Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Museum Mile - my weekend NY-style

First off, my highly critical brother, Arkadiy, advised me to change my profile picture in this blog. Apparently, on it, I look like I have a gap between my front teeth or even a whole tooth missing. This, he said, could be attributed to the loss of pixellation quality due to re-sizing (not verbatum, just how I understood it). So, I took a closer look at the picture and here's my solution - simply enlarge the picture and the "gap" disappears. Of course, in this case my face looks like I've survived a particularly unforgiving strain of the smallpox - all covered in some sort of pokemarks. But don't you get scared - it's all due to the loss of quality (see above) and I'm much better looking in real life (even my Mom says so!).

And since I"m too lazy to sift through pictures looking for that perfect one where my eyes are open, my mouth is slightly open in a sweet-heart smile, all my teeth are present, my hair is nicely done, my skin tone is even, my posture is straight, and my fat rolls are particularly well-hidden, I am going to keep this picture for a while, a long while.

Now, with this matter settled, let's move on to my weekend report. In short, it was a great and terrific weekend. The minor snags, such as ugly weather and my parents' arguing did not do significant damage to the fun level of either Saturday or Sunday.

SATURDAY: My friend Irina K. came down from Boston. To celebrate our reunion (we haven't seen each other for, hmmm, I'd say at least 5 years) we decided to spend the day in New York City. Irina was up for anything and proudly proclaimed that she was going to be my "tail" for a day. And I really wanted to go to MoMA (that's the museum with all the weird modern art). So Irina picked me up and all four of us (yes, including her cousin and her little brother) took a train to NYC. Here we are, at the train station.

As we arrived to NY Penn Station and got outside for a leisurely stroll to MoMa (that's the museum with all the weird modern art that you have to pretend you understand) the weather turned from bad to worse. The rain almost stopped, but the wind picked up and it got much colder. In short, it was a perfect museum day. We were walking along Fashion Ave, talking about stuff and snapping pictures. Little did I know that a little kitchy dream of mine was waiting to happen just around the corner or rather straight up the road. For right there, right on a little pedestrian island in the middle of Broadway stood a very special dude that I have heard about for the past several years but never had a chance to see. Yes, it was Mr. Naked Cowboy himself - boots, a hat, a pair of tighty-whities, a guitar, and not much else - basking in the warm glow of camera flashes. Ok, don't get me wrong - I don't think he's all that (not in this cold weather anyway, if you know what I mean, wink-wink). But rather he was a curiousity and a symbol, a cross between the Statue of Liberty and a two-headed calf. And who wouldn't want a picture with either of these?! So here it goes.

Anyway, after some wandering around we finally found MoMA and got the tickets (people, DO carry your student ID on you at all times, even if it's expired. It saves major dough, i.e. $8 off a regular ticket price). By the way, go there on Friday evenings when it's FREE.
Also, pick up an audio guide which is free, unlike the little printed version.

I'm not going to talk much about MoMA since the best thing to do is to just go there and see it all for yourself. Or at least check out their website. I will post some pictures from the museum next week when I download them on my computer. But here's a little advice

- don't waste too much time on the top floor unless you are really interested in quick-on quick-off condoms, bullet-proof evening dresses, virus stuffed toys, and cardboard houses. These are all wanderful and fascinating, but not if you only have a few hours and haven't been at MoMA before.
- do go see Jackson Pollock paintings even if you're not a big fan of his artwork, you might enjoy having an opportunity to sit down and watch the little museum official shoo away art-lovers that get too close in their quest to fully appreciate the complexity of the paintings' texture.
- the Contemporary Gallery is the most fun (from the little that I had a chance to see). Go there if you are looking for some anatomically correct 3-D nudity and stay for a movie. While watching a movie in which some menacing-looking spreading foam causes a chain reaction of little explosions, fires, more chemicals being spilled, and old trash put to ingenious use, keep in mind that your time is precious and limited. Overall, this movie is great - low on plot, high on anticipation - non-stop action yet a total lack of climax or ending. Enjoy!

To be continued...