Saturday, June 15, 2019

New York City

 (Above:  Steve and me in front of Tomashi Jackson's artwork in the Whitney Biennial. Click on any image to enlarge.)

Steve cashed in frequent flier miles and hotel points for a very brief, two-and-a-half day trip to New York City.  It was fantastic. There were particular reasons for going. One was the Whitney Biennial, a "must see" exhibition for anyone interested in relevant, contemporary art in the USA. Curators Jane Panetta and Rujeko Hockley selected  seventy-five artists and collectives working in painting, sculpture, installation, film and video, photography, performance, and sound.  This significant exhibition was first introduced by the Museum’s founder Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1932. It is the longest-running show focusing on artistic developments in American art. 

(Above:  The Whitney Museum.)

I've seen one, past Whitney Biennial, but it was show in the "old building" ... not this super spacious, light infused, contemporary building in the west side's meat packing district.  I'm still mentally processing much of what I saw in this very thought-provoking show spread over three levels.

(Above:  The 9/11 Memorial, north pool.)

The Whitney Biennial draws plenty of creative tourists but the 9/11 Memorial draws everyone.  We've been here before, and like the last time, cried again.  That day seems so close, so visceral, so tragic, so horrifying, so emotional ... and the serenity of the park, the sound of the water, and the depth of the inner chamber create a perfect place of remembrance.

(Above:  Steve, Heidi, Heidi's son Owen, and me at the 9/11 Memorial.)

As Steve and I recalled September 11th, 2001, we couldn't have known that nearby Heidi was telling her son Owen about that same morning at Mouse House, our business and the place where Heidi worked at the time.  Owen's eighth grade field trip brought them to New York City.  Serendipity must have been in the air to bring us together at this spot. We must have been meant to share this better day together.

(Above:  Pride Tree at the 9/11 Memorial.)

Other people seemed deep in thought but some were actively tying provided ribbons in rainbow colors around the "Pride Tree".  In fact, everywhere in New York, decorations, flags, and signs were up in anticipation of Pride Week.  This year is also the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

(Above:  The New York Public Library.)

We went to the New York Public Library to see Love & Resistance: Stonewall 50, a special exhibition from the library's collection commemorating this significant flash point in LGBTQ history.

We also visited the Stonewall National Monument ...

... and St. Patrick's Cathedral ...

... and St. Paul's historic churchyard near the 9/11 Memorial ...

... and the Fulton Dock area ...

... with its excellent view of the Brooklyn Bridge.

(Above:  Brooklyn Mack, guest principal dancer, and his ABT principal partner Christine Shevchenko taking their curtain call.)

This trip, however, wasn't about seeing "the Brooklyn Bridge" but seeing Brooklyn Mack in his first performance as a guest principal dancer with ABT (American Ballet Theater).  We've watched Brooklyn since he was twelve years old.  We're friends with his mother and quite excited by this "dream come true".  We didn't want to miss the show ... especially since Le Corsaire is such a fabulously exotic, wildly exciting, and energetic ballet. 

(Above:  Radenko Pavolvich, Lucretia Mack, Brooklyn Mack, me and Steve.)

We even got to go back stage at the Metropolitan Opera House to congratulate Brooklyn.  Radenko Pavlovich, Brooklyn's South Carolina mentor and teacher, was also there.  Everyone was taking photos of one another  ...

... including Caroline Kennedy, a long time supporter of ABT ... like her mother, Jacqueline, had been!  At one point, she handed me her phone to snap a couple more pictures!  It was all very, very exciting!

(Above:  Along the north end of the High Line with the Hudson Yards and Thomas Heatherwick's copper staircase creation, The Vessel.)

On our last morning in New York, we walked the entire High Line, a public walking trail/urban park along the historic, elevated rail line in the city's west side. It is lined with an annual rotation of outdoor artwork and some of the most amazing architectural sights.

I took about two hundred photos inside of the two hours we were there.  Most were details of buildings.  Frankly, I took more pictures of architectural details than anything else.  Some of my favorites from this trip are further below!

This entire trip was only possible because Steve is so good at making travel arrangements, cashing in saved "points", and planning our subway trips.  He even managed to get a free upgrade to a room with a terrace overlooking Lexington Avenue!  Instead of expensive meals in fashionable restaurants, we opted for carry-out food with a view! Now, just scroll down for my architectural wonder images!

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