2009 Resolution Check In

Here were my New Years Resolutions for 2009. Let's check in and see how I did, shall we?

1. Stop buying lunch and start brown bagging.
Mixed success. Not counting the period during the summer when I was away for summer stock, I probably carried my lunch to work 40 or 50% of the time.

2. Another run at a blog a day.
FAIL. For the second year in a row this one fell apart, being away from the city for the summer, and not having real net access really damaged me and I never quite recovered fully.

3. More sketching
FAIL. I haven't sketches on the subway more than a dozen times since returning from the summer, and I haven't even posted those.

4. Exercise
FAIL. I tried running while away for the summer and HATED it. Of course there was no flat area nearby for me to use, and Kid Flash tells me that hills running as a first start is a bad idea.

In all? FAIL. Not a good year for resolutions.





Too Modern for The MOMA?

Today Kid Flash and I took his family to the Brooklyn Museum of Art to see the James Tissot exhibit (which is AMAZING and if you are at all interested you should definitely see it before it goes back into their vaults. They own the whole collection of this work, 350 pieces, but haven't displayed it since the 80's.) While waiting for the rest of our party to show up we had a latte at the little Illy stand in the lobby. Behind us at the table were two older couples who were clearly art afficianados, they had a deep discussion of pottery glazing in its various forms, and they were discussing the various exhibits that are currently up in town. The most interesting though was that one woman spent quite a while expounding on how silly she thought it was that the MOMA had an exhibit of Tim Burton. She found it insulting that this "cartoon guy" was allowed to be shown in such an important institution. Of course, she acquiesced that she "supposed" people of a "certain generation" may think of him as iconic, but that she just didn't understand how he rated an exhibition.

Here is a museum who states their own mission as "helping you understand and enjoy the art of our time." Yet somehow it was patently offensive to this woman that Tim Burton, one of the more unique artistic voices of our time was being recognized. I find that sort of hidebound attitude in art to be spectacularly bizarre. Yes, I would probably balk if Tim Burton was being exhibiting in the Met, or perhaps even the Guggenheim, but isn't that the whole point of MOMA? MOMA has always been on the cutting edge of art exhibition, even to the point of being accused of being communist conspirators in the 50's when the art world was under fire from McCarthy. They've shown graffiti artists, questionable installation artists, and every objectionable art figure from Maplethorpe to Warhol to Haring. Is it just that Burton is part of Hollywood, or that a portion of his work is child centric? I've tried all day but I just can't figure why he had upset this woman so deeply. Any ideas?




Merry Christmas!







Video Vriday?

I present... my Christmas tree! This is my first time attempting to use blogger's video capabilities, so let me know what you think. I had fun creating it that's for sure, both the video and the tree.







December 2009 12 of 12

The last 12 of 12 of the year! Welcome to the 12 of 12, Chad Darnell's photo journalism project, 12 photos to capture the 12th day of the month. To see the other participants check out Chad's Blog.

Most of today was devoted to Christmas shopping and gathering materials for various projects that I have underway. First stop was the fabric store in Chinatown, and the art stores that are nearby to pick up some balsa wood.

A lamp shop in Chinatown. I always wonder how little stores like this stay in business and keep their leases in today's market. Are they the store equivalent of stabilized rent?

Off to another section of town. (Not on this E train though... have to wait for the A.)

Something about these Christmas candles seemed so forlorn...

It isn't often that I catch a section of town where a shot like this is possible, with no other buildings cluttering the skyline. I loved the contrast of the building color and the sky color.

A bit around the corner and after two different stores, a moving LED advertisement that not only goes up the building but across the sidewalk.

Stopped off in Central Park on the way home to scout a new cache location, this is emerging from the subway.

Down in the park, twilight was just setting in.

A while later I headed out again. A friend of Kid Flash's was having a small birthday party so we went over to the East Village for that. In the subway station this family was drumming on plastic tubs. It was really quite deafening up close, but was an interesting sort of natural soundtrack from a ways away.

Spotted this refugee from SantaCon wandering around the subway. SantaCon is an illegal parade, 1000's of Santas and Santa's Helpers converge on a spot in town that is kept highly secret until just before the event. I was really hoping to bump into them this year, to get some shots like this, but never saw them. Turns out that there wasn't a start point in Manhattan this year... sad.

The birthday party was at an Ethiopian place. (A very dark Ethiopian place, which made it hard to photographs the actual food, or any of the interesting stuff, sadly...) It was awesome food, though the idea of no utensils certainly takes a bit of getting used to.

On the way back to the subway to head home, I do love neon.

And that's the end of the year. Thanks to all the 12 of 12ers for your readership, and your own participation over the last year. See you in the new year!



Suggested Reading

So... looking for a new book? How about one about travel, exotic locations, bizarre characters, art, world history, cathlocism, and the hunt for a religious relic? And, it ISN'T written by Dan Brown.

I'm currently reading exactly that book, in the vein of "Midnight in The Garden of Good and Evil" it is a travelogue that is as much about the town where it is set, and the real life characters who live there as it is about the history of the Catholic church, and the history of relics and reliquaries in particular.

Calcata, a tiny medieval Italian town that through the vagaries of law became a refuge for hippies and bohemians in the 60's and is currently like no other place in Italy. It's full of liberal ex-pats from all around the world, artists, witches, warlocks, and the random flotsam of the left. It seriously makes me want to visit because it sounds like a fantasy that I've had since my first visit to Prague, living in a cottage in some foreign place and just immersing myself in some completely alien culture.

But the real kicker for me though is the relic that the book centers around: Il Santo Prepuzio. The Holy Foreskin. The only possible physical relic of Jesus Christ himself that could potentially be on earth. As a lover of the weird and esoteric mythological stuff that surrounds religion? Yeah... this is right up my alley. How could I not want to read about St. Catherine, the supposed "spiritual bride of Christ" who wore the foreskin as a wedding ring? Or St. Agnes who wished to see the foreskin so much that the Holy Ghost personally delivered it to her... by placing it in her MOUTH. I am eating this stuff UP.

In the end it is well written, in a very casual style that is an easy read, allowing the author David Farley to slip in the odd historic detail here and there without making it seem like a text book, or distracting from the narrative he builds about his year of living in Calcata. Sort of a summer beach book version of a historic text. Next time you are looking for a fun read I definitely reccomend "An Irreverent Curiosity."

365: Catching up on December











365: Finishing up November

Buddha on a bike, I really let that get out of hand didn't I? Alrighty, let's see if we can fix things a bit...