Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Scent of Fine Italian Leather

I had a dream last night that I, among other things, had bought a pair of Nike Air Jordans. Very strange things creep through my mind when I sleep, some of which I don't remember and some of which I don't tell anyone, but this was weird. So, when I was a kid these were the fanciest shoes in the world, better even than those charlatan Reebok Pumps. When the third or so generation of the Air Jordans came out everyone wanted them and in Chapel Hill, where I grew up, damn near no one got them. This was the first time anyone had heard of sneakers being priced higher then $100, and coincidentally the first time kids started getting the shit kicked out of them for their shoes. I remember distinctly only two kids in my school having parents with the money to buy these leathery status symbols. One proud owner refused, for days, to leave the building during recess, and when he finally was forced out, did so with plastic shopping bags wrapped around his new shoes, for fear of getting them dirty. The other one took a more direct approach to shoe preservation by standing guard at all times. When one unsuspecting girl accidentally stepped on his foot he punched her in the back of the head. These shoes literally drove people crazy. So, I woke up deciding that I wanted a pair since I never had them when I was a kid, and now I'm basically a kid who has a job and income so I can buy myself stupid things like panda suits and expensive sneakers. I had planned on looking for them on ebay, figuring that someone must have an old pair that they would like to auction off for twenty bucks. While I was walking around the Buffalo Exchange I stumbled on the exact pair of shoes from my dream, in my size. Mag-fucking-nificent. Only problem was that in my dream, and in real life, I had no intention of paying $115 for a pair of used sneakers. I guess their ironic value caught on early and I missed the boat. I did find it funny that these shoes have exactly the same value now as they did fifteen years ago. And they are also still pretty sweet.

It Smells Like The Rodeo In Here

I went to the Guggenheim yesterday amid fits of torrential downpour. I hadn't been in years.

I hadn't been on the upper east side in a while either. I used to go to central park during the summer and watch the baseball games. I worked, for a short time, at an art gallery on 82nd street. There used to be a really cool pet shop where you could go in and play with the puppies. It used to make my day...but I digress. So, I used to work at this place called Talli's Fine Art Gallery.

Talli's Fine Art Gallery wasn't the first, and surely won't be the last job that I don't take seriously (I called it Talli's Fart Gallery). The gallery was basically a space owned by a very rich woman, or I think a woman with a very rich husband, who enjoyed taking the odd picture and pretending that she was an artist. It wasn't terrible stuff, just fairly lifeless and uninspired. A bit like Georgia O'Keefe in the floral-vaginal sense, only she never progressed into her Applebees-decor Southwestern cowhead period. I sat in the gallery for most of the week listening to records and playing solitaire on the computer. No one ever came in, in fact the door was always locked and I had to open it for any potential buyers. There were never any potential buyers. We had one 'opening' when I was working there. It was a wine and cheese party for the same pictures that had been gathering dust on the walls for years. The phone never rang unless it was Talli, the owner of the gallery checking to see if I was there. After a few weeks I grew tired of the gallery and would sit on the front stoop with the cordless phone and read. Then I started going across the street to the pizza place and hanging out, realizing that the phone worked over there as well. I could provide a brief list of all of the places in the neighborhood that the cordless phone worked (delis, the record store..), but you get the idea. I wasn't really in the gallery at all towards the end, but still fielding the odd phone call from the owner. Good times. So, the whole point of this story, other than giving you perspective on what an enterprising slacker I can be at times, was that the gallery was a few blocks from the Met and the Guggenheim, where I was yesterday.

I was bummed. I had been planning on going to the MOMA (which I promptly renamed the Museum of Modern Assholes) but it is closed on Tuesdays. As is the Whitney. So I went to the Guggenheim. Not that I mind it at all, but while it is a totally iconic building, I find it to be a mess inside with very little gallery space, natural light and personality. Ha, listen to me talk shit about Frank Lloyd Wright. Anywho, there was a show at the Guggenheim yesterday based on Zaha Hadid's architecture. I thought that his stuff was pretty amazing, but it covered almost the entire museum. All I wanted to do was go and stare at a few blue Picassos and call it a day, but instead I paid 18 bucks (damn straight) to look at drawings of buildings. The last time I saw the Guggenheim devote it's entire space to an artist they let Matthew Barney cover the third floor in vaseline, install a pool on the ground floor and have Murphey's Law and Agnostic Front play. Not that blueprints aren't exciting but COME ON. Adding insult to injury the only two galleries that were open were showing my two least favorite artists (I swear I am almost done being a snob) Vladimir Kandinsky (I just don't like his stuff) and Jackson Pollock (I can cope with the drippy stuff, but this was his early autism sketches). There. Wait. I was being negative about the experience mostly because a few years ago I went to the Guggenheim in Bilbao, and it was a really incredible trip. Granted it was Spain in the summertime and we managed to do ourselves in with some medical-grade hash, but it was amazing.
The Frank Gehry building is so cool. It's built into the existing city. It was actually built under a bridge and then back up on the other side.

There was a big spider in the sculpture garden.

And Scheid almost got us thrown out for being art.

After spending the day mostly walking around in the rain, all I wanted was a hot bath and a good cry. Instead I went to the Warsaw to see Dinosaur Jr. It was much better than the crying in the bathtub thing could have every been. Lots of people really hate the Warsaw. I kind of love it. It has a cheap, rec hall vibe and they sell homemade perogies and sausage.

The show was great. There were a bunch of guys who turned up looking exactly like J Mascis, one of which was thrown out about two songs in for trying to crowd surf, I think.

It was good fun. I hadn't seen them since they got back together and I'm a big Lou Barlow fan, so it was a win-win evening for me. Dear baby Jesus, how many amplifiers does one man need?

*just as an update-thing, apparantly someone stole all of the band's gear after the show. This is the third time that this has happened at the Warsaw that I am aware of. Maybe I don't love it so much after all. This is basically why we can't have nice things, because people won't stop stealing shit.


I am starting to believe that I live in the most grim corner of the world.

It was raining again yesterday. It tends to make me unhappy. I waterproofed myself and went out for a walk early.

Living in an industrial wasteland intesifies my feelings of despair, especially on days like this.

I envy those who are still out and about, traveling and touring. Especially those getting out of this mad city. It's been a difficult adjustment thus far. Maybe it's just the weather. It has been particularly nasty.

New York doesn't cope well with weather of any kind. Water, for some reason, vexes people in Manhattan.

I don't know too much about it. I went to a museum and a movie yesterday.