Monday, April 30, 2012

When I Was Twenty-Four

April, 2012
Dear Imaginary Friends,

Once upon a time, after graduating from graduate school, I lived in this lovely building on lower Fifth Avenue. It was a small sublet, just one block away from Greenwich Village's Washington Square Park. My husband and I recently trekked up to Manhattan where we stayed at a hotel just a block away, and it was a great stroll down memory lane for me.
Now of course, the building has gone condo, as one at a time,  people have given up their leases. Seems to be the way things are going.

Despite the roaches, the crappy boyfriends, one and all, I loved living here while earning slave wages. 
I worked in sales at Georgette Klinger on Madison Avenue, one of the few sales jobs where no commission is paid. We sold series of facials, mostly, as well as skin treatments, makeup and various products. I worked for a swanky company, and I lived in a swanky building, and I soon went broke. The upside? I liked it while it lasted. And I danced at Studio 54 while living here, twice. Small budget, but living large.

Your Imaginary Friend,

Monday, April 23, 2012

My Front Yard this Spring

This Spring put on quite a show of flowers. The patience of gardeners all over America was rewarded tenfold.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Whitney Biennial

The Whitney Biennial

What's got people standing in long lines? Art!!! This month is the Whitney Museum of Art's Biennial of new and innovative art. The building is chockablock with artists, hipsters, gallery owners and their collectors carefully perusing the newest rising art stars. Among artwork that we saw: a Viking funeral boat atop a wood pyre, an artist's bedroom/ studio/ storage space, movies of people dancing, a paranoid schizophrenic's self-mutilation, a pipe organ playing bouncy music that had everyone dancing a little (including the guards), an installed room with clothes sewn and painted to reveal the body parts that they were meant to cover, et cetera. Was it truly all art? Not for me. But there were certainly some things only a museum could collect due to their size or ephemera. So maybe it is more about getting attention than anything else. 

An artist.
I think. 


Foodies! Tackle Greenwich Village in NYC

Dear Imaginary Foodie,

Where should I eat in the village, both west and east, in New York City?

Hungry and Dazed

Dear Hungry with the bad hair,

If you like Italian, and who doesn't, try Frankie's Spuntino 570 on Hudson Street, and dell'anima.
For desserts and snacks go to Cafe Reggio right off Washington Square Park. For organic, vegan or vegetarian, try Organic Grill. It is on First Ave by 7th street in the East Village.
Bon Appetit!

Need a hair re-do? Try Arrojo on Varick Street and ask for Jennifer C.

And you're welcome!

A Special Mormon Nightmare of Hell

My favorite skit or scene last night in the Broadway production of Book of Mormon was called a Special Mormon Hell Nightmare. 
It involved dancing and singing versions of the following:
a. Donuts 
b. Hitler 
c. Attila the Hun 
d. Starbucks cups 
e. Some guy in a khaki suit 
f. The devil. 
g. Johnny Cochran! He is the lawyer who kept OJ Simpson out of prison. Last but not least was 
h. Jeffrey Dahmer, who proceeded to try to eat the other bad guys.

Future possible additions could be bacon and Peeps.

What's Hip Now?

Well, I am so glad you asked! According to my NYC observations, what is chic in the Big Apple is:

Walking your pit bull.
Wearing a fedora.
Wearing colorful patterned jeans.
Serving hearty bread smeared with ricotta cheese. 
Being skinny because one walks everywhere and one cannot afford to eat.
Just so you know.
And you are welcome.

Strange and Hard to Believe

According the the play "The Book of Mormon",  the first century BC Jews came via boat to upstate New York-- Rochester to be specific-- where they began to war between the two rival Hebrew tribes. Yes, in upstate New York!

Another thing, God made all the bad people black in color to shame them. And God hates gay people, according to the Mormons.

Mormons never curse or say bad words and they wear magic underwear that saves them from fire. Hey, where can I buy some? Does it come in lace?

Ya gotta wonder.

The Book of Mormon

Dear Imaginary Friends,

Last night in New York, my intrepid husband and I saw the funniest play ever: the Book of Mormon. It took me five months to get weekend tickets. But it was worth it.

Leave the kids at home, because the humor is strictly R rated. The script is by the wacky and hilarious guys who brought you "South Park." All of the singing, dancing and acting were fresh and very original, if demented!

The musical is a crazy irreverent look at Mormonism and their missionary work abroad while maintaining a squeaky clean, albeit highly judgmental lifestyle.

The standing ovation was well-deserved.

By the way, if you have ever considered becoming a missionary in Uganda, you might want to reconsider!
Head on over to Broadway, instead, to the Eugene O'Neill Theater. The experience is pretty amazing.


The Russians: Are They Coming?

Washington, DC is very cosmopolitan, but one ethnic group I rarely encounter is Russians. Now I know where they have been hiding! They are all staying at or working at the Washington Square Hotel!

Perhaps a name change is in order. Something like "Little Moscow on the Square."

Washington Square Hotel

Dear Imaginary Friends,

If you should find yourself heading to New York City, you should consider a stay at the Washington Square Hotel right in the heart of the Village. Washington Square Park is across the street with its motley assortment of street buskers, chess players and interesting, if weird, people.

The hotel is not big on amenities but has very large bedrooms and very large lovely marble bathrooms. What makes it chic? Bob Dylan, Barbara Streisand, Ernest Hemingway, The Mamas and the Papas, Joan Baez, Dylan Thomas, and many other actors, writers and musicians have called this hotel their home away from home.

The hotel was built in 1902 and retains a lot of its turn- of- the-century charm . There is a touch of Art Nouveau in the colorful glazed tiles used as decor.

Your traveling friend,

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Monday, April 9, 2012

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Hospital

Me at Georgetown University Hospital
Dear Imaginary Friends,
I really enjoyed showing my twelve paintings at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Institute, which is an arm of Georgetown University Hospital. Lombardi has very impressive writing and art programs for patients and their families, to help them cope and express themselves.
My work was hung for all of March 2012. Sadly, it is down now. The blue palette of my work worked out beautifully in the blue striped lobby. It looked like it was painted for that space.
Your Imaginary Friend,