is just extremely freezing & it's a cloudy day, doesn't a warm grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup sound delightful? it does. & it was:


plus i'm obsessed with their design & packaging. the thin cardboard boxes our sandwiches were served in! that black & yellow type! i'm starting to rate restaurants more by their presentation & font use than by any sort of food they could ever serve me. luckily melt shop delivered on both fonts...i mean fronts. :)


i ordered the truffle cheese sandwich, benny boy got the turkey/bbq sauce/bacon/cheese one, & we shared some tomato soup. needless to say it all hit the spot:



after melt shop melted our hearts, we took the subway four stops up to columbus circle, where clarke's standard is. clarke's standard is a hamburger place, but actually we've really been loving their milkshakes lately, so that was where we went for our post-dinner (it was kind of lunch actually? it was like 5, so maybe many would label any food happening in that time period as dinner?). but on to this picture of benjamin waiting so impatiently & excitedly right at the pick-up place for our milkshakes to be ready:


chocolate for both of us! yum.


well, that's it. after milkshakes ben headed off for a few tutoring appointments, & i came home to write up this blog post & work on that perenially soul-crushing thesis. & now i'm off to watch the bachelor & annoy benjamin as i comment incessantly & snarkily. have a good night!

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