Sunday, 15 June 2008

Week 4 - Chinatown, Moma

Having not posted for a while, I apologise profusely and shall now spoil you with a veritable deluge of posts.

I am trying slowly to get around the sights and sites of New York City. It's a bit tricky with the classes, and all the reading I'm meant to be doing...and my innate laziness. I suppose it's a bit different being here for a summer rather than 2 weeks, you feel like you have a lot longer and so you push yourself to do a bit less.

So I haven't been out and about every day, but I have seen a fair bit. Partying in the Lower East side a few nights- reminded me of some cool places in Hoxton if you know that neck of the woods. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a clubbing scene here, it's more of a bar and lounge place. Now that's very cool for 90% of the time, but my girlfriend and I want to get our boogie on to some lame-ass music (you know, the kind that tells you to shake your booty/junk/etc and otherwise offends my feminist, empowered thinking?). I am informed by New Yorkers that 'clubs' here are more full of people standing around posing in sunglasses. I had enough of that in Paris, no thanks!

Chinatown the other night - that was great! My experience with chinese food has been a bit hit and miss and so I tend to be a bit wary of it. I don't eat meat, really, and I'm not a big fan of really greasy, msg-filled food and seeing as the usual offerings are plates of greasy, msg pork, I've tended to be put off. However, there are some really great Chinese restaurants here, and the waiter was really helpful (telling me when I pointed to something on the menu, no, 'pork inside'...'pork inside'...'pork inside') and we ended up with some v delish food. Very fresh, perfectly cooked scallops, yummy squid. And baked red bean buns - I am addicted to these now:

These ones are steamed, rather than baked like the ones we had but still - yummy.

Friday night after class, we went to the Museum of Modern Art. I like my modern art, to be honest (excepting the building itself) I preferred the contents of the Pompidou Centre
to the European Paintings in the Louvre (I know, blasphemy). But a lot of modern art is just about the artist. Usually naked. Some great installations though, and it was a really short trip so didn't see the lot on offer. Recognized a few things - the Warhol, Shrigley, etc. They have a Rothko exhibition on it seems, but somehow managed to miss that. There was a great installation close to the entrance - a fan attached to the ceiling, swinging in arcs, impossible to know (except by complex geometry I suppose?) where it would swing next. It was positioned high enough to not actually hit anyone on the head, but by an optical illusion when it headed for you it seemed low enough to come close to knocking your noggin off, which was slightly disarming!

I don't think that picture is the same atrium at MoMa. We'll have to go back another evening to see more. It's free Fridays, which is why we chose that day.
We had a very classy meal Friday night...a kebab from a street vendor. The variety and ubiquity of street food here is quite amazing. I suppose people are too busy to wander into a cafe or shop!

We're started getting the NY times delivered this weekend, I love love love this newspaper. I'm generally a Times or Guardian girl, sometimes the Indie too, but the NY times seems to cover a lot more in the way of World events.

This really is a country of two halves. One half is the fried chicken, country singing, redneck 'America' that we often mock, and yes there is a vast deluge of dumbed down, diluted and crass food and entertainment on offer. Times Square for instance - is just a tad tacky with the neon and all the chains of not so great restaurants and pizza joints. But for people who read, who take an interest, who are interested in food - there's some of the best food on offer, amazing culture etc, and I think the New York Times and Washington Post probably outdo our papers at home. No? I might just be overly enamoured (enamored?) with the way that the NY Times uses lots of commas in its article titles.

So, a slightly rambling, random post - but life is a bit rambling and random these days! Shall now visit everyone else's blogs to see what you've all been up to!

ETA: Well done on getting to the of the BVC people, (and the GDL Swiss Tony) - good luck for pupillage interviews Minxy and Android! Dream set indeed, you deserve no less!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the kind wishes of good luck with respect to the I word (I cant even bring myself to say it at the moment, such is the degree of my panic!!)
I must say,I am several intresting shades of GREEN with complete envy with respect to your stay in the Apple I hope you realise that!!
Chinese food in NY is sooo not like Chinese food here - its far far better than that! I developed a taste for dim sum , particularly with respect to tiny pancakes stuffed with prawns and sweet/hot dipping sauces, sticky rice with seafood ( more prawns scallops and squid) walloping bowls of noodle soup with all manner of intresting greens therein, great big pots of tea and... Chinese Doughnuts! I am drooling just thinking about it! I totally fancy those red bean buns youve got pictured too!

Rothko is one of my favourite artists - I once went to an exhibition of his at Tate Modern which totally blew my mind; I adore his cleanliness and balance, his sensitivity to colour - I could sit and look at his work all day!!

Is the exploding ceiling piano still installed at MoMi?!

Mel said...

I dunno - a trip to NY or Dream chambers, I think one is more worthy of jealousy than the other.

I'm really ignorant when it comes to Art actually. I know the Rothko stuff isn't cheap! And it's pretty. I'll go see his stuff some time in the next two weeks. Again, need to start reading more books - but I like American/Brit museums, where you can learn by visiting. Good stuff.

I don't know re the piano - that would certainly be interesting. That's ringing some bells, I think I must have seen an article at some point....