Sunday, April 02, 2006

we left for new york on friday morn, and returned to boston saturday night. in the interim we managed to do a massive amount of cityslicking.

friday

boarded lucky star and nestled on a fairly full bus. the stopover was at the sad, antiseptic, over-priced roy rogers, after which the ride resumed a greasy, french-fried aroma. i managed to get a couple more inches on my elfine's socks, reading a chapter or so of niknak's zizek book (on mit press). the sunlight got brighter, and we got ever closer.

arrived around 1pm, and we meandered about for some lunch. time to get some sustenance before checking into our hotel (which was booked just the night before, living on the edge). i didn't have any specific eatery in mind, but we wound up at sun dou dumpling shop on grand street.



spicy pork dumplings, scallion pancakes, and singapore rice noodles soon filled our empty, bus-ridden tummies.

and on we went! we had no idea what our hotel, the roger smith, would be like, other than information found on the web. you never know what you might find, but we were quite pleased when we got there. it's located on a stretch of lexington that also boasts the W new york, the marriott, the benjamin, etc. so it's a swanky spot.



the building is vintage 1930s, and the lobby resembles a gallery which presents works from rotating artists. we rode up in the old-skool elevator to the 15th floor, dropped off our stuff, and headed back downtown.

*subwaysubway* on to mondo kims in east village. (we stopped briefly at the K-mart to pick up some sundries, a strange cultural juxtaposition between strip mall suburbia and the urban scape.) kim's is a great enclave for avant-garde, underground, or independent works in the vein of music, movies, and books. think: barnes + noble meets other music. we browsed for a bit, and i really love the selection of music dvds and (maga)'zines.

after that, we *subwaysubway* to chelsea and walked among the huge warehouses and spotless galleries. our destination was eyebeam, an art + design center, and we caught it about 10 minutes before closing. the place is a little under the radar; have the addy handy!



also discovered this amazing bookstore + art space, printed matter. i <3 the leah singer tote bags!



we were definitely feeling the sun's heat, and already it was 6pm. you know what that means... *subwaysubway*



6-9pm: pay-what-you-wish at the whitney art museum. whitney biennial exhibition + friday night discount + unseasonable warmth = agora art experience. my chartreuse admission sticker fell off within 10 minutes, but we scaled the three stories of contemporary works despite aching feet and the massive crowds. i'll have time to write a more detailed personal review of the exhibition later, but one of my favourite pieces was the pickled film by tony conrad, below.



he took photographic film and pickled them (with vinegar, garlic, peppers) to both render them useless (exposed to light) and also as a physical specimen of artistic media. little did i know that the pickles would be a premonition to what was to come later...

after our time at the whitney, my feet were hurting supersore. i normally walk a lot, but this was a lot of time standing and walking on asphalt all day. we were to close off the evening with an experimental music performance at the stone (an experimental performance space under the direction of john zorn), so we *subwaysubway* to 2nd ave and plan to wander about for some dinnerstuff. we circled the block and got a little discouraged as we walked by lots of apartments, bars, and expensive eateries. however, we swung back to houston and, like a shiny oasis, katz deli was right across the street. i've always wanted to go there, and here it was, right under our noses!

hungry + happy!






i was extremely pleased by the copious amount of pickles served. everything was yummy and sated my cravings salty + sour supreme. not pictured: a chocolate egg cream, a black cherry dr. brown's, and a very full niknak.

the stone was only a couple blocks away, and it is definitely undercover! look carefully; the sole marker of the place is tinily printed on the dark door of a nondescript street corner facing a mobil gas station. it was a small cozy space with folding chairs set up. the lineup was okkyung lee (cello) and hahn rowe (guitar, electronics). unfortunately, good dinner + long day + ambient noise music = supersleepy christine. i was halfway awake and halfway listened, which resembled mostly a richly textured drone. niknak was there to pinch me when i nodded off. i do respect the musicians, though only until the last song did they laughingly admit that this was the first time that they met and performed together (it showed) and it was definitely a testament to technology's limitations when the laptop setup bugged out in the middle of the set (the guitarist basically gave up and did a workaround, connecting directly to an external amp). i secretly smiled when i overheard the couple next to us talk about 1369 coffeehouse in inman square in cambridge, ma! what are the odds, in this peculiar little place out in the middle of nowhere with experimental music performance? yay for home.

traced our steps back to midtown and slept uber-soundly. a lot squished in one day!

for next time, saturday's recap. i will give you a hint... cetacea.

spring break is now officially over. le sigh.

1 Comments:

Blogger cappuccinova said...

hello :)

i found your blog when googling "roger smith hotel" online. it is quite a relief knowing someone with same interest in art have had stayed at the same hotel.

how did you like the hotel? will you recommend me to stay?

thank you,
mingchun

6:01 AM  

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