Thursday, July 24, 2008

New York City - general impressions

Manhattan skyline, including both the Empire State Building(L) and the Chrysler Building(R), taken from the Circle Line Tour boat on the East River.

Where to begin? That's why it's taken me so long to get around to posting about my trip to New York - there's just so much I could talk about, it's difficult to figure out where to start. So I think I'll start with some general impressions, and see where that takes me.

Let me just start by saying that I LOVED New York! I expected to think it was cool, and to enjoy parts of my visit, but actually loving New York kinda took me by surprise. I don't much care for crowds or noise or bustle, all of which New York has in abundance. I'm not really all that keen on big cities (I intensely disliked living in Los Angeles for instance). And I've always been just a wee bit afraid of New York. Though I've heard that it's much safer now than it used to be, a part of me just didn't believe I could feel safe there. But it turned out that I felt very safe there, day and night. Probably because there are so many people out and about at all times.

And that in turn contributes to this amazing sense of energy that just permeates the city. It was a little like sticking my finger in a light socket almost as soon as got off the plane at JFK Airport. The variety of people, just in the airport, was just amazing. People from so many places, so many backgrounds - just a preview for the true melting pot that is New York City.

Something else that surprised me about New York is how lush it is. I don't usually equate lush with large cities, but this one… The buildings seem to grow almost organically out of the lush natural landscape, and there's a lot more of that to be seen than I expected as well. I'm sure this sounds odd - New York and organic don't really automatically suggest each other. I'll try to explain. There are trees and patches of green, there's a lot of stone especially in the older buildings, it's surrounded by water, and walking feels like the natural thing to do there. (I'll have to try again later to put this idea into words I think.)

Speaking of walking around, I've got to mention the subway. It is truly awesome! Want to go downtown - walk a block and get on the subway and you'll be there in a flash. Any time, day or night. Want to go uptown? Repeat process in opposite direction. I want one here! And there's so much history in those tunnels, and beautiful tile mosaics let you know where you are, and in some places beautiful ironwork divides the spaces, and, and… After I got home I checked out a book from the library called Subway Style by the New York Transit Museum that talks about 100 years of history of the design elements in the subway, and it's fascinating. I wish cities cared so much about their design elements now.

I'll go ahead and stop here, but I'll leave you with some of the photos I took. I took over 400 photos while I was there, and I've loaded 70 or so that give an overall account of the trip to Flickr. Next time, I'll talk about more specifics.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Back home from NYC

This is a photo my husband took of me as we sat in the sidewalk cafe of Nice Matin (the restaurant in our hotel, The Lucerne) drinking wine and eating dessert after the opening reception at Square Inch last Thursday night. The expression on my face pretty much covers it. I absolutely loved New York City! I can't wait to go again.

The opening went well - had a good time, made a few sales (and possibilities of a few more in the near future), and a couple of new friends. Saw lots and lots of the city, though not nearly everything I wanted to see. It was exhilarating, and at times exhausting. I've been back home since Saturday night, and I'm still recovering. And processing all that I saw and experienced in that grand city. There's just so much. As I process, I'll start posting about it - with many, many photos.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

One more week to NYC!

Sound of Many Waters, acrylic/collage on canvas, 24" x 30", ©2008 - SOLD!!!

Just one more week! I'll be wandering around New York City a week from today! I've spent many hours over the past few days with my nose stuck in my Frommer's guide, and my mind is just bursting with plans and information, and I'm giddy with excitement. From the sounds of it, I might never want to leave. There is just so much cool stuff there. It is so hard to try to prioritize so that I actually experience the city and its offerings, and don't just exhaust myself.

So far, my husband and I have loosely planned the following itinerary: Tuesday, fly to NYC on Virgin Airlines, check in and find some dinner. Explore areas like the Village, SOHO and Chelsea, and maybe a little Brooklyn and Chinatown too on Wednesday, when we're likely to have the most energy. Thursday will be the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cloisters, Central Park, and St. John the Divine Cathedral - and the opening of course! Friday, breakfast with some relatives who are coming to town for the opening, then some other area of town, or maybe something we missed in the neighborhoods we've already visited, maybe MOMA - haven't really decided yet. And a romantic dinner with my sweetie. Saturday, a quick breakfast then head back to Seattle.

If you're a local, or just have a lot of experience with NYC, what are your must-sees in that city? What are your favorite places to eat?

At the gallery, I've had my first sale from the exhibit! It will be great to open with a red dot. Hopefully it will be the first of many. And Liz has designed a catalog with images of all 21 paintings, available here on LuLu.com as a printed book or as a download. She has also updated the gallery's website to include a page of available works for the show.