Artsy New York

You can’t complain about the lack of galleries in NYC. I did the main ones and that’s more than most cities have, but there were still many I didn’t see.

Cloisters – way up at 190th Street, a strange thing to see in the New World, but balm to the soul after the hassle of collecting the New York Pass (definitely a bad buy for me) and more so because Suzannah had the unenviable task of ringing to tell me that Auntie Betty had had a stroke and wasn’t expected to last the night. As it happened, she ‘lasted’ several days, fading slowly but peacefully away. I went to Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral, NYC, for her, shed a few tears, and was jolly thankful I’d got to see her at Southport four weeks before leaving on my trip. I’d sent my favourite aunt a postcard the day before Suzannah first phoned.
Metropolitan Museum of Art – excellent, and more fashion, this time Alexander McQueen – from the wearable to the bizarre.
Guggenheim – OK. On the whole the building, Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous spiral, interested me more than the contents. Towards the top I had a sudden urge to roll down a packet of Jaffas. Just as well I didn’t have any with me!
Neue Galerie. Collection small, but interesting. Seemed to be more people in the gallery’s eateries. The only gallery where the attendants were …. shall we say, off-putting.
Frick. Amazing that this was a family home. Truly lovely.
Whitney and MoMA. Some current ‘modern art’ but the original Whitney collection (some on show) not looking at all modern now. After all, Picasso was born in 1881, and Marcel Duchamp was exhibiting bicycle wheels when I was only crawling – that’s quite a while for paintings you couldn’t decipher and ‘objects’ anyone else would put in a junk heap to have been around. One “piece” looked like wrapped lollies piled in a corner. If your child did that at home you’d make them clean up the mess! How much such creativity has been stifled over the years??!! OK, so my bias is showing! Always the exception of course. I adore Rene Magritte’s work and have seen a smattering in these travels.
My bias again showing in that I didn’t pay to go beyond the entrance/shop of the
Museum of Sex. “Been there, done that” as not a few women would say!

When art comes to sculpture, I’m tempted to ask: How many Burghers of Calais are there? And how many Ballet Dancers?? Rodin pops up all over.

There’s also quite a bit of Art in Public Places. The large head in Madison Square Park appealed to me very much. And a delightful thing about New York City parks – a new ordinance: Smell Flowers, Not Smoke. Some parks achieving the goal better than others but … way to go!!!

Then there’s “the arts” of a different stripe: I went to a Broadway show – Billy Elliot. Fabulous dancing, pleasant but unmemorable tunes, grating faux English accents. I loved the film. The musical didn’t measure up – I was dying to see the adult Billy come flying on-stage as a swan, but he didn’t. Nevertheless, the positives outweighed the negatives and I thoroughly enjoyed the expensive experience. (Haven’t seen a West End show! … Yet?)

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